There are many different ways to develop rankings of Ph.D.-granting academic departments. Perhaps the most common method is reputational: we simply ask knowledgeable scholars in the discipline to provide their rankings and aggregate these in some fashion. Other ways involve more “objective indicators.” But, of course, departments have multiple attributes, e.g., we might be interested in how good a department is as a place to get a Ph.D., or we might be interested simply in the research record of its faculty, etc. Thus, we might want to use different indicators to measure different aspects of the department.
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