MIT still shines in US News survey


MIT has achieved top ratings in engineering, science and management in US News & World Report's seventh annual ranking of "America's Best Graduate Schools."

��������������������������� As it has for all seven years of the magazine's survey, MIT's School of Engineering was ranked No. 1 in the nation. It also was first in seven of 12 engineering specialties.
��������������������������� In doctoral science programs, MIT and the University of California at Berkeley came out on top in four of six programs.
��������������������������� In business graduate school rankings, MIT's Sloan School, which was first last year, placed second, a tenth of a percentage point behind Stanford. Sloan was the only school reporting 100 percent employment by its graduates three months after graduation, at a 1995 median starting salary of $75,000, putting it first in that category with Wharton and Harvard.

MIT President Charles M. Vest said, "Credit for this remarkable showing goes largely to our faculty, whose teaching and research led to the rankings, and also to our students, who constantly challenge us to be at our best.

"Our willingness to remain focused on our core strengths in science and engineering have also been very important," he said.

"I might add that the obvious excellence of our best research universities-the differences among the top few, even in the US News and World Report criteria, are small-reminds us that a larger issue must be addressed, and that's the continued well-being of America's research universities at a time when the value to the nation of higher education and research is being questioned."

Manifestations of this, he said, are proposed reductions in federal funding for research and the weakening of the traditional partnership between universities and the federal government.

"We must look at the cost of education and the cost of research as investments in our future, investments that pay extraordinary rates of return, both financially and socially" Dr. Vest said. "Great research universities must be sustained for their unique capacity to produce new scientific and technological knowledge. And we can do this only if we continue to educate our best and brightest, giving the next generation its opportunity to contribute to this advance."

In past years, MIT always has been at or near the top in graduate economics programs, but the magazine said economics programs were not rated this year.

ENGINEERING

The 1996 ratings, which appear in the March 18 issue of US News and World Report, put MIT first among the top 25 graduate schools of engineering. Also in the top five, in order, are Stanford, UC-Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Among engineering specialties, MIT was in the top five in all 10 of the categories in which it has programs (the other two specialties were agriculture and industrial/manufacturing).

MIT was listed first in the following categories: aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical/electronic, materials/metallurgical, mechanical and nuclear engineering. It was second in civil, third in biomedical and fifth in environmental engineering.

The magazine said it determined the rankings for the nation's 219 graduate engineering programs using five measures: faculty resources, research activity, student selectivity, and two separate measures of institutional reputation-one by engineering school deans and deans of academic affairs, and the other by 938 practicing engineers, all members of the National Academy of Engineering.

MIT ranked No. 1 in both reputational categories and in research activity. It was rated fourth in faculty resources and 16th in student selectivity. This gave MIT an overall score of 100, with second-place Stanford scoring 98.3.

Dean Robert A. Brown of the School of Engineering said, "The school is gratified at this acknowledgement from the engineering community of the quality of our programs. It 's also a compliment to our faculty and students, who work very hard."

SCIENCE

In its reputational survey of PhD science programs, the magazine ranked programs in biological sciences, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, geology and physics. It asked department heads and directors of graduate studies to rate the programs based on scholarship, curriculum and the quality of the faculty and graduate students.

MIT was tied for first in biological sciences with Harvard, Stanford and UC-Berkeley; first in computer science with Carnegie Mellon, Stanford and UC-Berkeley; first in mathematics with Harvard, Princeton University and UC-Berkeley, and first in physics with the California Institute of Technology and Harvard. It was tied for second in chemistry with Caltech and Harvard (UC-Berkeley was first), and placed second in geology behind Caltech. In each case, it was just a tenth of a percentage point behind the leader.

Overall, MIT moved up a notch in biological sciences and physics, and down a notch in chemistry.

The magazine also rated the top specialty programs within each major program.

In the biological sciences, MIT was tied for second with Stanford in biochemistry/molecular, fourth in microbiology and fifth in genetics. In computer science, MIT was first in artificial intelligence and hardware, third in software, tied for fourth with the University of Maryland at College Park in databases, and fifth in both graphics/user interaction and theory. In mathematics, MIT was first in applied mathematics, fourth in geometry/topology, tied for fourth in algebra with UC-Berkeley and fifth in logic. In physics, MIT was first in nuclear physics, second in both atomic/molecular and condensed matter/solid state physics and fourth in nonlinear dynamics/chaos physics. In chemistry, MIT was second in inorganic, third in physical and fifth in bio-organic-biophysical chemistry. In geology, MIT was first in tectonics/structure, second in geophysics, fourth in sedimentology/stratigraphy and fifth in geochemistry.

Dean Robert J. Birgeneau of the School of Science said, "Clearly we are pleased with the latest rankings. They are completely consistent with the recent, more comprehensive National Research Council rankings and they establish us, along with Berkeley, as the number one schools of science in the US. We owe this in good part to the truly outstanding young faculty we have attracted to MIT over the last decade."

MANAGEMENT

In placing second behind Stanford among the top 25 business schools, the Sloan School slipped a fraction of a notch from its first-place 1995 ranking, scoring 99.9 to Stanford's 100. However, significantly, said Dean Glen L. Urban of the Sloan School, over the combined three years (1994-96), MIT Sloan is the highest ranked business school (No. 1 with 299.6 points, followed by Stanford with 299.4 and Wharton with 298.4). Following Stanford and Sloan in the top five this year, in order, were the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Northwestern University (Kellogg), and Harvard.

The magazine determined the rankings for the nation's 292 accredited MBA programs on the basis of student selectivity, placement success and two measures of reputation-by business school deans and MBA program directors, and by 1,331 corporate recruiters. Sloan was tied with Stanford in first place in reputational ranking by academics and was ranked seventh by recruiters. It was first in placement success and fourth in student selectivity.

In business specialties, Sloan was first in three categories-management information systems, production/operations management and quantitative analysis. It was fifth in both finance and real estate.

Dean Urban said, "Clearly, we remain among the very best of the best. It is clear that by many measures we are a much better school this year than last. Some of the major improvements include the opening of the new Tang Center, the reduction of the size of the core classes and completion of our state-of-the-art trading room, to name just a few. The credit for our excellent ranking belongs to our outstanding students, to our top-notch faculty, and to our exceptional administrative staff."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 13, 1996.


Topics: Education, teaching, academics

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