User login


You are here

National Research Council has ranked the doctoral programs of universities in the States

Yonggang Huang's picture

National Research Council ranks the doctoral programs of universities in the States every ten years.  The new ranking just came out.  Here are the results for mechanicsl engineering and civil engineering.


Mechanical Engineering:

-- survey based rank:

1. Stanford, Brown, CalTech

2. Northwestern

3. U. Michgan, Princeton

4. MIT, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara


--Regression based

1. MIT, UC Berkeley

2. Stanford

3. U. Michgan

4. Geogia Tech (Non-AAU Inst)

5. Northwestern, Purdue, UC Santa Barbara, U
Maryland College park

6. Brown, UC SD, U Colorado, U Minnesota

7. UT Austin

8. Penn State, Princeton, Texas A&M, UIUC



Civil Engineering:

--Survey based rank

1. Princeton, Yale

2. UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, CalTech, U Cincinnati,
Penn State

3. Stanford, UC San Diego

4. U. Michigan, U

5. Northwestern, UC Davis, U Notre Dame,
Washington U in St Louis

6. MIT, Washington U

7. UT Austin, U Wisconsin

8. Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, UIUC

--Regression based rank

1. UC Berkeley, UT Austin

2. MIT, Purdue, UIUC

3. Georgia Tech

4. Stanford

5. Texas A&M

6. U Colorado at Boulder, U Wisconsin -

7. Northwestern, Virginia Polytech and state

8. North Carolina

9. Georgia Tech, UC LA, U. Michigan




Rui Huang's picture

Thanks for the list of ranking, Yonggang. However, I was cautioned by the Dean of Graduate Studies at UT Austin that we shall take this ranking carefully for the following reasons: (1) The NRC has released a massive amount of data that results in ranges of rankings for programs - there is no single number assigned to any one program. (2) The study uses data collected in 2006 - it provides a snapshot in time from 5 years ago. (3) The NRC suggests the data be used to compare, evaluate and improve programs based upon the characteristics deemed most important to them. For access to more information as well as a link to the NRC data, please visit


Yonggang Huang's picture

Rui, Thanks for the comments.  Indeed NRC released a lot of data, which is why there are the Survey-based ranking and Regression-based ranking.  There is a nice article to explain the process adopted by NRC, and to interpret the data.  See .

I copied an example quoted in the above website.  "As an example, consider the MSE Department. Its R-ranking is between 3
and 9, and its S-ranking is between 3 and 15, both with 90% confidence.
To take into account the number of programs ranked in each discipline,
relative ranks were obtained by dividing the absolute ranks by the
number of programs in material science, which was 83. Thus the relative
R-ranks are between 4% and 11% and the relative S-ranks are between 4%
and 18%. One can interpret this as follows: with 90% confidence, the
MSE Department is ranked as high as the 4th percentile in both R- and
S-rankings. Similarly, one could interpret the lower limit as follows:
with 90% confidence, the MSE department's R-ranking is not lower than
11th percentile."  



benzerga's picture

Thanks Young. There was a critique in the Chronicle today. Check it out at

 I must say that I don't get the reputation argument. I was glad to read that the National Academies instructed the rankings commitee not to use reputational measures.

 BTW the S-ranking of Aerospace engineering programs turns out to be this:

1. Caltech

2. Stanford

3. U of Michigan

4. U of Minnesota

5. U of Maryland CP ; U Colorado Boulder

6. Georgia tech ; Texas A&M ; Cornell

7. U Illinois

8. MIT ; Purdue

9. Virginia Tech

10. Penn State


Yonggang Huang's picture



Thanks.  Can you also post the Regression-based rankings for AE please?  With both Survey- and Regression-based rankings, we have a good idea of this field.  Thanks.




Can someone post data on Salary Vs Ranking of the programs  at graduation, at 5,10,15,20 years past grad? 


Subscribe to Comments for "National Research Council has ranked the doctoral programs of universities in the States"

Recent comments

More comments


Subscribe to Syndicate