Ranking Graduate Programs: Alternative Measures of Quality


  • John C. Angus Case Western Reserve University
  • Robert V. Edwards Case Western Reserve University
  • Brian D. Schultz Case Western Reserve University


Numerical measures of quality were used to rank US graduate programs in chemical engineering.  The results were compared with the reputational ranking based on a survey conducted by the National Research Council.  The numerical ranking and the NRC reputational ranking are in very good agreement for the highest ranked programs, but are less well correlated for lower ranked programs.  It is proposed that the numerical rankings, which are based on publications, citations, research support, and honors, are a better measure of quality, especially for smaller programs and programs whose quality is changing significantly.

Author Biographies

John C. Angus, Case Western Reserve University

John C. Angus is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan. He worked on thermoelectric materials at the 3M Company for three years before joining the faculty at Case. He has worked on the growth of diamond by chemical vapor deposition and various electrochemical problems for almost forty years.

Robert V. Edwards, Case Western Reserve University

Robert V. Edwards received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1968 and took a post-doctoral position at Case Western Reserve University to work on the then-new field of laser light scattering for transport measurements. He joined the Case faculty in 1970 and has subsequently made numerous contributions to the theory and practice of laser light scattering with collaborators, both here and abroad.

Brian D. Schultz, Case Western Reserve University

Brian D. Schultz obtained his BS in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1977. He won a National Science Foundation Fellowship, which he used to pursue his Master's degree at Case, and in the fall of 1998, he began working toward his PhD at the University of Minnesota. Research interests include ternary phase diagrams for low-pressure crystal growth as well as the thermochemical behavior of group Ill nitrides.