Ranking Graduate Programs

| 41 Comments

The US News and World Report recently released their 2007 rankings for graduate schools. The report covers both professional and graduate programs like medical and law schools and science Ph.D. programs. The science Ph.D. programs are split into disciplines and subdisciplines. Bellow, I’ll share with y’all the rankings of the two subdisciplines most relevant for what we do here: Ph.D. programs in Ecology/Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology. These rankings are not entirely accurate because any program that is part of a medical school (like Stanford’s EEB) is not listed in these ranking but instead is considered as part of the medical school rankings. (Disclaimer: My program is listed in the EEB rankings.)

Rank Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Rank Paleontology
1 University of California–Davis 1 University of Chicago
2 University of California–Berkeley 2 Harvard University
3 Harvard University 3 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
4 University of Chicago 3 Yale University
5 Duke University 5 University of California–Berkeley
6 Cornell University 6 University of Kansas
6 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 7 University of Cincinnati
8 Indiana University–Bloomington 8 University of Iowa
8 Princeton University 9 University of Texas–Austin
8 University of Georgia 10 Ohio State University

So, if any of our readers are looking to go to graduate school in evolutionary biology, they should give a good look to these programs. If you want to look at genetics/genomics/bioinformatics, biochemistry, or other fields that also relate to evolution you’re going to need to pick up a copy of the US News and World Report’s rankings.

41 Comments

Cool - Kansas is #6 in Paleontology. One reason is that KU produces the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology at the Paleontological Institute, which is where my wife Jill worked for many years as an editor and database developer. Now she is acting collections manager at the Museum of Invertebrate Paleontology.

Go KU!

What – ICR’s, uh, “grad school” didn’t make the list?

And what about Patriot University? I don’t see U of Chicago alumni creating dinosaur theme parks.

Darn. JH didn’t even make the top ten.

Sadly, I can’t help but notice that my alma mater, Lehigh University, didn’t make the list of best places to learn evolutionary biology. I wonder why?

Stevaroni Wrote:

Sadly, I can’t help but notice that my alma mater, Lehigh University, didn’t make the list of best places to learn evolutionary biology. I wonder why?

Nor did mine, Drexel, which gave your favorite prof a B.S. in chemistry.

Wow, Berkeley is up there even though they have their very own IDEA Club.

Paleontology: University of Chicago #1, Harvard #2

Creationist Kurt Wise graduated from both. :-)

Taught by the best paleontologists in the world, David Raup and Stephen J. Gould

Wow, Berkeley is up there even though they have their very own IDEA Club.

Of course they’re there! A handful of ID freaks won’t affect UCB’s standing! That’s where I went to grad school, after all!

Hmmm. But why isn’t Bob Jones University on that list???

Comment #97794

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on April 21, 2006 11:10 AM (e)

Paleontology: University of Chicago #1, Harvard #2

Creationist Kurt Wise graduated from both. :-)

The Unabomber graduated from Harvard too. A fancy degree is not an innoculation against insanity.

Taught by the best paleontologists in the world, David Raup and Stephen J. Gould

Maybe they’re the best (I dunno) but are either one of them creationists? Just curious, Mr. Cordova!

And where’s Liberty University on that list? Their debate team is #1 in the world, after all.

(glances around for Ed)

Paleontology: University of Chicago #1, Harvard #2

Creationist Kurt Wise graduated from both. :-)

Taught by the best paleontologists in the world, David Raup and Stephen J. Gould

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Just to clarify: these are only US graduate schools, aren’t they?

Bob

Just to clarify: these are only US graduate schools, aren’t they?

Looks that way…

Odd that Dembski’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary did not make this list. I hear they have an amazing science and research program there.

Obviously the people who put this list together are not only biased, but probably satan worshipping atheists as well.

I’ll have to check those out. BTW, the U. of Rochester (where I’m now a postdoc) has some very well-known EEB researchers – among them H. Allen Orr, John Jaenike, and Jack Werren, and we’re gaining some really good junior EEB-oriented faculty members as well. It’s a smaller department, though, so it may be below the radar when compared to schools with larger, more formally defined EEB programs.

Incidentally, there are a lot of other intangibles that go into picking a graduate program. As an older, married graduate student whose husband was then settled into a good job, I had no easy option of going far from home, so I didn’t – and I became the fifth ever biology Ph.D. graduate of Western Michigan University. That young program has placed its graduates into very competitive postdoc positions at the NIH, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and several major universities. I have only good things to say about my experience at WMU; I got more interaction with the faculty than I would have had elsewhere, and that group includes some wonderful ecologists and molecular biologists. Also, the program had an unusually broad core of coursework that has made my life much, much easier every time I have to speak to biologists outside my own specialty. The only relative difficulty is that such smaller programs are often less well-funded, and if you’re in one, you can find yourself sidetracked by a lot more teaching than you’d have to do under a research assistantship in a wealthier institution.

I don’t see U of Chicago alumni creating dinosaur theme parks.

No, but Dembski and Nelson both have U of C PhDs. I did my undergrad there, and most fellow alumni I know are a little embarrassed by this fact (the rest simply haven’t heard of them).

Wow, Berkeley is up there even though they have their very own IDEA Club.

Actually, in addtion the following have IDEA clubs:

#4 University of Chicago #6 Cornell

And regarding U of Chicago, that’s Paul Nelson and Dembski’s Alma Mater.

Princeton is Dembski’s and Well’s Alma Mater too.

Berzerkeley is Phil Johnson’s old school and Jonathan Wells’, Jed Macosko’s, and last but not least Duane Gish’s Alma Mater.

As a Ph. D. graduate of the University of Chicago’s Ecology and Evolution department, I must say that I’m pleased as punch to see my institution rated highly in both categories!

Did not know that Dembski came from there too. :-(

Actually, in addition the following have IDEA clubs:

#4 University of Chicago #6 Cornell

But then the faculty adviser for Cornell’s club is not in EEB, he is (as we all know by now) in engineering.

Schroeder got his PhD in physics from MIT which did not prevent him from thinking that masers emit atoms and that weight and mass is the same. Dembski used to be Shallit’s student and Shallit wrote some of the most devastating critique of Dembski’s pseudo-math. What “the best paleontologists in the world” think of their former students is anybody’s guess. IDists’ case seems to be rather weak if they resort to referring to the fame of scientists who most probably would shrug ir reminded of their former students. In every class there are always some nincompoops barely passing exams who still may boast that they were “taught by great scientists.”

Ah, that Sal.

He’s a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel: he comes, he goes, but where that “theory” of Id is, nobody knows.

Especially not Sal.

I notice quite a few schools only show up on one of these lists. This implies that a university can have schools of varying quality. So just saying “X graduated from university Y” really doesn’t tell us if X graduated from the school with the high ranking.

So Sal has his eye on the ball here. Kurt Wise graduated not only from a highly ranked university, but from a highly ranked program within that university. And sure enough, Wise understands that knowledge and faith do not overlap. He is the very epitome of Twain’s remark about believing what you know ain’t so.

Obviously the people who put this list together are not only biased, but probably satan worshipping atheists as well.

I think the ID crowd’s polite term for the kind of people who put together this list is ‘secularists’.

Another one of those terms fundamentalists use for other people who never use the term for themselves.

Salvador Wrote:

Paleontology: University of Chicago #1, Harvard #2

Creationist Kurt Wise graduated from both. :-)

I very much doubt that Kurt Wise has two PhDs in paleontology.

Boasting of Wise’s credentials is irrelevant, given:

”…I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.”

(Kurt P. Wise — Geology. pp. 351-355 in In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. J. F. Ashton, Ed. Green Forest, AR: Master Books Inc.)

Reed said “I very much doubt that Kurt Wise has two PhDs in paleontology.”

Wise does not have 2 PhD’s, however I can understand why you might have thought I meant that, so let me clarify.

Wise got his undergrad at U of C. David Raup and the U of C faculty wrote a letter of recommendation to Gould knowing that Wise was a creationist, but the letter of recommendation did not state it.

Gould at Harvard happily accepted the application, not knowing Wise was a creationist. Then when Raup was alone with Gould, Raup asked something to the order of (not the exact quote), “Steve, would you ever receive a PhD student who was a creationist?”

Gould replied, “hmm.…well if he does science like me, why not?”

Raup then spilled the beans, “You just did.”

Gould was furious. He chewed Wise out the first day he met him, but thankfully for Wise, the topic never came up again.

Raup incidentally was at the famous Pajaro Dunes conference in the 1990’s which put the afterburners on the ID movement.

Don’t you love the way Sal tells a story. It almost put a tear in my eyes.…. However, the story more than anything shows the caliber of a person that the late Dr Gould was. Despite his own personal opinions took that lost soul of Wise under his wing and shepherded him through the doctoral program. Remember that Gould was under no obligation to take a student. To be in a doctoral program is a privilege not a right. But again to the IDiots crowd such gestures are not noticed.

Raup incidentally was at the famous Pajaro Dunes conference in the 1990’s which put the afterburners on the ID movement.

Apparently they were installed backwards.

Well my little college was not ranked in the sciences. Minor boasting follows My only consolation is that is ranked in the Top Public National Universities (#6) and under the Top Schools (#31). And to that I say Go Tribe!!!

steve s Wrote:

Apparently they were installed backwards.

Spittle… all over my monitor and keyboard. You make me laugh.

My school is usually on the list for best foot. Because when you’re an 18-year-old high school senior, the first thing on your mind is, “What’s to eat?” This question becomes even more important when you’re an 18-year-old college freshman with a bigtime case of the munchies.

foot=food

Okay, steve s wins the thread.

UC Davis REPRESENT!! My B.S. Genetics Alma Mater. Ok, not EVE, but I do know some of the top-notch EVE profs here. I had one on my show last fall talking about in-utero cannibalism in mexican snails. No wonder the Grace Valley Christian Center keeps inviting the Disco institute fellows to lecture here. It’s because the EVE department is designed so intelligently.

That afterburners comment was a gem!

OK, now I know that it doesn’t really add to the discussion, but…

steve s wrote:

Apparently they were installed backwards.

Too funny. Every time I read it I crack up.

By a strange coincidence.…

AIG and ICR are promoting their joint graduate programme:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/doc[…]/0420icr.asp

Where you will learn the truth about science. Wonder if it will make into the “top ten” ?

Each online course approaches the content the same way ICR’s scientists approach the study of origins: if an idea, scientific or otherwise, is contrary to God’s Word, it is false.

Sarcasm on That is just a superb line to describe the scholarly depth and breath of this unique and outstanding program.(snicker) (shrug) Sarcasm off

Salvador T. Cordova Wrote:

Creationist Kurt Wise graduated from both. :-)

It’s hard to misrepresent evolution very convincingly unless one knows something about it.

have you seen this website flockofdodos.com? it was made by randy Olson. has anyone seen the movie?

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on April 21, 2006 3:27 AM.

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