Reputational Ratings of Doctoral Programs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  24 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4335, pp. 1310-1314
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4335.1310


Peer ratings of the quality of doctoral program faculties were obtained in a 1975 national survey of chemistry, history, and psychology programs. The ratings were then compared to those obtained 6 and 11 years earlier by the American Council on Education. In general, the rankings obtained from the ratings proved to be highly stable over the 11-year period, particularly in chemistry and history.

Some ratings were also obtained for subspecialties within the three disciplines. Though it is clear that variations in quality among subspecialty faculties do exist and are important for individual program evaluations, it is unlikely that such subspecialty ratings would be feasible or useful in national surveys of the reputations of doctoral programs.

The ratings were found to be highly related to a number of research-oriented variables of departments (such as size, productivity, percentage of alumni holding academic positions at Ph.D.-granting universities), but unrelated or very weakly related to such features as the student-reported quality of teaching and degree of faculty concern for students, or faculty-reported degree of departmental effort toward the career development of junior members of the faculty.