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PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs > CU-Boulder Programs

CU-Boulder programs

Programs rated in the current assessment

CU-Boulder has 33 PhD programs rated in 2010 in five NRC "broad fields."

  • Social sciences, 9:  Anthropology, communications, economics, geography, linguistics, political science, sociology; and both psychology and cognitive science (rated in NRC field psychology)
  • Arts and Humanities, 7:  English, French, Spanish, history, philosophy, comparative literature, theatre
  • Physical sciences, 8:  Applied mathematics, astrophysical and planetary sciences, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and computer science
  • Engineering, 5:  Aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering
  • Life-sciences, 4:  Ecology and evolutionary biology; integrative physiology; molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; neuroscience

The 33 programs, their NRC field names, and the estimated number of programs ranked nationwide in 2010:

CU-Boulder program name NRC field Estimated N of programs ranked
Applied Mathematics Applied Mathematics 33
Anthropology Anthropology 82
Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Astrophysics and Astronomy 34
Aerospace Engineering Sciences Aerospace Engineering 31
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology 50
Chemistry and Biochemistry Chemistry 176
Chemical Engineering Chemical Engineering 106
Comparative Literature Comparative Literature 45
Computer Science Computer Sciences 125
Cognitive Science 1,2 Psychology 236
Communication Communication 82
Civil Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering 128
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 94
Economics Economics 114
Electrical Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering 135
English English Language and Literature 117
French French and Francophone Language and Literature 42
Geography Geography 49
Geology Earth Sciences 139
History History 135
Integrative Physiology Physiology 62
Linguistics Linguistics 52
Mathematics Mathematics 125
Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology Cell and Developmental Biology 121
Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering 123
Neuroscience 2 Neuroscience and Neurobiology 94
Philosophy Philosophy 90
Physics Physics 160
Political Science Political Science 104
Psychology Psychology 236
Sociology Sociology 118
Spanish Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature 58
Theatre Theatre and Performance Studies 27

1Cognitive Science and Psychology are both ranked in the same NRC field, Psychology.
2Cognitive Science and Neuroscience are both joint PhD programs, with faculty and students from many departments; students receive one PhD in two fields, such as Linguistics and Cognitive Science, or Integrated Physiology and Neuroscience.

Details on each of the 33 UCB programs (major codes, ranking and field in 1995 NRC, secondary programs listed for NRC, changes in departments and programs, and more)

Several CU-Boulder doctoral programs were not included in the NRC 2010 rankings:

  • Two programs--Classics and Music--were too small to be included, i.e., they awarded fewer than five doctorates at CU-Boulder in the requisite time span (2001-02 to 2005-06).
  • Three programs are too new to have been included. The doctoral program in Environmental Studies was first offered in 2002 and had awarded no degrees as of the 2006 data collection. The interdisciplinary PhD program in Technology, Media and Society (administered through ATLAS) was approved by the Regents in 2006. The PhD in Asian Languages and Civilizations was initiated in the fall of 2010.
  • Three programs--Education, Business, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences--were excluded by NRC those fields were considered by NRC to offer professional, rather than research, degrees.
  • Doctorates that are not PhDs (law, some in music, audiology) were excluded by the NRC.
  • No doctoral programs in any of 14 NRC emerging fields (e.g., nanotechnology) were offered at CU-Boulder in 2006.

A few CU-Boulder programs were "folded into" or combined with other disciplines--Communication-Media Studies (offered through the Journalism School but not as a separately approved degree) with Communication, and the very small Geophysics with Geology, Chemical Physics with Chemistry.

Programs at other universities in Colorado

Two other universities in Colorado, Colorado State University (Ft. Collins) and the University of Colorado Denver, also participated in the NRC assessment. Together, they have 37 rated programs.


Last revision 09/28/10

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