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PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs > Findings & Results

Findings and Results - CU-Boulder and beyond

Updated 10-7-10; new highlighted.  See full update record at bottom.

For all 33 CU-Boulder programs
  • Twenty CU-Boulder Doctoral Programs in Top 20 or Top 20 Percent in NRC Study -- Summary statement with table  ||  Table alone (also available as PDF)  ||  Press release
  • Plots showing absolute and percentile ranges of overall rankings for each program, plus for 3 dimensions.  These are sometimes called "butterfly" plots. 
  • Tables with basic demographics on each program plus ranges of rankings overall and for 3 dimensions
  • Scatterplots of midpoint-R vs. midpoint-S rankings, by field, with UCB programs marked.  These show UCB in context of all programs in a field.
    • More scatter matrices to come
  • Program values of the 20 measures used in S and R ratings, with standardized and raw values for each program. /
    • Example: In UCB Anthropology, 69% of faculty have grants; this is 1.48 standard deviations (SD) above the average for the 82 programs ranked in the field of anthropology [1 standard deviation is noticeable].  In UCB Philosophy the figure is 22%, which is also 1.46 standard deviations over the average for 90 philosophy programs.
    • Notable: 16 of 33 UCB programs have percentages of faculty with grants more than 1 standard deviation above average for their field, and 13 more are above average. 
    • Notable: One-third of UCB programs have graduation rates one standard deviation better than the average for their fields, and one-third have time to degree one SD better (shorter) than average. 
    • Notable: 21 of 33 UCB programs are 1 SD or more under the field average for percentage of students who are international, and only one UCB program, Spanish, is above average.   This verifies the bases for Flagship 2030 emphasis on increasing international-student enrollment.
    • Plots of program values to come
    • Standardized values within the AAU alone, or within other subsets, to come

For EACH of CU-Boulder's 33 programs

  • Coming
    • Guide and examples of what to say on your website
    • Alternative internal-to-UCB ordering of programs in a field, using best of R or S, then worst, within five categories:
    • 1 No overlap – programs with 95th better than X’s 5th
    • 2 Overlap, but entire range < midpoint: programs with 95th between X’s 5th and X’s midpoint (average of 5th and 95th)
    • 3 Overlap, spanning midpoint: programs with . . .
    • 4 Overlap, with entire range > midpoint: programs with 5th between X’s midpoint and 95th
    • 5 No overlap, programs with 5th worse than X’s 95th
  • Pick a program from the list to get a compilation of tables and graphs for that program alone, including a listing of the 40 programs with highest overall ranks, plus CU-Boulder and other programs in Colorado. 
    • The list will show last update date and the nature of changes as we add more material
    • Coming: Info on weights and distributions of program values
  • Histograms of the rankings for a program (R, S, research, diversity) - right now for selected programs only -- COMM, PSYC, SPAN, MCEN  9/30/2010 (Word document) - Coming for all
  • Individual programs should ALSO look at postings in the "all 33 CU-Boulder programs" area, above, to understand themselves in the context of others at UCB.
  • For details on programs including major codes included, secondary fields listed for NRC, 1995 NRC rankings and comparisons of departments and NRC fields 1995 to 2010, see information on programs and the files that page links to.   
  • The page about faculty info in NRC links to an Excel showing counts and names of faculty who have left since the N/RC lists were constructed in fall 2006, and faculty who have joined programs since.
  • Departmental profiles for CU-Boulder academic program review contain more up-to-date information on faculty, students, doctoral graduation rates, time to degree, and more, for every CU-Boulder unit. 

 On all programs and fields in the NRC study

  • The big NRC spreadsheet (all programs, all fields, all input measures, all rankings) customized for CU-Boulder.  To use this you should download, enable macros, and know something about Excel filters, column groups, tabs.   Pick a row in Master and look at the tabs to see program values and weights and perturbations.     XLSM (Excel 2007 version w macros)     XLS  (still uses macros, may not have something)    Mac users: these do not work.  9/30/2010
  • Guide to variables in the Data1 and Data2 tabs of the big NRC excel
  • PhDs.org:  http://www.phds.org/
    • This site is the primary outlet for NRC data for prospective students
    • The site has an interactive facility to explore rankings and other characteristics of PhD programs by field based on user preferences.  The data come from National Center for Education Statistics (IPEDS), the Survey of Earned Doctorates, NRC 2010, and the annual NSF Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.
  • Chronicle of Higher Education interactive website to view distributions of program values (all 20 variables) for programs in a field, compare up to three, even indentify programs with particularly high or low values.  This facility is fantastic! 
  • Statistics on the 59 fields, including N of programs in a field with R or S rank as high as 1, 2, . . . 10;  correlations of R-to-S, R5-to-R95, S5-to-S95; means and standard deviations for various ranking measures
    • Use these stats to help understand the context of the whole field and how fields differ from one another. 
    • Notable: In Economics and a few other fields, only 1 program ranked as high as #1 on either R or S.  But in comparative literature and others, 8 did. The N of programs with R or S as high as #10 ranges from 19 to 55.
    • The correlation between R-5 and S-5 ranges from .37 (barely related) to .95 (almost identical). Correlations between R-5 and R-95 are generally .75-.95 but for one field, communication, it's .19.  Correlations between S-5 and S-95 are higher for all but about 10 fields.
    • The average percentile rank for best-R-or-S ranges from 23% to 36% for all but 1 field.
    • Coming?  An almost endless array of further stats on fields is possible!
  • About the measures used in the rankings -- list with source, SAS variable name, some notes on concerns
    • Coming: More about concerns on measures
  • The big NRC Excel at http://www.nap.edu/rdp
    • CU-Boulder will post an enhanced version with color coding and (we hope) some additional handy filters, like AAU/not. 
    • Guide to variables in tabs Data1 and Data2 -- these have such goodies as standardized program values and weights.  They feed the tabs such as "Variables" and "R05" but their names are very difficult.  This Excel decodes all the names.  

Update record

  • 9/28/10 11am MDT - report and data released.  
  • Computer Science updated 9/28 ~1:15pm.
  • 9/30/2010 11am MDT - added histograms of the rankings for select programs and added the Excel released by NRC with CU-Boulder enhancements

Last revision 10/07/10


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