All the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline. All schools surveyed in a discipline were sent the same number of surveys. Respondents rated the academic quality of programs on a 5-point scale: outstanding (5), strong (4), good (3), adequate (2), or marginal (1). They were instructed to select "don't know" if they did not have enough knowledge to rate a program. Only fully accredited programs in good standing during the survey period are ranked. Those schools with the highest average scores appear.
In the fall of 2007, surveys were conducted for the 2008 rankings of Pharm.D. pharmacy programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (56 percent of those surveyed responded); of doctoral programs in clinical psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (response rate: 28 percent); graduate programs in occupational therapy accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (53 percent); audiology programs and speech-language-pathology programs accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (57 percent and 42 percent, respectively); physical therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (33 percent); and master of social work programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (56 percent).
In the fall of 2006, surveys were conducted for the 2007 rankings of schools of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (response rate: 78 percent); healthcare management programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (72 percent); master's programs in nursing accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (40 percent); graduate nurse anesthesia programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (61 percent); graduate nurse-midwifery programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (74 percent); physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (56 percent); rehabilitation counselor education programs accredited by the Commission on Standards and Accreditation: Council on Rehabilitation Education (53 percent); and veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (80 percent).
Nursing specialty rankings are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools. Nursing educators nominated up to 10 schools for excellence in each area.
All peer surveys were conducted by the market research firm Synovate.