The Grad School Ranking Surveys Are in the Mail

We're adding at least one new ranking and updating several specialty fields.

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We've just started the data collection for the upcoming 2010 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools, which will be published in early spring 2009. The statistical survey data collection for business, law, engineering, medicine, and education programs began in late October on our password-secured website. The deadline to complete the statistical surveys is in mid-November 2008.

The grad school peer assessment surveys also have started going out. Our goal was to have all the first mailings sent out by October 28. The peer surveys have roughly eight weeks in the field, with a second survey mailing that will go to those who don't respond the first time. U.S. News works with a contractor, Synovate, to administer the peer survey mailings.

What's new this time? For the 2010 edition, we're doing new peer-assessment-only rankings for Ph.D. programs in English, history, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and criminology and criminal justice. In addition, we're running new rankings for master's degree programs in library and information studies.

We'll continue to publish new rankings in the larger grad school disciplines. As in the past for the America's Best Graduate School rankings, U.S. News surveys both academics and professionals in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine who give us expert opinions about a program's quality.

For our law school rankings, we're continuing to conduct separate peer surveys in clinical training, dispute resolution, environmental law, healthcare law, intellectual property law, international law, legal writing, tax law, and trial advocacy. We also plan to publish our first-ever rankings of part-time J.D. law programs.

In engineering, we will once again have engineering specialty peer-assessment-only rankings in aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering, biological and agricultural engineering, bioengineering/biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical/electronic/communications engineering, environmental/environmental health engineering, industrial/manufacturing engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and nuclear engineering. These rankings are based solely on assessments by department heads in each specialty area. The names of department heads came from the American Society for Engineering Education.