Grad School Ranking Surveys Are In the Mail

U.S. News starts data collection for the next Best Grad Schools rankings.

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We've just started the data collection for the upcoming 2012 edition of the Best Graduate Schools rankings, which will be published in early 2011. The statistical survey data collection for business, law, engineering, medicine, and education programs began October 19 on our password-secured website. The deadline to complete the statistical surveys is December 1.

In addition, the new grad school peer assessment reputation surveys are also being sent out. The peer surveys have roughly eight weeks in the field, with a second survey mailing going to those who don't respond the first time. U.S. News works with Synovate, a Chicago based market research firm, to administer the reputation survey mailings.

What's new: to be incorporated into the 2012 edition of the law school rankings, we are surveying recruiting directors and hiring partners at law firms that are included in the new Best Law Firms ranking to get their views on the best law schools. Also, we're doing new peer-assessment-only rankings for the graduate degree programs in the fields of healthcare management, nursing, nursing-anesthesia, nursing-midwifery, physician assistant, public health, rehabilitation counseling, and veterinary medicine. For the second year in a row, we have separate survey instruments for both part-time M.B.A. and part-time law J.D. programs.

We'll continue to publish new rankings in the largest grad school disciplines. As in the past for the Best Graduate Schools 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—which are combined with statistical data we collect from each school.

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.

In engineering, we will once again have engineering specialty peer-assessment-only rankings in these fields: 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, which were provided by the American Society for Engineering Education.

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