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Rankings, Part One: Where We Stand

Oct. 17, 2012

There are so many factors that go into graduate education, sometimes it's hard to know where you stand. This is especially true for graduate programs where reputation, scholarly activity, and student outcomes can be measured in so many ways. Baylor Graduate School appreciates the awards and the recognition we have received from U.S. News and World Report, for example. But, when we really get serious about program evaluation we look to two sources - the National Research Council and Academic Analytics.

The National Research Council (NRC) publishes one report about every ten years that evaluates more than 5000 programs at over 200 colleges and universities. NRC collects data on reputation, research activity, diversity, and student support. They supply this information for free to websites like, where students can create customized rankings based on the criteria that matters the most to them. For example, you might want to go to a small school with a big reputation. You can create a personalized set of rankings that measure only those qualities.

When we look at Baylor, NRC data consistently shows that Baylor is one of the very best schools in terms of student support. In fact, Baylor programs in English, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Statistics rank in the top ten overall in their fields. But, what does student support mean? NRC looks at four things - funding, graduation, time to degree, and job placement. In these areas Baylor excels, beating or competing with Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. That means that Baylor graduate students pay less, finish their degrees faster, and find jobs.

That's good news.