New Statistics Program Fares Well in the NRC Rankings

Nov. 23, 2010

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The recently released National Research Council rankings of doctoral programs includes Baylor's statistics program for the first time.

Baylor initiated its Ph.D. program in statistics in 1992, which rendered it too new and too small to be included in the 1996 NRC rankings. Thus, Baylor's statistics program is one of the newest surveyed by the NRC. In fact, most of the programs evaluated in this assessment have been producing doctoral graduates in statistics for more than 25 years and some as many as half a century.

Nonetheless, Baylor's statistics graduate program scored exceptionally well on the NRC metrics, ranking in the same range as the University of California-Davis and Rice University on faculty research and scoring an overall program ranking in the same range as Yale and Johns Hopkins.

The NRC's graduate student measures were particularly strong for the program. Baylor tied for first in the nation, with Northwestern, Florida, Missouri and Rochester. These programs collectively lead the nation in:

    • Percent of students with first-year full support
    • Percent of students completing the degree in six years or less (eight years for Humanities)
    • Median time to degree
    • Students with Academic Plans
    • Data on postgraduation employment

Dr. Larry Lyon, dean of the Baylor Graduate School, was especially pleased but not that surprised by the No. 1 ranking in student support.

"Baylor has a long-standing student-centered tradition for undergraduates, and faculty support is even more important at the graduate level," Lyon said. "I have consistently observed our graduate faculty in statistics demonstrating the high level of personal concern and mentoring that successfully moves their students to a Ph.D. and then to a meaningful career."

"The 'bottom-line' for our program is successful student outcomes--namely a Ph.D. degree and multiple job offers," said Dr. James Stamey, associate professor and graduate program director in statistics. "We want our students to finish on time and to be exceptionally well prepared for both applied and academic positions."

Dr. Jack Tubbs, chair of the statistics department at Baylor, noted that many applied positions are available for statisticians, with a number of our graduates going to research positions with pharmaceutical companies.

"And for academic positions, recent graduates have gone to Wake Forest, the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay Medical School, West Point, University of Arkansas School of Public Health, and University of Kansas Medical School," Tubbs said.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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