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Doctoral Business Program Rankings

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Doctoral Business Program Rankings [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2005, 12:34
I know that some of this is educated hand waving on the part of the Financial Times and that PhD programs don't lend themselves that easily to rankings, but I still thought this site with its rankings of world PhD programs was intriguing.

http://docentes.fe.unl.pt/~lflages/other_links.html
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2005, 18:10
The FT doctoral rankings are interesting, but I think that they have some problems (like most of the other rankings). The stated criteria for the FT list is number of degrees granted (which doesn't make much sense to me) and placements at top 50 MBA schools (which makes a lot of sense to me, but because the numbers are relatively small may reflect more on the individual graduates than the quality of the program.) Plus, the list is not broken down by specialization, which matters a lot.

IMHO, the research rankings are probably the best that we have by way of numerical rankings, but there are still a lot of variables (your individual interest, faculty comings and goings, etc.) Here are a couple more in case you haven't seen them:

http://www.kelley.indiana.edu/ardennis/rankings/rank2001.htm

http://citm.utdallas.edu/utdrankings/

This ranking thing is a really murkey area. You will hear academics say, on one hand, that PhD programs are "above rankings" (or something similar), and then you might hear about "good schools" and "top-notch programs," which implies at least some kind of ranking. Perhaps a good doctoral program is like what Potter Stewart said about pornography :oops:: I can't define it, "but I know it when I see it." Seriously, though, I think the situation is just too fluid and individualized for rankings; although "brand name" and "halo effect" have more impact on placements than the academic community would like to admit. Again, this is all IMHO--I'm an academic neophyte.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2005, 20:55
I completely agree with Jaypalm that rankings are a murky issue. However I liked the concept of UT Dallas where they purely talk about research papers in A class Journals over a period of 15 years. What is more important to me , is that they allow you generate the rankings by choosing the Journals. For instance when I chose Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Marketing, the rankings I received were different as compared to say choosing JCR,Jm,JMR and Marketing Science. Atleast gives a decent idea about the research area emphasis of the schools.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2005, 14:17
I agree those rankings are a bit fuzzy--well, maybe a LOT fuzzy. I also thought that they produced some odd anomolies, which isn't surprising given the small sample of graduates from to draw from for placement numbers. I think the best way to rank would be primarily by scholarship produced by a given school, such as: amount of scholarship published per professor multiplied by a factor accounting for the relative prestige of the journals in which the scholarship is published (although, of course, then you have the problem of ranking the journals!).

PhD program prestige is also heavily influenced by the particular discipline (marketing, finance, accounting, etc.) or even specialty within a discipline. So again, the moral of the story is that it's extremely difficult to rank PhD programs, especially those so small as management programs.

That said, there does seem to be some sort of ranking going on, as you typically see professors from a superstar school were also students from superstar schools. You'll not find many professors teaching at Harvard/Wharton/Stanford who got their PhDs at Cleveland State or North Texas or the like; they usually come from the Ivys or the tip top public programs like Haas or Michigan.
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  [#permalink] 15 Apr 2005, 14:17
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