The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Research Doctorate Programs
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About Staff Contacts
Quick Links

Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) Homepage


Contact Us
General inquiries should be directed to:
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
The National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW WS533
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202.334.2700
Fax: 202.334.2725

Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs

 The National Research Council released A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs on September 28, 2010. The report consists of a descriptive volume, and a comprehensive data table in Excel containing data on characteristics and ranges of rankings for over 5000 programs in 62 fields at 212 institutions. 




  Project Information  

Committee Members
Procedures and Timelines
Institutional Review Board
Meet the Panels
Awards and Honors
Convocation Webcast Archives
September 2010 Data Tables
Summary of Changes Released


Past Reports

A Guide to the Methodology of the National Research Council Assessment of Doctorate Programs (prepublication release: July 2009)
book icon Read online free  buy icon Buy the book

This report describes the purpose, data and methods used to calculate ranges or rankings for research-doctorate programs that participated in the NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate programs. It is intended for those at universities who will have to explain the NRC Assessment to others at their university, to potential students, and to the press. Although the main text is fairly non-technical, it includes a technical description of the statistical methods used to derive rankings of over 5000 doctoral programs in 61 fields. (
Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW))

cover imageAssessing Research-Doctorate Programs: A Methodology Study (2003)

book icon Read online free  buy icon Buy the book

How should we assess and present information about the quality of research-doctorate programs? In recommending that the 1995 NRC rankings in Assessing the Quality of Research-Doctorate Programs: Continuity and Change be updated as soon as possible, this study presents an improved approach to doctoral program assessment which will be useful to administrators, faculty, and others with an interest in improving the education of Ph.D.s in the United States. It reviews the methodology of the 1995 NRC rankings and recommends changes, including the collection of new data about Ph.D. students, additional data about faculty, and new techniques to present data on the qualitative assessment of doctoral program reputation. It also recommends revision of the taxonomy of fields from that used in the 1995 rankings. (Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)) Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change (1995)
buy icon Buy the book

Doctoral programs at U.S. universities play a critical role in the development of human resources both in the United States and abroad. This volume reports the results of an extensive study of U.S. research-doctorate programs in five broad fields: physical sciences and mathematics, engineering, social and behavioral sciences, biological sciences, and the humanities.  This report documents changes that have taken place in the size, structure, and quality of doctoral education since the widely used 1982 editions. This update provides selected information on nearly 4,000 doctoral programs in 41 subdisciplines at 274 doctorate-granting institutions.

Get more information on past reports


Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Committee Chair
Professor of Astronomy, Department of Astrophysical Sciences
Princeton University, NJ

Virginia S. Hinshaw, Vice-Chair
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Elton D. Aberle
Dean and Director Emeritus, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Norman Bradburn
Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
University of Chicago

John I. Brauman
J.G. Jackson - C.J. Wood Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
Stanford University

Jonathan R. Cole (resigned May 2010)
John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University
Columbia University

Paul W. Holland
Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics (retired)
Educational Testing Service

Eric W. Kaler
Provost and Senior Vice President
Stony Brook University

Earl Lewis
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Emory University

Joan F. Lorden
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Carol B. Lynch
Dean Emerita of the Graduate School
University of Colorado, Boulder

Robert M. Nerem
Parker H. Petit Professor and Director, Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience
Georgia Institute of Technology

Suzanne Ortega
University Professor and Dean Emerita
University of New Mexico

Catharine R. Stimpson
Dean and University Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Science
New York University

Richard P. Wheeler
Vice Provost
University of Illinois