University of Delaware Office of Public Relations The Messenger Vol. 5, No. 1/1995 UD programs ranked in national studies The University of Delaware earned recognition in three recent college rankings, one by the National Research Council (NRC) and the other by U.S. News & World Report. One UD doctoral program earned "distinguished" marks, and two others were characterized as "strong" in a report on the nation's research- doctorate programs, released Sept. 13 by the National Research Council. The study included 13 UD doctoral programs, all of them rated as effective. According to an article in the Sept. 22 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, possible ratings for quality in the NRC study included "distinguished," "strong," "good," "adequate," "marginal" and "not sufficient for doctoral education." In the area of effectiveness, possible ratings were "extremely effective," "reasonably effective," "minimally effective" and "not effective." The UD chemical engineering program, ranked eighth in its field of 93 programs, was judged "distinguished" in quality and was rated "extremely effective." Rated as "strong" and "reasonably effective" were art history (ranked at 15th out of 38) and psychology (ranked at 57.5th out of 185). "I am proud to see our programs receive these rankings, because I know how much hard work and dedicated effort go into building them," University Provost Mel Schiavelli said. "The goal ahead for us is to have other programs achieve such national recognition." Other UD doctoral programs rated "good" in quality and "reasonably effective" were biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, civil engineering, linguistics, materials science, mechanical engineering and physics. Mathematics was rated "good" in quality and "minimally effective." Rated "adequate" in quality and "minimally effective" were electrical engineering and sociology. The NRC study, which updates and expands the council's 1982 assessment of graduate programs, examined quality and effectiveness of more than 3,600 doctoral programs in 41 fields at 274 U.S. universities. The evaluation was based on data on students and faculty provided from universities; information from national databases on faculty research productivity and demographic characteristics of program graduates; and peer assessments by nearly 8,000 university faculty members. The NRC recognizes only 41 different doctoral fields as eligible for inclusion in the survey and then sets very strict criteria (such as a minimum number of doctoral degrees granted during a specific time period) that must be met before a program is allowed to participate in the survey. "The University of Delaware only met the eligibility criteria in about a dozen fields, in large part because we do not offer doctoral degrees in many of the fields listed by NRC," said Schiavelli. "It should be noted though that many of our premier doctoral programs, such as marine studies, represent fields not officially recognized by the NRC for purposes of this survey." In an article on "America's Best Colleges" in the Sept. 18 issue of U.S. News, the UD College of Engineering tied for 46th place among the top 50 undergraduate engineering schools. Other schools tying for 46th were Cooper Union, Drexel, Vanderbilt and Washington universities, Rutgers at New Brunswick and the universities of California at Santa Barbara, Iowa and Missouri at Rolla. In U.S. News' overall ranking of national universities, Delaware appeared with 64 other schools in the second tier, after the top 50. In all, 229 schools were evaluated in this category. Also in September, the University was listed 52nd in a ranking of 100 of the nation's top college values by Money Magazine.