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A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States provides an unparalleled dataset that can be used to assess the quality and effectiveness of doctoral programs based on measures important to faculty, students, administrators, funders, and other stakeholders.

The data, collected for the 2005-2006 academic year from more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities, covers 62 fields. Included for each program are such characteristics as faculty publications, grants, and awards; student GRE scores, financial support, and employment outcomes; and program size, time to degree, and faculty composition. Measures of faculty and student diversity are also included.

The book features analysis of selected findings across six broad fields: agricultural sciences, biological and health sciences, engineering, physical and mathematical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and humanities, as well as a discussion of trends in doctoral education since the last assessment in 1995, and suggested uses of the data. It also includes a detailed explanation of the methodology used to collect data and calculate ranges of illustrative rankings.


with the book is a comprehensive CD-ROM with a data table in Microsoft Excel. In addition to data on the characteristics of individual programs, the data table contains illustrative ranges of rankings for each program, as well as ranges of rankings for three dimensions of program quality: (1) research activity, (2) student support and outcomes, and (3) diversity of the academic environment.

As an aid to users, the data table is offered with demonstrations of some Microsoft Excel features that may enhance the usability of the spreadsheet, such as hiding and unhiding columns, copying and pasting columns to a new worksheet, and filtering and sorting data. Also provided with the data table are a set of scenarios that show how typical users may want to extract data from the spreadsheet. an independent website not affiliated with the National Research Council, incorporated data from the research-doctorate assessment into its Graduate School Guide. Users of the Guide can choose the weights assigned to the program characteristics measured by the National Research Council and others, and rank graduate programs according to their own priorities.

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