Rating the Rankings

November 30, 2002

 

Duke moved into a tie for fourth in U.S. News & World Report magazine's latest annual ratings of national universities that offer doctoral degrees. The magazine listed Princeton as Number 1, followed by Harvard and Yale in a tie for second--the same rankings as last year. Duke was tied for fourth with CalTech, MIT, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania. Dartmouth was ranked ninth and Columbia and Northwestern were tied for tenth. Last year, Duke was ranked eighth.

The magazine also ranked Duke thirteenth in a list of national universities that are "great schools at great prices" and cited Duke's program for first-year students, writing program, and study-abroad program as "programs that really work."

" As much as we appreciate Duke's high ranking, we continue to believe that magazine surveys should not be the basis on which students and their families determine where to go to college," says Duke provost Peter Lange. "Virtually every year the magazines' criteria change and schools move up or down a position or two. As we consistently have said following publication of these rankings, students should use these magazine surveys as but one component in their decision about where to attend college. Since we believe the undergraduate educational experience our students enjoy is among the best that can be found anywhere, we anticipate that Duke will continue to be the first choice of many of the nation's most outstanding students."

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the best undergraduate engineering programs. Duke was ranked twenty-fourth, in a tie with the University of Maryland and the University of California-San Diego. Last year, the Pratt School of Engineering was in a three-way tie for twenty-sixth. When ranking specialties, the Pratt School's undergraduate biomedical engineering program was ranked second among schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. Johns Hopkins was ranked first in that area.

For the thirteenth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report listed Duke Medical Center on its honor roll of the top sixteen hospitals in the United States. Duke ranked sixth overall for the third year in a row, and had sixteen specialty areas that were highly ranked.

These rankings are based on a review of 205 top medical centers, winnowed from 6,045 hospitals nationally. To be ranked, a hospital must be a member of the Council of Teaching Hospitals, be affiliated with a medical school, or have at least nine of seventeen specified items of medical technology. Those criteria reduced the number of hospitals from 6,045 to 1,958. These remaining hospitals were ranked on their performance in each specialty area, looking at reputation, mortality (death) rates, and a group of care-related factors such as nursing.

The Duke specialty areas that U.S. News ranked include: geriatrics, fifth; heart/heart surgery, fifth; gynecology, sixth; cancer, seventh; digestive disorders, eighth; kidney disease, eighth; orthopedics, sixth; ophthalmology, eighth; psychiatry, ninth; rheumatology, ninth; urology, ninth; neurology and neurosurgery, eleventh; respiratory disease, eleventh; pediatrics, nineteenth; hormonal disorders, twentieth; ear, nose, and throat, twenty-seventh.

Duke's Fuqua School of Business ranked ninth in Business Week's best M.B.A. programs in the U.S., sixth in the Financial Times' best international M.B.A. programs, and third-best international business school in The Economist's sister company for data analysis, the Economist Intelligence Unit.