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Top University Rankings for 2004 Released 701

Posted by michael
from the sells-a-lot-of-magazines dept.
jemecki writes "US News and World Report has posted their annual rankings for the top colleges and universities in America. Of particular interest to Slashdotters are the top Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering universities and the top overall engineering schools. For those that don't want to RTFA, Harvard and Princeton are the best in the country, and MIT, Stanford and Berkeley are the best in Engineering."
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Top University Rankings for 2004 Released

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  • What??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SoCalChris (573049) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:15PM (#6768241) Journal
    No Hollywood Upstairs Medical School??? That's unpossible!
  • "Premium login"?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by connsmythe96 (576445) <slashdot@adam k e m p.com> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:17PM (#6768255) Homepage
    I can only see 3 schools listed. Why post the article if we have to pay to see more than 3 schools in the list?

    Am I missing something?
    • Obviously you didn't go to one of those schools if you can't figure it out.
    • by Spamhead (462189) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:24PM (#6768345) Homepage

      Here is the rest of the list:

      4 - A way overpriced institution of higher learning.
      5 - A way overpriced institution of higher learning.
      6 - A way overpriced institution of higher learning.
      7 - A way overpriced institution of higher learning.
      .
      .
      .

      • Over priced education is great when you get the government or your parents to pay for it. BTW, I keep hearing students' at the local state run schools complaining about tuition now that the government can no longer pay for it. Tuition has been increasing by 10% a year.

        But, in the hey day...man, Universities could really rack up the bills as they lavished the perks on the insiders and administrators.
      • "Overpriced?" (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2003 @05:58PM (#6769201)
        As someone who works in higher ed, I get a bit tired of this.

        Guess what: higher ed is expensive. I work at a very expensive private college. Assuming that you were to pay full freight for everything (few do), you would pay $11k/year less than it actually cost us to provide you the classes, services, room+board, etc.

        So how do we do it? Volume! No, really we make it up by grants, donations and endowment income. The latter has been in the tank over the past few years, the former has been a lot tighter as well as all those insta-zillionaires watched their stock profits vaporize.

        Cuts? Sure. My department's budget is down 25%, we're running 20% low on staff. We're under hiring freeze, we're putting off needed renovations (Library+leaky roof = bad news) we've stopped replacing computers in labs, we have cut adjunct profs and reduced the courses taught, etc, etc. And guess what: the budget still doesn't balance. We're eating our endowment to stay alive until the good times return. (And that's with the amazingly lower salaries in higher ed: you think you can get a PhD with 20 years of experience for $80k/year in industry? Our president makes a whopping $165k: a CEO of a similar sized corporation would clear a million easy.)

        We're one of the lucky ones. We've got enough endowment to survive for quite a bit longer without layoffs. We even got a small raise this year.

        But overpriced? No way: it just costs a hell of a lot to run a college.

        • Re:"Overpriced?" (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
          The problem is that in my experience, colleges have typically been increasing their per student spending by _twice_ that of inflation for maybe thirty years. Caltech spent nearly $200,000 per student per year? What the HELL are they spending it on?! That has to be enough for nearly three personal tutors from your high-earn industries.

          I know that a lot of stuff is expensive but then I've seen a lot of money thrown around to suit the whims of administrators and to keep the "image" up rather than focusing
        • Guess what: higher ed is expensive

          Yes, it's expensive for some, but it doesn't have to be expensive for the student as much as for the state. My education, had I not been on scholarship, would have been $3000 for year. From this, I am now in a top 5 graduate school. I graduated from undergrad in the black.

          So what I learned is this: the best value is either one of the best schools in the country, or a good public school in your state. On the other hand, $25,000 for a fourth-tier private school isn't a

    • Re:"Premium login"?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SeanAhern (25764) on Friday August 22, 2003 @06:00PM (#6769210) Journal
      Uh...I can see all of them, and I'm not a "subscriber". When I click on "Top Schools", I get 123 different rank groups. I only get statistics for Harvard and Princeton. Accessing the rest of the statistics requires that I buy something.

      For those who don't care to link, here's [usnews.com] the ranking:

      1. Harvard University

      Princeton University (NJ)
      3. Yale University (CT)
      4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
      5. California Institute of Technology
      Duke University (NC)
      Stanford University (CA)
      University of Pennsylvania
      9. Dartmouth College (NH)
      Washington University in St. Louis
      11. Columbia University (NY)
      Northwestern University (IL)
      13. University of Chicago
      14. Cornell University (NY)
      Johns Hopkins University (MD)
      16. Rice University (TX)
      17. Brown University (RI)
      18. Emory University (GA)
      19. University of Notre Dame (IN)
      Vanderbilt University (TN)
      21. University of California - Berkeley *
      University of Virginia *
      23. Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
      Georgetown University (DC)
      25. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor *
      26. Univ. of California - Los Angeles *
      27. Tufts University (MA)
      28. Wake Forest University (NC)
      29. U. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill *
      30. Univ. of Southern California
      31. College of William and Mary (VA)*
      32. Brandeis University (MA)
      Univ. of California - San Diego *
      Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison *
      35. New York University
      University of Rochester (NY)
      37. Case Western Reserve Univ. (OH)
      Georgia Institute of Technology *
      Lehigh University (PA)
      40. Boston College
      U. of Illinois - Urbana - Champaign *
      Yeshiva University (NY)
      43. University of California - Davis *
      44. Tulane University (LA)
      45. University of California - Irvine *
      Univ. of California - Santa Barbara *
      University of Washington *
      48. Pennsylvania State U. - University Park *
      Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (NY)
      University of Florida *
      51. George Washington University (DC)
      Pepperdine University (CA)
      53. Univ. of Maryland - College Park *
      University of Texas - Austin *
      55. Syracuse University (NY)
      Worcester Polytechnic Inst. (MA)
      57. University of Iowa *
      58. Purdue Univ. - West Lafayette (IN)*
      University of Georgia *
      60. Ohio State University - Columbus *
      Rutgers - New Brunswick (NJ)*
      University of Miami (FL)
      Univ. of Minnesota - Twin Cities *
      64. Boston University
      Miami University - Oxford (OH)*
      University of Connecticut *
      67. Brigham Young Univ. - Provo (UT)
      Indiana University - Bloomington *
      Texas A&M Univ. - College Station *
      Univ. of California - Santa Cruz *
      University of Delaware *
      University of Pittsburgh *
      73. Clark University (MA)
      Michigan State University *
      Southern Methodist University (TX)
      Univ. of Missouri - Columbia *
      Virginia Tech *
      78. Baylor University (TX)
      Clemson University (SC)*
      St. Louis University
      SUNY - Binghamton *
      SUNY Coll. Environ. Sci. and Forestry *
      University of Colorado - Boulder *
      84. Fordham University (NY)
      North Carolina State U. - Raleigh *
      Univ. of California - Riverside *
      87. Illinois Institute of Technology
      Iowa State University *
      Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)
      University of Denver
      91. Marquette University (WI)
      Univ. of Massachusetts - Amherst *
      University of Tulsa (OK)
      Univers

  • by pauly_thumbs (416028) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:18PM (#6768259)
    according to the ads that I watch while collecting unemploymet and eating cheezits -- Devry Institue is the place to become an elite member of the exciting IT industry!!!111!!!

  • by DeathPenguin (449875) * on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:18PM (#6768265)
    Just want to remind everyone that a lot of the rankings are quite subjective: "The rankings are based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program they are familiar with on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished)."

    Personally, I'm more interested in which universities have good industry and job opportunities surrounding them, since my first job after getting a degree will likely be close to wherever I graduate from.
  • by ih8apple (607271) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:19PM (#6768278)
    The longer I've been the workforce, the more I realize that these rankings are irrelevant except for bragging rights and being able to charge higher tuition for "prestige." I know many people who went to these great instituitions (I went to one myself) and many of them are sitting around in a dead end job boring themselves to death. Other people who went to community colleges or lower ranked schools are many of the movers and shakers of the world. There's no hard and fast rule either way regarding success and these schools. The only benefit I can see to the higher ranked schools is the networking with the elite of America who will get cushy jobs due to nepotism and that networking may pay off for you later.
    • by mandalayx (674042) * on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:22PM (#6768319) Journal
      I agree. However remember that in-state undergrads at Berkeley pay only about $6k/year for tuition as opposed to $30k...

      but it's not for everyone :)
      • by Timmmm (636430) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:30PM (#6768422)
        How can you all afford to go to university?!?

        In the UK, tuition is ~ 1k/year, wherever you go.

        $30 / year ?!?!?!?!?!
        • by QuackQuack (550293) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:49PM (#6768641) Journal
          Either you pay for it in high tuition or you pay for it in high taxes. ;-)

          If you can't afford $30K/year (and that is for the most prestigious of schools, most schools are much less than that), there are scholarships, grants, and loan programs to pay part or all of your tuition.
        • by Skater (41976) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:55PM (#6768680) Homepage Journal

          Loans.

          Lots of loans.

          I went to a relatively inexpensive school [clarion.edu], and I still have a ton of debt from it. I'm glad I didn't go anywhere more expensive. I'm quite happy with the education I received at Clarion, too.

          --RJ

        • by panaceaa (205396) on Friday August 22, 2003 @05:43PM (#6769079) Homepage Journal
          How can you all afford to go to university?!?

          My father's side of the family has a sort-of honor system where the dad pays always pays for the tuition of the kids. It's happened from at least the time of my great-grandfather, who paid for my grandfather and great-uncle to go to college at Tufts University. Then my grandfather paid for my dad's education, and my dad paid for mine. I've never talked to my dad about the tradition, but when I have kids I definitely want to keep the tradition going.

          Some would look at it like my family's well off, though we're not rich. I instead like to think of it as a loan across generations. I don't have to pay for my education until later in life, when I can afford it, and then I repay it through my kids.
          • by rleibman (622895) on Friday August 22, 2003 @07:45PM (#6769908) Homepage
            Of all the things that cost money, there is only one thing that you can give to your children that will last them a lifetime: Education. Everything else can be lost, stolen, taken by the government, etc.

            My parents had a simple rule, they would keep on paying for our education for as long as we continued to go. I plan to do the same for my children. I'd rather go hungry than prevent my kids for going to the schools they want.
          • I think just about every Asian-American family I know of does this. I find it extremely odd when I hear of people who aren't having daddy pay for their education.
    • It really depends on your industry as well. As an engineer the school I graduated from means less than the job experience i have. Go to a highly competive field like law and I would imagine that the rules change completely.
    • by s20451 (410424) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:29PM (#6768401) Journal
      The longer I've been the workforce, the more I realize that these rankings are irrelevant except for bragging rights and being able to charge higher tuition for "prestige."

      The longer you are in the workforce, the less your formal education is relevant, anyway. Besides, it's better to think of it in terms of the intrinsic benefits rather than the extrinsic benefits. I have attended both small, unknown and big, prestigious universities, and the quality and quantity of teaching is certainly better at the bigger schools. Having said that, the difference between 1 and 2 is pretty much irrelevant compared to the difference between 1 and 500.

      The only benefit I can see to the higher ranked schools is the networking with the elite of America who will get cushy jobs due to nepotism and that networking may pay off for you later.

      Well, that's certainly relevant! I'm about to finish a graduate degree, and the job I'm about to start is basically thanks to my supervisor's networking skills. It certainly helps that my supervisor is world-renowned in his field, so an introduction from him carries a lot of weight, which you probably wouldn't find at a low-ranked university.
  • cripes.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cali Thalen (627449) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:20PM (#6768283) Homepage
    MIT, Stanford, Berkeley...
    MIT, Stanford, Berkeley...
    MIT, Stanford, Berkeley...

    What exactly is this an ad for anyway? Oh yeah, US News' 'Premium Online Edition'

    Nothing to see here....
  • by Brahmastra (685988) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:20PM (#6768284)
    My comment is from the prespective of a graduate student. Almost all the top schools are as good as each other. Or you could end up with a shitty advisor in which case, any school would be bad. It might be counterproductive to choose a college based only overall rankings. Your field of reasearch, advisor, how much money they pay you as assistantship, they all play a role. As long as a school is in the top 10-20, they're probably about as good as each other.. Some better than others depending on your specialization
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:20PM (#6768295)
    No "Best Party School" crap. It's a crying shame that the title exists at all.

    It says a great deal about a society that values irrational consumption of alcoholic beverages as a virtue to be sought after.

    And for those of you thinking that this isn't important: how many hiring managers and HR blimps do you suppose see "Bachelor of Arts" and think "drunk every weekend?" How many of those people think a college degree matters?

    So yeah, it's important.
  • by pudge (3605) * <(ten.egdup) (ta) (todhsals)> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:21PM (#6768300) Homepage Journal
    They have absolutely no validity [archive.org]. Ignore them. Please. [archive.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Amen. This top 20 crap has got to stop. There is a huge inefficiency in the market for talent because so many employers keep trying to recruit from the same small number of institutions -- usually the ones of this list. And parents make their kids miserable trying to compete to get into that short list of schools.

      I've been in the NYC job market for nine years and all the academic elitists (e.g., those who will "only hire from the Ivy League") continue to distort what one would hope would be a meritocrac
    • Yes, speaking as a Yale alumnus: US News can blow me. The top three are basically a perpetual toss-up between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, with a different college (or pair) holding the top spot each year, depending on how they've decided to tweak their ranking formula. Occasionally there's an upset - Caltech got #1 a few years ago. (Which is a good indication of how fucked up US News' system is: Caltech is a fantastic school, but it's an engineering school, not at all like HYP.)

      A couple of years ago,
      • by stanwirth (621074) on Friday August 22, 2003 @06:48PM (#6769547)

        The top three are basically a perpetual toss-up between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, with a different college (or pair) holding the top spot each year

        Tee hee. At Cornell, there's a running joke: "Harvard, Princeton, Yale...and perhaps Cornell." So in the school paper, you often see the word "perhaps" placed before Cornell, even when not in the context of the rankings. "A University Spokesperson Announced today that perhaps Cornell would consider the measure to..." etc.

        BTW I feel these rankings should be ignored by both prospective undergraduates and graduate students. The formula for undergrad should be first and foremost "Where can you get the best education for what your money?" -- and this means evaluating geography, what your parents are willing to help you out with, where you're going to fit in culturally, as well as whether you can afford it, and whether the faculty are there primarily to teach you.

        Sure you can go for broke at "the best" school, but if you have to work 30 hours a week to afford it, your grades are going to suffer, and if you're stuck with a bunch of snobby prep-school kids who *can* afford it, you can get blindsided by class and social issues that you simply shouldn't have to deal with. When a graduate teaching assistant at another "top" school, we were told on no uncertain terms that the University had just changed its acceptance policy from needs-blind to needs-based. In other words, if your daddy's rich, you could get in more easily with poorer grades, SATs and so forth. Specific students were pointed out to us as being ones we might need to "go easy" on, and we were instructed to, when catching students cheating on exams, to bring the case before the professor rather than busting them on the spot--it could humiliate a big donor's sweet little angel, you see. As a working-class kid who'd made good by working and paying my own way through another "top" (read: expensive) school and had suspected crap like that was going on -- I was outraged to find that it was true. But kept my mouth shut--when the going gets tough, the tough take notes. And used this anecdote as ammunition when Cornell started considering the same admissions policy.

        If you already live in a state with an excellent university system, take advantage of the fact. Your parents have been paying for it your whole life, through their taxes, so, in effect, the state university system owes you an education. If you don't, pick a state university you'd really like to go to -- UT Austin, UC Berkeley, UCLA...apply, and then defer your matriculation until after you've established residency. It might take a year or two of working and paying taxes and registering your car in that state, but it could well be an excellent investment of your time. You can get to know students, find out what programs are the most interesting to you, suss out which teachers do a good job and which ones are simply full of shit, and hopefully save up a bit of money for your studies -- and save a bundle on tuition. Hey, for a year or two of working before going to college, you can save a hundred grand in tuition over the following four years, and have more contacts in the community as well as some real-world work experience when you get out. Bonus!

        Academics will try to hit you with their snobby attitude like you've "wasted time" and come up with all sorts of lame patronising damning-with-faint praise excuses on your behalf why you "had to take some time off." The sooner you learn to ignore the bullshit attitudes of academics, and only accept from them what's useful to you the easier it will be for you to just get on with your education anyway. And remember. They Work For You not the other way around. They owe you competent instruction and fair grading, not a steaming pile of bullshit patronising attitudes . If they try their attitudes out on you, just classify them as insecure and not worth your time -- and mo

  • by AEton (654737) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:21PM (#6768301)

    I am applying to college this fall, looking for a degree in computer engineering (or software, maybe. heh) so I can go join the rest of the madding crowd in the unemployment lines.

    The portions of this report available free didn't really surprise me -- MIT and Berkeley were already on my "apply here!" list, and maybe Stanford just for fun. But I have a bunch of others in mind -- Carnegie-Mellon, Harvard, CWRU, maybe Ohio State (tuition would be cheap or free as I live in state).

    This story should generate some more interesting suggestions as to what I should look into--particuarly because we have to pay money to see more than the top 3--and I'm very interested in input from the techie crowd, particularly those who have already gone through the college circus.

    • How about University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign? They have an excellent Electrical/Computer Engineering program. And at this point, it's probably better to get a degree with some hardware in it rather than pure software. It'll reduce the chances of being in unemployment lines. Most of the top 10-20 schools have big job-fairs with most large tech companies attending. Going to any of these schools, and getting reasonable grades should give you a very good chance of landing a job easily.
    • Go to Harvard if you want to become an eliteness craving adult who is surrounded by extremely hot women. Yale is good if you want a lot of freedom, academic and otherwise, with a more low-key atmosphere. But the handful of hot girls at Yale is nothing compared to the plethora of punan at Harvard. Your decisions are your own of course, but there is more to a school than its rank (as everyone else here has aptly noted repeatedly). Try to take into account a school's counseling programs, the location of th
    • Do Carnegie Mellon. Expensive and you'll bust your ass just to make a "B", but wow is it worth it. No coasting through classes here. And it actually does have a little pull out in the real world (even though right now everyone is probably saying "Mellon? Like in 'Back to School'?"). But...the thing I got most out of it, you'll make some damn good friends as you're all staying up late trying to survive.

      And then you got Pitt and a couple other nearby schools to go to/recruit chicks when you have ten minute
    • by raehl (609729) * <raehl311@@@yahoo...com> on Friday August 22, 2003 @05:09PM (#6768792) Homepage
      Avoid schools primarily geared towards engineering. Well, if you want to learn how to interact with real people anyway.

      There are a few good reasons to go to a big state school, esp. if you have one that's decent at your intended major in your state.

      1) It's cheaper. You will be very hard pressed to make enough money after school to make up for the extra $100,000 in debt you'll be from MIT or Stanford.

      2) You will run into many, many more people during the rest of your life who went to your school. This is good.

      3) Real people will not instantly label you as a snob.

      4) You have a much broader range of educational opportunity, and employers value this. Employers want engineers who took a few humanities classes. You will enjoy the opportunity to take a few humanities classes. You will have the opportunity to apply your major to fields that are just not available at engineering oriented school.

      5) If you decide you hate engineering - and I know many people who do - you can easily move into something else.

      6) Social Fraternities. I'm not saying you should join one, but you should have a good friend who does.

      7) Women. Who bathe. Some who have probably not heard about the tech bubble bursting and who will date you because of your perceived post-graduation paycheck.

      8) You'll still have access to everything you would have had at an engineering-only school.

      I know way too many people who went to Engineering schools who have a very difficult time functioning outside of an Engineering environment. One of the *MOST IMPORTANT* things I got out of college was taking classes with, and doing extra-curricular activies with, people who were smart *AND* not engineers.
  • Harvard, Princeton, and MIT are some of the best schools in the country!? I never saw that coming!

    Seriously, I've never complained about ./ stories before, but this really is a non-story. Maybe if I had a usnews *premium* account and could actually get more than a 1,2,3 list...
  • Northwestern outranked U of C. Now I can sleep better at night. Ha.
  • Where did Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, NY) end up in the fields of EE and CS?
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:21PM (#6768315) Homepage Journal
    B-b-but what happened to Acme University?

    I'm sorry, but I've watched far too many RoadRunner cartoons to believe a Coyote could have done better anywhere else.

  • University of Colorado, isn't it?

    Sadly, Chico State isn't on the list anymore. =/

    Which college has the most bandwidth? The best female to male ratio?

    C'mon, tell us the *important* stuff.
    • Which college has the most bandwidth? The best female to male ratio?

      C'mon, tell us the *important* stuff.


      MIT has their own class A plus they fight the RIAA :)

      But female to male.....eh...better than CalTech :)
    • by Sonicboom (141577) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:26PM (#6768370) Journal
      Correct. U of Colorado is the top party school.

      http://www.msnbc.com/news/954063.asp?0si=-

      TOP PARTY SCHOOL
      UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER
      Boulder, Colorado is said to have an endless amount of things to do: concerts, coffee shops, movies, parties, shopping and plenty of outdoor activities for those adventure-seekers. The Division I sports add to the energy of the school and the atmosphere around campus (campus is only 30 minutes from Denver too). The school is large, with over 25,000 undergrads enrolled last year. The student body is described as "a combination of rich kids and hippies, kids who don't care about class work and kids who are super-competitive, studying hard during the week and letting loose on the weekends."
      Runner-ups
      2) University of Wisconsin, Madison
      3) Indiana University (was number one last year)
      4) University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      5) Washington and Lee University
    • Which college has the most bandwidth?

      ZDnet will rate the most 'wired' colleges. However, I can't find it on their site anymore.
    • I don't know which has the BEST female to male ratio, but BGSU [bgsu.edu] has about a 3:1 ratio. Not too bad, but obviously irrelevant for us geeks.

      Oh, and the bandwidth is great. They block all P2P, though.

  • by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:23PM (#6768328) Homepage
    Forget this survey. Is there really a surprise when schools that cost $30,000 per year rank at the top? What I'm interested in is a country -vs- country ranking. Here in Canada we have some amazing universities, and I'd love to see them up against the US's best.
    • Forget this survey. Is there really a surprise when schools that cost $30,000 per year rank at the top? What I'm interested in is a country -vs- country ranking. Here in Canada we have some amazing universities, and I'd love to see them up against the US's best.

      I pay about $2900/semester to go to school at Berkeley..
    • From events like the ACM programming competitions, the Putnam mathematics examination, and the American Solar Challenge, I would feel confident saying that the University of Waterloo could compete with any technical school in the U.S., including MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and Berkeley.
    • Good luck getting a job in the US after graduating from a Canadian university. Going to a crappy college in the US will give you better chances to get a job here. The Indian Institute of Technology might be more prestigious than MIT, but few people in the US know that.

      Besides, the quality of the education you receive at a university is largely dependent upon you, rather than the university. A smart student who strives to achieve his best rather than the bare minimum will likely do equally well at a no-n
  • GOD I HATE THIS LIST (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768.comcast@net> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:24PM (#6768339) Journal
    Cause every year my school (Montclair State University) uses it to show its good and the honest truth is the school SUCKS and basically rapes you of money and gives you no education for what you paid.

    I mean they closed down the TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT!!! just so they could build a bigger building on campus

  • Hooray (Score:3, Informative)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:25PM (#6768354) Journal
    Same story as usual. Expensive ivy league schools rated best in class!

    Although this means nothing to me, I know most slashdot readers and editors will be looking at colleges in about 5 years or so.

    Frankly, I've found that the real world puts much less esteem on who granted your degree than the schools themselves do.

    Pretentious eggheads laugh at DeVry, employers dont. They usually care if you can do the job, and have appropriate hygeine.

  • Princeton Review (Score:3, Informative)

    by sometwo (53041) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:26PM (#6768360)
    Princeton Review has their rankings out and there is no fee. Find out [princetonreview.com] which schools are the party and non-party schools.
  • by rfischer (95276) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:26PM (#6768363)
    Did any one notice this distinction:

    Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
    (At schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's)
    (5.0 = highest)
    1. Rose-Hulman Inst. of Tech. (IN) 4.4
    2. Harvey Mudd College (CA) 4.2
    3. Cooper Union (NY) 4.0

    Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
    (At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate)
    1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology 4.8
    2. Stanford University (CA) 4.7
    University of California-Berkeley * 4.7

    Somehow the PhD program elevates the undergrad program?

    • Somehow the PhD program elevates the undergrad program?

      I think the idea is that more postdocs mean better profs. But then maybe Harvey Mudd has some profs who are really passionate about teaching and not research...
    • by mph (7675) <mph@freebsd.org> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:46PM (#6768599)
      Somehow the PhD program elevates the undergrad program?
      I don't find this at all surprising, although I'm in the physical sciences, not engineering.

      In general, the best and brightest faculty in a given field are going to be primarily interested in their research. Graduate students are vital, and substantial, part of most research programs. Thus, the leaders in a field are more likely to go to an institution where they can supervise a cadre of grad students.

      (Yes, there are exceptions; some brilliant professors are happy to concentrate on teaching rather than research. You'll find good examples at the institutions at the top of the list. I am speaking in general.)

    • by bziman (223162) on Friday August 22, 2003 @05:15PM (#6768852) Homepage Journal
      Somehow the PhD program elevates the undergrad program?

      When I was applying to undergrad school, not quite ten years ago, I had to decide between two schools for my physics degree.

      One school, was relatively small and just had an undergrad program. At that school, I had the promise of much more personal attention from the professors, and I was assured that the professors were focused on teaching, not on there own research.

      The other school had a much larger program, going all the way up to a PhD. They had research going on, and lots of fun fancy equipment.

      I chose the larger program, and found that all of those advanced resources were, in fact, available to me. I took a graduate class as a sophomore in solid state physics, and got to be co-author on a real paper in the field.

      I was surrounded by people who were really interested in the field, and knew that the professors truly got it.

      So, assuming that your program doesn't completely ignore undergrads, then going to a school with a bigger program can be a very good choice. Particularly if you're headed for grad school or are interested in research. Just make sure you do your homework -- some of those big name schools are the ones that ignore undergrads.

      -brian

  • by Exitthree (646294) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:26PM (#6768368) Homepage
    You can see it here [princetonreview.com]. Same colleges different order. ;)
  • Reminds me of a sig I once saw here on Slashdot.

    Going to the Univeristy can make you knowledgeable, but it cannot make you wise. ;)
  • by ChopSocky (556987) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:27PM (#6768377)
    No Crazy Go Nuts University?!?

    I love Homsar.
  • I'm not quite sure how this is possible, but my friend used to be a CS Major at Stanford. The department of computer science was accredited.

    However, Stanford's Engineering department was not. The reason being is that most of the classes were taught by TA's, aka graduate students.

    Stanford didn't meet the minimum requirement of actual Professors with Graduate and Post Graduate degrees teaching lectures.

    With that understanding, how is it possible for Stanford to even be a top school in engineering?

    Th

  • Johns Hopkins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bjtuna (70129) <brian@intercarv e . net> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:28PM (#6768388) Homepage
    I know there's gotta be some other JHU alumni reading this. For years, Johns Hopkins has been ranked around #15, which always prompted Hopkins to brush the rankings aside as subjective. Surely the rankings are bullshit, they would say, since anyone worth their salt knew that JHU was the premiere research institution in the world.

    So my freshman year, 1999, rolls along and Hopkins finds itself ranked #7 by US News. Oh how they did celebrate. We heard about it nonstop for the first few weeks of school, especially during orientation. Major prestige thing. Huge boost to the administration's collective ego. And those rankings? Not so subjective anymore, were they? Finally those US News guys saw the light, and ranked Hopkins near the top!

    Man, what a bunch of hypocrites. Long live JHU :)
    • Re:Johns Hopkins (Score:3, Informative)

      by Halo- (175936)
      Man they're a ton of us JHU geeks out today... I actually entered in 1999. If I recall correctly, the majority of the reason for the 15 -> 7 jump was that Mike (Sugar Daddy) Bloomberg gave us a metric assload of money. So did Krieger. I'm sure there were other factors, but a quick 100 million dollars buys a lot. :)
  • Top rated university for a degree in Life Studies.
  • Big day for University of Wisconsin.

    If you dig deep enough, it's ranked 2 for Nuclear Engineering. That makes 3 /. articles today. Now, if only there was an article on the top party schools... IIRC, UW is 2nd place this year.
  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:34PM (#6768467) Homepage Journal
    but the "University" I went to had to be the bottom of the barrel.

    I still recall the quote from the dean of Chemistry when we walked into the 1st day of Physical Chemistry:

    "None of you will pass this class the first time around, I will make certain of it."

    And he did too. Had two exams, midterm and final. The midterm was on the day *after* the last day to drop the class, so in other words you had no idea how well you were doing in the class until it was too late.

    Motherfucker had tenure as well, so we couldn't get his butt fired for this. And sure enough, we all failed (even the straight A students, of which I was not one)

    In any case, long story short (too late!) everything I learned in life I *damn sure* didn't get at college. I got it in real life, so I have to wonder just how accurate those ratings (and how useful) really are.
  • by rritterson (588983) * on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:40PM (#6768539)
    People often complain that these rankings are subjective. Yes, they are subjective, but so is an interviewer offering a job. I'd have to think that having clout in your own area (i.e. enrolled in a program that is rated highly by it's peer programs) would lead to clout in the job market too.

    That said, I hope no one uses the list to find where they are going to apply to college. Further disclaimer: I attend Berkeley. I find it outstanding and I love it. Can't beat the crazy hippies as well as the proximity to silicon valley. (Where else can you get a top quality enginnering degree, as well as intern at Apple, among other companies, in the summer, without moving)
    Lastly, Berkeley is now tied with the Farm! Moving on up. w00t!
  • by s20451 (410424) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:40PM (#6768543) Journal
    C'mon up to Canada for your education. The tuition is about half (or less) of what it is in the states, if you're gay you can get married, and we're about to decriminalize marijuana.

    Better yet, you don't have to pay to see our rankings: [macleans.ca]

    1 Toronto [utoronto.ca]
    2 Queen's [queensu.ca]
    *3 McGill [mcgill.ca]
    *3 Western [www.uwo.ca]
    5 UBC [www.ubc.ca]
    6 Montreal [umontreal.ca]
    7 Alberta [ualberta.ca]
    8 Sherbrooke [usherbrooke.ca]
    9 Ottawa [uottawa.ca]
    10 McMaster [mcmaster.ca]
    11 Dalhousie [www.dal.ca]
    12 Saskatchewan [usask.ca]
    13 Laval [ulaval.ca]
    14 Calgary [ucalgary.ca]
    15 Manitoba [umanitoba.ca]
  • by jemenake (595948) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:41PM (#6768552)
    Recently, I served on a committee for our college that did some strategic planning. You know... the whole "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats" deal.

    Anyway, one of the ideas that someone brought up was the notion of trying to influence our ranking in the U.S. News annual report. So we looked into how the rankings are done.

    As I recall, it turned out that the main factor in the rankings of universities as a whole was the peer assessment (other deans of universities and colleges). To this end, all of the institutions who put a priority on being near the top of the list make sure to send out promo material to everyone that U.S. News queries... ideally a few weeks before U.S. News sends out the queries, so that the promo material is still fresh in the mind of the voters.

    For either the overall rankings or the rankings of the individual programs (like engineering, business, etc), there were some other very interesting quantitative measures that came into play. One of them was something like the percentage of classes with fewer than, say, 21 students (which increase a school's score) and another was the percentage of classes with more than about 35 students (which lower a school's score).

    One insteresting suggestion someone on the committee made was, if we had any classes with a maximum class size of 21 or 22, lower it to 20. Only one or two students have to wait until next quarter for the class, and the college gets a discreet jump in its score. Same goes for lowering classes with a max of 35 or 36 to 34. Every little bit helps.

    Anyway, the long and short of the story is that... there are a lot of clever people who make it their business to juice the scores that their school gets. If a school isn't very high on the list, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad school. It might just mean that they haven't found out how the ranking game is really played. (Kinda like an athlete who doesn't realize that everyone else is using steroids yet).
  • Cheap SOBs (Score:3, Funny)

    by daves (23318) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:43PM (#6768584) Journal
    500,000 readers, and nobody pays the Premium Subscription rate to be able to post the whole list.
  • by Epistax (544591) <epistax@gmail.LIONcom minus cat> on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:43PM (#6768585) Journal
    I go to RIT. I wonder why it went down.
    I'd sing my school song, but we don't have one that anyone knows about.
    I'd root for my football team, but we don't have one.
    I'd enjoy the social life, but there is none.
    I'd take a walk to the town, but there is no town in walking distance.
    I'd join student government, but they're powerless.
    I'd buy a soda, but they cost $1.25.
  • by eaddict (148006) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:57PM (#6768701)
    My wife used to work at a University in the Statistics/Retention/etc... or soemthing like that dept. I used to call it the Department of Imaginary Numbers. For example, when she turned the graduation report in to the Dean/board about graduation rates the #1 degree was nursing. Well, they didn't want to be known as a nursing school so they told her to break the nursing graduates down into specialties. She then asked if she should do that for the engineering/math/chemistry departments as well. The told her no, only nursing.

    So much for accurate statistics! She left that job after few more reports had to be modified. For fun we called back to admissions to our old school to get the graduation rates. Scary that the same thing was going on there.

    It would be interesting to see the colleges lumped together to see where the school focuses for REAL.
  • by ManoMarks (574691) on Friday August 22, 2003 @04:58PM (#6768710) Journal
    http://www.princetonreview.com/college/research/ra nkings/rankings.asp And give 351 best and has feedback from students as well as schools.
  • Bah (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vann_v2 (213760) on Friday August 22, 2003 @05:09PM (#6768796) Homepage
    These things are such a scam. Everyone should read this [uchicago.edu] article.
  • engineering upset (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grue23 (158136) on Friday August 22, 2003 @07:11PM (#6769700)
    Wow, it's weird to see Stanford and Berkely in those high spots for Engineering. Usually the top three for engineering are some combination of MIT, Carneige-Mellon, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, and Rose Hullman. (MIT being almost always #1).

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski

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