National Research Council Ranks Ph.D. Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Among Nation’s Elite

Oct 19, 2010

The National Research Council (NRC) recently ranked the Ph.D. program at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College among the United States’ top five public affairs, public policy and public administration doctoral programs. The Heinz doctoral program ranked between number 2 and number 5 overall in the NRC’s survey rankings and between number 2 and number 3 for research activity of the program faculty. The study, titled A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States, is a comprehensive evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of doctoral programs based on measures that are important to faculty, students, administration and a number of additional stakeholders.

The report’s data was collected during the 2005-2006 school year from more than 5,000 doctoral programs at more than 200 universities. Characteristics measured include student GRE scores, financial support, and employment outcomes; faculty publications, grants, and awards; and program size, time to degree, and faculty composition. Faculty and student diversity were also taken into account.

“The NRC report confirms what we here at Heinz College already know,” said Martin Gaynor, E. J. Barone Professor of Economics and Health Policy and director of Heinz College’s Ph.D. programs. “Our Ph.D. programs are innovative in that they subscribe to the larger Heinz College approach of multidisciplinary collaboration and analytical problem solving. In addition, Heinz doctoral students start actively doing research early in the program, in close collaboration with Heinz faculty.”

“I think our peer institutions who provided data for the study recognize the premier placements of our Ph.D. graduates and faculty research that has emerged from our doctoral programs,” Gaynor said.

Gaynor also notes faculty accessibility as a unique aspect to the Heinz College Ph.D. programs, a sentiment echoed by current students.

My experience at CMU, and specifically at Heinz College, has exceeded my best expectations in terms of student-faculty interaction,” explains Laura Brandimarte, a Ph.D. candidate. “Advisors have always been there for me, and have been easy to reach and available. Discussions are always stimulating and productive, and the faculty dedicates a lot of time to our development.”

The Ph.D. at Heinz College trains students to conduct cutting-edge scientific research on real-world problems facing an increasingly complex, multifaceted world. Students are trained in multidisciplinary perspectives, advanced theoretical models, and frontier methodological and computer-based tools. This provides Heinz College students with an advanced “researcher’s toolkit" with which to rigorously address fundamental real world problems.

More information about Ph.D. programs at Heinz College can be found at


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