University of California 2011 Accountability Report

Chapter 13:

Although limited in scope and often biased in one direction or another, rankings of colleges and universities can give an indication of their overall academic quality and allow institutions to assess their performance relative to their peers in a public way. While they are often criticized, rankings for higher education institutions are followed closely both nationally and internationally.

The University has no stated goals with respect to its position in any particular index, nor does it endorse any particular set of rankings. It cautions readers to consider the differing methodologies employed by the ranking indices. They result in substantial differences among indices and across years. This summary is offered as a guide to seven prominent and closely followed ranking systems routinely publicized in the media.

The seven rankings selected for publication are:

  • Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • Times of London Higher Education World University Rankings
  • U.S. News Graduate Program Rankings
  • National Research Council Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs
  • Center for Measuring University Performance Top American Research Universities
  • Washington Monthly National University Rankings
  • U.S. News America's Top National Universities