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Why is The University of Oregon too bad at ranking

  1. Feb 18, 2016 #1
    I applied to UO for a PhD because after browsing their HEP staff webpages I was impressed because most of them had their PhD degree from top schools. But I then got surprised by their bad ranking. They aren't even mentioned in ARWU top 200 grad schools in physics. Even 300 top schools in physics of QS list don't include UOregon. I'm afraid by that. Is it a bad school? Why is that happening?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2016 #2
  4. Feb 18, 2016 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Some students pay too much attention to rankings (this seems particularly true for students from Asia). A ranking of 54 means there are 53 schools ahead of it. It doesn't say anything about how far ahead, nor about an absolute scale.

    "Faculty got their PhDs from high-ranked schools" does exactly the same thing. Dave Soper and Jim Brau are not well-known and well-respective because of where they got their PhDs but instead by what they did since.
  5. Feb 18, 2016 #4
    I wouldn't take those rankings too seriously. I don't recall the details, but Harvard once got a very high ranking in a field in which they had no department.
  6. Feb 18, 2016 #5


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    It's also important to be aware of how rankings are arrived at. In some cases, the ranking may incorporate factors that are of little to no value to you as a student, while there may be other factors that are extremely important that are not incorporated in the process. The US News rankings, for example, are based on the results of surveys sent to academics.

    So when you look up a ranking, look up how the numbers were arrived at.
  7. Feb 20, 2016 #6
    You're doing it wrong. Applying to graduate programs on the basis of who went to which school with which ranking is the fastest way to finding yourself in the wrong program. Why are you not looking into graduate programs with research groups that align with your interests? Finding a group of people who share your curiosity and passion is how you will be a successful graduate student. The title of a university and its ranking is irrelevant. You will get out of your education with what you put into it. You will be judged by the merit of your work, not the title of the university you went to and it's ranking.
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