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Department of Chemistry fares well in national assessment of doctorate programs

The Department of Chemistry's graduate program, along with sixty-eight of the University of Minnesota's other doctoral programs, performed well in a National Research Council (NRC) assessment. The Department of Chemistry was one of the University's top-assessed programs and was the highest ranked science department in the College of Science & Engineering.

The NRC assessment was one of the most comprehensive reviews of doctoral programs in history. It provides universities across the country with a range of quantitative data so they can improve graduate education.

In addition to Chemistry, other top-assessed programs were Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics; Chemical Engineering; Child Psychology; Civil Engineering; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Entomology; Food Science; Germanic Studies; Kinesiology; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Natural Resource Science and Management; and Psychology.

Sixty-nine of the University's more than 100 doctoral programs were ranked in the assessment, which University officials said they believe is the second highest of any university out of the 212 that participated in the study, showing the breadth and quality of the institution.

"Our goal as one world's most comprehensive public research universities is to offer an outstanding graduate education across a range of disciplines," said Provost Tom Sullivan. "I am encouraged that the assessment shows our strengths, with more than 60 percent of our programs crossing the top 25 percent nationally, across a wide range of doctoral programs in agriculture, engineering, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The data will be a part of our ongoing process to support and improve graduate education at the University of Minnesota."

Sullivan noted that although the NRC assessment is based on data from 2005, it serves as a valuable measurement starting point as 2005 was just at the beginning of the university's landmark strategic positioning work, which included restructuring of a number of colleges and graduate education.

"The NRC data does not provide the kind of rankings used in the popular press; rather, the NRC gives us ranges of ratings to see where we stack up, and volumes of important information that can be used to help us continue to improve the quality of graduate education," said Henning Schroeder, the University's dean of graduate education.

For additional information about the assessment and to read the University's news release, visit the graduate programs website.