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The National Research Council (NRC) released its long-awaited rankings of doctoral programs, which include data from 236 psychology programs for the 2005–06 academic year.

As with all such ranking systems, the methodologies used to collect and weigh data are controversial, says Cynthia Belar, PhD, APA’s executive director for education. The uncertainties involved in any ranking effort are why the NRC provides a range of potential rankings for each program, says NRC spokesperson Sara Frueh.

Top psychology programs: Research activity

Factors include average number of publications per faculty member, average number of citations per publication, percentage of faculty grants and awards per allocated faculty member.

  • Tied for first: Harvard (Psychology), Princeton (Psychology) and University of Wisconsin–Madison (Psychology).

  • Tied for second: San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program (Clinical Psychology) and University of Rochester (Social-Personality Psychology).

  • Tied for third: Stanford (Psychology) and University of Rochester (Brain and Cognitive Sciences).

  • Tied for fourth: University of Colorado at Boulder (Psychology) and University of Pittsburgh (Psychology).

  • Fifth: Brown (Cognitive Sciences).

Top psychology programs: Student support and outcomes

Factors include percentage of first-year students with full financial support, time to degree and percentage of students with academic plans.

  • Tied for first: Dartmouth (Psychological Brain Sciences), Florida Institute of Technology (Industrial/Organizational Psychology), Princeton (Psychology), and University of Colorado at Boulder (Cognitive Science).

  • Tied for second: Baylor University (Psychology), Northeastern University (Psychology), North Dakota State University (Psychology) and Utah State University (Disability Disciplines).

  • Tied for third: Stanford (Psychology) and The University of Texas at Austin (Human Development and Family Sciences).

Top psychology programs: Diversity

Factors include percentage of faculty and students who are non-Asian ethnic minorities or women, and the percentage of international students.

  • First: Howard University (Psychology).

  • Second: Syracuse University (Social Psychology).

  • Tied for third: City University of New York Graduate Center (Social Personality Psychology), Loma Linda University (Marital and Family Therapy), Tufts University (Child Development) and Virginia Commonwealth University (Counseling Psychology).

  • Fourth: University of Georgia (Child and Family Development).

  • Tied for fifth: University of Houston (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) and University of Texas at Austin (Communication Sciences and Disorders).

  • Sixth: Fordham University (Applied Developmental Psychology).

Source: The National Research Council.