MIT Institutional Research

National Research Council

The National Research Council (NRC) periodically assesses U.S. research-doctorate programs. View the latest content from 2010.


The National Research Council (NRC) periodically assesses U.S. research-doctorate programs. The most recent rankings were released on Tuesday, September 28, 2010. NRC uses two rankings: Survey-Based and Regression-Based. "The [Survey-Based] rankings reflect the degree to which a program is strong in the characteristics that faculty in the field rated as most important to the overall quality of a program.... The [Regression-Based] rankings are based on an indirect approach to determining what faculty value in a program."  Visit their website for more information.

Return on Investment

Using NRC Data with Faculty Members, Departments, and Visiting Committees

In the years leading up to the release of the NRC’s 2010 Research Doctorate study, institutions invested significant resources—time and money—in preparing and validating data. While much of the initial buzz surrounding the rankings‐related results of the study has passed, the rankings and the data behind them remain as a resource for faculty members, department heads, and visiting committees. In this paper we describe several ways in which MIT has deployed information from the NRC data set as a resource for benchmarking and decision making. 

Return on Investment was presented by the IR Office at the 2011 Convocation of the Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs.

The 2010 NRC methodology has two sets of rankings for each program, Survey-Based Rankings and Regression-Based Rankings.

MIT Programs ranked in the 2010 NRC Assessment:

ProgramSurvey-based Ranking (High)Survey-based Ranking (Low)Regression-based Ranking (High)Regression-based Ranking (Low)
Aeronautics & Astrophysics (31 ranked programs)71625
Applied Biosciences (116 ranked programs)12119
Applied Mathematics (33 ranked programs)25517
Astrophysics, Astronomy, and Planetary Science (33 ranked programs)61718
Atmospheres, Oceans & Climate including MIT/WHOI Oceanography (50 programs ranked)31736
Biological Engineering, Health Science and Technology (74 ranked programs)31715
Biology/Biochemistry/ and Biophysics (159 ranked programs1418
Biology/Cell and Developmental (122 ranked programs)1112
Biology/Genetics and Genomics (65 ranked programs)1312
Chemical Engineering (106 ranked programs)3814
Chemistry (178 ranked programs)616313
Civil and Environmental Engineering (130 ranked programs)73927
Cognitive Science (236 ranked programs)9461556
Computer Science (126 ranked programs)21225
Economics (117 ranked programs)2325
Electrical and Computer Engineering (136 ranked programs)618715
Geology and Geochemistry and Geophysics (140 ranked programs)1035725
History, Theory and Criticism (58 ranked programs)27526
Linguistics (52 ranked programs)921117
Materials Science and Engineering (83 ranked programs)31223
Mathematics (127 ranked programs)411511
Mechanical Engineering (127 ranked programs)51412
Neuroscience (94 ranked programs)1726
Operations Research (72 ranked programs)12734
Philosophy (90 ranked programs)311318
Physics (161 ranked programs)21214
Political Science (105 ranked programs)13361130