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PhD Programs Earn National Kudos

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The College of Natural Resources’ doctoral programs recently received top marks from some of the nation’s most noteworthy evaluators.

Agricultural and Resource Economics was ranked No. 1 in the United States by the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) study, the most comprehensive assessment of research universities in the country. Plant and Microbial Biology was ranked in NRC’s top three. Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology were both in the top ten.

The NRC evaluated programs on the basis of 20 characteristics, including the number and significance of research publications, financial support, graduate student qualifications and outcomes, and diversity. Because of the structure of the study, CNR’s work in some other core fields (e.g., entomology and forestry) was not evaluated. Evaluated programs were ranked within a range, such as between first and sixth—an acknowledgment of the uncertainties surrounding any attempt to rank programs by quality.

Adding to the kudos, the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings placed ESPM programs in the areas of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at number one in the nation.

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