Programs were evaluated on the basis of twenty characteristics including the number and significance of research publications, financial support, graduate student qualifications and outcomes, diversity, etc. Programs were not assigned a single rank, but as falling somewhere within a range of ranks, such as between 1st and 6th, in recognition of the uncertainties that surround any attempt to rank programs by quality.
Only fourteen of the 52 programs ranked at Berkeley were placed within a range that included number one in their field and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics graduate program was among that illustrious group. Berkeley clearly stands alone at the top among Agricultural and Resource Economics Departments. It was ranked in the regression based analysis as having a 95% confidence interval between one and three (only one other program had a ranking including 1, Ohio State at (1,6). In the survey-based Berkeley’s ranking was an unambiguous (1,1) and on the crucial research measure it similarly stood alone at the top, at (1,1).
ARE Chair Brian Wright noted that “Being the first time that NRC has ranked departments in our field, it is great to be recognized as the top program, and to be among the highest-ranked of the many excellent departments on campus, on all key criteria. A. P. Giannini, whose support set us on the road to excellence in the 1930’s, would be delighted to see that, despite all the challenges we have faced recently, we are successfully pursuing our mission eighty years on.”