“Where Should I Go for Graduate School?” PhDs.org Has the Data for Deciding

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PhDs.org launches the Graduate School Guide. Graduate students now have the tools needed to find potential career opportunities, and prospective graduates have the ability to select graduate programs based on their needs.

Every graduate student is different

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Thanks to funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Burroughs Welcome Fund through the Center for Science and Media, PhDs.org now provides the data and tools needed to find the best graduate programs and careers available. Based upon the needs of prospective graduate students, The Graduate School Guide(sm) provides free, custom rankings of potential career and educational opportunities for post graduates.

“Every graduate student is different,” says PhDs.org founder Geoff Davis, who earned his own Ph.D. in mathematics from New York University. “Other ranking systems assume that all graduate students are the same. In reality, some hope to become professors, whereas others want to work in industry or government. Some people may prefer to study in a small department that has a strong focus in one narrow area; others desire a large program with a broad range of research options. The unique benefit of the Graduate School Guide is that a student can use its ranking mechanism to select a program based on his or her educational priorities.”

The Graduate School Guide allows prospective students to query and weight various characteristics, such as placement rate at graduation, time required to earn a doctorate or percentage of women in the program. This customized ranking aid combines search flexibility with comprehensive and newly updated data from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Research Council. For the first time ever, users can rank programs based on post-graduation career outcomes as well as on other critical academic and demographic information.

“There's a black hole of ignorance among some students considering grad school,” says Sheila Curran, Fannie Mitchell Executive Director at the Duke University Career Center, “not because the data do not exist, but because the information is hard to find and evaluate. Too often, the result is that students make decisions based solely on general reputations, ones that may or may not be deserved.”

The Graduate School Guide includes comprehensive information for nearly 6,000 programs at 418 U.S. universities. The Guide is one of the first to incorporate the high standards of the 2006 Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions, which call for radical improvements in data transparency, accuracy and other measures of validity and usefulness.

“Current ranking systems have serious flaws,” says Davis. “Rankings based solely on programs’ reputations are of questionable validity. And students are seldom able to examine the data in a way that yields the answers they consider most important in choosing where to apply.”

With the help of PhDs.org’s Graduate School Guide, students considering graduate study can finally select graduate programs on the basis of accurate data drawn entirely from impartial sources, sifted and weighted to reflect each student’s individual needs.

About PhDs.org and the Graduate School Guide(sm)

PhDs.org is a comprehensive web resource for graduate students, prospective graduate students, and recent graduates of doctoral programs. Offerings at PhDs.org include the Graduate School Guide(sm), job listings for Ph.D.s, and an extensive collection of articles and advice on the graduate school and careers for Ph.D.s.

Dr. Geoff Davis created PhDs.org while a professor of mathematics at Dartmouth College. His current research is focused on graduate education and career options for students entering and emerging from Ph.D. programs. In 2005, Dr. Davis completed the most comprehensive survey to date of scientists in postdoctoral training in the US.


Geoff Davis, Ph.D.
(919) 345-4731


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