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Iowa PhDs Rate among Best in Political Science

Research presented at the April 2000 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association shows that political scientists who received their PhDs from the University of Iowa continue to rank among the nation's most productive publishers. A paper by James M. McCormick at Iowa State University and (Iowa PhD) Tom W. Rice at University of Northern Iowa also finds that the relative productivity of Iowans has increased in the last two decades.

Their paper, "Graduate Training and Research Productivity in the 1990s," traces the PhD sources of articles from 1994 two 1998 in the top five journals of general interest to the discipline of political science: the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Polity, and Political Research Quarterly.

In overall productivity, regardless of program size, Iowa ranks seventh in the country. The top ten programs are Michigan, Berkeley, Chicago, Rochester, Indiana, Yale, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Stanford. The authors note that Iowa did well in a similar study twenty years ago, yet it is one of three PhD programs (along with Rochester and Indiana) whose graduates earn even higher rankings this time around.

McCormick and Rice explain that such raw scores can understate the productivity of graduates from small programs. Taking into account the numbers of recent graduates from each program, the authors produce an index of productivity per PhD granted of late. Iowa ranks third nationally on the adjusted roster. Its top ten has Rochester, Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Iowa, Michigan State, Stanford, Washington at St. Louis, Indiana, Cal Tech, Minnesota, and SUNY at Stony Brook.

National Ranking

In April 2005, our national rank among departments rose from 27 to 25 among all public and private graduate programs (ranked 12th among publics). In April, the latest rankings of graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report in the magazine’s 2006 edition of its annual "America's Best Graduate Schools" were published. We are also the highest-ranked department in The University of Iowa's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.