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September 30, 2004


What Pitt must do to climb in national rankings

To the Editor:

In the US News and World Report rankings, there is a strong correlation between the ranking of Schools of Medicine and the ranking of National Universities (those with Medical Schools). Almost all top ranked Schools of Medicine belong to National Universities that are also top ranked. One of the few glaring exceptions is the University of Pittsburgh whose School of Medicine is ranked 15th in the nation (April 12, 2004 issue of the magazine) while the University itself is ranked 66th (August 30th 2004 issue of the magazine). Based on this, it may be possible to make the following two observations:

1) Had the School of Medicine not been ranked at the top, Pitt’s overall ranking could be much worse than 66th.

2) Had the remaining Schools at Pitt (Engineering, Law, Business, etc. which are either at the bottom, or nonexistent in the top 50 graduate rankings) been as highly ranked in their disciplines as the School of Medicine, it would not be unrealistic to think that Pitt could be ranked in the top 20 or so nationally along side universities such as Cornell and Northwestern.

It is unfortunate that we at Pitt are missing the opportunity of being ranked at the top largely because of the weakness of the majority of the non-medical schools. The Medical School by itself cannot propel Pitt’s overall ranking any further. If Pitt is to leap to the top 20 in the national ranking then more serious attention should be placed on strengthening its schools of Engineering, Business, Law, etc… than what is currently being done. On the flip side, it would be disastrous for the University if (God forbid) the School of Medicine were to start slipping away from its top ranking. Let’s hope this will never happen.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 36 Issue 3

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