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Earth sciences grad program ranked among best in U.S.

April 20, 2010

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2011 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University now ranks among the top 20 graduate schools in the country, jumping 14 spots from last year. 

The publication’s recently released list ranks ASU’s earth sciences program 17th among public and private graduate programs, making it the highest ranking science program at ASU. More than 100 earth sciences graduate programs were surveyed, with rankings based on the results of questionnaires sent to department heads and directors of graduate programs during fall 2009. 

“Once a program makes it into the top 50 or so in the country, it is usually very difficult for it to move quickly upward in the rankings. The most significant aspect of this year’s ranking is the dramatic improvement by the earth sciences at ASU from the last ranking of 31st a couple years ago,” says Kip Hodges, director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “This affirmation that our Earth and Space Exploration program at ASU is rapidly evolving in the right directions is a testimonial to the quality and impact of our research.” 

As a result of its strong, diversified team– including two recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and several American Geophysical Union fellows – the school has become involved in a number of high-profile projects, such as the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope program and the development of geologic training programs for NASA’s astronaut candidate class, all of which have dramatically increased the visibility and standing of the school. 

Tied for 17th, the rankings overall put ASU on par with earth sciences graduate programs at Brown University; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; University of California, San Diego; and University of Chicago.