New study ranks graduate decision programs

10/20/04

Highest ratings to Duke, Harvard, Stanford

A newly-commissioned study of 34 graduate school decision programs in the United States rated those at Duke University, Harvard University, and Stanford University the leading prescriptive programs in the field, according to researchers at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

The leading descriptive graduate programs cited were Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania. "Recognizing the importance of our nation's intellectual decision making resources, the Decision Analysis Society, a professional society of INFORMS, decided to sponsor an inventory and evaluation of these resources," explained Ralph Keeney, one of the study's authors and a past president of the Decision Analysis Society.

"The intellectual knowledge created and disseminated by faculty in our universities about how to make better decisions is a very important national resource. This claim follows from two simple facts: First, the only way that individuals and organizations can purposefully influence their future is by their decisions, and second, with knowledge and skills that can be taught, people can learn to make better decisions. It is easy to imagine that the lives of our students and the futures of our businesses, organizations, and country would be much brighter if our students were taught how to make more informed choices."

The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) on Sunday, October 24 at 10 AM in the Plaza Building, Directors Row H at the Adams Mark Hotel. Prescriptive decision programs concern how people should gather information and make better decisions. Descriptive decision programs concern how people do process judgments and make decisions.

Following is the Evaluation of Prescriptive Graduate Decision Programs
(Note: Programs are listed alphabetically within categories):

  • 5-Stars: Duke University, Harvard University, Stanford University
  • 4-Stars: Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California at Irvine, University of Pennsylvania
  • 3-Stars: George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin
  • 2-Stars: Columbia University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin
  • 1-Star: Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, University of Arizona, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oregon, Yale University

    Following is the Evaluation of Descriptive Graduate Decision Programs
    (Note: Programs are listed alphabetically within categories):

  • 5-Stars: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania
  • 4-Stars: Columbia University, Duke University, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley
  • 3-Stars: Cornell University, Harvard University, University of Arizona, University of California at Irvine, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin
  • 2-Stars: New York University, Stanford University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, University of Oregon
  • 1-Star: Arizona State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, University of Iowa, Yale University

    The rating key follows:

    Exceptional (five stars): Recognized as a national leader for the outstanding quality of its annual contributions to education, research, and service
    Excellent (four stars): Recognized nationally for the superior quality of its routine contributions to education, research, and service
    High Quality (three stars): Recognized for the high quality of its regular contributions in both educational and research areas
    Quality (two stars): Regularly makes significant contributions to either education or research
    Contributing (one star): Makes some important educational or research contributions

    "Inventory and Appraisal of U.S. Graduate Decision Programs" is by Ralph L. Keeney, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Kelly E. See, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Detlof von Winterfeldt, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California.

    The study examines graduate decision programs that are currently making important contributions to the decision fields. The authors relied on the number of faculty from various universities in the professional societies concerned with prescriptive decision analysis and descriptive decision research to select 24 top universities. Then, a list of ten faculty members at ten different universities helped select 10 additional universities in a polling process.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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