The 2010 NRC rankings are based on statistical evaluation of characteristics the NRC considered as important to program quality, associated with “Research Activity” (including publications per faculty, citations per faculty, percent of faculty with external grants, etc.), “Student Treatment and Outcomes” (including student financial support, completion rates, time-to-degree, etc), and “Diversity of Academic Environment” (including percent female faculty and students, and those from underrepresented minorities, etc).
The NRC used two different schemes to assess “Overall Program Quality” and Columbia's program is the only one in the country to achieve a #1 ranking in both schemes. The rankings reflect the dedication and expertise of our graduate faculty, based at Columbia's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Barnard College, the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the American Museum of Natural History. It also reflects our role as one of the core departments associated with the Columbia Earth Institute. Of course, an excellent Ph.D program cannot exist without excellent students.
The department is intent on having the best and most fulfilling program possible for our graduate and undergraduate students. We are a diverse department that provides great research and educational opportunities all over the Earth. And of course, we look forward to making our program even better in the future!