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Re: Graduate Programs

> > > The U.S. News & World Report issue with graduate school rankings
> > > recently came out. It ranks geology departments, and then ranks
> > > departments by perceived excellence in geological subfields, including
> > > paleontology.

Something to bear in mind on this list - it ranks all paleontology
programs, not vertebrate paleo programs specifically.  This is why the
Univ. of Cincinnati is on the list; U of C has a dynamite invertebrate
paleo program, but the only vertebrate paleontologist in Cincinnati
(Glenn Storrs) is at the Museum of Natural History, not the University. 
(I can't help but brag at the fact that UT-Austin's paleo program is
dominated by vertebrate specialists. Not that we don't have EXCELLENT
micropaleontologists or invert. paleontologists, but most of us when I
was there were working on amniotes. Some of those schools got on the
list by virtue of their invertebrate programs, but not UT.  Hook 'em!)

And, because the list focused on *geological* subfields, any vert.
paleo. programs in biology or zoology departments will not be
represented at all, as Don Prothero has noted elsewhere.

I would also argue that the pattern Joshua Smith has noted - that jobs
are predominantly held by "Tier 1" schools - is changing.  One should
compare sources of those *with* jobs with sources of those *getting*
jobs; i.e., ask around at where people are getting interviews.  Some
programs not on that list, such as Florida, Brown, and Duke, are sending
students forth who are getting on short-lists.  

I think the advice someone else gave - that one should look at the
journals and see where the worthwhile research is being both funded and
published - is very sound.  I would also urge undergraduates to go to
professional meetings, such as SVP, GSA, or SSB/SSE, and attend the


Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

voice:  312-922-9410 x469
fax:  312-922-9566
electronic:  cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org