| RANKING OF GRAD COLLEGES IN WEST VIRGINIA
| While some rankings of universities and colleges offering grad programs in the USA are available by region (i.e., North, South, Midwest, West), most are carried out on a national level rather than by state. The information given below is therefore a general guide for students researching grad schools in the US, and students should look for schools from the state they are interested in within these general rankings.
Grad school ranking is one way to help you select a grad school in the US, but it isn't your only resource; nor is it the most reliable.
How do rankings work and what do they mean?
Rankings are designed to provide an overall measure of a college's or program's quality and performance. The rankings are based on a number of factors, but not all ranking publications use the same criteria or give them the same weight.
Local: National organizations / publications such as US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, The Washington Monthly, and BusinessWeek annually publish general rankings designed to identify the "best" graduate and undergraduate institutions according to quality and value.
International: US grad schools also commonly appear in international rankings of world universities, such as the Financial Times of London international rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) based in Shanghai, China. Some rankings simply rank colleges as a whole without specifying whether they are evaluating the undergrad or grad programs, while others are very specific about ranking graduate programs.
Program-specific: Some program-specific grad schools (like those for business, engineering, arts and humanities, law or medicine) may have their own rankings in publications such as BusinessWeek, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. Some professional associations or organizations dedicated to specific areas of study also publish their own rankings of grad school programs. For instance, Social Psychology Network ranks both US and Canadian clinical psychology doctoral programs.
It's important to realize that some academic institutions themselves criticize the ranking process and refuse to participate (by not providing requested data). The fact that a grad school doesn't appear on a ranking list, therefore, isn't an indication that it wasn't "good enough." For an alternate perspective, look for less "official" rankings in student-based resources like online school reviews.