Comparing U.S. Universities’ Environmental Programs

When the U.S. News rankings came out, naturally I looked first at the rankings for environmental law.  But then I got curious about the rankings for other environmental fields. I had very little idea, for example, about how ecology departments were ranked.   Of course, we all know about the issues with U.S. News’s methodology.  There were certainly great environmental law programs that didn’t make their top-ten listing, and this is probably true in other fields.  But even though the results should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s interesting to see how the numbers came out for top-five programs.

  Env.Engineering  Env. Law  Env. Policy* Ecology  Earth Sciences  Env.


#1 Berkeley Vermont Indiana Berkeley Cal. Tech Berkeley
#2 Stanford Lewis & Clark Duke Harvard MIT Maryland
#3 Illinois Berkeley




Davis Berkeley Davis
#4 Michigan Colorado Washington Chicago Stanford Colorado
#5 Georgia Tech Tulane Syracuse Stanford Columbia Oregon


*This is from the ranking of public policy schools, so it doesn’t include interdisciplinary programs like Yale’s Forestry School or Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group.

**U.S. News does not rank environmental econ. as a specialty within economics.  The ranking for environmental economics is taken from NRC research ranking  ranges for departments, based on the “high” measure with the “low” measure being used to break ties.