This handout is intended to assist students from Xavier University of Louisiana choose the medical, dental, etc. schools to which they will apply.
Comments about Rankings: There is no one group in the U.S. which provides "official" rankings of schools. Instead, numerous agencies provide rankings for a wide variety of purposes: to sell magazines, to promote their own schools, etc. Further, persons who do rankings choose whatever criteria they wish to use. In addition, most colleges and universities object to the very idea of ranking schools by "academic quality" (whatever that is) and only reluctantly participate in efforts to ranking efforts.
In spite of these problems, studies have shown that rankings by different groups using different methods produce surprisingly similar results. This is probably because, unlike basketball where a school can recruit a few good players and improve dramatically in a short period of time, academic quality can only be improved if one spends LOTS OF BIG $$ over a long period of time. Thus, if you were to compare medical or graduate school rankings from 25 years ago with those today, you would only see slight shifts in position with only one or two schools making significant changes.
Finally, although rankings are approximations at best, they are probably here to stay because the Americans like such "pseudo" statistics. Therefore, students applying to medical, dental, etc. school should be aware of the rankings and their limitations the major one of which is that just because a school is highly ranked does not mean it is the best one for you. The most recent rankings of medical, dental, etc. schools are available in The U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools . For your information, these rankings are published yearly. For your information, US News ranks medical schools in two broad categories, "research-oriented" and "primary-care." The "research-oriented" schools are the ones generally considered "Big Name" schools.