Criminology Program Excels in Rankings Study

UT Dallas fared well in a recent examination of how criminology graduate programs are ranked, climbing into the top 10 when faculty size is considered.

Dr. J.C. Barnes, an assistant professor of criminology in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, co-wrote the Journal of Criminal Justice Education article with his colleagues while at Florida State University. He joined UT Dallas over the summer. The paper is scheduled to run in early 2011.

Dr. James Barnes

Dr. J.C. Barnes

In the article, the authors recommend expanding the count of faculty publications to include journals that don’t specifically deal with criminology. The rate at which faculty members publish has long been considered a key determinant in academic rankings. Because criminology is an interdisciplinary field, faculty members are more likely to publish articles for journals covering a variety of disciplines, Barnes said.

Barnes and his co-authors ranked the nation’s 35 criminology PhD programs in several different ways. Based on publications per faculty member, UT Dallas comes in at No. 19. UT Dallas has one of the newest programs, just 4 years old, with one of the smallest faculties, 11. 

In the article, the authors noted that publications and subsequent rankings also can be figured in terms of number of publications per faculty member, minus the “teaching faculty.” These are lecturers who are not expected to conduct research. Some programs don’t use “teaching faculty,” so comparisons of faculty size might be somewhat misleading. 

“A few programs use the concept of teaching faculty and actually employ significant numbers of such faculty,” the authors wrote. “This changes their credit per faculty rankings substantially when teaching faculty are excluded. For example, UT Dallas jumps into the top ten and the credit per faculty ratio of the University of Pennsylvania program more than doubles when teaching faculty are excluded.” 

Barnes created a ranking chart that was not included in the article. It was based on these latest criteria and placed UT Dallas at No. 9 in faculty productivity among criminology PhD programs. 

Dr. Jim Marquart

Dr. James Marquart

Dr. James Marquart, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and former program head for criminology, said he was pleased but not surprised by the findings.

“We know we have a very strong program here at UT Dallas,” he said. “Our faculty and students are top notch. We may not yet be as well known as some of the other programs out there, but we’re educating students to have a major impact on the field in the future.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].