(Is this topic overdone? Why, I don’t think we’ve discussed this issue in at least a year…)
I was asked recently to list the top 10 theory departments in the US.* For the purposes of the ranking, I mainly considered the question What are the top schools a graduate student in theory should consider attending? After some discussion with colleagues, we came up with the following 9 (note this is unordered):
We had a hard time choosing the 10th. Not that there aren’t other good theory schools, just that the next 5-7 in our ranking were all roughly in the same equivalence class. (I won’t tell you what those 5-7 were; I’ll let you guess them in the comments.)
* Yes, this really is how the US News and World Report rankings are done, at least at the graduate level.