Status Ranking of Academic Disciplines

I know college professors are probably above such broad generalizations but I figured I’d ask.

I’m wondering does the academic community have any unofficial status ranking about the different disciplines of study?
If so, what is it?

i.e. All else being equal an English professor ranks above/below a History professor whose status is above/below a Philosophy professor, who jumps out of the way when he sees a {fill_in} prof, etc.? (I’m thinking about status ranking among professors themselves, not students comparing majors.)

Also any cross-discipline stereotypes held by professors themselves.

Heh! “Above such broad generalizations”! Good one!

Professors, in my experience, feel their own discipline outranks everybody else’s. And if they’re from or in the Ivy League, they sneer at land grant profs; if they’re in or from a land grant U, they pity the poor deluded Ivy snobs. If they do theory, they make allowances for the practitioners, while the kids in the labs and the field thank their stars they’re not navel-gazing in the ivory towers.

That said, medicine and law tend to outrank everyone else everywhere. Hard sciences (like chemistry or physics) tend to outrank soft sciences (like linguistics or sociology) and they both tend to outrank the humanities. It matters a lot what the university is known for: at Cornell, English more or less outranks forestry, but the reverse is true at the Univesity of Idaho.

More important among the profs themselves than subject is how much they’ve had published (more=good) versus how many undergrad courses they teach (more=bad). And how many grants they’ve won (more=good).

Full disclosure: I’m a university brat who’s attended five different institutions of higher learning; I don’t think I could come up with more than about five names of friends who aren’t either academics or from academic families.

>Heh! “Above such broad generalizations”! Good one!
Yeah, well… :wink:

Very nice summary emilyforce, thank you.

I’d imagine most of the general public (can’t speak for academics) would put nuclear physicists (or astrophysicists) at the top of the list… how often do you hear “It isn’t rocket science”?