RateMyProfessors.com is proud to present our 2011-2012 annual Top Lists ranking the nation’s top professors and universities, based entirely on students’ input. Iona College’s Andy Gold, a business professor, leads the list of top university professors, followed by William Renfroe, a biological sciences professor at Pensacola State College and Kevin Raiford, a business professor at the College of Southern Nevada.

Topping the nation’s list of universities are Stanford University, University of Memphis, and St. Johns River State College. The rankings for best schools were determined by analyzing both professor ratings and campus ratings. Different from typical college rankings, this list is generated entirely from the input of the students themselves – providing an authentic overview of daily life at each respective school.

As many students continue to pursue moderately-priced alternatives to traditional four-year universities, we once again published a list of highest-rated junior colleges with San Diego City College clinching the top spot this year. This year’s top junior college professor is Sam Blank, a communications professor from the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Miami Dade College was home to five of the top 25 professors on this list, more than any other junior college.

For the first time, RateMyProfessors.com is debuting our “Fun Lists” as part of the annual rankings. Starting today with Best Professor Smiths, the site will roll out a quirky infographic of lists over the next few weeks, including Most Followed Professors on Twitter, Top 5 Presidential Professor Names and Top 5 Hottest Math Professors.

RateMyProfessors.com Top Lists Ranking Methodology
RateMyProfessors.com is the Internet’s largest destination for collegiate professor ratings with more than 7,500 schools, 1,700,000 professors and 14,000,000 ratings. The site uses a five-point Likert scale as well as a binary scoring system for students to rate professors. Below is a summary of the overall methodology used to compile the 2011-2012 rankings:

Each individual professor rating is first standardized and subsequently the standardized scores for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 are weighted, putting more weight on recent years and fewer weight on ratings from the past (15 percent for 2009, 25 percent for 2010, and 60 percent for 2011). Using the weighted score, professors are ranked from high to low. Only professors with 30 ratings or more are included to provide statistical significance.

In an attempt to break ties, professors with a greater number of ratings were ranked higher; the rationale is that a larger amount of information typically results in an estimate closer to the true parameter. Nevertheless, ties (i.e. professors with the same score and the same number of ratings) still occur. In that case, if two professors are tied for the same place – say 5th – then the next available rank is 7th.

It should also be noted that school size does not affect the outcome of the lists nor does it give professors from larger schools an advantage over their corollaries from smaller schools. RateMyProfessors performed a regression analysis on school size vs. number of ratings and found no noteworthy correlation.

More information on how this methodology was applied to each category is available here. Data analysis was conducted with the help of Professor Wolfgang Jank, Associate Professor in the Department of Decisions, Operations & Information Technologies at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Check out the rankings!