Peer Comparison in Terms of Research Funding
The best source of information about the relative ranking of physics departments
is the National Science Foundation's list of external support for research
funding. The list provides data on the amount of support provided from external
sources and from all sources. The funding from external sources is particularly
useful because these funds are based on peer-reviewed grant application and,
thus, represent a view of our Department compares to other physics departments
in the eyes of our peers.
The most recent data which NSF has released are from 2008 for 453 Universities. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf10311/content.cfm?pub_id=3944&id=2 Physics is Table 57.
On funding for physics for research (Table 57), Kansas State University ranks:
While K-State's Department of Physics ranks quite well by any standards, it is important to note that NSF does not correct for size of faculty. For a graph that shows where we stand in research funding per faculty member, see the Bragging Rights section.
Our Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics program was ranked 13th nationally by US News & World Reports in 2010. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/atomic-science-rankings