For better or for worse, the US News and World Reports (who reads this magazine anyway beyond their yearly ranking?) has released its rankings for the top science graduate schools in the US. Included in that is the overall ranking of the top Physics graduate programs, and the top physics programs for the various major subfield of physics.
MIT and Stanford shares the top overall ranking, with CalTech, Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Cornell, Chicago, UIUC, and UC-Santa Barbara rounding out the top 10. In fields such as condensed matter physics, UIUC remains the top school, while in atomic, molecular, and optics, Colorado hung on to the top for another year.
It is always encouraging to see public state schools making it into the top tier, considering how they are funded and how they compensate their faculty. Schools like UIUC, Berkeley, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Washington, Indiana, Stony Brook, and Colorado, are all able to compete with their more expensive siblings and produce top-notch programs.