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Graduate programs get high national rankings

March 22, 2013

Graduate programs at the University of California, Davis, showed continued strong performance in this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings, with several programs in the social sciences and humanities, engineering and School of Medicine ranking among the top 20 in the nation.

According to these latest rankings, UC Davis is home to two top-10 graduate programs — bioagricultural engineering (8th) and U.S. colonial history (9th) — and eight top-20 programs, including civil engineering (13th), environmental engineering (13th), comparative politics (15th), political methodology (15th), rural health care specialty at the School of Medicine (15th), biomedical/bioengineering (18th), the Graduate School of Management's Part-Time MBA Program (19th), and  primary care medicine at the School of Medicine (19th).

In addition, UC Davis was ranked 2nd in the nation in U.S. News’ latest vet school rankings, in 2011, and its master of fine arts program was ranked 27th in 2012. UC Davis also did well in a variety of other graduate science fields when they were last ranked in 2010, including one top-10 program (ecology/environmental biology, 3rd) and two top-20 programs (biology, 20th, and earth science, 17th).

"These rankings are just one measure of the excellence of the graduate programs at UC Davis, and they highlight many of our strengths as a campus,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “They are a tribute to the hard work and exceptional talents of the faculty who organize and teach these courses.”

Indeed, UC Davis’ strong showing in the graduate rankings complements its overall U.S. News ranking. In its 2013 "Best Colleges" rankings, the publication ranked UC Davis 8th overall among all U.S. public research universities. The September 2012 ranking represented a gain of one spot over the previous year.

Most recently, in this year’s graduate program rankings, the College of Engineering placed at 33 of 191 programs ranked; the School of Law at 38 of 194 programs; and the Graduate School of Management at 40 of 140.

In breakdowns by specialty, UC Davis programs in the social sciences and humanities showed consistently strong performance. Highest ranked was psychology at 21 of 246 programs. Political science placed 23rd of 119; English at 26 of 156; history at 27 of 151; sociology at 31 of 117; and economics at 32 of 132 programs.

Among engineering specialties, materials engineering was placed at 25 of 95; aerospace and aeronautical, 26 of 59; chemical, 29 of 126; computer, 31 of 136; mechanical, 35 of 166; and electrical/communication, 40 of 175.

Graduate program rankings updated this year include engineering, business, law, medicine, and social sciences and humanities. The sciences and veterinary medicine were not ranked this year.

In recent years, UC Davis also has scored several top-30 and top-40 rankings across its many academic disciplines.  In 2010, for example, UC Davis scored one top-30 program (physics, 26th) and four top-40 programs (statistics, 31st, mathematics, 36th, chemistry, 38th, and computer science, 39th).

U.S. News & World Report rankings of the sciences, social sciences and humanities programs are based entirely on reputation through surveys of department chairs and senior faculty. Rankings of the engineering and graduate professional disciplines are based partly on reputation, partly on data about student outcomes — including post-graduation employment and salary — and partly on measures such as research expenditures and student/faculty ratio. 

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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