Ag Among Campus’s Top Showings in World, National Subject Rankings

A tractor in a field
Ranked among the world's best universities in agricultural sciences, UC Davis offers students the opportunity to learn to drive a tractor and handle tractor-operated implements in its popular Field Equipment Operation course. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The two subjects of agricultural sciences and environmental science and engineering brought UC Davis its strongest showings in the 2021 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, released today (May 25) by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy of China.

UC Davis ranked sixth in the world in both subjects and first in the nation in both agricultural sciences and veterinary sciences. The campus was among more than 1,800 universities ranked in 54 subjects across the natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

UC Davis captured top 50 world rankings in 13 subjects and top 20 national rankings in 17. In all, UC Davis ranked in 45 subjects across the five broad categories. 

UC Davis’ top 50 world rankings are:

  • Agricultural sciences, sixth
  • Environmental science and engineering, sixth
  • Ecology, seventh
  • Veterinary sciences, ninth
  • Water resources, 12th
  • Communication, 24th
  • Psychology, 24th
  • Statistics, 25th
  • Food science and technology, 28th
  • Economics, 38th
  • Biotechnology, 42nd
  • Civil engineering, 43rd
  • Public administration, 49th

The top 20 national rankings for UC Davis include some expressed as ranges, grouping universities that were within the same tier for the world ranking following the top 50 in that subject. They are:

  • Agricultural sciences, first
  • Veterinary sciences, first
  • Ecology, third
  • Water resources, fourth
  • Food and science technology, fourth
  • Environmental science and engineering, fifth
  • Telecommunication engineering, sixth to ninth
  • Transportation science and technology, ninth to 15th
  • Civil engineering, 11th
  • Communication, 16th
  • Biotechnology, 17th
  • Psychology, 18th
  • Public administration, 19th
  • Statistics, 20th
  • Public health, 20th to 25th
  • Pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, 20th to 27th
  • Remote sensing, 20th to 32nd

About the rankings

The rankings, which can be searched by subject and country, are based on research — including the number of articles in top journals, citations and collaboration with a co-author from another country — and academic awards. Universities had to meet certain criteria before being included. ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, which has published the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009, provides higher education information and consultation.

In the March release of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, UC Davis ranked first in the national and second in the world in both veterinary science and agriculture and forestry. The campus also captured 50 world rankings in seven other subjects and top 20 national rankings in eight others.

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