Graduate, Professional Programs Rank Among ‘Best Graduate Schools’

Students wit outside Walker Hall
Students sit outside The Graduate Center at Walker Hall on the walkway between Shields Library and the Student Community Center. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis).

UC Davis graduate and professional degree programs are recognized among the best in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 edition of Best Graduate Schools. The updated rankings were released today (March 28).

U.S. News ranks some disciplines annually and others periodically. The new rankings are for business, law, education, engineering, medicine, nursing, and science and mathematics disciplines. Each set of rankings is based on different types of data, including expert opinions relating to a program’s academic excellence and statistical indicators that assess students and faculty achievements.

This year, over 40 disciplines and specialty areas received updated graduate rankings. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s list.


The Graduate School of Management’s Full-Time MBA continues to be ranked among the premier programs in the nation at 52nd. The Part-Time MBA, offered in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, is 27th in the ranking of part-time programs. 


The School of Education earned the 32nd spot among the 274 schools that qualified for ranking.


The School of Law placed 37th among almost 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools. In the specialty categories, it ranked in the top 25 for environmental, constitutional, criminal and business-corporate law.


The 2023 rankings placed the School of Medicine at eighth for primary care and seventh for family medicine. In public health, UC Davis broke into the top 20 doctoral programs.

This is the second consecutive year the medical school is included in the top five for the diversity of its student body. In fact, UC Davis was the only medical school in the top five for diversity on the West Coast.

The diversity ranking is based on enrollment of underrepresented minority, groups, or URM, defined as Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native or Asian Pacific Islander, and its comparison to the state’s demographics. The school reported a total URM enrollment of 40% in 2021, the period considered for the ranking.


The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing ranks 23rd  — its second year among the top 25 — for master’s-degree nursing programs overall and seventh in the specialty of family nurse practitioner master's programs.


The College of Engineering earned the rank of 35th, while its biological (third) and civil engineering (13th) programs were ranked among the best in the country. The college is 27th in computer engineering. 


Over a dozen areas of study in science and mathematics received updated rankings this year. In the biological sciences, UC Davis is 17th overall. The campus also held onto its second-place rank in ecology and evolutionary biology.

In statistics, the campus ranks 13th. In biostatistics, it is 24th.

UC Davis is 30th in chemistry. The campus earned the 19th spot in earth sciences and debuted in two new specialties, geochemistry and environmental sciences, with 25th and eighth placements, respectively. 

Overall, psychology is ranked 12th. In the new cognitive psychology and developmental psychology specialities, UC Davis placed 11th and ninth respectively.

In other rankings, UC Davis is 26th for graduate programs in economics. 

The rankings are available on the U.S. News and World Report website.

Elizabeth Forrest Lambert is senior director of external relations and strategic communications for Graduate Studies.

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