UC Davis Earns Top-10 U.S. News Ranking

University Also Cited for Its Role in Social Mobility

The front of a Unitrans bus
Recent college rankings recognize UC Davis as one of the top public universities in the country and the social mobility it provides for students. A photo taken before the pandemic shows one of the buses that serve the campus and city of Davis. (Greg Urquiaga/UC Davis)

U.S. News & World Report rankings released today (Sept. 13) put the University of California, Davis, among the top 10 public universities in the country and highlight the social mobility the campus offers students — adding to recognition received in recent weeks.

6 UCs IN TOP 10

In five rankings, the campus stands out among universities around the world, shines as a gem among American public universities and is ranked highly for the good it does — especially for the social mobility it provides for its students. Rankings also showcase the campus for the value it provides for veterans, the quality of undergraduate teaching, its sustainability and commitment to the environment, and its health services for students.

In U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for 2022UC Davis is in the 10th position among public universities (tied with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin and the College of William & Mary in Virginia) and 38th overall (tied with the same institutions) for best national universities in the United States.   

Social mobility

UC Davis is tied with UC Santa Barbara for 16th position on U.S. News’ social mobility list, which measured the extent to which schools enrolled and graduated low-income students who received federal Pell Grants. The ranking factored in the six-year graduation rate of Pell recipients and how closely it matched that of students who had not received the grant.

Washington Monthly ranks colleges “based on what they do for the country.” In the magazine’s 2021 National University Rankings, released Aug. 30, UC Davis is seventh among public universities and 14th among all institutions. The publication looks at contributions to the public good in the broad categories of social mobility, research and providing opportunities for public service. For fostering the social mobility of its students, UC Davis stands second among public universities and third among all institutions.

For the 2021 edition of America’s Top Colleges, Forbes rethought what its ranking evaluates. “It isn’t enough to ask which schools give the best return on investment,” an introductory article states. “It’s also important to evaluate what kind of students they educate and whether they make themselves accessible to those who can’t afford high sticker prices.”

UC Davis ranks fourth among public universities and 20th among the 600 four-year schools evaluated for the Forbes list, published Sept. 8. The top three public universities are UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego. Forbes said it drew on data from the federal College Scorecard and looked at how long it takes for students to pay their college costs with special consideration for low-income students.

More from U.S. News

In other U.S. News rankings, UC Davis ties for 16th position with Georgia Tech, UT-Austin and William & Mary for the best national universities for veterans, based on which top-ranked schools make pursuing a college education more affordable.

Among the U.S. News academic rankings, UC Davis ranks 27th in engineering (tied with Duke, Harvard University and The Ohio State University. In specialties, it ranks second in biological and agricultural engineering (tied with Iowa State University); and is listed for environmental and environmental health as well as civil engineering.

The campus is in a 13-way tie for 58th position for best undergraduate teaching among qualifying national universities. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans nominated up to 15 schools at which they believed faculty and administrators were committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.

Other recent rankings

  • The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 (released Sept. 1) — 30th among American universities and 67th among more than 1,600 universities in 99 countries and territories. The rankings are based on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
  • Sierra Magazine Cool Schools 2021 (released Sept. 9) — 20th among 328 U.S. and Canadian schools that met eligibility standards and completed a survey. Cool Schools considered campus sustainability practices and environmental commitment in broad categories of academics, engagement, operations, and planning and administration. The publication highlights UC Davis initiatives developed during the pandemic including research on the environmental benefits and impacts of remote work and a certificate for going green while working or studying at home.
  • Princeton Review’s Best 387 Colleges 2022 (released Aug. 31) — UC Davis is among 30 California universities on the list. It also makes the publication’s list for Great Health Services based on its frequency on the list, its rankings and the consistency of feedback from surveyed students over the years.

Media Resources

Media Contact:

  • Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-219-4545, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu

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