UC Davis Graduate, Professional Programs Shine in New U.S. News Rankings

Vet student and flamingo
UC Davis graduate and professional programs are highly ranked in the 2019 Best Graduate Schools rankings from U.S. News & World Report, with the School of Veterinary Medicine again being ranked first in the nation. In this photo, veterinary student Elisa McAfee carries out health checks on a flamingo at the Sacramento Zoo.

UC Davis graduate programs made a strong showing in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 graduate school ranking, with the School of Veterinary Medicine earning the top spot in its category and several other programs making significant gains.

The new rankings published March 12 rate programs in education, engineering, medicine, nursing, health specialties, law and business. Each set of rankings is based on different types of data: expert opinions relating to a program’s academic excellence and statistical indicators that assess the achievements of students and faculty.

“These accomplishments reflect the impressive contributions of our students, faculty, and staff across the university,” said Jean-Pierre Delplanque, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies. “The graduate community at UC Davis continues to move our campus, state, society, and world forward.”

Health and medicine among this year’s highlights

The most significant gain for UC Davis in the 2020 edition was earned by the School of Medicine, which moved up nine spots since last year, from 39th to 30th on the Best Medical Schools: Research list. The medical school also rose in the primary care category, jumping from 10th to 9th, and tied for the 13th spot in family medicine. 

Highlights of Earlier Rankings

While some academic disciplines are ranked by U.S. News & World Report annually, other programs – including programs in science, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts — are ranked every three or four years. Some notable graduate program rankings from previous releases include:

  • Biological Sciences — 18th (tie) Best Biological Sciences Programs (2019)
  • Biological Sciences — 2nd Best Ecology / Evolutionary Biology Programs (2019)
  • Physics — 28th (tie) Best Physics Programs (2019) 
  • Economics — 29th (tie) in Best Economics Schools (2018)
  • English — 20th (tie) Best English Schools (2018)
  • Fine Arts — 27th (tie) in Best Fine Arts Schools (2017)
  • Political Science — 17th in Best Political Science Schools (2018)
  • Psychology — 26th (tie) in Best Psychology Schools (2018)

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine held onto the top spot in the Veterinary Medicine category, beating out 27 other veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.  The school is ranked first in the U.S. by all three organizations that rank veterinary sciences: U.S. News & World Report, QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The master’s-degree nursing programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis held steady, tying for 46th among the 250 nursing schools surveyed. Founded in 2009, the school broke into the top 50 in the rankings last year.

UC Davis also earned a new ranking in the Best Public Health Schools category. The program, which offers both doctoral and master’s degree options, tied for the 23rd spot.

Strength across the disciplines

Several UC Davis programs in law, engineering, education, and business advanced in this year’s rankings release. UC Davis School of Law consistently ranks among the top law schools in the country and rose from 37th to 31st in this year’s Best Law Schools rating of more than 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools. 

The College of Engineering jumped from 33rd to the 31st in the Best Engineering Schools category and also secured improved positions in the Biological/Agricultural, Materials Engineering, and Chemical Engineering categories.

The School of Education made gains on the Best Education Schools front, tying for 36th. The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program jumped from 32nd to 28th (tie), while the Full-Time MBA program placed in the top 50 nationally for the 24th consecutive year. 

The complete Best Graduate Schools rankings are available on the U.S. News and World Report website

Media Resources

Julia Ann Easley, News and Media Relations, 530-752-8248, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu

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