UC Davis Receives Accolades as Top 10 Public University

UC Davis water tower with tree greenery foreground
UC Davis is among the top 10 public universities in the 2022-23 edition of U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges." (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • UC Davis is No. 1 in biological and agricultural engineering
  • The rankings recognize the university for promoting social mobility, diversity and more
  • The campus is listed among national universities whose students graduate with the least debt

The University of California, Davis, continues to stand among the nation’s top 10 public universities and now claims the No. 1 spot in biological and agricultural engineering in rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

The 2022-23 edition of “Best Colleges,” released today (Sept. 11), has UC Davis tied with the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for No. 10 among public universities and No. 38 overall among national universities.

“We are proud that UC Davis is recognized for its academic excellence and the opportunities it offers our undergraduates,” Chancellor Gary S. May said.

Among the highlights:

  • UC Davis and William Carey University in Mississippi tied for No. 27 among top performers on social mobility.
  • The rankings listed UC Davis among the national universities whose students graduate with the least debt.
  • UC Davis was also named one of the best schools for veterans, tied with UT Austin for the 18th spot.
  • UC Davis was among national universities highlighted because their students are most likely to encounter undergraduates, not including international students, from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.
  • Among national universities, UC Davis and UC San Diego were the public schools with the highest percentage of international undergraduates, both at 16%.

Academic subjects

In addition to universities’ overall qualities, services and outcomes, the rankings looked at undergraduate programs in engineering, computer science and two others that UC Davis does not have.

In engineering, UC Davis was tied with the the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Southern California for No. 30 among more than 200 universities that offer doctoral degrees in the subject. In addition to biological and agricultural engineering, other specialties highlighted were environmental/environmental health engineering, civil engineering and chemical engineering.

Computer science was ranked 29th among more than 500 undergraduate programs nationally, and its specialty of software engineering was noted.

Not all rankings are published online or available without a special subscription.

In other recent rankings, UC Davis was No. 4 among public universities and 23rd among all U.S. universities on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Top Colleges, published Aug. 31. It was fifth among all California universities.

UC Davis and rankings

A world-class university, UC Davis is highly ranked for how it transforms students’ lives, the impact of its research, the excellence of its academic programs, sustainability and more. The university performs self-evaluations and also appreciates the value of third-party assessments. However, ranking methods vary, change over time and can be subjective. UC Davis focuses on those rankings that most closely align with its mission and values — including serving the public good, inclusiveness and equity, and social mobility — and in national rankings looks most closely at its standing among public universities. UC Davis encourages prospective students and their families to weigh rankings among other factors in their college decision, talk with counselors and UC Davis admissions advisors, and, if possible, visit the campus.

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