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Prestigious Rankings Name UC San Diego 15th Best University in the World

The campus was named the globe's fourth best public college

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at the University of California San Diego. Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications and Creative Services.

The University of California San Diego has been ranked the 15th best university in the world by the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The campus was named the world’s fourth best public college as well as recognized as the 13th best university overall in the U.S. 

The rankings were released today by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a public research university located in Shanghai, renowned as one of the most prestigious universities in China.

“UC San Diego is honored to be recognized by the Academic Ranking of World Universities for our commitment to academic excellence,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “With a campus culture that embraces risk-taking and collaboration, UC San Diego leverages boundary-breaking research and world-class education to benefit humankind and our planet.”

UC San Diego’s researchers take fresh ideas, then translate them into solutions to positively impact millions around the globe. For example, a team of campus scientists recently discovered that by harnessing the power of 3D printing, they could help train surgeons and shorten surgery times. Another UC San Diego study found that pollutants in fish are much fewer if they were caught from the western Pacific Ocean—helping consumers at risk, including pregnant and nursing women or people with compromised immune systems.

According to ARWU, their ranking is based on six objective indicators including the number of alumni and faculty winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of highly cited researchers, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance.

Earlier this year, the ARWU released global rankings by academic subjects.  Many disciplines at UC San Diego were listed among the best of the world, including:

Natural sciences: Earth sciences (11th), math (18th); and chemistry (23rd).

Engineering: Mechanical Engineering (2nd), biotechnology (7th), automation & control (10th), biomedical engineering (15th), materials science & engineering (16th); and electrical and electronic engineering (18th).

Life sciences:  Human biology (11th); and biological sciences (32nd).

Medical sciences: Pharmacy (11th), public health (25th); and clinical medicine (35th).

Social sciences: Political science (11th), economics (15th); and psychology (21st).

UC San Diego is consistently named among the best universities in the world. The journal Nature recently named the campus as 14th best in the globe for developing research used to create products or services that benefit society and spur economic growth. In June, UC San Diego netted the 29th spot in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2017. In addition, the university’s efforts in social innovation and education were recently recognized with an official Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.

For more information on the Academic Ranking of World Universities, click here.

For more information about UC San Diego and its rankings, go to the Campus Profile.


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