UC Davis Facts

Rankings: National and international reputation by discipline

Female professor talking with students at a table

Professor Cecilia Colombi, far right, conducts a seminar for graduate students in the UC Davis Department of Spanish, which is ranked among the top six in the nation in the National Research Council’s 2010 report. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

Find out how UC Davis rates nationally and internationally with its undergraduate, graduate and professional academic programs.

A word about the various rankings

  • In fall 2010, the National Research Council released a comprehensive study of doctoral programs across the United States, and UC Davis programs did well. Rather than a straightforward ladder ranking of programs, the NRC committee provided five sets of "illustrative" ranking scales for each program. The NRC findings below related to overall rankings based on what a national survey of faculty members considered important to rate in academic programs. (Read more about the NRC survey.)

Academic programs

Agriculture
Animal behavior
Anthropology
  • Between #7 and #21 among 82 programs
Biological sciences
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology: between #33 and #106 among 159 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Biological sciences: #19 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Cell and developmental biology: between #42 and #100 among 122 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Ecology/evolutionary biology: #3 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”); between #5 and #28 among 94 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Life sciences: 20th (2013 Academic Ranking of World by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Microbiology: between #16 and #44 among 74 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Population biology: Between #4 and #24 among 94 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Business and economics
  • Agricultural and resource economics: Between #2 and #4 among 28 programs (National Research Council 2010); #2 (Chronicle of Higher Education 2007)
  • Economics/business: In the top 100 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • Economics
  • Between #29 and #44 among 117 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Graduate School of Management:
    • #41 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • #25 for part-time MBA program (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015")
    • Among the top 35 in the U.S., among the top 60 in the world (The Economist 2010 “Which MBA?”)
    • #3 worldwide for faculty quality (The Economist 2010 “Which MBA?”)
Chemistry
  • Agricultural and environmental chemistry: between #31 and #90 among 178 programs  (National Research Council 2010)
  • Chemistry
    • #35 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • #38 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
    • Between #30 and #88 among 178 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Comparative literature
  • Between #14 and #28 among 46 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Composition
  • Among the top 17 universities for writing across the disciplines (U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 “America’s Best Colleges”)
Computer science
  • #39 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2012")
  • #50 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • Between #15 and #51 among 126 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Earth sciences
  • Earth sciences: #20 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Geology: between #46 and #95 among 140 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Soils and biogeochemistry: between #71 and #144 among 159 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Education

School of Education: #45 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)

Engineering

College of Engineering: #31 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015"); 48th in the world (2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings); 49th in the world (2013 Academic Ranking of World  by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

  • Aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical: #28 tied (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Agricultural engineering: #2 (U.S. News & World Report 2007), #7 U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015"
  • Applied science: between #72 and #136 among 160 (National Research Council 2010)
  • Biological/agricultural:  #7 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015")
  • Biomedical/bioengineering
    • #20 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • Between #26 and #54 among 74 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Chemical engineering
    • #28 tied (U.S. News & World Report’s“America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • Between #15 and #41 among 106 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Civil and environmental engineering: between #6 and #37 among 130 (National Research Council 2010); #10 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015")
  • Civil and structural engineering: #34 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014: Engineering — Civil and Structural) 
  • Computer engineering: #35 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Computer science: #34 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”); #24 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China); between #15 and #51 among 126 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Electrical and computer engineering: between #53 and #99 among 136 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Electrical/electronic/communications: #34 tied U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Environmental/environmental health: #11 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Materials science:
    • #22 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • Between #7 and #31 among 83 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Mechanical:
    • #34 tied (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • Between #55 and #99 among 127 programs (National Research Council 2010)
English
  • #26 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
  • Between #44 and #75 among 119 (National Research Council 2010)
Entomology
  • Between #1 and #7 among 28 programs (National Research Council 2010); #1 (Chronicle of Higher Education 2007)
Epidemiology
  • Between #29 and #70 among 91 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Environmental Sciences
Fine Arts
  • Ceramics: #12 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2013")
  • Fine arts: #27 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2013"); #21 (Top 100 Fine Arts College Ranking in 2010, U.S. College Rankings)
Food Science
  • Food science and nutrition: #1 (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2010)
  • Nutritional biology: Between #1 and #15 among 44 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Food science: Between #4 and #17 among 31 programs (National Research Council 2010)
French
  • Between #22 and #34 among 43 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Genetics
  • Between #28 and #56 among 65 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Geography
  • Between #10 and #30 among 49 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Geology
  • Between #46 and #95 among 140 programs (National Research Council 2010)
History
  • #27 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
    • U.S. colonial history: #9 
  • Between #40 and #68 among 137 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Immunology
  • Between #17 and #56 among 78 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Law

School of Law:#25 (Graduateprograms.com Announces top student-rated law schools, 2013), #36 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015")

Mathematics
  • Applied mathematics: between #4 and #15 among 33 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Mathematics
    • #34 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • #29 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
    • Between #9 and #33 among 127 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Topology: #13 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2013")
Medicine

School of Medicine:

  • Rural medicine #15 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2013")
  • Primary care: #16 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015” 3.11.14 news release)
  • Research: #40 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015")
Music
  • Between #12 and #28 among 63 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Neuroscience
  • Between #25 and #69 among 94 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Pathology
  • Comparative pathology: between #26 and #54 among 78 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Performance studies
  • Between #4 and #16 among 27 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Pharmacology and toxicology
  • Between #19 and #77 among 116 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Philosophy
  • Between #53 and #76 among 90 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Physics
  • Biophysics: between #28 and #100 among 159 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Physics
    • #29 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
    • In the top 100 worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
    • Between #31 and #90 among 161 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Physiology
  • Molecular, cellular and integrative: between #19 and #48 among 63 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Plant science
  • Plant pathology: Between #7 and #42 among 116 programs (National Research Council 2010); #2 (Chronicle of Higher Education 2007)
  • Plant biology: Between #5 and #29 among 116 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Plant and animal science #1  (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2008)
Political science
  • #23 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
  • Between #7 and #26 among 105 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Comparative politics: #15 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
  • Political methodology: #15 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
Psychology
  • #21 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
  • Between #21 and #57 among 236 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Sociology
  • #31 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014")
  • Between #48 and #77 among 118 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Spanish
  • #1 (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2007); #1 (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2008)
Statistics
  • Between #1 and #6 among 60 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • #27 (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2015”)
  • Between #12 and #24 among 61 programs (National Research Council 2010)
Transportation
  • Transportation technology and policy: between #32 and #95 among 130 programs ((National Research Council 2010)
Veterinary medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine: #2 in the nation (U.S. News & World Report’s “America's Best Graduate Schools 2012")

More rankings at UC Davis