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Global Rankings Name UC San Diego 4th Best Public Research University

Shanghai rankings cement the campus’ standing as one of the world’s best

Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications and Creative Services


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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The University of California San Diego has been named the fourth best public university in the United States by the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The rankings list the campus as the country’s 15th best university and 18th in the world.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities list is released 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 has consistently been included among the top 20 higher education institutions throughout the globe in the annual rankings since they were established in 2003.

“The wide breadth of collaborative, multidisciplinary research undertaken at UC San Diego impacts communities across the planet, and the world is taking notice,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Among other projects, our scholars work with each other and institutions around the globe to end hunger, find solutions to problems created by climate change, and discover cures and innovative new therapies for humanity’s most pressing health issues.”

UC San Diego continues to evolve as the campus is in the midst of a physical, intellectual and cultural transformation. The revitalization is marked by new buildings, with more projects on the way, including two additional undergraduate colleges, a “grand entrance” to the university, increased access to UC San Diego via the upcoming Blue Line trolley stations, and more. The transformation is designed to re-energize the student experience and further spark breakthrough research.

Recent innovations on campus include the development of a new robotic lens which can be controlled by human eyes. The discovery by engineers on campus is the first example of an interface between humans and soft, non-rigid machines. In addition, physicists on campus recently discovered that how DNA is packed within a cell’s nucleus has consequences for a cell’s fate—whether it becomes live or diseased. And, social scientists at UC San Diego have been conducting groundbreaking research on the growing number of asylum seekers who await entry to the U.S. along the country’s southern border. The ongoing research is the most comprehensive analysis of asylum seekers waiting to enter the U.S.

The annual Academic Ranking of World Universities list 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.

UC San Diego is consistently rated as one of the world’s best universities: Nature and the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) named the campus 4th and 7th, respectively, among public U.S. universities. Additionally, Times Higher Education recognized the campus as the No. 1 university in the world founded between 1945 and 1967 – a time characterized as the “Golden Age” in higher education.

For more information on the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities, go to the Shanghai rankings website.  For more information on UC San Diego’s rankings, go to the Campus Profile

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