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U.S. News & World Report Names UC San Diego’s Engineering and Pharmacy Graduate Programs Among Nation’s Best

School of Engineering ranked No. 11, School of Pharmacy No. 12 in the nation

Stephanie I. Fraley, UC San Diego associate professor of bioengineering, in a lab setting
Stephanie Fraley, professor in the Shu Chien - Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering, leads research into a new way to detect pathogens and sepsis faster and more accurately. 

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U.S. News & World Report has unveiled its 2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings in Engineering and in Pharmacy, spotlighting the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as among the top in the nation. 

U.S. News ranked UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering 11th overall in the nation and seventh among public engineering schools in rankings released yesterday. In addition, the school’s computer science program ranked 13th in the nation.

The latest report named the university’s graduate education in pharmacy as No. 12 in the nation, marking the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ highest ranking since its founding in 2002.

"We are proud to receive this recognition from U.S. News & World Report, underscoring the prestige and quality of UC San Diego's engineering and pharmacy graduate programs led by our world-class faculty,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our talented faculty, graduate students and alumni continue to make an indelible impact on our campus, our region and the world as trailblazers in their industries who positively impact patient lives, develop new technologies and look beyond the expected to forge a brighter future.”

Researcher at a microscope
Sai Zhou is a materials science and engineering Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego. He is part of nano engineering professor Sheng Xu's research team that is working on a wearable ultrasound patch that enables continuous, non-invasive monitoring of cerebral blood flow.

Jacobs School of Engineering rises in the rankings

U.S. News gave high marks to a variety of programs at the Jacobs School of Engineering, which offers master's and doctoral degrees across its six engineering and computer science departments, along with many opportunities for specializations and focus areas. The Jacobs School of Engineering’s No. 11 ranking is up from No. 12 last year. Among public engineering schools, the Jacobs School of Engineering ranks as the No. 7 best engineering school in the nation, up from No. 8 last year. 

“I am thrilled that our school-wide ranking improved this year. I am proud, I am excited—and I am also right back to work,” said Albert P. Pisano, dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and Special Adviser to the Chancellor. “Rankings are recognition rather than definition, and these rankings recognize yet again our world-class school. We advance engineering and computer science research and education for the public good, and it’s wonderful to be recognized as we do this important work.”

The interdisciplinary engineering and computer science research underway at the Jacobs School tackles tough and relevant challenges that no single lab can address alone, with far-reaching positive impacts for human health, sustainable energy production and storage, trustworthy AI, and much more. Recently, researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering developed a unique cancer immunotherapy based on a plant virus that has shown efficacy in animal models; designed a first-of-its kind wearable ultrasound patch that provides continuous, non-invasive monitoring of blood flow in the brain; created new materials to build better batteries; increased our understanding of how artificial intelligence systems learn, and applied AI to help newborns struggling to nurse.

The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering also ranked No.1 in the nation among public engineering schools for citations per publication. Citation rankings are a new addition this year to the U.S. News Best Engineering Schools rankings methodology. According to U.S. News, they are included as a way to measure the scholarly impact that an engineering school’s faculty have in their field and the caliber of their research.
In addition to the school-wide rankings, the following Jacobs School graduate programs were highly ranked by U.S. News: Biomedical (8); Computer Science: Systems (8); Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence (10); Computer Science: Programming Language (11); Computer Engineering (12); Computer Science (13); Electrical Engineering (14); Computer Science: Theory (15); Mechanical Engineering (17); and Aerospace Engineering (18).

Researcher in lab setting

A member of the Geoffrey Chang lab uses an X-ray instrument to determine the structure of proteins, the workhorse of the cell.

Highest-Ever ranking for Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 

The latest report named UC San Diego’s graduate education in pharmacy as No. 12 in the nation, marking the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences highest ranking to date. Founded in 2002, the school is also the youngest in the top 20 by nearly 100 years. 

“To be recognized by our peers as one of the top pharmacy schools in the nation so soon after our founding is an incredible honor,” said Brookie Best, dean of the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This ranking is a testament to our unique and rigorous curriculum, which includes joint classes with our medical school, innovative patient-centered instruction and a strong foundation in biomedical science; as well as our extremely talented students and alumni, world-renowned faculty and dedicated staff who equip our students to be leaders in their fields.”

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ faculty and students recently earned several national honors demonstrating their leadership in the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences research. Professor Rabia Atayee was named by her peers as a visionary in the field of hospice and palliative care and third-year student Grace Riggs won a national patient counseling competition, becoming the second Skaggs school student to win the competition in the past three years. The school’s researchers also made foundational scientific discoveries that may improve the development of new medicines, including revealing how our microbiome talks to us, identifying a cause of cellular miscommunication implicated in many human diseases and re-establishing the Scripps Center for Oceans and Human Health, one of only four centers nationwide that seek to understand how ocean pollution affects people’s health. 

More from the 2024 U.S. News rankings season 

Each year, the Best Graduate Schools rankings evaluate programs in a variety of disciplines, including business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, including specialties in each area. Some of these rankings for 2024, including for Schools of Medicine, have not yet been released by U.S. News and World Report. 

The 2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings in Engineering are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program excellence, and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students and their post-graduate outcomes. The Best Graduate Schools rankings in Pharmacy are based on expert opinion about program quality. To read the complete U.S. News and World Report’s 2024 Best Graduate Schools list, visit the outlet’s website. For a complete listing of UC San Diego rankings and accolades, visit the Campus Profile.

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