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UC San Diego Named 5th Best Public University by Academic Ranking of World Universities

Geisel Library with rainbow in the background. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications.
Geisel Library. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications.

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The University of California San Diego has been ranked 5th among the nation’s best public universities for its award-winning faculty and alumni, academic performance and impactful research. The new 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranking was released today by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, which also named UC San Diego 16th among colleges in the nation and 21st in the world.

Established in 2003, the ARWU evaluates over 2500 institutions for its final list of the best 1000 universities in the world. The global rankings are based on a set of six objective indicators: 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 academic performance.

“The groundbreaking work of UC San Diego’s faculty and researchers is consistently recognized around the world for its broad impact,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our growing $1.64-billion research enterprise is a result of cross-disciplinary collaborations that are addressing the world’s most pressing issues.”

As a global research powerhouse, UC San Diego partners and collaborates with reputable partners around the world to lead the way to new discoveries. This month, the university announced it is joining Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego as part of a nationwide study to better understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on patients in the United States across all demographic groups. The $1.15 billion, four-year study is called the RECOVER Initiative (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) and is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Further, climate researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego recently found evidence that the risk of hazardous weather is increasing in the Southwest. The study, published in July in the journal Climate Dynamics, suggested that weather patterns are changing in a way that enhances hot, dry Santa Ana winds, while reducing precipitation frequency in the Southwest. They found that changes in atmospheric circulation are raising the risk of wildfires during California winters.

From the social sciences to engineering, faculty members at UC San Diego are respected thought leaders and sought-after experts in their fields. To date, sixteen Nobel laureates have taught at UC San Diego as well as two Fields medalists. Last year, 51 faculty members at UC San Diego were also recognized as among the world’s most influential researchers according to Clarivate Analytics’ 2021 Highly Cited Researchers report.  

Alongside this latest ranking, UC San Diego placed sixth among the nation’s top public colleges for students seeking an outstanding education at an affordable price, according to The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges for 2022. UC San Diego also placed eighth among public universities in the 2022-23 edition of the “Global 2000 List by the Center for World University Rankings.” For more information about UC San Diego rankings, visit the Campus Profile.

Full methodology and further information on the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities can be accessed on the organization's website

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