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UC San Diego Ranked No. 3 Best Public College by Forbes

Geisel Library.
Geisel Library. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications.

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The University of California San Diego has maintained its spot as third among the nation’s top public colleges, according to Forbes 2022 America’s Top Colleges list.

Overall, UC San Diego ranked No. 17 out of 500 four-year private and public colleges in the country. The university was one of only five public colleges that secured a position among the top 25 spots on the list.

According to the outlet, Forbes’ annual ranking spotlights schools that offer an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields. The Top Colleges methodology measures alumni salary, debt, graduation rate, retention rate, academic success, as well as return on students’ and parents’ investment. The outlet also assesses how well a school prepares and graduates its low-income students, and gauges for the leadership and entrepreneurship of graduates.

“I am pleased to see UC San Diego ranked as a top three public university in the nation,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our commitment to academic excellence, world-class research and interdisciplinary collaboration is evidenced by this latest recognition. By offering an outstanding education, hands-on research opportunities and access to supportive resources, students thrive and become the next generation of global leaders.”

Both on and off campus, UC San Diego offers a wide range of programs and resources that invite students to explore their academic passions and personal interests. The McNair Program is one of many research opportunities led by the Undergraduate Research Hub, which is a federal program that helps low-income, first-generation college students navigate the path toward earning a doctoral degree. The program has been active on campus for over 30 years with more than 150 McNair Program alumni successfully moving on to earn their doctorate. Some alumni have even come back to campus to serve as faculty members, such as Luis Alvarez, an associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of History.

The university leads a variety of innovative initiatives designed to reach students from all backgrounds, such as the Student Success Coaching Program that connects with first-generation students to help them achieve their college goals. Campus community centers across the university—like the Black Resource Center and the Raza Resource Centro—also serve as a place of belonging for students to find connection and participate in educational and social activities.

Further, the university was selected in 2022 as an inaugural partner of #CaliforniansForAll College Corps. The statewide program invites undergraduates to apply to be College Corps fellows, where they can engage in meaningful service projects while receiving financial compensation. The fellowship is designed for low- to moderate-income students, expanding access for undergraduates to receive valuable networking and professional development opportunities.

In recent months, UC San Diego has been recognized in a variety of prestigious national and world rankings. The campus ranked fifth among the nation’s best public universities in the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities. This spring, UC San Diego also placed sixth in The Princeton’s Review’s “Top 50 Best Value Colleges (Public Schools)” list. To review more UC San Diego rankings, visit the Campus Profile.

Full methodology and further information on the 2022 list of America’s Top Colleges can be accessed on the Forbes website.

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