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UC San Diego Ranked No. 7 Best US Public University by Center for World University Rankings

Geisel Library with spring flowers in foreground.
Geisel Library. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications.

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The University of California San Diego has once again been named No. 7 among U.S. public universities in the latest Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), upholding its position from the previous year. 

According to the 2024 “Global 2000 List by the Center for World University Rankings,” UC San Diego is ranked No. 21 among all U.S. universities and No. 34 in the world. The university has also secured a place in the top 0.2% among over 20,000 universities worldwide analyzed for the latest rankings.

CWUR evaluates universities on four key factors: quality of education (25%), employability (25%), faculty (10%) and research (40%). UC San Diego maintained its strong positions in both faculty rank (12) and research rank (22), echoing its standing in 2023. These scores are determined based on indicators such as the number of faculty members recognized with top academic distinctions and the quantity of research papers appearing in highly influential journals. 

Two researchers studying algae growth.
Two researchers studying algae growth. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications. 

"UC San Diego is proud to maintain its position as the 7th ranked public university in the nation, which underscores our steadfast dedication to providing students with a top-tier education and unparalleled research opportunities," said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "This recognition from CWUR also highlights the exceptional caliber of our scholar community, who continually pioneer groundbreaking discoveries across a spectrum of fields such as engineering, medicine, mathematics, the fine arts and more."

The university’s diverse academic programs are led by industry experts and skilled faculty researchers who explore innovative concepts and inspire fresh perspectives. Just this month, UC San Diego announced that two faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Stephan Haggard, distinguished research professor of political science at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, and Kenneth Intriligator, distinguished professor of physics. Founded in 1780, the academy is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. Additionally, five university researchers were recently elected 2023 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the world’s largest general scientific organizations. Professors include Peter Ebenfelt, Robert Heath, Natalia Komarova, Dean Kit Pogliano and Wei Xiong.

Remote operated vehicle collects sediment off the coast of Los Angeles.
Researchers aboard Research Vessel Falkor used a remote operated vehicle to collect sediment push cores off the coast of Los Angeles during an expedition in July 2021. Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute

UC San Diego scholars are also leading research aimed at helping society understand the effects of toxic offshore dumping. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and colleagues have found that deep-sea fish and sediments collected from a once-legal offshore dump site near Catalina Island are contaminated with numerous chemicals related to the pesticide DDT, which is now known to harm humans and wildlife. 

Katherine Licon working in a lab setting.
Katherine Licon photographed at the Ideker Lab at UC San Diego, which combines computational and traditional wet-lab techniques to answer fundamental questions about disease biology and discover new ways to enhance precision medicine.

Additional research efforts also include a look into how international physicians can help play a role in addressing health care needs. A new study from the School of Global Policy and Strategy shows that relaxed visa requirements enable more foreign-trained doctors to practice in remote and low-income areas, without reducing employment of U.S.-trained doctors. Further, UC San Diego scientists have developed a new AI tool to generate new drug candidates for cancer, which could significantly streamline the process and open doors for never-before-seen treatments. 

In addition to this recent recognition by CWUR, UC San Diego consistently achieves top positions across various prestigious national and global ranking lists. The university was ranked as the nation’s sixth-best public university in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings. To explore UC San Diego's accolades further, visit the Campus Profile. For additional information about CWUR, please visit the organization’s website

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