Key Rankings

Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway

UCI is one of 62 universities in the U.S. and Canada elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

An analysis by Times Higher Education, released in April 2015, ranked UCI first in the U.S. and seventh in the world among the 100 best universities less than 50 years old. The “100 Under 50” list aims to show institutions poised to become future world leaders.

The New York Times named UCI No. 1 among U.S. universities that do the most for low-income students in its College Access Index list. A measure of economic diversity, the index is based on three factors: the share of students receiving Pell Grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000 a year); the graduation rate of those students; and the net cost, after financial aid, that a college charges low- and middle-income students.

UCI is ranked ninth among the nation’s best public universities and 39th among all national public and private universities, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges” ranking of undergraduate programs at leading universities. UCI also ranks 31st in best value. Among specific undergraduate programs, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering ranked 48th among engineering schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. UCI’s undergraduate major in The Paul Merage School of Business was ranked 34th.

Money magazine ranked UCI 13th among the nation’s four-year colleges and universities delivering the most value and the No. 1 university for beach lovers. The publication also ranked UCI the 3rd best public university in the nation.

Kiplinger Personal Finance ranked UCI 30th among the “Best Values in Public Colleges,” published December 2014, listing the top public universities in the country for affordability and quality of education.

UCI ranks among the top 10 U.S. universities – public and private – in the number of undergraduate applications and, for fall 2015, the campus admitted among the most academically competitive freshman classes in its history.

UCI placed first in Sierra Magazine’s 2015 “Coolest Schools” report as part of the environmental magazine’s annual sustainability ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. The magazine is the official publication of the Sierra Club, one of the nation’s largest and most influential environmental organizations. This marked the sixth year in a row that UCI ranked in the top 10 and the second consecutive year UCI was named No. 1.

The Center for World University Rankings places UCI 52nd in the U.S. and 89th in the world in its 2015 ranking of the top 100 degree-granting institutions of higher education. The Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Center for World-Class Universities ranks UCI 33rd in the U.S. and 50th in the world.

Using data collected in 2006, the National Research Council ranked a number of UCI doctoral programs among the top in the country. The School of Physical Sciences was an area of particular strength, with all four programs – chemistryEarth system sciencemathematics and physics & astronomy – rated in the top quartile nationally. Other outstanding areas include neuroscience (anatomy & neurobiology and neurobiology & behavior), anthropologycivil engineering and ecology & evolutionary biology.

A study by University of St. Thomas School of Law measured the impact of law faculties based on citations in scholarly journals and ranked UCI School of Law faculty sixth in the nation. The school ranked in the top 10 with law schools at Yale University, Harvard University, University of Chicago and Stanford University.

In a 2009 report by the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training, UCI ranked seventh among U.S. universities with the highest numbers of chemistry degrees conferred at all three levels (bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate).

The Paul Merage School of Business MBA programs consistently rank among the best in the world, including No. 1 for employing the highest percentage of female faculty, by Financial Times.

U.S. News & World Report ranks schools and programs periodically. Following are the most current rankings for UCI graduate programs and specialties that have been named among the nation’s top 50: literary criticism & theory (3), criminology (5), creative writing (6), healthcare management (9), information systems (11), organic chemistry (12), drama & theater (12), physical chemistry (12), psychology – neurobiology & behavior (12), psychology – cognitive science (16), theoretical chemistry (18), experimental psychology (19), cell biology/developmental biology (21), English (22), aerospace engineering (23), chemistry (24), sociology (25), computer engineering (27), computer science (29), physics (29), law (30), mechanical engineering (30), psychology (30),  education (31), materials science engineering (31), biomedical engineering (33), biological sciences (34), Earth system science (34), environmental engineering (34), civil engineering (36), education (36), history (36), business – part-time (37), engineering (37), electrical engineering (40), political science (40), mathematics (41), medicine – research (45), business (45), economics (46), psychology & social behavior (47), and chemical engineering (50).

The 2011 Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked the graduate program in philosophy 23rd in the U.S., with 11 specialty areas ranked in the top 10. UCI received a first-place ranking for its program in decision, rational choice & game theory; second place for philosophy of physics, philosophy of science and philosophy of social science; third place for early modern philosophy - 17th century, mathematical logic and philosophy of mathematics; and fourth-place rankings for history of analytic philosophy, medieval philosophy, philosophical logic and philosophy of biology. UCI’s program is co-administered by the Department of Logic & Philosophy of Science in the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Philosophy in the School of Humanities.

U.S. News also ranked UCI’s online program for a Master of Advanced Study in criminology, law & society the top online graduate criminal justice program in the country.

The 2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranked five UCI research fields in the top five among large research universities. Computer & information science ranked first; information science/studies fourth; and geology/Earth science, mathematics, and urban & regional planning fifth. Produced by Academic Analytics, the index rates journal articles and books published by each program’s faculty, as well as journal citations, awards, honors and grants.

UCI graduates rank 15th nationally in salary earnings among U.S. public universities, according to PayScale’s 2014-15 College Salary Report.

UCI ranked 30th in's top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Schools in America, a list of universities that provide a supportive environment to spawn new businesses.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks UCI third in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to minority students in the 2010-11 school year. The rankings are based on data submitted by institutions of higher education to the U.S. Department of Education.