University of California scores top spots in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 university rankings

Six University of California campuses are among the top 10 public universities in America, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges rankings, released today (Sept. 13). The magazine also placed eight of UC’s undergraduate campuses on its coveted list of the top 100 public and private universities across the country.

According to the magazine, UCLA and UC Berkeley maintained their positions as America’s No. 1 and No. 2 public universities, respectively, while UC Santa Barbara (No. 5) moved up one spot in this year’s list. Three other campuses also landed in the top 10: UC San Diego (No. 8), UC Irvine (No. 9), and UC Davis (No. 10).

Among the top 100 public and private universities, UC campuses also posted a strong showing. UC Merced (No. 93), the system’s newest campus, made the list for the second year in a row. UCLA (No. 20), UC Berkeley (No. 22), UC Santa Barbara (No. 28), UC San Diego (No. 34), UC Irvine (No. 36), UC Davis (No. 38) and UC Riverside (No. 83) were all in the top 100. U.S. News uses a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, to determine which universities make the cut. The selected colleges also produce groundbreaking research, according to the magazine.

“These rankings underscore the world-class education UC provides,” said UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “Access, affordability and excellence remain hallmarks of the University. We are pleased that U.S. News and World Report continues to recognize UC for its achievements.”

All nine UC undergraduate campuses once again claimed spots in the top 100 for social mobility among public and private universities nationwide. The top 20 include six UC campuses: UC Riverside (No. 1), UC Irvine (No. 2), UC Merced (No. 4), UC Santa Cruz (No. 12), as well as UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis (tied for No. 16). U.S. News measures social mobility as a school’s ability to graduate Pell Grant recipients, typically students from families who earn less than $50,000.

Six UC campuses also scored in the top 20 of the Best Colleges for Veterans category. UCLA placed No. 5 on the magazine’s list followed by UC Berkeley (No. 7), UC Santa Barbara (No. 10), UC San Diego (No. 13), UC Irvine (No. 15), and UC Davis (No. 16). For this category, U.S. News assesses a campus’s G.I. Bill certification, 2022 Best Colleges ranking, and enrollment of full- and part-time undergraduate veterans and undergraduate active service members.

U.S. News and World Report publishes its list of best American colleges and universities each fall. Its primary criteria are academic reputation, financial resources and undergraduate admissions selectivity.