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UC Davis Receives High Rankings Among Public Universities

Several recent rankings place University of California campuses among the best in the nation for social mobility, career placement and diversity

This story has been adapted from recent news releases from the UC Davis Newsroom.  

Doing good and fostering social mobility helped put the University of California, Davis, in the No. 2 spot among public universities and 11th among all national universities in the Washington Monthly 2022 College Guide and Rankings released in August.

UC Davis was also recognized as 16th among the Best Bang for the Buck Western Colleges and on the list for the Best Colleges for Student Voting.

Among public universities in the national universities category, UC Davis ranked second only to UC Berkeley.

An introduction to the rankings noted the UC and California State University systems for their many campuses “in the upper echelons” of the rankings, which included 1,507 four-year colleges.

The rankings have three equally weighted categories: social mobility, research, and community and national service. “This means that top-ranked colleges needed to be excellent across the full breadth of our measures, rather than excelling in just one,” the editors wrote in an explanation of the methodology.

In other August rankings, UC Davis was recognized in Princeton Review’s The Best 388 Colleges 2023 Edition. Among public universities, the campus was:

  • sixth among the Top 20 Best Schools for Making an Impact
  • 12th among the Top 50 Best Value Colleges
  • 15th for the Top Best Career Placement

Other recent rankings

The 2022-23 edition of “Best Colleges,” released earlier this month, has UC Davis tied with the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for No. 10 among public universities and No. 38 overall among national universities.

“We are proud that UC Davis is recognized for its academic excellence and the opportunities it offers our undergraduates,” Chancellor Gary S. May said.

Among the highlights:

  • UC Davis and William Carey University in Mississippi tied for No. 27 among top performers on social mobility.
  • The rankings listed UC Davis among the national universities whose students graduate with the least debt.
  • UC Davis was also named one of the best schools for veterans, tied with UT Austin for the 18th spot.
  • UC Davis was among national universities highlighted because their students are most likely to encounter undergraduates, not including international students, from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.
  • Among national universities, UC Davis and UC San Diego were the public schools with the highest percentage of international undergraduates, both at 16%.

UC Davis and rankings

A world-class university, UC Davis is highly ranked for how it transforms students’ lives, the impact of its research, the excellence of its academic programs, sustainability and more. The university performs self-evaluations and also appreciates the value of third-party assessments. However, ranking methods vary, change over time and can be subjective. UC Davis focuses on those rankings that most closely align with its mission and values — including serving the public good, inclusiveness and equity, and social mobility — and in national rankings looks most closely at its standing among public universities. UC Davis encourages prospective students and their families to weigh rankings among other factors in their college decision, talk with counselors and UC Davis admissions advisors, and, if possible, visit the campus.

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