Many of UCSB’s undergraduate and graduate programs recently received high marks in national academic rankings.

U.S. News & World Report rated seven of UCSB’s graduate programs in the top 50 nationwide, while the volunteer-driven initiative Research Papers in Economics placed two of the university’s economics programs among the top 10 in the country.

According to a press release, U.S. News rated UCSB’s physics graduate program as number 10 overall in the nation. The program’s condensed matter physics, quantum physics, elementary particles/field/string theory physics and cosmology/relativity/gravity physics specializations ranked third, fifth, eighth and ninth place, respectively.

The department’s environmental economics program was ranked third nationally — trailing only behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University — and the experimental Ph.D. program was placed sixth, following the University of Chicago, UC San Diego, Chapman University, Harvard University and New York University. The ranking system was based on 31 different research paper criteria, including the department’s number of citations and publications, total number of works written by a particular scholar, journal page counts and frequency in which they were downloaded.

Economics Dept. chair Charles Kolstad said the rankings bring much deserved recognition to UCSB’s economics program.

“These rankings are a testament to the commitment UCSB has made to these fields over the past two decades, though of course it is the faculty in the environmental, experimental and behavioral economics who deserve the most credit,” Kolstad said in a press release. “The stature of departments is built one field at a time. The Department of Economics hopes to strengthen all of its core fields over the next five years so that each is top five nationally.”

The university’s cognitive and behavioral economics program also received recognition, garnering the 12th-place slot on the list.

Dylan LaCom, a third-year business economics major, said these results enhance UCSB’s reputation as an economics powerhouse.

“It feels good to know that our school is so highly distinguished, especially in an area that interests me,” LaCom said. “I’m starting to think about my graduate school options, and this definitely makes me think more about staying at UCSB.”

Publishers and institutions using RePEc include the Cambridge University Press, World Bank, the Federal Reserve System, the International Monetary Fund, the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Elsevier and the National Bureau of Economic Research. All RePEc materials and the complete list of rankings can be retrieved on