UCSB has once again made its way into the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings, as the university is listed as number 41 on the publication’s list of “Best National Universities” and number 11 for the “Top 30 Public National Universities” list.
While the university was also ranked number 41 on last year’s list for “Best National Universities” — which includes public and private universities alike — it dropped down from the Top 10 list of public universities nationwide. Last year, the university barely made this list, as it was named number 10 then, and this year it missed the Top 10 portion of the list, with a number 11 ranking that is tied with the likes of the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The university’s number 41 ranking is a position it shares with Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lehigh University and once again, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In response to the recent rankings, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said UCSB is proud to be listed alongside such prestigious institutions, “UC Santa Barbara is proud to be ranked among the top public universities in the nation,” Yang said in an email. “We have become internationally recognized as a leading center for teaching and research, distinguished by our interdisciplinary programs and our innovative, collaborative spirit.”
In the statement, Yang also highlighted the university’s ability to generate cutting-edge research through its highly respected faculty, as he noted that five UCSB professors have received Nobel Prizes since 1998 and a UCSB alumna won another Nobel Prize in 2009. According to Yang, such high academic standards have now reached the field of admissions, with UCSB becoming more and more selective each year as the number of applicants increasingly grow. “Students have taken notice — the number of freshman applications to our campus has more than tripled since 1994. We are known for our commitment to excellence and diversity, and for our friendly and collegial environment where all of us can learn and explore together.”
Also included in the rankings was UCSB’s College of Engineering, which advanced four positions since last year, as it is listed number 35 on the “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate” list. UCSB also rose to number 20 amongst engineering schools at public universities, sharing this spot with Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, Iowa State University, Lehigh University, University of Florida, Vanderbilt and University of Virginia.
Matthew Ruth, second-year computer engineering major, said he takes pride in UCSB’s success, as such rising achievements can mean a higher degree worth and other advantages for students’ post-graduation career plans.
“It’s really cool to see UCSB improve year after year, [and it] makes me wonder what it’ll be like when I graduate, or when I become an alumni and look back on my alma mater,” Ruth said in an email. “I always knew the professors were top notch, and that the environment I live and learn in was something I’d never want to leave. But it’s awesome to see us improving even in comparison to other nationally ranked schools.”
The U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings were determined using data collected directly from colleges and universities, in addition to data acquired from other sources like the American Association of University Professors and U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
According to Yang’s statement, the ranking is due to the academic achievements and hard work put forth by faculty and students alike. “This U.S. News ranking, along with many other high rankings for our campus and programs, is a reflection of the accumulated efforts of our distinguished faculty, the dedicated contributions of our staff, and the very high caliber of our students.”