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UC San Diego Biology Areas Ranked in U.S. News and World Report's Top 10 List

Microbiology places third in 2022-2023 global university rankings

November 21, 2022

By Amanda Rubalcava and Mario Aguilera

The University of California San Diego has been ranked among the top 20 universities in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Global Universities. Several areas tied to the School of Biological Sciences placed highly in the new rankings, including:

  • Microbiology (3)
  • Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology (4)
  • Cell Biology (6)
  • Biology and Biochemistry (7)
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (8)
  • Neuroscience and Behavior (11)
  • Immunology (16)

The rankings reinforce UC San Diego’s School of Biological Sciences as a global leader in research, education and training. The school is among the top institutions in the U.S. for awarding biology degrees and a leader in degrees bestowed to diverse students.

In the newly released list, UC San Diego maintained its rank as No. 6 among the nation’s top public colleges. UC San Diego was also ranked as the No. 15 university in the U.S. and No. 20 in the world—rising one spot both nationally and globally from the previous year.

“This well-deserved recognition shines a light on UC San Diego’s stellar academic research performance and our global reputation for innovation and societal impact,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our experts and researchers consistently collaborate across disciplines both inside and outside the university to advance science, art, medicine and social science.”

The ninth annual U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities rankings were produced to provide insight into how universities compare around the world. The 2022-2023 edition evaluated a total of 2,000 schools—up from more than 1,700 last year—on academic research and reputation. The rankings are based on 13 indicators, such as global and regional research reputation, international collaboration and total citations. 

As a billion-dollar research enterprise, UC San Diego’s scholarly community is consistently uncovering new knowledge across a diverse array of fields, ranging from understanding the impact of climate change to developing microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can treat deadly pneumonia in mice. In fiscal year 2022, the university earned $1.64 billion in research funding, which marks the 13th consecutive year that UC San Diego has surpassed $1 billion in research funding.

UC San Diego’s pioneering spirit has propelled the university to a multitude of innovative breakthroughs that help answer some of society’s biggest questions. The university announced a new Human Milk Institute that will accelerate research into the nature, biology and therapeutic potential of human milk to prevent or treat diseases in adults and infants. The institute is believed to be the first of its kind worldwide. 

The university also recently developed another advancement toward better understanding human cancer. An international team of scientists, co-led by researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, created the first pan-cancer mycobiome atlas—a survey of 35 types of cancer and their associated fungi.

UC San Diego is also at the forefront of helping to address the critical plastic pollution problem that has evolved into a global environmental crisis. Scientists at the university have created new biodegradable materials designed to replace conventionally used plastic. An interdisciplinary team—which includes UC San Diego biologist Stephen Mayfield, chemists Michael Burkart and Robert “Skip” Pomeroy and marine biologist Samantha Clements—has illustrated in a recent study that the new material biodegrades in seawater. 

Further, a UC San Diego-led team has developed a new system of algorithms that enables four-legged robots to walk and run on challenging terrain while avoiding both static and moving obstacles. The team is currently presenting this work at the 2022 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 

UC San Diego’s academic and research excellence is consistently recognized in annual lists published by U.S. News, Forbes and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), among others. Last month, UC San Diego was named the nation’s eighth best public university in the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Colleges rankings. In addition, the university ranked third among the nation’s top public colleges in Forbes 2022 America’s Top Colleges list.

To learn more about the university’s performance in national and global rankings, visit the Campus Profile. The full methodology and further information on the 2022-2023 Global Universities ranking can be accessed on the U.S. News & World Report website.