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Report Ranks UC San Diego Biology-Biochemistry as Ninth Best in World

Neuroscience, Microbiology and Molecular Biology-Genetics also rank as top programs

November 1, 2018

By Christine Clark

View of Geisel

Photo by Erik Jepsen/Publications and Creative Services

The University of California San Diego has been named the nation’s fifth best public university, according to U.S. News and World’s Report’s Best Global Universities. The publication released a new list measuring factors such as research; global and regional reputation; international collaboration; as well as the number of highly-cited papers and doctorates awarded. Overall, UC San Diego was ranked the 17th best university in the world.

“UC San Diego is proud to receive this prestigious global recognition,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “As a premier public research institution – and one that is proud of non-traditional approaches to problem-solving – our excellence is driven by our bold research endeavors, interdisciplinary culture and solutions-driven scholars, who consistently make breakthroughs to benefit humanity.”

The overall rankings evaluate 1,250 universities across more than 60 countries.

The publication also touted the campus’s broad strengths across disciplines in its subject category rankings. The following academic areas ranked highly by U.S. News include:

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology (2)
  • Biology and Biochemistry (9)
  • Neuroscience and Behavior (11)
  • Geosciences (11)
  • Microbiology (12)
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (13)
  • Psychiatry/Psychology (16)
  • Clinical Medicine (20)
  • Immunology (20)
  • Plant and Animal Science (21)
  • Arts and Humanities (28)
  • Social Science and Public Health (28)

As UC San Diego’s prominence continues to grow, so does its research funding. This past fiscal year, the campus received a record $1.2 billion in research funding to help bring innovative solutions to long-standing problems.

For example, structural engineers on campus were recently awarded $16.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to upgrade the world’s largest outdoor earthquake simulator, which is operated by the university.  The upgrade will accelerate the discovery of knowledge engineers need to build new structures and retrofit older structures, enhancing the resiliency of our communities.

Other novel initiatives underway include the creation of the interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH), established in June 2018. The launch helps the campus better understand the potential role for phage (or bacteriophage) therapeutics in the treatment of patients with infections who cannot successfully be treated with currently available antibiotics.

The campus also uses the arts to address pressing social issues. For example, UC San Diego Department of Music's chamber opera “Inheritance” centers around the issue of gun violence in U.S. with the aim of giving audiences a deeper sense of the shocking and reoccurring events that dominate news headlines.

UC San Diego consistently performs well in national and international rankings:

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) recently placed UC San Diego 15th among its list of the globe’s best universities.

Additionally, the campus topped the list of the Times Higher Education rankings of research universities founded during the “golden age” of higher education, in the two decades between 1945 and 1967.

For a complete listing of rankings, accolades and additional campus information, visit our Campus Profile.

For more information on U.S. News and World’s Report’s Best Global Universities, click here.