UCLA's Powell Library
UCLA is No. 2 among the nation’s best public universities and No. 23 overall in the most recent edition of the closely watched U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s top colleges and universities.
The 2015 report, published Sept. 9, places UCLA in a tie with the University of Virginia, another public university. Five other University of California campuses were among the top 10 public institutions: UC Berkeley, the No. 1 public and No. 20 overall; UC San Diego at No. 8 (37 overall); UC Davis at No. 9 (38 overall); and UC Santa Barbara at No. 10 (40 overall).
“By any measure, UCLA has earned its reputation among the top institutions of higher learning,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “I’m proud of the remarkable accomplishments of UCLA faculty and students to break new barriers and improve our world through discovery and service, and of our work to ensure opportunities for those who continually strive to reach their potential.”
UCLA topped all universities in the survey for economic diversity; 39 percent of UCLA undergraduate students receive Pell Grants. Also contributing to UCLA’s high ranking were its high graduation rate and freshman retention rate.
Among national universities, UCLA was tied for No. 9 for ethnic diversity and No. 22 in the “high school counselors’ picks” category, which is based on academic advisers’ impression of which institutions offer the best undergraduate education. In addition, UCLA was named as one of the magazine’s “programs to look for” based on opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research and participate in creative projects that result in original scholarly papers or presentations.
At the top of the overall rankings were Princeton, Harvard and Yale, with Columbia, Stanford and the University of Chicago tied for fourth. The rankings’ methodology emphasizes factors that tend to favor private universities, such as endowment size, rate of alumni giving and student–faculty ratio.
Regardless of the methodology, UCLA performs well in a wide variety of rankings. In August, Washington Monthly ranked UCLA No. 1 in its ranking of “affordable elite” universities, and No. 5 in its list of national universities that contribute to serving the public interest. Also in August, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UCLA second among U.S. public institutions and No. 12 overall. In compiling its rankings, Shanghai Jiao Tong University takes into account factors such as faculty publications and research citations and the number of alumni and faculty who have won Nobel prizes and Fields Medals. UCLA also placed No. 12 in the London Times Higher Education’s 2013-14 World University Rankings.