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UCSD Receives Top Ranks In Doctoral Programs


UCSD beat UCLA and more than 200 other graduate schools for the top 5 doctoral programs in the nation.

— UCSD beat UCLA and more than 200 other graduate schools for three of the top doctoral programs in the nation.

UCSD’s Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography all ranked number one in their fields in the United States.

The National Research Council (NRC) assessed 5,000 doctoral programs in 62 various fields of study at 212 public and private schools.

Kim Barrett, Dean of UCSD Graduate Studies says the most important reason for their success is UCSD’s signature approach to interdisciplinary and creative education.

“We have many programs that are bridging across traditional disciplines, and it really makes for a very vibrant research environment where truly important research questions can be addressed.”

In addition to their top ranking in those programs, nearly two-thirds of UCSD’s other PhD programs ranked in the top 20.

UCSD is considered a young school, even as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It shared the top rankings of grad programs with much older institutions, Harvard and Princeton.

Barrett credits their prestigious success to “amazing faculty and amazing students”. She says, great graduate programs, like UCSD’s make a direct and substantial contribution to the global and local economy.

“Many of our graduate students put down roots in the San Diego Region and they don’t want to leave when they finish their PhD. So they contribute directly to the local knowledge base industries in high-tech, biotech, and IT industries that we’re so fortunate to have in San Diego.”

The criteria for judging the schools included faculty awards, publications, the percentage of female faculty and the number of PhD graduates.

Correction: A previous version of this story listed UCSD's doctoral programs ranked first through fifth. The programs were actually all ranked number one within their disciplines.

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