The University of California, Irvine has been ranked eighth among the nation’s public universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2021 list of “Best Colleges,” released today. This is the sixth consecutive year in which UCI has placed in the top 10.

UCI placed 35th among all American universities – public and private – and rose to second in the subcategory of social mobility, which takes into account the graduation rate of students awarded Pell Grants.

Begun in 1983, the annual U.S. News list is one of the most influential in the country, with ratings derived from 15 diverse indicators of academic quality. Evaluators considered 1,922 institutions for the 2021 report.

“I am delighted that U.S. News & World Report has once again recognized UCI’s overall excellence by including us in its listing of the top 10 public universities in the nation,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “This ranking is testament to the hard work and dedication of our extraordinary faculty, outstanding staff and talented students.”

The U.S. News report also evaluated certain undergraduate programs. UCI came in 25th in a new category on undergraduate computer science programs, jumped up two slots from last year to 37th in engineering and leaped six slots from last year to 32nd in business. In addition, it was rated the country’s 15th-best college for veterans, 19th for most international students and 42nd for most innovative schools.

Available online at, these results come on the heels of placing 13th nationally (sixth among public institutions) in a Money review – and previous rankings of No. 1 on Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” list of sustainability leaders in U.S. and Canadian higher education and No. 1 among America’s public universities for best value by Forbes.

And twice in a row, for its commitment to upward mobility, UCI has topped The New York Times’ College Access Index of U.S. universities “doing the most for the American dream.”

- Sheri Ledbetter, UCI




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