Hands zotting in the sunset at the beach

UCI School of Social Sciences graduate programs in economics and psychology climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings. The two programs are in the nation’s top 20 among public universities:

  • Economics, 17th among public universities, 38th overall (up from 24th/47th)
  • Psychology, 14th among public universities, 30th overall (up from 19th/36th; administered by both the Department of Cognitive Sciences in Social Sciences and the Department of Psychological Science in Social Ecology)

UCI’s graduate programs in education and chemistry also jumped up in this year’s rankings, placing in the nation’s top 10 among public universities.

“With a strong showing by economics and cognitive sciences this year, on the heels of sociology's rise last year, and our colleagues' successes in education and criminology, law, and society, it's becoming clear that UC Irvine is a force to be reckoned with in the social and behavioral sciences,” says Bill Maurer, social sciences dean and anthropology and law professor. “We look forward to working with the campus to continue its investments in our programs, while we further advance the university's commitment to excellence in undergraduate instruction, graduate training, and inclusion.”

Other social sciences graduate programs evaluated in prior review cycles by respective reporting bodies include:

  • Anthropology: 8-22 (reviewed by Center for Public Anthropology & National Research Council; ranked within ranges; individual rankings not provided)
  • Logic & Philosophy of Science (reviewed by Philosophical Gourmet Report with multiple subfield rankings):
    • #1 in general philosophy of science
    • #1 in philosophy of mathematics
    • #1 in decision, rational choice & game theory
    • #3 in philosophy of physics
    • #4 in mathematical logic
    • #9 in epistemology 
    • #10 in philosophy of biology
    • #10 in philosophy of social sciences
    • Top 10 globally in 10 specialty areas:
  • Political science, 21st among public universities, 41st overall (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Sociology, 9th among public universities, 20th overall (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Although it does not offer a graduate degree, Chicano/Latino studies ranks near the very top for all ethnic and area studies programs nationally, according to Academic Analytics, which tracks faculty research productivity along a range of metrics.

And new in 2020, the school launched graduate programs in global studies and language science which now boast double digit enrollments and aggressive recruitments of top faculty.

UCI is one of the top doctorate-granting institutions in the U.S., offering more than 120 master’s and Ph.D. programs. It has over 6,000 students engaged in advanced scholarship and research. In 2021, UCI granted 845 master’s degrees and 289 Ph.D.s. Learn more about UCI programs recently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's latest evaluation cycle. 


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