ucsd ranking

UCSD ranking: Introduction

UCSD is an exceptional school located in San Diego, California. But, maybe you’re wondering just how exceptional the University of California – San Diego is, according to the numbers? In that case, you’re likely curious about the UCSD ranking. 

College rankings can be a useful tool in the college application process. You may use college rankings to help determine which schools you’ll apply to, or even which one you’ll attend. In this article, we’ll explore the UCSD rankings, what the UCSD ranking means, and how the UC San Diego ranking should impact your college search

While the UCSD ranking can be a helpful part of your college application process, you should not base your decisions solely on any college ranking. To a point, college rankings are important. However, college rankings are not the be all, end all. Instead, you should use the UC San Diego ranking as an additional data point in your overall research. This will help you understand where UCSD fits within the context of your college list

Below, we’ll explore the UCSD ranking in Forbes, the UCSD ranking in U.S. News, and the UCSD ranking in Wall Street Journal. We’ll even talk about the UCSD ranking in worldwide statistics. You’ll see how each of these UCSD rankings differs depending on the source. And, we’ll explain how to interpret each University of California San Diego ranking and how the UC San Diego ranking should influence your college search. 

Now, let’s dive into some UCSD ratings. 

What is the UCSD ranking?

The UC San Diego ranking can vary depending on who you ask. First of all, there will not be one definitive UCSD rating that you should use. There are many sources you can check out to find UCSD rankings. These include Forbes, U.S. News, Niche, and various other websites and publications. Let’s check out the UCSD rankings among some different top sources. 

To start, the UCSD ranking in U.S. News is #34 in National Universities. That list includes both private and public colleges, which makes the UCSD ranking in U.S. News extremely impressive. In the Forbes college rankings, UCSD fares even better. The UCSD ranking in Forbes comes in at #17 on their list of Top Colleges in 2022. And finally, the UCSD rating in the Wall Street Journal is #37 overall. As you can see, each UCSD ranking is a little different, but all three of them are fairly high. 

For a public college, each UC San Diego ranking is especially impressive. On each of the above lists, the sources are rating overall national universities, and the UCSD rating is high on each list. Competing with schools like Harvard University and MIT, the UCSD ranking holds its own! However, in the next section, we’ll provide the top public college rankings, where the UCSD ranking is even higher. 

Is UCSD a top 20 school?

uc san diego ranking

Let’s check out if the University of California San Diego ranking is among the top 20 in three different sources we’ve already looked at: U.S. News college rankings, the Wall Street Journal college rankings, and Forbes college rankings. 

In terms of public colleges and universities, the UCSD ratings are definitely in the top 20, no matter where you look. According to U.S. News college rankings, UCSD ranks the 8th best public college in national college rankings. That UCSD ranking in U.S. News is great, but Forbes is better. The UCSD ranking in Forbes for public colleges is #3, even higher than the UCSD ranking U.S. News. Finally, the Wall Street Journal ranks UCSD as #4 in their list of top public colleges in the West. 

Finally, you may wonder, what is the UC San Diego ranking globally? Well, UCSD has been ranked among the top 10 public universities in the world by the Center for World University Rankings. So, clearly, the UC San Diego ranking is very high for a public college among both national college rankings and international rankings. 

For more information on the Forbes college rankings, look here. For more Wall Street Journal University rankings, click here. Now, let’s discuss how UCSD ratings compare to other college rankings. 

UCSD ranking: how does it compare to other UC Schools?

When thinking about how the UC San Diego ranking compares to other schools, it makes sense to look at the other schools in the UC system. There are nine total schools within the public University of California system that offer undergraduate degrees. So, let’s check out some UCSD rankings compared to other UC schools. 

Wall Street Journal rankings

As you recall, the UCSD ranking in Wall Street Journal was #37 overall and #4 for best public colleges in the West. Above it were UCLA at #25 overall and the #1 top public college in the West and UC Berkeley at #34 overall and the #2 public college in the West. The UCSD ranking was also just below that of UC Davis, which is ranked at #36 overall and the #3 top public college in the West. All of the other UC schools rank below the UC San Diego ranking on both of these lists. 

U.S. News rankings

According to the U.S. News college rankings for top public schools, UCSD is ranked at #8. However, UC Berkeley comes in at #1 on this list, and UCLA is #2. Also above UCSD on this list is UC Santa Barbara at #7. Tied with UCSD at #8 is University of California – Irvine. So clearly, the UC school system is full of very strong public colleges, which makes the UC system attractive to many applicants. UCSD can also be found on this 2022‒2023 list of the best colleges in California. 

Shanghai Ranking Consultancy rankings

Finally, according to Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the UC San Diego ranking among world universities is #21. Above it are UC Berkeley at #5 and UCLA at #13. As you can see, there are a few UC schools that rank above UC San Diego, but not many. It depends on if you’re looking at national college rankings or international rankings as well. 

Check out our college comparison guide for more college rankings and comparisons among universities. Keep reading to get more information about the University of California San Diego ranking. 

How to interpret UC San Diego ranking?

Each UCSD ranking we’ve seen thus far has been high, indicating that UCSD is a top quality school no matter which list you consult. However, what do all of these UCSD rankings mean when it comes to creating a college list and applying to schools? In fact, what does any college ranking mean?

The UCSD ranking is pretty high on each of the national college rankings lists we’ve looked at so far, which indicates that UCSD is probably a competitive school. Furthermore, the UC San Diego ranking among worldwide colleges and universities is also high. And looking at the UCSD acceptance rate, it seems UCSD is in fact competitive. The UCSD acceptance rate is just 37%, making it fairly challenging to gain acceptance into. This is especially true for students applying from outside of California, as the UC school system is composed of over 90% California residents. 

ucsd ranking

So, in short, college rankings can be helpful to a point, but don’t take them as the final word. National college rankings and international rankings are a helpful place to start when thinking about where a school should go on your college list. They can also help you figure out what a school’s acceptance rate might be. However, when looking at college rankings, be sure to check multiple sources, and do your own independent research about any school you’re interested in. 

We recommend checking a school’s website, reviewing college rankings, and keeping a detailed college list where you record everything you find. Comprehensive research will complement college ranking information and help you craft a strong, well-balanced college list and make a good college decision for you and your needs.

UCSD rankings you can count on

We’ve just thrown a lot of different UCSD ratings at you. So, which University of California San Diego ranking can you be sure of?

The three sources you can always trust for college rankings are the main ones we’ve been referencing the most throughout this article: U.S. News college rankings, the Wall Street Journal college rankings, and Forbes college rankings. Each of these websites releases an updated list of national college rankings every year. You can read an in-depth explanation of college rankings here. That guide will help you fully understand the UCSD rankings and other college rankings. 

Is one UC San Diego ranking the best?

Each source has its own internal process for how they calculate ratings, for example, the U.S. News college rankings qualifications can be found here. You can use these college rankings, like the University of California San Diego ranking, as a reference point when you begin your college search. However, no college ranking list will be one hundred percent objective. There is no one way to determine the best college out there. And, the best college for one student will be totally different from the best college for another student. 

Each applicant will have different needs and requirements for their college experience. So, your personal UCSD ranking might be higher or lower than any external source’s University of California San Diego ranking. 

As there are so many qualified college ranking sources out there, such as U.S. News college rankings, Wall Street Journal college rankings, and Forbes college rankings, you would do well to cross-reference. And, it’s clear that there are hundreds of top schools with a high college ranking. Remember, the school at which you end up will be the best school for you, depending on lots of factors in addition to college rankings. So, there is no one University of California San Diego ranking that you should go by when beginning your college search

UC San Diego rankings trends

No college ranking is guaranteed to stay the same. In fact, national college rankings fluctuate from year to year, meaning a school that’s #1 one year may not be #1 the following year. Let’s check out how the UCSD rankings have changed over the years. You might be surprised to see a different University of California San Diego ranking for 2021 than for 2022. 

As we’ve said, the UCSD rating in US News is currently #34 in National Universities, while in the Forbes college rankings, the UCSD rating is even higher, coming in at #17 on their list of Top Colleges in 2022. Lastly, the UCSD rating in the Wall Street Journal is #37 overall. All of these rankings were for 2022. But, what was the UCSD ranking last year, and how about 10 years ago? Read on to find out how each source’s UCSD ranking has (or hasn’t) changed. 

In 2021, the Wall Street Journal ranked UC San Diego at #39 in their overall college ratings list. That means the UCSD ranking went up by 2 in the Wall Street Journal college rankings from 2021 to 2022. However, in 2021, Forbes had a University of California San Diego ranking of #15. This means that the UC San Diego ranking dropped by two in the Forbes college rankings. 

How have the UCSD rankings changed over time?

uc san diego ranking

So, college rankings don’t change that dramatically from year to year. But what about 10 years ago? Well, consider this. In the Forbes college rankings for top college in 2012, UCSD doesn’t even make the top 25. That’s a shockingly low University of California San Diego ranking compared to what it is in 2022!

Unfortunately, past top college rankings from other sources are no longer readily available, but that past Forbes ranking should tell you everything you need to know. The University of California San Diego ranking has been rising in the national college rankings over the past ten years, earning UCSD a spot among the top 10 best public colleges and even top 20 national colleges. 

UCSD ranking and your college list – things to consider

Now that we’ve gone through understanding college rankings and given you a comprehensive overview of the UCSD ranking in Forbes, U.S. News, and the Wall Street Journal, we hope you have a better idea of what a UCSD education would be like and how competitive your UCSD application needs to be. As you begin exploring your college options, check out some more of our resources to aid your application process. Remember, the University of California San Diego ranking isn’t everything. Think of each UCSD ranking as one piece in your college admissions process toolkit.

Looking for your dream school? We’ve got tips. Although UCSD is a tough school to get into, CollegeAdvisor has resources. For more information on how to get into UCSD, check out our guide. Stuck on the UCSD essays? Read our supplemental essay step-by-step for the UC application. Also, take a look at our list of the best engineering schools. Best of luck!

ucsd ranking

This article was written by Laura Frustaci. If you want to learn more about UCSD, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes graduates from top universities. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 576-0953.