University of California, Irvine ranked ninth in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 list of the best public universities in the nation. The annual ranking, released last week, counted six UC campuses among the top ten best public universities: UC Berkeley ranked first, UCLA second, UC Santa Barbara eighth, UC Irvine ninth and UCs San Diego and Davis tied for tenth.
“Once again, University of California campuses are named among the best public universities in the nation,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a press statement. “That six of our campuses are in the top 10 reflects the commitment to excellence found among our students, faculty and staff systemwide. These rankings capture what we already know — UC students obtain a world-class education at a great value.”
According to U.S. News and World Report, criteria for ranking universities include “academic reputation and outcomes” in addition to “high graduation rates and strong rates of freshman retention,” with the latter two carrying the most weight.
As of fall 2016, UCI’s freshman retention rate is 93 percent, its four-year graduation rate is 70 percent and its six-year graduation rate is 88 percent, according to UCI campus data. UCI’s retention rate is well above the national average retention rate of 72.5 percent among public institutions, per the National Center for Education Statistics. Additionally, UCI’s four-year graduation rate is more than double the most recent national public university average of 34.4 percent.
UCI also placed among the top 50 in a number of other U.S. News and World Report 2017 university rankings: No. 48 in Best Value Schools, No. 49 in High School Counselor Rankings, No. 32 in Business Programs and No. 39 in National Universities, including both public and private institutions.