In The Top Five

U.S. News & World Report ranks UC Santa Barbara No. 5 among the country’s top public universities

In its 2022 listing of the “Top Public Schools,” U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara No. 5.

Among “Best National Universities,” which includes both public and private institutions, UC Santa Barbara placed No. 28.

UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering is ranked No. 18 among public universities on the U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate.”

In addition, UC Santa Barbara is ranked No. 5 among public universities — and No. 10 overall — on the magazine’s list of “Best Colleges for Veterans.” Among public universities, UC Santa Barbara is in a tie for No. 11 on the “Best Ethnic Diversity” ranking, and on the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility, the campus ranked No. 12. Social mobility measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000).

Within the University of California system, only UCLA and UC Berkeley ranked above UC Santa Barbara on U.S. News & World Report’s list of top public schools.

The magazine has released its annual college rankings online at The “Best Colleges 2022” guidebook goes on sale today.

To rank colleges and universities for the Best Colleges 2022 guidebook, U.S. News & World Report assigned institutions to categories developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UC Santa Barbara’s category of national universities includes only institutions that emphasize faculty research and offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s degrees and doctoral programs.

UC Santa Barbara, which this year experienced a highly competitive admissions process, continues to attract the best of the best. Among prospective freshmen and undergraduate transfer students, academic qualifications and diversity remain exceptionally high. For the 2021-22 academic year, the average high school grade-point average of applicants admitted is 4.36. “Students admitted showed tremendous resilience while adapting to different learning environments due to COVID-19,” said Admissions Director Lisa Przekop. “They showed creativity, compassion, adaptability and intellectual vitality. These students are ready to join the UC Santa Barbara community and they will make positive contributions as we learn from our experiences over the past 18 months.”

With 10 national centers and institutes, and more than 100 research units, UC Santa Barbara offers unparalleled learning opportunities for undergraduate students. The world-class faculty includes six Nobel laureates, two Academy and Emmy Award winners, and recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Millennium Technology Prize, National Medal of Technology and Innovation and Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

UC Santa Barbara has performed exceptionally well in other national rankings. The campus placed No. 12 among public universities on the Forbes annual list of America’s Top Colleges, and landed among the top public universities on Washington Monthly’s 2021 National University Rankings.

The rankings in the Best Colleges 2022 guidebook are based on data U.S. News & World Report collects directly from colleges and universities, as well as from other sources. Additional data was obtained from the American Association of University Professors, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Council for Aid to Education and the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The magazine evaluates and analyzes data on various indicators of academic quality and assigns a weight to each factor based on its relative importance. It then tabulates composite scores and ranks institutions against others in the same peer group.

Complete U.S. News & World Report rankings are available at

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