Looking over the shoulder of a student at a professor in an outdoor class at UC Davis
Psychology graduate students meet outside in a recent class taught by Professor Paul Eastwick. UC Davis' psychology graduate program ranks 12th in nation the latest U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

College Programs Rank Among ‘Best Graduate Schools’

UC Davis College of Letters and Science graduate programs in psychology, statistics and earth science rank in the top 20 in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The annual Best Graduate Schools rankings are based on different types of data: survey results relating to academic excellence and statistical indicators that assess the achievements of a program or school’s students and faculty.

UC Davis’ psychology program tied for the 12th spot out of 331 public and private national universities in the 2023 rankings, up from 26th (tie) in 2018, the last time graduate programs in the discipline were ranked. In two new speciality this year, UC Davis ranked 11th for cognitive psychology and ninth for developmental psychology.

Statistics made a similar leap to tie for 13th out of 101 private and public programs nationwide, up from 31st in 2019. Biostatistics rose to 24th (tie), up from 50th over that same period.

U.S. News & World Report ranked earth science as 19th out of 157 private and public programs, up from 24th (tie) in 2019. In new specialities, UC Davis geochemistry took the 25th spot, and earth science – environmental science, 8th.

Other programs ranked this year in the top 50:

  • Economics — International Economics, 16th
  • Economics, 26th 
  • Chemistry, 30th
  • Mathematics, 32nd (tie)
  • Physics, 32nd (tie)
  • Computer science, 43rd

U.S. News ranks some disciplines annually and others periodically. See all of our top-ranked graduate programs

— Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science


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