UCI is one of 62 universities in the U.S. and Canada elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
The New York Times named UCI No. 1 among U.S. universities that do the most for low-income students in its College Access Index list. A measure of economic diversity, the index is based on three factors: the share of students receiving Pell Grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000 a year); the graduation rate of those students; and the net cost, after financial aid, that a college charges low- and middle-income students.
UCI is ranked ninth among the nation's best public universities and 39th among all national public and private universities, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" ranking of undergraduate programs at leading universities. UCI also ranks 31st in best value. Among specific undergraduate programs, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering ranked 48th among engineering schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. UCI's undergraduate major in The Paul Merage School of Business was ranked 34th.
Money magazine ranked UCI 16th among the nation's four-year colleges and universities delivering the most value and the No. 1 university for beach lovers. The publication also ranked UCI the 7th best public university in the nation.
Kiplinger Personal Finance ranked UCI 29th among the "Best Values in Public Colleges," published December 2015, listing the top public universities in the country for affordability and quality of education.
UCI ranks among the top 10 U.S. universities – public and private – in the number of undergraduate applications and, for fall 2015, the campus admitted among the most academically competitive freshman classes in its history.
The campus was ranked 10th by Forbes on its Best Value Colleges list in 2016 based on its tuition costs, school quality, graduation success rates and post-grad earnings.
UCI has been identified as having one of the top graduate schools in the U.S. GradSchoolHub.com ranked UCI 19th on its 2016 “Best Graduate Schools in America” list based on class size, faculty prestige and specific program rankings.
UCI placed first in Sierra Magazine's 2015 "Coolest Schools" report as part of the environmental magazine's annual sustainability ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. The magazine is the official publication of the Sierra Club, one of the nation's largest and most influential environmental organizations. This marked the sixth year in a row that UCI ranked in the top 10 and the second consecutive year UCI was named No. 1.
The Center for World University Rankings places UCI 52nd in the U.S. and 88th in the world in its 2016 ranking of the top 100 degree-granting institutions of higher education. The Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Center for World-Class Universities ranks UCI 33rd in the U.S. and 50th in the world.
Using data collected in 2006, the National Research Council ranked a number of UCI doctoral programs among the top in the country. The School of Physical Sciences was an area of particular strength, with all four programs – chemistry, Earth system science, mathematics and physics & astronomy – rated in the top quartile nationally. Other outstanding areas include neuroscience (anatomy & neurobiology and neurobiology & behavior), anthropology, civil engineering and ecology & evolutionary biology.
A study by University of St. Thomas School of Law measured the impact of law faculties based on citations in scholarly journals and ranked UCI School of Law faculty sixth in the nation. The school ranked in the top 10 with law schools at Yale University, Harvard University, University of Chicago and Stanford University.
In a 2009 report by the American Chemical Society's Committee on Professional Training, UCI ranked seventh among U.S. universities with the highest numbers of chemistry degrees conferred at all three levels (bachelor's, master's and doctorate).
The Paul Merage School of Business MBA programs consistently rank among the best in the world, including No. 1 for employing the highest percentage of female faculty, by Financial Times.
U.S. News & World Report ranks schools and programs periodically. Following are the most current rankings for UCI graduate programs and specialties that have been named among the nation's top 50: literary criticism & theory (3), criminology (5), organic chemistry (12), English (22), chemistry (24), sociology (25), biomedical engineering (26), civil engineering (26), aerospace engineering (28), computer science (29), physics (29), law (30), psychology (30), education (31), environmental engineering (31), biological sciences (34), Earth system science (34), history (36), business – part-time (37), engineering (37), computer engineering (38), materials science engineering (39), political science (40), mathematics (41), electrical engineering (41), mechanical engineering (43), medicine – research (45), and economics (46).
The 2014-15 Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked the graduate program in philosophy 24th in the U.S., with five specialty areas ranked in the top 10: philosophy of physics (2); philosophy of mathematics (4); general philosophy of science (6); decision, rational choice and game theory (7); and philosophy of social science (8).
U.S. News also ranked UCI's online program for a Master of Advanced Study in criminology, law & society the top online graduate criminal justice program in the country.
The 2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranked five UCI research fields in the top five among large research universities. Computer & information science ranked first; information science/studies fourth; and geology/Earth science, mathematics, and urban & regional planning fifth. Produced by Academic Analytics, the index rates journal articles and books published by each program's faculty, as well as journal citations, awards, honors and grants.
UCI graduates rank 17th nationally in salary earnings among U.S. public universities, according to PayScale's 2015-16 College Salary Report.
UCI ranked 30th in AffordableSchools.net's top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Schools in America, a list of universities that provide a supportive environment to spawn new businesses.
SmartAsset named UCI No. 9 in California in its 2016 Best Value Colleges study. UCI was recognized for high performance in scholarships, tuition, living costs, retention rate and average starting salaries of graduates.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks UCI seventh in the nation for awarding bachelor's degrees to minority students in the 2013-14 school year. The rankings are based on data submitted by institutions of higher education to the U.S. Department of Education.