UC Berkeley tops U.S. News rankings as the best public university

UC Berkeley has once again been recognized as the best public university in the country by U.S. News and World Report, sharing the top spot with UCLA. The prestigious ranking, which was announced on Sunday, September 17, 2023, also placed Berkeley as the 15th best university overall among both public and private institutions.

Berkeley’s excellence in academics and research

The U.S. News ranking is based on 19 measures of academic quality, such as graduation and retention rates, financial resources, first-generation graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, faculty resources and class size. The ranking also considers the outcomes of students who attend each university, such as their social mobility, earnings and debt.

UC Berkeley tops U.S. News rankings as the best public university
UC Berkeley tops U.S. News rankings as the best public university

Berkeley excelled in many of these indicators, reflecting its commitment to providing a world-class education to its diverse and talented student body. Berkeley has the highest four-year graduation rate among public universities, at 77%. It also has the lowest average debt among graduates of public universities, at $15,860. Additionally, Berkeley ranks among the top 10 universities for social mobility, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants.

Berkeley is also renowned for its research excellence and innovation, which attracts some of the brightest minds from around the world. In the past few years, Berkeley faculty members have won three Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics and economics. Berkeley also leads the nation in the number of venture-funded startups founded by its undergraduate alumni, according to PitchBook data. Furthermore, Berkeley offers more than 350 degree programs across 14 colleges and schools, covering a wide range of disciplines and fields.

Berkeley’s impact on society and the world

Berkeley’s achievements are not only academic, but also have a profound impact on society and the world. Berkeley’s mission is to create knowledge that addresses the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, social justice, health equity and democracy. Berkeley’s research and teaching are driven by a public service ethos that seeks to improve the lives of people and communities locally and globally.

Some examples of Berkeley’s impact include:

  • Developing CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene-editing technology that has the potential to cure diseases, enhance crops and fight pandemics.
  • Launching the Othering and Belonging Institute, a multidisciplinary research center that aims to advance inclusion, equity and justice for all people.
  • Establishing the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, a pioneering research center that explores how to ensure that AI systems are aligned with human values and can be beneficial for humanity.
  • Creating the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub, an innovation center that supports startups from Berkeley and beyond that are developing cutting-edge solutions in biotechnology, health care and life sciences.
  • Offering more than 200 study abroad programs in over 40 countries, enabling students to gain global perspectives and intercultural skills.

Berkeley’s vibrant campus life and community

Berkeley is not only a place of academic excellence and social impact, but also a place of vibrant campus life and community. Berkeley students have more than 1,000 groups to get involved in, ranging from cultural organizations to sports clubs to service groups. Berkeley also hosts hundreds of events each year that showcase its rich diversity and creativity, such as Cal Day, Homecoming, Big Give and Arts + Design Showcase.

Berkeley’s campus is also home to many iconic landmarks and attractions that reflect its history and culture. Some of these include:

  • Sather Tower (the Campanile), a 307-foot tall bell tower that offers panoramic views of the Bay Area and plays carillon concerts daily.
  • Doe Library, a majestic building that houses millions of books and manuscripts, as well as rare collections and exhibits.
  • Sproul Plaza, a lively gathering place that hosts rallies, speeches, performances and protests.
  • Hearst Greek Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts, festivals, commencements and other events.
  • Lawrence Hall of Science, a public science center that offers hands-on exhibits, planetarium shows and educational programs.

UC Berkeley is a world-class university that offers an unparalleled education to its students while making a positive difference in society and the world. The U.S. News ranking is a testament to Berkeley’s excellence in academics, research, innovation and impact. As Chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement: “We are proud to be recognized once again as one of the very best universities in the world. This ranking reflects our unwavering commitment to our public mission: to provide access and opportunity to all who seek it; to create knowledge that benefits humankind; and to serve as an engine of social mobility for our students.”

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