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UC Merced Engineering School, Programs Rise in U.S. News Grad Rankings

June 18, 2024
A graphic depicts UC Merced's ranking of 109 among top graduate schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The program climbed 18 spots since last year.

The vision of the School of Engineering at UC Merced is to be a leader in research, education and innovation. Based on U.S. News & World Report's 2024-2025 edition of Best Graduate Schools rankings released today (June 18), the school is doing just that.

The School of Engineering climbed 18 spots from last year to No. 109 for overall best graduate engineering programs in the nation - up 31 positions since debuting 10 years ago in the Best Graduate Schools report.

"I believe the key to the improved rankings of our graduate programs lies in fostering a culture of innovation, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, and investing in top-tier faculty and research facilities," School of Engineering Dean Rakesh Goel said. "Credit for this success goes to the hard work of our faculty, graduate students and staff, who are instrumental in supporting our graduate programs.

"Our goal is to be in the top 100 and we are making steady progress toward it."

Five of the School of Engineering's seven graduate programs made the U.S. News rankings list again this year. Two programs were ranked higher than the previous year: environmental engineering climbed six spots to No. 71 and mechanical engineering rose five spots to No.106.

Biomedical engineering held steady at No. 112 when compared to other graduate programs. Additional UC Merced ranked programs this year include computer engineering at No. 102, electrical engineering at No. 132 (both are part of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Group ) and materials engineering at No. 96.

UC Merced's inclusion in prominent national rankings adds to its growing reputation and global profile. This is represented by the campus's computer science (part of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Program) landing in the top 100 at No. 96 in a new ranking for eleven specialty disciplines based solely on surveys of peer academic leaders - public affairs, public health, social work, audiology, clinical psychology, nursing anesthesia, nursing midwifery, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, speech language pathology and computer science.

"When UC Merced's founding faculty and leadership imagined graduate education 20 years ago before the campus opened to undergraduates, it was an audacious goal to expect to be ranked so early on as one of the best graduate schools in the nation," Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Hrant Hratchian said. "The consistent improvement in the ranking of UC Merced's School of Engineering over the past 10 years stands as a true testament to the high caliber of our faculty and the outstanding graduate students they attract."

Highlights for the School of Engineering faculty include:

  • Computer science and engineering professors Ahmed Sabbir Arif , Kinjal Dasbiswas , Wan Du , Hyeran Jeon and Xiaoyi Lu received CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation - Arif for his work related to speech input on mobile devices; Dasbiswas for his work on the theory and modeling of shape-changing active solids; Du for his research on energy efficient building management; Jeon for her research on energy-efficient, reliable and secure computer architecture and systems design; and Lu for his research into high-performance computing cyberinfrastructure systems.

  • Civil and environmental engineering Professor Colleen Naughton - best known for pioneering a dashboard to host tracking of COVID-19 through testing wastewater - was included in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists' 40 Under 40 Program.

  • Computer science and engineering Professor Shijia Pan was named a Hellman Fellow for her work on ubiquitous computing and Internet of Things.

  • Materials science and engineering Professor Yue "Jessica" Wang earned a prestigious award from the Army Research Office. Previously, she received the NSF CAREER award and the Beckman Young Investigator.

Also ranked this year, Psychology Sciences in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts remained steady at No. 88. The program was ranked as part of Best Social Sciences and Humanities Schools in 2022.

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine graduate programs annually, while other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas are ranked periodically.

See a list of other campus rankings online .