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Six Graduate Programs Recognized by U.S. News Rankings

March 17, 2020
Electrical Engineering, within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Group at UC Merced, was ranked No. 129 by U.S. News, up 32 places from No. 161 last year.
Electrical Engineering, within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Group at UC Merced, was ranked No. 129 by U.S. News, up 32 places from No. 161 last year.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked six of UC Merced’s engineering graduate programs in its 2021 Best Graduate Schools rankings released today, a sign that the university’s reputation is continuing to build.

“We’re particularly proud of this accomplishment given our campus is only 15 years old,” Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie Zatz said. “This is a reflection of the hard work of our students, faculty and staff, and it’s a testament to the outstanding quality of research and graduate training at UC Merced and our university’s rising trajectory.”

This year, U.S. News evaluated graduate programs across six major disciplines: business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, and specialties within them. The rankings are based on experts’ opinions about program excellence and on statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

UC Merced’s School of Engineering is ranked No. 129, rising five places from No. 134 last year.

Two disciplines within the School of Engineering held steady with last year’s ranking, while three rose in the new rankings.

“We are pleased to see many of our emerging graduate programs are being recognized regularly as some of the best in the nation,” School of Engineering Dean Mark Matsumoto said. “We will continue our efforts to improve graduate education and opportunities in the School of Engineering.”

Electrical Engineering, which falls within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Group at UC Merced, made the largest upsurge to No. 129 from No. 161 last year. This is great advancement for the group, given its first Ph.D. was granted only 10 years ago.

Five other engineering programs appear in the 2021 rankings: Bioengineering, No.117; Computer Engineering (part of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Group), No. 106; Environmental Engineering (part of the Environmental Sciences Graduate Group, which includes engineering and natural sciences faculty members), No. 84; Materials Engineering (part of the Materials and Biomaterials Science and Engineering Graduate Group), No. 98; and Mechanical Engineering, No. 117.

We are pleased to see many of our emerging graduate programs are being recognized regularly as some of the best in the nation.

School of Engineering Dean Mark Matsumoto

Engineering Professor Sarah Kurtz recently become the first UC Merced faculty member to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), in recognition of her contributions to the development of gallium indium phosphide/gallium arsenide photovoltaic cells and for her leadership in solar-cell reliability and quality. Kurtz serves as chair for the Materials and Biomaterials Graduate Group and is a member of the Environmental Systems Graduate Group.

“We hope this recognition will lead to greater appreciation by our peers regarding the excellence of our faculty, not only in engineering but across the UC Merced campus,” Zatz said.

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 only ranked periodically. UC Merced’s previously ranked programs ranked include Psychology (No. 90), Chemistry (No. 122), Mathematics (No. 144), Physics (No. 146) and Biology (No. 175).

UC Merced’s achievements in graduate education come just a few months after the university was recognized by U.S. News for ranking No. 1 in the nation for student outcomes, including No. 1 in outperforming expected graduation rates, No. 7 overall for social mobility, No. 1 in the nation for the percentage of students receiving need-based aid, and No. 13 among public universities for best undergraduate teaching.

For a complete list of rankings, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools.