UC San Diego Ranked #2 Nationwide for Serving the Public Interest

Aug 28, 2017

The magazine Washington Monthly has named the University of California San Diego the second ranked public university in the U.S. for promoting upward social mobility, producing groundbreaking research and serving the nation’s public interest. The national magazine’s annual rankings recognize what universities are doing for the public good and have consistently rated UC San Diego among the country’s best colleges for over a decade.

Nearly 20,000 UC San Diego students complete more than three
million hours of community service every year, just one barometer in
the university's #2 position in the Washington Monthly annual rankings..

“From our research in climate science and the human microbiome," said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, referring to the pioneering microbiome research led by CSE and Pediatrics Prof. Rob Knight, "to our commitment to public service and social mobility, UC San Diego’s academics center on tackling the pressing challenges of our time to benefit humankind.”

The Washington Monthly rankings methodology measures how well universities produce research, train the next generation of scientists and PhDs, and instill in their graduates an ethos of public service. The magazine editors noted, “UC San Diego, our second-ranked public university, is a research powerhouse where over one-third of students come from first-generation and low-income families. Very few institutions manage the combination of academic excellence and economic opportunity so well.”

The publication also rates colleges that are doing the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. UC San Diego was listed as 24th in the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the West category.




UC San Diego performed very well in the rankings for preparing undergraduates for graduate school as well as discovering new technologies and creating ideas. The campus recently set a record $1.16 billion in sponsored research funding for the FY2017 (July1 -June 30), a 3 percent increase from the previous year.


Social mobility  


Washington Monthly praised UC San Diego for its socioeconomic diverse student body, and recruiting and graduating low-income students. About 60 percent of students on campus receive some form of financial aid. Also, one-third of students are the first in their family to attend college or come from a low-income household. A recent study reported by the New York Times named the university as one of the best colleges in the country for providing upward social mobility to diverse students across California and the country. Among highly selective public universities, UC San Diego has the highest population of low-income students; and, with a degree from the campus, these students have a high probability of thriving in the middle class and beyond.




As part of its academic mission, UC San Diego encourages students to give back to their country. The school prepares students to succeed in today’s world with interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial and solutions-oriented skill sets. These efforts were recently recognized with an official Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Only 40 universities around the world have earned the Changemaker distinction and UC San Diego is the first University of California campus to receive this designation.


On average, nearly 20,000 UC San Diego students complete more than 3 million hours of community service every year.


For more information about the Washington Monthly rankings, click here.