In a field of 1,400 national colleges and universities analyzed by US News & World Report for its “Best Colleges” issue, UC Irvine came in 44th – the same spot held last year. The results became public today. Among public national universities, UCI’s ranking improved slightly from 13th to 12th. The university also scored 14th in a new category called “Up-and-Coming Schools,” for innovative programs and strategic improvement. In engineering, one of two undergraduate academic programs ranked in this year’s issue, UCI scored 51st.