Associate Professor Keramet Reiter sitting at a desk talking to someone.
UCI’s doctoral program in criminology, law & society placed second in the nation overall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual graduate school rankings. Among the department’s distinguished faculty is Associate Professor Keramet Reiter. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., March 30, 2021 — The University of California, Irvine’s Ph.D. program in criminology, law & society placed second in the nation overall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual graduate school rankings – published online today – with 10 other fields of advanced study in the top 10 among public universities. Overall, 31 programs landed in the top 25 among publics, marking UCI as one of the leading locations in the country for students to pursue graduate degrees.

“UCI has established itself as a world-class public research university in a wide range of fields,” said Gillian Hayes, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate Division. “These rankings confirm that our campus offers challenging and intellectually rich opportunities for students of all backgrounds to achieve academic and professional excellence.”

Students in UCI’s interdisciplinary criminology program study and conduct research under renowned faculty who probe the causes and consequences of crime, its impact on society and its interplay with the law. Additionally, in January, UCI’s Master of Advanced Studies in criminology, law & society was named the nation’s best online criminal justice master’s program by U.S. News & World Report for the second year in a row.

The newly released rankings also highlight the continued rise of UCI’s School of Education, which improved from 20th overall last year to 15th – and seventh among public universities. It offers a world-class doctoral program featuring the benefits of an internationally acclaimed research and teaching faculty, a supportive scholarly community and selective cohorts admitted annually. As of June 2020, School of Education faculty served as principal investigators on grants exceeding a combined total of $96 million. This represented an all-time high for the school, the ninth consecutive year in which it established such a milestone.

Broad-based excellence in graduate study

Top 10 graduate programs at UCI include:

  • Criminology, second among publics and second overall
  • Literary criticism & theory, second among publics and seventh overall
  • Education, seventh among publics and 15th overall
  • English, eighth among publics and 20th overall
  • Sociology, ninth among publics and 20th overall

Top 10 School of Law specialty programs are:

  • Clinical training, second among publics and sixth overall
  • Tax law, third among publics and sixth overall
  • Legal writing, fifth among publics and ninth overall
  • Intellectual property law, seventh among publics and 19th overall
  • Constitutional law, eighth among publics and 20th overall
  • International law, eighth among publics and 22nd overall

Other top 25 UCI schools and programs include: part-time MBA (12th among publics and 26th overall), law (15th and 35th), history (15th and 30th), economics (20th and 40th), medicine – research (20th and 48th), political science (21st and 41st), engineering (22nd and 38th) and public health (22nd and 41st).

Other law specialty programs in the top 25 are: dispute resolution (11th among publics and 24th overall), criminal law (11th and 27th), contracts/commercial law (16th and 34th), healthcare law (16th and 37th), environmental law (17th and 32nd) and business/corporate law (19th and 44th).

Other engineering specialty programs in the top 25 are: aerospace engineering (17th among publics and 25th overall), biomedical engineering (12th and 29th), environmental engineering (19th and 28th), computer engineering (20th and 33rd), materials engineering (20th and 35th), civil engineering (23rd and 34th) and mechanical engineering (23rd and 41st).

U.S. News did not evaluate any arts or sciences programs this year, as these are ranked in alternate years.

UCI is one of the top doctorate-granting institutions in the U.S. and has nearly 3,000 students engaged in advanced scholarship and world-class research.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit

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