The UCI School of Education is emerging as a leader among schools largely due to the talent and energy of its faculty, staff, students, alumni and critical partnerships, says Dean Frances Contreras, left, with former Dean Richard Arum. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., March 29, 2022 — The University of California, Irvine’s graduate programs in education and chemistry place in the nation’s top 10 among public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual graduate school rankings, published online today. Ten other fields of advanced study are in the top 20 among public universities, 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 graduate disciplines,” 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.”

The newly released rankings highlight the continued rise of UCI’s School of Education to number 10 – it was 15th last year – and fourth among public universities. Its doctoral programs boast an internationally acclaimed research and teaching faculty, a supportive scholarly community and selective cohorts admitted annually. The new placement represents an all-time high for the school, which has reached such milestones for 10 consecutive years.

“We are honored by this recognition, which is a reflection of the strong dedication to rigorous research, teaching and service to the broader Orange County region and entire state,” said Frances Contreras, dean of the School of Education. “The UCI School of Education is emerging as a leader among schools largely due to the talent and energy of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and critical partnerships. This is a pivotal moment and achievement for the School of Education. We are the youngest school in the top 10 and are just getting started on our path to fully realizing our potential to transform academies, inform practice and address inequities.”

Its faculty currently include four members of the National Academy of Education (Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles, Distinguished Professor Greg Duncan, Professor Mark Warschauer, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita Deborah Vandell), two members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, (Distinguished Professor Judith Kroll and Duncan) and one member of the National Academy of Sciences (Duncan).

The Department of Chemistry, in the School of Physical Sciences, is ranked ninth in the nation among public universities and 20th overall, with strengths in its Ph.D. programs in organic (sixth among publics) and inorganic chemistry (seventh among publics).

UCI’s chemistry department has been home to three of the university’s five Nobel laureates: professor F. Sherwood Rowland and postdoctoral scholar Mario Molina, who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry; and David MacMillan, who earned a Ph.D. at UCI and was awarded last year’s chemistry prize. Among its current faculty are three members of the National Academy of Sciences (Professor Emerita Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, Distinguished Professor Shaul Mukamel and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Larry Overman) and four members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Finlayson-Pitts, Mukamel, Overman and Professor Emeritus Benny Gerber).

“The Department of Chemistry has been pioneering groundbreaking research from its inception. Not only are faculty in the department globally renowned in their fields, but they are also highly committed to training the next generation of scientific leaders, and these rankings are a testament to that,” said James Bullock, dean of the UCI School of Physical Sciences. “This tradition of excellence is the hallmark of the UCI School of Physical Sciences, and I couldn’t be prouder of the Department of Chemistry and our other programs.”

Graduate programs at UCI within the top 20 among public universities are:

  • Biology, 12th (32nd overall)
  • Business – fully employed MBA, 14th (25th overall)
  • Computer science, 14th (28th overall)
  • Psychology, 14th (30th overall)
  • Law, 17th (37th overall)
  • Economics, 17th (38th overall)
  • Statistics, 18th (27th overall)
  • Business – full-time MBA, 19th (44th overall)
  • Public health, 19th (31st overall)
  • Math, 20th (37th overall)

Other UCI programs appearing in this year’s rankings include: engineering (21st among public universities; 38th overall), physics (21st and 38th), geology/environmental sciences (22nd and 36th), medicine-research (26th and 51st), nursing-master’s (27th and 42nd) and medicine-primary care (39th and 61st).

U.S. News did not evaluate any arts, humanities, social sciences or social ecology programs this year (other than economics and psychology), as these are ranked in alternate years.

UCI is one of the top doctorate-granting institutions in the U.S., offering more than 120 master’s and Ph.D. programs. It has over 6,000 students engaged in advanced scholarship and research. In 2021, UCI granted 845 master’s degrees and 289 Ph.D.s.

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 five 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 largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at