The physics program was ranked number 10 overall and higher for two of its specialties, condensed matter (ranked 4th) and elementary particles/fields/string theory (ranked 7th).
The College of Engineering was ranked 19th overall and in the top 10 for its specialties in chemical engineering (ranked 9th) and materials (ranked 5th).
Based on a weighted average of various measures, some specific to the particular program, the U.S. News rankings generally include a quality assessment by peers and measures of faculty quality and resources, student selectivity, research activity, and several other factors.
Other UCSB programs that achieved national rankings from U.S. News were the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, ranked 58th, and the Ph.D program in computer science, ranked 37th. While U.S. News ranks Ph.D. programs in various disciplines in the arts and sciences, it does not compile new rankings in all fields every year (as it does with core graduate and professional schools). This year the only new Ph.D. rankings were in computer science, mathematics, and physics.
Highlights of the graduate school rankings are included in the April 9 issue of U.S. News & World Report and in the 2009 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," published this month, as well as on the magazine's Web site, http://www.usnews.com.
UC Santa Barbara and its graduate program in global and international studies are given special attention in the 2009 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," which devotes one of its essays to how graduate programs in many disciplines are adding a global dimension. It notes how, at UCSB, "graduate programs are increasingly offering majors or minors in global studies." UCSB's Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, David Marshall, and its Dean of Social Sciences, Melvin Oliver, are both quoted in the article, as is Mark Juergensmeyer, director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.