Private institutions usually dominate the "Best National Universities" list, with Harvard, Princeton, and Yale again taking the top three spots. The highest-ranked public institution is UC Berkeley, at number 22. UCSB is tied at number 39 with UC Davis. In the "Top 50 Public National Universities" list, UCSB is also tied with UC Davis, at number 9.
UCSB's rank among public universities is two places higher than last year, and its rank on the list of all national universities is three places higher.
The undergraduate program in UCSB's College of Engineering is ranked number 36 on the U.S. News & World Report list of "Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate." The UCSB College of Engineering is tied at number 36 with Lehigh University, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University. Among engineering schools at public universities, only 20 are ranked higher than UCSB's College of Engineering.
In addition, UCSB is ranked number 47 in a new category, "The High School Counselors' Picks." For the first time, public school counselor ratings count as part of the academic reputation measure for national universities. UCSB is tied in this category with American University, Fordham University, Indiana/Purdue University, Northeastern University, Penn State University, Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, Tulane University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The magazine has just released its annual college rankings online at USNews.com. Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the September 2010 issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands Tuesday, August 31. The 2010 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook goes on sale Tuesday, August 24.
To rank colleges and universities, U.S. News & World Report assigns institutions to categories developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UCSB's category, national universities, includes only institutions that emphasize faculty research and offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's degree and Ph.D. programs.
U.S. News collects data directly from colleges and universities as well as from other sources. This year, the magazine reported that around 90 percent of the 1,472 colleges and universities it surveyed responded to its request for statistical information. The magazine evaluates and analyzes data on various indicators of academic quality and assigns a weight to each factor based on its relative importance. It then tabulates composite scores and ranks institutions against others in the same peer group.
The methodology for these rankings underwent a few revisions this year. In addition to including the survey of high school guidance counselors for the first time, this year's overall weighting of the peer assessment component decreased from 25 percent to 22.5 percent. The "graduation rate performance" indicator, meanwhile, increased in importance, with a weight of 7.5 percent, up from 5 percent in previous years.