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 21. UCSB is tied at number 42 with the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Of the "Top 30 Public National Universities," UC occupies five of the top 10 spots, with UC Berkeley and UCLA at numbers 1 and 2, respectively; UC San Diego at number 8; UC Davis at number 9; and UCSB at number 10.
The undergraduate program in UCSB's College of Engineering is ranked number 38 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 38 with Yale University, Iowa State University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Among engineering schools at public universities, only 21 are ranked higher than UCSB's College of Engineering.
The magazine has just released its annual college rankings online at USNews.com. The 2012 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook goes on sale Tuesday, September 20.
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 92 percent of the 1,378 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.