Rankings and other measures of excellence

National Research Council

The National Research Council (NRC) has found that Berkeley continues to be one of the nation’s most preeminent universities for doctoral studies. In the latest study, Berkeley had the highest number of top-ranked doctoral programs in the nation, based on a regression analysis involving 20 criteria from more than 5,000 programs at 212 institutions.

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top ten

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 48 of 52
2 Harvard 47 of 52
3 Stanford 40 of 47

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top five

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 43
2 Harvard 40
3 Stanford 30

Number of programs assigned an upper range of first place

Rank University Number of Programs
1 Harvard 19
2 University of California, Berkeley 16
3 Stanford 11

U.S. News and World Report

Berkeley’s placement in the latest USNWR graduate school rankings.

Place Subjects
1st Chemistry, Computer Science, English, History, Public Policy, and Sociology
2nd Psychology, Statistics, and Physics
3rd Engineering, Earth Sciences, and Math
4th Biological Sciences
5th Economics
6th Political Science and Public Affairs
7th Business and Social Welfare
8th Law
9th Public Health

Academic Rankings of World Universities

The 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, compiled by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, rates UC Berkeley number four in the world (after Harvard, Stanford, and MIT). Berkeley was the top-ranked public university. The ranking compared 500 higher education institutions worldwide, public and private.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (cumulative 2004-2013)

Rank University Total
1 University of California, Berkeley 1,298
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1,133
3 Stanford University 1,052
4 Harvard University 751
5 University of Michigan 510
6 University of Washington 410
7 Cornell University 361
8 Princeton University 301
9 Georgia Institute of Technology 271
10 California Institute of Technology 265

Counts represent the number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award offers to students who indicated each institution as their first choice for graduate school during the period 2004-2013, from the total 13,587 awards made during the 10-year period. The metric shows the choices of the nation’s top science and engineering graduate students, reflecting which institutions they believe offer them the best graduate research opportunities.

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships (cumulative 1986-2014)

University Total
University of California, Berkeley 127
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 83
University of California, Los Angeles 76
Harvard University 62
University of Texas, Austin 50
Stanford University 48
Yale University 47

Graduate Alumni Accomplishments

Awards Total
Nobel Prize winners 20
MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipients 39
National Medal of Science recipients 30

Graduate Alumni Satisfaction

Berkeley doctoral alumni, surveyed 5 to 45 years after graduation, report very high level of satisfaction with their graduate education and the value of their Ph.D.s:

  • 90% overall (and 85% of those who pursued non-academic careers) say they were well prepared for their careers by Berkeley
  • 95% overall (and 93% of those who pursued non-academic careers) would pursue a doctoral degree again
  • 86% would select the same field of study
  • 95% would choose graduate study at Berkeley if they could start again

The Berkeley Graduate Profile is produced by the Institutional Research and External Relations units in the Graduate Division (grad.berkeley.edu).

Additional Resources:

Graduate Student Enrollment

Among the 38,204 students at Berkeley, nearly 28% are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in more than 100 disciplines.

The fall 2015 incoming graduate class of 3,466 students was selected from among 39,440 applicants.

Term and Year Applications
Fall 2005 31,400
Fall 2015 39,440
Enrollment (Fall 2015) Doctoral Master’s Total
Overall 5,503 (51%) 5,205 (49%) 10,708
Incoming class 914 (26%) 2,552 (74%) 3,466
Applicant Age
Average 28
Youngest 16
Oldest 75
Women Underrepresented Minorities
47% 15%
Graph of Entering Class 2015
Ethnic Diversity Total
American Indian/Alaskan Native 110
Black/African-American 379
Chicano/Mexican-American 377
Chinese/Chinese-American 743
East Indian/Pakistani 344
Japanese/Japanese-American 118
Korean 157
Latino/Other Spanish-American 336
Other/Unknown 1,030
Pacific Islander 16
Pilipino/Filipino 128
Thai/Other Asian 229
Vietnamese 114
White/Caucasian 4,071
Total 8,152
U.S. Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
California 1,543 2,540 4,083
New York 291 182 473
Massachusetts 235 79 314
Texas 139 93 232
Illinois 156 72 228
Washington 115 98 213
Pennsylvania 119 33 152
Maryland 115 36 151
New Jersey 89 60 149
Florida 75 53 128
Virginia 77 49 126
Michigan 96 28 124
Colorado 67 40 107
All other states 922 482 1,404
Total 4,039 3,845 7,884
International Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
China 368 281 649
India 107 245 352
Canada 82 89 171
Korea 100 47 147
Taiwan 59 39 98
France 31 57 88
Chile 34 33 67
United Kingdom 36 22 58
Japan 21 35 56
Mexico 22 34 56
Germany 35 19 54
Brazil 27 26 53
Iran 41 4 45
Singapore 28 15 43
Turkey 28 13 41
Australia 17 15 32
Israel 24 8 32
Thailand 20 10 30
Italy 18 7 25
Spain 14 11 25
Greece 12 9 21
Vietnam 10 3 13
77 other countries 185 210 395
Total 1,319 1,232 2,551

Graduate majors (Fall 2015 Enrollment)

Berkeley offers 101 graduate majors (master’s and doctoral), 93 of which grant doctoral degrees.

School/College Doctoral Master’s/
First Professional
Total
Business Administration 77 1,436.5 1,513.5
Chemistry 493 36 529
Education 239.5 108 347.5
Engineering 1,337 492.5 1,829.5
Environmental Design 84.5 299 383.5
Information 22 309 331
Journalism  – 118 118
Law 67.5 1,129 1,196.5
Letters & Science (all divisions) 2,582.5 87.5 2,670
Arts & Humanities 680 13 693
Biological Sciences 488.5 2 490.5
Mathematics & Physical Sciences 576 43 619
Social Sciences 838 29.5 867.5
Natural Resources 389.5 80.5 470
Optometry 38 267 305
Public Health 138.5 479 617.5
Public Policy 10 174.5 184.5
Social Welfare 22 188.5 210.5
Individualized Major 2 2
TOTAL 5,503 5,205 10,708

Degrees Granted

Degree Date 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Doctoral 770* 801* 753 895* 864* 863* 888* 906* 887* 936* 930* 824**
Master’s/Professional 2,295 2,390 2,337 2,351 2,406 2,385 2,397 2,481 2,506 2,552 2,045 2,664

* The most doctoral degrees awarded in the nation.
** National data not yet available.

Career Outcomes

Top 5 academic institutions that hire Berkeley Ph.D.s

  • University of California System
  • Stanford
  • University of Michigan
  • MIT
  • Harvard

Long-term employment trends

(Based on a survey of Ph.D. recipients who graduated between 1968 and 2008)

  • 57% of Berkeley doctoral alumni (and 78% arts and humanities Ph.D.s) work in 4-year academic institutions compared to 41.4% nation-wide
  • 23% work in the private for-proft sector
  • 13% work in the non-profit sector or for the state, local or national government
  • 7% are self-employed or have other employment

Career placement of doctoral degree recipients

First positions of students who graduated between 2009-010 to 2012-13 (based on a survey conducted 12-18 months after graduation).

Industry Count Percent
Business (for profit) 628 25.2%
College or university* 1,426 57.4%
Government 85 3.4%
Hospital/clinic 22 .8%
K-12 school 32 1.2%
National laboratory 115 4.6%
Self-employed 23 .9%
Other/unknown 153 6.1%
Total 2,484 100%

*First positions taken by Berkeley Ph.D.s who went into academia


Doctoral Alumni Placements by Program

Sources of financial support for graduate students (2014-2015)

Chart of Humanities Funding 2015 Chart of Sciences Funding 2015

An array of funding programs

Campuswide multi-year fellowships:

Berkeley offers several prestigious multi-year awards for the most highly qualified entering doctoral students, including:

  • Berkeley Graduate Fellowships (all fields)
  • Chancellor’s Fellowships and Cota Robles Fellowships (all fields; for applicants who will enhance the diversity of the graduate student population at Berkeley)
  • Mellon Graduate Student Excellence Fellowships (humanities and history)
  • Regents’ Fellowships (humanities and social sciences)
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowships (science and engineering)
Humanities/Social Sciences multi-year packages include:
  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 2 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary
  • 1 year of Doctoral Completion Fellowship from Graduate Division, including full fees plus stipend (contingent on timely progress to degree)

Sciences/Engineering multi-year packages include:

  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 3 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary

These awards are offered to doctoral students of outstanding achievement and potential through a highly competitive selection process conducted by a campuswide faculty committee.

Other sources of graduate student support for entering and continuing students:

Departmental support packages:

  • First-year departmental fellowship (from Graduate Division’s block grant funds or private endowments)
  • Remaining years covered through a combination of departmental fellowships, GSI (teaching) and GSR (research) appointments

Continuing students may also apply for fellowship support from the Graduate Division, including:

  • Mentored Research Awards
  • Summer Grants
  • Doctoral Completion Fellowships
  • UC Dissertation Awards
  • Conference Travel Grants
  • Research Travel Vouchers
  • Parent Grants
  • Some privately-sponsored fellowship programs