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 2014-15 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 Public Health
9th Law
14th Education

Academic Rankings of World Universities

The 2014 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 36,000 students at Berkeley, nearly 28% are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in more than 100 disciplines.

The fall 2013 incoming graduate class of 3,191 students was selected from among 37,976 applicants.

Term and Year Applications
Fall 2004 32,950
Fall 2014 40,056
Enrollment (Fall 2013) Doctoral Master’s Total
Overall 5,599 (54%) 4,856 (46%) 10,455
Incoming class 947 (28%) 2,383 (72%) 3,330
Applicant Age
Average 28
Youngest 15
Oldest 74
Women Underrepresented Minorities
45% 14%
Graph of Entering Class
Ethnic Diversity Total
American Indian/Alaskan Native 90
Black/African-American 389
Chicano/Mexican-American 372
Chinese/Chinese-American 739
East Indian/Pakistani 367
Japanese/Japanese-American 115
Korean 161
Latino/Other Spanish-American 338
Other/Unknown 981
Pacific Islander 16
Pilipino/Filipino 123
Thai/Other Asian 226
Vietnamese 121
White/Caucasian 4,064
Total 8,102
U.S. Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
California 1,631 2,467 4,098
New York 289 179 468
Massachusetts 224 76 300
Illinois 161 70 231
Texas 144 85 229
Washington 111 95 206
Pennsylvania 127 37 164
Maryland 113 38 151
New Jersey 101 38 139
Virginia 81 47 128
Michigan 94 28 122
Colorado 83 37 120
Florida 71 49 120
All other states 925 468 1,393
Total 4,155 3,714 7,869
International Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
China 366 225 591
India 103 210 313
Korea 105 53 158
Canada 82 70 152
Taiwan 65 27 92
France 28 50 78
Japan 21 40 61
Chile 31 23 54
Germany 32 22 54
United Kingdom 33 19 52
Brazil 27 23 50
Mexico 20 25 45
Israel 27 17 44
Singapore 22 17 39
Iran 36 3 39
Turkey 28 11 39
Thailand 22 15 37
Australia 17 12 29
Italy 21 6 27
Spain 13 8 21
Greece 12 8 20
Vietnam 9 2 11
77 other countries 188 162 350
Total 1,308 1,048 2,356

Graduate majors (Fall 2014 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 82 1,432 1,514
Chemistry 495.5 30 525.5
Education 259 107 366
Engineering 1,373 426.5 1,799.5
Environmental Design 93.5 287.5 381
Information 21 213 234
Journalism  – 106 106
Law 60 1,063.5 1,123.5
Letters & Science (all divisions) 2,607 65.5 2,672.5
Arts & Humanities 708 15 723
Biological Sciences 461 2 463
Mathematics & Physical Sciences 559.5 24 583.5
Social Sciences 878.5 24.5 903
Natural Resources 402.5 83 485.5
Optometry 36 267 303
Public Health 135 432 567
Public Policy 6.5 166 172.5
Social Welfare 26 177 203
Individualized Major 2 2
TOTAL 5,599 4,856 10,445

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
Doctoral 770* 801* 753 895* 864* 863* 888* 906* 887* 936** 930**
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

* 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) 536 22%
College or university* 1,471 60%
tenure-track faculty 468 32%
postdoctoral appointment 665 45%
non-tenure track faculty 162 11%
other 176 12%
Government 89 4%
Hospital/clinic 28 1%
K-12 school 33 1%
National laboratory 134 5%
Self-employed 19 1%
Other 154 6%
Total 2,464 100%

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

Sources of financial support for graduate students (2013-2014)

Chart of Humanities Funding Chart of Sciences Funding

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’ Intern 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 Fellowships
  • Doctoral Completion Fellowships
  • UC Dissertation Awards
  • Conference Travel Grants
  • Research Travel Vouchers
  • Parent Grants
  • Some privately-sponsored fellowship program