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 Biological Sciences, Psychology, Statistics, and Mathematics
3rd Engineering and Earth Sciences
5th Physics and Economics
6th Political Science and Public Affairs
7th Business and Social Welfare
8th Public Health
9th Law
12th Education

Academic Rankings of World Universities

The 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities, compiled by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, rates UC Berkeley number three in the world (after Harvard and Stanford). 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 1986-2011)

University Total
University of California, Berkeley 105
University of California, Los Angeles 71
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 73
Harvard University 54
University of Texas, Austin 46
Yale University 41
Stanford University 40

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 2003 35,115
Fall 2013 37,976
Enrollment (Fall 2013) Doctoral Master’s Total
Overall 5,745 (56%) 4,508 (44%) 10,253
Incoming class 998 2,193 3,191
Applicant Age
Average 28
Youngest 17
Oldest 73
Women Underrepresented Minorities
45% 15%
Graph of Entering Class
Ethnic Diversity Total
American Indian/Alaskan Native 104
Black/African-American 383
Chicano/Mexican-American 381
Chinese/Chinese-American 731
East Indian/Pakistani 347
Japanese/Japanese-American 117
Korean 155
Latino/Other Spanish-American 336
Other/Unknown 1,123
Pacific Islander 13
Pilipino/Filipino 121
Thai/Other Asian 196
Vietnamese 105
White/Caucasian 3,968
Total 8,080
U.S. Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
California 1,746 2,372 4,118
New York 290 159 449
Massachusetts 209 70 279
Texas 155 81 236
Washington 118 102 220
Illinois 157 65 222
Pennsylvania 135 30 165
Maryland 110 36 146
New Jersey 110 29 139
Colorado 89 43 132
Michigan 99 23 122
Virginia 78 42 120
Oregon 77 34 111
All other states 960 441 1,401
Total 4,333 3,527 7,860
International Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
China 325 159 484
India 112 190 302
Korea 111 45 156
Canada 84 49 133
Taiwan 75 33 108
France 33 41 74
Brazil 27 27 54
Mexico 19 30 49
Chile 29 19 48
Japan 20 26 46
Singapore 26 19 45
Germany 31 14 45
Israel 25 19 44
United Kingdom 23 19 42
Thailand 26 12 38
Iran 32 4 36
Italy 25 10 35
Turkey 25 7 32
Spain 15 10 25
Australia 13 13 26
Greece 11 5 16
Vietnam 10 1 11
77 other countries 173 151 324
Total 1,270 903 2,173

Graduate majors (Fall 2013 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 1,370.5 1,447.5
Chemistry 516 20 536
Education 251.5 104 355.5
Engineering 1,425 379 1,804
Environmental Design 97.5 286.5 384
Information 19 111 130
Journalism  – 90 90
Law 54.5 1,025 1,079.5
Letters & Science (all divisions) 2,676 87 2,763
Arts & Humanities 731 15 746
Biological Sciences 474 - 474
Mathematics & Physical Sciences 557.5 40 597.5
Social Sciences 913.5 32 945.5
Natural Resources 402.5 63 465.5
Optometry 38.5 264 302.5
Public Health 148.5 372.5 521
Public Policy 8 158.5 166.5
Social Welfare 30 177 207
Individualized Major 1 1
TOTAL 5,745 4,508 10,253

Degrees Granted

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

* 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 Washington
  • 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 2008-09 to 2011-12 (based on a survey conducted 12-18 months after graduation).

Industry Count Percent
Business (for profit) 538 22%
College or university* 1,469 60%
tenure-track faculty 467 32%
postdoctoral appointment 665 45%
non-tenure track faculty 161 11%
other 176 12%
Government 89 3%
Hospital/clinic 28 1%
K-12 school 33 1%
National laboratory 134 5%
Self-employed 19 1%
Other 153 7%
Total 2,463 100%

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

Sources of financial support for graduate students (2012-2013)

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