U.S. News & World Report ranks UC Berkeley top public school

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UC Berkeley is still the best public university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual National University rankings released Wednesday.

The rankings, which placed UC Berkeley at a tie with Georgetown University for 21st overall, are based on criteria including financial resources, alumni giving, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity and undergraduate academic reputation, among others.

“We’re always pleased to see surveys that reflect what we know based on the caliber of our faculty, students and staff — that UC Berkeley continues to be the nation’s top public university and among the top few universities in the world, public or private,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email.

Harvard University and Princeton University tied for first, ahead of third-ranked Yale University.

In addition to the overall rankings, several of the campus’ schools and colleges ranked highly. The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business ranked third nationwide for its undergraduate business program, tied with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and behind programs at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT.

“We have a really fine undergraduate business program,” said Ute Frey, associate director of marketing and communications for the Haas School of Business. “We are very happy to be getting the credit it deserves.”

The undergraduate program in the College of Engineering also took third place nationally, tying with the California Institute of Technology and ranking behind MIT and Stanford University.

“We’re obviously very pleased to be third,” said Fiona Doyle, executive associate dean of the College of Engineering. “We would like to be No. 1.”

Doyle added that the methodology used for the rankings often overlooks activities that the college offers for students outside of class, like workshops to help students plan for a semester abroad or find an internship.

Five others UC schools — UCLA, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine — ranked within the top 50 national universities.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings come on the heels of last month’s Washington Monthly ratings, which ranked UC Berkeley fifth among national universities. Washington Monthly uses a combined score of three metrics — research, social mobility, and service — to determine its ratings. The 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities by Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, which uses research output and per capita academic performance among other indicators for its methodology, ranked UC Berkeley fourth in the world.