September 29, 2010
The UC Berkeley – UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering ranked near the very top of the nation’s doctoral programs in Bioengineering, according to a detailed survey by the National Research Council.
The survey did not assign a single rank to any program, but rather placed programs within a range, such as between second and sixth place in their discipline. The UC Berkeley – UCSF joint program ranked between 2nd and 8th overall among national bioengineering programs, placing us well into the top ten!
“We are pleased to get this recognition, but the rankings that mean the most to us are made by the graduate students who choose to come here,” said Professor Tejal Desai, Chair of the Bioengineering Graduate Group. “Our students hail from all over the world and conduct daring and path-finding work in their areas. These are not just students, but active scientists who are integral to the work we do.”
The first detailed NRC survey conducted since 1995, this study collected and analyzed data about more than 5,000 programs in 62 fields at 212 universities with research-based programs. The NRC conducts studies for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Its periodic, comprehensive assessments and rankings of American doctoral programs are highly respected among academic institutions.
“These rankings reflect the results of the increasing investments that Berkeley and UCSF have been making in Bioengineering over the last decade,” said Berkeley Bioengineering Chair Matthew Tirrell, “and the powerful cooperation between a highly ranked engineering school and a leading medical research campus.”
More Details on the Data
The methodology was quite complex and produced several different rankings. The two overall rankings were based on Survey data, in which program heads were surveyed on what factors are most important and departments were ranked based on those measures, and Regression data, in which program heads were surveyed on which departments they felt were the best programs, those results were statistically analyzed and weighted, and a ranking assigned. Berkeley/UCSF did extremely well by both measures, with a 90% confidence range of being between #2 and #8 by Regression, and a 90% confidence range of being between #1 and #6 by Survey.
These results mesh very well with our understanding of our own strengths as an outstanding program that has not yet achieved high name-recognition nationwide.
By sorting the Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering schools by the first number of their ranking range, UC Berkeley – UCSF comes out ranked THIRD for both Regression and Survey Methods.
Our Two Home Universities
Berkeley and UC San Francisco both did extremely well overall in the NRC rankings. Berkeley, with 48 of 52 ranked Ph.D. programs placed within a range that included the top 10, continues to have the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country. Fourteen UC Berkeley programs were assigned an upper range of first place, compared with 20 at Harvard, 11 at Stanford, and 10 each at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
At UCSF, 10 of the 12 UCSF programs considered fell within a range that included the top six programs in their fields, including our joint bioengineering program. As a medical school, UCSF had fewer programs analyzed by the NRC but consistently ranks among the top medical programs in country.
As a dual-campus and highly interdisciplinary program, Bioengineering builds on the outstanding strengths of both UCSF and Berkeley in their many disciplines to provide truly world-class education and research in the field.
Congratulations to us all!