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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default


UVA is widely recognized as one of the top public universities and one of the best values in all of higher education. In 2017, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine ranked the University No. 2 among “Best Values in Public Colleges,” while Princeton Review ranks UVA the third-best value among public universities.

In its 2018 rankings, U.S. News and World Report placed UVA as No. 3 among all public universities. And as it has every year since U.S. News began its rankings in 1988, the University is ranked in the Top 25 among all national universities, public or private.

Overall, UVA was tied at No. 25 with Carnegie-Mellon University among the 310 public, private and nonprofit “national universities” – institutions that offer a range of undergraduate and graduate majors and receive federal money for research support.

In the rankings that were announced in September, 2017 UVA was third among public schools, just behind the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-Los Angeles, which tied for first. The University of Michigan was fourth and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill fifth.

Class at the McIntire Amphitheater
Jane Haley / University Communications

The U.S. News rankings are based on a combination of factors, including graduation and retention rates, assessments of excellence, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduate rate performance (the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates) and alumni giving.


Dan Addison / University Communications

Specific Rankings of Arts and Sciences Doctoral Programs

(Not all schools or programs are rated every year, so the date of the last ranking is posted in parentheses.)

U.S. News & World Report 

In March 2017, U.S. News updated its rankings of several social science and humanities doctoral programs in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences – last ranked in 2013 – with six landing in the top 40:

  • English: tied for No. 6 overall, and tied for No. 5 in American literature before 1865;
  • Psychology: No. 17 overall;
  • Corcoran Department of History: tied for No. 18 overall, and tied for No. 1 in U.S. colonial history;
  • Economics: tied for No. 29 overall;
  • Sociology: tied for No. 32 overall; and
  • Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics: tied for No. 37 overall.

Each school’s overall rankings are based upon a mix of statistical measures and reputational surveys, while rankings of individual programs in specialty areas come solely from reputational surveys, as do the social sciences and humanities rankings, according to U.S. News.

The complete rankings can be viewed through the U.S. News website.

Doctoral Programs - The Sciences

44th - Physics
49th - Chemistry (2014)
50th - Biological Sciences (2014)
52nd - Math (2014)
63rd - Statistics (2014)
64th - Earth Sciences (2014)



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