U.S. News Best Graduate School rankings for 2023–24 name UMBC programs among best in the nation

Published: Apr 25, 2023

Several students sitting around an open lap top
UMBC students in 2022. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

U.S. News announced its 2023-24 Best Graduate School rankings today, highlighting UMBC graduate programs in a broad range of fields, from public policy and several types of engineering to mathematics and other sciences. Among UMBC’s Best Graduate School rankings are 12 programs across all three of UMBC’s colleges, including eight top-100 programs.

Programs were ranked using criteria such as peer quality assessments, research activity, employer assessments, doctoral degrees awarded, student to faculty ratios, and acceptance rates, with methodology varying across discipline. 

Engineering excellence across subfields

UMBC’s engineering graduate programs continue to be cited among the top 100 in their subfields, with multiple programs moving up in rank. This year, UMBC environmental engineering moved up eight spots to #47 nationwide, chemical engineering moved up five spots to #72, and mechanical engineering moved up to #97. UMBC’s computer science graduate programs ranked #77 and computer engineering came in at #85. Electrical engineering jumped several spots to rank #100. Overall, UMBC engineering programs ranked #104.

Person works on electronics in a lab, wearing a white coat, face covering, and bright orange gloves.
Engineering student conducting research in the lab of Deepa Madan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and recent NSF CAREER Award recipient. (Marlayna Demond ’11/UMBC)

Keith J Bowman, dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, shares, “We have experienced incredible synergy between the hiring of outstanding new full- and part-time faculty, growth in research, and the creation of innovative new graduate programs. Together, they have resulted in substantial growth of applications for our graduate programs.”

Growth in social, natural, and mathematical sciences

UMBC’s public policy graduate programs ranked #85 in the public affairs category. The university has offered robust graduate programs in policy sciences for more than four decades and formally established the School of Public Policy in 2014 within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). 

Reflecting on what it takes to achieve this kind of position, CAHSS Dean Kimberly R. Moffitt has previously shared, “I am most appreciative of the tremendous efforts of the faculty, staff, and students that are reflected in these rankings and are worthy of such recognition.”

UMBC’s physics graduate programs remain within the top-100 rankings, coming in at #95. Additionally, chemistry moved up to #108, mathematics was ranked at #117, and Earth sciences (with applicable programs and faculty in multiple colleges) were also recognized.

CNMS dean William R. LaCourse teaching in spring 2022. (Marlayna Demond ’11/UMBC)

William R. LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS), notes that this recognition reflects how CNMS faculty, staff, and students are “committed to world-class research, mentoring, and inclusive excellence.” He says, “their long-standing efforts provide the foundation for UMBC’s growing reputation as a model for a new type of public university: one where a deep commitment to student education and success actively enhances research outcomes across the disciplines.” 

Reputation for excellence and support

UMBC’s distinctive reputation as a top research university committed to student success is expanding, says Janet Rutledge, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at UMBC. She notes that one impact has been rising grad student interest and enrollment. 

“Our graduate students are a critical part of the thriving research and education community at UMBC,” Rutledge says. “Word of their experiences and contributions has spread and led to a record number of applications and record enrollment in our graduate programs.”

Beyond programs recognized today, additional UMBC graduate programs maintain rankings from prior U.S. News listings, including in the categories of statistics (#54), fine arts (#89), clinical psychology (#80), biological sciences (#118), and psychology overall (#122).

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