U.S. News names UMBC graduate programs among the nation’s best 

Published: Mar 29, 2022

U.S. News announced its 2023 Best Graduate School rankings today, including outstanding UMBC graduate programs across all three colleges. Top fields where UMBC excels range from computer science and several types of engineering to psychology and statistics. Among UMBC’s 14 Best Graduate School rankings for 2023 are seven top-100 programs.

This recognition honors UMBC faculty, staff, and students’ combined commitment to excellence, says President Freeman Hrabowski. “These rankings reflect the energy and creativity of our colleagues and students,” he shares. “We’re very proud of everyone involved.”

To develop the rankings, U.S. News combined quantitative data and expert opinions on the reputations of over 2,000 programs, gathering input from more than 23,000 deans, program directors, senior faculty, and other leaders. 

Continued success in engineering

UMBC’s engineering programs ranked in the top 100, both broadly and in multiple subfields. Overall, UMBC engineering jumped up 9 spots to rank 99th, tied with the University of Oklahoma and Illinois Institute of Technology. UMBC’s environmental engineering graduate program moved up to 55th. The university also ranked 77th in chemical engineering, 89th in computer engineering, 99th in mechanical engineering, and 113th in electrical engineering.

Additionally, U.S. News ranked UMBC’s graduate programs in computer science 74th in the nation.

This recognition and the forward momentum it represents come at an important moment for the university. UMBC marks the 30th anniversary of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) this year.

“COEIT’s continued success and UMBC’s newly designated R1 status are a testament to our outstanding students, staff, and faculty, and support from our campus,” says COEIT Dean Keith J Bowman. “Investments in UMBC by our state and our corporate partners have enabled the continued ascendance of programs across UMBC.”

Strength in natural and mathematical sciences

Today’s rankings also honor programs from UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS), including mathematics (54th), statistics (54th), biological sciences (119th), chemistry (115th), and physics (95th). The statistics program joins top-55 institutions like University of Chicago, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia. 

Weihong Lin, biological sciences, (right) works with students in the lab. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.
Weihong Lin, biological sciences, (right) works with students in the lab. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

“The U.S. News graduate program rankings reflect many years of effort and dedication by the faculty, staff, and students in the college. Their commitment to world-class research, mentoring, and inclusive excellence provides the foundation for UMBC’s growing reputation as an R1 university,” says CNMS Dean Bill LaCourse. “I am grateful that our programs are receiving the recognition that they deserve.”

Excellence in social sciences

In the social sciences, UMBC’s psychology graduate programs came in at 122. UMBC joins fellow top-125 universities in psychology ranging from Johns Hopkins and Rutgers to University of Delaware and American University.

Additionally, UMBC is 140th in the interdisciplinary category of geology. This U.S. News ranking includes fields ranging from environmental sciences⁠—part of UMBC’s College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS)⁠—to geophysics.

Three people in conversation below a colorful wall art installation
Chris Hawn, geography and environmental systems, (center) and their graduate students in the ILSB in 2019. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

“The departments of geography and environmental systems and psychology consistently elevate the work of the social sciences in our College and at UMBC,” says CAHSS Dean Kimberly R. Moffitt. “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 strength in research has helped grow graduate programs in all colleges. “We are so proud of our focused development in research and graduate education,” says Janet Rutledge, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “This growth has led to our recent R1 classification as well as these graduate program rankings, which reflect UMBC’s overall excellence as a leading public research university.”

Banner image: Nilanjan Banerjee, computer science and electrical engineering, (right) working with a student in the lab in 2018. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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