University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

University of California-Davis

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of California, Davis (also referred to as UCD, UC Davis, or Davis), is a public research university and one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. It is located in Davis, California, just west of Sacramento, and has the third-largest enrollment in the UC System after UCLA and UC Berkeley.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies UC Davis as a comprehensive doctoral research university with a medical program, and very high research activity. The UC Davis faculty includes 23 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 17 members of the American Law Institute, 14 members of the Institute of Medicine, and 14 members of the National Academy of Engineering. Among other honors, university faculty, alumni, and researchers have won the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship, National Medal of Science, Blue Planet Prize, and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The university has expanded over the past century to include graduate and professional programs in medicine (which includes the UC Davis Medical Center), law, veterinary medicine, education, nursing, and business management, in addition to 90 research programs offered by UC Davis Graduate Studies. The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the largest in the United States and has been ranked first in the nation for two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016.

The UC Davis Aggies athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I level, primarily in the Big West Conference as well as the Big Sky Conference (football only) and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In its first year of full Division I status, 11 UC Davis teams qualified for NCAA post-season competition.

History | University Farm

In 1905, the California legislature passed the University Farm Bill, which called for the establishment of a farm school for the University of California (at the time, Berkeley was the sole campus of the university). The commission took a year to select a site for the campus, a tiny town then known as Davisville. UC, Davis opened its doors as the "University Farm" to 40 degree students (all male) from UC Berkeley in January 1909. (The farm had begun accepting students in non-degree farmers' short courses in October 1908; around 115 men attended.)

The Farm was established largely the result of the vision and perseverance of Peter J. Shields, secretary of the State Agricultural Society. The Peter J. Shields Library at UC Davis was named in his honor. Shields began to champion the cause of a University Farm to teach agriculture after learning that California students were going to out-of-state universities to pursue such education.

After two failed bills, a law authorizing the creation of a University Farm was passed on March 18, 1905. Yolo County, home to some of California's prime farmland, was chosen as the site. A committee appointed by the Regents purchased land near Davisville (now Davis) in 1906. The Regents officially took control of the property in September 1906 and constructed four buildings in 1907.

Short courses were first offered in 1908 and a three-year non-degree program set up in 1909. In 1911, the first class graduated from the University Farm. The Farm accepted its first female students in 1914 from Berkeley. The three-year non-degree program continued until 1923.

At that time, a two-year non-degree program began, continuing until 1958. In 1922, a four-year undergraduate general academic program was established, with the first class graduating in 1926.

Renamed in 1922 as the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture, the institution continued growing at a breakneck pace: in 1916 the Farm's 314 students occupied the orig ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "University of California-Davis", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

University of California Details

University of California Details
detail value
conferenceBig Sky Conference / Big West ...
overall ROI rank[142
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of California-Davis?

1. number 58 for Academics.

2. number 142 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of California-Davis?

1. Pennsylvania State University

2. Purdue University

3. University of California-Irvine

4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

5. University of Utah

6. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

7. University of Houston

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of California National Academic Rankings

University of California National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy559081635847179285
Div1 Nonivy295138403730119269
Div1 Public19281928272379258
Stem Low427875494640189579
Big West Conference232333143
West Coast Region11271710121363920
State of California1021149111152316
Top Ten Top2505816612872675919210142
Top Ten Big West Conference232333143

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

University of California Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of California

University of California Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of California
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5384
Purdue UniversityIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5720
University of California-IrvineCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAboveAverage108162
North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage5831
University of UtahUtahPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage14286
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsColoradoMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage143139
University of HoustonTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage8960
Auburn UniversityAlabamaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage13979
University at BuffaloNew YorkMid American ConferencePublicAboveAverage124190
Arizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage10182
University of Alabama at BirminghamAlabamaConference USAPublicAboveAverage153148
San Jose State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage386389
Florida Atlantic UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage305303
The University of Texas at ArlingtonTexasSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage240157
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
University of South FloridaFloridaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage94113
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
Oregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage152202
University of North Carolina at CharlotteNorth CarolinaDivision I-AA Independents / C...PublicAverage292207
Portland State UniversityOregonBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage308408
Florida International UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage163170
Drexel UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage120134
Montana State UniversityMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAboveAverage217168
University of Missouri-Kansas CityMissouriWestern Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage197155
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
The University of Texas at San AntonioTexasConference USAPublicAverage330180
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
California State Polytechnic University-PomonaCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage288356
Kansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage249168
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...PublicGood9688
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851
Wayne State UniversityMichiganGreat Lakes Intercollegiate At...PublicAverage414286
University of Illinois at ChicagoIllinoisHorizon LeaguePublicAboveAverage159111
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
Northern Illinois UniversityIllinoisMid American ConferencePublicAverage435289
The University of Texas at DallasTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePublicGood7055
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
University of North FloridaFloridaAtlantic Sun ConferencePublicAboveAverage219214
University of Colorado DenverColoradoNo Conference AffiliationPublicAverage283217
Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateAboveAverage151195
University of Massachusetts-LowellMassachusettsAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage247275
Cleveland State UniversityOhioHorizon LeaguePublicAverage440299
University of Maryland-Baltimore CountyMarylandAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage130174
University of WyomingWyomingMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage250152
University of Michigan-DearbornMichiganWolverine - Hoosier Athletic ConfPublicAboveAverage312185
University of Michigan-FlintMichiganNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage189264
University of the PacificCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage251344
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage242319
Florida Institute of TechnologyFloridaGulf South Conference / Sunshi...PrivateAboveAverage260130
Madonna UniversityMichiganWolverine - Hoosier Athletic ConfPrivateAboveAverage418377

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

University of California Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of California

University of California Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of California
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Purdue UniversityIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5720
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5384
North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage5831
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew JerseyBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage56115
University of IowaIowaBig Ten ConferencePublicGood6879
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
Texas A & M University-College StationTexasSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage7122
University of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicGood63122
Southeastern Conference (Average)-Southeastern Conference-Conf-Good-53
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood5075
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
Tulane University of LouisianaLouisianaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent61106
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
New England Small College Ath Conf (Average)-New England Small College Ath Conf-Conf-Elite-144
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161