Points of Pride


Read news highlights and research discoveries in our newsroom.

Rankings Highlights

#1 among public universities in percentage of eligible junior faculty who received prestigious NSF Early CAREER Awards in the past five years (FY 2018-FY 2022).

12 straight years ranked in the top two among public universities in the world for research impact, Leiden University rankings for research citation impact in engineering and physical sciences, 2011-'22.

#3 Materials and #7 Chemical Engineering graduate programs among public universities, US News 2024

All graduate programs ranked in the Top 8, NRC 2010

3 Nobel Laureates among our accomplished faculty and researchers

#4 among public universities in highest percentage of faculty who are elected members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 

In the top 2 percent of the engineering programs in the world in overall excellence, research influence, and innovation, Times Higher Education's 2022 World University Rankings

Faculty Distinctions

  • Total faculty: 162
  • Nobel Prizes: 3
  • Members, National Academy of Engineering: 17 *
  • Members, National Academy of Inventors: 15 *
  • Members, National Academy of Science: 5 *
  • Winners, National Medal of Technology: 2 
  • Winners, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers: 6 *
  • Highly Cited Researchers: 6 in 2018, 5 in 2019, 4 in 2020, 4 in 2021 and in 2022
  • Members, Royal Society of London: 2
  • Members, Royal Academy of Engineering: 3
  • Members, Royal Society of Sweden: 2
  • Winner, Queen Elizabeth Prize: 1 *
  • Winners, Millennium Award: 1 *
    View awards and recognitions received by our faculty during 2021-'22 academic year 
  • NOTE: * = Faculty currently with COE

Research Highlights

  • We are home to the nation's first NSF-funded Quantum Foundry, a center for development of materials for quantum information-based technologies. 
  • We operate as the West Coast hub of the American Photonics Manufacturing Institute launched by the White House in 2015.
  • We are one of several research institutions within the federal initiative Next Generation Power Electronics Institute.
  • Professor Shuji Nakamura received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing blue-LED technology.
  • Professors Herb Kroemer and Alan Heeger, both Nobel Prize recipients of 2000, are pioneers in semiconductor heterostructures, the basis for modern photonics.
  • UCSB is home to the Materials Research Laboratory, widely regarded as one of the top five materials research facilities in the world. 
  • Professors Arthur Gossard and Herb Kroemer were early pioneers in molecular beam epitaxy. 
  • The world's largest student "capture the flag" hacking competition is held by the UCSB Computer Security group.
  • UCSB was one of the first nodes of ARPANET, the first transmission of the Internet.

Industry Distinctions

  • One of the most successful public-private research partnerships in the country, with a nearly 1:1 patent-to-publication ratio, Mitsubishi Center
  • #1 in patents issued, utility licenses, and start-up companies per $100M in funding
  • Among Top 50 schools for venture-capital-backed entrepreneurship, Forbes 2014