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ARWU ranks UC Berkeley as the #4 university in the world, earning the #1 rank for public schools and in several categories

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Berkeley shines as one of the best universities in the world in the latest research output–based ARWU list.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) published its 2014 list. UC Berkeley maintained its reputation as being among the top universities in the world. Since the ARWU list's inception over ten years ago, Berkeley has always ranked in the top four.

2014 was no exception, as Berkeley was recognized as the fourth-best university, down from #3 last year. Berkeley's total score dropped by just a hair more than one point and, to give you an idea of just how close the top schools are, schools 25 (Furd, MIT, Berkeley, and Cambridge) are separated by three points.

ARWU is a highly-regarded ranking because of their methodologywhich has an added benefit of being quite transparent. Rather than relying on reputation or history (as some lists do), ARWU ranks schools based on their current research output. Quality of education (such as alumni winning Nobels or Fields Medals) is worth 10%. 40% is determined by quality of faculty (faculty members winning prizes or being cited). Research output is measured by publications and makes up 40%. The final 10% is based on the academic performance per capita.

Berkeley was, as always, ranked as the best public school in the world. Berkeley was the top performer in "Natural Sciences and Mathematics" (considered to be the "broad academic field"), Physics, and (unsurprisingly) Chemistry.