Two of the best universities in the world are in the Bay Area and only 40 miles apart, according to a new set of rankings.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University put Stanford University at No. 2 and UC Berkeley at No. 3, bumping the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to a close fourth.
Harvard, as usual, was at the top.
Cal was the top-ranked public university on the list -- a second reason for students to tout their Golden Bear affiliation.
"There is a high standard and expectation that folks from all over the world have for Cal, and it's definitely something to be proud of," said Donna-Jo Pepito, president of UC Berkeley's student government. "Students have been really excited."
Stanford, however, appears to be containing its excitement. The news was not posted on its website, and a university spokesman said the campus has a practice of not commenting on rankings.
Stanford instead encourages prospective students "to research for themselves what campuses might be the best fit for their educational objectives," said the spokesman, Brad Hayward.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University has produced the worldwide ratings each year since 2003, weighing the quality and prestige of faculty and alumni, as well as the number of articles and citations in high-profile journals.
It includes, for example, the number of professors -- and alumni -- who become Fields medalists and Nobel laureates.
Harvard was far ahead of the rest, with a perfect score of 100. Stanford, Berkeley and MIT all had scores between 71.1 and 72.6. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena was ranked sixth, behind the University of Cambridge in England.
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1. Harvard University
2. Stanford University
3. UC Berkeley
5. University of Cambridge
6. Cal Tech
7. Princeton University
8. Columbia University
9. University of Chicago
10. University of Oxford
Source: Shanghai Jiao Tong University