MIT and Harvard lift U.S. universities past U.K. in world rankings

The University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, University of Michigan, University of Texas, New York University and Colorado School of Mines are also on the list of U.S. schools earning the top spot per subject.

When it comes to university prestige, no other country seems to hold a candle to the United States, according to the most recent international rankings by higher education analyst Quacquarelli Symonds.

QS ranked 1,594 institutions across 54 different subjects, taking into account a total of 15,700 academic programs. Academic disciplines were grouped into five categories: Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences and Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and Management.

A U.S. school gained the top spot in 32 out of the 54 subjects examined with Harvard and MIT securing the most per subject with 14 and 11, respectively. With a combined 25 subjects to their name—more than all the schools in the United Kingdom (15) ranking #1 in a discipline—Harvard and MIT’s prestige on the home turf and the world stage is irrefutable.

Rounding out the remaining top spots in the U.S. was the University of Pennsylvania, with two bests in Nursing and Marketing. Schools earning one top spot were Notre Dame (Theology, Divinity and Religion), University of Michigan (Dentistry), University of Texas (Petroleum Engineering), New York University (Philosophy) and Colorado School of Mines (Mineral and Mining Engineering).

Here are the top three schools per the five general subject categories:

Arts and Humanities

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Cambridge (U.K.)
  3. University of Oxford (U.K.)

Engineering and Technology

  1. MIT
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Cambridge

Life Sciences and Medicine

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Oxford
  3. Johns Hopkins University

Natural Sciences

  1. Harvard University
  2. MIT
  3. University of Cambridge

Social Sciences and Management

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Oxford
  3. Stanford University

While it’s fun to point out “the best” per subject, a school that makes the top 10 in subject rankings among 1,594 institutions is still a huge feat. In total, 256 U.S. higher education programs made the top 10. Again, the United Kingdom had the second-most at 145. Switzerland was third with 32.

Indicators used to evaluate schools programs were the following:

  • Academic reputation
  • Employer reputation
  • Research citations per paper
  • International research network, which denotes the breadth of the school’s network across the world and its research partnerships with other higher education institutions
  • H-index, which measures an academic or school department’s productivity and impact regarding paper citations

More from UB: Represent! U.S. female college presidents shine in international report

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and Florida Gator alumnus. A graduate in journalism and communications, his beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene, and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador, and Brazil.

Most Popular