Best universities for engineering degrees 2018

Find the best colleges for engineering and technology using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

October 17 2017
Electrical engineering

Studying engineering is a smart choice for career-minded students and there are technical universities all over the world offering world-class degrees.

Most students in Europe enrol on a degree for a specific discipline within engineering. Common specialisations include civil engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering.

The 2018 subject ranking for engineering and technology, from Times Higher Education, features 500 universities across 50 different countries.


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Although the schools at the very top are in the United States and the United Kingdom, universities in Singapore, China and Switzerland perform extremely well and appear high up the rankings.

China is the third most-represented country in the list of best universities for engineering, ahead of Germany, Australia and Canada.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but with a higher weighting for innovation and a lower weighting for citations. The full methodology can be found here

Scroll down for a full list of degrees covered by the ranking and what you can do with a degree in them. 


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Top 5 universities for engineering degrees

1. Stanford University

Stanford University's School of Engineering has been at the cutting edge of new technology and innovation for the past century.

There are nine departments in the school, and additional institutes, laboratories and research centres.

Research focuses on 10 of the “most daunting human challenges of the coming decades”. These are: systems design, bioengineering, network security, climate change, robotics, information technology, materials and matter, urban design, affordable accessible healthcare and computation and data analysis.

Across the nine departments there are eight interdepartmental undergraduate programmes that students can major in.

2. California Institute of Technology

Three of the six academic divisions at Caltech teach and research engineering and technology subjects: the biology and biological engineering division, the chemistry and chemical engineering division, and the engineering and applied science division.

Both teaching and research is fairly cross-disciplinary. Undergraduates declare a major at the end of their first year.

There are five distinct engineering majors and an interdisciplinary studies programme that allows students to customise a course of study.

Caltech is one of the smallest universities in the world but prides itself on ambition and innovation.

3. University of Oxford

Unlike in the United States, University of Oxford students are admitted for a specific engineering degree.

For undergraduates, this will be a four-year course in engineering science or more specifically biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, information engineering or mechanical engineering.

Just under half of all applicants for these courses get through to the interview round and 15 per cent secure a place on a course.

Many Oxford engineering graduates go on to careers as professional engineers, although some enter business, consultancy or further study.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Since 1861, the School of Engineering at MIT has produced a stream of products and new technologies to solve engineering problems.

In the past few years, the school has increased its focus on innovation, launching the MIT Innovation Initiative. Research associated with the initiative has led to 60 US patents licensed by multinational companies.

Another parallel initiative provides students with educational experiences, mentoring and funding to encourage their creativity and support their projects.

Laboratories and departments in the school produce a range of research, from insights on food security to soldier nanotechnology.

5. University of Cambridge

At the University of Cambridge, students can specialise in a full range of engineering topics, including instrumentation, sustainability and aerothermal engineering.

Unlike some UK courses, the programme allows flexible study options to combine various topics.

All colleges in Cambridge accept engineering applicants, but some colleges prefer students to take a year out before applying.

There are seven applications per place but the course overall is fairly large, with more than 300 students enrolled in any one year.


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Best universities for engineering 2018

Click each institution to view its World University Ranking 2018 profile

Engineering Rank 2018 University Country
1 Stanford University United States
2 California Institute of Technology United States
3 University of Oxford United Kingdom
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
5 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
6 Princeton University United States
7 Peking University China
8 National University of Singapore Singapore
9 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
10 Imperial College London United Kingdom
11 Georgia Institute of Technology United States
12 Carnegie Mellon University United States
13 University of California, Berkeley United States
=14 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
=14 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
16 Nanyang Technological University Singapore
17 University of Michigan United States
=18 Delft University of Technology Netherlands
=18 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
=20 Cornell University United States
=20 Technical University of Munich Germany
22 Tsinghua University China
23 Northwestern University United States
24 RWTH Aachen University Germany
25 Purdue University United States
26 Columbia University United States
27 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
28 University of Texas at Austin United States
29 University of Toronto Canada
30 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
31 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
32 Seoul National University South Korea
33 University of California, San Diego United States
34 Johns Hopkins University United States
35 University of Tokyo Japan
36 University College London United Kingdom
37 KU Leuven Belgium
38 KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
39 University of Science and Technology of China China
40 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
41 Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
42 Kyoto University Japan
43 Technical University of Berlin Germany
44 University of Washington United States
45 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
46 University of Manchester United Kingdom
=47 Fudan University China
=47 Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea
49 Rice University United States
50 Zhejiang University China
51 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands
=52 Ohio State University United States
=52 Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea
54 Pennsylvania State University United States
55 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
56 Texas A&M University United States
57 Monash University Australia
58 Technical University of Denmark Denmark
59 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
60 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
61 Tohoku University Japan
62 University of British Columbia Canada
=63 University of Melbourne Australia
=63 University of Southern California United States
65 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan
66 Australian National University Australia
67 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
68 Brown University United States
69 University of New South Wales Australia
70 University of California, Davis United States
71 McGill University Canada
72 University of Maryland, College Park United States
73 University of Queensland Australia
74 University of Minnesota United States
75 University of Bristol United Kingdom
76 University of Sydney Australia
77 University of Stuttgart Germany
78 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University United States
79 Chalmers University of Technology Sweden
80 Nanjing University China
81 National Taiwan University Taiwan
82 École Polytechnique France
83 University of Waterloo Canada
84 University of Sheffield United Kingdom
85 Aalborg University Denmark
86 Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway
87 University of Southampton United Kingdom
88 University of Freiburg Germany
=89 Indian Institute of Science India
=89 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy
91 University of Colorado Boulder United States
92 Tongji University China
=93 North Carolina State University United States
=93 TU Dresden Germany
95 University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
=96 Lund University Sweden
=96 University of Wollongong Australia
98 Osaka University Japan
=99 Aalto University Finland
=99 University of Delaware United States
=99 University of Leeds United Kingdom
=99 Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France

Click here to view the top 500 universities for engineering degrees

What can you do with an engineering degree?

What can you do with an aerospace engineering degree?
What can you do with a chemical engineering degree?
What can you do with a civil engineering degree?
What can you do with an electrical engineering degree?
What can you do with a general engineering degree?
What can you do with a mechanical engineering degree?

Read more: The most detailed subject guide you will ever see to help you pick your degree  

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