Best universities for engineering degrees 2020

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

October 16 2019
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 2020 subject ranking for engineering and technology, from Times Higher Education features 1,008 universities across more than 70 countries.

Best universities by degree subject

Best universities for arts and humanities
Best universities for business and economics
Best universities for clinical, pre-clinical and health

Best universities for computer science
Best universities for life sciences
Best universities for physical sciences

Best universities for social sciences

Best universities for law degrees
Best universities for education degrees
Best universities for psychology degrees

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 the best universities for engineering, ahead of the UK, Germany, Australia and Canada. Only Japan and the United States have a higher number of universities present in the ranking. 

The ranking uses the same methodology as the THE 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 these degrees. 

Best universities worldwide

Best universities in the world
Best universities in the United States
Best universities in the UK
Best universities in Canada
Best universities in Australia
Best universities in Europe
Best universities in Singapore
Best universities in China

Top 5 universities for engineering degrees

=1. California Institute of Technology

Three of the six academic divisions at the California Institute of Technology 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 are 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.

=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.

=3. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge engineering department is the largest department at the university. 

Undergraduate students are able to learn across all of the engineering disciplines in the first and second years and are then required to specialise from third year onwards. Almost all undergraduate students study the four-year programme that results in a master’s degree. 

Graduate students are given the opportunity to get to the heart of research and development, with the vast majority of research students studying for a PhD. 

The department also undertakes research in a number of different engineering fields including electrical engineering, manufacturing and management and civil engineering, among others.  

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?

=3. Harvard University

The John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the newest school at Harvard University, having been established in 2007. Its roots are in the Lawrence Scientific School, which was founded in 1847 and became a school in its own right in 2007.

The school covers a number of teaching areas such as applied mathematics, applied physics, bioengineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental science and engineering, and materials science and mechanical engineering. 

Alumni from the school have been awarded a Nobel Prize, a MacArthur Award, a Turing Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. 

5. University of Oxford

University of Oxford students are admitted for a specific engineering degree, differing from US universities where students can pick from various strands of engineering to study. 

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.

Student experience studying engineering 

Women in STEM: how can we encourage more women into engineering?
Finding a place at the National University of Singapore
International perspective: from Delhi to Toulouse
Women in STEM: looking forward to equality
Two Indian engineering students explain why they chose the University of Toronto
Life at the world's best Millennial university
Women in STEM: stories from MIT students
A week in the life of a student in Brazil

Best universities for engineering 2020

Click each institution to view its World University Ranking 2020 profile

Engineering Rank 2020  Engineering Rank 2019  University Country/Region
 =1   4  California Institute of Technology United States
 =1   2  Stanford University United States
 =3   6  University of Cambridge United Kingdom
 =3   3  Harvard University United States
 5   1  University of Oxford United Kingdom
 6   5  Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
 7   7  Princeton University United States
 8   9  ETH Zurich Switzerland
 =9   13  University of California, Los Angeles United States
 =9   10  Georgia Institute of Technology United States
 11   12  Imperial College London United Kingdom
 12   8  National University of Singapore Singapore
 13   14  Peking University China
 14   11  University of California, Berkeley United States
 15   15  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
 16   17  Carnegie Mellon University United States
 17   16  University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States
 18   20  Tsinghua University China
 19   18  École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
 20   21  Yale University United States
 21   19  Delft University of Technology Netherlands
 22   22  University of Texas at Austin United States
 23   23  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
 24   23  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
 25   26  Technical University of Munich Germany
 26   25  Cornell University United States
 27   31  University of Toronto Canada
 28   29  University of California, Santa Barbara United States
 29   42  University of Science and Technology of China China
 30   27  RWTH Aachen University Germany
 31   =37  The University of Tokyo Japan
 32   33  Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
 33   34  Columbia University United States
 34   35  University of California, San Diego United States
 35   28  Purdue University West Lafayette United States
 36   32  Northwestern University United States
 37   30  University of Pennsylvania United States
 38   =37  Johns Hopkins University United States
 39   =37  Zhejiang University China
 40   36  Seoul National University South Korea
 41   43  Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
 42   40  University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 43   65  University of British Columbia Canada
 44   44  University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
 45   =47  University of Southern California United States
 46   41  UCL United Kingdom
 47   55  McGill University Canada
 48   45  KU Leuven Belgium
 49   =47  Duke University United States
 50   =57  University of Washington United States
 51   52  Penn State (Main campus) United States
 =52   56  University of Manchester United Kingdom
 =52   51  Rice University United States
 54   68  Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) South Korea
 =55   46  Kyoto University Japan
 =55   =63  Ohio State University (Main campus) United States
 =55   =61  Texas A&M University United States
 58   50  Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea
 59   71  UNSW Sydney Australia
 60   60  Technical University of Berlin Germany
 61   99  Huazhong University of Science and Technology China
 62   53  KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
 63   =61  City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 64   59  Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan
 65   79  New York University United States
 66   92  National Taiwan University Taiwan
 67   49  Fudan University China
 68   70  University of Melbourne Australia
 69   66  Technical University of Denmark Denmark
 70   =63  Monash University Australia
 =71   =82  Chalmers University of Technology Sweden
 =71   =72  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University United States
 73   69  Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands
 74   54  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
 75   =82  Nanjing University China
 76   75  University of Southampton United Kingdom
 =77   63  Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =77   =72  Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France
 79   =57  University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
 80   =76  University of California, Davis United States
 81   =76  Australian National University Australia
 82   80  Brown University United States
 83   81  University of Maryland, College Park United States
 =84   101–125  Arizona State University (Tempe) United States
 =84   89  University of California, Irvine United States
 =86   88  University of Minnesota United States
 =86   93  University of Sydney Australia
 88   =90  TU Dresden Germany
 89   101–125  University of Waterloo Canada
 90   74  Tohoku University Japan
 91   87  University of Wollongong Australia
 92   =90  Aalborg University Denmark
 93   86  University of Bristol United Kingdom
 =94   97  University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
 =94   85  University of Queensland Australia
 96   70  Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
 97   101–125  Queen Mary University of London United Kingdom
 98   100  Korea University South Korea
 99   =95  Indian Institute of Science India
 100   101–125  Polytechnic University of Milan Italy
 101–125   101–125  Aalto University Finland
 101–125   101–125  University of Adelaide Australia
 101–125   101–125  University of California, Riverside United States
 101–125   =95  University of Colorado Boulder United States
 101–125   84  École Polytechnique France
 101–125   NR  University of Groningen Netherlands
 101–125   101–125  Harbin Institute of Technology China
 101–125   101–125  Lund University Sweden
 101–125   101–125  University of Massachusetts United States
 101–125   101–125  Michigan State University United States
 101–125   101–125  National Tsing Hua University Taiwan
 101–125   101–125  North Carolina State University United States
 101–125   101–125  University of Nottingham United Kingdom
 101–125   176–200  Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
 101–125   101–125  Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa Italy
 101–125   101–125  University of Sheffield United Kingdom
 101–125   94  University of Stuttgart Germany
 101–125   101–125  Technical University of Darmstadt Germany
 101–125   101–125  University of Technology Sydney Australia
 101–125   126–150  The University of Tennessee-Knoxville United States
 101–125   98  Tongji University China
 101–125   126–150  Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) South Korea
 101–125   101–125  Wageningen University & Research Netherlands
 101–125   126–150  University of Warwick United Kingdom
 101–125   101–125  Xi’an Jiaotong University China
 126–150   126–150  University of Alberta Canada
 126–150   126–150  University of Birmingham United Kingdom
 126–150   151–175  Boston University United States
 126–150   126–150  Case Western Reserve University United States
 126–150   126–150  Colorado School of Mines United States
 126–150   101–125  University of Freiburg Germany
 126–150   151–175  Ghent University Belgium
 126–150   151–175  King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
 126–150   126–150  University of Leeds United Kingdom
 126–150   126–150  Linköping University Sweden
 126–150   151–175  Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation
 126–150   126–150  University of Luxembourg Luxembourg
 126–150   101–125  University of Macau Macao
 126–150   151–175  University of Malaya Malaysia
 126–150   101–125  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
 126–150   101–125  University of Notre Dame United States
 126–150   151–175  Pompeu Fabra University Spain
 126–150   126–150  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States
 126–150   151–175  Southeast University China
 126–150   126–150  University of Surrey United Kingdom
 126–150   176–200  Tianjin University China
 126–150   126–150  Vanderbilt University United States
 126–150   151–175  Vienna University of Technology Austria
 126–150   126–150  University of Western Australia Australia
 126–150   101–125  Wuhan University China
 151–175   201–250  University of Auckland New Zealand
 151–175   151–175  University at Buffalo United States
 151–175   151–175  University of California, Santa Cruz United States
 151–175   176–200  Cardiff University United Kingdom
 151–175   201–250  Curtin University Australia
 151–175   151–175  Dartmouth College United States
 151–175   101–125  University of Delaware United States
 151–175   176–200  Drexel University United States
 151–175   176–200  University of Duisburg-Essen Germany
 151–175   201–250  Edith Cowan University Australia
 151–175   151–175  Indian Institute of Technology Bombay India
 151–175   201–250  Indian Institute of Technology Delhi India
 151–175   176–200  University of Liverpool United Kingdom
 151–175   126–150  Nagoya University Japan
 151–175   176–200  Nankai University China
 151–175   201–250  Northeastern University United States
 151–175   126–150  Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway
 151–175   201–250  University of Oulu Finland
 151–175   201–250  Queensland University of Technology Australia
 151–175   126–150  Ruhr University Bochum Germany
 151–175   126–150  University of South Australia Australia
 151–175   151–175  Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland
 151–175   151–175  University College Dublin Republic of Ireland
 151–175   126–150  Victoria University Australia
 151–175   126–150  Yonsei University (Seoul campus) South Korea
 176–200   176–200  Aarhus University Denmark
 176–200   176–200  University of Arizona United States
 176–200   126–150  University of Bath United Kingdom
 176–200   201–250  Binghamton University, State University of New York United States
 176–200   176–200  Centrale Nantes France
 176–200   201–250  CentraleSupélec France
 176–200   151–175  Deakin University Australia
 176–200   126–150  University of Florida United States
 176–200   151–175  Griffith University Australia
 176–200   126–150  Hanyang University South Korea
 176–200   251–300  Hunan University China
 176–200   176–200  University of Iceland Iceland
 176–200   176–200  Khalifa University United Arab Emirates
 176–200   151–175  Polytechnic University of Turin Italy
 176–200   176–200  Qatar University Qatar
 176–200   176–200  RMIT University Australia
 176–200   151–175  Soochow University China
 176–200   151–175  Sorbonne University France
 176–200   201–250  Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) China
 176–200   201–250  Sun Yat-sen University China
 176–200   201–250  Swinburne University of Technology Australia
 176–200   NR  Tampere University Finland
 176–200   NR  Télécom Paris France
 176–200   151–175  University of Texas at Dallas United States
 176–200   126–150  University of Twente Netherlands

Click here to view the top 900 universities for engineering degrees

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

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