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ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018: results

ShanghaiRanking has released its league table of academic subjects, ranking universities from all over the world in 54 subject areas

  • Student life

Matthew Nixon

July 20 2018
ShanghaiRanking 2018


ShanghaiRanking have released the results of their 2018 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, which shows the best performing universities across 54 different subjects. 

In total, more than 4,000 universities were ranked in five different fields: the natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences. This is the second year ShanghaiRanking have published the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, but the consultancy has been ranking international universities since 2003, and has ranked universities by academic fields since 2007. 

This year’s survey is the most expansive to date, considering more subjects than ever before.

Universities from the United States have once again topped the tables, taking 35 of the top positions across the 54 subjects, three more than the country held last year. The next best performing universities are from China (including Hong Kong), where nine institutions have taken first place, followed by the Netherlands, where three universities have been ranked in top positions.

The UK continues to hold two top positions with geography at the University of Cambridge.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has once again topped five different subjects, four of which are related to engineering.

Other universities which have been ranked as first in more than one subject this year include the University of Colorado Boulder, Wageningen University and Research, and Nanyang Technological University.

Universities from 83 different countries and regions were published in the latest release. When including universities which didn’t make the top spot for their subjects, universities from the United States appear in the rankings a total of 4,661 times. Chinese universities appear 2,171 times, and universities from the United Kingdom appear 1,487 times.

ShanghaiRanking determined their results by measuring the quantity, quality, and impact of research at each institution, as well as the extent of international collaboration and the number of staff recognised with awards. The full methodology is available here, and the full table of results is listed below.

Times Higher Education subject rankings 

Best universities for medicine
Best universities for life sciences
Best universities for psychology degrees
Best universities for engineering degrees
Best universities for computer science degrees
Best universities for social science degrees
Best universities for law degrees
Best universities for business degrees
Best universities for education degrees

ShanghaiRanking’s top universities across 54 subjects 2018

Natural SciencesMathematicsPrinceton UniversityUSA
PhysicsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
ChemistryUniversity of California, BerkeleyUSA
Earth sciencesUniversity of Colorado BoulderUSA
GeographyUniversity of OxfordUK
EcologyMontpellier UniversityFrance
OceanographyUniversity of WashingtonUSA
Atmospheric scienceUniversity of Colorado BoulderUSA
EngineeringMechanical engineeringUniversity of CambridgeUK
Electrical and electronic engineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
Automation and controlUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUSA
Telecommunication engineeringTsinghua UniversityChina
Instruments science and technologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyChina
Biomedical engineeringHarvard UniversityUSA
Computer science and engineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
Civil engineeringTongji UniversityChina
Chemical engineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
Materials science and engineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
Nanoscience  and nanotechnologyNanyang Technological UniversitySingapore
Energy science and engineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingapore
Environmental science and engineeringStanford UniversityUSA
Water resourcesUniversity of ArizonaUSA
Food science and technologyWageningen University & ResearchNetherlands
BiotechnologyHarvard UniversityUSA
Aerospace engineeringBeihang UniversityChina
Marine/ocean engineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina
Transportation science and technologyBeijing Jiaotong UniversityChina
Remote sensingWuhan UniversityChina
Mining and mineral engineeringUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
Metallurgical engineeringUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingChina
Life SciencesBiological sciencesHarvard UniversityUSA
Human biological sciencesHarvard UniversityUSA
Agricultural sciencesWageningen University & ResearchNetherlands
Veterinary sciencesGhent UniversityBelgium
Medical SciencesClinical medicineHarvard UniversityUSA
Public healthHarvard UniversityUSA
Dentistry and oral sciencesUniversity of MichiganUSA
NursingUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA
Medical technologyHarvard UniversityUSA
Pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciencesHarvard UniversityUSA
Social SciencesEconomicsHarvard UniversityUSA
StatisticsHarvard UniversityUSA
LawHarvard UniversityUSA
Political sciencesHarvard UniversityUSA
SociologyHarvard UniversityUSA
EducationHarvard UniversityUSA
CommunicationOhio State UniversityUSA
PsychologyHarvard UniversityUSA
Business administrationUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA
FinanceYork UniversityUSA
ManagementHarvard UniversityUSA
Public administrationErasmus University RotterdamNetherlands
Hospitality and tourism managementHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong
Library and information scienceHarvard UniversityUSA

Read more: Which subject should you study at university?


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