US universities rank top in the world for social sciences

US universities count for almost half of the top 100 for social sciences in the 2015-16 ranking released by the Times Higher Education.
November 4 2015

US universities count for almost half of the top 100 for social sciences in the 2015-16 ranking released by the Times Higher Education today.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the universities of Stanford and Princeton take the top three spots in the ranking which covers geography, economics and psychology, among other courses.

Forty-three universities in the US make it into the top 100, and the top 10 features only one university outside the US: the University of Oxford in fourth position.

Prestigious US and UK universities dominate the top ranks; as for other subjects, and Ivy League and Oxbridge institutions make up half of the top 10.

At one such Ivy League institution – the University of Pennsylvania – Nicolette Tan, from Singapore, is in her fourth year of a political science major. In many of her social science courses she has the opportunity to volunteer and research within schools or local communities, giving her first-hand, practical experience.

In particular, Nicolette feels that the university’s location in Philadelphia provides many opportunities for community work, allowing students to see theories in practice.

She added: “The best professors I've had at Penn were in the social sciences departments, in terms of how much they care about their students' development, involving students in their research and providing opportunities for growth.”

In spite of the US monopoly, there are many other world-leading institutions providing social sciences opportunities outside of the US.

The UK has 17 social science departments in the top 100, while Germany has seven and Australia and the Netherlands have six each.

Canada has two universities within the top quartile: the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Canadian tuition fees are generally just over half those in the US.

University Country Rank 2015-16
Massachusetts Institute of Technology US 1
Stanford University US 2
Princeton University US 3
University of Oxford UK 4
Yale University US 5
Harvard University US 6
University of Chicago US 7
University of Pennsylvania US =8
University of Michigan US =8
University of California, Berkeley US 10
University of Cambridge UK 11
London School of Economics and Political Science UK 12
Columbia University US 13
Duke University US 14
University of California, Los Angeles US 15
University College London UK 16
Northwestern University US 17
New York University US 18
University of Toronto Canada 19
King’s College London UK 20

See the full social sciences table here.

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