World’s best universities for engineering degrees: Shanghai Subject Ranking 2016

New rankings for seven different engineering subjects have been published by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy
June 15 2016

A new set of rankings for seven different engineering subjects has been released by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy.

Although universities in the United States dominate the rankings by taking more top positions than any other country, Chinese, Swiss and UK institutions are also very well represented across the different subject league tables of top universities for engineering.


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The seven rankings in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects for 2016 reveal between 100 and 400 of the best schools and colleges, depending on the availability of relevant data. 

To help those deciding where to study engineering at university, we have published the top 20 universities for chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, energy science and engineering, environmental science and engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Scroll down for the top 20 tables

Six prestigious universities around the world – the University of California, Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford UniversityETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Tsinghua University – appear in the top 20 for at least six of the seven subjects.

Of UK institutions, three achieve standout performances to secure spots in the top 20 rankings: Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.


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The rankings use measures of research productivity, quality and impact, international collaboration, global influence and academic awards.

Top 20 universities for chemical engineering

Chemical engineering teaches students how to turn raw materials into products; a degree offers opportunities to work in oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, energy, food and drink and many other industries.

A third of the top 100 universities for this course are in the US, but institutions in Asia and continental Europe also appear right at the top of the ranking. The UK is well represented outside the top 20, with 10 universities in the top 100.

China presents ample opportunities to study at a top-ranked university, with three institutions – Zhejiang University, Tsinghua University and Fudan University – in the top 20.

ChemEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

2

Stanford University

United States

3

University of California, Berkeley

United States

4

National University of Singapore

Singapore

5

University of Tokyo

Japan

6

Harvard University

United States

7

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

8

Delft University of Technology

Netherlands

9

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

10

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

11

Northwestern University

United States

12

Technical University of Denmark

Denmark

13

Zhejiang University

China

14

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

South Korea

15

Tsinghua University

China

16

University of California, Los Angeles

United States

17

Seoul National University

South Korea

18

Utrecht University

Netherlands

19

University of Michigan

United States

20

Fudan University

China

 Top 20 universities for civil engineering

A civil engineering degree prepares students to work on design and construction within a variety of sectors, on projects such as bridges, roads and buildings.

The top five spots for civil engineering are spread across the US, Denmark, China and Hong Kong, with a number of Asian and European countries also represented in the top 20.

Purdue University in Indiana is ranked as the best university for civil engineering. It has been well known for its engineering schools since the 19th century.

CivEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Purdue University

United States

2

Technical University of Denmark

Denmark

3

Tsinghua University

China

4

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

China-Hong Kong

5

Tongji University

China

6

University of California, Berkeley

United States

7

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

8

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

9

City University of Hong Kong

China-Hong Kong

10

Eindhoven University of Technology

Netherlands

11

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

12

University of Maryland, College Park

United States

13

Polytechnic University of Milan

Italy

14

National University of Singapore

Singapore

15

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

South Korea

16

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

17

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

18

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

19

Princeton University

United States

20

Concordia University

Canada

Top 20 universities for electrical and electronic engineering

The work of an electrical engineer focuses on electrical control systems, ensuring their reliability, quality and sustainability.

US universities are particularly dominant for electrical engineering degrees; in total, 11 US universities appear in the top 20, and 45 in the top 100.

Nanyang Technological University in Singapore competes with traditional powerhouses such as Stanford University and MIT in the top five, while Aalborg University in Denmark makes it into the top 10.

ElectEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Stanford University

United States

2

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

3

University of California, Berkeley

United States

4

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore

5

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

6

University of California, Los Angeles

United States

7

Aalborg University

Denmark

8

University of Michigan

United States

9

University of Texas at Austin

United States

10

University of California, San Diego

United States

11

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

12

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

13

Tsinghua University

China

14

Zhejiang University

China

15

University of California, Santa Barbara

United States

16

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

17

National University of Singapore

Singapore

18

University of Southern California

United States

19

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

South Korea

20

City University of Hong Kong

China-Hong Kong

Top 20 universities for energy science and engineering

A degree in energy science and engineering teaches students methods to produce, store and use clean energy, incorporating elements of chemical, physical and biotechnological science.

Unusually, compared with the other engineering rankings, the best university is outside the US: Tsinghua University in China.

In fact, universities in Denmark, the UK and Singapore complete the top four, and the top US institution comes in at fifth position.

In total, Chinese universities take 17 spots in the top 100, just behind the US with 25 institutions in the ranking.

EnergyEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Tsinghua University

China

2

Technical University of Denmark

Denmark

3

National University of Singapore

Singapore

4

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

5

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore

6

Princeton University

United States

7

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

8

Xi’an Jiaotong University

China

9

University of Texas at Austin

United States

10

Pennsylvania State University

United States

11

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

12

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

China

13

Tianjin University

China

14

University of Michigan

United States

15

University of New South Wales

Australia

16

Seoul National University

South Korea

17

University of California, Berkeley

United States

18

Stanford University

United States

19

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

20

Aalborg University

Denmark

Top 20 universities for environmental science and engineering

This multidisciplinary field combines all three hard sciences with engineering in order to connect knowledge of the environment to modern techniques in construction with the aim of protecting people and the planet from adverse conditions.

Both Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley have developed specific programmes that are internationally recognised as pioneering the discipline, and universities in Europe are also contributing to the developing field.

Unlike other engineering subjects, the very top universities for environmental science do not include any Asian institutions.

EnvironEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Stanford University

United States

2

Wageningen University and Research Center

Netherlands

3

University of California, Berkeley

United States

4

Harvard University

United States

5

Stockholm University

Sweden

6

University of Oxford

United Kingdom

7

Colorado State University

United States

8

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

9

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

10

The University of Queensland

Australia

11

University of British Columbia

Canada

12

Duke University

United States

13

Utrecht University

Netherlands

14

University of California, San Diego

United States

15

Cornell University

United States

16

Technical University of Denmark

Denmark

17

Yale University

United States

18

Columbia University

United States

19

University of Washington

United States

20

Oregon State University

United States

 Top 20 universities for materials science and engineering

Materials science is an ideal course of study for anyone wanting to design and even discover new materials to solve some of the world’s most pressing scientific problems. Students graduate with an understanding of the history, structure and properties of materials, and this knowledge can be applied in a variety of contexts.

The US dominates the ranking, taking more than half the top 20 spots. But the UK also has a strong presence at the top of the list; Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial all appear.

The most productive university in this subject is Tsinghua University in China, which published more than 9,000 scholarly papers from 2010 to 2014.

MatEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

2

Stanford University

United States

3

University of California, Berkeley

United States

4

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

5

Northwestern University

United States

6

Harvard University

United States

7

University of Texas at Austin

United States

8

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

9

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

10

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore

11

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

12

University of California, Santa Barbara

United States

13

Tsinghua University

China

14

University of California, Los Angeles

United States

15

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

16

National University of Singapore

Singapore

17

Pennsylvania State University

United States

18

Rice University

United States

19

University of Oxford

United Kingdom

20

Eindhoven University of Technology

Netherlands

Top 20 universities for mechanical engineering

The final ranking is for mechanical engineering, which applies the principles of engineering to create and maintain machines. The field includes the design, production and operation of machinery.

MIT and Stanford top the ranking, while the UK achieves its highest performance in any of the rankings, with the University of Cambridge in third place.

Four Asian universities are in the top 20 – two in China and one each in Singapore and South Korea.

In the rest of the ranking, Canada, Germany and Japan are also well represented.

MechEng Rank

Institution

Country

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States

2

Stanford University

United States

3

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

4

Northwestern University

United States

5

Georgia Institute of Technology

United States

6

University of Texas at Austin

United States

7

University of California, Berkeley

United States

8

Rice University

United States

9

University of California, Los Angeles

United States

10

University of Michigan

United States

11

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

12

Harvard University

United States

13

University of California, Santa Barbara

United States

14

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

15

Tsinghua University

China

16

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore

17

Seoul National University

South Korea

18

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

19

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Switzerland

20

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

China

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