Stanford University, which counts former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky and authors Ken Kesey and Jeffrey Eugenides among its alumni, has retained its position at the top of the arts and humanities subject table this year, just as the US and the UK have strengthened their grip on the discipline.
The US has three more universities in the top 50 this year than in 2011-2012, taking its total to 25.
Columbia University is a notable entrant, displacing Harvard University from the number two spot. The University of Pennsylvania enters the top 10 and Duke University makes its debut, with this year's line-up shaped by extra data from more institutions.
The University of Oxford, the UK's top-ranked arts and humanities institution, edges up one place to sixth.
The former boasts the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, which analyses global flows of culture, identity, media and technology with the help of an advisory board drawn from universities across the world. It climbs seven places to 29, while the National University of Singapore drops by five to 43.
The improved showing for US and UK universities comes at the expense of continental Europe, which now has seven institutions ranked in the top 50, three fewer than last year.
Down Under, New Zealand has lost its sole representative, the University of Auckland.
Meanwhile, Canberra-based Australian National University - last year the only institution not from the US or the UK to achieve a top-five position in a subject table - has fallen to 13th place.
However, Australia has maintained three universities in the top 50.