Top Engineering Schools in 2014

Top Engineering Schools in 2014

Top Engineering Schools

Want to study at one of the world’s top engineering schools? Then you’ll probably be interested in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, an annual ranking of the world’s leading universities in 30 individual subject areas. The ranking covers four major engineering fields: civil and structural; electrical and electronic; chemical; and mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing. 

The QS World University Rankings by Subject is compiled based on some of the same data collected for the overall QS World University Rankings®, but broken down into subject-specific areas: global surveys of academics and graduate employers, combined with data on research citations. For each of the 30 subjects covered, the top 200 universities are published (or a few more in cases of a tie). Read on for an introduction to the world’s top engineering schools overall and in each major engineering sector.

Top engineering schools overall

Glancing at the rankings, the first obvious fact is that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – also currently top of the overall QS World University Rankings – heads the list in every field of engineering, having climbed four places in the civil engineering ranking to consolidate its clean sweep. Fellow US institutions Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley also place well across all four engineering sectors; Berkeley comes second for chemical engineering, third for civil and electrical, and fourth for mechanical while Stanford is second for mechanical and electrical, third for chemical and just one place outside the top 10 for civil engineering.

Like Berkeley, the UK’s University of Cambridge makes the top five in all four engineering disciplines. Fellow UK institution Imperial College London is within the top 10 for all four fields, as is the National University of Singapore. Two more big names from the US and the UK, Harvard University and the University of Oxford, also rank among the world’s top 10 for at least two fields of engineering, alongside Japan’s University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. Several others shine particularly well in just one engineering sector; notably, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign comes second in the highly competitive civil and structural engineering ranking, but doesn’t appear in the top 10 for any of the other engineering fields.

Overall, the US boasts by far the largest selection of top engineering schools, followed by the UK – unsurprising given their large and internationally prestigious higher education systems. Other countries offering a large number of world-leading engineering departments include Australia, China, Canada, Japan, Germany and South Korea. Engineering subjects are also a relatively strong area for universities in India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Italy and Hong Kong. A total of 42 countries have at least one university ranked among the global top 200 for at least one field of engineering.

Top chemical engineering schools

The chemical engineering ranking is even more dominated by the US than usual, with almost a quarter (48) of the 200 top chemical engineering schools based in the US. The UK and China each claim 15 entries, Japan and South Korea 11 each, Canada 10, Australia and Germany 9, and India and Taiwan 7 each. MIT is joined in the top 10 by three more US universities, as well as two from the UK, two from Japan, one from Singapore and one from the Netherlands.

Chemical engineering is a particularly strong field for the National University of Singapore (NUS); this is its highest position in the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject – though it’s just one place lower in the rankings for materials sciences, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. This is likewise the strongest subject area for the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology, which also appears in the global top 10 for several other science and technology subjects, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering and environmental sciences, and the  highest-ranking engineering subject for fellow technology-focused university, California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Top 10 chemical engineering schools in 2014

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

US

2

University of California, Berkeley

US

3

Stanford University

US

4

University of Cambridge

UK

5

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Singapore

6

Imperial College London

UK

7

University of Tokyo

Japan

8=

Delft University of Technology

Netherlands

8=

Kyoto University

Japan

10

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

US

See the full 200 top chemical engineering schools > 

Top mechanical engineering schools

In the ranking of the world’s 200 top mechanical engineering schools (which encompasses mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering), the US claims 43 entries and the UK 22. They’re followed by Australia and China with 13 each, Japan with 11, Germany with 9, Canada, India and South Korea with 8 entries each and Taiwan with 7.

Half of the 10 top mechanical engineering schools are in the US, with three UK top-10 representatives and one each for Singapore and Japan. This is a notably strong area for the University of Michigan, and also for Harvard University – which comes top of more of the 30 subject rankings than any other institution, but is within the global top 10 for just two of the four engineering disciplines covered.

Top 10 mechanical engineering schools in 2014

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

US

2

Stanford University

US

3

University of Cambridge

UK

4

University of California, Berkeley

US

5

University of Michigan

US

6=

Imperial College London

UK

6=

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Singapore

8=

Harvard University

US

8=

University of Oxford

UK

10

University of Tokyo

Japan

See the full 200 top mechanical engineering schools > 

Top electrical engineering schools

The QS ranking of the world’s top electrical engineering schools features 43 US entries and 18 from the UK; 13 each for Australia and China, 10 for Japan, 9 for Germany, 8 each for Canada, South Korea and Taiwan, and 7 each for India and Italy. This time the top 10 is composed of four US universities, three UK (again Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial), two Singaporean and one Swiss.

This is the strongest engineering sector performance from Switzerland’s ETH Zurich, though the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology actually ranks even higher for environmental sciences (3=), and scores well across a wide spectrum of science and technology subjects. Electrical engineering is also one of the strongest fields for Singapore’s second highest ranked institution after NUS, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which also ranks especially well for materials science (8th) and mechanical engineering (12th).

Top 10 electrical engineering schools in 2014

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

US

2

Stanford University

US

3

University of California, Berkeley

US

4

University of Cambridge

UK

5

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Switzerland

6=

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Singapore

7

University of Oxford

UK

8

Imperial College London

UK

9

Harvard University

US

10

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Singapore

See the full 200 top electrical engineering schools >

Top civil engineering schools

Finally, a look at the world’s top civil engineering schools according to the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject. Again the countries with the strongest representations in the global top 200 are the US and UK, with 39 and 23 entries each. Next comes Australia with 15, China with 13, Canada with 12, Germany with 9, Japan with 8, and India, South Korea and Italy with 7 each – a fairly consistent reflection of the overall national spread in each of the four engineering rankings.

Last year, this was the only engineering field in which MIT didn’t occupy the top spot, but the tech powerhouse has now assumed the number one spot position too, with former leader Imperial College London falling slightly. As mentioned above, this is a particularly strong field for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as for the University of Texas at Austin and University of Hong Kong. The University of Cambridge has also climbed significantly in this field since the last edition of the ranking, when it was just outside the global top 20.

Top 10 civil engineering schools in 2014

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

US

2

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

US

3

University of California, Berkeley

US

4

University of Tokyo

Japan

5

University of Cambridge

UK

6

University of Texas at Austin

US

7

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Singapore

8

Kyoto University

Japan

9

Imperial College London

UK

10

University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Hong Kong

See the full 200 top civil engineering schools >