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Rating Universities for Specialist Criteria: QS Stars

Rating Universities for Specialist Criteria: QS Stars main image

The QS Stars university rating system allows universities to be rated for their strength in a specialist subject area. How is this assessed?

There are a great number of universities that can be considered to be specialist institutions. These specialist schools focus on either a general subject area or, in some cases, a very narrow area of expertise.

In addition to this, even many comprehensive universities will have subject areas in which they excel beyond all others.

Like the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the specialist subject area of QS Stars seeks to both give credit to the smaller specialist organizations, which can suffer in overall rankings, and to acknowledge the specialties of larger, more general universities.

This will help you to identify which institutions excel in your subject area so you can make an informed decision when it comes to applying.

We judge how many stars to give a university according to one of three criteria:

Broad faculty area ranking (150 points)

If a university features in one of our broad subject area rankings, a number of points will be given according to their position. If they feature in the top 50 of the Engineering & Technology, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, Arts & Humanities or Social Sciences & Management table, then 150 points will be scored, with a descending scale down to position 300.


Narrow subject area ranking (150 points)

The 2011 QS World University Rankings by Subject has provided us with detailed data on how well universities perform in very specific subject areas. This allows us to acknowledge universities which perform well in these areas, giving credit to focused institutions.

For the narrow subject area ranking we look at the two subject areas for the university in question. Again, scaled scoring is employed, with a top 20 position earning maximum number of points, and a minimum number of points for position 200.

Internationally and/or national recognized accreditations (50 points)

Perhaps an institution hasn’t achieved a high enough position on our subject rankings to earn points for a specialized subject – only so many can make the rankings – but is still domestically or internationally respected in a certain subject area.

If this is the case, we can award them 10 points for each domestic accreditation and 25 for each international one (up to 50 points) they’ve received from a recognized accreditation body specialised in a faculty area.

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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