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Out now: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

By Craig O

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

Discover the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 is here. Featuring more subjects than ever before (46 to be precise), this year’s ranking is the largest of its kind. If you know what you’d like to study but haven’t decided on a university yet, you literally don’t need to go anywhere else.

Four new subjects make their debut in this year’s ranking: anatomy & physiology, hospitality & leisure management, sports-related subjects and theology, divinity & religious studies. As well as adding new subjects, many of this year’s ranking tables have also been expanded to include even more universities than ever before.

This year, the subject ranking also incorporates rankings for five different broad subject areas: arts & humanities, engineering & technology, life sciences & medicine, natural sciences and social sciences & management.

Published annually since 2011, the QS World University Rankings by Subject aims to highlight the world’s top-performing institutions in a broad spectrum of individual academic areas and help prospective students identify leading universities in their chosen field of study.

Leading the way in this year’s rankings are several familiar faces from the world of heavyweight academia. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) both dominate with 15 and 12 number one rankings respectively across the 46 subjects. The only other university to top more than one subject ranking is the University of Oxford.

Four other UK universities are ranked best in the world in a specific subject, including Loughborough University which is ranked the joint-best university for sports-related subjects. The University of Sussex also enjoys best-in-the-world status, having overtaken Harvard University to be ranked number one for development studies.

It’s not all about coming first though, something the University of Cambridge proves this year. No other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects as the British university. Other universities to feature in the most top 10s are the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oxford and Stanford University.

All of this year's results are presented in interactive online tables, which can be filtered by location and by performance indicator. To explore the results on your mobile device, download the free QS World University Rankings app, which is available for iPhone and Android. For more in-depth analysis, download our dedicated online supplement.

This article was originally published in March 2017 . It was last updated in March 2020

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Written by

As Head of Content, Craig is responsible for all articles and guides published across TopUniversities and TopMBA. He has nearly 10 years of experience writing for a student audience and extensive knowledge of universities and study programs around the world.

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