Out Now: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 | Top Universities

Out Now: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

Discover the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Released today, the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 reveal which universities are the best in the world for 48 different subjects.

The largest ranking of its kind has been made even bigger this year by the addition of two new subjects: classics & ancient history, and library & information management.

The subject rankings are an invaluable resource when choosing which universities to apply to, and registered users of the site can shortlist and compare universities which interest them.

As for this year’s results, Harvard University can once again proudly boast of being ranked number one for more subjects than any other institution. The Massachusetts university tops 14 different subject tables, one fewer than it did last year.

The next two universities with the most number one positions are Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Oxford. These institutions are top of 12 and four subject tables respectively.

On a broader scale, universities in the US across all subjects have gone down more than they’ve gone up, something which is likely to be of concern to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the wider Trump administration.

Interestingly, the impact of Brexit on UK universities continues to be negligible, with 10 subjects topped by a British university – two more than last year.

Elsewhere in the world, the rate of improvement among universities from China and Russia has slowed, while French and Brazilian universities have fallen overall.

You can find out which university is number one for each of the 48 different subjects, as well as the five different subject areas which are included within the ranking, in the table below. Alternatively, click here to explore the full results.

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.

Every University Ranked Number One in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018



Harvard University

Accounting & Finance, Biological Sciences, Business & Management Studies, Economics & Econometrics, History, Law, Life Sciences & Medicine, Medicine, Modern Languages, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Politics & International Studies, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration, Social Sciences & Management, Sociology, Theology Divinity & Religious Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Architecture, Chemistry, Computer Science & Information Systems, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Structural Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering & Technology, Linguistics, Materials Science, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Statistics & Operational Research

University of Oxford

Anatomy & Physiology, Archaeology, Arts & Humanities, English Language & Literature, Geography

Colorado School of Mines

Mineral & Mining Engineering

ETH Zurich

Earth & Marine Sciences

Juilliard School

Performing Arts

Loughborough University

Sports-related Subjects

Royal College of Art

Art & Design

Sapienza - Università di Roma

Classics & Ancient History

University of Sheffield

Library & Information Management*

UCL Institute of Education


University of Amsterdam

Communication & Media Studies

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Environmental Studies

University of California, Davis (UCD)

Veterinary Science

University of Cambridge


University of Hong Kong (HKU)


University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Hospitality & Leisure Management

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Library & Information Management*

University of Pennsylvania


University of Pittsburgh


University of Sussex

Development Studies

Wageningen University

Agriculture & Forestry

*Indicates first-placed position is shared by two universities


This article was originally published in February 2018 . It was last updated in March 2020

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