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Top Chemical Engineering Schools in 2014

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

To view the latest version of this article based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015, click here, or, read on for last year's results.

Among the 30 subject areas covered by the QS World University Rankings by Subject is a dedicated ranking of the world’s top chemical engineering schools.

The ranking is compiled using data from QS’s large global surveys of academics and graduate employers, alongside data on research citations. The results give an indication of which universities enjoy the strongest international reputations in this field, as well as those producing the most cited chemical engineering research.

As is the case in all of the subjects covered, the US boasts by far the most top-ranked universities in this subject, claiming almost a quarter of the top 200 places. Beyond this, however, the spread of high-ranking chemical engineering departments is very geographically diverse. The UK and China each claim 15 entries in the top 200, Japan and South Korea 11 each, Canada 10, and Australia and Germany 9 apiece. A total of 34 countries have at least one university highlighted among the world’s leaders in this subject.

Top chemical engineering schools in the US & Canada

As mentioned above, US institutions dominate the list, accounting for 48 of the 200 top universities for chemical engineering. The very top spot goes to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by the University of California, Berkeley (2nd), Stanford University (3rd) and California Institute of Technology (10th). The US features again in 13 and 15th, with the University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University respectively. Meanwhile the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University all make the top 25.

The US’s northern neighbor claims 10 entries within the top 200, of which the highest placed is the University of Toronto (46th). McGill University and the University of British Columbia are both within the top 100.

See more of the top chemical engineering schools in the US & Canada >

Top chemical engineering schools in Europe

Within Europe, the UK claims the most entries among the world’s top chemical engineering schools – and also the highest two positions. The University of Cambridge is ranked 4th, followed by Imperial College London in 6th. Among the 15 UK universities ranked within the top 200, other particularly strong performers are the University of Oxford (13=), University of Manchester (22=) and UCL (37th).

After the two leading UK universities, the next placed European university is the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology, ranked 8= (joint with Japan’s Kyoto University). Other European institutions to make the top 50 include ETH Zurich (11th), Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (36th), the Technical University of Denmark (41=), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (45th), and Karlsruher Institut für Technologie and Technische Universität München (joint 48th).

Discover more of the top chemical engineering schools in Europe >

Top chemical engineering schools in Asia

Universities in Asia have a very strong presence among the world’s top chemical engineering schools, starting with three entries in the top 10: the National University of Singapore (5th), the University of Tokyo (7th) and Kyoto University (8=). A further 12 Asian entries appear within the global top 50, led by Tsinghua University (12th), Seoul National University (17th), Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (21st) and Nanyang Technological University (25th).

Overall, China boasts the greatest might in numbers, with 15 entries among the top 200. Japan and South Korea are close behind with 11 entries each, while India and Taiwan claim 7 each and Malaysia 6.

See more of the top universities for chemical engineering in Asia >

Top chemical engineering schools in Australia & New Zealand

Australia has 9 institutions featured among the world’s 200 top universities for chemical engineering, including four within the global top 50: the University of Melbourne (16th), University of Queensland (20th), Monash University (22=) and University of New South Wales (46=). Curtin University and the University of Sydney are also within the top 100 for this subject area. New Zealand’s highest entry is the University of Auckland, which ranks within the top 100, while the University of Canterbury makes the top 150.

Image credits: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / (MIT)

This article was originally published in April 2014 . It was last updated in March 2016

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Written by

The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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