Top Medical Schools in 2016 | Top Universities

Top Medical Schools in 2016

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Sabrina Collier

Updated Apr 16, 2024



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With thousands of medical schools to choose from, if you want to study medicine you might not be sure which university is the one for you. If you want to study at one of the most prestigious medical schools, check out the latest QS University Rankings by Subject, which currently features 400 of the world’s top medical schools.

The ranking is compiled based on global surveys of academics and employers, alongside data on research citations (find out more about the methodology here). See below for an overview of the world’s leading medical departments, based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.

Top 10 Medical Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016



Name of Institution



Harvard University

United States


University of Oxford

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


Stanford University

United States


Johns Hopkins University

United States


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

United States


University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

United States


Yale University

United States


UCL (University College London)

United Kingdom


Karolinska Institute


See the full medical school ranking >


Top medical schools in the US & Canada 

Harvard University

As you can see in the table above, the US lays claim to an impressive six places within the top 10 of the ranking, and has a further 69 universities within the top 400, 16 of which are in the top 50. Harvard University maintains its position as the top-ranked medical school in the world, following its success last year. Also ranked among the top 20 for medicine are: Columbia University (13th), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 14th), the University of Pennsylvania (15th), Duke University (16th),  University of California, San Diego (UCSD, joint 19th) and the University of Washington (joint 19th).

Home to 16 of the world’s top 400 medical departments, Canada is well-represented in the ranking. Four Canadian universities are featured within the top 50: the University of Toronto (12th), McGill University (27th), the University of British Colombia (28th) and McMaster University (33rd).

Top medical schools in Europe 


Claiming a total of 34 entries in the top 400, the UK is the leading European country in the ranking. Oxford, Cambridge and UCL are all in the top 10, and are joined in the top 50 by Imperial College London (11th), King’s College London (21st), the University of Edinburgh (26th), and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (29th).

Offering almost as many top medical schools is Germany, with 31. Five German universities rank within the top 100, led by Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (40th). Next is Italy with 22 entries, including two among the top 100: Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan) and Università di Bologna (UNIBO).

Both France and Spain also offer good selections of top medical universities, with 14 and 9 entries in the medical school ranking respectively. The highest-ranked of these are France’s Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) and Spain’s Universitat de Barcelona, both featuring within the top 100.

The Netherlands has eight entrants in the ranking, including two top-50 appearances. These are Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam, which share 34th place.

Belgium and Sweden each have seven schools featured. KU Leuven (ranked in the 51-100 range) is Belgium’s top offering, while the well-known Karolinska Institute (10th) is Sweden’s. Fellow Swedish institutions Lund University and Uppsala University are also ranked in the top 100 for medicine. 

KU Leuven


SwitzerlandDenmarkFinland and Ireland each claim five leading medical schools. The highest-ranked schools in each of these countries are: Switzerland’s University of Zurich (joint 44th), Denmark’s University of Copenhagen (38th), Finland’s University of Helsinki (51-100), and Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin (101-150).

Another four entries each are claimed by PortugalGreeceHungary and Norway. Among these nations, the highest positions go to Norway’s University of Oslo (101-150) and Hungary’s Semmelweis University (150-200).

Austria has two representatives in the ranking, while the Czech RepublicPolandEstonia and Croatia each have one. Russia also makes an appearance with Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Top medical schools in Asia 

University of Tokyo

Of the 73 universities in Asia featured in the medical school rankings, 20 belong to Japan and 15 are based in South Korea. Japan’s leading entrant is the University of Tokyo (joint 23rd), followed by Kyoto University (joint 49th) and Osaka University (51-100). In South Korea, Seoul National University (48th) takes the top spot.

Among China’s 13 entrants, the highest place goes to Peking University, which appears in the top 100 for medicine. Taiwan has eight institutions featured, including National Taiwan University (joint 44th ) and National Yang Ming University (101-150).

Mahidol University is the leader among Thailand’s five ranked medical schools at 101-150. And among Malaysia’s four entrants, Universiti Malaya is the highest ranked at 151-200.

Hong Kong makes three appearances in the medical school ranking, with two within the top 100: the University of Hong Kong (30th) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (51-100).

Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Singapore all claim one entrant. Of these, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is by far the leader, in 22nd place.

Top medical schools in Latin America 

Universidade de São Paulo

With 10 universities featured in the medical school rankings, Brazil is the best-performing country in Latin America in this medical school ranking. The Universidade de São Paulo is the nation’s highest-ranked medical school at 51-100.

Colombia has three medical schools ranked within the world’s top 400, while Chile has two within the world’s top 200. These are Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Universidad de Chile.

Mexico also has two schools featured – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, 151-200) and Instituto Politécnico Nacional (301-400). And Argentina has one, the Universidad de Buenos Aires (151-200).

Top medical schools in Australia & New Zealand 

University of Sydney

Of the 19 universities in Australia featured in the medical school rankings, seven are among the world’s top 100. These include the University of Sydney (17th), the University of Melbourne (18th), Monash University (39th), the University of Queensland (43rd) and the University of New South Wales (joint 46th).

In neighboring New Zealand, two top medical schools feature in our rankings – the University of Auckland (51-100), and the University of Otago (101-150).

Top medical schools in Africa & the Middle East 

University of Cape Town

South Africa claims five representatives among the world’s top 400 medical schools, including the University of Cape Town (51-100 for medicine) and the University of Witwatersrand (151-200). A further two entries are found in Egypt – Cairo University (251-300) and Ain Shams University.

Heading north-east, Israel has four entries in the medical school ranking, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and Tel Aviv University, all ranked in the top 200. Lebanon’s sole entrant is the American University of Beirut (251-300).

Turkey claims three of the world’s top medical universities, of which the highest-ranked is Hacettepe University (251-300). Saudi Arabia has two entrants – the highest ranked is King Saud University (251-300), while Iran is home to one, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (251-300).

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