Top universities for mathematics | Top Universities

Top universities for mathematics

By Holly Hemmings

Updated October 25, 2023 Updated October 25, 2023
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the top-ranking university in the world for mathematics this year 
  • The United States boasts the most ranked mathematics schools in this year's subject rankings, with 91 universities featured
  • This is closely followed by the United Kingdom, with 39 schools offering top mathematics schools this year
  • The highest ranked Asian school for mathematics this year is National University of Singapore (NUS) in 13th place globally

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject features 531 of the top higher education institutions to study mathematics

The subject rankings are based on five indicators: academic and employer reputation, citations per paper, H-index citations (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar), and international research network. You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here

Read on as we discover the best universities for mathematics in each region. Alternatively, if you would like to see the full list of top universities that offer courses in mathematics, click here

QS World University Rankings by Subject – Top mathematics schools 




Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT 

United States 

University of Cambridge 

United Kingdom 


Stanford University 

United States 


University of Oxford 

United Kingdom 

Harvard University 

United States 

University of California Berkeley 

United States 

Princeton University 

United States 

ETH Zurich 


New York University 

United States 


Imperial College London 

United Kingdom 


Sorbonne University 


Top universities for mathematics in the US and Canada 

This year there are 91 universities offering top mathematics courses in the United States and 21 in Canada. Overall, North America is home to 21 of the world’s top 50 mathematics universities in the world. 

The US is home to six of the top 10 mathematics schools worldwide. It places a strong emphasis on international collaboration. Our research partners at Elsevier found that 40 percent of the US’ research papers involve some international collaboration – way above the global average of 22 percent. Additionally, a quarter of these papers get into the top 10 percent of academic journals. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT retains its status as the world’s best university to study mathematics for a seventh consecutive year, receiving a perfect score for academic reputation and H-index citations. Outside of the top 10, notable schools in the US include University of California Los Angeles (12th), California Institute of Technology (17th) and Carnegie Mellon University (19th). 

Canada is home to three of the top 50 universities to study mathematics. The highest-ranked of these is University of Toronto (23rd), with a high score for citations per paper. Other Canadian top 50 entries are University of British Columbia (32nd) and University of Waterloo (43rd). 

Top universities for mathematics in Europe

220 mathematics schools featured in this year’s rankings are located in Europe

The United Kingdom has the majority of these mathematics schools – with 39 universities featured in this year’s subject rankings – and six of these are in the global top 50. Elsevier found that more than 60 percent of the UK’s academic research is a result of international collaboration, with a strong research focus of stock markets and market volatility, as well as on statistical mathematics and models of estimation. 

The University of Cambridge is this year’s top-ranked European university for mathematics, in second place globally, earning a high score in the academic reputation indicator. Other noteworthy UK universities include The University of Warwick (19th), The University of Edinburgh (36th) and University College London (41st). 

Germany also performs well in this year’s rankings, with 32 universities currently featured. The top-performing institutions this year are Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (39th) and Technical University of Munich (43rd). In common with some other European countries, Germany’s research mirrors some of the societal and economic pressures of the time, focusing on stock market volatility, financial markets, and theoretical and algebraic mathematics research. 

Spain is home to 14 of Europe’s top schools for mathematics. Of these, five are in the world top 150, including the country’s top-ranked Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (96th). France has 22 entries in this year’s subject rankings, including Sorbonne University which ranks within the top 10 worldwide as well as Université Paris Cité (52nd) and École Normale Superieure de Lyon (73rd) which also rank within the top 100. 

Italy has 19 universities in the mathematics rankings, including three in the top 100: Politecnico di Milano (34th), Sapienza University of Rome (65th) and Politecnico di Torino (98th). Belgium has seven universities with its top-ranked university KU Leuven (87th) being the only Belgian entry to the global top 100. Austria has five universities and also has one in the top 100: University of Vienna (87th). 

Denmark has four universities in the mathematics rankings with the University of Copenhagen (116th) achieving the highest score in the country.  

Switzerland and Portugal both have five entries with one Swiss university, ETH Zurich, ranking within the top 10 as well as ranking highly for H-index citations. Furthermore, Portugal’s top-ranked university, University of Lisbon (151-200), earns a high score for the citations per paper indicator. 

Top universities for mathematics in Australia and New Zealand

Australia is home to 18 of the best mathematics universities in the world, with three of these featuring in the global top 50. The University of Melbourne (43rd) takes the top spot nationally despite dropping three places this year. Other notable universities in Australia this year include Australian National University (=48th), The University of New South Wales (=48th), The University of Sydney (70th) and Monash University (86th). 

There are four top mathematics universities in New Zealand featured in this year’s rankings including The University of Auckland (104th), earning a high score for citations per paper. 

Top universities for mathematics in Asia

137 of the world’s top universities to study mathematics are found in Asia. The highest-ranked Asian mathematics university this year is Singapore’s National University of Singapore (13th). NUS is one of Singapore’s two entries. 

An impressive 35 universities are offering top mathematics programmes in Mainland China. According to Elsevier, annually Mainland China produces around a quarter of the global papers in mathematics. Its three top-50 universities this year are Tsinghua University (26th), Peking University (27th) and Shanghai Jiao Tong (46th). 

Six mathematics universities are located in Hong Kong SAR, including The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (59th), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (66th) and The University of Hong Kong (84th). 

India’s 16 universities in the rankings including four new entries this year: Aligarh Muslim University (401-450), Anna University (401-450), Indian Institute of Technology Indore (501-530) and Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (501-530). Japan also performs well with 14 mathematics universities in the rankings including The University of Tokyo (28th), Kyoto University (51st) and Tokyo Institute of Technology (74th) in the top 100. 

Malaysia has five universities in this year’s rankings and Taiwan has six including National Taiwan University (109th). Vietnam has four universities in the mathematics subject rankings. South Korea has 17 in the rankings this year with three entries in the top 100: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (42nd), Seoul National University (46th) and Pohang University of Science and Technology (91st). 

Top Universities for mathematics in the Middle East

Over in the Middle East there are 36 universities in the mathematics rankings this year. Of these, six are in Israel including Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (116th). Iran has four mathematics universities. The United Arab Emirates has two this year including Khalifa University (251-300), the top-ranked in the country. 

Saudi Arabia is home to four top mathematics universities, including the top-ranked mathematics school in the Middle East: King Abdulaziz University (34th), earning an almost perfect score for its international research network. 

Top universities for mathematics in Latin America   

24 mathematics universities are situated in Latin America. Brazil makes up half of these with 12 institutions featured in the rankings, including the top-ranked Latin American university: Universidade de São Paulo (83rd). 

Chile also performs well with six of Latin America’s top mathematics universities, including Universidad de Chile (134th). Argentina has two entrants this year, Universidad de Buenos Aires (142nd) and Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (451-500). Meanwhile Colombia also has two entrants. 

Top universities for mathematics in Africa and the Middle East

Africa has six universities in this year’s mathematics school rankings. Four of these are in South Africa and two are in Egypt including new entry Mansoura University (510-530). 

The highest-ranked African university is Cairo University (201-250) in Egypt, the only African university to rank in the top 300 in the world. This is followed by South Africa’s University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, and University of Witwatersrand which all rank 401-450. 


What university is the best for maths?

The top-ranked university in the world for mathematics is Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

What are the career options for a maths degree?

Some common career paths for graduates with a mathematics degree are accounting, finance, banking, acturial roles, statistics and academic research.

Other potential career paths are engineering, meteorology and teaching.

What is the potential salary for someone with a maths degree?

Salaries will differ based on many factors: the specific role a graduate pursues, the country they work in, how much career experience they have and much more.

According to payscale, the average salary for a graduate with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in the UK is £38,000.

This article was originally published in March 2021 . It was last updated in October 2023

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