Included in the QS World University Rankings by Subject is a ranking of over 500 of the world’s top universities in the broad subject area of natural sciences, based on a methodology which assesses research impact, employer reputation and academic reputation.
Read on for an overview of the top universities for natural sciences in each world region, or click here to view the full table.
Top 10 Universities for the Natural Sciences subject area
Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
Top universities for natural sciences in the US & Canada
The US is home to 96 of the world’s top universities for natural sciences, with five institutions in the top 10. This includes the highest-ranked university in the world for this field, MIT. Outside the top 10, other strong US universities for natural sciences include Princeton University (13th), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Chicago (both joint 19th) and Yale University (=24th).
Heading north, a further 20 top natural sciences schools are found in Canada, including three in the global top 50: the University of Toronto (22nd), the University of British Columbia (35th) and McGill University (=46th).
Top universities for natural sciences in Europe
Germany is the best-performing European country in the natural sciences ranking, with 43 schools featured among the world’s best.
The UK has 38 representatives in the natural sciences ranking, including three schools in the top 10. Outside the top 10, six more UK institutions feature in the top 100, including the University of Manchester (=46th), the University of Edinburgh (54th) and UCL (University College London) (62nd).
Spain also performs well, with 11 entrants, including Universidad Autónoma de Madrid at joint 72nd. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ 10 representatives are led by Delft University of Technology at joint 85th.
Neighboring Belgium has eight top natural sciences schools, while seven are found in Switzerland, including ETH Zurich in the top 10 and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) at 11th.
Austria, Poland and Portugal have six top natural sciences schools each, with Austria’s Technische Universität Wien the highest-ranked at joint 151st.
Elsewhere, Finland and Ireland have five entrants in the ranking each, while Greece has four. Of these countries, the Finnish University of Helsinki is the highest-ranked for natural sciences at joint 92nd.
Next up are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary and Norway, all with three top universities for natural sciences apiece, while Romania has two. Of these five countries, Denmark performs best, with the University of Copenhagen featured at joint 48th.
Finally, Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovenia each have one institution featured among the world’s best for natural sciences.
Top universities for natural sciences in Asia
China is home to the most top natural sciences schools of any Asian country, with 36 representatives, including three in the top 50: Peking University (14th), Tsinghua University (16th) and Fudan University (43rd).
Japan and South Korea claim 19 top universities for natural sciences each, with Japan’s University of Tokyo in the top 10. Other high-ranking Japanese universities for this subject area include Kyoto University (15th), Tokyo Institute of Technology (=24th) and Tohoku University (=36th).
South Korea has five entrants in the global top 100 for natural sciences, including Seoul National University (SNU) (23rd) and KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (=32nd).
India has 11 representatives in the natural sciences ranking, led by new entry Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore at joint 128th. Taiwan has nine entries, led by the National Taiwan University (NTU) at 27th.
Hong Kong is home to six top universities for natural sciences, while Malaysia has five entries in the ranking. Two of Hong Kong’s entrants are in the top 50: the University of Hong Kong (21st) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (42nd).
Lastly, Thailand and Pakistan also feature in the natural sciences ranking with one representative each.
Top universities for natural sciences in Australia & New Zealand
Australia is home to 20 of the world’s top universities for natural sciences, six of which are in the top 100. The three highest-ranked Australian universities for this subject area are: the University of Melbourne (=29th), the University of Sydney (=36th) and Australian National University (ANU) (=38th).
In nearby New Zealand, five more top natural sciences schools are found, including the University of Auckland at joint 105th.
Top universities for natural sciences in Latin America
Of the 13 Latin American institutions featured in the ranking, six are in Brazil, with Universidade de São Paulo (USP) leading the way at joint 155th.
Argentina, Chile, and Mexico have two entrants each, with Argentina’s Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) sharing joint 194th place with Mexico’s Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Meanwhile Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) is ranked joint 228th for natural sciences. Another Latin American country to feature is Colombia, with one representative.
Top universities for natural sciences in Africa & the Middle East
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is represented by four of the world’s top universities for natural sciences, the best of which is King Abdulaziz University (KAU) at joint 314th. Finally, Turkey has three entrants, with Middle East Technical University ranked joint 308th.
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