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Top Universities for Natural Sciences 2014

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Click here to discover the top universities for natural sciences in 2017. 

Want to become a world-class chemist, physicist, astronomer or other such lab-coated genius? Discover the top universities in the world within the field of natural sciences in the list below. The results are based on the QS World University Rankings by Faculty, based on data about research citations as well as academic and employer opinion.

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Below, in video and list format, are the 10 top universities in the world for natural sciences this year.

Top 10 universities for natural sciences 2014

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Last year’s rank: 2nd (in the natural sciences faculty rankings)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

School: Private research, land grant

Fact: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world overall, and offers a strong entrepreneurial culture alongside its 32 departments.

2. Harvard University

Last year’s rank: 5th

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

Type: Private research (Ivy League)

Fact: As many as eight Harvard University alumni have their signatures on the Declaration of Independence. The school also received a US$30 billion endowment in 2012, the largest of any university in the US.

3. University of Cambridge

Last year’s rank: 1st

Location: Cambridge, UK

Type: Public research (with private colleges)

Fact: The University of Cambridge boasts naturalist Charles Darwin and the man responsible for the first cloning of a mammal, Sir Ian Wilmut, among its alumni.

4. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Last year’s rank: 6th

Location: Zürich, Switzerland

Type: Public

Fact: Located in a German-speaking region of Switzerland, ETH Zurich is renowned for its mathematics, physics and chemistry programs, and boasts Albert Einstein among its most prestigious alumni.

5. University of Oxford

Last year’s rank: 8th

Location: Oxford, UK

Type: Public research (with private colleges)

Fact: One half of ‘Oxbridge’, the University of Oxford is the oldest of all higher education institutions in the UK and also host to the world’s first public museum, the Ashmolean Museum, opened in 1683.

6. Stanford University

Last year’s rank: 4th

Location: Stanford, California, US

Type: Private research

Fact: The huge massive 8,100 acre campus which constitutes Stanford University spans six different governmental jurisdictions, and includes almost 50 miles of roads, three open reservoirs and more than 43,000 trees.

7. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Last year’s rank: 3rd

Location: Berkeley, California, US

Type: Public research

Fact: Past researchers of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) are known for the discovery of four elements (berkelium, californium, lawrencium and seaborgium) in the periodic table of elements.

8. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Last year’s rank: 10th

Location: Pasadena, California, US

Type: Private research

Fact: Located just 11 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is one of the smallest private universities in the US, with an undergraduate enrolment of fewer than 1,000 students.

9. University of Tokyo

Last year’s rank: 16th

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Type: Public research (national)

Fact: The University of Tokyo has five campuses spread across Japan’s capital city and was the first of the country’s seven national universities to be established.

10. Princeton University

Last year’s rank: 10th

Location: Princeton, New Jersey, US

Type: Private research (Ivy League)

Fact: Princeton University in the first major research university to have women in two of the school’s highest positions: president (Shirley Tilghman) and provost (Amy Gutman).

About the QS World University Rankings by Faculty

The QS World University Rankings by Faculty aims to highlight the top universities in the world within five major subject areas. These five fields cover arts & humanities, engineering & technology, life sciences & medicine, natural sciences, and social sciences & management. These rankings are compiled using data on research citations, as well as data collected from the results of QS’s global surveys of academics and employers.

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a former staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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