You are here

Top Universities in the US 2019

Top Universities in the US 2019 main image

For yet another year, US universities dominate the QS World University Rankings, with 157 institutions ranked in the 2019 edition in total. Of these, 65 have improved upon their position since last year, while 47 have maintained their position.

Some of those 47 can be found at the very top of the table, with the top four universities both globally and in the US remaining unchanged since last year. Find out more about the top 10 US universities below.

10. University of Pennsylvania

A non-mover at 19th globally, the University of Pennsylvania has climbed into the top 10 in the US this year, due to Johns Hopkins University falling four places to 21st. It performs particularly well for its ratio of students to faculty members, one of the six indicators used to compile the ranking, scoring 100 out of 100 and ranking 15th in the world.

9. Columbia University

Up two places this year to 16th in the world, Columbia University also achieves a perfect score of 100 for its student/faculty ratio. Columbia was established in 1754 and has produced many notable alumni, including three US presidents: Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt.

8. Yale University

Ranked 15th in the world this year, Yale University is known for its highly selective law school. Yale was established in 1701 and awarded the first PhD in the US in 1861. It’s ranked fifth in the world for its student/faculty ratio and ninth for its reputation among academics.

7. Cornell University

A non-mover at 14th this year, Cornell University is based in Ithaca, New York. It was the first university in the US to award a veterinary medicine degree and is currently ranked second in the world for veterinary science in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

6. Princeton University

As with Cornell and the four universities above it, there’s no movement from Princeton University in this year’s ranking, as it continues to be the 13th best university in the world. One of the country’s oldest universities (founded in 1746), Princeton is considered especially prestigious for the arts and humanities, a broad subject area for which its ranked seventh in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago continues to hold down a place in the global top 10 this year, achieving its highest score for its reputation among academics. Established in 1890, the university is known for its strong focus on research. For example, the university’s physics department is known for developing the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech is the first of four US universities which remain firmly lodged as the world’s top four academic institutions for another year. Known as a leading tech school, Caltech is located in the city of Pasadena, California and is the smallest university in the US top 10.

It’s ranked fifth in the world for the citations per faculty, a measure of research impact. This is actually a drop of one place since last year, making Caltech one of the 118 US universities to see their rank for this indicator drop, suggesting the US is losing its dominance in the worlds of research and academic writing.

3. Harvard University

Harvard University retains its position of third in the QS World University Rankings this year. The oldest university in the country, dating back to 1636, Harvard has a large, residential campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is well respected in a broad range of fields, including law, business and medicine. 

2. Stanford University

Continuing to rank second in both the QS World University Rankings and the US this year is Stanford University. Based in the center of Silicon Valley in California, Stanford is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and business courses. Its alumni include many successful entrepreneurs such as the founders or co-founders of Netflix, YouTube, WhatsApp and Google.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

It really couldn’t be anyone else, could it? For a record-breaking seventh consecutive year, MIT has been crowned the best university in the world, helped by the fact it scores a perfect 100 for four of the six indicators used to compile the ranking. No other institution manages this.

MIT also achieves a world-leading score for citations per faculty and performs impressively well for its international student ratio.

The remaining top 20 universities in the US this year are…

US Rank

Global Rank

University

11

20

12

21

13

26

14

27

15

32

16

34

17

41

18

43

19

46

20

53


The next top US universities all achieved positions in the global top 500:

US Rank

Global Rank

University

21

56

22

63

23

66

24

=69

25

71

26

=83

27

=87

28

89

29

=93

30

95

=31

=100

=31

=100

=31

=100

34

115

35

=126

36

=132

37

136

38

=141

39

148

40

=156

41

169

42

=180

43

183

44

=184

45

=186

46

190

47

192

48

=195

49

203

=50

=212

=50

=212

51

=214

52

226

53

=237

54

=242

55

246

56

259

57

=279

58

=283

59

=302

60

=310

61

=313

62

=323

63

=326

64

=336

65

=338

=66

=345

=66

=345

=66

=345

69

349

70

=367

71

=373

72

=376

73

=384

74

=387

75

=391

76

=397

77

=412

78

419

=79

=426

=79

=426

81

=429

82

431

83

=435

=84

=439

=84

=439

=86

=450

=86

=450

88

=453

89

=461

90

=472

91

=489

92

494

93

=495

After 500, the world ranking continues in bands (e.g. 501-510). Universities which share a band are considered to have the same rank.

US Rank

Global Rank

University

=94

501-510

=94

501-510

=94

501-510

97

521-530

=98

531-540

=98

531-540

=100

541-550

=100

541-550

=102

551-560

=102

551-560

=102

551-560

=105

561-570

=105

561-570

=107

581-590

=107

581-590

=107

581-590

=110

591-600

=110

591-600

=112

601-650

=112

601-650

=112

601-650

=112

601-650

=112

601-650

=112

601-650

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=118

651-700

=126

701-750

=126

701-750

=126

701-750

=126

701-750

=126

701-750

=126

701-750

=132

751-800

=132

751-800

=132

751-800

=132

751-800

=132

751-800

=132

751-800

The remaining 19 top US universities are all ranked in the 801-1000 range, making them joint 138th in the US. They are:

Auburn University, Baylor University, Binghamton University SUNY, Brigham Young University, Florida International University, Fordham University, George Mason University, Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Miami University, Ohio University, San Diego State University, University of ArkansasUniversity of MississippiUniversity of Montana Missoula, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco, University of the Pacific and Utah State University.

Find out more about studying in the US with our complete guide, which includes advice on applications, visas, costs, funding and more.  

Want more content like this? Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

Related categories:

kamal d, syeda g & 10 others saved this
Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post
comment above our articles

0 Comment