Are you attending a university? If so, have you ever wondered how your university compares to the rest of the universities out there? Unfortunately, we can only bring you a list of 25 things so it’s kinda hard for us to give you an exhaustive comparative list of all the universities in the world (I know, bummer). BUT, what we can do is give you the 25 Best Universities In The World! Based on data from the Center for World-Class Universities operated by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, this list ranks the best universities in the world on purely academic prestige. If you’re looking for the best atmosphere, weather, or party life…well, you’ll have to look somewhere else. If you’re looking for the best school to graduate from, this is your list. More than half of the top 100 schools are in the US, mostly in California or Ivy League, but there are a number of excellent universities found all around the world. So whether you’re already in a university, a high school student looking for an undergraduate program or a working mom looking to go back to school, aim high because these are the 25 best universities in the world.
University of Wisconsin (United States)
With 40,000 students divided into 13 colleges, the University of Wisconsin ranks third in the United States when it comes to research expenditures.
University of Toronto (Canada)
As the leading Canadian school with over 80,000 students, the University of Toronto has produced 10 Nobel Prize winners, including the first two from Canada.
University of Michigan (United States)
Not only does it have a faculty consisting of Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy Award recipients, Nobel Prize winners, and MacArthur Fellows, Anne Arbor was listed as the number one college town in 2010 by Forbes.
Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
The MIT of the UK, the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine has a faculty consisting of 14 Nobel Prize winners. Fun fact: the Queen and the Prime Minister share the same physician who is on staff here.
University of Tokyo (Japan)
The leading school in Asia has capitalized on its position in the world’s largest city. 15 Japanese Prime Ministers have studied there and the university has recently expanded its English offerings in order to attract more foreign students.
University College London (United Kingdom)
Past and present students and faculty have earned 29 Nobel Prizes and the University has a staff consisting of numerous highly recognized professors (Royal Society, British Academy, etc). It has recently teamed up with Yale to form a transatlantic research program named the Yale UCL collaborative.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology aka ETH (Switzerland)
Once home to Albert Einstein, ETH is the leading school in Europe. With over 36% of its student body coming from abroad, ETH is an international technical powerhouse.
University of California at San Francisco (United States)
Dedicated exclusively to health sciences, University of California San Franscsco is the world’s highest ranked research university that is focused only on one discipline.
Johns Hopkins University (United States)
Operating the world’s leading medical school, John Hopkins receives more federal research funding than any other university.
University of Pennsylvania (United States)
Founded by Benjamin Franklin, this Ivy League school carries on the vision of its founder. It has an extremely diverse student body and over 100 research centers.
University of Washington (United States)
For a school of its size, University of Washington boasts an impressive 11:1 undergraduate student to faculty ratio and has a very commendable 93% freshman retention rate.
University of California at San Diego (United States)
One of the largest research centers in North America, 16 Nobel Laureates have taught here over the course of the past 50 years.
Cornell University (United States)
Running one of the country’s leading medical schools, Cornell has been extremely active in seeking out international connections. Just recently it started the first American medical school abroad located in Qatar.
University of California at Los Angeles (United States)
Popularly known as UCLA, this school receives more applications than any other school in the country. This is even more impressive considering that the school was only founded in 1919 as a two year teacher training program.
Yale University (United States)
One of the eight original Ivy League schools, a good number of political careers began here. Moreover, unlike its many counterparts, Yale hasn’t been cornered into just one area of specialization (like MIT, Princeton, etc) which has made it one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary research centers.
Oxford University (United Kingdom)
Tracing its origins back to the 13th century, its name has become synonymous with higher education. Nearly 1 in 5 people who learn English worldwide do so with Oxford University Press materials and 40% of the student body comes from outside of the UK.
University of Chicago (United States)
Founded in 1890, along with UCLA it is one of the world’s youngest elite universities. In spite of this, however, its students and faculty have won 89 Nobel Prizes.
Columbia University (United States)
One of the original colonial colleges, Columbia is the fifth oldest school in the US and its medical school, the College of Physicians and Surgeons produced the first doctors in the 13 colonies.
California Institute of Technology (United States)
Also known as Caltech, the school has an incredible 3:1 student/faculty ratio and every year nearly 7,000 applicants compete for just over 200 spots.
Princeton University (United States)
Still bearing a cannonball scar from the 1777 Battle of Princeton, its former president (John Witherspoon) even signed the Declaration of Independence. With no professional programs, Princeton has turned itself into the world’s leading research driven think tank.
University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Founded in 1209, Cambridge is older than most nations. In fact, there is a saying that the “history of western science is built on a cornerstone called Cambridge”. From Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin to Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, Cambridge has led the world in science. But it hasn’t just been science. Great philosophical minds like CS Lewis and Bertrand Russell have taught between these walls as well. In all, its faculty have received 80 Nobel Prizes.
University of California at Berkeley (United States)
Although most schools at this level are private, Berkeley is one of the few states schools that holds its own. It has students from over 100 nations and they have received more graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation than any others school.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Founded in 1861, MIT has become the world’s leading science research center and an endless flow of renowned scientists and engineers have studied within its halls. It doesn’t just focus on science though. Numerous significant politicians, thinkers, and world shapers have also attended here including Noam Chomsky, Kofi Annan, and Buzz Aldrin.
Stanford University (United States)
With an $18.7 billion endowment Stanford is home to some of the world’s most cutting edge and unique research. From its 150 foot radio telescope known as “The Dish” to the National Accelerator Laboratory, there is no end to the reasons that Stanford is ranked number 2 on our list.
Harvard University (United States)
Ever since rankings were established, Harvard’s spot at number 1 has remained uncontested. Founded in 1636 only 16 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Harvard is the most prestigious school in the world’s richest country and its $36 billion endowment shows it. It dominates in nearly every field of both the sciences and humanities. Furthermore, being located in the Boston metropolitan area creates numerous collaborative opportunities with MIT, Boston College, and others.