Who topped the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021?

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 are now live! Read on to discover how institutions performed in key subject areas.  

More than 14,000 different academic programs were considered and ranked in different subjects for thQS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, rising by 1,000 from 2020, making the 2021 rankings the largest student-oriented subject rankings on the market. 

Additionally, around 850 institutions find themselves with entries in subject areas they haven’t previously achieved a ranking in. The US, UK, China, Canada and Italy are the top five countries with the largest number of new programs ranked. 

Covering 51 narrow subjects and five broad faculty areas, the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 detail the top institutions by subject area. See below for the top five institutions in Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Computer Science and Information Systems, Medicine and Nursing.  

For Arts and Humanities, the University of Oxford leads the pack, followed by Harvard University in second place, University of Cambridge in third place and the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University in joint fourth place. 

In Engineering and Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the list, followed by Stanford University in the second spot, University of Cambridge in the third spot and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in joint fourth place.   

MIT and Stanford also top the list for Computer Science and Information Systems, while Carnegie Mellon University takes third, the National University of Singapore takes fourth and the University of California, Berkeley takes fifth.  

When looking at Medicine, Harvard University retains its top spot from last year, as does the University of Oxford in second place. Stanford University moved up one place from fourth to third, while the University of Cambridge fell one spot. Rounding out the top five for Medicine is John Hopkins University in fifth place. 

Interestingly, John Hopkins places third for Nursing, after the University of Pennsylvania in first and King’s College London in second. The University of Washington comes fourth and the University of Manchester comes fifth, rising from its joint eighth place in last year’s rankings.  

To see the full results across all subject areas, please download the free report: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021. 

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