Discover the Top Universities in USA: QS WUR 2019

London:  The USA is the world’s largest destination for foreign students. US colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students, reaching a record high of 1.08 million in 2017. QS World University Rankings 2019 has been released. Where the universities of the USA stand in the latest QS Rankings?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been named the world’s leading university for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year, according to global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The fifteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings, released on 06 June 2018, sees the United States retain universities in all of the top four positions, while its overall system records more improvements than drops, thus reversing a recent regressive trend.


MIT is followed by Stanford University (2nd, no change), Harvard University (3rd, no change), and California Institute of Technology (4th, no change). They are joined in the top 10 by the University of Chicago (9th, no change).

The US retains 33 institutions in the top 100, two more than in last year’s edition.

Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology remains the world-leader for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year. QS now rank the world’s top 1000 universities, which hail from 85 different countries, and their flagship website, is due to be visited over 65 million times this year by stakeholders in the higher education sector, according to current projections.

MIT remains world-leader due to its perfect scores in four of the six metrics used by QS to compile the ranking: Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student Ratio, and International Faculty Ratio. It is the only institution to achieve four 100/100 scores.

It also achieves a world-leading score for research impact (99.8/100 for Citations per Faculty) and continues to demonstrate its allure to international students (95.5/100 for International Student Ratio).

In total, 157 US institutions are ranked (full list in the ‘Notes for Editors’ section). 65 improve their rank, 47 remain stable within their position or band, and 45 drop – thus indicating overall progression for the US higher education system.

US progressions can be attributed primarily to improving feedback from employers, with 95 of America’s 157 ranked universities achieving higher ranks in the Employer Reputation indicator – the best overall performance in any of the six metrics.

However, closer examination of US performance in individual metrics suggests the existence of further challenges for the system.

118 of the US’s 157 ranked universities see their rank for Citations per Faculty drop, reflecting increasing research output (and impact) in the rest of the world. QS’s analysis has seen the average number of papers produced by each institution increase 12.1% year-on-year, and the average number of citations yielded from those papers increase by 22.2% year-on-year.

Additionally, there is also evidence that the US system’s attractiveness to both international students and faculty is decreasing. 118 of 157 institutions see drops in their International Student Ratio rank, while 112 of 157 receive a lower rank for International Faculty Ratio.

Ben Sowter, Research Director, QS, said: “After some years where the major narrative has been the relentless improvement of institutions outside the Anglosphere duopoly, this year’s edition sees both the United States and the United Kingdom emphasize their continued excellence as higher education nations. With six of the world’s top 10 research institutions – according to citations impact – in America, and seven of the world’s top 10 research institutions – according to raw citations yield – also there, it is clear that the US remains unparalleled as far as academic thought-leadership and intellectual innovation are concerned.”

Sowter continued: “However, it remains to be seen whether this year is the beginning of a prolonged period of US consolidation, or an anomaly. Certainly the signs of increasing international competitiveness still remain. China has devoted considerable effort into improving research output, with three of the eleven most prolific paper-producing universities situated there. In addition, there is no evidence that the relentless erosion of the US’s international education ascendancy is abating.”

QS World University Rankings 2019: US Ranked Institutions
20192018Institution Name
  1  1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2  2Stanford University
  3  3Harvard University
  4  4California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  9  9University of Chicago
  13  13Princeton University
  14  14Cornell University
  15  16Yale University
  16  18Columbia University
  19  19University of Pennsylvania
  20  21=University of Michigan
  21  17Johns Hopkins University
  26  21=Duke University
  27  27University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  32  33University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  34  28=Northwestern University
  41  38=University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  43  52New York University (NYU)
  46  47=Carnegie Mellon University
  53  55University of Wisconsin-Madison


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