The QS World University Rankings by Subject includes a ranking of 500 of the world’s top universities in the field of life sciences and medicine, based on a methodology which assesses research impact and employer/academic reputations.
Read on for an overview of the top universities in each world region for this broad subject area, or click here to explore the full results.
Top universities for medicine and life sciences in the US & Canada
The US boasts an impressive 121 representatives in the life sciences and medicine ranking, including seven positions in the top 10 (above) and a total of 33 in the top 100. Outside the top 10, other top US universities for life sciences and medicine include: the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) (14th), University of California, San Diego (UCSD) (16th), Duke University (19th), and the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington share 23rd place.
Heading north, and Canada claims 20 of the world’s top universities for medicine and life sciences, with the University of Toronto leading the way at joint 18th. Other high-ranking Canadian institutions include McGill University and the University of British Columbia, which are both ranked joint 28th.
Top universities for medicine and life sciences in Europe
Europe is home to almost 200 of the top universities for medicine and life sciences, including 41 in the United Kingdom. As well as Oxbridge in the top 10, other strong UK institutions for this subject area include UCL (University College London) which falls just shy of the top 10 in 11th place, Imperial College London (12th), King’s College London (KCL) (18th) and the University of Edinburgh (21st).
Germany claims 35 of the world’s top life sciences and medicine schools, including three in the top 100: Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg (=41st), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (=44th) and Technical University of Munich (TUM) (81st).
Italy also performs well with 23 representatives in this year’s ranking, led by the Università degli Studi di Milano at 80th.
France is represented by 12 entries this year, led by Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) at joint 94th. Also with 12 entries is Spain, including Universitat de Barcelona (UB) at 78th.
The Netherlands is home to 11 of the world’s top universities for life sciences and medicine, with the University of Amsterdam the best in the country at joint 35th. Five more Dutch institutions feature in the top 100, including the Erasmus University Rotterdam in joint 51st.
Sweden has 10 entrants in the ranking – as well as Karolinska Institutet in the top 10, another strong Swedish institution for life sciences and medicine is Uppsala University at 49th. Staying in the Nordic countries, Finland and Denmark have five representatives each, while Norway has four. From these countries, the highest-ranked institution for life sciences and medicine is the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, which is ranked 27th.
Elsewhere, Belgium and Switzerland have seven representatives each. All but one of Switzerland’s entries are in the top 100, with the University of Zurich the highest-ranked at 43rd. Belgium’s highest ranked institution for life sciences and medicine is KU Leuven at joint 66th.
Austria and Ireland have five top universities for medicine and life sciences each, while Greece and Portugal have four apiece. Of these countries, Austria has the best performing school for this subject area: Medizinische Universität Wien (Medical University of Vienna) (ranked 132nd).
Finally, the remaining European countries with at least one university featured among the world’s best for life sciences and medicine are Hungary (with three entries), Czech Republic (two), and Croatia, Estonia, Poland and Slovenia with one representative each. Of these countries, the highest-ranked university for life sciences and medicine is found in the Czech Republic, with Charles University ranked 226th in the world.
Top universities for medicine and life sciences in Australia and New Zealand
Australia has 24 institutions included among the world’s best for medicine and life sciences, including five in the top 50: the University of Melbourne (13th), the University of Sydney (17th), Monash University (=28th), the University of Queensland (32nd) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia) (=44th).
Four more top universities for this subject area are found in neighboring New Zealand, led by the University of Auckland at joint 62nd.
Top universities for medicine and life sciences in Asia
A significant number of the world’s most prestigious schools for life sciences and medicine are found in Asia, with China and Japan claiming 23 entrants each. Two of China’s entrants are in the top 100, Peking University (ranked joint 51st) and Fudan University (joint 88th), while Japan has two schools featured in the top 50: the University of Tokyo (22nd) and Kyoto University (40th).
South Korea is home to 19 of the world’s top life sciences and medicine schools, including two in the top 100: Seoul National University (=35th) and Yonsei University (=85th)
Taiwan has 10 entrants in the ranking, led by National Taiwan University (NTU) at joint 44th, while Thailand’s six representatives are led by Mahidol University at joint 115th.
Hong Kong has five top universities for life sciences and medicine, including the University of Hong Kong at 34th and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) (65th).
Of Malaysia’s four representatives, its leading university in this subject area, Universiti Malaya (UM), made an impressive leap from the QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015/16, climbing from joint 249th to joint 164th.
Singapore may only have two entries, but both feature in the global top 150 for life sciences and medicine: National University of Singapore (NUS) (20th) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) (=123rd).
Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia, Pakistan and The Philippines are all new to the life sciences and medicine ranking this year with one entrant each.
Top universities for medicine & life sciences in Latin America
Of the 16 Latin American institutions featured in the life sciences and medicine ranking, 10 are based in Brazil – including the highest-ranked institution in the region for this subject area – Universidade de São Paulo (USP) (129th). Also ranked in the global top 250 is Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) at joint 230th.
Mexico and Chile both claim two top universities for life sciences and medicine each, with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) ranked joint 176th while Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) is featured at 227th.
Lastly, Argentina and Colombia have one representative each in the ranking, with Argentina’s Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) ranked joint 207th for this subject area.
Top universities for medicine & life sciences in Africa & the Middle East
South Africa is represented by five top universities for life sciences and medicine, led by the University of Cape Town at joint 105th. Egypt has three entrants in the ranking, with Cairo University its highest ranked at joint 295th, while Uganda is new with one entrant.
In the Middle East, Israel is home to five of the world’s top universities for life sciences and medicine, with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the leader of these in 142nd place.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have two representatives in the ranking each, with the Saudi Arabian King Saud University (KSU) featured at joint 243rd.
Finally, Iran and Lebanon are both new to this year’s life sciences and medicine ranking with one entrant each.