New ranking shows Top 200 universities for 29 subjects

See how Canadian schools measure up

University of Alberta (Photo by Chris Bolin)

There’s nothing quite like it. QS Intelligence Unit, a British firm, has released its first-ever world university rankings by subject. They offer the top 200 schools for an incredible 29 disciplines based on academic and employer reputation surveys and academic citations per faculty member.

The top five schools in each ranking are almost entirely British and American. Only two Canadian schools cracked the top 10: the University of Toronto for Environmental Sciences, Modern Languages and English and the University of British Columbia for English and Geography.*

But our schools didn’t flounder by any means. In fact, we have some exceptionally well-rounded institutions. Just look at the University of Alberta and McGill University, which ranked in all 29 categories.

Curiously, the highest ranked Canadian school is most often the University of Toronto, followed by the University of British Columbia and McGill University. Those are the same three schools that won gold, silver and bronze in the medical-doctoral category of the Maclean’s University Rankings.

Now for the Canadians results. Click here to see how our universities ranked for Pharmacy, Medicine, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Materials Science, Computer Sciences, Biological Sciences, Statistics, Mathematics and Engineering.

Click here to see where Canadian schools landed for Sociology, Psychology, Politics and International Studies, Philosophy, Modern Languages, Linguistics, Law, History, Geography, English, Economics and Econometrics, Accounting, Education and Communication and Media.

In case you’re curious, here are all the Canadian schools that made it into the Top 200 rankings. Beside each is the number of subject rankings (remember, there are 29 total) in which they placed.

University of Alberta 29
McGill University 29
Université de Montréal 28
University of British Columbia 28
University of Toronto 28
University of Calgary 24
Western University 21
McMaster University 19
Queen’s University 19
University of Waterloo 18
York University 16
Simon Fraser University 14
Université du Québec 13
Dalhousie University 12
University of Ottawa 10
Carleton University 9
University of Victoria 9
Laval University 7
Concordia University 6
University of Guelph 3
University of Saskatchewan 3
Ryerson University 2
University of Windsor 1

*Editor’s Note: The original post failed to recognize that UBC ranked in the top 10 for Geography. This has been corrected.

New ranking shows Top 200 universities for 29 subjects

  1. Out of the three major ranking systems used to rank universities, Academic Ranking of World Universities or ARWU, The Times Higher Education World University Ranking and the QS’s ranking, the QS rankings are by far the most biased in terms of favouritism of the old established institutions. When looking at their overall global rankings and the methodology of how these rankings are conducted, its clearly evident as to why Canadian institutions are ranked lower when compared to other institutions. In the QS Ranking, 40 percent of its score is based off academic reputation alone. Albeit the one thing QS does get right, and why many Canadian universities do worse in scoring, is that 20 percent of their scores are based off student-professor ratios… something Canadian schools to fail at trying to rectify (at least with some effort).

    This isn’t to say that The Times isn’t flawed (the largest area to score from here is citation works from professors), or the ARWU (its been criticized for being to science-oriented), but it definitely blows QS’s belief that academic reputation (or “academic peer review” as they like to call it) should be the primary indicator of a school’s brilliance. Without that “academic peer review”, Canadian schools in both The Times, and the ARWU have ranked higher globally then they ever had in QS (and while these schools didn’t place at the exact same spot in both rankings, both The Times and ARWU had the majority of Canadian schools placed in the same general area).

  2. Having been at top schools in the States, quite frankly the only two schools that actually matter in the international playing field is UToronto and McGill.

  3. @ Ivy

    If you’ve supposedly been to “top schools in the States”, then why don’t you seem to understand that your statement should have read, “the only two schools that actually matter in the international playing field ARE UToronto and McGill”?

  4. Usually it’s Toronto and McGill splitting the top two spots with everyone else close behind. I would say the difference in medical school rankings is very small so I wouldn’t worry about it. The difference in quality of med schools is much higher in the US than Canada. In terms of research $$$ and publications, I believe Toronto takes the lead but in terms of education quality, it is about the same as other medical schools. I don’t know specifically anything abut Memorial or Dalhousie. In addition, from what I recall the McLean’s rankings are not being done anymore because the universities didn’t feel they could accurately rank universities. So my point is just apply to the school you want to go to, on interview ask the students how they feel about their school, and decide whether you would like to go there. Don’t worry about rankings. You will get an MD from anywhere you graduate.

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