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Carolina Ranks 33rd in 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities

August 16, 2017
UNC Global

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks 33rd in the world and 23rd in the U.S. among global universities, according to the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released by the Center for World Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on August 15.

“Global rankings such as AWRU confirm that the creativity and innovation we see across campus puts us among the best institutions around the globe,” said Ronald Strauss, executive vice provost and chief international officer. “We are very proud of the researchers and faculty whose work underpins our reputation.”

UNC was ranked 35th in 2016 and 39th in 2015. This year, Harvard University placed first, followed by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.

Since 2003, ARWU has ranked more than 1,200 universities and published the best 500 universities annually. Beginning in 2017, universities ranked 501 to 800 will also be published. The six indicators ARWU uses to rank universities include the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, highly cited researchers, papers published in nature and science, papers indexed in major citation indices and the per capita academic performance of an institution.

For each indicator of academic or research performance, the highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100 and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score.

The center also released subject area rankings in 2017. Carolina had 11 subjects that scored in the top 20 in the world, demonstrating notable strengths in the field of medical sciences. Those rankings and subjects are:

  • 2nd in dentistry and oral sciences
  • 4th in statistics
  • 6th in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences
  • 8th in public health
  • 10th in nursing
  • 12th in education
  • 12th in sociology
  • 13th in biological sciences
  • 17th in finance
  • 18th in computer science and engineering
  • 19th in communication

For a full list of rankings, visit

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