Skip to main content

US News and World Report Ranks Carolina 32nd Among World’s Top Research Universities

October 26, 2016
UNC Global

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ties for 32nd among the world’s top 1,000 research universities, according to the U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities rankings.

The new ranking builds on U.S. News and World Report’s widely cited Best Colleges rankings, which have rated U.S. universities and colleges over the past 30 years. The Best Global Universities ranking provides a global context for U.S. research schools, evaluating worldwide institutions using twelve indicators that measure reputation, research, academic collaboration and doctoral degrees awarded.

UNC-Chapel Hill is tied with Boston University and the University of Colorado–Boulder for 32nd among world institutions. Among U.S. research universities included on the list, UNC placed 26th overall and 11th among public campuses.

Harvard University tops the magazine’s list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and California Institute of Technology.

“Carolina pursues research, scholarship and service on many of the world’s most challenging issues. UNC-Chapel Hill’s position at 32nd in these rankings is a reflection of the work our students, faculty and staff are doing to address these issues and make our University an increasingly global resource,” said Chief International Officer Ronald Strauss.

The Best Global Universities ranking also provided rankings in 22 subject areas. UNC performed exceptionally well in health, medical and life science fields. UNC garnered 2nd in the world (2nd in the U.S.) for pharmacology and toxicology and 11th in the world (8th in the U.S.) for social science and public health.

UNC also earned the following worldwide rankings in these subject areas:

  • Biology and biochemistry: 38th (25th in the U.S.)
  • Chemistry: 40th (16th in the U.S.)
  • Clinical medicine: 21st (15th in the U.S.)
  • Economics and business: 39th (26th in the U.S.)
  • Environment/ecology: 46th (26th in the U.S.)
  • Immunology: 22nd (16th in the U.S.)
  • Microbiology: 14th (13th in the U.S.)
  • Molecular biology and genetics: 26th (18th in the U.S.)
  • Psychiatry/psychology: tied for 24th (17th in the U.S.)

 Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations, +1.919.962.4504,

More News