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US News and World Report Ranks Carolina 36th Among World’s Top Research Universities

November 16, 2020
UNC Global
View of South Building

Fall scence of UNC campus. Photo by Jon Gardiner



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is ranked 33rd among the world’s top 1,500 universities, according to the seventh annual 2021 U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities rankings.

Among U.S. research universities included on the list, UNC-Chapel Hill placed 22nd overall and 7th among public campuses. The University ranked 33rd globally last year.

The 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 institutions worldwide from 86 countries using 13 indicators that measure reputation, research and academic collaboration. Data for the indicators is collected by Clarivate Analytics InCites.

Compared to last year’s ranking, there was no movement among the global top five universities. Harvard University tops the magazine’s list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Oxford.

The Best Global Universities ranking also provided rankings in 11 subject areas. UNC-Chapel Hill performed exceptionally well in the health, medical and life science fields. Carolina once again garnered 2nd in the world (2nd in the U.S.) for pharmacology and toxicology and 9th in the world (7th in the U.S.) for social science and public health.

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

  • Cell biology: tied for 30th (22nd in the U.S.)
  • Clinical medicine: 25th (17th in the U.S.)
  • Endocrinology and metabolism: 8th (3rd in the U.S.)
  • Gastroenterology and hepatology: 11th (6th in the U.S.)
  • Immunology: 29th (16th in the U.S.)
  • Infectious disease: 11th (6th in the U.S.)
  • Microbiology: 14th (12th in the U.S.)
  • Molecular biology and genetics: 25th (19th in the U.S.)
  • Oncology: ties for 29th (21st in the U.S.)
  • Psychiatry/Psychology: 19th (9th in the U.S.)
  • Public. environmental and occupational health: 13th (7th in the U.S.)

For the full rankings, visit the U.S. News and World Report global rankings website.


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