UNC-Chapel Hill ranks 30th in 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities

Carolina also ranked in the top 20 for 11 academic subject areas.

The Old Well.
The Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. April 11, 2019. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked 30th in the world and is tied for 20th in the United States among global universities, according to the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities released by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy on Aug. 15. Carolina ties at 20th with Northwestern University. The University also ranks seventh among U.S. public universities.

“Measures like Academic Ranking of World Universities highlight the high caliber and superb work of our faculty, students and staff,” said Barbara Stephenson, vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer. “I am proud to see Carolina recognized as a leader among world universities.”

Carolina tied for 33rd in 2019 and ranked 30th in 2018. Harvard University, Stanford University and the University of Cambridge continue to hold the top three spots respectively.

Academic Ranking of World Universities evaluates universities based on objective indicators, including 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. The organization first published university rankings in 2003, and now ranks more than 2,000 universities each year. The top 1,000 universities are published annually.

The scores are determined by the weighted indicators listed above, with the highest scoring university earning a score of 100. The other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score.

Global academic subject rankings were also released. This year UNC-Chapel Hill ranked in the top 20 for 11 academic subject areas. UNC-Chapel Hill continues to rank highly in the medical sciences field and gained significant recognition in several social sciences.

The rankings and subjects are:

  • second in dentistry and oral sciences
  • fourth in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences
  • fifth in public health
  • ninth in statistics
  • 10th in education
  • 10th in nursing
  • 14th in biological sciences
  • 15th in biomedical engineering
  • 16th in sociology
  • 17th in computer science and engineering
  • 19th in business administration

For a full list of rankings, visit shanghairanking.com.