MIT retains top university ranking for chemical engineering

Article by Adam Duckett

Jay Yuan /
MIT was ranked top by the academics and employers surveyed by QS

MIT has retained its position as the best university for studying chemical engineering, according to the latest QS World Rankings.

The US university has been ranked top for chemical engineering for the last four years by the education analysis firm QS. Universities are ranked on five indicators including feedback on their reputations from hundreds of thousands of other academics and graduate employers, and citations for peer-reviewed research.

There is little change among the top 20 universities when it comes to overall scores for chemical engineering. The University of Cambridge slipped one place to fourth, while the University of Oxford rose from ninth to seventh (see figure).

Figure: The Chemical Engineer | Source: QS

Filtered by feedback

The rankings are designed to provide students a tool to compare the universities they are applying to. For example, if a student wanted to compare how UK universities are rated by graduate employers, they would find that the top ten universities in descending order are: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Manchester, University College London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Newcastle.

Would-be chemical engineers in Australia with an eye on a career in R&D would be interested to find that the top five universities for research citations are Adelaide, Curtin, QUT, Queensland, and UNSW Sydney.

Meanwhile, those in Malaysia keen to understand the international research network of universities will find the top five are: Universiti of Malaya, University Teknologi Petronas, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Comparing the overall scores of universities for chemical engineering in the 15 countries where IChemE accredits courses, we find the top ten are: University of Cambridge, UK; National University of Singapore; University of Oxford; Imperial College London; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Delft University of Technology; Tsinghua University, China; University of Manchester, UK; University College London; and Peking University, China.

You can filter and compare QS’ 2024 data for chemical engineering subjects here.

QS is not alone in ranking university courses. There is also the Times Higher Education rankings which in 2023 placed University of Oxford top.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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