Shanghai-Ranking 2012 Top 10 Chemistry Departments – US and Great Britain Dominating the Game

Author / Editor: Benedikt Stahl / Wolfgang Ernhofer

The Center of World-Class Universities began publishing the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2003. It is hardly surprising that the elite US and British universities have taken the top spots again, as has been the case in recent years. In the Subject Field of Chemistry however, the continental Europeans have been able to gain ground.

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Havard's Science Center once again takes the lead among the global universities...
Havard's Science Center once again takes the lead among the global universities...
(Picture: Wikipedia)

Shanghai/China – The Shanghai Ranking of the world’s top universities was published for the tenth time this year. The rankings of the universities and their academic fields are based solely on quantitative indicators. US universities were at the top of the rankings in Chemistry as well.

However, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich retained fifth spot, and a number of German Chemistry Departments made it into the Top 100 including Technical University Munich which moved up one place this year to number 12.

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The following summary takes a brief look at the 10 best universities in the field of chemistry and reveals where German universities were ranked among the Top 100. See the info box for an explanation of the assessment criteria.

1. Harvard University (USA)

Harvard University was ranked first again this year. The high number of graduates and members of staff who have been awarded a Nobel Prize was a primary factor. If the ranking had been based solely on the PUB indicator (number of articles indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded), Harvard would not have been among the Top 10 in Chemistry.

2. University of California Berkeley (USA)

University of California – Berkeley came second. The high rating was mostly due to the large number of articles which appeared in reference works and journals such as Nature and Science. However, the low number of faculty members who have recently received awards for their work in chemistry was a negative factor.

3. Stanford University (USA)

Stanford University appears to have a definite preference for publishing in Nature and Science. The institution is the leader in this category but to the detriment of publications elsewhere, which resulted in a 3rd place ranking.

4. University of Cambridge (GB)

In the field of Chemistry, Cambridge outperformed its British rival Oxford (13th) by a significant margin. Receiving solid ratings based on all of the indicators, Cambridge was ranked 4th.