QS produces a comprehensive ranking of the world's best universities, broken down by region and subject.

QS's latest ranking was released on Wednesday, tracking the best schools on the planet in 46 different subject areas, including standard subjects like business and history, all the way to more obscure degrees such as mining.

In total, 18 different universities are considered to be the best in the world in at least one of the 46 subjects, although 15 schools top only one, with three taking the top spot in a combined 31 different subjects.

The three highest scoring universities are perhaps unsurprising given their huge prestige, but many of the other schools featured are less well known and specialize in one or two areas.

Check out the list below. The number in brackets represents the number of academic disciplines each university topped QS' ranking in.


Wageningen University (1) — Located in the Dutch town of Wageningen, around 50 miles from the capital, Amsterdam, this university is paradise for students wanting to study degrees related to agriculture and forestry.

Royal College of Art (1) — For the second consecutive year, London's RCA is the best place on earth to study art and design focused subjects.

University of Southern California (1) — USC ranks first in QS’ ranking for doing a degree in communications and media studies. The school also excels at varsity sports.

University of Hong Kong (1) — If you want to spend your life ensuring people have a mouth full of perfect, white teeth, then the University of Hong Kong is the place to go. QS ranks it as the best school in the world when it comes to a dentistry degree. The university was the best in the world for dentistry last year as well.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (1) — ETH is home to the best degree programme for students wanting to study earth and marine sciences. The university boasts more than 20 Nobel Prizes, and once educated perhaps the world’s most famous scientist, Albert Einstein.

University College London (1) — QS ranks UCL’s Institute of Education as the best place on earth to study for a degree in education. It currently has over 4,000 students studying for a variety of education-based degrees.

Loughborough University (1) — In the UK, Loughborough has a reputation for being incredibly good at student sport, as well as the teaching of sports science. That reputation is also global, with QS ranking it as the best university of earth for sport-related subjects.

University of California, Berkeley (1) — Often regarded as the academic pinnacle of the University of California, Berkeley is located just across the bay from tech hub San Francisco. However, it’s not technology based subjects where Berkeley excels. QS ranks it as the best university in the world for studying environmental sciences for another year, having topped the same category in 2016.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1) — Las Vegas is famous for one thing, and one thing only, entertainment. It is perhaps unsurprising then that its university is the best in the world for the teaching of subjects related to hospitality.

Colorado School of Mines (1) — Given it’s name it’s probably not surprising that the university excels when it comes to mining and mineral engineering, where it is ranked as the best university in the world. It is located in the town of Golden, Colorado.

University of Pennsylvania (1) — Located in Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, Penn, as it is known, is top of QS’ rankings when it comes to getting an education in nursing.

The Juilliard School (1) — New York's Juilliard School is the most famous and best place on earth to study performing arts like drama, musical theatre, and dance.

University of Pittsburgh (1) — Another school to excel in a single subject for consecutive years, Pittsburgh is the go-to destination for philosophy students globally.

University of California, Davis (1) — Just outside the city of Sacramento, Davis is one of the 10 constituent campuses of the University of California. It’s the place to go if you want to become a vet, ranking first of any university on earth for another year after topping the same category in 2016.

Oxford University (4) — Last year the UK rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge was pretty close, but in 2017, Cambridge failed to top a single category, meaning that Oxford runs out comfortable winner. Among the subjects where it is best in the world is English Language and Literature.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (12) — Topping the chart in everything from architecture to mechanical engineering, MIT truly is one of the world's global elite universities, and probably the best place on earth to study science.

Harvard University (15) — Harvard is the best university in the world for almost a third of the 46 subjects listed by QS, including heavy hitters like law, business & management, and political & international studies.