The 2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings' Social Sciences table judges world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The ranking of the world's top 50 universities for social sciences employs 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.

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Top 50 social sciences universities

Rank Institution Location Overall score
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
93.0
2 University of Chicago United States
92.7
3 Stanford University United States
92.2
4 University of Oxford United Kingdom
91.2
4 Harvard University United States
91.2
6 Princeton University United States
90.3
6 Yale University United States
90.3
8 University of Pennsylvania United States
90.0
9 Columbia University United States
88.8
10 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
88.5
11 University College London (UCL) United Kingdom
87.2
12 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States
86.7
12 University of Michigan United States
86.7
14 University of California, Berkeley United States
86.4
15 Northwestern University United States
85.9
16 Duke University United States
85.1
17 New York University (NYU) United States
84.1
18 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) United Kingdom
82.9
19
University of British Columbia
Canada
82.4
20 Australian National University Australia
81.3
21 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
81.1
22
University of Toronto
Canada
80.3
23 University of Melbourne Australia
77.8
24 Cornell University United States
77.2
25 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
76.7
25 McGill University Canada
76.7
27 University of Washington United States
75.3
28 University of Texas at Austin United States
74.7
29 University of Minnesota United States
74.5
30
The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
73.4
31 University of California, San Diego United States
72.9
32
The University of Tokyo
Japan
71.3
33 University of New South Wales Australia
71.2
34 Ohio State University United States
70.9
34 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign United States
70.9
36 University of Sydney Australia
70.4
37 Pennsylvania State University United States
69.8
38 Carnegie Mellon University United States
69.7
39
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Singapore
69.0
40 University of Queensland Australia Australia
68.4
41 Peking University China
66.9
42 University of Manchester United Kingdom
66.3
43 Washington University in St Louis United States
66.2
44 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
65.9
45 King's College London United Kingdom
65.8
45 Brown University United States
65.8
47 Michigan State University United States
65.6
48 University of Warwick United Kingdom
65.2
49 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
64.5
50
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong
64.2
50 Utrecht University Netherlands
64.2

Social Sciences Rankings:
Technology giant's human touch

 

4 October 2012

It may seem counter-intuitive that a renowned technology institute should be the world's top university in the social sciences, but it should not be too surprising: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has an excellent portfolio in the field.

For example, it is home to the famous Sloan School of Management and also has a thriving School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, which boasts a number of Nobel laureates and Pulitzer prizewinners.

The institution was included in the social sciences table for the first time this year as it met our criteria that at least 10 per cent of its faculty should work in the field.
MIT wrests the crown from Stanford University, which falls to third place, just behind the University of Chicago.

Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel prizewinner for economic sciences, took his PhD at MIT in the 1960s and now works at Columbia University (ninth).
The social sciences table is dominated by the anglophone world. The US takes 29 of the top 50 places and eight of the top 10 spots.

The UK takes the remaining top 10 places, with the University of Oxford slipping from third to joint fourth and the University of Cambridge rising from 11th to 10th. University College London loses its top 10 place, falling from joint eighth to 11th.

The UK has eight representatives, the second-best total, followed by Australia (five) and Canada (three).

Australia is strong in the social sciences. The Australian National University is the country's highest-ranked institution (20th), followed closely by the University of Melbourne (23rd).
In total, nine nations are featured, with a single representative from China (Peking University in 41st), Singapore (the National University of Singapore in 39th) and Japan (the University of Tokyo in 32nd).

Hong Kong leads the Asian region with two representatives and the highest- ranked institution, the University of Hong Kong (30th).