Harvard University Rankings 2021: Global Rankings, National Rankings, and Subject-Specific Rankings

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    Bhavya Rawal

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    If you’re wondering what makes Harvard University as prestigious as it is; there are various reasons for it being the epitome of ‘gold standard for higher education. Historic legacy, academic resources, generous financial aid, and world-class research opportunities are enough to justify the ranking of Harvard University in the world. The university has continuously ranked among the world’s top five as per most ranking agencies. 

    Apart from the university itself, various schools of Harvard are also infamous for their prestige around the world. For instance, Harvard Business School is ranked #5 by US News as the best business school in 2021, Harvard Law School is ranked as the 3rd best law school. 

    The university occupies top positions in all rankings namely, World University Rankings, Impact Rankings, Reputation Rankings, Excellency, and Best Value Schools. Discussed below are the Harvard University Ranking for 2021 as per various agencies in the world and in the USA. 

    Harvard University Ranking in the World

    Harvard University Ranking have been consistent over the years. Every ranking agency has listed this University among its top ten world’s best universities and has not altered its rankings since. This perpetual consistency can be explained by Harvard University’s longer-standing reputation among other colleges in the US.

    Harvard University Ranking globally over the years

    Ranking Agency Rank in 2019 Rank in 2020 Rank in 2021
    Times Higher Education #6 #7 #3
    U.S. News & World Report #1 #1 #1
    QS Top Universities #3 #3 #3
    Shanghai Rankings #1 #1 -
    NTU Rankings #1 #1 -

    Harvard University Ranking: Times Higher Education

    Harvard University world ranking 2021 is 3rd with an overall score of 94.8. The breakdown of scores given by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 is as follows:

    • Overall: 94.8
    • Teaching: 94.4
    • Research: 98.8
    • Citations: 99.4
    • Industry Income: 46.8
    • International Outlook: 77.7

    Comparison of Harvard World University Rankings 2021 with few renowned universities by Times Higher Education.

    University University of Oxford Stanford University Harvard University CalTech MIT
    World University Rankings 2021 #1 #2 #3 #4 #5

    Also Explore: Harvard vs Stanford, Harvard vs CalTech

    Harvard University is more recognized than the universities mentioned above even though it is ranked below them. It is probably because Harvard is a century older than many of them and because it has produced more famous graduates with its professional schools, for instance, Business, Medicine, Law, Kennedy School. However, the parameters used in determining World University Rankings by THE rely more on academic grounds and do not take alumni reputation into account. Here is a trend of scores given by Times Higher Education:

    Overall Scores by THE (2017-2020)

    The University of Oxford has been given higher overall scores than the rest since 2017. Princeton University has successfully improved its scores while the trend for Harvard has been filled with ups & downs over the years.

    Compare: Harvard with Oxford

    World Reputation Rankings 2020 lists Harvard University at the #1 position. The score breakdown for its reputational ranking is as follows:

    • Overall- 100
    • Research- 100
    • Teaching- 100

    There is no doubt why Harvard’s reputation tops the list. This is also reflected through the placements at Harvard University, where top recruiters from the world seek out graduates.  

    Harvard University Ranking: US News & World Report

    Institutions from more than 80 countries have been ranked based on 13 indicators that assess the global and regional reputation of the University along with its academic performance. Performance indicators like these help students to explore higher education options beyond their own country’s boundaries. Maintaining its constant position, Harvard University has been ranked #1 in the list of Best Global Universities Rankings for almost a decade now.

    Following is a breakdown of Harvard University’s performance on the indicators specified by Global University Rankings U.S News & World Report:

    Ranking Indicators Harvard University Weight
    Global score 100.0 -
    Global research reputation #1 12.5%
    Regional research reputation #1 12.5%
    Publications #1 10%
    Books #2 2.5%
    Conferences #101 2.5%
    Normalized citation impact #29 10%
    Total citations #1 7.5%
    Number of publications that are among the 10 percent most cited #1 12.5%
    Percentage of total publications that are among the 10 percent most cited #9 10%
    International collaboration - relative to the country #100 5%
    International collaboration #594 5%
    Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited #1 5%
    Percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited #20 5%

    US News focuses specifically on the schools’ academic research and overall reputation while calculating global rankings, unlike other rankings where admission rates and graduation rates are also taken into account.

    Harvard University Ranking: QS-World

    Harvard University is ranked #3 with an overall score of 97.9 as mentioned in the QS World University Rankings 2021. QS Rankings is believed to have adopted a consistent method in its analysis of world universities. Their framework is compiled of six metrics that effectively outline a university’s performance.

    Metric Points Weight Score
    Academic Reputation  40% 100
    Employer Reputation  10% 100
    Faculty/Student Ratio 20% 98.6
    Citations Per Faculty 20% 99.1
    International Faculty  5% 85.2
    International Student  5% 69.9

    The ranking of Harvard University has not always been 3rd. Harvard University ranking has been reduced to change. Given below is the trend of Harvard University’s ranking since 2012.

    QS World University

    Harvard University: QS Graduate Employability Ranking

    QS also ranks the universities on graduate employability- #5th in the world. This ranking reveals the top recruiter’s opinion on which university best prepares its graduates for the workplace. Their ranking criteria is very thorough and based on the university’s reputation with the employers.

    Ranking Criteria Scores
    Overall Score 97.8
    Employer Reputation  100
    Alumni Outcomes 100
    Partnerships with Employers  98.7
    Employer-Student Connections  76.3
    Graduate Employment Rate 87.5

    Harvard University is one of the top ten favorites among employers at the top companies with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University exceeding Harvard’s employability reputation.

    QS Graduate Employability Ranks University
    #1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    #2 Stanford University
    #3 The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
    #4 University of Sydney
    #5 Harvard University

    Listed are the reasons why Harvard University is a top choice among recruiters.

    • Harvard’s brand value
    • Students are educated by world-class academia.
    • On-campus events which promote learning outside the core curriculum.
    • Notable alumni leading to a strong professional network.

    Harvard University Ranking in the US

    As the oldest higher education institution in USA, Harvard makes a great name in the country. It ranks remarkably within USA and is recognized highly for its elite academic culture. 

    Harvard University Ranking: Times Higher Education

    Harvard University tops the list of US ranking 2021 by THE.

    Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
    Ranking Position #2 #1 #1 #1 #1

    Harvard University’s U.S. Ranking then calculates the following scores:

    • Overall - 94.1
    • Resources - 29.8
    • Engagement - 17.8
    • Outcomes - 39.6
    • Environment - 7.0

    The methodology is based on answering four sets of questions:

    1. Does the college have the resources and capacity to effectively deliver teaching?
    2. Does the college effectively engage with its students?
    3. Does the college generate good and appropriate outputs? Does it add value to the students who attend?
    4. Is the college providing a good learning environment for all students? Does it make efforts to attract a diverse student body and faculty?
    Merit Score Breakdown via Year

    The Resources area represents 30 percent of the overall ranking. The Engagement area represents 20 percent of the overall ranking. Slight changes (2017-2018) in the scores of these performance indicators are evident, explaining Harvard University’s jump from rank #2 to #1 in the 2018 edition of US Rankings.

    Harvard University Ranking: US News & World Report

    Harvard University is ranked #2 in the National Universities list prepared by US News & World Report. The ranking of Princeton University is higher than Harvard’s. The U.S. News 2020 Best Colleges Rankings compare institutions on 12 diverse parameters judging academic quality. The following factors are taken into account by the U.S. News while calculating National University Rankings:

    Ranking Factors Weight
    Graduation and Retention 22%
    Graduation Rate Performance 8%
    Social Mobility 5%
    Class Size 8%
    Faculty Salary  7%
    The proportion of full-time faculty with the highest degree in their fields 3%
    Student-Faculty Ratio 1%
    The proportion of faculty working full time 1%
    Expert Opinion  20%
    Financial Resources 10%
    Student Excellence 10%
    Alumni Giving 5%

    Other Ranks Given To Harvard University By US News In The 2020 Edition Of Rankings

    1. #12 in Best Undergraduate Teaching
    2. #1 in Best Value Schools
    3. #20 in Most Innovative Schools
    4. #5 in Writing in the Disciplines
    5. #31 in Study Abroad
    6. #6 in UG Research/Creative Projects. 

    Harvard University Subject-wise Rankings

    For the reputation Harvard carries, most of its courses are also recognized in the world. 

    1. Times Higher Education

    Below is a list of subjects and streams offered by Harvard University, ranked by the Times Higher Education 2020 Rankings:

    Subjects/Streams Ranks
    Education  #3
    Life Sciences #1
    Clinical, pre-clinical & health  #2
    Social Sciences  #4
    Engineering & Technology #1
    Physical Sciences #5
    Arts & Humanities  #6
    Psychology #6
    Computer Science #7
    Business & Economics  #5
    Law #9

    Harvard University: US News & World Report

    Harvard University consists of degree-granting professional schools namely; Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard College, & Harvard Medical School. Each year US News ranks professional school programs. The Best Graduate Schools are based on expert opinions and statistical indicators measuring the quality of the school’s faculty, research, and students.

    • #3 in Best Law Schools
    • #5 in Best Business Schools
    • #1 in Best Medical Schools: Research
    • #1 in Health Policy and Management
    • #1 in Best Public Affairs Programs
    • #24 in Best Engineering Schools
    • #1 in Public Health
    • #1 in Psychology
    • #2 in Space Science
    • #4 in Biological Sciences

    Career decisions by Harvard University graduates are greatly influenced by academic rigor and a community-based learning environment. Ethnic diversity has also played a vital role in defining the global ranking of Harvard University.


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    Business (3)
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    6 Reviews Found

    10.0 /10

    Placement :

    A large number of well-reputed companies like McKinsey, Boston, JP Morgan, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google etc offer jobs to the students of Harvard business school. One can get notified about the jobs and companies by checking the college placement cell or their site which puts up all the details regarding the jobs and placements.

    To find the perfect business school in the united states for my further MBA studies, a lot of research work was done by me. So further to initiate the admission process at Harvard business school an application fee of $100 was paid by me which was non-refundable. Also through the admission process, my GPA score of 9 helped me a lot.

    10 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    10 /10 infrastructure
    10 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    10 /10 extracurricular
    9.2 /10

    Placement :

    96% of 900 students in a class of 2020 session received an offer of employment. Some student from the other 4% have started their business or are self-employed. The main hiring is done in the field of Financial Services (29%), Consulting (25%) and Technology (19%).

    The School is a part of the Harvard University which comes in the Top 3 University in the world so no one who gets a chance to study here will never let it go. I casually filled the application form but never thought that it will be accepted. The application costs $250 through the college website.

    9 /10 academic/food
    9 /10 faculty
    8 /10 infrastructure
    9 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    10 /10 extracurricular
    7.8 /10

    Placement :

    The placement opportunities are mainly bought in by the placement cell, industry relation cell, and alumni management community. The percent of placement last year in on-campus placement is 90%. The average package received by the students is $60,000 per year.

    I knew very well about the popularity and placement opportunities that the college provides. It was always at the top of my priority list. So I decided to apply to the college but was not sure whether I will be able to get admission or not. The application can be made through the college website for $85.

    8 /10 academic/food
    8 /10 faculty
    9 /10 infrastructure
    5 /10 accomodation
    9 /10 placement
    8 /10 extracurricular
    9.7 /10

    Placement :

    Various corporate giants like Apple Inc, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Amazon, CVS Health, Facebook, IBM, Indigo Ag, Johnson&Johnson, jaguar growth partners and more than 500 companies recruit at our campus. The university has assigned several career coaches for us who take care of providing us with the required guidance and resources.

    Harvard university has been on top of my list on where I'd pursue my MBA since I loved everything about the college. Right from the campus, to professors, to placements, academics, etc. After working for a few years, I decided to apply for an MBA here and paid an online application fee of $250.

    10 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    10 /10 infrastructure
    9 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    9 /10 extracurricular
    9.2 /10

    Placement :

    Harvard's law school is one of the best law school in terms of placements As median salary offered in private sector is around $143000 which is a good figure .The ratio of placement is also efficient as maximum no of students get placed .Harvard law school provides maximum opportunities to students so they can get job as early as possible.The alumni network of Harvard law school is also so vast and all the alumni are on high posts in their respective fields .

    Harvard law school gives a different environment to explore the world and also provides practical experience of different tasks. The process of admission was simple and fine because of these benefits I opted for Harvard over other law schools. The application fee was around $85 and the mode for payment was online through credit card.

    9 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    9 /10 infrastructure
    8 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    9 /10 extracurricular
    10.0 /10

    Placement :

    There are tremendous opportunities to discover your passions. Career services is a great resource to learn about job and internship opportunities. A lot of opportunities are available to connect the students with big corporations.

    I always wanted to pursue higher education in the USA. I planned to apply to all the top tier universities. I was lucky enough to get selected in Harvard University. I grabbed the opportunity to study in one of the top-ranked universities.

    10 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    10 /10 infrastructure
    10 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    10 /10 extracurricular


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