University of Toronto
#26 Overall Influence

University of Toronto

University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#14 World Rank
Medical
#15 World Rank
Political Science
#16 World Rank
Social Work
#16 World Rank
Computer Science
#18 World Rank
Religious Studies
#20 World Rank
Communications
#28 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#28 World Rank
Business
#28 World Rank
Engineering
#29 World Rank
Literature
#31 World Rank
Nursing
#32 World Rank
Sociology
#32 World Rank
Economics
#33 World Rank
Biology
#36 World Rank
Psychology
#40 World Rank
Mathematics
#41 World Rank
Law
#46 World Rank
Anthropology
#48 World Rank
History
#48 World Rank
Chemistry
#50 World Rank
Philosophy
#51 World Rank
Physics
#59 World Rank
Criminal Justice

Influential People

Who are University of Toronto's Most influential alumni?

University of Toronto's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Medical, Political Science, and Social Work. University of Toronto’s most academically influential people include Margaret Atwood, Russell T. McCutcheon, and Erving Goffman.

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood

Canadian writer

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Russell T. McCutcheon

Canadian scholar

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Erving Goffman
Erving Goffman

Sociologist, writer, academic

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John Polanyi
John Polanyi

Hungarian-Canadian chemist

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Northrop Frye
Northrop Frye

Canadian literary critic and literary theorist

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Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein

Canadian author and activist

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Walter Kohn
Walter Kohn

American physicist

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Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje

Canadian writer

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Frederick Banting
Frederick Banting

Canadian medical scientist and doctor

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Stephen Leacock
Stephen Leacock

Writer and economist

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Charles E. Saunders

Canadian biologist

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Bertram Brockhouse
Bertram Brockhouse

Canadian physicist

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About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Toronto received its royal charter in 1827 from King George IV. Originally known as King’s College, it was the first institution of higher learning in the colonial Province of Upper Canada (consisting of mostly what is now southern Ontario).

King’s College was a religious institution, operating under the auspices of the Church of England. In 1850, the university was transferred to a secular administration, at which time it also assumed its present name.

Today, the university comprises 11 schools at its principal location in downtown Toronto’s Queen’s Park neighborhood, as well as two satellite campuses.

In addition, several administratively autonomous but highly prestigious research centers are housed on the University of Toronto campus. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

Established in 1992 and named in honor of Toronto–mathematician John Charles Fields, the Fields Institute bestows its coveted award (the Fields Medal) every fourth year on several of the best mathematicians in the world under the age of 40.

Another world-famous research center located at the University of Toronto is the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS), founded by the distinguished French intellectual historian and philosopher, Étienne Gilson, in 1929. The PIMS helped to spearhead the twentieth-century revolution in our understanding of the Latin-speaking Middle Ages, the birth of the university, and the contribution of medieval philosophy to later European thought.

The university has been associated with 10 Nobel laureates and five Turing Award–winners, some of whom are listed below. Other notable University of Toronto connected people include the following:

Fine Arts and Literature

  • Novelist, Margaret Atwood
  • Classicist, poet, Anne Carson
  • Novelist, Stephen Leacock
  • Poet, soldier, field surgeon, John McCrae
  • Novelist, Rohinton Mistry
  • Novelist, Michael Ondaatje

Film, Photography, and Performing Arts

  • Film director, David Cronenberg
  • Film director, Atom Egoyan
  • Film director, Arthur Hiller
  • Film director, Norman Jewison
  • TV screenwriter, David Shore
  • Actor, Donald Sutherland

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Psychologist, Lisa Feldman Barrett
  • Literary critic, Northrop Frye
  • Economist, John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Sociologist, Erving Goffman
  • Political philosopher, Michael Ignatieff
  • Economist, Harold Innis
  • Communication and media studies, Marshall McLuhan
  • Psychologist, Daniel Schachter
  • Psychologist, Endel Tulving

Media, Law, and Public Affairs

  • Political commentator, David Frum
  • Social science journalist, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Political commentator, Naomi Klein
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada, William Mackenzie
  • Former Prime Minister of Canada, Nobel laureate, Lester Pearson

STEM Disciplines

  • Developer of insulin, Nobel laureate, Frederick Banting
  • Thoracic surgeon, innovator in field surgery, Norman Bethune
  • Mathematician, John Charles Fields
  • Computer scientist, Turing Award winner, Geoffrey Hinton
  • Computer scientist, Turing Award winner, William Kahan
  • Biochemist, Nobel laureate, John Macleod
  • Chemist, Nobel laureate, John Polanyi