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Which colleges and universities are the most influential in the world? And, in what do they excel?

Find the colleges and universities that have made the biggest historical impact in the discipline, country, and timeframe of your choice! We rank universities and colleges from around the world based on the scholarly work of their faculty and alumni, i.e., influence.

Note: The schools featured using this tool are influential in the disciplines selected. This does not necessarily mean that they offer a degree in the selected discipline. For example, Princeton University ranks highly for its influence in law. Given that Princeton is the alma mater of three former US presidents (James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, and John F. Kennedy) and three Supreme Court Justices (Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, & Sonia Sotomayor), among many other prominent statespeople and law makers, Princeton’s influence in the field of law is undeniable. Nevertheless, they offer degrees in politics and public policy, but not in law specifically.

To find influential schools in the US that offer degrees in your area of interest, use our Custom College Rankings tool.

Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …

What is Desirability?

List of the most influential schools in Nursing, for the years 2000 – 2020

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
#51

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

#1073 institution's overall influence
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a health science university of the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps as medical professionals, nurses, and physicians.
Boston College
#52

Boston College

#272 institution's overall influence
#49 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$55K

Acceptance

28%

Graduation

93%

Student body

12K

Median SAT/ACT

1405/32

Chestnut Hill, MA

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Boston College (BC) was founded in 1863 by the Jesuit religious order. BC is organized into nine colleges and schools. The undergraduate division of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences alone offers more than 100 academic programs.
University of Cincinnati
#53

University of Cincinnati

#187 institution's overall influence
#1179 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

73%

Graduation

67%

Student body

32K

Median SAT/ACT

1265/26

Cincinnati, OH

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The University of Cincinnati (UC) was founded in 1819. It is the oldest university in Ohio and—with a student population of more than 46,000—the second-largest.
University of Chicago
#54

University of Chicago

#5 institution's overall influence
#8 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$57K

Acceptance

7%

Graduation

94%

Student body

12K

Median SAT/ACT

1520/34

Chicago, IL

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The University of Chicago is one of the foremost universities in the world academically, albeit one of the youngest in that august company. In spite of its relatively recent founding, the school has been associated with some of the world’s most important scientific achievements, above all, the first controlled, self-sustaining, nuclear chain reaction (atomic fission), which was achieved in late 1942 by a team led by the legendary Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, in a laboratory beneath a football field on the Chicago campus.
Curtin University
#55

Curtin University

#833 institution's overall influence
Curtin University is an Australian public research university based in Bentley, Perth, Western Australia. It is named after John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with 56,662 students in 2017.
Wayne State University
#56

Wayne State University

#232 institution's overall influence
#842 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$14K

Acceptance

71%

Graduation

39%

Student body

20K

Median SAT/ACT

1110/24

Detroit, MI

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Wayne State University is a public research university in Detroit, Michigan. It is Michigan's third-largest university. Founded in 1868, Wayne State consists of 13 schools and colleges offering more than 350 programs to nearly 27,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Wayne State University, along with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, comprise the University Research Corridor of Michigan. It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".
University of Wisconsin–Madison
#57

University of Wisconsin–Madison

#25 institution's overall influence
#216 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

52%

Graduation

85%

Student body

36K

Median SAT/ACT

1365/29

Madison, WI

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The University of Wisconsin was founded at the same time that the eastern part of the Wisconsin Territory became the new state of Wisconsin and entered the union. In accord with its charter, the new state university was physically located in the state capital, Madison.
University of Plymouth
#58

University of Plymouth

#783 institution's overall influence
The University of Plymouth is a public university based predominantly in Plymouth, England where the main campus is located, but the university has campuses and affiliated colleges across South West England. With students, it is the largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students . It has 2,915 staff.
University of Manchester
#59

University of Manchester

#34 institution's overall influence
With more than 40,000 students, Manchester is the largest single-site university in the United Kingdom. While it traces its roots back to the Manchester Mechanics’ Institute founded in 1824, the present university was formed by the merger of University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and Victoria University of Manchester in 2004.
Case Western Reserve University
#60

Case Western Reserve University

#134 institution's overall influence
#110 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$49K

Acceptance

29%

Graduation

82%

Student body

9K

Median SAT/ACT

1435/32

Cleveland, OH

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Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was established in 1967 through the merger of Western Reserve University (founded in 1826) and Case Institute of Technology (founded in 1880).
#61

Birmingham City University

#1023 institution's overall influence
Birmingham City University is a university in Birmingham, England. Initially established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843, it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
#62

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

#837 institution's overall influence
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was a state-run health sciences institution of New Jersey, United States.
Indiana University Northwest
#63

Indiana University Northwest

#2249 institution's overall influence
#1351 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

80%

Graduation

24%

Student body

3K

Median SAT/ACT

1005/20

Gary, IN

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Indiana University Northwest is a public university in Gary, Indiana. It is a regional campus of Indiana University and was established in 1963.
Dublin City University
#64

Dublin City University

#682 institution's overall influence
Dublin City University is a university based on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland. Created as the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin in 1975, it enrolled its first students in 1980, and was elevated to university status in September 1989 by statute.
Florida International University
#65

Florida International University

#465 institution's overall influence
#215 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

59%

Graduation

56%

Student body

46K

Median SAT/ACT

1175/25

Miami, FL

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Florida International University is a public research university in University Park, Miami, Florida. It is a member of the State University System of Florida. FIU is the first and only school in South Florida to achieve the "Emerging Preeminence" designation by the Florida Legislature.
#66

Flinders University

#704 institution's overall influence
Flinders University is a public university founded in 1966, which is based in Adelaide, South Australia. Its main campus is located at Bedford Park in Adelaide's inner south, with sites at Victoria Square in the centre of the city, Tonsley, regional South Australia, south-west Victoria and throughout the Northern Territory.
Drexel University
#67

Drexel University

#264 institution's overall influence
#54 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$53K

Acceptance

77%

Graduation

70%

Student body

23K

Median SAT/ACT

1275/27

Philadelphia, PA

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Drexel University is a private research university with its main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a financier and philanthropist. Founded as Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry, it was renamed Drexel Institute of Technology in 1936, before assuming its current name in 1970.
Mercer University
#68

Mercer University

#616 institution's overall influence
#1052 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$25K

Acceptance

72%

Graduation

66%

Student body

7K

Median SAT/ACT

1260/27

Macon, GA

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Mercer University is a private research university with its main campus in Macon, Georgia. Founded in 1833 as Mercer Institute and gaining university status in 1837, it is the oldest private university in Georgia and enrolls more than 8,600 students in 12 colleges and schools: liberal arts, business, engineering, education, music, college of professional advancement, law, theology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and health professions. Mercer is a member of the Georgia Research Alliance and has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest collegiate honors society. Mercer University alumni ...
University of Alberta
#69

University of Alberta

#144 institution's overall influence
The University of Alberta is a public research university founded in 1908—just three years after the Province of Alberta officially entered the Dominion of Canada.
Monash University
#70

Monash University

#243 institution's overall influence
Monash University is a public research university based in Melbourne, Australia. Named for prominent World War I general Sir John Monash, it was founded in 1958 and is the second oldest university in the state of Victoria. The university has a number of campuses, four of which are in Victoria , and one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy, a graduate research school in Mumbai, India and a graduate school in Suzhou, China. Monash University courses are also delivered at other locations, including South Africa.
University of Oxford
#71

University of Oxford

#11 institution's overall influence
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, which affords it an aura of awe and respect that no amount of money can buy.
University of Texas at Austin
#72

University of Texas at Austin

#43 institution's overall influence
#43 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

39%

Graduation

81%

Student body

45K

Median SAT/ACT

1355/30

Austin, TX

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By rights, the University of Texas (known within Texas itself as “UT,” for short) ought to be 40 years older than it is. In 1839, the Republic of Texas officially set aside 40 acres of prime real estate in the center of the new country’s capital city, Austin, as the site for the campus of a national university. The Texas Congress also granted 288,000 acres of land, mainly in the western regions of the Republic, as a financial endowment for the future university.
University of Utah
#73

University of Utah

#74 institution's overall influence
#1235 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$9K

Acceptance

67%

Graduation

65%

Student body

27K

Median SAT/ACT

1240/25

Salt Lake City, UT

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The University of Utah was established as the University of Deseret in 1850. Like all “Deseret” (the original name for Utah) institutions, it was originally closely associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”).
University of Colorado Boulder
#74

University of Colorado Boulder

#162 institution's overall influence

Tuition + fees

$12K

Acceptance

82%

Graduation

70%

Student body

32K

Median SAT/ACT

1255/28

Boulder, CO

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The University of Colorado Boulder , colloquially referred to as CU or Colorado, is a public research university in Boulder, Colorado. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system, and was founded in 1876, five months before Colorado became a state. CU Boulder is a member of the Association of American Universities, a selective group of major research universities in North America, and is classified as an R1 University, meaning that it engages in a very high level of research activity. According to the National Science Foundation, the university spent $514 million on rese...
#75

Trinity University of Asia

#1879 institution's overall influence
Trinity University of Asia , also known as TUA or simply Trinity, is a non-sectarian private university located in Quezon City, Philippines. Formally established in 1963 as an elementary, high school and collegiate educational institution by the Protestant Episcopalians, it dates back its earliest establishment in 1907 when the Trinity University of Asia - St. Luke's College of Nursing, its oldest organic academic unit, was established under the St. Luke's Hospital, the present day St. Luke's Medical Center. It later acquired its university status on July 18, 2006.
#76

Anna Scher Theatre

#1166 institution's overall influence
The Anna Scher Theatre is an independent and co-educational performing arts school based in Islington, Greater London. It was founded in 1968 by Anna Scher.
Silliman University
#77

Silliman University

#722 institution's overall influence
Silliman University is a private research university in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, the Philippines. Established in 1901 as Silliman Institute by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, it is the first American institution of higher learning in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent.
University of Cambridge
#78

University of Cambridge

#4 institution's overall influence
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world (or, at least, in Europe, not to prejudge the claims of several Islamic institutions to that title).
University of Missouri
#79

University of Missouri

#127 institution's overall influence
#1169 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$10K

Acceptance

78%

Graduation

68%

Student body

26K

Median SAT/ACT

1190/26

Columbia, MO

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The University of Missouri (often referred to as “Mizzou”) was founded in 1839. It was the first public university west of the Mississippi River.
West Virginia University
#80

West Virginia University

#415 institution's overall influence
#1022 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$9K

Acceptance

82%

Graduation

57%

Student body

26K

Median SAT/ACT

1145/24

Morgantown, WV

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West Virginia University is a public, land-grant, research university with its main campus in Morgantown, West Virginia. Its other campuses are those of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser, and a second clinical campus for the university's medical and dental schools at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston. WVU Extension Service provides outreach with offices in all of West Virginia's 55 counties.
University of Liverpool
#81

University of Liverpool

#152 institution's overall influence
The University of Liverpool is a public university based in the city of Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its royal charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees and is also known to be one of the six original 'red brick' civic universities. It comprises three faculties organised into 35 departments and schools. It is a founding member of the Russell Group, the N8 Group for research collaboration and the university management school is AACSB accredited.
Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne
#82

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

#3392 institution's overall influence
Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne was a public university in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Founded in 1964, IPFW was a cooperatively-managed regional campus of two state university systems: Indiana University and Purdue University. IPFW hit its highest enrollment in 2014, with 13,459 undergraduate and postgraduate students in nine colleges and schools, including a branch of the Indiana University School of Medicine. During its last academic year , IPFW had a total enrollment of 10,414 students. IPFW offered more than 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through IU or Purdue u
University of Salford
#83

University of Salford

#653 institution's overall influence
The University of Salford, Manchester is a public university in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, west of Manchester city centre. The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, which opened in 1896, became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status in 1967, following the Robbins Report into higher education.
Palawan State University
#84

Palawan State University

#3809 institution's overall influence
The Palawan State University is a government-funded university in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.
University of Virginia
#85

University of Virginia

#44 institution's overall influence
#40 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$17K

Acceptance

26%

Graduation

94%

Student body

24K

Median SAT/ACT

1415/32

Charlottesville, VA

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The University of Virginia (UVA) was very much the personal project of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia already had a venerable and distinguished university, the College of William & Mary, which is the second-oldest in the country—founded right after Harvard—and was Jefferson’s own alma mater.
University of St. La Salle
#86

University of St. La Salle

#2082 institution's overall influence
The University of St. La Salle is a Catholic private research university run by the De La Salle Brothers, located in La Salle Avenue, Bacolod, Philippines. Established in 1952 as La Salle College - Bacolod, it is the second oldest campus founded by the congregation in the country. The university is a member of De La Salle Philippines, a network established in 2006 comprising 16 Lasallian educational institutions in the country. The university offers preschool, elementary, secondary , undergraduate, and graduate programs. It has seven colleges namely: Business and Accountancy, Engineering and...
University of Rochester
#87

University of Rochester

#91 institution's overall influence
#61 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$54K

Acceptance

29%

Graduation

85%

Student body

11K

Median SAT/ACT

1410/32

Rochester, NY

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The University of Rochester traces its roots to the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, founded in 1817 in the town of Hamilton in central New York state. Its primary function was to train Baptist clergymen. In 1823, the educational society changed its name to the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution.
#88

University of Health Sciences, Lahore

#3471 institution's overall influence
The University of Health Sciences, Lahore is a graduate, affiliating public university located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.
Angelo State University
#89

Angelo State University

#1500 institution's overall influence
#1397 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

73%

Graduation

36%

Student body

8K

Median SAT/ACT

1015/20

San Angelo, TX

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Angelo State University is a public university in San Angelo, Texas. It was founded in 1928 as San Angelo College. It gained university status and awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in 1967 and graduate degrees in 1969, the same year it took on its current name. It offers over 100 undergraduate programs and 34 graduate programs. It is the second-largest campus in the Texas Tech University System.
McGill University
#90

McGill University

#40 institution's overall influence
McGill University is the direct descendent of McGill College, founded by royal charter in 1821 and largely funded by a bequest from the Scottish-born Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, James McGill. The university took its present name in 1885.
De La Salle University
#91

De La Salle University

#499 institution's overall influence
De La Salle University , also known simply as La Salle and abbreviated as DLSU, is a private, Catholic research university run by the De La Salle Brothers located in Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila, Philippines. It was established in 1911 as the De La Salle College in Nozaleda Street, Paco, Manila with Br. Blimond Pierre FSC serving as first director. The educational institution moved to its present location in 1921 to facilitate the increase in enrollment. The college was granted university status on February 19, 1975 and is the oldest constituent of De La Salle Philippines , a network of 16 La...
University of Melbourne
#92

University of Melbourne

#93 institution's overall influence
The University of Melbourne is a public research university founded in 1853, the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Australia.
Philippine Christian University
#93

Philippine Christian University

#4269 institution's overall influence
The Philippine Christian University is a private, coeducational protestant university located in Ermita, Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 1946 through the initiatives of the Laymen of the Evangelical Association of the Philippines. Originally named as Manila Union University, it was renamed as Philippine Christian College . In 1976, the PCC acquired university status.
San Pedro College
#94

San Pedro College

#6609 institution's overall influence
San Pedro College is a private Catholic research and coeducational basic and higher education institution run by the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity in Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines. It was founded in 1956.
Rose Bruford College
#95

Rose Bruford College

#1012 institution's overall influence
Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance is a drama school in the south London suburb of Sidcup. The college has degree programmes in acting, actor musicianship, theatre arts and various disciplines of stagecraft.
#96

University of California, Davis

#117 institution's overall influence
#163 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$14K

Acceptance

41%

Graduation

85%

Student body

35K

Median SAT/ACT

1280/28

Davis, CA

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The University of California, Davis is a public research university and land-grant university located near Davis, California. It is one of the ten campuses of the University of California system, and has the third-largest enrollment in the system after UCLA and UC Berkeley. The institution was first founded as an agricultural branch of the system in 1905, and became the seventh campus of the University of California in 1959.
Florida State University
#97

Florida State University

#153 institution's overall influence
#174 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

37%

Graduation

80%

Student body

39K

Median SAT/ACT

1275/28

Tallahassee, FL

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Florida State University (FSU) was established in 1851. With a student enrollment of about 41,500, FSU is the second-largest university in the state, after the University of Florida.
Massey University
#98

Massey University

#717 institution's overall influence
Massey University is a university based in Palmerston North, New Zealand, with significant campuses in Albany and Wellington. Massey University has approximately 30,883 students, 13,796 of whom are extramural or distance-learning students, making it New Zealand's second largest university when not counting international students. Research is undertaken on all three campuses, and more than 3,000 international students from over 100 countries study at the university.
Aga Khan University
#99

Aga Khan University

#1334 institution's overall influence
The Aga Khan University is an institution of higher education that has programmes and campuses in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom and Afghanistan.
Ateneo de Manila University
#100

Ateneo de Manila University

#358 institution's overall influence
The Ateneo de Manila University , also known simply as the Ateneo de Manila or the Ateneo and abbreviated as AdMU, is a private Catholic Jesuit research university in Quezon City, Philippines. It was founded in 1859 by the Society of Jesus, and has grown from a small publicly-funded school for the children of the Spanish colonial elite, into a nationally- and internationally-recognized teaching and research university. It is also one of several Jesuit-run educational institutions in the country bearing the Ateneo name.