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.
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Found 50 Results for List of the most influential schools for the years 2000 – 2020
The University of Maryland is a system comprising 15 campuses. The system has a rather complicated history.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1918 in the ancient city of Jerusalem. At the time the city, as well as the entire surrounding region of Palestine, was under British military control.
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) was founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania.
George Washington University (GWU) was founded in 1821, under the name of Columbian College, by an act of the US Congress, signed by President James Monroe.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) was founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, in what was then the British-controlled Straits Settlements colony.
Michigan State University (MSU) was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the first of its kind in the US. Its original curriculum elevated the study of the natural sciences over the Classical languages and humanities, which was quite unusual at the time.
The University of Arizona (UA) was founded in 1885, when Arizona was still a territory (it entered the Union in 1912).
Paris Sciences et Lettres University is a public research university in Paris, France. It was established in 2010 and formally created as a university in 2019. It is a collegiate university with 11 constituent schools. PSL is located in central Paris, with its main sites in the Latin Quarter, at the Jourdan campus, at Porte Dauphine in northern Paris, and at Carré Richelieu.
Despite the word “college” in its name, Dartmouth is a full-scale, PhD-granting, private, research university. Indeed, it is an official member of the Ivy League, and is the fourteenth-oldest university in the US, founded only five years after Brown and 15 years after Columbia.
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”).
Syracuse University traces its roots to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, which was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1831 in Lima, a small town south of Rochester, in the western part of New York state.
The University of Notre Dame (ND) was founded in 1842 by Edward Sorin, a Catholic priest of the religious order of the Congregation of Holy Cross (Congregatio a Sancta Cruce—CSC). ND was originally a primary and secondary school. Two years later, in 1844, the school received its college charter from the General Assembly of Indiana (which had been a state since 1816). It awarded its first degree in 1849.
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.
The University of Bristol traces its roots to a Merchant Venturers’ school (later the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College) founded in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers, a Bristol-based charitable organization.
Zhejiang University , also colloquially referred to as Zheda , is a public research university, and a member of the elite C9 League. It is located in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest, most selective, and most prestigious institutions of higher education. The university is organized into 37 colleges, schools, and departments offering more than 140 undergraduate and 300 graduate programs.
The University of Birmingham has a rather involved history. The oldest entity to which the modern university can trace its roots is the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery, founded in 1825. This medical-training college was officially recognized by the crown in 1836, becoming the Birmingham Royal School of Medicine and Surgery, which developed into Queen’s College, Birmingham, in 1843.
Emory University is a private, research university originally founded in Oxford, Georgia, in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church as Emory College.
The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877, the university is the first imperial university and currently selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government.
The National University of Ireland is a federal university system of constituent universities and recognised colleges set up under the Irish Universities Act, 1908, and significantly amended by the Universities Act, 1997.
The University of Iowa was founded in late February of 1847, as one of the very first legislative acts of the new state of Iowa after it was admitted to the union at the end of December of the previous year.
Dating all the way back to the 1891 founding of a small, vocational institution called the Anna Blake School, the University of California, Santa Barbara is now a full-blown public research university, and among the most influential schools in the world.
Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 as the Central University of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (known as Central University, for short).
The University of Warwick (pronounced “Warrick”) was founded in 1965 near the West Midlands market town of the same name, which lies approximately halfway between Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon, and has a population of a little over 30,000. However, the university campus does not lie in Warwick proper, but rather in a rural area to the north of the old town center, virtually on the outskirts of Coventry.
Arizona State University (ASU) was founded as the Territorial Normal School in 1885—over a quarter century before Arizona entered the Union in 1912—in Tempe, a town just east of Phoenix.
The University of California, Davis is a public land-grant research university near Davis, California. Named a Public Ivy, it is the northernmost of the ten campuses of the University of California system. 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.
Paris-Saclay University is a public research university based in Paris, France. It is part of the Paris-Saclay project, which is a research-intensive academic campus and business cluster being developed on the Plateau de Saclay near Paris, and is the main center for training and research within the technology cluster of Paris-Saclay. The University integrates several French leading grandes écoles, leading faculties, colleges and research centers that are part of the world's top research organizations in various fields.
Founded by a decree (“papal bull”) issued by Pope Nicholas V, Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Only Oxford and Cambridge (see above) and, in Scotland, St. Andrews University (founded in 1413) are older.
In 1931, a Biological-Pedagogical Institute (later, the Institute of Natural Sciences) was established in the city of Tel Aviv in British Mandatory Palestine.
Fudan University is a major public research university in Shanghai, China. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China. Founded in 1905, shortly before the end of China's imperial Qing dynasty, Fudan was the first university established independently by the Chinese people. Fudan is a member of the elite C9 League and a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.
Brandeis University was founded in suburban Boston in 1948. Its founders intended to provide a top-rank research university that would be friendly to Jewish students and faculty—at a time when the American Ivy League schools all restricted the number of their Jewish students according to a strict quota system.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a major research university in Shanghai. Established on April 8, 1896, as Nanyang Public School by an imperial edict issued by the Guangxu Emperor, it is one of China's oldest universities. Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a C9 League university and a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.
Australian National University (ANU) proper dates to 1946, when it was founded by an act of the Australian Parliament in a suburb of Canberra, the capital of Australia.
is a public land-grant research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the in 1948. second largest in the United States.land, sea, and space grant institution. It has projects funded by organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration , the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval ResearchAssociation of American Universities. The school's students, alumni and sports teams are known as AggiesSoutheastern Conference.
The University of California, Irvine is a public land-grant research university in Irvine, California. One of the ten campuses of the University of California system, UCI offers 87 undergraduate degrees and 129 graduate and professional degrees, and roughly 30,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students are enrolled at UCI as of Fall 2019. The university is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity", and had $436.6 million in research and development expenditures in 2018. UCI became a member of the Association of American Universities in 1996. The university...
The University of Waterloo traces its roots back to the Waterloo College School, founded in 1914.
The University of California, San Francisco is a public land-grant research university in San Francisco, California. It is part of the University of California system and it is dedicated entirely to health science. It is a major center of medical and biological research and teaching.
The University of Colorado was founded in 1876 in the town of Boulder.
Rice University was founded in 1912 as the William M. Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art. Long known simply as the Rice Institute, the school acquired its present name in 1960.
The University of Nottingham traces its ultimate roots to a private adult-education and teacher-training (normal) school founded in that Midlands city in 1798. In 1873, the University of Cambridge began offering college extension courses in connection with the normal school. However, the official founding of the present university is usually taken to coincide with the establishment of University College Nottingham, in 1881.
The University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is a public university for graduate education, under the direct leadership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences . The predecessors of UCAS are the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Graduate School of the University of Science and Technology of China , which was founded in 1978 as the first graduate school in China by approval of the State Council.
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 is a public research university based in Melbourne, Victoria, 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. 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.
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).
The University of Delhi (DU) was founded in 1922 by the government of British India. The new university soon absorbed four other colleges already existing in Delhi: Delhi College (originally founded in 1792 as Zakir Husain Delhi College); St. Stephen’s College (founded in 1881); Hindu College (founded in 1899); and Ramjas College (founded in 1917). One reason why the British decided to establish DU was the transfer of the seat of colonial administration from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Delhi in 1911.
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was founded in 1885. A component part of the University System of Georgia, today Georgia Tech has five satellite campuses: in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shenzhen, China; and Singapore.
The University of Science and Technology of China is a public research university in Hefei, Anhui, China, under the direct leadership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences . It is a member of the elite C9 League, China's equivalent of Ivy League. It is also a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University. Founded in Beijing by the CAS in September 1958, it was moved to Hefei in the beginning of 1970 during the Cultural Revolution.
The University of New South Wales is a public research university based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the founding members of Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities.
Jilin University is a leading national research university located in Changchun, China. It is under the direct jurisdiction of China's Ministry of Education. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University. It is strongly supported by state key projects such as Project 985, Project 211 and Project 2011. Jilin University is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in China, and has research projects in automobile engineering, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering and biology be identified as internationally renowned. In 2017, the