Three Western subjects named among global elite

Three Western subjects, including one newcomer, now count themselves among the Top 50 programs in the world, according to the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today.

Sports-related Subjects (No. 30), Psychology (No. 38) and Philosophy (No. 47) all topped the Western list by breaking into the global Top 50. In total, Western subjects ranked among the world’s elite institutions in 30 of 46 areas.

In the organization’s seventh annual subject-based rankings, QS broke down more than 18,900 programs within 4,438 universities worldwide – including 24 Canadian – in 46 disciplines based on academic and employer reputation surveys and academic citations per faculty member. Specific rankings were released for the Top 50 institutions in every category, and then grouped into 50-university chunks for the remainder of the rankings.

For the first time ever, QS included rankings of the world’s Top 100 universities for Sports-related Subjects. In compiling this ranking, sports (or exercise) science, sports studies, sports psychology, sports management and kinesiology were all deemed eligible.

Canada enjoyed bragging rights in the category with seven universities – the University of British Columbia (No. 4), University of Toronto (No. 6), University of Alberta (No. 10), McMaster University (No. 14), McGill University (No. 16), Western (No. 30) and University of Calgary (No. 36) – all ranked in the Top 50 globally.

In addition to Sports-related Subjects, three other subjects made their debut in this year’s ranking: Anatomy & Physiology, Hospitality & Leisure Management and Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies.

Published annually since 2011, the QS World University Rankings by Subject highlight the world’s top-performing institutions in a broad spectrum of individual academic areas and help prospective students identify leading universities in their chosen field of study.

Leading the way in this year’s rankings were the usual suspect when it comes to rankings. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) both dominated with 15 and 12 No. 1 rankings respectively across the 46 subjects. The only other university to top more than one subject ranking was the University of Oxford.

No other institution in the world ranks in the Top 10 for as many subjects as University of Cambridge, alongside the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oxford and Stanford University.

Last fall, Western found itself at No. 198 in the 2016-17 rankings of the Top 200 universities in the world. That number was down slightly from No. 196 in 2015-16.

QS Rankings - Western