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Penn State Ranks in the Top 50 World Universities

Top 50 in the world? I’ll take it.

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of Shangai, Penn State squeezes into the top 50 Universities in the World at #49. The list is based on 6 factors: the number of alumni and staff having won Nobel Peace Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of published articles in journals of Nature and Science, the number of highly-cited researchers, the number of articles indexed in the Science Citation Index, and the per capita performance with respect to size of the institution. It also displays how each school ranks nationally, and it lists Penn State at #35 for the United States.

Not to really any surprise, Harvard came in at #1. Big Ten schools that made the top 50 were University of Wisconsin – Madison (#19), University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (#22), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (#25), University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (#29) and Northwestern University (#30).

The ARWU was first published in the summer of 2003 and has been revised each year since. Their website lists the top 500 out of the 1,000 schools that they rank each time. In 2007 they began to rank universities by their strengths in certain fields and subjects as well. For instance, Penn State is ranked #11 in Engineering and #33 in Business/Economics among all other schools on the planet.

In addition to excelling in academics, we rank pretty high in research categories as well. We’re #34 for producing Nature and Science Papers, and #24 in highly-cited researchers. To see Penn State’s ARWU page, and see where we rank in all of the other categories, click here.

The ARWU is often used when it comes to, frankly, showing off. Plenty of schools use it as their legitimate ranking in speaking with media or simply letting future students know how great their school is. Let’s face it, saying you go to one of the top 50 schools on the planet sounds pretty awesome. There are plenty of students, faculty, staff, and alumni here putting in the studying, hard work, and effort to make this happen. I’d like to emphasize for certain people (and leaders of institutions like, for instance, the NCAA or Middle States) that this is strictly based on academics and research.

I’m not sure where this puts us in our so-called “culture” problem or accreditation issues but just remember, these numbers aren’t just in the country, or the Big Ten — we are #49 in the world.

About the Author

Maddy Pryor

I'm a 2013 Penn State alum with a B. A. in Public Relations as well as minors in History and Communications Arts and Sciences. I am proudly from Neptune, NJ and talk about it at any opportunity possible. I love college basketball and am a big fan of Penn State Basketball, as well as their official student section, Nittany Nation. I'm a big supporter of Relay For Life of Penn State as well as THON and Coaches vs. Cancer.


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