Penn State: 61st-Ranked University in the World

“Public Ivy” Penn State is the 61st-ranked university in the world and the 34th-ranked university in the country, according to Thomson Reuters’ Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2012-2013.

Times Higher Education assessed world universities according to “their core missions of teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook” — the resulting rankings use an aggregate of scores in the following areas:

  • Teaching (30% of overall score), measuring the quality of a university’s learning environment. Penn State scores a 55 out of 100 in this category.
  • Research (30% of the overall score), measuring a university’s “reputation for research excellence,” as well as a university’s research income and volume of research output. Penn State scores a 69.2 out of 100 in this category.
  • Citations (30% of the overall score), measuring a university’s research influence by the number of times its published work is cited by scholars globally. Penn State scores a stellar 81.4 out of 100 in this category.
  • Industry Income (2.5% of the overall score), measuring a university’s ability to bring to industry “innovations, inventions, and consultancy.” Penn State scores a 59.7 out of 100 in this category.
  • International Outlook (7.5% of the overall score), measuring a university’s campus diversity and the degree to which academics “collaborate with international colleagues on research projects.” Penn State scores a 34.9 out of 100 in this category.

In the last year, Penn State raised its overall score by improving in teaching, research, and international outlook, but nevertheless dropped 10 spots from its 51st-overall ranking for 2011-2012. Penn State was previously ranked 109th in 2010-2011.

For 2012-2013, Penn State also ranks 43rd overall in life sciences and 37th overall in the social sciences, but fails to crack the Top 50 in “Arts & Humanities,” “Clinical, Pre-clinical, and Health,” “Engineering & Technology,” and “Physical Sciences.”

61st overall in the world and 34th in the country, though? Look, other Big Ten schools such as Northwestern (#19), Michigan (#20), Wisconsin (#31), Illinois (#33), Minnesota (#47), and Ohio State (#53) are ahead of Penn State in the world university rankings. I’ll take 61 — but I think we can do better than that.

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Bobby Chen

Writer and photographer, helping tell the many stories of the Penn State community.

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