Design Engineering

Annual ranking lists top universities for engineering and other subject areas

By DE Staff   


U of T, Canada’s top engineering school, highly ranked in more subjects than any other university globally.

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the London-based analytics firm known for its ranking of higher education institutions, unveiled its 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject. An influential guide for post-secondary-bound students, the annual listing determines rankings based on four criteria: A university’s reputation among academics and global employers, plus the number of citations per research paper from that university, and QS’ own ‘H-index’, a measure of the impact a published scientist or scholar at a university has achieved.

In addition to an overall global score, each university is also ranked based on its strength in broad fields or sub-specialties (i.e. engineering and technology/mechanical engineering) and by geographic region or specific country (i.e. North America/Canada).

Within Canada, University of Toronto held on to its top spot across each broad topic area, including arts and humanities; engineering and technology; life sciences and medicine; natural sciences; and social sciences and management. In fact, U of T ranked first in Canada in 30 out of the 48 specific subjects evaluated.

Globally, the ranking also revealed U of T as the most well-rounded, ranking in the top 50 in 46 subjects, more than any other university. It also broke into the top 10 internationally in education; library and information management; sports-related subjects; anatomy and physiology; pharmacy and pharmacology; geography and area studies; and anthropology.


In the Canadian Engineering and Technology category, U of T (ranked 18th globally) was joined, in order, by University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, McGill University, Université de Montréal. University of Alberta, Queen’s University, University of Calgary, McMaster University and Western University round out the top 10.

Drilling down to the mechanical engineering specialty, the ranking flips slightly with McGill University taking the top spot, followed by U of T, UBC, University of Waterloo and Université de Montréal.

Internationally, the QS listing ranked MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University as the top 5 mechanical engineering programs in the world for 2021.


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories