ARWU Ranking

ARWU / Shanghai Ranking 2018

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) or “Shanghai Ranking” was originally developed at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and first published in June 2003. Since 2009, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy has published the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The Shanghai Ranking Consultancy is an independent company and is not subject to any university or government agency.

ARWU was initially intended to improve the international reputation and comparability of China’s top universities. In the meantime, ARWU is attracting worldwide attention and is used as an orientation tool by students, universities, governments and the media.

More Information

US RankWorld RankUniversity
2128University of Wisconsin - Madison
2230Rockefeller University
2230University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2432New York University
2537University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
2638University of Colorado, Boulder
2740The University of Texas, Austin
2841University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2946University of California, Santa Barbara
3048The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
US RankWorld RankUniversity
3150Vanderbilt University
3251University of Maryland, College Park
3360University of Southern California
3470Boston University
3470Purdue University - West Lafayette
3470Rice University
3774Pennsylvania State University - University Park
3879Georgia Institute of Technology
3981Mayo Medical School
4083University of California, Irvine
US RankWorld RankUniversity
4186University of Florida
4290University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus
4391Carnegie Mellon University
4494The Ohio State University - Columbus
4596University of California, Davis
46100The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


Selection of universities

ARWU coversall universities whose employees have been awarded a Nobel Prize or a Fields Medal or whose scientists have published in the journals Nature or Science or very frequently cited papers. In addition, the institutions indexed by Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are important for the ranking. On this basis, more than 1500 universities are evaluated and finally the top 500 are published in the ARWU.


Key Indicators and Weightings

Six key indicators are measured to evaluate the universities. For each indicator, one university is rated as the best in the category and receives the maximum rating of 100 points. All other institutions receive a percentage derived from the maximum score according to their position. In order to prevent distortion of the individual parameters, standardizedstatistical methods are used for data collection. The following table provides information on the weighting of the individual parameters from which the overall result for each university is determined.

Quality of EducationAlumni of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields MedalsAlumni10 %
Quality of FacultyStaff of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields MedalsAward20 %
Quality of FacultyHighly cited researchers in 21 broad subject categoriesHiCi20 %
Research OutputPapers published in Nature and Science*N&S20 %
Research OutputPapers indexed in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation IndexPUB20 %
Per Capita PerformancePer capita academic performance of an institutionPCP10 %
Total00100 %

* For institutions specialized in humanities and social sciences such as London School of Economics, N&S is not considered, and the weight of N&S is relocated to other indicators.


Definition of key indicators


Alumni are former students of an institution who have achieved a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree there. The Alumni category includes all graduates of a university who have received Nobel Prizes and/or Fields Medals in their lifetime. However, a distinction is made as to when the alumni were awarded their prizes. The intervals between the academic degree awarded and the award ceremony play a decisive role and are weighted accordingly every ten years (2010 -1911) with a factor. If the academic degree was earned in the years 2001-2010, the factor for the alumni is 100%. For alumni who earned their degree in the years 1991-2000 the factor is 90%, for graduates of the years 1981-1990 still 80% and finally 10% for alumni who earned their degree in the years 1911-1920.



In the “Award” category, only those employees are considered who were also employed at the respective university during the period in which the prize was awarded. Provided this condition is met, all employees who have received the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine and economics and the Fields Medal in mathematics are counted. In this category, the timing of the award is also weighted by various factors. If the prize was won after 2011, the factor is 100%, for the prize in the years 2001-2010 it is 90%, in the years 1991-2000 80%, in the years 1981-1990 70% etc. and finally 10% in the years 1921-1930. When an award winner is associated with more than one institution, each institution receives the equivalent of the number of institutions. In the case where a prize is won by more than one person, as in the case of the Nobel Prize, the factor for the winner is defined according to his or her share of the prize.



This key indicator reflects the number of selected scientists with a high citation rate. ARWU 2018 is based on the list of frequently cited researchers published by Clarivate Analytics 2017 (2017 HCR list of December 15, 2017). N&STo define the key indicator “N&S”, only publications of the type “Article” are considered. All articles published in the journals “Nature” or “Science” between 2013 and 2017 are further counted. The weighting by means of a factor helps to distinguish the order of the authors. A first author is evaluated with the factor 100%, the second author receives 50%, the third author 25% and all other authors 10%.



The category “PUB” also only recognizes publications of the type “Articles”. The decisive factor is the number of all articles indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Science Citation Index in 2017. If articles that are listed in the Social Science Citation Index are included in the calculation, they are weighted double.



Since the number of publications always depends on the number of employees of a university, this ratio must be respected. For this purpose, the key indicators “Alumni”, “Award”, “HiCi”, “N&S” and “PUB” are divided by the number of full-time equivalent academic staff. If the number of scientific employees for the university cannot be determined, the above-mentioned key figures are included in the evaluation without corresponding weighting. For ARWU 2018, however, the number of full-time equivalent scientific employees of all universities in the USA, Great Britain, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, China, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, New Zealand and many more could be determined.


Data Sources

CriteriaData Source
Nobel laureates
Fields Medals
Highly cited researchers
Papers published in Nature and Science
Articles indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index
OthersNumber of academic staff data is obtained from national agencies such as National Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics, National Association of Universities and Colleges, National Rector's Conference.


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