When you want to study at the best medical schools in the world, a good place to start is the QS World University Rankings and sort by Subject. This great website gives rankings of the world’s best 200 universities in 32 subject areas, which also includes medicine. The ranking dive deep into the universities based on their academic reputation, employer respect and research citations based upon papers published, within many subject areas (for more on the methodology click here.)
Of the 212 universities ranked as the world’s best medical schools in 2013 and 2014, approximately a quarter (58) are in the US, 27 are based in the UK, 21 in Germany, 11 in the neighboring country of Canada, 13 in Japan and 7 in Australia. A total of 42 countries are mentioned in the ranking, but just 17 countries have a medical school ranked within the global top 100. This is a very important fact you should not ignore. The nations previously mentioned are joined by Denmark,, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Check out our overview of the leading universities in the world for medical studies and research. We break this article down by geographical region.
Top medical schools in the US
The US completely dominates the international university stage overall, and medicine is no exception. Yale University maintains its strong position at the top of the heap, and is joined by an five more US schools within the top 12: Harvard University (4th), University of California, Los Angeles (5th), Johns Hopkins University (6th), UVA (7th) and University of California, San Francisco (11th). There are 14 more US medical colleges ranked within the world’s top 55 for medicine and medical related studies.
A majority of the universities that lead medical schools in the US are mainly large, bureaucratic universities – and there are a mixture of public plus private schools – which rank high across a wide spectrum of medical subject areas. In the rankings, you should pay attention to Minnesota’s Mayo Medical School. Also, read deeper into Texas’ Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Virginia M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. And, don’t forget about NYC Rockefeller University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, because these are also great universities as well.
Top medical schools in the UK
While medical schools in the US account for six of the top-12 top spots, the remaining five positions go to schools in the United Kingdom. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are ranked 3rd and 4th globally for their medical programs – UCL and Imperial College London – come 6th and 8th. A further 25 UK universities are mentioned in the medical ranking, most of them top universities with a strong overall global position, except the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Top medical schools in Canada
Canadian universities also have a good presence in the medical ranking, accounting for 11 of the top 204 medical departments and five top-55 entries. The top medical schools in Canada are all located at top universities, corresponding broadly to the overall ranking of the country’s top schools with the University of Quebec, McGill University and the University of British Columbia leading the path. Canadian universities which rank very good for medical teachings compared to their overall global rank include McMaster University (55th for medicine; 147th overall) and the University of Calgary (top 110 for medicine; 206th overall).
Top medical schools in Europe
It’s not just the US and the UK with top medical schools. Germany has more of the world’s top medical schools than any other country; a total of 21 German schools are ranked in the global top 220 for medicine. Of these, the highest rankings go to Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, ranked 37th and 46th respectively.
Other leading medical universities in Europe are Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (ranked 17th for medicine). Then there’s the University of Copenhagen in Denmark’ which is 34th and Switzerland’s University of Zurich (47th). The Netherlands has a total of nine top ranking schools, including four within the global top 54: Erasmus University Rotterdam (28th), Leiden University (39th) and the University of Amsterdam (46th). Other European nations with a strong presence in the medical field are Belgium and Italy, with seven entries each.
Top medical schools in Australia
Medicine is a very strong area for Australian universities, with most of the country’s top universities having a high ranking for medicine. The Melbourne and Sydney Universities are each ranked within the world’s 22 best universities for medicine (13th and 18th), and are within the global top 55 by the University of New South Wales, Monash University (34th) and University of Queensland (45th). The country’s top ranked university overall, Australian National University, comes slightly lower – but still claims a top spot among the world’s 101 leading medical schools.
Top medical schools in Asia
Asian nations also have top medical schools, and particularly Japan has the most. Eleven Japanese colleges are ranked among the top 205 for medical studies. The leader of the pack is the University of Tokyo (22nd) and Kyoto University (37th). Also ranked among the global top 55 are the National University of Singapore (23rd), University of Hong Kong (26th), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (50th). China, South Korea and Taiwan all claim five entries in the top 250; Hong Kong, Israel and Thailand have two positions each; Malaysia and Singapore two apiece.