Illinois engineering and computer science rank third on global list

ECE News

Lauren Eichmann, ECE Illinois

Story Highlights

  • Illinois has been ranked third on the Academic Ranking of World Universities engineering/technology and computer sciences list.
  • The ARWU is maintained by the institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
  • More than 1,000 universities were ranked for each of the lists categories. Illinois currently ranks 25 in the most recent overall university rankings.

Richard E. Blahut
Richard E. Blahut

The University of Illinois has been ranked third on the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) list in engineering/technology and computer sciences by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

Some Chinese universities exhibited interest in learning their world rank by subject, prompting a shift from an overall ranking to rankings based on broad subject areas in 2007. Illinois was ranked number 25 in the 2006 ARWU overall university rankings.

Universities are ranked based upon “Nobel laureates, Fields Medals, highly-cited researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science,” as well as the “per capita academic performance of an institution,” according to the ARWU Web site. These categories help judges review each university’s excellence in education, quality of faculty, research output, and size of institution. 

“Our engineering college usually ranks in the top four in the nation,” said ECE Department Head Richard E Blahut. “I’m glad we’re also ranked in the top four internationally. It shows that U.S. universities are leaders in the world.”

More than 1,000 universities have been ranked for each of the list’s broad subject fields: natural sciences and mathematics, engineering/technology and computer sciences, life and agriculture sciences, clinical medicine and pharmacy, and social sciences.

Of the top 100 universities that made the engineering/technology and computer sciences list, only MIT and Stanford University ranked ahead of Illinois. University of Michigan tied with Illinois, also ranking third.

Blahut said Michigan is closer to a large city, and is thus more in the public eye. “[At Illinois] we are an oasis of scientific accomplishment,” he said. “Visitors are always impressed by the technological strength of our college. Certainly the graduate students who come here [for engineering] are among the best in the world.”

First published in 2003, the ARWU list is updated annually to reflect changing academic programs and overall level of excellence in individual fields.

To read the complete list of rankings, visit the ARWU Web site at

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