Stanford, MIT and Harvard top the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the most innovative universities

    Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University top the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the world’s most innovative universities. The Reuters Top 100 aims to identify and rank the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and power new markets and industries. Compiled in partnership with Clarivate Analytics, the ranking is based on proprietary data and analysis of numerous indicators including patent filings and research paper citations.

    The most innovative university in the world, for the third consecutive year, is Stanford University. Located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Stanford has long played a key role in the development of our modern networked world: A Stanford professor designed the basic communication standard for the Internet, and university alumni founded some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Netflix. Today the university continues to consistently produce original research and technology. Innovations that originate at Stanford are frequently cited by researchers elsewhere in academia and in private industry.

    Overall, the top ranks of the World’s Most Innovative Universities remain largely unchanged, with nine of last year’s 10 highest-ranked universities remaining in the top 10. And the most elite institutions are almost all large, well-established universities based in the United States and Western Europe. Rounding out the top three are MIT and Harvard, which have held onto their respective 2nd and 3rd place rankings for the past three years. In fourth place is the University of Pennsylvania, which climbed four spots from #8 last year. The highest ranked university outside the U.S., Belgium’s KU Leuven (#5), is a nearly 600-year-old institution that maintains one of the largest independent research and development organizations on the planet.

    In contrast, there are only two Asian universities in the top 20, both of which are based in South Korea, and one of them actually teaches the majority of its classes in English: South Korea’s KAIST, formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, ranked #6. Established in 1971 by the Korean government, KAIST was modeled after engineering schools in the United States, and initially funded with a multimillion-dollar loan from the United States Agency for International Development.

    Overall, the top 100 consists of 51 universities based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia and three in the Middle East.

    For more on the Reuters Top 100, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit

    The Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities

    1          Stanford University

    2          Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    3          Harvard University

    4          University of Pennsylvania

    5          KU Leuven

    6          KAIST

    7          University of Washington

    8          University of Michigan System

    9          University of Texas System

    10         Vanderbilt University

    11         Duke University

    12         University of California System

    13         Northwestern University

    14         Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

    15         Imperial College London

    16         Cornell University

    17         California Institute of Technology

    18         University of Wisconsin System

    19         Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne

    20         University of Southern California

    21         University of Tokyo

    22         Johns Hopkins University

    23         Georgia Institute of Technology

    24         Seoul National University

    25         University of Illinois System

    26         University of Cambridge

    27         Indiana University System

    28         Pierre & Marie Curie University – Paris 6

    29         University of Colorado System

    30         University of Pittsburgh

    31         University of Oxford

    32         Purdue University System

    33         University of Chicago

    34         Osaka University

    35         University of North Carolina System

    36         Princeton University

    37         Ohio State University

    38         Tufts University

    39         Tohoku University

    40         Technical University of Munich

    41         Columbia University

    42         Kyoto University

    43         Yale University

    44         Baylor College of Medicine

    45         Tokyo Institute of Technology

    46         University of Toronto

    47         University of Minnesota System

    48         Sungkyunkwan University

    49         University of Utah

    50         University of Erlangen Nuremberg

    51         Tsinghua University

    52         Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

    53         Oregon Health & Science University

    54         Emory University

    55         Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

    56         Delft University of Technology

    57         University of Massachusetts System

    58         University of British Columbia

    59         University of Zurich

    60         Peking University

    61         Hanyang University

    62         University of Montpellier

    63         Boston University

    64         University of Munich

    65         Technical University of Denmark

    66         University of Florida

    67         University College London

    68         Kyushu University

    69         Yonsei University

    70         National University of Singapore

    71         State University of New York System

    72         Case Western Reserve University

    73         Keio University

    74         University of Copenhagen

    75         Ghent University

    76         Florida State University

    77         Korea University

    78         Rutgers State University

    79         University of Rochester

    80         University of Manchester

    81         University of Freiburg

    82         Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    83         Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology

    84         Leiden University

    85         Arizona State University

    86         Free University of Berlin

    87         University of Claude Bernard – Lyon 1

    88         Tel Aviv University

    89         Technion Israel Institute of Technology

    90         University of Paris Descartes – Paris 5

    91         Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

    92         Rice University

    93         University of Paris Sud – Paris 11

    94         University of Iowa

    95         Hokkaido University

    96         University of Virginia

    97         Dresden University of Technology

    98         Carnegie Mellon University

    99         Wake Forest University

    100       Zhejiang University