Rankings are one point of data among many. We believe that students should seek a program that best meets their needs, using rankings as one criteria.

  • Many of the individual components that make up a given ranking (for example, program size, student/faculty ratio, research expenditures/faculty member, or citation index) might be weighted differently depending on the particular needs and desires of a student or researcher.
  • Rankings typically do not consider factors such as the location of a program, cost of living issues, weather, and proximity to other institutions and cultural offerings.
  • In many cases, a school or program resides inside of a larger university. When evaluating a particular school or program, it is critical to look at the entire picture.
    • At SEAS, undergraduates in engineering and applied sciences are enrolled in Harvard College (not directly into the School).
    • At the graduate level, degrees are administered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Research at SEAS is highly interdisciplinary; faculty and students spend significant time collaborating with colleagues in other areas, programs, and schools (from medicine to business).
  • However you use rankings, be sure to understand the methodology used. Who is ranking the programs? How are they ranked? Are rankings data-driven or based upon qualitative assessments? What factors are weighted most heavily and why? Are rankings normalized for size?

Select Rankings

World University Rankings, 2019: Engineering and Technology

The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings highlights more than 1,200 universities. Rankings are based on weighted performance indicators in five areas: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income, and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students, and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).

The subject-area rankings for Engineering and Technology highlight institutions that are leading across general engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, civil engineering, and chemical engineering. The top five institutions in the 2019 rankings are:

  1. University of Oxford
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. California Institute of Technology
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In other subject-matter categories in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Harvard ranks 9th in Computer Science, 1st in the Life Sciences, and 4th in the Physical Sciences.

CWTS Leiden Rankings, 2017

The Leiden Ranking, compiled annually by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, ranks the top 750 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in the Web of Science database.

Impact is determined by several indicators, including the average number of citations of the publications of a university, and the proportion of publications that are in the top 10 percent of most frequently cited. The ranking does not use data from reputational surveys, or data provided by the universities themselves,

Based on data from the Web of Science database and when normalized for size, Harvard ranked first overall.

U.S. News and World Report Graduate Schools, 2019

Harvard's graduate engineering programs ranked 21st in the 2019 U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Rankings.

The top 10 engineering schools have remained relatively consistent over the past several years.

The complete data from U.S. News are below:



Peer assessment score (5.0 highest)


Recruiter assessment score (5.0 highest)


Average quantitative GRE score (new test) of entrants in master's and doctoral programs


Overall acceptance rate


Ph.D. student/faculty ratio

5.1 to 1

Faculty membership in National Academy of Engineering


Engineering school research expenditures (in millions), 2 year average


Research expenditures per faculty member (in thousands), 2 year average


2012-13 Ph.D.s granted


Total graduate engineering enrollment


Other U.S. Newsrankings of related specialty programs in engineering and applied sciences include...

  • #14 in Materials Engineering
  • #17 in Computer Engineering 
  • #17 in Mechanical Engineering 
  • #21 in Computer Science
  • #23 in Electrical / Electronic / Communications Engineering
  • #24 in Biomedical Engineering / Bioengineering 
  • #31 in Environmental / Ecology 

Rankings of related Harvard programs include...

  • #1 in Biological Sciences (tied with MIT and Stanford) 
  • #2 in Physics (tied with CalTech, Princeton, Stanford, and UC Berkeley)
  • #3 in Mathematics (tied with UC Berkeley)
  • #3 in Biostatistics (tied with the University of Washington)
  • #4 in Chemistry (tied with Stanford University)
  • #3 in Statistics (tied with the University of Washington)
  • #8 in Earth Sciences (tied with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of Texas, Austin)

U.S. News and World Report Undergraduate Programs, 2018

Best Colleges / National University Rankings (ranked in 2018 based on 2016 data)

Harvard College, ranked #2 for 2018, has consistently ranked among the top 1 or 2 programs in the country. Undergraduates pursuing degrees in engineering and applied sciences are admitted, enrolled in, and receive degrees from Harvard College. The College was also ranked #1 for "Best Value" among national universities.

For undergraduate engineering programs, Harvard was ranked #28 overall Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tied with Ohio Stat University, Columbus, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles). Note, the rankings are "based solely on the peer judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program they are familiar with on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished)."


QS World University Rankings (2018)

Harvard University ranked...

  • #2 Overall Worldwide
  • #1 in Biological Sciences
  • #5 in Chemistry
  • #6 in Computer Science
  • #2 in Earth & Marine Sciences
  • #1 in Economics & Econometrics
  • #6 in Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • #13 in Engineering & Technology
  • #4 in Environmental Sciences
  • #5 in Materials Science
  • #2 in Mathematics
  • #4 in Mechanical Engineering
  • #1 in Medicine
  • #2 in Physics & Astronomy


  • Graduating seniors concentrating in engineering and applied sciences have recently been accepted to graduate programs at MIT, Stanford, Caltech, Georgia Tech, University of Cambridge, and Harvard.
  • Our Ph.D. graduates have gone on to take positions at research institutions including: Ben Gurion University (Israel), Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, MIT, National University of Singapore, Princeton University, University of California–Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Sydney (Australia), University of Virginia, and Harvard.
  • Those pursuing careers in industry and government have been hired by technology companies such as Pixar, Google, and IBM; defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman; policy and research organizations such as the National Institutes of Health; banking and investment firms like Citigroup; non-profits like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and environmental consulting groups like Boston-based CDM.
  • Others have become entrepreneurs. Our graduates started Microsoft, Zappos.com, Tacit Knowledge Systems, and SupplyWorks. In fact, some of the most well-known companies in the world were started by Harvard graduates—for example, Electronic Arts, 3Com, and Sun Microsystems.

After Harvard *

Primary Occupation Post Harvard
Computer Software, Hardware, Systems
Banking, Finance, Communications
Engineering & Science
Full-time student
Medicine, Healthcare, Public Health
Arts, Government, Politics
Other     18


* data from 2007 (most recent) alumni survey, for all degrees