50 Most Prestigious Graduate Schools in The World

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: May 13, 2024, Reading time: 83 minutes

GSC_Best Grad Schools World - backdrop

Find your perfect college degree

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

A college education is a good foundation for students to kick-start their career. However, for many who want to stand out from the highly competitive job market, additional reinforcements are needed.

For those who aim to elevate their professional qualifications, take in more significant responsibilities, and increase their income, the best option is to earn a graduate degree from the most prestigious schools in the world, many of them located in highly urban areas.

While many pursue graduate studies for the love of learning, it cannot be denied that further education poses a wealth of benefits that a college diploma can’t provide. It could be that their profession requires a graduate degree. It could also be rooted in one’s desire to change their career path or position themselves for better prospects.

Whatever the reason is, pursuing a graduate degree requires careful thinking, mainly because this step involves commitment, determination, time, and effort. It can also mean added cost after one earns a college degree.

In a way, getting a master’s degree can be considered a lifetime investment. It is not merely a postponement of work life. Graduate studies can help shape a person’s future, enabling them to grow to their fullest potential and arming them with the right knowledge in all the right places.

Quick audio summary:

Applying to graduate school is not a decision to be taken lightly. Many factors need to be considered to find the most suitable grad school for you. In the end, it boils down to the components of a degree program that matter most to you. Because the quality of your graduate program should be top-notch, settle for no less than the world’s most prestigious graduate schools.


In developing our list of the 50 Most Prestigious Graduate Schools in the World, we considered the most important university attributes that, when combined, create a culture of academic excellence that is distinctively world-class. These factors were taken into account:

It is our goal that, as you peruse our list of the 50 Most Prestigious Graduate Schools in the World, you can narrow down your choices and make a well-informed decision.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

The World’s Most Prestigious Graduate Schools

Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Founded by California senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, Stanford University has a storied history that goes back to 1885. Future U.S. president Herbert Hoover helped put the university on a sound financial footing.

Stanford houses the most extensive research center, the multidisciplinary Stanford Humanities Center, along with 30 other humanities-related centers on campus. It is also home to the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), where the world’s first office desktop computer displays appeared in 1971.

Today, Stanford University is made up of seven schools and 18 interdisciplinary institutes with more than 16,000 students, 2,100 faculty and 1,800 postdoctoral scholars. It is an international institution that welcomes students from all 50 U.S. states and 91 other countries.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Retention Rate: 98%

Graduation Rate: 94%

Stanford University is an athletics powerhouse, accumulating 128 national titles and 22 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cups. The university also boasts a total of 32 Nobel Laureates and one U.S.  president. It is one of the world’s pioneering universities for research, sponsoring more than 6,000 externally sponsored projects with a total budget of $1.63.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Stanford University.

Yale University

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University was founded in 1701, boasting over 300 years of milestones and traditions. It is the country’s third oldest university and part of the prestigious Ivy League schools.

Yale’s top-ranked schools include the School of Management, School of Medicine, and School of Art. It is home to several important buildings, including the Yale University Library and Peabody Museum of Natural History. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Yale University offers 73 departments and programs leading to M.A., M.S., M. Phil., and doctoral degrees.

As one of the nation’s highly rated schools in terms of academic and social prestige, the university is extremely selective in its admissions. It offers advanced degrees with both local and international reach, promoting cultural understanding and training the next generation of world leaders.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 6.9%

Retention Rate: 99%

Graduation Rate: 97%

Yale University produced several U.S. presidents, including William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. It is also home to distinguished Nobel Prize-winning graduates such as Ernest Lawrence, Murray Gell-Mann, Joshua Lederberg, and Robert J. Shiller.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Yale University.

Harvard University

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University, established in 1636 by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, is known as the oldest institution of higher education in the country. It was named after the Puritan minister, John Harvard, who left his 400-book library and half of his estate to the young school.

The university has 13 degree-granting Schools, including the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Business School, and Medical School, among many others. From nine students with a single master’s, it has grown to an enrollment of 20,000 candidates for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

The university has 11 principal academic units and ten faculties overseeing programs and courses and awarding academic degrees. To date, graduate degrees are offered in 58 programs, including terminal master’s degrees.

To say that Harvard is extremely selective when it comes to admission is not far off the mark. Students who get admitted often have a very high GPA and test scores. The university also employs a holistic evaluation procedure that requires one to be exceptional, standing out from the massive pool of accomplished applicants.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 5.2%

Retention Rate: 99%

Graduation Rate: 98%

Harvard University is known for many things. It owns the most extensive private library system in the world, with 17 million volumes and 55 miles of shelving. It has affiliations with more than 150 Nobel laureates, 32 heads of state, and 48 Pulitzer winners.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Harvard University.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Claiming the distinction as America’s first research university, Johns Hopkins University has been at the forefront of revolutionizing higher education in the country since its establishment in 1876.

It is divided into ten schools, with five of them serving undergraduate and graduate students. Its prestigious graduate programs include the top-ranked Bloomberg School of Public Health and the highly ranked School of Education, Whiting School of Engineering, School of Medicine, and the well-regarded Peabody Institute for Music and Dance.

While it primarily makes its home in the four campuses in and around Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University has additional campuses for its School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.; Bologna, Italy; and Nanjing, China.

The university enrolls more than 24,000 full- and part-time students across 260 degree-granting programs.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 12.5%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 94%

The university is closely interlinked with Johns Hopkins Hospital. This top-ranked medical institution also serves as a biomedical research facility and a teaching hospital of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Among Johns Hopkins University’s most notable alumni are former president Woodrow Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and author James McPherson, physicist John A. Wheeler, and founder of Bloomberg L.P., Bloomberg News, and Bloomberg Radio Michael R. Bloomberg.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Johns Hopkins University.

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Since its foundation in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania has advanced the concept of innovation. Its founder Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was known to have invented everyday items like bifocals, lightning rods, and swim fins. The spirit of innovation is still fostered within the pillars of the university, boasting 165 research centers, and institutes on campus.

The university’s faculty, students, and alumni continue to make breakthroughs in research, scholarship, and education. It has a research budget of nearly $1 billion and more than 4,000 active faculty members.

Made up of four undergraduate and two graduate schools, Penn offers an unparalleled education informed by inclusivity, intellectual rigor, research, and the impetus to create new knowledge to the benefit of individuals and communities around the world.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Retention Rate: 98%

Graduation Rate: 95%

Penn holds the distinction of being home to 8 MacArthur Award recipients, 4 National Medal of Science recipients, 4 Nobel Prize recipients, and 2 Pulitzer Prize recipients. It never fails to rank as one of the best universities in the US and the world. The university established the world’s first collegiate business school, Wharton, and the world’s first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer, ENIAC.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Pennsylvania.

University of California-Berkeley

University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, California

A public institution founded in 1868, the University of California-Berkeley was formed when two institutions merged – the private College of California in Oakland and a new state land-grant institution, the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. It has become the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system.

The university has grown from 10 faculty members, 40 students, and three fields of study during its founding into a prestigious public university with at least 1,600 faculty and 5,000 students. It consists of more than 350 degree programs in 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research units.

Berkeley has 14 schools and colleges, including several graduate and professional schools, including the School of Optometry and the Graduate School of Journalism. Among its graduate schools are the highly ranked Haas School of Business, Graduate School of Education, College of Engineering, and School of Law.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 17.1%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 92%

The University of California-Berkeley is home to some of the world’s renowned research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. Its notable alumni followed their founder’s footsteps by making breakthroughs in industry and leading social change. Among them are Olympic medalists, Nobel Prize winners, and highly acclaimed scientists and researchers, including J. R. Oppenheimer, Hamilton Smith, Jonny Moseley, and many others.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of California-Berkeley.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Established in 1861 to help accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been famous for its scientific and technological training and research.

The school has a rich heritage, weathering turbulent periods in history, from the American Civil War to World War II and the Great Depression. It has maintained strong ties with the military and corporate patrons who supported its basic and applied research in various fields, including physical sciences, computing, aerospace, and engineering.

MIT cultivates a culture of learning by doing through its undergraduate and graduate schools, including the School of Engineering, School of Science, and Sloan School of Management. Though it offers a variety of degree programs in a range of subjects, its emphasis has always been on science and technology disciplines.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 7.2%

Retention Rate: 99%

Graduation Rate: 90%

As a global educational institution, MIT is a magnet for talent from around the world, owing to its exceptional brand of teaching, research, and innovation. Living up to its commitment to academic excellence, MIT boasts 95 Nobel laureates, 59 National Medal of Science winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners, 77 MacArthur Fellows, and 15 A. M. Turing Award winners.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Oxford, United Kingdom

Known as the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford has been in existence since 1096. Throughout its storied history, the institution has gone through transformations that solidified its modern form.

The University of Oxford has a distinctive collegiate structure. Students become part of a globally renowned institution that has a 24,000 student population consisting of 11,930 undergraduates and 11,813 postgraduates.

A competitive university, Oxford offers more than 350 different graduate degree programs. It is welcoming to international students who comprise 43% of their total student body, numbering over 10,000.

Based in the United Kingdom, the University of Oxford is a world-leading research institute, as assessed by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Its research activity engages the colleges, 70 departments, 1,800 academic staff, 5,500 research staff, and 6,100 graduate research students.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 17.5%

Retention Rate: 98%

Graduation Rate: 99%

The University of Oxford’s prestige is apparent in its numerous accolades. Its academic community includes more than 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and over 170 Fellows of the British Academy. The university has also won ten Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education, more than any other university. It has consistently ranked among the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, topping it in 2017 and 2018.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Oxford.

University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

As one of the oldest and leading academic centers in the world, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution. With 18,000 students from all cultures and corners of the globe, it is made up of 31 autonomous Colleges with their internal procedures and over 150 departments, faculties, schools, and other institutions.

Also, there are six schools from an administrative grouping of Faculties and other institutions, including Humanities and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Clinical Medicine, Physical Sciences, and Technology, and Biological Sciences.

It has an outstanding reputation for academic achievement. It has built on its reputation for enterprise, science, and technology, later partnering with United States’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Retention Rate: 83%

Having 800 years of history under its belt, the University of Cambridge is no stranger to accolades and achievements. As the university with the highest endowment in Europe at an estimated £3.1 billion, Cambridge has produced a significant portion of Britain’s most prominent mathematicians, scientists, and writers! Its affiliates have been awarded 81 Nobel Prizes, the most of any university in the world.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Cambridge.

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

United Kingdom

Founded in 1855, ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology. It is referred to as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Home to more than 18,000 students, researchers, and academics, the university is known for its cutting-edge research and innovation. Its distinction lies in its excellent research conditions and state-of-the-art infrastructure. The university considers engineering, sciences, architecture, mathematics, sports, and military sciences as its core disciplines. It has also focused on the conservation of the earth’s ecosystem for future generations.

It has stood for world-class academic excellence for research, which benefits industries and societies, and for the education of highly qualified subject specialists. The university has also partnered with some of the most prestigious universities in the world on numerous international cooperation projects, providing students with valuable opportunities to complete their education abroad.

At present, the university serves 21,400 students, including 4,180 doctoral students, from over 120 countries.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 27%

A regular feature in many international rankings, ETH Zurich is in the first twelve for Science and Engineering in the QS listings. The university can count 21 Nobel Prizes that have been awarded to researchers who have or had a connection with ETH Zurich.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

One of the world’s top universities, Imperial College London is known for its excellence in teaching and research. It was formed in 1907 when the Royal College of Science, the Royal School of Mines, and the City & Guilds College were combined into one institution.

With a focus on four main disciplines, namely science, engineering, medicine, and business, Imperial is known as a multidisciplinary spot for education, research, translation, and commercialization, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges. The college makes it a point to apply these skills to industry and enterprise.

Imperial is home to roughly 17,000 students and 8,000 staff. Every year, the university awards 6,700 degrees from the UK and beyond. To date, it attracts students from more than 125 countries!

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 14.3%

Imperial College London was awarded the prestigious Silver Athena Swan award, recognizing its commitment to promoting women’s careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in academia. The university also has a list of distinguished members under its belt, including 14 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medalists, and numerous Royal Society Fellows.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Imperial College London.  

National University of Singapore

National University of Singapore


Starting as a modest school in 1905 with 23 students, the school that was founded by businessmen and led by Tan Jiak Kim has become Singapore’s flagship university.

Singapore University came to be with the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University. Since then, it has continued to provide transformative education and multidisciplinary research that nurtured effective global leaders and impacted society. Presently, it has three campuses: Kent Ridge, Bukit Timah, and Outram. The university is comprised of 13 undergraduate schools, four graduate schools, and 29 university-level research institutes and centers.

The National University of Singapore’s innovative programs and multi-disciplinary curricula have attracted students all over the globe. Its wide range of graduate programs characterized by intellectual rigor and cutting-edge scholarship makes it one of the most prestigious graduate schools not only in Asia but also in the world.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Known for its high impact research activities across multiple disciplines, the National University of Singapore is home to three of Singapore’s five Research Centers of Excellence (RCE). It shares a close affiliation with 16 national-level research institutes and centers. Some of the university’s most notable alumni include the second president of Singapore Benjamin Sheares, second Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdul Razak Hussein, and the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Anan, among many others.

Discover the graduate degree programs and courses at the National University of Singapore.

Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Established in 1746, Princeton University is the fourth-oldest college in the United States, providing undergraduate and graduate instruction in arts and humanities, the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.

As far as graduate programs go, Princeton offers the best through its Woodrow Wilson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Public and International Affairs. It has consistently ranked among the top universities in both the national and international arena. To date, Princeton has 37 academic concentrations, 1,261 faculty, and a stunning 5 to 1 undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio.

While it is known for its top academic programs, its most famous majors are mathematics, physics, and English departments.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 6.4%

Retention Rate: 96.8%

Graduation Rate: 98%

Princeton is home to some of the most outstanding alumni who received numerous awards in different fields, including the prestigious Nobel Prize, National Humanities Medal, Fields Medal, and Pulitzer Prize. Currently, they have 11 Nobel Laureates in their faculty.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Princeton University.

University College London

University College London

Gower St., Bloomsbury

Founded in the heart of London, the University College of London has been a leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries.

Since its establishment in 1826, it has shown exceptional commitment to a progressive approach to teaching and research. The university has championed independent thought by attracting and nurturing the world’s best minds. Currently, it serves 42,100 students across 440 undergraduate programs and 675 postgraduate programs.

The university offers Master’s and MRes programs, Graduate Certificates, Diplomas, PGCEs, as well as Graduate and Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas. There are many flexible learning options available as part of their programs, allowing you to balance your studies with your professional and personal commitments.

UCL was the highest-rated university in the UK and earned the Research Excellence Framework award in 2014. The university aims to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to think differently, integrating research and education.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Retention Rate: 94.8%

Being among the world’s top-ranked schools, UCL has numerous distinctions under its name. It is the first university in England to welcome women to university education. It is also the first educational institution to teach English, German, Chemistry, and Engineering. Committed to academic excellence, UCL has a total of 29 Nobel laureates among its notable alumni.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at University College London.

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Beijing, China

As one of the most esteemed universities in China, Tsinghua University is situated in northwest Beijing, surrounded by several historical sites. When it was established in 1911, the original name was “Tsinghua Xuetang.” It was later renamed to “Tsinghua School” in 1912.

During the nationwide restructuring of universities in 1952, Tsinghua University was molded into a polytechnic institute focusing on engineering. It has become the national center for training engineers and scientists, both for professional proficiency and personal integrity. The university has developed into a comprehensive research university. Today, it has 20 schools, 59 departments with faculties in science, engineering, humanities, law, medicine, history, philosophy, economics, management, education, and art.

Tsinghua University aims to promote the internationalization of its Graduate education. As of 2019, more than 2,000 international students from 118 different countries are pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees at Tsinghua. The university is hoping to expand its graduate degree offering to 100 master’s degree programs and 90 doctoral degree programs for international students.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 2%

In China, Tsinghua University’s strong scientific research ability saw it obtain more than 2,000 domestic patents and about 400 foreign patent authorizations. It is known as the number one university of science and technology in the country. Among its many notable alumni include Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Tsinghua University.

Cornell University

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Founded by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White in 1865, Cornell University traces its humble beginnings to Morrill Hall, the first building constructed on the main Ithaca campus. This has now grown to include 608 buildings on more than 2000 acres of land.

Cornell is unique among the Ivy League Eight because it is a federal land-grant institution in New York State, which compels it to make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a way that improves the quality of life in the state, the nation, and the world. A private university with a public mission, Cornell has a total of 15 colleges and schools scattered across campuses in Ithaca, New York City, and Doha, Qatar.

Cornell University’s Graduate School is one of the best in the country and the world, offering research and professional degrees in about 100 fields of study. What sets the university’s graduate research apart from others is its prevailing philosophy of academic freedom and flexibility, meaning students are not imposed with requirements for credits and courses.

They are free to shape the course of their study across interrelated field offerings as long as they work within an academic framework. Cornell is the best student to those with cross-disciplinary interests.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 12.7%

Retention Rate: 93.6%

Graduation Rate: 97%

Cornell University is known for its academic prestige, gaining many firsts in the history of American universities. The solution to one of the most famous problems in mathematics, Poincaré Conjecture, was first posted on the university’s arXiv.org. It is also the university that awarded the very first degree in journalism in the world. It also conferred the nation’s first degree in veterinary medicine and the first doctorates in electrical and industrial engineering. So far, Cornell has 50 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty members or alumni!

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Cornell University.

Columbia University

Columbia University

New York, New York

Columbia University has been around since 1754 when King George II of England issued a royal charter declaring it as the King’s College. The oldest learning institution in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the country, Columbia got its present name in 1784, owing to the patriotic fervor that inspired the nation’s quest for independence.

Appearing consistently in the QS World Rankings, Columbia’s prominent position is reflected in its commitment to advance knowledge. Its comprehensive array of academic programs includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a world-renowned medical center. It also boasts four affiliated colleges and seminaries, 25 libraries, and more than a hundred research centers and institutes.

Having some of the country’s top-ranked schools of law, business, and education, Columbia University is an ideal choice for many who wants to pursue a graduate degree in these fields of interest.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 6.6%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 95.7%

Columbia University has its share of successful alumni from its long and colorful history. From its roots as King’s College, the university also educated the founding fathers Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In the present day, some notable individuals in their respective fields have walked the halls of Columbia University, from Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, Leonard Cohen, and Ezra Koenig to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Barack Obama.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Columbia University.

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Old College, South Bridge

The University of Edinburgh opened its gates to its first students in 1583. It was in the 18th century when the university was positioned at the forefront of academia and critical thinking, going on to become one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the world. Its cutting-edge research, inspirational teaching, and innovative thinking have attracted some of the most brilliant minds from around the globe.

The university’s academic structure is based on three colleges comprising of 21 schools, including Business School, School of Economics, School of Law, Edinburgh Medical School, School of Physics and Astronomy, and School of Engineering, among many others. The University of Edinburgh is recognized worldwide for its research, development, and innovation, providing students with world-class teaching for more than 425 years.

It is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in the UK for employability, making it an excellent choice for postgraduate education. As the world’s top research-intensive universities, 83% of their research activity classified as world-leading or internationally excellent according to the 2014 Research Excellent Framework.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Retention Rate: 97%

Home to some of the world’s ground-breaking thinkers, the University of Edinburgh had the pleasure to teach an array of accomplished individuals who helped shape history, from Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers. Some of its well-renowned alumni include philosopher David Hume, chemist Joseph Black, Father of Modern Geology James Hutton, and famous British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is home to Britain’s oldest literary awards, James Tait Black Prizes and Dolly the sheep, which the first animal cloned from an adult somatic cell.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Edinburgh.

Peking University

Peking University

Beijing, China

Peking University, founded in 1898, was initially known as the Imperial University of Peking. It has been a leading institution of higher education in China since its establishment, serving as the highest administration for education. It adopted its present name in 1912.

At the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government put Peking at the top of its list for promoting higher education, allowing the university to make its way to one of the world-class universities in the world.

In 2000, Peking University merged with Beijing Medical University, strengthening its disciplinary structure. It is now known as the top liberal arts college in China with six campuses. As a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities, Peking is committed to advance patriotism, progress, and science.

With a strong emphasis on teaching and research of the basic sciences, the university is comprised of five faculties, including science, humanities, social sciences, medicine, and information and engineering. It currently has 34 colleges and departments and some 80 research institutes. Its most popular majors include economics, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and literature.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Peking University maintained a constant presence in university world rankings, bagging the 30th spot in the QS World University Ranking in 2018. Among its notable alumni are Premier Li Kequiang, Nobel Prize for medicine Tu Youyou, and China’s first designer of atomic bomb Deng Jiaxian.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Peking University.

University of Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

As the oldest tertiary academic institution in Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong was founded in 1910 by Sir Frederick Lugard. From its humble beginnings, it went on to gain international recognition for its accomplishments as a research-led comprehensive university.

Many of the best students, including those from Mainland China and other international countries, are attracted to the university’s exceptional academic offerings. The university nurtures global scholars through excellence in research, teaching and learning, and knowledge exchange. Among their professors, 111 have been ranked as the world’s top 1% scientists by Essential Science Indicators, Thomson Reuters.

HKU is also known for its world-class English curriculum. All courses are taught in English apart from language courses.

Some of the offered courses in the university include Architecture, Astronomy, Biology, Biochemistry, Buddhist Studies, Business, Chemistry, Chinese, English, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Economics, Education, and Engineering, among many others.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Graduation Rate: 100%

The University of Hong Kong is among Asia’s premier international universities. It has ranked number one in Asia and 21st in the world in the 2010-2011 Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Hong Kong.

University of Tokyo

University of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

The dizzying number of graduate programs alone offered by the University of Tokyo makes it worthy of making it into our list of the most prestigious graduate schools in the world. Those looking to enter postgraduate studies can choose from dozens of master’s degrees and doctorates from its 15 graduate schools, with a broad spectrum of specializations and fields.

The University of Tokyo, founded in 1877, is renowned for its excellent research standards. The quality of the University’s research work and programs has led to it receiving the most significant share of national grants in the entire country.

This reflects the immense trust of the government and the public in the University, which then provides the students and staff of its eleven research institutes the capacity to pursue ground-breaking work.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 34.2%%

In Japan, the University of Tokyo holds the distinction of being the university with the most number of Nobel Prize awardees among its alumni, staff, and faculty, with 16 laureates to date. The University is also the alma mater of 17 Japanese prime ministers and even three astronauts. That’s quite an impressive line-up.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Tokyo.

University of Manchester

University of Manchester

Oxford Road

In 2004, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester merged to form the University of Manchester.

The University is divided into three general faculties: Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health; the Faculty of Science and Engineering; and the Faculty of Humanities. Aside from the usual master’s degrees, the University of Manchester also offers postgraduate certificates and diplomas, as well as distance learning options.

The University of Manchester has impressive resources, facilities, and institutions that make it one of the best places in the world for graduate studies. The campus is home to the University of Manchester Library, which is the country’s third-largest academic library and also manages the most number of electronic resources.

The University is also home to the Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery. Also, the University runs its own academic publishing house, the Manchester University Press.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Retention Rate: 64%

Graduation Rate: 45%

Just two years after its establishment, the University of Manchester was named the University of the Year in 2006 by the UK publication, The Sunday Times. Since then, it has continued to garner other accolades, including being named the 9th most innovative school in Europe and the 3rd in the country by the New York Times. Thanks to its excellent reputation, the University of Manchester is also considered one of the most applied schools in the United Kingdom, as thousands of hopefuls vie for a chance year after year.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Manchester.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University was borne out of the vision of nine men who wish to establish a university to serve the Northwest Territory. Combining creative financing, shrewd politicking, and hard work, the university was founded in 1853 on the shore of Lake Michigan. Since then, Northwestern University has grown to include 12 schools and colleges, expanding to additional campuses in Chicago and Doha, Qatar.

As a comprehensive research university, Northwestern is genuinely interdisciplinary across multiple schools and units. Its schools include the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Pritzker School of Law, and Kellogg School of Management, among many others.

It features at least 90 school-based centers and more than 50 University research centers. The research projects span across a broad spectrum of areas, including neuroscience, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and drug discovery.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 9.2 %

Retention Rate: 98%

Graduation Rate: 92.8%

Northwestern University holds the distinction of being one of only four US universities that ranked in the top across all the graduate education categories. It is home to some of the most notable personalities, including Stephen Colbert, George R.R. Martin, J.B. Pritzker, and Patrick G. Ryan.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Northwestern University. 

Australian National University

Australian National University

Canberra, Australia

Located in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, the Australian National University is home to more than 20,000 students. Its student population is divided into roughly 10,000 undergraduates and 10,000 postgraduates, reflecting the Australian National University’s popularity not just among those aiming for bachelor’s degrees but also among graduates and professionals interested in pursuing further education. Its seven colleges span a vast variety of fields of study.

One can choose from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Asia and the Pacific, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Law, the College of Medicine, Biology, and Environment, and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

The University’s early beginnings can be considered as starting with the foundation of Canberra University College in 1929. Less than two decades later, the Australian National University was founded in 1946 by the Australian Parliament. Later on, in 1960, the Canberra University College merged with the Australian National University, which is when it first began to award undergraduate degrees.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Graduation Rate: 74.98%

The most recent 2020 World University Rankings named the Australian National University as the top university in the whole of Australia. It also prides itself on having been home to the highest number of Nobel Laureates among its alumni, staff, and faculty out of all the Australian universities.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Australian National University.

McGill University

McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

The name McGill University might not be as familiar as the others on this list. Still, this Canadian institution located in the bustling university city of Montreal is most definitely one of the best graduate schools one can hope to get into. Over 400 areas of study at various levels are offered by McGill, which has been in operation since 1821. 

McGill is sometimes referred to as the Harvard of the North, as it has produced the highest numbers of Nobel laureates and Rhodes scholars in Canada. Its doctorate programs are also some of the most sought after, with McGill having the highest percentage of Ph.D. students in the country. Over 10,000 postgraduates are currently furthering their studies under the University’s 12 faculties and 50-plus research centers and institutes.

McGill University also has the distinction of being the only Canadian university to be part of the influential Global University Leaders Forum (GULF).

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 46.3%

Retention Rate: 92%

Graduation Rate: 84%

McGill University has been the origin of many trailblazing discoveries, especially in the field of science. Ernest Rutherford conducted his research on radioactivity at McGill, and his study later went on to receive a Nobel Prize. The invention of the artificial red blood cell was also developed at the University. McGill is also currently pioneering a new field called epigenetics, or how genes might not be as fixed as we think and can be shaped by external factors.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at McGill University.

Kyoto University

Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto University, also colloquially called Kyodai (short for Kyoto Daigaku), is home to 18 graduate schools. Its vast Graduate School of Education, the Graduate School of Economics, the Graduate School of Science, the School of Government, and the Kyoto University Law School – known as one of the top law schools in Japan when it comes to successful bar passers.

Its research programs are also the second-highest funded ones in the country (second only to the University of Tokyo), which has allowed them to put in place state-of-the-art technology and facilities for their academic and research endeavors.

Some of the areas in which Kyoto University’s research excels in are in the sciences, namely in Chemistry, Biology, and Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Though most of the programs at the university are conducted in Japanese, it also has popular graduate programs like Engineering, Management, Biostudies, and Medicine, which are conducted entirely in English, to name a few.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 37%

The Academic Ranking of World Universities has placed Kyoto University as the second-best university in Japan, second only to the University of Tokyo. Most trusted university rankings also consistently place this University in the top 10 for the whole of Asia.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Kyoto University.

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

Various world rankings have named the University of Melbourne (established 1853) as the number one university in Australia, and they indeed have the facts and figures to earn it. It has managed to establish over a hundred world-class research institutes and centers, while their researchers are the most highly cited ones in the country. The University’s 52,000-strong student population works in synergy with researchers, faculty, administration, and other partners to innovate and produce solutions and advancements in their respective fields.

Postgraduate hopefuls can choose from the University of Melbourne’s 15 graduate schools, which is home to over 20,000 master’s degree and doctorate students. Some of the most popular choices are the highly esteemed Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Business School.

Approximately 65,000 students, including 30,000 international students from over 130 countries, are supported by over 8,000 academic and professional staff from the school. The University of Melbourne has graduated four prime ministers and five governors-general. 

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 70 – 80%

Retention Rate: 95%

Graduation Rate: 94.66%

The University of Melbourne does not merely concentrate on academic endeavors but also aims to give back to communities, both local and international and be at the forefront of some of the most pressing global issues, such as climate change. The University has put into place an International Strategy, which has the goal of working closely with China, India, and Indonesia in a variety of areas. It also has a robust campus sustainability program that promotes best practices in every facet of the University and develops long-term solutions.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Melbourne.

University of Sydney

University of Sydney

Sydney, Australia

The University of Sydney is considered the first and oldest university in Australia, with its roots tracing back to an 1850 proposal by political figure William Charles Wentworth. Throughout the years, it has incorporated various colleges and institutes into its system, to create a university experience with a broad scope of specializations. As of the present, up to 400 fields of study are offered by the University.

Of its five faculties and three university schools, the most populous is currently their Faculty of Arts and Sciences, followed by the Faculty of Science and then the Faculty of Business. When it comes to postgraduate studies, the University of Sydney Business School’s Master of Management degree has been named by the UK-based Financial Times as Australia’s top management program for an impressive seven years in a row.

To date, the University has produced over 350,000 graduates!

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Retention Rate: 81.9%

Graduation Rate: 88%

Just some of the notable alumni coming from the University of Sydney are seven Australian Prime Ministers (more than any other university), 24 Rhodes Scholars, and five Nobel Laureates. The QS University World Rankings has also listed the University of Sydney as having the number one most employable graduate pool in the entire country.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Sydney.

Duke University

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University traced its roots to 1838 when James Buchanan Duke established the school as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. It has evolved into one of the world’s leading institutions for education, research, and patient care. It has always been committed to providing a superior liberal arts education and instilling critical thinking, creative problem solving, and a healthy appetite for discovery.

The university has eventually expanded and established new graduate and professional schools. In the present, Duke University is comprised of ten schools and colleges, including the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Nursing, the School of Law, and the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, among many others.

To date, the university offers graduate training in more than 80 departments and programs of study, including a wide range of master’s and doctoral programs. They also promote interdisciplinary research through more than 30 certificate programs and dual-and-joint degree programs.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 9.9%

Retention Rate: 96.2%

Graduation Rate: 97%

The university’s legacy shines through its many notable alumni. It includes Apple CEO Timothy Cook, Cofounder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda French Gates, and 2016 Olympics bronze medalist in fencing Ibtihaj Muhammad, and many others. Among Duke University’s professors, 32 were listed by Thomson Reuters in its Highly Cited Researchers list.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Duke University.

University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada

The University of British Columbia (UBC), which has been around since 1915, is a leading public research university in Canada. The University has over 20 faculties and schools across its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

UBC works closely with an international community when it comes to research. It is part of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (the only Canadian one out of the 42 members) and Universitas 21, as an association of institutions geared towards research. A large chunk of its postgraduate students are also composed of international students, with 30% of its master’s degree takers and 44% of doctorate students coming from outside Canada and enrolled under UBC’s 300+ programs.

The University of British Columbia is steadfast in advocating sustainability, both in its operations and its research. It has been named the top university globally in terms of climate action, and the first in Canada when it comes to responsible production and consumption!

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 52.4%

Retention Rate: 90%

Graduation Rate: 76.4%

Canada’s current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an alumnus of the University of British Columbia, and so is Kim Campbell, who is the country’s first female Prime Minister. When it comes to a variety of university rankings within Canada, the University consistently stays within the top 3 rankings year after year.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of British Columbia.

Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich

Munich, Germany

As is apparent in its name, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is centered around programs in the field of science and technology. The prestigious university has some of the most exciting graduate programs, including Brewing and Beverage Technology, which builds on and continues the legacy of centuries of German brewing expertise.

Aside from its four campuses in Germany, the Technical University of Munich also has an international campus in Dover, Singapore – which is the first-ever German subsidiary established outside the country. International students aiming to enter the University’s graduate programs will be glad to know that the majority of its master’s level degrees are taught in English.

TUM’s graduate programs also emphasize the ethical practices and social responsibility that should be present in technological undertakings, with programs such as the Master of Arts in Responsibility in Science, Engineering, and Technology.

Graduation Rate: 53%

Graduate Programs Offered:

Consistency is one of the Technical University of Munich’s most significant achievements. Last year, it once again earned the “University of Excellence” title from the German Universities Excellence Initiative, which is held every six to seven years.

This is the third consecutive time that the TUM has earned this since the initiative was started in 2006, and it is the only German technical university to hold this distinction.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the Technical University of Munich.

Universite PSL

Universite PSL

Paris, France

The Universite PSL, which is short for Paris Sciences et Lettres, is located in the heart of the French capital. Though relatively new compared to the other institutions on this list (it was officially established only ten years ago, in 2010), the quality of its programs has allowed them to earn a spot as one of the most prestigious graduate schools in the world.

The University has a thriving postgraduate student population, with 70% of its students currently at a master’s or Ph.D. level. Over 42 master’s level national or institutional diplomas can be earned from the Universite PSL, along with five engineering programs awarded by grandes ecoles that are equivalent to master’s degrees.

Twenty of its courses are available in the English language, while those who may want to pursue a program taught only in French can enroll in French as a Foreign Language (FLE) studies to be able to do so.

Its graduate students can also immerse themselves in the dizzying multitude of arts and cultural experiences that Paris has to offer, thanks to the University’s stellar location.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Universite PSL has received top recognition among rankings of relatively young universities. In 2020, the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings placed it third place worldwide, while the QS World’s Under 50 Universities ranked it fourth in the same year. Even with its “young” status, Universite PSL has already produced 28 Nobel Laureates among its alumni.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Universite PSL.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology

Delft, Netherlands

For those aiming for postgraduate education concentrating on engineering and technology, then the Delft University of Technology should be one of the top schools on your list.

What began as a Royal Academy aimed towards civil servants in 1842 has now become one of the most sought-after technological universities not just in Europe but all over the world. It also has one of the biggest campuses worldwide in terms of land area, covering over 161 hectares.

Delft’s master’s degree programs number in the 40s and usually take about two years to complete. Doctorate level programs and online academic and professional education courses are also available at the University. It has multiple partnerships with other universities in Europe and beyond for student exchange programs, as well as combined degree undertakings.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 60 – 70%

Graduation Rate: 80.48%

When it comes to specialization in engineering and technology worldwide, the Delft University of Technology ranked 15th in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and 7th in the field of civil engineering in the 2020 US News and World Report Best Global University Ranking. Many notable people in the technological world have also lent their knowledge and experience to Delft’s faculty, including Vic Hayes, the so-called Father of Wi-Fi, and the late Space Shuttle Challenger crew member Wubbo Ockels.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the Delft University of Technology.

Brown University

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University’s greatest strength is usually said to be its strong liberal education, which provides its students with the flexibility to explore a multitude of areas of study before deciding what to concentrate on through its Open Curriculum concept.

The University has been a fixture of American university life, having been around since 1764, or over 250 years ago. It produced hundreds of public figures who have been integral members of their field. To date, Brown is the alma mater of 24 Pulitzer Prize winners, eight Nobel Prize winners, and 54 members of the United States Congress!

The competitive Brown University Graduate School, which was later established in 1887, has developed over 50 disciplines that graduate students can focus on. Other postgraduate options available at Brown are the Alpert Medical School and its blended learning master’s degrees that require minimal physical attendance every trimester.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 8.5%

Retention Rate: 98%

Graduation Rate: 96%

Award-giving bodies and institutions think highly of Brown University. One of the best indicators for its performance is student experience, wherein the University succeeds!. It currently has one of the best freshman retention rates in the entire United States, with over 98% of its students showing up for their second year. This is notably much higher compared to the 68% average freshman retention rate in the country.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Brown University.

University of Bristol

University of Bristol

United Kingdom

The University of Bristol is a research university that offers some of the best postgraduate programs within and beyond the United Kingdom. It offers “taught programmes” (composed mostly of taught units) and “research programmes” (research-based, as the name implies) for graduate students. Ph. Ds, professional, and extended doctoral programs are also on offer. Some of the University of Bristol’s doctoral degrees can also be completed via distance learning.

It is also home to the University of Bristol Law School Bristol Dental School, the Bristol Medical School, and the Bristol Veterinary School. The University also invests much into developing its infrastructure and facilities for its various research endeavors, allowing its students to gain hands-on experience with top of the line technology in their field.

One of the interesting facts about the University of Bristol’s early history is that it was the UK’s first institution of higher learning to admit women on an equal basis as men. This commitment to equality continues to reflect in the University’s present student population, which is composed of a higher percentage of women.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Retention Rate: 98.1%

Graduation Rate: 96%

Some of the most recent rankings done by independent organizations have recognized the University of Bristol in various areas. The 2021 QS World University Rankings placed it as the 9th best university in the United Kingdom, while, on a more practical note, the 2020 High Fliers Research named its graduates as the fourth most targeted by the top employers in Britain.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Bristol.

University of Malaya (UM)

University of Malaya

Kuala Lumpur

In Southeast Asia, one of the most recognized higher education institutions is the University of Malaya in Malaysia, which is also the country’s longest-running university, having been around since 1905 as the King Edward VII College of Medicine. The present-day University of Malaysia was formally founded after the merging of the College with Singapore’s Raffles College later on in 1949.

This public research university has also consistently been named as the best university in Malaysia by a variety of international bodies, like the QS World University Rankings. It is composed of 13 faculties, six centers, five institutes, and two academies.

The University of Malaysia prides itself on its broad scope of academic offerings, from the arts and humanities to the sciences, without limiting itself to a handful of specializations. Over 300 courses are taught under the University’s graduate programs.

Presently, over 8,000 postgraduate students have chosen the University of Malaya to pursue their master’s degrees, doctorates, and postgraduate diplomas.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 90%

The University of Malaya is not only the premier educational institution in Malaysia; it is also one of the best in Southeast Asia! It was recently named the 70th best university worldwide in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. The University has also housed and graduated three Malaysian prime ministers, as well as countless other political figures in the country.

University of Amsterdam

University of Amsterdam


One of Europe’s largest public research universities is the University of Amsterdam, also commonly abbreviated as UvA (from its Dutch name Universiteit van Amsterdam). UvA also has the largest student enrollment figures in the entirety of the Netherlands, with over 30,000 students at present.

It had its beginnings in 1632 as a school for medical teaching. Now, it has spread out to four campuses in the country, with seven faculties encompassing all sorts of areas of study. UvA’s Faculty of Humanities is currently the biggest humanities faculty in the country, thanks to its 6,000-strong student population.

Meanwhile, its Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences is home to over 10,000 students. Other faculties include the Faculties of Science, Economics, and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry. Its graduate students (composed of master’s degree, doctorate, and postdoctorate takers) are estimated to be over 10,000, or one-third of its entire student population.

The University of Amsterdam has also forged strong ties with other Dutch and international universities for exchange programs both among their students and staff. In Europe alone, they have undertaken agreements with over 200 partner universities.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Graduation Rate: 85.26%

The independent German institute CHE (Center for Higher Education), which specializes in the ranking of European educational institutions, consistently honors the University of Amsterdam with an “excellent” rating for seven Research categories. It is currently the only Dutch university to have achieved this.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Amsterdam.

University of Warwick

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Established in 1961, the University of Warwick took in its first 450 undergraduates in 1965. It has now grown to serve more than 23,000 students, over 9,000 of which are postgraduates. The university has a global appeal, attracting students from more than 120 countries.

The University of Warwick has 29 academic departments and over 50 research centers and institutes. Its three faculties are Arts and Science, Engineering and Medicine, and Social Sciences. Having always sought excellence in both teaching and research, the university has secured its place among the country’s leading research universities.

The School of Life Sciences leads the way in the research arena, with postgraduate degrees covering a range of subject areas including biomedical science, biochemistry, and biotechnology.

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Graduate Programs Offered:

Visit the University of Warwick’s master’s program catalog

The University of Warwick has consistently ranked in the top ten domestic rankings of British Universities. Its stellar record in academic excellence is reinforced by having one of the highest graduate employment rates, with 97.7% of graduates went on to work or further study within four years after graduation. Warwick holds one of the largest sports centers in the UK, which was used as an official venue for training of the London 2012 Olympics.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Warwick.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


Located in the heart of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is recognized as one of Europe’s premier academic and research institutions. Since its establishment in 1472, the university has committed to meeting international standards of excellence in research and teaching.

Its classical academic profile gives LMU Munich an edge over other universities, with its scope spanning humanities, cultural sciences, law, economics, social sciences, medicine, and natural sciences. It is divided into 18 faculties, with creative thinking, problem-solving, and research at the core of its academic programs. The university also enjoys one of Germany’s finest library systems.

It is the mark of every LMU student to be engaged in generating new knowledge for the benefit of society at large. The university ensures students are provided with excellent conditions for innovative fundamental research. In 2019, LMU was awarded funding as the University of Excellence.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 12.5%

True to its excellent research teaching form, the LMU researchers have enjoyed prestigious national and international awards. This includes Nobel Prize winners Gerhard Ertl, Karl Ritter von Frisch and Theodor W. Hänsch; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize winners Veit Hornung, Erika von Mutius, and Christoph Klein; and Alexander von Humboldt Professorships awardees Karen Radner, Stephan Hartmann, and Hannes Leitgeb.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg

Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg


The Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg traces its origins to 1385 when Pope Urban VI approved the university’s founding. From three faculties of theology, jurisprudence, and philosophy, it has grown into 12 faculties in the present day. It includes the Faculty of Law, Medical Faculty Heidelberg, Faculty of Modern Languages, Faculty of Biosciences, among others.

Its leadership role and an excellent reputation in the academic, scientific, and research landscape are underscored by its success across all funding rounds of the Excellence Competition. It has a host of graduate schools, including Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics, the Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences.

The university offers more than 160 fields of study with a broad spectrum of subjects, encompassing law, social sciences, natural sciences, and medicine. It is a perfect setting for individualized and interdisciplinary studies.

Graduate Programs Offered:

The Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg has a total of 630 ERASMUS arrangements with European universities. It has consistently featured among the worldwide ranking of universities. Eleven Nobel Prize winners conducted their research as professors at the university, including Richard Kuhn, Otto Meyerhoff, Stefan W. Hel. And Harald zur Hausen.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg.

Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)

Universidad de Buenos Aires

Viamonte 430
C1053 CABA

Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), founded in 1812, is a prestigious institution of higher learning and one of the largest universities on this side of Latin America. It is a public research university with demonstrated academic strength and regional leadership that attracts many international students from all over the world.

The university offers graduates access to quality postgraduate training and academic excellence in the various fields of scientific and technological knowledge. There are more than 400 postgraduate courses taught in 13 faculties between majors, masters, and doctorates.

To date, it has enrolled more than 328,000 students across 13 independent faculties. It has also administered six hospitals, 16 museums, 13 scientific institutes, and the country’s largest press, Eudeba.

The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields, including agriculture, economic sciences, engineering, medicine, and psychology. It has numerous graduate programs, many of which welcome international students. Most notably, the tuition from the postgraduate programs of the university helps fund UBA’s social mission, which is to provide free university education for everyone, regardless of nationality.

Graduate Programs Offered:

UBA is known to give a wealth of opportunities to students based on academic excellence. Its postgraduate programs help cover the tuition cost of undergraduate students. As one of the most prolific academic institutions in the Spanish-speaking world, UBA has produced four Nobel Prize laureates, including Carlos Saavedra Lamas, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).

Ecole Polytechnique

Ecole Polytechnique

Route de Saclay
91120 Palaiseau

Ecole Polytechnique is one of the top French institutions, featuring in various worldwide university rankings. The university was once a founding member of the University of Paris-Saclay, but it has since left to join the Institut Polytechnique de Paris in 2019.

Ecole Polytechnique was established during the French revolution and served as a military academy during the time of Napoleon I. Today, this top-level research and innovation institute features a myriad of undergraduate and graduate programs! It is known for promoting a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science.

Each year, the university confers diplomas to 500 students in the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program, including 100 international students, 250 Master’s students, half of which are international; 130 Ph.D. students, 40% of which are international.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Ecole Polytechnique maintained a leading role in the French academic tradition, helping shape some of the most brilliant minds in the field of science, including Poincaré, Ampère, Schwartz, and Fresnel. It has three French presidents and three Nobel Prize winners among its most notable alumni.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Ecole Polytechnique.

University of Zurich

University of Zurich

Rämistrasse 71
8006 Zürich

In 1833, the University of Zurich became the first university in Europe to be established by a democratic political system. It has become one of the foremost universities in the German-speaking world.

The university is comprised of seven faculties covering 100 different subject areas across three levels of higher learning. UZH is part of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a prominent advocate for the promotion of basic research. The university holds several distinctions in the fields of medicine, immunology, genetics, neuroscience, and structural biology, as well as in economics.

UZH gives a strong emphasis on academic excellence, with knowledge shared to the benefit of both the public and private sectors of Switzerland. The university grants access to 12 of its museums and many libraries. It also allows the public to have access to findings from cutting-edge research and engaging lecture series and panel discussions.

Graduate Programs Offered:

UZH has produced some of the most outstanding researchers whose groundbreaking discovery has transformed the world. Their pioneering scholars have been recognized with no less than twelve Nobel Prizes, including Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and Peter Debye.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Zurich.

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Lomonosov Moscow State University


The history of Lomonosov Moscow State University dates back to 1755 at the initiative Mikhail Lomonosov, an outstanding scientist of the Enlightenment. The university has maintained a long-standing democratic tradition, welcoming a diverse group of students regardless of their background.

Committed to outstanding teaching, scholarship and research, Lomonosov Moscow State University focuses on applied science, genetics, biomedicine, pharmaceutics, cognitive sciences, ecology, and information technologies. It offers more than 500 graduate programs designed for various groups of learners. To date, MSU has more than 40,000 postgraduate and graduate students.

Lomonosov Moscow State University is made up of 40 faculties, 15 research institutes, and 750 departments. It has its own Medical Scientific and Educational Center, a Scientific Library, four museums, a botanical garden, and a science park. 

Graduate Programs Offered:

As a testament to its commitment to academic excellence, the Lomonosov Moscow State University has dozens of brilliant students whose contributions have been recognized by prestigious awards. Its notable alumni include Nobel Prize winners Nikolay Nikolaevich Semenov, Igor Evgenyevich Tamm, and Boris Leonidovich Pasternak. Several of its mathematician alumni also received the Fields Medal, including Sergei Petrovich Novikov, Maxim Lvovich Kontsevich, and Andrei Yuryevich Okounkov.

Discover the top-ofthe-line graduate degree programs and courses at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen


Since 1479, the University of Copenhagen has cultivated a culture of intellectual creativity and critical thinking. Considered as Denmark’s oldest university, it has undergone many changes and upheavals, providing a history of the country through academic spectacles.

The university is divided into six faculties with 36 departments and more than 200 research centers scattered across three campuses in Copenhagen and one in Tasstrup. It boasts an international research and study environment, making it one of the leading research universities in the world. Currently, the University of Copenhagen has provided opportunities to 5,000 researchers and 39,000 students to develop their talent through research-based teaching.

To date, the University of Copenhagen, along with its researchers, students, and graduates, has established 4,637 companies in 16 years, making it a valuable part of Denmark’s development and economy.

Graduate Programs Offered:

The University of Copenhagen has proudly fostered several Nobel laureates who achieved trailblazing results through their research at the university. The most notable include Niels Bohr, George de Hevesy, Niels K. Jerne, and Aage Bohr.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Copenhagen.

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

Glasgow G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

Considered as the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Glasgow is one of the leading public research universities that offer a range of courses in the fields of arts, social sciences, and science.

The university is structured in a way that enables interdisciplinary collaboration while fostering a sense of belonging. It has a total of four colleges, each of which brings together the research and teaching expertise of several schools and institutes.

Notably, every college has a graduate school. It has a School of Humanities, a School of Critical Studies, a School of Life Sciences, a School of Medicine, and a School of Chemistry, among many others.

Currently, the university has around 29,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. It is also a leading employer in the city of Glasgow, boasting more than 8,000 staff.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 74.3%

Joining the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities is the University of Glasgow, which receives an annual research income of more than £179 million. The founding member of The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, the university is where you will find the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, one of the leading university museums in the world. It also includes Adam Smith and Lord Kelvin among its most prestigious alumni.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Glasgow.

University of Auckland

University of Auckland

New Zealand

New Zealand’s largest university, the University of Auckland was founded in 1883. It was initially a part of the University of New Zealand, gaining its independence after the latter’s abolition.

The university hosts over 40,000 students on five Auckland campuses. It aims to attract students of high academic potential. It is the reason why it has invested heavily in student accommodation. It is the country’s largest research organization, with 13,000 staff and postgraduate students involved in fundamental and applied research. On average, the university generates around $230 million in annual research revenue.

To date, the university has 33% of the top-rated researchers in New Zealand and has gained 31% funding based on research degree completions.

Graduate Programs Offered:

The University of Auckland has been a constant fixture in worldwide university rankings, with 13 of their subjects ranking in the world’s top 50, including archaeology, education, pharmacy, geography, and engineering. It has some of the most distinguished alumni including award-winning architect David Mitchell and former prime minister Helen Clark.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Auckland.

University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Toronto, ON M5S

The University of Toronto was established in 1827 and is now Canada’s leading institution of higher learning. It is best known as one of the world’s research-intensive universities with a strong drive to invent and innovate.

As far as graduate programs go, the university offers some of the best, with more than 300 graduate programs across 400 areas of study. Its academic divisions are focused on a range of disciplines, with a strong emphasis on applied science, engineering, management, and public health. Since it is home to some of the world’s most talented thinkers, innovators, inventors, and educators, it is not surprising to find the university among the top public higher learning institutions worldwide.

It is only one of the eight universities that placed in the top 50 in all subject areas as ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE). They demonstrated remarkable strengths in a span of disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 43%

Graduation Rate: 80%

The University of Toronto is notable for its influence in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School. It is the birthplace of stem cells and insulin research. Its best-known graduates include four prime ministers of Canada, 10 Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, and 94 Rhodes Scholars.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Toronto.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University was born in 1900 when Andrew Carnegie donated $1 million for the creation of a technical institute in the city of Pittsburgh. He envisioned it as a school where working-class men and women could learn practical skills, trades, and crafts. From its humble offers of two- and three-year certificates in the arts as well as in engineering disciplines, it has transformed into one of the word’s renowned educational institutions.

The Carnegie Tech merged with Mellon Institute in 1967, soaring to national and international leadership in higher education and research eventually. It enrolls more than 14,500 students representing more than a hundred countries. Their programs have a strong emphasis on science and technology. It has a total of seven schools and colleges, including the College of Fine Arts, and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 22.2%

Retention Rate: 96%

Graduation Rate: 88%

The Carnegie Mellon University has some of the most prestigious alumni, including 13 Turing Award winners, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 79 members of the National Academies. It steadily ranks as one of the top schools in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, engineering, and many more.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at Carnegie Mellon University.

University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Sheffield S10 2TG
United Kingdom

As one of the top universities in research-led learning and teaching, the University of Sheffield grew out of the Sheffield Medical School (founded in 1828), Firth College (1879) and the Sheffield Technical School (1884) – all of which initially came together to form the University College of Sheffield.

To date, the university has a total of 55 academic departments. Its research institutes and centers are created to address global challenges. They are often interdisciplinary and have earned international recognition. The University of Sheffield has four flagship research institutes, including the Energy Institute, Neuroscience Institute, Healthy Lifespan Institute, and Institute for Sustainable Food.

Graduate students will be assured of world-class facilities at the university. These include the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the AMRC Factory 2050, Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre (iCAIR), and Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV), among several others.

Graduate Programs Offered:

Acceptance Rate: 85.6%

The University of Sheffield is in the top 10 in the Russell Group for research outputs. It has also won five Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of quality and innovation in research by UK universities and colleges. Six of the university staff have received the prestigious Nobel Prize in the fields of chemistry and medicine.

Discover the top-of-the-line graduate degree programs and courses at the University of Sheffield.

What to Consider in Graduate Schools

Before one jumps into the challenging world of graduate school, it is crucial to be prepared financially, mentally, and emotionally. It can have lifetime rewards but also poses risks that can affect one’s life. Hence, it should not be taken lightly.

One of the major concerns is the expensive tuition fees. College is costly enough, and student loans can be crippling. Before one decides, it is wise to weigh the pros and cons first. How does one plan to pay for graduate school expenses? Is there enough emotional and financial support? Are the prospects bright for one’s future career after graduate school?

Knowing the answers to all of these can help one minimize future mistakes and ensure success. It is good to be prepared before entering the battle, after all.

How to Choose a Graduate School

There are a myriad of graduate studies in various fields worldwide. However, not all graduate schools are one-size-fit-all institutions. One can very quickly waste their time, money, energy, hopes, and dreams if they are not careful.

That is why choosing the best school that suits your needs is the ideal course of action. What do you need to consider in choosing your graduate school?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do grad schools care about where you went for undergraduate?

Many grad students are intrigued about whether their undergraduate school’s reputation will impact their grad school application. The fact is that the school an applicant attended during his or her undergraduate years matters very little in the admissions process to graduate school.

Perhaps this will only matter if and only when you’ll be competing with a candidate that comes with the same qualification as you and the one who may have attended a more prestigious undergraduate school can be more likely chosen over the other. 

One advantage that you can gain when you’ve attended a prestigious undergraduate school is that they may have given you lots of internship, research, and study abroad opportunities that will add flair to your resume.

Also, since these top-tier colleges offer a good student-professor ratio, the instructors can provide high-quality and persuasive letters of recommendation for your grad school application. 

Does it matter where you get your Master’s?

Before you take on another academic challenge, you might need a break after finishing your undergraduate studies. You’ll have a better understanding of your postgraduate program goals if you gain life and work experience. This will give you clarity on what important aspects to consider when choosing your grad school.

The reputation of a school is important, but the value of your degree is a lot more dependent on your ability to articulate and apply what you’ve learned.

If you are not sure what you want to do after graduation, your post-graduate program selection may be influenced by your professional goals, but they need not limit your career options. A master’s degree can build skills and enhance the understanding that can be applied across different fields.

At the end of the day, attending a grad school based on its prestige can help you; however, it all boils down to your career choice and motivation for success. 

What matters most for grad schools when grad candidate students apply?

Most graduate programs consider five factors when selecting students: personal statement, undergraduate academic record, letters of recommendation, and research experience, as well as assessing if you’re a good match for the program. In a sea of applications, faculty members must choose only from these attributes for many students. 

Every applicant is viewed by faculty members as a potential investment. There are many graduate schools that will pay for your education and training but, in exchange, you will be expected to produce high-quality research, publish papers, acquire additional external funding, and enhance the reputation of the school and program.

Therefore, you need to set your best foot forward if you want to qualify for a free graduate school program. 

How do you choose a graduate school?

Choosing a graduate degree program can be challenging and even exciting, but there are actions you can take to make the process easier. When pursuing graduate studies, you are making a significant investment, so it is crucial for you to understand why you are pursuing this path in the first place.

Make sure the program you choose can help you achieve your career goals, acquire specialized knowledge, get promoted, land a better job, increase your salary potential, or achieve a lifelong goal if any of these are part of your end goals.

Identify your passions and interests and look at the course descriptions and curriculums of various graduate degrees. You should take the time to research the different types of degree programs and the opportunities each can offer in your preferred field of study once you have determined your reasons for returning to school.

Think about your career goals and how each graduate program will help you achieve them after exploring your range of program options. In alignment with your career goals, ensure the degree program you choose fits comfortably into your lifestyle, and determine the level of flexibility you need. The right pace and format are important factors in earning an advanced degree.

Key Takeaways

Rankings of Ph.D. and master’s programs may be useful tools to use when deciding which schools to apply to, but their importance depends on what kind of program you’re pursuing

The factors to consider when selecting graduate schools to apply to will range from the value of your degree to the program’s quality of education to the professors you wish to work with. This list of the most prestigious graduate schools in the world can provide you with additional information when choosing which schools to apply to.

You’re ready to start the application process once you’ve narrowed down your options and determined what graduate programs align with your career goals, personal interests, and lifestyle. If you are well prepared and organized, applying to graduate school should not be intimidating.

Remember that grad school is a stepping stone towards your professional and personal goals and not the end goal. Having said that, the clearer your goals are regarding your future, the easier it will be to find a program that aligns with them.

Additional Resources:

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.