See the Top 10 Global Universities for Physics

Discover the best schools for physics research.

A physics degree can lead to a career in engineering, computer or information systems, teaching and more. Here are the top 10 Best Global Universities for Physics, as ranked by U.S. News based on academic research performance in that subject area.

10. Tsinghua University

Location: Beijing, China

Best Global Universities overall rank: 28

Fact: Tsinghua University‘s physics department publishes more than 500 peer-reviewed research papers per year, and the department routinely receives visits from notable scholars based outside of China.

9. University of Cambridge

Location: Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Best Global Universities overall rank: 9

Fact: The University of Cambridge physics department has collaborative research programs focused on scientific computing, the physics of medicine, semiconductor physics, quantum computers and the physics of sustainability, according to the school’s website.

8. Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 11 (tie)

Fact: Princeton University offers a fully funded one-year predoctoral fellowship for aspiring physics scholars from underrepresented populations. Minority students are encouraged to apply for this fellowship, which includes an admission offer to the physics Ph.D. program.

7. University of Tokyo

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Best Global Universities overall rank: 73 (tie)

Fact: Focus areas of University of Tokyo physics researchers include astrophysics and astronomy, biophysics, experimental condensed matter physics and theoretical general physics, among other subjects, according to the Japanese university’s website.

6. California Institute of Technology

Location: Pasadena, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 7

Fact: Undergraduates at the California Institute of Technology can major in physics or in applied physics, which has more of an emphasis on developing new technologies, according to the school’s website.

5. University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 15 (tie)

Fact: NASA named its Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, which traveled to the sun, after University of Chicago physics professor emeritus Eugene Parker, who is known for his research on the star.

4. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 1

Fact: Among Harvard University‘s numerous physics-related research centers are the Black Hole Initiative, the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature and the Center for Nanoscale Systems, according to the university’s website.

3. University of California–Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 4

Fact: Reinhard Genzel — a professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at UC–Berkeley — was a co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics, acknowledged for the discovery of a “supermassive compact object” in the middle of the Milky Way.

2. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 3

Fact: Stanford University operates the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy science lab. The lab is home to a 2-mile particle accelerator that generates the world’s brightest X-rays, according to the SLAC website.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 2

Fact: Graduate physics researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can conduct research within a dozen branches of physics ranging from photonics to plasma physics, according to the university’s website.

Here are the top 10 global universities for physics.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2. Stanford University

3. University of California–Berkeley

4. Harvard University

5. University of Chicago

6. California Institute of Technology

7. University of Tokyo

8. Princeton University

9. University of Cambridge

10. Tsinghua University

Learn more about studying overseas.

Familiarize yourself with the differences between bachelor’s degree programs in the U.S. and Europe, learn about the advantages of higher education programs in Asia and discover ways to evaluate a global university without visiting. Also, follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter for more rankings and advice.

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See the Top 10 Global Universities for Physics originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 12/30/20: This slideshow has been updated to include ranks from the 2021 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.

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