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The 10 universities with the most top-ranked programs

Every university has its own specific — and in some cases, surprising — strength. For instance, the University of Pittsburgh has the best philosophy program in the world. Colorado School of Mines offers the best engineering program. University of California, Davis is home to the number one veterinary sciences program in the world.

That's according to UK-based higher education analytics company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

QS calculated statistics from hundreds of universities worldwide to see which institutions were the strongest in 48 different subjects, from accounting to veterinary science. They found that 10 institutions consistently landed in the top 10 places of these subject rankings.

Here are the 10 universities with the most top 10 subject rankings:

National University of Singapore
Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images
National University of Singapore

9. National University of Singapore (tie)

Country: Singapore
Number of top-10 programs: 11
Top 10 programs include: Civil & Structural Engineering, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmacology

9. Yale University (tie)

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 11
Top 10 programs include: Law, Medicine, Nursing

8. London School of Economics (LSE)

Country: United Kingdom
Number of top-10 programs: 13
Top 10 programs include: Business and Management Studies, Development Studies, Social Policy and Administration

7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 14
Top 10 programs include: Chemistry, Communication and Media Studies, Psychology

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 24
Top 10 programs include: Art and Design, Computer Science, Linguistics

5. Stanford University

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 32
Top 10 programs include: Biological Sciences, Economics and Econometrics, Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering

3. University of California, Berkeley (tie)

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 34
Top 10 programs include: Architecture, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences

3. Harvard University (tie)

Country: United States
Number of top-10 programs: 34
Top 10 programs include: Accounting and Finance, Business and Management, Economics and Econometrics

2. University of Oxford

Country: United Kingdom
Number of top-10 programs: 35
Top 10 programs include: Anatomy and Physiology, Classics and Ancient History, Politics and International Studies

1. University of Cambridge

Country: United Kingdom
Number of top-10 programs: 37
Top 10 programs include: Anthropology, English Language and Literature, History

Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University
Jonathan Kitchen | Getty Images
Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University

QS found that the University of Cambridge had the most top 10 programs with 37, but that Harvard University had the most number one programs in the world. Harvard had 14 number one programs — including in Accounting, Business and Medicine — and 34 top-10 programs.

American universities account for more than half of the list, but according to QS's research, there was a slight decrease in the dominance of American universities in 2018.

"To be clear: It is going to be some time before the US's pre-eminence as a higher education research nation could reasonably be said to be in dispute," says Ben Sowter, Research Director at QS. "But our 2018 results indicate that it is being relentlessly diminished by increasingly competitive research programs in nations around the world."

"In previous years, we have seen 'second-tier' U.S. institutions find themselves beleaguered by ranking regressions," explained Sowter. "However, the performances of top institutions such as Cornell, UCLA and Yale — especially the latter, whose top-10 tally is now matched by the National University of Singapore — suggest that very few institutions are insulated from the inexorable worldwide improvement we are observing."

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