Many students might face dilemma while picking between the university rankings and subject rankings. This article would help you to solve the problem.

It is to be noted that 2 out of 10 students says that rankings play an important role while making decision of studying in a country. But the main question is that which type of ranking is to be taken into consideration- subject ranking or the university rankings?

This type of confusion is faced by many students who dream of studying abroad as they have to choose between the subject ranking and university rankings. These rankings would further help you to choose in which university you are supposed to study abroad. This question can be answered after analysing many criteria. So here are some criteria which would help you to select the best university:



the individual should choose whether he will be sticking to one subject or flexible with various career options. If the student is having a subject specific career in mind then he should give preference to subject rankings than the university rankings. So, for example if you are willing to take up engineering as you career than you should search for the universities which have excellent teaching quality and better facilities for engineering. We can take example of the University of Sydney which ranks 59th in the world university rankings but for the subject of engineering it ranks 93rd in the world. However, University of Glasgow ranks 93rd in the world university rankings but for engineering it is placed 126th for business and economics.

So, to select the university one should always see that how the specific subject which he or she wants to study is taught in the university. Analysing many other factors while selecting the university is also important.



Selecting a university also depend on which country you want to study and work. There are many universities which have world rankings but some countries have their own rankings for the university. We can take example of United States of America which have their own ranking systems. It is used to rank the institutions within USA. So, if an individual wish to study and then work in USA then he or she should choose the universities that have good rank in the USA rankings.


It is also a very important area which is to considered while making choice between the university rankings and subject rankings. You have to ask a question to yourself that whether you want to pursue an undergraduate programme or a post graduate programme?

In case of the undergraduate programmes, the general university rankings be more suitable. Subject specific rankings really don’t matter in case of undergraduate programmes as the students do not have to study the topic in very detail.

In case of post graduate programmes, where you have to study specific subject in depth and detail so, you have to consider both subject rankings as well as university rankings.  This would help you to get better opportunities and more exposure in the field. Universities that are included in the subject rankings would bring the subject specialists to teach its postgraduate students which would be beneficial for the students.



Whenever you place your resume on the table of the employer, he would definitely see the university from where you have studied. If they spot a very high-ranking university on you CV then they will consider you to be a very excellent student. However, some employers are more interested in knowing that what you have actually learnt from the university. So, here are some points for both scenarios:

  • For those who believe that the employers will look for the name of the university on CV and will get impressed by the name of top-ranking university on your CV then they must go by the university rankings. In this case you have to forget the university where you feel more comfortable. Then you just have to work hard to get into the university with top-rankings.
  • For those who believe that the employers look for the knowledge you have gained from the university and are not much interested in ranking of the university should go for the subject rankings. You can take example of a student who have done BE in IIT and the students who did humanities in IIT. So, the rankings of the subject will play an important role in selecting the university.


The best way to make you understand the article is the situational question. Whatever your answer would be giving the hint whether you consider university rankings or the subject rankings?

If you like to study the subject of computer science and you have option of 2 universities- Yale University or the University of Illinois in Champaign- Urbana {whose computer science course ranked 5th in USA}

If your answer is Yale university that means you are clearly looking for the university rankings as computer science course of the Yale university is not even in the top 20 courses of the university. If you answer is University of Illinois than you are looking for the subject rankings.


At last you must choose the option which is best for you. You can also approach the career counsellors who can give you better advise. There are also many other factors which are to be considered before selecting the university you want to study. So, look for the best option.