UArizona Excels in Space Science, Research Reputation in US News Best Global Universities Ranking
UArizona earned top marks in space science in U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Global Universities ranking, finishing No. 11 overall and No. 3 among public U.S. universities.

By Nick Prevenas, University Communications
Oct. 20, 2020

The University of Arizona has once again been highlighted as one of the world's top academic research institutions by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Arizona ranked No. 97 out of 1,500 higher education institutions across 86 countries in the 2021 Best Global Universities ranking, released today. The university was No. 44 among universities in the U.S. and No. 23 among public universities.

"I am extremely proud to see our university once again recognized as one of the world's most respected academic research institutions," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "The groundbreaking work of our faculty and research staff allows us to tackle the world's most significant challenges, while expanding our knowledge into the furthest reaches of the universe."

U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities also ranks colleges and universities in 38 separate subjects – up from 28 the year before. The University of Arizona earned a spot on 31 of the subject rankings.

UArizona's highest subject ranking once again came in space science, where the university retained its spot from last year's ranking. UArizona tied for No. 11 overall (No. 8 in the U.S and No. 3 among public universities), taking into account the university's exemplary research reputation and frequency of publication. University of Arizona researchers currently hold leadership positions in NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to retrieve and analyze particles from asteroid Bennu, as well as the effort to capture the first direct image of a black hole.

"The University of Arizona earned its outstanding research reputation through decades of hard work and creative thinking," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation. "It is through this kind of dedication and vision that we are able to embark upon paradigm-shifting projects such as the OSIRIS-REx mission."

The university received top 100 rankings for its programs in geosciences (23), plant and animal sciences (tied 31), environment and ecology (37), arts and humanities (40), surgery (83), environmental and occupational health (tied 95) and economics and business (tied 100).

As part of its overall ranking, the University of Arizona earned solid placements in books published (79), global research reputation (90), total citations (108) and publications (121).

The seventh annual Best Global Universities ranking is produced in order to provide insight into how research institutions compare throughout the world. The rankings focus specifically on schools' academic research and reputation overall.

U.S. News & World Report weighs factors that measure a university's global and regional research reputation and academic research performance using indicators such as publications, citations and international collaboration. The schools were evaluated based on 13 indicators that measure their academic research performance and their global and regional reputations.

In September, UArizona made one of the nation's biggest jumps in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges ranking.

UArizona was ranked No. 97 overall – up 20 spots from last year's ranking – and No. 40 among public universities. It was the university's first appearance in the top 100 since 2009 and its overall score of 61 marked an all-time high for UArizona in these rankings. The 20-spot increase was the ninth-highest jump among all higher education institutions ranked in the top 200 and sixth highest among public universities.

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Nick Prevenas

Senior News Writer / Media Relations Analyst, University Communications