See the Top 10 Global Universities for Physics | Best Global Universities

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Oxfordshire, England

Discover the best schools for physics research.

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10. University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 5

Fact: Undergraduates at Oxford University can pursue a three-year or four-year program in physics and philosophy, according to the university’s website. The shorter program culminates in a bachelor’s degree while the longer results in a master’s.

Discover the best schools for physics research.

10. University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 5

Fact: Undergraduates at Oxford University can pursue a three-year or four-year program in physics and philosophy, according to the university’s website. The shorter program culminates in a bachelor’s degree while the longer results in a master’s.

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 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: 8

Fact: Princeton University offers a two-year postbaccalaureate program that aims to encourage individuals from populations that have historically been underrepresented in physics to consider attending physics grad programs. Minority students are encouraged to apply for this bridge program, which serves prospective grad students who could benefit from two years of research and coursework prior to grad school.

7. University of Tokyo

Location: Tokyo

Best Global Universities overall rank: 74 (tie)

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

6. California Institute of Technology

Location: Pasadena, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 6

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

Best Global Universities overall rank: 13

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: There are many prize winners among the faculty, staff and alumni of the physics program at University of California—Berkeley, including more than 20 laureates of the Nobel Prize in physics.

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 two-mile-long 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 atomic and optical 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. University of Oxford

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Updated on Dec. 3, 2019: This slideshow has been updated to include ranks from the 2020 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.



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