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Ranking Source: U.S. News Best Global Universities
The subject fields used in the analysis came from subject schemas in Clarivate, which uses the content and citation indicators from the Web of Science. Publications are limited to those published between 2014 to 2018. However, the citations to those papers come from all publications, including the most recent data available.
Table: Weights and factors used to compute the subject rankings (For Biology and Microbiology)
|S.N.||Ranking Factors||Ranking Weights|
|1.||Global research reputation||12.5%|
|2.||Regional research reputation||12.5%|
|4.||Normalized citation impact||10%|
|6.||Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited||10%|
|7.||Percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited||5%|
|8.||Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited in their respective field||5%|
|9.||Percentage of total publications that are among the top 1% most highly cited papers||5%|
|10.||International collaboration – relative to the country||5%|
For the 2021 rankings, the cutoff date was May 28, 2020.
The microbiology category comprises studies dealing with the biology and biochemistry of protozoa and microorganisms. Covering topics that range from the medical implications of organisms known to cause diseases to the biotechnology applications of microorganisms for basic science and clinical use, publications within this category focus on the study of microscopic organisms.
1. Harvard University
Subject Score: 100.00
World Ranking in Microbiology: #1
Best Global University Ranking: #1
Harvard University Address
Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard University Website
About Harvard University
Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. For students who are excited to investigate the biggest issues of the 21st century, Harvard offers an unparalleled student experience and a generous financial aid program, with over $160 million awarded to more than 60% of our undergraduate students. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education.
Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School
Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School seeks to advance a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms underlying microbial growth, survival, replication, and pathogenesis. Their investigators are making discoveries that inform the understanding of essential cellular processes across all domains of life, while at the same time providing a foundation for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and other microbe-associated pathologies. Faculty members studying both bacteria and viruses are probing the mechanisms they employ to interact with host organisms in health and disease, thereby laying the groundwork for addressing critical infectious disease challenges, including the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens and the emergence of new viral pathogens. Moreover, studies within the department have generated enabling tools to support biomedical investigation across multiple disciplines.
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Chemical Biology
- M.D. Programs
- M.D. – Ph.D. Programs
The Department of Microbiology provides excellent opportunities for postdoctoral training in a variety of areas including bacterial and viral pathogenesis, bacterial and viral genetics, immunology of infections, vaccines, and others. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty to learn about current opportunities in their specific fields of interest. Funding for postdoctoral work in the Department of Microbiology is in some cases available from departmental or medical school resources. In addition, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to seek out their own funding from federal and private sources.
Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School Address
Department of Microbiology
77 Ave Louis Pasteur, NRB 1035
Boston MA 02115
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Subject Score: 85.0
World Ranking in Microbiology: #2
Best Global University Ranking: #2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Address
77 Massachusetts Avenue,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Website
About Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The MIT community is driven by a shared purpose: to make a better world through education, research, and innovation. They are fun and quirky, elite but not elitist, inventive and artistic, obsessed with numbers, and welcoming to talented people regardless of where they come from.
Founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution, MIT is profoundly American. With ingenuity and drive, our graduates have invented fundamental technologies, launched new industries, and created millions of American jobs. At the same time, and without the slightest sense of contradiction, MIT is profoundly global. Their community gains tremendous strength as a magnet for talent from around the world. Through teaching, research, and innovation, MIT’s exceptional community pursues its mission of service to the nation and the world.
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
They are a collaborative, inclusive, supportive, and focused community dedicated to research, teaching, and service. They explore a wide range of fundamental biological questions with a focus on molecular cell biology at all levels, from molecular structure to human disease. For over 50 years, they have played a central role in the growth of molecular life sciences and the revolution in molecular and cellular biology, genetics, genomics, and computational biology.
Their 60+ world-renowned faculty include:
- 3 Nobel laureates
- 4 recipients of the National Medal of Science
- 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators
- 30 members of the National Academy of Sciences
MIT Microbiology Program
The MIT Microbiology Graduate Ph.D. Program is an interdepartmental, and interdisciplinary program at MIT. MIT has a long-standing tradition of excellence in microbiological research, and there are over 50 faculty from several different departments and divisions who study or use microbes in significant ways in their research. The program integrates educational resources across the participating departments, to build connections among faculty with shared interests from different units, and to build an educational community for training students in the study of microbial systems.
The graduate training program aims to attract and train a talented group of students interested in a range of aspects of microbiology. The program will provide students a broad exposure to underlying elements of modern microbiological research and engineering and will provide depth in specific areas of microbiology during the student‘s thesis work. Students completing this program will be prepared and able to go into a range of fields in microbial science and engineering. Students with interdisciplinary training in microbiology are in increasing demand in both the public and private sectors. With the broad interdisciplinary training and high-quality in-depth research experience, students from this program will have excellent career options in academic, industrial, and government settings.
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Address
77 Massachusetts Ave, 68-132
Cambridge, MA 02139
3. University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
Subject Score: 79.0
World Ranking in Microbiology: #3
Best Global University Ranking: #15
University of California San Francisco Address
500 Parnassus Ave,
San Francisco, CA 94143
University of California San Francisco Website
About University of California San Francisco
At UC San Francisco, they are driven by the idea that when the best research, the best teaching, and the best patient care converge, they can deliver breakthroughs that help heal the world. Excellence is in their DNA. From genomics and immunology to specialty care for women and children, UCSF brings together the world’s leading experts in nearly every area of health. They are home to five Nobel laureates who have advanced the understanding of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, and stem cells. Their hospitals and educational programs consistently rank among the best in the country, according to the latest surveys by U.S. News & World Report. They are the leading university dedicated exclusively to the health sciences.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco
The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is the home department for the multidisciplinary UCSF Immunology Program and Microbial Pathogenesis Program. Research in the department focuses on areas related to infectious diseases, immunology, and cancer. There are twenty-one full-time faculty members in the Department, including 1989 Nobel Prize winner, J. Michael Bishop, who served as UCSF’s Chancellor, and Frank McCormick, Prior Director of the Helen Diller Family UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A central mission of the department is teaching Microbiology and Immunology to professional students in the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry and to graduate students pursuing their Ph.D. degree. Our department also provides advanced research training to more than one hundred Postdoctoral Fellows. Graduate students working towards their Ph.D. degree are enrolled in the Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS) or Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Programs, depending on their research emphasis.
The research laboratories of the Department are located at both of the main UCSF campuses, Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay, and their activities span a wide range of modern biomedical science.
The fields of Microbiology and Immunology encompass many aspects of human health and the goal of their research is to further the basic understanding of microbes and the immune system, as well as translate this knowledge into an improvement of human health. Therefore, their educational curriculum provides the opportunity to learn about fundamental mechanisms of microbiology and immunology, as well as the clinical aspects of these disciplines.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco Address
UCSF – Microbiology & Immunology
513 Parnassus Ave,
San Francisco, CA 94143
4. University of California San Diego (UC San Diego)
Subject Score: 73.8
World Ranking in Microbiology: #5
Best Global University Ranking: #21
University of California San Diego Address
9500 Gilman Drive,
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021
University of California San Diego Website
About University of California San Diego
Founded as an experiment in 1960, UC San Diego scholars aren’t afraid to challenge convention if it means they can accelerate answers to our society’s most pressing issues. As one of the top 20 research universities in the world, they are driving change far beyond our walls to advance society and propel economic growth. And the world has taken notice. UC San Diego’s main campus is located near the Pacific Ocean on approximately 1,200 acres of coastal woodland in La Jolla, California. The campus sits on the ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay Nation. Kumeyaay people continue to have an important and thriving presence in the region. UC San Diego’s rich academic portfolio includes seven undergraduate colleges, six academic divisions, and six graduate and professional schools.
Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego
Their mission is to advance knowledge of basic biological sciences and apply their research discoveries in ways that improve human health, protect our environment, and enrich our economy. They strive to fulfill their mission every day by:
- educating and preparing a diverse population of students into the scientists, physicians, medical researchers, and educators of the future,
- making a concerted effort to help their undergraduate students graduate in four years or less, and by
- increasing public understanding of biology and encouraging scientific discovery among K-12 teachers and schoolchildren.
Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego Address
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. La Jolla,
5. Cornell University
Subject Score: 71.8
World Ranking in Microbiology: #6
Best Global University Ranking: #22
Cornell University Address
Cornell University Website
About Cornell University
Established in 1865, Cornell University is a privately endowed research university and a partner of the State University of New York. Unique within the Ivy League, they make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a manner that prioritizes public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, the world.
Department of Microbiology, Cornell University
Research in the Department of Microbiology is internationally recognized and focused on diverse aspects of microbial biological processes, with specific expertise in:
- molecular genetics and gene regulation
- microbial cell biology, and genome evolution
- host/microbe interactions and co-phylogeny
- pathogens and pathogenicity
- globally relevant, microbially mediated ecosystem functions
- (meta)genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics
Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Address
123 Wing Drive
Ithaca NY 14853
6. University of Pennsylvania (Peen)
Subject Score: 71.5
World Ranking in Microbiology: #7
Best Global University Ranking: #14
University of Pennsylvania Address
University of Pennsylvania Website
About University of Pennsylvania
Penn has a proud tradition of translating knowledge into social-minded action that dates back to its founder Benjamin Franklin. This tradition of active pragmatism, articulated in Franklin’s maxim “well-done is better than well-said,” lives today through the Penn Compact 2022 and its inclusive policies, innovative work, and impactful engagement of their faculty, students, and staff. Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes additional 10,000-plus students to their world-renowned graduate and professional schools. Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach. Penn is one of the world’s most powerful research and teaching institutions, with a research budget of nearly $1 billion and more than 4,000 active faculty members. The scale and interdisciplinary character of research and teaching set Penn apart, and their highly ranked Perelman School of Medicine is one of the top recipients of NIH funding in the country.
Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Research in the Penn Microbiology Department focuses on infectious agents that threaten global health, with an emphasis on understanding molecular mechanisms and developing key new methods. Areas of focus include pathogenic bacteria of the airway and gut, HIV/AIDS, insect- and rodent-borne viruses, herpes viruses, papillomaviruses, emerging infectious diseases, and the human microbiome. On the host side, faculty study many areas of immunology related to infection, including innate and adaptive immunity, tumor immunology, and vaccine development.
Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Address
225 Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076
7. University of Washington (UW)
Subject Score: 71.4
World Ranking in Microbiology: #8
Best Global University Ranking: #8
University of Washington Address
University of Washington Website
About University of Washington
The UW is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Their impact on individuals, their region, and the world is profound — whether they are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of their time through undaunted research and scholarship. UW educates more than 54,000 students annually. They turn ideas into impact and transform lives and our world. So what defines their students, faculty, and community members? Above all, it’s their belief in possibility and their unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes them to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together they can create a world of good.
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Washington
The UW Department of Microbiology was founded in 1915 and the first Ph.D. was awarded in 1930. It quickly became and still remains one of the premier biological science departments in the country. The department has a national reputation for high-quality teaching and an international reputation for excellence in research. The department is in the School of Medicine but it is responsible for an undergraduate microbiology major, and a graduate program. More than 30 departmental faculty serve as graduate student research advisors. While the majority of faculty members have research laboratories within the South Lake Union Campus and at the Health Sciences Building, several faculty work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and Northwest Regional Primate Research Center.
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Washington Address
Microbiology, Health Sciences Building
University of Washington
1705 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195-7735
8. University of California, Berkeley
Subject Score: 69.5
World Ranking in Microbiology: #9 (tie)
Best Global University Ranking: #4
University of California, Berkeley Address
110 Sproul Hall, Berkeley,
University of California, Berkeley Website
About University of California, Berkeley
The University of California was founded in 1868, born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations.” From a group of academic pioneers in 1868 to the Free Speech Movement in 1964, Berkeley is a place where the brightest minds from across the globe come together to explore, ask questions and improve the world.
Graduate Group in Microbiology (GGM), Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley
The Graduate Group in Microbiology is composed of 53 faculty from diverse departments, colleges, and schools (Plant and Microbial Biology; Molecular and Cell Biology; Public Health; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology; Optometry; and Integrative Biology) and is administered by the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology.
The group awards the Ph.D. degree in Microbiology. Students in the group have access to diverse disciplines through an integrated program of study that allows each student to pursue specialized interests. Students gain a breadth of understanding of microbiology from the molecular to the cellular levels of the organization, as well as the interactions of microbes—beneficial and pathogenic—with other organisms.
Faculty in the Graduate Group in Microbiology has research interests in four broad areas: ecology and evolution, genetics and development, physiology and biochemistry, and host-microbe interactions. The research of many faculty spans more than one of these categories. In addition, the research goals vary from addressing fundamental questions in biology to applied studies in the control or use of microbes. Some faculty conduct research on both fundamental and applied topics.
Microbiology draws on and is relevant to the fields of biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, pathogenesis, ecology, and evolution. UC Berkeley’s Graduate program provides students with the education and research experience needed to develop as top scientists and researchers in the field.
Graduate Group in Microbiology (GGM), Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley Address
Plant & Microbial Biology
111 Koshland Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3102
9. Washington University in St. Louis
Subject Score: 69.5
World Ranking in Microbiology: #9 (tie)
Best Global University Ranking: #33
Washington University in St. Louis Address
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis Website
About Washington University in St. Louis
In 1853, prominent St. Louis merchant Wayman Crow and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., concerned about the lack of institutions of higher learning in the growing midwest, led the founding of Washington University in St. Louis. Over the course of its first 150 years, Washington University in St. Louis has made remarkable progress, growing from a college educating local men and women to an internationally known research university with students and faculty from approximately 90 countries. Washington University in St. Louis’ campuses are located near the cultural center of St. Louis, surrounded by and adjacent to museums, performance venues, vibrant entertainment and dining districts, one of the nation’s largest civic parks, and beautiful, tree-lined neighborhoods rich in history and diversity. They are among the world’s leaders in teaching, research, patient care, and service to society. They are committed to learning and exploration, to discovery and impact. Together, they explore our intellectual passions and challenge the unknown. Washington University in St. Louis is building a better world by preparing and supporting more effective leaders with the knowledge, experience, dedication, and creativity to tackle complex problems.
Research Areas of Focus- Medical research to translate basic science discoveries into solutions for the world’s biggest health problems. Environmental and energy research to discover innovations that can reduce greenhouse emissions and slow global warming. Innovation and entrepreneurial research to create intellectual property and advance research for the greatest public good. Plant science research, conducted in collaboration with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, to help the world feed its people.
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine
The mission of the Department of Molecular Microbiology is to provide an outstanding scientific environment for scientists interested in all aspects involving the roles of microbes in biology. They are particularly interested in questions in microbial pathogenesis, the study of how microbes interact with their hosts in ways that both cause or avoid disease, and how this knowledge can be used to improve human health and control infectious diseases. The collaborative and collegial nature of Microbiology is well suited for the similarly-minded research environment of Washington University, and they strive to bring cutting-edge methods from all disciplines and medical sciences across the University to bear on these questions. As a department, they take great pride in the training of the next generation of scientists, including students and postdoctoral fellows, and mentoring the careers of faculty as they emerge as scientific leaders.
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine Address
Campus Box 8230
660 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
10. Duke University
Subject Score: 68.3
World Ranking in Microbiology: #12
Best Global University Ranking: #23
Duke University Address
2080 Duke University Road,
Durham, NC 27708
Duke University Website
About Duke University
Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University. Duke University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, doctorate, and professional degrees.
Schools & Colleges
- Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
- School of Law
- Divinity School
- Graduate School
- School of Medicine
- School of Nursing
- Pratt School of Engineering
- Fuqua School of Business
- Nicholas School of the Environment
- Sanford School of Public Policy
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM), Duke University School of Medicine
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology resulted from the merger in 2002 of two existing departments, Microbiology and Genetics, and has two major areas of focus: genetics/genomics and microbiology. Research in the Department spans both model and pathogenic organisms and the full spectrum of genetics from unicellular to multicellular eukaryotic organisms, including mice and humans. Many investigators possess expertise in both microbiology and genetics, including those utilizing yeasts as experimental microbial systems, and those probing the interactions of infectious agents with cellular or heterologous host model systems. Much of the history of modern molecular biology can be traced directly to genetic approaches with microbial and infectious systems, including the discoveries of DNA and RNA as the genetic material, the elucidation of the genetic code, and the development of recombinant DNA approaches based on bacterial restriction-modification systems and related enzymes. Existing areas of strength in the Department include:
- microbiology (virology, mycology, bacteriology);
- RNA biology and genomic expression analysis;
- yeast genetics;
- genetics of model systems and humans; and
- chromosome structure, function, replication, and repair.
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology serves as the administrative infrastructure for four research centers that bridge investigators with primary and secondary appointments in the Department with other investigators throughout the medical center, and foster robust interfaces between the clinical and basic sciences. The Center for Host Microbial Interactions comprises investigators focused on fungal and bacterial microbial pathogens; the Center for RNA Biology brings together investigators interested in the structure, function, and synthesis of RNA; the Center for Virology provides a forum for investigators throughout the medical center who are focused on both basic and applied aspects of virology, including vaccine development; and the Center for Genomics of Microbial Systems (GeMS) brings together investigators focused on microbial communities and their interactions, including the human microbiome and environmental niches.
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM), Duke University School of Medicine Address
Director of Graduate Studies
207A Jones Building
Durham, N.C. 27710
MGM Graduate Program Coordinator
201 Jones Building
Durham, NC 27710