4 min readMay 6, 2023


Are you considering pursuing a PhD abroad but not sure where to start? Choosing the right university to pursue your PhD can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which universities are the best.

In this article, we will explore the PhD abroad rankings to help you identify the top universities for pursuing a PhD degree. We will cover everything from the methodology used to rank the universities, the top universities, and frequently asked questions about pursuing a PhD abroad.

These universities have consistently ranked among the top universities globally for pursuing a PhD. Each of these universities offers excellent research opportunities, resources, and facilities for PhD students.

Methodology of PhD Abroad Rankings

PhD abroad rankings are typically based on various factors that evaluate universities’ research output, academic reputation, and student satisfaction, among others. The methodology used to rank universities varies among ranking organizations.

The following are some of the factors that are commonly used to rank universities for PhD programs:

  1. Research output: This factor considers the number of research papers published by the university and their impact.
  2. Academic reputation: This factor considers the academic reputation of the university among other academics.
  3. Faculty-to-student ratio: This factor considers the number of faculty members per student.
  4. Funding opportunities: This factor considers the availability of funding opportunities for PhD students.
  5. Student satisfaction: This factor considers the satisfaction levels of current and former PhD students.

Top Universities for Pursuing a PhD Abroad

Factors to Consider When Choosing a University for PhD Abroad

While PhD abroad rankings are an excellent starting point for identifying top universities, it’s essential to consider other factors that may influence your decision.

The following are some of the factors to consider when choosing a university for pursuing a PhD abroad:

  1. Research opportunities: Consider the research opportunities available in your field of study and whether they align with your research interests.
  2. Funding opportunities: Consider the availability of funding opportunities and the cost of living in the city where the university is located.
  3. Faculty members: Consider the quality and availability of faculty members in your field of study.
  4. University resources: Consider the resources and facilities available to PhD students, such as libraries, labs, and equipment.
  5. Location: Consider the location of the university and whether it is a good fit for your personal and professional goals.

Top PhD colleges based on the QS and World University Rankings

College/UniversityWorld University RankingCountryWebsiteApplication LinkMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)1USAhttps://www.mit.edu/https://gradadmissions.mit.edu/Stanford University2USAhttps://www.stanford.edu/https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applyHarvard University3USAhttps://www.harvard.edu/https://www.gsas.harvard.edu/applyCalifornia Institute of Technology (Caltech)4USAhttps://www.caltech.edu/https://www.caltech.edu/admissions/graduate-admissionsUniversity of Oxford5UKhttps://www.ox.ac.uk/https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-philosophy?wssl=1University of Cambridge6UKhttps://www.cam.ac.uk/https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology7Switzerlandhttps://ethz.ch/en.htmlhttps://apply-ethz.ch/University of Chicago9USAhttps://www.uchicago.edu/https://apply-psd.uchicago.edu/apply/Imperial College London10UKhttps://www.imperial.ac.uk/https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/how-to-apply/University of Pennsylvania13USAhttps://www.upenn.edu/https://www.applyweb.com/upenng/index.ftlUniversity of California, Berkeley (UCB)32USAhttps://www.berkeley.edu/https://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/Columbia University19USAhttps://www.columbia.edu/https://www.columbia.edu/content/apply.htmlUniversity of Michigan-Ann Arbor23USAhttps://umich.edu/https://rackham.umich.edu/admissions/apply-now/Duke University21USAhttps://www.duke.edu/https://gradschool.duke.edu/admissions/apply-nowUniversity of Toronto18Canadahttps://www.utoronto.ca/https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/prospectivestudents/Pages/Apply-to-U-of-T.aspxUniversity of Tokyo23Japanhttps://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/adm/dco/application-en.htmlUniversity of Melbourne32Australiahttps://www.unimelb.edu.au/https://futurestudents.unimelb.edu.au/admissions/apply/graduate-internationalNational University of Singapore (NUS)11Singaporehttps://www.nus.edu.sg/https://inetapps.nus.edu.sg/GDA2/Home.aspxUniversity of Hong Kong (HKU)22Hong Konghttps://www.hku.hk/https://aal.hku.hk/admissions/international/admissions-information-for-prospective-students/how-to-apply/Tsinghua University20Chinahttps://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/en/http://gradadmission.tsinghua.edu.cn/f/d0ae/#top universities for pursuing a PhD globally based on the World University Rankings, along with their website and application links.

These universities have consistently ranked among the top universities globally for pursuing a PhD. However, it’s essential to consider other factors, such as the program’s research opportunities, funding availability, and location, before deciding on a university.

PhD colleges in Germany

Some of the top PhD colleges in Germany and Courses are tabulated below for your reference,:

College NameCityWebsiteTentative Application DateTechnical University of MunichMunichhttps://www.tum.de/en/Rolling AdmissionsFree University of BerlinBerlinhttps://www.fu-berlin.de/en/October 15 — December 1University of HeidelbergHeidelberghttps://www.uni-heidelberg.de/enOctober 15 — January 15University of KonstanzKonstanzhttps://www.uni-konstanz.de/en/October 15 — December 15Max Planck Institute for Molecular GeneticsBerlinhttps://www.molgen.mpg.de/Rolling AdmissionsHumboldt University of BerlinBerlinhttps://www.hu-berlin.de/enOctober 1 — December 1University of BonnBonnhttps://www.uni-bonn.de/enOctober 1 — December 1University of StuttgartStuttgarthttps://www.uni-stuttgart.de/en/October 15 — December 15Technical University of BerlinBerlinhttps://www.tu-berlin.de/menue/home/October 1 — December 1University of HamburgHamburghttps://www.uni-hamburg.de/enOctober 15 — December 1

It’s important to note that application dates may vary depending on the program and the year, so it’s always a good idea to check the college’s website for the most up-to-date information.

PhD Colleges in the UK

College NameCityWebsiteTentative Application DateUniversity of CambridgeCambridgehttps://www.cam.ac.uk/October 20 — December 3University of OxfordOxfordhttps://www.ox.ac.uk/October 22 — January 7University College LondonLondonhttps://www.ucl.ac.uk/October 18 — January 10Imperial College LondonLondonhttps://www.imperial.ac.uk/November 3 — January 12University of EdinburghEdinburghhttps://www.ed.ac.uk/October 11 — February 1University of ManchesterManchesterhttps://www.manchester.ac.uk/Rolling AdmissionsUniversity of WarwickCoventryhttps://warwick.ac.uk/November 1 — January 17University of BristolBristolhttps://www.bristol.ac.uk/October 18 — January 3University of GlasgowGlasgowhttps://www.gla.ac.uk/October 11 — January 11University of SheffieldSheffieldhttps://www.sheffield.ac.uk/Rolling Admissions

It’s important to note that application dates may vary depending on the program and the year, so it’s always a good idea to check the college’s website for the most up-to-date information.

PhD Colleges in Australia

College NameCityWebsiteTentative Application DateThe University of MelbourneMelbournehttps://www.unimelb.edu.au/October 31 — December 31The Australian National UniversityCanberrahttps://www.anu.edu.au/August 31 — October 31The University of SydneySydneyhttps://www.sydney.edu.au/Rolling AdmissionsThe University of New South WalesSydneyhttps://www.unsw.edu.au/Rolling AdmissionsMonash UniversityMelbournehttps://www.monash.edu/Rolling AdmissionsThe University of QueenslandBrisbanehttps://www.uq.edu.au/October 31 — February 28The University of Western AustraliaPerthhttps://www.uwa.edu.au/Rolling AdmissionsThe University of AdelaideAdelaidehttps://www.adelaide.edu.au/October 31 — February 28RMIT UniversityMelbournehttps://www.rmit.edu.au/Rolling AdmissionsCurtin UniversityPerthhttps://www.curtin.edu.au/Rolling Admissions

It’s important to note that application dates may vary depending on the program and the year, so it’s always a good idea to check the college’s website for the most up-to-date information.