UAlberta shows its strong subjects

Latest QS subject-area rankings reflect growing reputation for world-class research and teaching.


(Edmonton) On its way to an impressive 84th-place ranking in the 2014-15 QS World University Rankings, the University of Alberta was paced by excellent showings in a number of subject areas.

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the U of A cracked the top 50 in the world in pharmacy and pharmacology (31), education (42) and English language and literature (50).

The U of A also had top 100 rankings in philosophy, chemical engineering, civil and structural engineering, agriculture and forestry, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, chemistry, Earth and marine sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, accounting and finance, development studies, and statistics and operational research.

Jim Kehrer, dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, says this ranking is a nice indicator of the strength of the health sciences at the U of A, especially pharmacy.

“We have been a top-ranked program at the U of A for some time,” said Kehrer. “We have a great program with high-achieving students that become leaders in the field. We have a substantial graduate program with a group of really stellar young researchers who are starting to excel.”

Outgoing dean of education Fern Snart said the 42nd-place ranking in the area of education is affirming and welcome as it reflects the achievements of the faculty’s scholars and a growing reputation.

“What captures me the most about this reputational feedback is that it is based on noteworthy successes across our diverse areas of scholarship and practice,” said Snart, adding the culture within the faculty highlights the importance of translating research to practice across all of the widely diverse areas.

She added, “My colleagues within the Faculty of Education are stellar, and they are obviously the architects of our overall successes. What a gift for a departing dean.”

Michael O’Driscoll, associate dean of research in the Faculty of Arts, says the secret to the Department of English and Film Studies’ success comes from its diversity and depth, featuring outstanding and highly productive researchers in virtually all of the major areas of the discipline.

“The English graduate program is big, strong and active, and our alumni—at every level—have gone on to positions of influence and success across Canada and around the world,” he said. “We are home to major collaborative research projects, national associations and top-drawer journals that connect the University of Alberta to the world.

“As well, members of the department work hard to maintain what is a long history of discipline-leading research, teaching and service.”

O’Driscoll added he is proud of the strong showing by the Faculty of Arts in these rankings, which see all departments but one appearing in the top 200. “Global academic ranking systems consistently situate Faculty of Arts departments as among the best in the world, and demonstrate that we share in the best that the University of Alberta has to offer.”

For its subject-area rankings, QS ranks universities based on academic reputation, employer reputation, academic citations and research impact.