US News releases 2017 Best Global Universities rankings

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Earning a degree abroad can be a smart move for students who want to boost their career prospects. Studying in another country enables students to learn about other languages and cultures, which can in turn improve their employability in certain fields, according to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

International students made up 5 percent of bachelor's students, 12 percent of master's students and 27 percent of doctoral students within the OECD's 35 member countries in 2014, the report found. Member countries include popular student destinations, such as Australia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

2017 Best Global Universities

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U.S. News 20 Best Global Universities for 2017
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U.S. News 20 Best Global Universities for 2017

19. (tie) Imperial College London

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19. (tie) Duke University

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17. (tie) University of Pennsylvania 

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17. (tie) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 

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16. University of California - San Francisco 

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15. University of California - San Diego 

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14. Yale University 

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13. University of Chicago

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12. University of Washington

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11. Johns Hopkins University

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10.University of California - Los Angeles

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9. Columbia University

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8. Princeton University

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7. Cambridge University

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6. Oxford University. 

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5. California Institute of Technology 

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4. University of California - Berkeley 

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3. Stanford University

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2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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1. Harvard University

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For prospective students interested in pursuing a degree outside their home country, U.S. News released the third edition of its annual Best Global Universities rankings today to allow comparisons of universities around the world.

[See photos of the top 20 Best Global Universities.]

The 2017 overall ranking features the top 1,000 universities, an increase from the 750 included in the previous edition. These universities are located across 65 countries, up from 57 last year.

The Best Global Universities rankings – based on data and metrics provided by Clarivate Analytics InCitesTM – were calculated using factors that focus on a university's academic research performance and reputation. This is a different methodology than those used for the U.S. News Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings.

RELATED: U.S. study abroad destinations in 2014

Harvard University, the reigning No. 1 school, held on to the top spot. The Ivy League institution was followed by another Cambridge, Massachusetts, school, the No. 2-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University, which moved up a spot to take No. 3.

There was additional movement among the top 20 schools. Princeton University jumped up five spots to take the No. 8 position and the University of California—San Diego moved from No. 19 to No. 15 in the 2017 edition. Meanwhile, the University of Toronto dropped five spots to No. 21.

One new school broke into the top 20. The University of California—San Francisco – a health sciences-focused university that only offers graduate degrees – took No. 16, jumping seven spots from the last edition of the rankings. There are now a total of six California-based schools among the top 20 institutions.

Related: 10 colleges that receive the most applications

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US News: 10 colleges that receive the most applications
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US News: 10 colleges that receive the most applications
1. University of California, Los Angeles

Number of applications: 92,728

U.S. News rank and category: 24 (toe), National Universities
2. University of California, Berkeley

Number of applications: 78,924

U.S. News rank and category: 20 (tie), National Universities
3. University of California, San Diego

Number of applicants: 78,056

U.S. News rank and category: 44 (tie), National Universities
4. University of California, Irvine

Number of applications: 71,768

U.S. News rank and category: 39 (tie), National Universities

5. University of California, Santa Barbara

Number of applications: 70,444

U.S. News rank and category: 37 (tie), National Universities

6. University of California, Davis

Number of applications: 64,510

U.S. News rank and category: 44 (tie), National Universities
7. San Diego State University

Number of applications: 58,970

U.S. News rank and category: 146 (tie), National Universities
 
8. California State University, Long Beach

Number of applications: 56,975

U.S. News rank and category: 35 (tie), Regional Universities (West)
9. New York Universities

Number of applications: 56,092

U.S. News rank and category: 36, National Universities
10. Boston University

Number of applications: 54,781

U.S. News rank and category: 39 (tie), National Universities
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[Get answers to frequently asked questions about the global rankings.]

The U.S. boasted the greatest number of schools in the 2017 overall ranking. More than a fifth of the top 1,000 schools in the world - 210 - are located in the U.S. China and the U.K. have the next highest numbers of schools in the overall ranking, with 87 and 68, respectively.

In addition to the overall ranking, U.S News has again produced regional and country-specific rankings, as well as subject-focused rankings.

RELATED: Origin of international students in the U.S.

The regional rankings were determined by schools' performance in the overall ranking. The top-ranked schools among the five regions identified by U.S. News are the University of Cape Town in Africa, the University of Tokyo in Asia, the University of Melbourne in Australia/New Zealand, the University of Oxford in Europe and the Universidade de São Paulo in Latin America. These are the same universities that topped each of the regional rankings in the last edition.

U.S. News expanded the number of country-specific rankings this year from 32 to 38, with new lists for the Best Global Universities in Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Poland, Russia and Thailand.

The subject rankings, which use a separate methodology from the overall ranking, show how schools stack up against each other in key academic subject areas, such as engineering, computer science, and economics and business. These rankings are not of academic majors, departments or schools within universities like a business or medical school. The subject ranking methodology takes into account subject-specific research and reputation measures.

Related: Best public colleges in America

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14 best public colleges in America
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14 best public colleges in America

41. College of William and Mary

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $56,400

Average SAT score: 1358

Student life score: B+

Annual net cost: $24,377

Chartered by King William III and Queen Mary II of England in 1693, the College of William and Mary stands as the second-oldest college in America, behind only Harvard. The school welcomes students from all over the world, including 49 US states and 68 different countries. Students end up exploring the world as well: nearly 50% study abroad during their tenure at the school.

(Photo by Dave G. Houser via Getty Images)

13. University of California, Santa Barbara.

Location: Santa Barbara, California

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $52,000

Average SAT score: 1212

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost:$14,142

UC Santa Barbara is a global leader in science research and home to a well-established environmental studies program that’s had profound impact on the local, state, and national levels. Located on a 1,000-acre stretch of central California coast and serving about 19,360 undergraduate students, UCSB’s campus is the site of eight National Science Foundation-sponsored institutes, including the Southern California Earthquake Center and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

(Photo by Patricia Marroquin via Getty Images)

12. University of Delaware

Location: Newark, Delaware

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $54,300

Average SAT score: 1178

Student life score: A

Annual net cost: $15,998

Located halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., University of Delaware is a place for students who want to experience a little bit of everything. The research-focused university was the first to launch a study abroad program when a group of UDel students set sail for France in 1923, and now over 30% of UDel students study abroad every year.

(Photo by Kevin Fleming via Getty Images)

11. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, Texas

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $52,800

Average SAT score: 1262

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $15,721

The flagship school in Texas’ collegiate system, UT Austin is home to over 51,000 students and 3,000 faculty. Undergraduates can choose from over 170 majors in the 13 different schools that make up the university at large. Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Marcia Gay Harden are both former Longhorns.

(Photo via REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz/File Photo)

10. Binghamton University

Location: Binghamton, New York

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $58,400

Average SAT score: 1297

Student life score: A-

Annual net cost: $16,541

The top public school in New York to make the list, Binghamton’s mission is to be world wise, innovative, and engaged. Students at Bing can choose from over 100 countries to study abroad, and its “Language across the Curriculum” program allows students to study for their courses outside their native tongue.

(Photo by Denis Tangney Jr via Getty Images)

9. University of Washington

Location: Seattle, Washington

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $52,100

Average SAT score: 1234

Student life score: A

Annual net cost: $11,904

UW’s flagship campus in Seattle —  the best college in the state of Washington, according to our ranking — is home to about 28,750 undergraduate students. The school boasts one of the highest college research budgets in the country with more than $2.5 billion in combined federal and non-federal funding and sponsored grants. A UW education is easily accessible, too, with an average annual net cost of attendance just under $12,000.

(Photo by Damian Yearwood via Getty Images)

8. University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $51,300

Average SAT score: 1272

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $12,582

The University of Florida prides itself on its research facilities and encourages all students to partake, even during their freshman and sophomore years. For the 2015-2016 school year, UF received a record $724 million in funding for research projects. The school is also dedicated to creating a sustainable environment for its students; it aims to become carbon neutral by 2025.

(Photo by Irina Silayeva via Getty Images)

7. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Location: Champaign, Illinois

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $56,600

Average SAT score: 1303

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $18,798

In keeping with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s spotlight on research, its on-campus Research Park provides a space where tech-focused companies can develop new products and student interns can gain real-world experience. The space houses more than 100 companies, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Dow Chemical, and it also serves as an incubator for early-stage startups.

(Photo by Michael Heimlich via Getty Images)

6. University of Maryland at College Park

Location: College Park, Maryland

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $59,100

Average SAT score: 1310

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $16,299

The flagship campus of the University of Maryland, College Park is located just 4 miles from the US capital. The school's notable alumni span industries and include Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, noted broadcast journalist Connie Chung, and comedian and "Seinfeld" creator Larry David.

(Photo by Andriy Prokopenko via Getty Images)

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $50,400

Average SAT score: 1313

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $13,322

One of the oldest public universities in the US, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers 78 bachelor's degree programs, as varied as nutrition, Slavic languages, and political science. Students can also engage in the community around them through the Carolina Center for Public Service, which connects students with service opportunities through courses such as "Restoration Ecology" and "Community Journalism."

(Photo by Lance King via Getty Images)

4. University of California at Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $59,200

Average SAT score: 1289

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $13,723

Over the past 100 years, the University of California at Los Angeles has produced 13 Nobel laureates, 12 MacArthur Fellows, and a host of athletes who have won more than 250 Olympic medals combined. UCLA has made an impact in the business world as well, with more than 140 companies originating from technology developed at the school.

(Photo via Getty Images)

3. University of California at Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, California

Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $62,700

Average SAT score: 1350

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $13,769

UC Berkeley came in as the third-best public university on the list and is the oldest of the 10 University of California research colleges. The school is a top academic institution and an athletic powerhouse. The Cal Bears have an unmistakable presence at the Olympics, sending 16 student-athletes to compete for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Before this year's games, Berkeley students and alumni had won a combined 103 gold medals.

(Photo via Getty Images)

2. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Median salary 10 years after enrolling$57,900

Average SAT score: 1352

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $16,287

Known for a stellar undergraduate business school, the University of Michigan counts business, psychology, and economics as its most popular majors. UM also reports that about half of all students who received a bachelor's degree go on to pursue a master's within four years of graduation. The school's notable alumni include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Google cofounder Larry Page.

(Photo via Getty Images)

1. University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Median salary 10 years after enrolling$58,600

Average SAT score: 1362

Student life score: A+

Annual net cost: $17,149

The highest-ranked public school on our list, the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. UVA first-year students can choose from four undergraduate schools: arts and sciences, architecture, engineering, or nursing. UVA also has a "work hard, play hard" mentality. The university boasts more than 600 student clubs and 25 varsity sports.

(Photo by Robert Llewellyn via Getty Images)

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[Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of English-taught degree programs overseas.]

International bachelor's and master's students tend to pursue degrees in the social sciences and humanities, while international doctoral students are more concentrated in science, engineering or agriculture fields in OECD countries, according to a 2016 OECD report on the internationalization of graduate-level studies.

In the 2017 edition of the U.S. News subject rankings, between 200 to 400 schools are featured in each field. There are 52 universities from various countries ranked in 20 or more of the 22 Best Global Universities subject rankings, meaning they have research strengths in a broad array of fields.

U.S. schools came out on top in 19 of the 22 subject areas. The universities that ranked highest in the remaining fields were Tsinghua University in China, for engineering; Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands, for agricultural sciences; and Oxford in the U.K., for arts and humanities.

See the complete rankings of the Best Global Universities.
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