Top 10 Universities for Molecular Biology, Genetics

The highest-ranked institutions in this field are located in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

By Kelly Mae Ross and Emma Kerr?May 20, 2019
U.S. News & World Report

Top 10 Universities for Molecular Biology, Genetics

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These schools lead the way in academic research.

Prospective students who want a degree in molecular biology and genetics will find well-regarded institutions that offer these programs around the world. However, the top 10 universities in this field are concentrated in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. These global institutions offer an accomplished faculty and a range of specialties within the fields. Students typically earn a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics, but those pursuing a medical degree can sometimes combine research training in these fields. Here are the top 10 Best Global Universities for Molecular Biology and Genetics, as ranked by U.S. News based on academic research performance in that subject area.

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(University of Toronto)

10. University of Toronto

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Best Global Universities overall rank: 20

Fact: The University of Toronto's department of molecular genetics, which is celebrating its 50th year anniversary since its founding in 1969, has six research fields: genetic models of development and disease, molecular medicine and human genetics, cellular and molecular structure and function, molecular microbiology and infectious disease, computational and systems biology, and functional genomics and proteomics.

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These schools lead the way in academic research.

Prospective students who want a degree in molecular biology and genetics will find well-regarded institutions that offer these programs around the world. However, the top 10 universities in this field are concentrated in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. These global institutions offer an accomplished faculty and a range of specialties within the fields. Students typically earn a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics, but those pursuing a medical degree can sometimes combine research training in these fields. Here are the top 10 Best Global Universities for Molecular Biology and Genetics, as ranked by U.S. News based on academic research performance in that subject area.

10. University of Toronto

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Best Global Universities overall rank: 20

Fact: The University of Toronto's department of molecular genetics, which is celebrating its 50th year anniversary since its founding in 1969, has six research fields: genetic models of development and disease, molecular medicine and human genetics, cellular and molecular structure and function, molecular microbiology and infectious disease, computational and systems biology, and functional genomics and proteomics.

9. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia

Best Global Universities overall rank: 16

Fact: The Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, a graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, boasts a faculty of more than 360 scientists, according to the program's website. They come from a range of disciplines, including scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences.

8. University of Washington

Location: Seattle

Best Global Universities overall rank: 10

Fact: The University of Washington's molecular and cellular biology graduate program is offered in partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, according to the school's website.

7. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore

Best Global Universities overall rank: 12

Fact: Carol Greider, one of the joint recipients of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, directs Johns Hopkins University's department of molecular biology and genetics, according to the department's webpage.

6. University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 5

Fact: The University of Oxford offers, among other programs, a graduate degree in genomic medicine and statistics. Students earn a doctoral degree after completing the four-year program, according to the school's website.

5. University of California—San Francisco

Location: San Francisco

Best Global Universities overall rank: 15

Fact: In the Tetrad graduate program at the University of California—San Francisco, students focus their doctoral studies on biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology and genetics, but the program as a whole emphasizes interdisciplinary research, according to the school's website.

4. University of Cambridge

Location: Cambridge, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 7

Fact: The department of genetics at the University of Cambridge has more than 25 research groups, according to the school's website. They focus on areas such as developmental biology, microbial genetics, and evolution and population genetics.

3. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 3

Fact: Most students in Stanford University's department of genetics are working toward a doctorate, but students pursuing a medical degree may also conduct research in genetics, according to the school's website.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 2

Fact: Research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's department of biology focuses on topics in genetics such as gene editing, phenotypic variability and cancer, according to the school's website.

1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 1

Fact: The department of molecular biology at Massachusetts General Hospital is also part of Harvard University's genetics department, according to the school's website.

More about earning a degree abroad

Learn about some good and bad reasons for earning a graduate degree abroad, and explore the overall Best Global Universities rankings. Follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter for more education rankings and advice.

World's best universities for molecular biology and genetics

  • 1. Harvard University
  • 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 3. Stanford University
  • 4. University of Cambridge
  • 5. University of California—San Francisco
  • 6. University of Oxford
  • 7. Johns Hopkins University
  • 8. University of Washington
  • 9. University of Pennsylvania
  • 10. University of Toronto
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Updated on May 20, 2019: This slideshow has been updated with ranks from the 2019 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.

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