Academic Ranking Lists UM Top in State, Among Best Worldwide

The University of Montana was ranked as the top academic institution in the state by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

MISSOULA – The Academic Ranking of World Universities recently named the University of Montana as the top academic institution in the state and among the best in the world. UM has made the list every year since the world ranking began in 2003. 

This year, UM ranked between 701 and 800 in the study out of 2,000 universities worldwide, and between 169 and 179 nationally. The ARWU study is published by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, a fully independent organization dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation.

“More than 2,000 of the top universities world-wide were included and for UM to be ranked in the top third of those schools is quite a testament to the quality of the faculty here,” said Scott Whittenburg, vice president for Research and Creative Scholarship at UM. “Even more impressive is that we have two disciplines, ecology and atmospheric science, ranked in the top 100 world-wide.”

Part of the ARWU study is a Global Ranking of Academic Subjects that ranks universities in 54 subjects across natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

UM’s ecology and atmospheric science disciplines were ranked in the top 100 worldwide. UM’s ecology was ranked 51 to 75 and atmospheric science was ranked 76 to 100. 

Whittenburg said it is important to understand the metrics and data that are used to compare the research universities in the ARWU study. The metrics used in the ARWU and the GRAS are the pinnacle of academic achievement and include the number of faculty and alumni with the Nobel Prize or Fields Medal, Highly Cited Researchers and papers published in the top research journals.

The metrics also include the total number of times a faculty researcher at other research universities cite and use the results of papers that UM faculty publish, Whittenburg said. 

“These are all indicators of world-class faculty conducting top-tier research here at UM,” Whittenburg said. 

To explore the global rankings and methodology, visit ShanghaiRanking's website.


Contact: Dave Kuntz, UM director of strategic communications, 406-243-5659,