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Times Higher Education ranks MIT No.2 in arts and humanities

Worldwide honors for 2019 span three MIT schools.

MIT has taken the top spot in the Business and Economics subject category in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and, for the second year in a row, the No. 2 spot worldwide for Arts and Humanities.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Times Higher Education, a leading British education magazine. The rankings use a set of 13 rigorous performance indicators to evaluate schools both overall and within individual fields. Criteria include teaching and learning environment, research volume and influence, and international outlook.

Business and Economics

The No. 1 ranking for Business and Economics is based on an evaluation of both the MIT Department of Economics — housed in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences — and of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“We are always delighted when the high quality of work going on in our school and across MIT is recognized, and warmly congratulate our colleagues in MIT Sloan with whom we share this honor,” said Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS).

The Business and Economics ranking evaluated 585 universities for their excellence in business, management, accounting, finance, economics, and econometrics subjects. In this category, MIT was followed by Stanford University and Oxford University.

“Being recognized as first in business and management is gratifying and we are thrilled to share the honors with our colleagues in the MIT Department of Economics and MIT SHASS,” said David Schmittlein, dean of MIT Sloan.

MIT has long been a powerhouse in economics. For over a century, the Department of Economics at MIT has played a leading role in economics education, research, and public service and the department’s faculty have won a total of nine Nobel Prizes over the years. MIT Sloan faculty have also won two Nobels, and the school is known as a driving force behind MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem: Companies started by MIT alumni have created millions of jobs and generate nearly $2 trillion a year in revenue.

Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities ranking evaluated 506 universities that lead in art, performing arts, design, languages, literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, theology, architecture, and archaeology subjects. MIT was rated just below Stanford and above Harvard University in this category. MIT’s high ranking reflects the strength of both the humanities disciplines and performing arts located in MIT SHASS and the design fields and humanistic work located in MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P).

At MIT, outstanding humanities and arts programs in SHASS — including literature; history; music and theater arts; linguistics; philosophy; comparative media studies; writing; languages; science, technology and society; and women’s and gender studies — sit alongside equally strong initiatives within SA+P in the arts; architecture; design; urbanism; and history, theory, and criticism. SA+P is also home to the Media Lab, which focuses on unconventional research in technology, media, science, art, and design.

“The recognition from Times Higher Education confirms the importance of creativity and human values in the advancement of science and technology,” said Hashim Sarkis, dean of SA+P. “It also rewards MIT’s longstanding commitment to “The Arts” — words that are carved in the Lobby 7 dome signifying one of the main areas for the application of technology.”

Receiving awards in multiple categories and in categories that span multiple schools at MIT is a recognition of the success MIT has had in fostering cross-disciplinary thinking, said Dean Nobles.

“It’s a testament to the strength of MIT’s model that these areas of scholarship and pedagogy are deeply seeded in multiple administrative areas,” Nobles said. “At MIT, we know that solving challenging problems requires the combined insight and knowledge from many fields. The world’s complex issues are not only scientific and technological problems; they are as much human and ethical problems.”

Story originally published November 15, 2018 by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences for MIT News.