MSU named global leader in education

June 8, 2021

For the second straight year, Michigan State University has been ranked #2 in the world for education, according to one widely used international ranking of universities.

Sparty statue is shown with sunlight behind.

This is the fourth consecutive year MSU has been named among the top four universities for education in the annual ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, which are calculated based on a variety of data points including international academic awards and achievements and international collaboration.

Dean Bob Floden
Robert E. Floden

“I’m so proud that our college continues to be recognized internationally for the quality of our faculty’s research,” said College of Education Dean and University Distinguished Professor Robert E. Floden. “With our college’s commitment to research that addresses issues important for policy and practice, this high ranking is also an indication of the contributions we make to improving the lives of students, educators and community members.”

After five and a half years as dean, Floden is stepping down from the position as of June 30. As of July 1, University Distinguished Professor and the college’s Associate Dean for Research Ann E. Austin will begin her role as interim dean.

Photo of Ann Austin
Ann E. Austin

“It is an honor to be part of a group of colleagues so dedicated and creative in advancing research that addresses significant educational issues of importance to students, families, educators and policymakers,” said Austin. “The position of the College of Education in the ShanghaiRankings is a tribute to the commitment of the members of our College of Education community to increasing educational access, equity, and excellence for children, youth and adults throughout the world.”

The rankings were created in 2017, and MSU has been a leader in nearly every iteration of the rankings: in 2018, the university was ranked #4 in the world for education, followed by #1 in 2019 and #2 in 2020. In this most recent edition, released on May 26, more than 1,800 universities across 93 countries are included total.

Global recognition

The Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects is one of several rankings that places MSU among the top institutions in the field of education.

In the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject (Education), MSU maintained its #12 ranking. The rankings are based on 13 indicators overall as well as measurements specific to that field. For education, that includes the volume, income and reputation of research and the influence of research citations. In another ranking, the 2021 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject (Education & Training), MSU was named #19 (overall, MSU was ranked in the top 8%). The QS rankings, too, incorporate research impact in their methodology, as well as other indicators such as global survey responses.

Perhaps the MSU College of Education is best known for its leadership in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. The college’s graduate programs in elementary and secondary education have been ranked #1 in the nation for 27 consecutive years, and are among five top-ranked programs in the most recent rankings. In rankings of online master’s programs in education, MSU is listed as #4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.