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There are many different higher education rankings. Some of them are subject specific, i.e. they focus on individual disciplines, for instance business administration or physics. Other rankings are whole-university rankings that compare entire universities, regardless of their disciplinary focus. Many rankings list the top 50, 100, or 1,000 institutions according to the criteria applied, while others rank the universities covered in groups, for instance A-E, 1-3, or top, middle, and bottom groups.

Some rankings focus exclusively on academic publications, while others look specifically at criteria such as graduates’ job success rates. Many use a mix of indicators covering a range of different areas and assessment methods: student surveys on teaching quality, statistics provided by the universities, e.g. on faculty numbers, and publication data obtained from international databases.

The wide variety of different approaches clearly shows that there is no single “most important” ranking, and no single “correct” method for comparing and ranking universities. Higher education rankings are by necessity selective in the perspective they adopt, and they can only show part of the picture. In a way, they are like a kaleidoscope: Just a little twist in one direction or the other can completely change what you see. In this sense, rankings paint a picture that is never the full truth, but never completely wrong either.

WU is listed in a large number of different rankings. We are pleased with our good ranking results, but we also know that it is necessary to keep a critical eye on the various rankings and indicators and on how the different ranking providers develop their respective approaches. In the following you find an overview of WU’s current positions in major rankings:

Economist Ranking

Masters in Management 2019 Ranking

  • WU Master’s in International Management placed 5th out of 40 programs (2nd place in the German-speaking area)


Financial Times Ranking

Masters in Management Ranking 2020

  • WU Master’s in International Management placed 11th out of 90 programs (2nd place in the German-speaking area)


European Business School Ranking 2019

  • WU placed 41st of 95 European schools ranked

  • WU is one of eleven German-speaking universities ranked


Executive MBA Ranking 2019

  • The Executive MBA program offered by the WU Executive Academy placed 48th out of the top 100 executive MBA programs in the world


Handelsblatt/Wirtschaftswoche Ranking

  • 2019 Business Administration Ranking (BWL 2019): 2nd place

  • 2019 Economics Ranking (VWL 2019): 11th place


QS Rankings

QS World University Ranking by Subject 2020

  • in Business & Management Studies: 37

  • in Accounting & Finance: group 101 - 150

  • Economics & Econometrics: group 101-150

  • Computer Sciences & Information Systems: group 401 - 450

  • Law & Legal Studies: group 151 - 200


QS Program Rankings

  • Masters in Finance 2021: 18

  • Masters in Management 2021: 10

  • Masters in Marketing 2021: 10

  • Masters in Supply Chain Management 2021: 3

  • Global EMBA Ranking/Joint Programs 2018: 13


Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities in

Global Ranking 2020

  • WU placed among the top 701-800 universities


Business Administration 2020

  • WU placed among the top 101-150 universities


Economics 2020

  • WU placed among the top 201-300 universities


Management 2020

  • WU placed among the top 151-200 universities


Finance 2020

  • WU placed among the top 101-150 universities


Format Uni-Ranking 2014

  • WU’s programs in International Business Administration (bachelor’s level) and Business Law (bachelor’s and master’s levels): 2nd place

  • WU’s program in Business Administration (bachelor’s level): 8th place

  • WU occupies 7 out of a total of 30 places