MIT Social Science fields ranked No.1 for 2020
Times Higher Education Worldwide Rankings gives MIT top honors

Our social structures, systems of governance, and means of communication demand crucial examination, both historically and predictively. MIT’s scholars make vital contributions to the social science fields, and also prepare students in both humanistic and technical programs to understand the larger context of the world in which they’re living.”

— Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been ranked No. 1 worldwide in the Social Sciences subject category in the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Times Higher Education ranking system determines a university’s quality in a given subject area by examining five areas: the learning environment; the volume, income, and reputation of its research; the influence of its citations in other research; the international outlook of its staff, students, and research; and its knowledge transfer to various industries.

“Our social structures, systems of governance, and means of communication demand crucial examination, both historically and predictively,” said Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “The breadth, depth, and strength of these social science fields at MIT reflects the Institute’s dedication to research that contributes to the well-being of the nation and the world, and to educating students in both humanistic and technical programs to understand the larger context of the world in which they are living.”

Disciplines at MIT SHASS evaluated by THE for the Social Science subject area include Anthropology, Comparative Media Studies, Political Science, and Women's and Gender Studies.

Economics, a prominent social science field in the school, is evaluated in a separate THE subject area, "Business and Economics," in which MIT is also ranked No.1 for 2020.

"The faculty of these MIT fields “have long distinguished themselves through their bold ideas, rigorous thinking, leadership, and impact on the world.” 

— L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT


About the Fields

Anthropology is the comparative study of human cultures. At MIT, the anthropology faculty educates future leaders in many fields to think critically about cultural difference, and to work responsibly in multicultural globalized societies. "We teach small, discussion-based seminar classes at a world-class research university," says Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology, and head of the program. "Teaching students to think critically and responsibly about cultural difference and social inequality feels more vital today than ever." The faculty's research includes a wide range of subjects including cultures of science, technology, and regulation; medicine and health; magic and knowledge; the future of food; gender in electoral politics; environmental justice; working-class lives; and the meaning of migration.
MIT Anthropology

Center for International Studies (CIS) — Long valued as one of the world’s premier research and education groups, CIS is known for problem-solving work on international security, international political economy and technology, the Middle East, migration, and Asian security. “We are in the business of generating the knowledge first, and the skills, and the leadership that will prepare young professionals for active engagement with a deeply complex world,” says Richard Samuels, the Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the center. CIS programs include the MIT Policy Lab, which informs public policy through support of faculty-led research projects; the Security Studies Program, which specializes in technical and political analysis of national/international security problems; Seminar XXI, a program that educates leaders in the US government’s national security community, and the MIT Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), the flagship of MIT's international education. 
MIT Center for International Studies

Comparative Media Studies/Writing  CMS/W) — "It's great to be included in the Times Higher Education rankings" said Eric Klopfer, head of CMS/W. It's a testament to our approach of looking at the social sciences through a humanistic lens." Researchers in CMS/W investigate and engage in the world's complex media environment and multiple media forms and technologies from silent film to globally-networked games. This work includes studies of the emerging media practices of states, corporations, social movements, fan communities, and everyday people. The program includes study as well as designing and creating media through practice-based research labs. The CMS/W community generates acclaimed books and essays, educational games, and innovative VR documentaries. Current research focuses on civic media, digital gaming, the history of computational media; media influence; the impact of networked digital technologies; social movements, and political discourse.
MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Department of Political Science — "At MIT, we push the frontiers of knowledge in the social sciences just as we do in the natural sciences and engineering fields,” said David A. Singer, Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science. MIT's political science research focuses on good governance; elections and election administration; public opinion, political economy; racial and ethnic politics; conflict and violence; American defense policy; nuclear proliferation; and international relations. Research groups include the Election and Data Science Lab, MIT Governance Lab, Political Experiments Research Lab, Political Methodology Lab, and the Poverty, Violence, and Development Working Group. Undergraduate students cultivate practical skills and knowledge as well as a deeper understanding of the interactions of political science in their local, and larger communities. Graduate students conduct innovative, high-impact research, advancing political science as a discipline.
MIT Department of Political Science

Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)— Through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and programming, MIT's WGS program provides analytical frameworks for examining class, gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality. A core mission is to educate MIT students about the importance of gender equity, and to promote critical thinking about how gender intersects with other categories of identity. WGS examines the complex ways in which social, political, and economic structures, in addition to cultural values, have shaped gendered lives and dynamics of power in various eras and places. WGS also organizes programs to facilitate the discussion of gender and women's issues across the MIT community. In these ways, WGS supports the Institute’s efforts to promote community, equity, inclusion, and diversity, while educating the next generation of leaders for an increasingly diverse workplace.
MIT Women's and Gender Studies Program

Economics, a prominent social science field in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is evaluated in a separate THE subject area, "Business and Economics," in which MIT is also ranked No.1 for 2020.


Related Links

MIT ranked No. 1 worldwide for economics and business

Times Higher Education awards top honors to fields in MIT SHASS and MIT Sloan for the second year in a row.