Ranking: The World’s Most Popular Colleges & Universities

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School on the campus of Harvard University

Harvard University is the most recognized university in the world.

A new study by American Caldwell ranked the 100 top universities by global visibility across the following factors:

  • Website Visitors: The number of people who visit the university website each month
  • News Mentions: How many times the university is mentioned in the news in a one-year period
  • Public Interest Level: How many people are searching for information on the university
  • Social Media: The total amount of fans and followers on the university Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn channels
  • Web References: The number of places that link to the university’s website
  • Total Online Footprint: The aggregate amount of information and materials pertaining to the university freely available online

With a visibility score of 63,009,336, Harvard topped the list. The university had the highest monthly website visitors, over 46 million as well as the highest public interest (861,900) and social media following (11,896,603). While Harvard scored highly across most of the ranking’s factors, the university lost its top ranking in news mentions (78,137).


Pennsylvania State University, which ranked 13th overall in visibility, secured the top spot when it came to news mentions. In a one-year period, Penn State was mentioned in the news over 88,000 times.

Neighboring University of Pennsylvania came in second for news mentions with 86,417 mentions in a one-year period.


Harvard ranked the highest for monthly website visitors. But schools like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (37,200,000 website visitors) and Stanford University (20,800,000 website visitors) also topped the list for most website visitors.

The University of Toronto was the only non-US school to make the top five for most website visitors. The Canadian-based school sees 17,300,000 website visitors a month.


Gonzaga University ranked the lowest for global visibility at number 300 with a visibility score of 573,438. The private Jesuit university in Spokane, Washington sees 59,600 monthly website visitors and was mentioned in the news just over two-thousand times over a one-year period.

Brooklyn College ranked second lowest for visibility with a score of 577,015. The college has 97,933 monthly website visitors and 2,645 news mentions.

To see the full list, click on the American Caldwell link.


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