Purdue has been ranked 61st in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ACWU), up from 69th last year.
In specialty rankings, Purdue ranks 14th in engineering and technology, 18th in computer science, 19th in chemistry, and 46th in overall science.
"Purdue works hard to build academic, research and business relationships with partners around the world and to infuse a global perspective into all aspects of our mission as a university," said university President France A. Córdova. "We are positioning ourselves to meet the grand challenges of humanity both locally and globally. International recognition such as this can lead to further global connections and to enhanced learning and research opportunities for our students and faculty."
The ACWU is compiled by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which, since 2003, has ranked the top 500 universities annually based on six indicators. These include the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.
In October 2010 Purdue professor Ei-ichi Negishi was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry. In March, Purdue was ranked 47th worldwide among universities with the most articles published in the prestigious Nature research journals.
Other Big Ten universities ranked in the top 100 include the University of Wisconsin (19), the University of Michigan (22), the University of Illinois (25), the University of Minnesota (28) Northwestern University (30), Penn State University (45), Ohio State University (63), Indiana University (82) and Michigan State University (92).
The Center for World-Class Universities studies universities around the world. It has established databases on major research universities and is a clearinghouse of literature on world-class universities. It also provides consultation for governments and universities.