McMaster University President Patrick Deane says he's very gratified to see his school rank as one of the best in Canada.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, released Thursday, sit McMaster at fifth in Canada and 88th overall. McMaster also took the top spot for its medical school and health programs in Canada, while placing 14th out of 50 universities from around the world.

World University Rankings

Top 5

  • 1. California Institute of Technology
  • 2. University of Oxford
  • 3. Stanford University
  • 4. Harvard University
  • 5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Canadian Universities

  • 21. University of Toronto
  • 30. University of British Columbia
  • 34. McGill University
  • 84. University of Montreal
  • 88. McMaster University

source: timeshighereducation.co.uk 

"We recognize that rankings fluctuate from year to year, and between the agencies that compile them, so we try to adopt a longer-term outlook," Deane said. "That said, to see McMaster recognized once again as one of Canada's top five universities and one of the 100 best universities in the world is a source of pride for all our students, graduates, faculty and staff."

The list, which was compiled with the help of Thomson Reuters, consists of 400 universities from around the world and was based on the 2012-2013 academic year.

"McMaster University has a strong performance across the board and is actually internationally recognized as one of the best universities in Canada," said Phil Baty, the editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

McMaster had an overall score of 59.

Schools are judged in 13 performance areas that are grouped into five categories: teaching, research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), industry income and international outlook.

McMaster's highest score was in the industry income category, which measures how successful the university is at attracting industry investment regardless of its size.

Baty says McMaster's research influence is also strong point, adding it's "Almost at the levels of prestigious institutions such as the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia."

According to Simon Pratt, project manager at Thomson Reuters, McMaster still has room for improvement despite ranking well.

"There are only really three indicators where McMaster is not quite on a level footing with its peers," said Pratt. "The number of PhD's awarded per academic staff and the two reputational indicators for teaching and research."

McMaster's performance wasn't as stellar as last year, seeing as the school fell 13 spots from its previous ranking. Many other Canadian universities like the University of Alberta, the University of Victoria and McGill all dropped as well.

Pratt suggested that McMaster should focus its efforts on promoting its brand to the global academic community.

The California Institute of Technology, home of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab that helps power the Curiosity Rover, beat out Oxford, Stanford and Harvard for the top spot in this year's ranking.

It had an overall total of 94.8 and scored over 95 in all categories except for the international outlook category, where it scored a 56.