The top 10 ranked Latin American universities improved on their 2011 scores, and Brazil and Chile continued to dominate the top of the regional rankings. The methodology for the rankings of Latin American schools, like the rankings of Asian universities, uses unique indicators, such as schools' academic and employer reputations in the region.
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The 2012 World's Best data featured a new subject ranking: communication and media studies. That subject falls under the broad area of social sciences, one of five subject areas examined in the rankings, which also include arts and humanities, engineering and technology, life sciences, and natural sciences. The individual subject areas are ranked based on three measurements: academic reputation, employer reputation, and citations per paper.
University of Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard dominated the top of the arts and humanities rankings in the areas of English language and literature, geography and area studies, history, modern languages, and philosophy. MIT held the top spot in all five engineering and technology ranking categories: chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer science; electrical engineering; and mechanical, aeronautical, and manufacturing engineering.
Familiar American names also topped the sciences subject rankings. Stanford, MIT, and Harvard held the top spots in 12 subject areas in the social and natural sciences rankings, which include disciplines such as accounting and finance, politics and international studies, and math. And in the life sciences, Harvard held the top rank in both subject areas: psychology and biological sciences.
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