The Top Universities for Blockchain by CoinDesk 2021

This year’s ranking of 230 schools worldwide sees Asian names dominate and European universities rise up the board. Berkeley and MIT are the highest-rated U.S. schools.

AccessTimeIconOct 4, 2021 at 3:18 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
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CoinDesk’s rankings cover courses, research output, campus blockchain offerings (like student clubs and research centers), employment outcomes, academic reputation and cost.

This year’s ranking rates 230 schools internationally, expanding the sample from just U.S. schools in our first university ranking last year.

Overall, the National University of Singapore is in first place as a result of its multiple blockchain research centers, its frequently hosted blockchain-themed conferences, its many blockchain clubs, its company partnerships and its masters program in digital financial technology.

Also representing Asia in the top 10 are Hong Kong Polytechnic, Tsinghua University and Chinese University of Hong Kong. RMIT in Melbourne comes second while representing Europe are the University of Zurich, UCL and ETH Zurich.

The top U.S schools are Berkeley (third) and MIT (fifth). Cornell, which was second last year, is now in 17th place. Stanford, which placed fourth in 2020, is now in 12th. Harvard, which was fifth last year, is now 49th, reflecting stronger competition this time, and that schools with strong overall reputations aren’t always the best performers when it comes to blockchain.

CoinDesk University Ranking
1National University of Singapore100.00
2Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology97.65
3University of California Berkeley93.26
4University of Zurich91.66
5Massachusetts Institute of Technology91.57
6Hong Kong Polytechnic University84.30
8Tsinghua University79.20
9Chinese University of Hong Kong75.30
10ETH Zurich75.04
11Nanyang Technological University, Singapore74.98
12Stanford University68.41
13UNSW Sydney66.29
14City University of Hong Kong66.13
15University of Oxford65.47
16Shanghai Jiao Tong University65.18
17Cornell University63.98
18Delft University of Technology63.85
19University of Hong Kong61.97
20University of Sydney61.48
21École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)60.78
22University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign60.10
23University of Cambridge58.69
24Hong Kong University of Science and Technology58.51
25University of California Los Angeles58.40
26Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology57.87
27Sun Yat-sen University57.18
28University of British Columbia55.80
29Peking University54.15
30Arizona State University51.86
31Technical University of Munich51.78
32University of Edinburgh51.77
33Carnegie Mellon University51.10
34University of Melbourne50.95
35Worcester Polytechnic Institute50.77
36Georgetown University50.40
37Fudan University49.95
38University of Southern California49.57
39Korea University48.85
40Imperial College London48.59
41New York University48.55
42Tokyo Institute of Technology47.37
43University of Warwick47.19
44Fordham University46.89
45Columbia University46.46
46Seoul National University45.72
47King Abdulaziz University45.59
48Monash University44.05
49Harvard University43.89
50Zhejiang University43.37

More about Top Universities for Blockchain by CoinDesk

This is the second year CoinDesk has done these rankings. Last year we tracked 46 U.S. schools, and ranked the top 30. This year, we tracked 230 schools internationally.

Data is good. There is an absence of data on this space: Research and teaching can only get better if we track what academic institutions are offering.

We hope these rankings prompt the sharing of best practices in teaching and other campus offerings. We profile the top 30 schools here, and invite those and other schools to share with the world what they are doing. We want to hear from you.

Research was led by Reuben Youngblom, a researcher from Stanford and MIT, along with CoinDesk’s Joe Lautzenhiser. To assess the rankings, they scoured publicly available sources including course catalogues, program prospectuses, social media channels, club web page the Clarivate Web of Science, and devised an online survey where academics, students and stakeholders could rate the offerings at their schools and their competitors.

Mindful that the cost of university education varies wildly, this year we introduced a metric that compares the unsubsidized tuition costs against the average cost of living in the region in which the school is located.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

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