Studying at a good university is one of the key factors behind a successful professional career. That’s why it’s important for students to research their potential degrees and universities.
Apart from the chances of a better professional career, top universities help students;
- Learn critical thinking
- Develop socially by exposing them to people from different cultures
- Make friends and contacts that’ll likely last a lifetime
To make the research bit a little easier, we have made a list of top 5 universities of Pakistan which frequently rank among the best for higher education locally.
The top 30 universities of Pakistan we’ve picked are based on both national and international rankings.
While there are multiple factors that determine the rankings, 5 main factors are as follows.
- Quality Assurance: This includes research opportunities, research labs, libraries etc. Out of 100 ranking points, quality assurance accounts for 15.
- Teaching Quality: The university gets a higher ranking if its faculty has more PhD professors. Quality of teaching holds 30% weight in the rankings.
- Research: It is gauged by the number of Masters and PhD students graduating from a university every year. This also refers to the amount of research work that is being done at the university. Research holds 41% weight while ranking a university.
- Finance and Facilities: This refers to the strong financial structure of the university. It accounts for how much is spent on labs, research work, and scholarship for students. It has 10 ranking points.
- Community Development: This refers to the outreach to the general community, international student exchange programs, foreign students and foreign faculty. Community development holds 4% weightage in the university rankings.
Now that we know the ranking criteria, let’s jump to the list of the top universities in Pakistan.
Top Engineering Universities
|University||Campuses||Location||Degree Programs||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|NUST||6||Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Risalpur, Karachi||UG, PG||UG: 87,000
|PIEAS||1||Islamabad||UG, PG||BS: 2000 per credit hour
MS, PhD: 1800 per credit hour
|GIKI||1||Topi||UG, PG||BS: 600,000|
|UET, Lahore||4||Lahore, Kala Shah Kaku, Narowal, Faisalabad, Rachna||UG, PG||UG: 5000 monthly
|NUCES-FAST||5||Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Faisalabad, Pehawar||UG, PG||UG: 6,700 per credit hour
PG: 7,000 per credit hour
1. National University of Sciences and Technology
Link “ http://www.nust.edu.pk ”
Often regarded as the best engineering university of Pakistan, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) was established back in 1991. It gained success quickly and managed to be everyone’s center of attention for higher education. It is also ranked among the top 50 best young universities in the world.
NUST offers a variety of disciplines that students can opt for. From business management to social sciences, bio-sciences, natural sciences and engineering, you can find almost every discipline you are looking for. NUST is best known for its Electrical and Mechanical engineering departments. It is also the only university that offers engineering in Geoinformatics, a relatively new but one of the top 3 emerging disciplines in the world.
NUST also has the biggest academic startup incubation center in Pakistan.
2. Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS)
Link “ http://www.pieas.edu.pk/ ”
Established in 1967, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) is the second-best engineering university in Pakistan. PIEAS is known for its electrical and mechanical engineering departments however it offers courses in science, technology, and mathematics as well. The university offers degree programs at BS, MS, M-Phil and PhD levels.
PIEAS became Centre for Nuclear Studies right after it’s established in 1976 and has strong collaboration with American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
PIEAS’ only campus is located right outside the federal capital Islamabad. It is among top 150 universities in Asia as well.
3. Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology
Link “ https://www.giki.edu.pk/ ”
Established in 1993, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI) rose to the heights of popularity for its world-class education in engineering studies. Famed scientists like Abdul Qadeer Khan also played a defining role in university’s strong foundation and its establishment as one of the best engineering institutes in Pakistan and world.
GIKI is known for its extraordinary reputation in engineering courses. It offers multiple engineering degree programs as well as a program in Management Sciences and Humanities. Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology’s only campus is situated in Topi area of Swabi district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
GIKI also has established its own start-up incubation center at its campus.
4. University of Engineering and Technology
Link “ http://uet.edu.pk/ ”
University of Engineering and Technology is a government-run public research university founded in 1921. UET’s main campus is in Lahore and it has several other campuses in other Pakistani cities as well.
UET is known for its strong collaboration with strong collaboration with University of South Carolina, University of Manchester and the Queen Mary University. UET stayed on top for a long time and an only choice for engineering students from all over the country. UET Lahore has a good reputation for its Mechanical and Civil Engineering degrees. It offers multiple undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Apart from engineering studies, the university offers programs in industrial and architectural designs as well. University is home to over 10,000 students from different parts of the country.
5. National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences – FAST
Link “ http://www.nu.edu.pk/ ”
FAST has established the reputation of one of the best for computer sciences and software engineering programs. It was founded in 1984 as in Karachi and got the status of a university in 2000 as National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences.
National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences-FAST has multiple campuses in five cities of Pakistan. University’s flagship campus is located in Karachi, Sindh. FAST National University has all its programs affiliated and recognized from Higher Commission and Pakistan Engineering Council.
FAST offers degree programs in engineering, social sciences and business and management among others. It also offers a bachelor degree program in Applied Linguistics.
Top Business Studies Schools / Institutes / Universities
- Iqra University, Karachi
|University||Campuses||Location||Courses||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|LUMS||1||Lahore||UG, PG||UG: 312,000
|IBA||1||Karachi||UG, PG||UG: 164,500
|Iqra University||1||Karachi, Islamabad||UG, PG||UG: 83,100
PG: 54,660 – 68,880
|NBS||1||Islamabad||UG, PG||UG: 100,000
Link “ https://lums.edu.pk/ ”
Lahore University of Management Sciences is regarded as the best university for management and business studies. It was founded in 1984 and is an independent research university located in Lahore. The leading name in business and management studies has compelled our team to include it in the top 5 universities of Pakistan.
The university also offers an electrical engineering program however it is management sciences that it is best known for.
The undergraduate courses offered at LUMS include BA LLB, Electrical Engineering, BA English, BS Biology, BS Chemical Engineering, BSc Accounting and Finance to name a few. The graduate courses at LUMS include Executive MBA, MBA, MPhil Education Leadership and Management and other science courses.
Outclassing other business studies institutes and making it to our list of top 5 universities of Pakistan, the university also offers different loan programs for postgraduate students. Students in need can obtain these loans through MCB Loan program or the loan program that LUMS offers.
LUMS also offers partial fee waivers to top 3 students who top the LUMS entry test. As per of this program, 50% is waived off for the first year of education. LUMS also offers fully funded scholarships to international students. Furthermore, students can avail external scholarships through different programs as well.
Link “ https://www.iba.edu.pk/ ”
Founded in 1955, Institute of Business Administration is a massive name when it comes to business studies in Pakistan. Competing to be the best school, IBA constantly focuses on improving its standards.
The aim of the institute is “To be among the best learning institutions in Pakistan—recognized for developing potential leaders, nurturing a vibrant community of scholars and practitioners, generating innovative ideas, and promoting creative solutions that address the needs of Pakistan, the region, and the global community.”
One of the main reasons behind its success is that the curriculum was developed by esteemed American professors when it was developed with the collaboration of American institutes, USAID and government of Pakistan.
Offering undergraduate as well as post-graduate degree programs, IBA was once a constituent school of the University of Karachi. The institute was declared a separate entity in 1994 by the government of Sindh.
3. Iqra University
Link “ http://iqra.edu.pk/ ”
Having stayed at the top of the HEC rankings for 2016 speaks a lot for the standard of education being imparted at Iqra University. Known for employing the most number of doctorate faculty members, and having a record of the most number of research publications among Pakistani universities, Iqra University continues to stay among the top institutes in the HEC rankings as well as global rankings.
In addition to Karachi campus, Iqra University has a campus in the capital Islamabad however, it is not of the same standard as the main campus.
The mission statement of the university says that it promises ‘To be a world-class institution of higher education and research, promoting technical skills, critical thinking and public duty, to help develop a prosperous and progressive society’
4. Lahore School of Economics
Initiated in 1993 and chartered by Punjab government as an independent research institute for business studies in 1997, Lahore School of Economics has made quite a reputation in the business studies arena.
With over 200 faculty members and 3000 students, LSE aims to ‘create future leaders whose managerial abilities, research and academic excellence contribute to making Pakistan a global pioneer and assist the international community in finding sustainable and equitable solutions to common challenges facing the world’.
5. NUST Business School
Link “ http://www.nbs.nust.edu.pk/ ”
Established in 1999, the NUST Institute of Management Sciences – later named as NUST Business School in 2008 – has been one of the most prolific institutes for business studies especially Business Administration and Accounts & Finance, considering the fact that it is a part of the top emerging institutes worldwide.
Offering undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies, NBS has continued to produce industry leaders who have been competing with the best of the best in the business space.
The ever-growing institute has been increasing the intake of students regularly which started with 97 in 1999 to 1275 in the most recent batch of 2017. The number of esteemed faculty members has been also increasing to ensure the quality of education at the institute.
Top Medical Sciences Universities
- Khyber Medical University
- King Edward Medical University
|University||Campuses||Location||Courses||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|AKU||11||Karachi, Kenya, Tanzania, UK, Uganda, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria||UG, PG||MBBS: (835,000 + 785,000) yearly
|UHS||1||Lahore||UG, PG||Exam Fee 5,750|
|Dow||1||Karachi||UG, PG||MBBS: 502,635
BDS: 196,700 (Open Merit)
|KMU||1||Peshawar||UG, PG||UG: 70,000 yearly
PG: 140,000 yearly
1. Aga Khan University (AKU)
Link “ https://www.aku.edu ”
Ranked as the top medical in school in Pakistan, Aga Khan University is one of the best universities for medical students. It is the only medical university in Pakistan whose laboratories are accredited by College of American Pathologists. Aga Khan University was founded in 1983 and has its main campus in Karachi.
The University has several domestic and international campuses and training programs located in different places around the world.
The university offers several medicine study Bachelor programs that include Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene (ASDH), Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and Post-RM Bachelor of Science in Midwifery (BScM).
2. University of Health Sciences (UHS)
Link “ http://www.uhs.edu.pk/ ”
University of Health Sciences is the best medical university in Punjab and second best in Pakistan. It is an internationally recognized institution with its graduates known worldwide for their skills.
University of Health Sciences’ headquarter is located in Lahore and the university operates multiple Punjab government medical colleges in the province. The university currently offers UG and PG courses in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, allied health sciences, biomedical engineering and nursing fields. Its colleges are located all over Punjab province.
3. Dow University of Health Sciences
Link ” http://www.duhs.edu.pk/ “
Established in 1945, Dow University of Health Sciences is one of the oldest public-sector universities in the country. Its main campus is located in Karachi, Sindh and university offers multiple under and post graduate courses.
Dow University has two undergraduate research centers as well which are Dow International Medical College and Dow Medical College. The University has established an exceptional reputation as one of the best student research centers in Pakistan for medical studies.
The University has a broad range of courses with almost every course medicine-related being offered at Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctoral levels. Dow University also offers communication courses so students can better communicate with their patients.
4. Khyber Medical University (KMU)
Link “ https://www.kmu.edu.pk/ ”
Khyber Medical University is the best medical studies institution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. KMU is rather a young university founded in 2007 however it has quickly reached a good level of reputation in KPK province. The university operates several undergraduate and postgraduate medical colleges in KPK.
Khyber Medical University offers a wide range of medical courses ranging from MBBS, BDS, Nursing and Pharmacy studies. It has more than 6,000 students currently studying under its banner. The university is affiliated with fourteen undergraduate medical colleges in Pakistan. The colleges affiliated with Khyber University offer studies in Allied Health Sciences as well. Because of its wide range of course offering, it is the top choice for most of the medical students in KPK.
5. King Edward Medical University (KEMU)
Link “ http://kemu.edu.pk/ ”
With its motto of “Aim High”, King Edward Medical University is the oldest medical university in Pakistan. It is also the fourth oldest medical institution in South Asia. The university was established in 1860 and was named after King Edward VII. University’s main campus is in Lahore, Punjab.
It was previously affiliated with the University of Health Sciences as King Edward Medical College however later got the status of a university in 2005. It is the most competitive medical university in Punjab with the highest merit to get selected for the university.
The university offers courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels and has multiple hospitals affiliated with it for student research.
Top Arts Universities / Institutes
- NCA, Lahore
- Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi
- Karachi School of Art, Karachi
- School of Arts, Design and Architecture, NUST, Islamabad
- Beaconhouse National University
|University / College||Campuses||Location||Courses||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|NCA||2||Lahore, Rawalpindi||UG, PG||UG: 10,465 + 2133
PG: 8500 -10000 tuition fees
|Indus Valley School||1||Karachi||UG, Diploma Certifications||160,500 per semester|
|KSA||1||Karachi||UG, Short Courses, Diploma Certifications, PG||7000 per month|
|SADA||1||Islamabad||UG||100,000 per semester|
|BNU||1||Lahore||UG, PG||UG: 176,175 – 232,875
1. National College of Arts
Link “ http://www.nca.edu.pk/ ”
The second oldest art school in South Asia, NCA is the leading institute for arts as is evident from its rankings. The HEC has ranked it as the best college for art studies.
The oldest art institute in Pakistan offers degrees in three major categories including architecture, design and fine art. With over 800 students studying at the leading institute in Pakistan, the cultural exchange programs with world-class art institutes have been one of the best features of the college.
The college offers undergraduate, post-graduate studies in addition to diplomas in the aforementioned disciplines.
2. Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture
Link “ http://www.indusvalley.edu.pk/ ”
Established in 1989, Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture is among the very best degree-awarding institutes in Pakistan when it comes to art and architecture. With degrees in architecture, interior design, textile and communication design, fine arts and liberal arts, IVS is only the fourth private institute to offer its own degrees.
The Vision 2025 of IVS is ‘To impart education in art, design, and architecture creating a culture of excellence in research and innovation, contributing towards a just and tolerant society and enable students to serve as instruments of positive change’.
Over the years, IVS has developed itself as a major college for art and architecture studies in Pakistan, and it is the second-ranked institute as per the HEC rankings.
3. Karachi School of Art
Link “ https://www.ksa.edu.pk/ ”
The first ever private institution for art studies, Karachi School of Art was founded by Rabia Zuberi in 1964 to promote art. Having produced so many renowned artists throughout its history, KSA is the pioneer of art education in the country.
With a mission ‘To provide higher education options with Bachelors and Masters Degree programs in the fields of Art and Design facilitating the national effort of filling the massive educational gap that exists in the creative industry’, KSA prides itself in producing industry leaders capable of solving challenging problems with creative solutions
4. School of Art, Design and Architecture
Having started in 2010, the School of Art, Design and Architecture has developed itself as a reputed name in art education in a very short span of time.
Offering a 5-year professional architectural program and 4-year Industrial Design program, SADA aims to ‘Prepare creative individuals sensitive to context with a holistic understanding that would encompass intuitive ability, theoretical understanding creative thinking, and process driven solutions’.
5. Beaconhouse National University
Link “ http://www.bnu.edu.pk/ ”
The Beaconhouse National University offers visual design and arts, architecture, liberal arts, computer information technology and mass communication programs and is recognized by HEC as well as with the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Established in 2003, BNU is known for the largest university festival called ‘Bestival’. Started by its parent institute Beaconhouse School System, the university has produced 2898 graduates to date.
The equal-opportunity university is also considered as the first university of liberal arts in Pakistan.
Top Agriculture Sciences Universities
- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
- University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore
- University of Agriculture, Peshawar
- Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam
- PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
|University||Campuses||Location||Courses||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|University of Agriculture||3||Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Burewala||UG, PG||28,075 to 54,325
|University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences||5||Lahore, Pattoki, Jhang, Layyah||UG, PG||20,000 per semester|
|University of Agriculture||1||Peshawar||UG, PG||UG: 13,300 to 28,350
PG: 13,850 to 51,720
|Sindh Agriculture University||1||Tandi Jam, Sindh||UG, PG||500 – 2900 per semester|
|PMAS Arid Agriculture University||1||Rawalpindi||UG, PG||UG: 22,550 to 77,650
PG: 27,900 – 48,500 per semester
1. University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Link “ http://www.uaf.edu.pk/ ”
University of Agriculture is by far the best institute for agricultural and veterinary sciences in Pakistan. Developed as a part of plan to help Pakistan turn to the modern methods in the field of agriculture, the university produces top-class graduates
Ranked among top 1000 universities as per the QC rankings, the University of Agriculture prides itself in meeting the demands of the country in the agricultural landscape in terms of research and development.
2. University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences
Link “ http://www.uvas.edu.pk/ ”
Established by Great Britain, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences is the leading institute for agricultural and
veterinary sciences in the country. Considered among the oldest veterinary institutes in Asia, UVAS was once a part of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad before it was declared a separate entity for imparting education in veterinary and animal sciences.
With sub-branches in Pattoki and Jhang, UVAS’s motto is ‘Provoking Potentials, Producing Professionals’.
160 PhDs are a part of its faculty which speaks highly of the credibility of the institute.
3. University of Agriculture, Peshawar
Link “ http://www.aup.edu.pk/ ”
University of Agriculture, Peshawar is a leading research institute located in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Ranked among the very best institutes for agricultural sciences, the university attained the status of an autonomous university in 1981.
Considering the fact that Pakistan is an agricultural country, the university aims ‘To produce quality graduates in agriculture and related disciplines; To conduct problem-solving farmer-oriented research to make the country self-sufficient in food commodities; To provide educational and research linkages to rural communities and the public in order to alleviate poverty in rural areas’.
4. Sindh Agriculture University
Link “ http://www.sau.edu.pk/ ”
With a motto of ‘Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security’, Sindh Agriculture University was established in 1977. The five faculties of the university include:
- Faculty of Crop Production
- Faculty of Crop Protection
- Faculty of Agricultural Social Sciences
- Faculty of Agricultural Engineering
- Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences
The university is “Committed to contributing towards self-sufficiency and sustainability in agriculture to ensure food security by producing trained manpower, conducting problem-oriented research and establishing effective linkages with the stakeholders”.
5. PMAS Arid Agriculture University
Link “ http://www.uaar.edu.pk/ ”
Considering that 30 to 35 million Pakistanis are associated with agriculture, the university of Arid Agriculture was established in 1994, upgraded from the status of college which was started in the 1970s.
The vision of the university states:
‘The mandate of the university is to produce high quality agricultural scientists and to form an organized scientific infrastructure for teaching and research for the development of dry land regions of the country, thus minimizing the income gap between rich and poor’.
Top General Universities
- University of Lahore
- University of Karachi
|University||Campuses||Location||Courses||Fee Structure (Rs.)|
|QAU||1||Islamabad||UG, PG||73,916 (Open Merit)
41,099 (Regular Students)
|PU||5||Lahore, Gujranwala, Khanspur, Jhelum||UG, PG||`20,000 – 40,000|
|COMSATS||7||Islamabad, Abbottabad, Wah, Lahore, UG, PG Attock, Sahiwal, Vehari||UG, PG||UG: 96,000
|UOL||1||Lahore, Islamabad, Sargodha, Gujrat, Pakpattan||UG, PG||UG: Varies from 3 lacs to 10 lacs (overall degree fee)
PG: Varies from 1.5 lacs to 3 lacs
(overall degree fee)
|UOK||1||Karachi||UG, PG||22,000 per semester|
1. Quaid e Azam University
Link “ https://qau.edu.pk/ ”
Quaid-e-Azam University is a top-notch university in Pakistan that was founded back in 1967. It is a public research university that is located in Islamabad and offers a wide range of studies. Quaid-e-Azam University offers courses that include Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Quaid-e-Azam is the best institute if you have interest in pursuing higher education in aforementioned disciplines.
Quaid-e-Azam University’s main campus is located in Islamabad. It doesn’t have any campuses in other cities or provinces as of now. It was reported back in 2013 that, other branches of Quaid-e-Azam will be opened in all provinces however we are yet to see any progress on that announcement.
2. University of Punjab
Link “ http://www.pu.edu.pk/ ”
The University of Punjab holds a good reputation among students pursuing a higher education in Pakistan. The university was founded back in 1882 and is one of the oldest universities in Pakistan. Main campus of the University of Punjab is situated in Lahore, Punjab and it has several campuses in other cities as well.
At the University of Punjab, you can choose from over 100 recognized and accepted undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programs. The courses range from engineering and design to arts, science and information technology. The university covers almost all major fields of studies. PU has 5 campuses overall and the university offers online courses along with the physical campuses as well.
3. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology
Link “ https://www.comsats.edu.pk/ ”
COMSTAS is regarded as the best university for Information Technology studies. However, it has developed an
exceptional reputation in the general category since its establishment back in 1998. COMSATS is a semi-government university with the main campus situated at Islamabad. The institution has six other campuses in different cities of Pakistan.
COMSATS has a state-of-the-art virtual campus as well which is situated in Islamabad over an area of 20,000 square feet. Undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and management sciences are being offered at the virtual campus currently. COMSATS overall is known for providing the best education in Computer Science subject.
4. University of Lahore
Link “ http://www.uol.edu.pk/ ”
University of Lahore is yet another young but top-ranked university if Pakistan. It was founded back in 1999 and is one of the largest private universities in Pakistan.
University of Lahore’s main campus is located in Lahore along with another campus while it also has five other campuses in Islamabad, Gujrat, Sargodha, and Pakpattan respectively.
The university has over 36,000 students and offers courses in Medicine, Engineering, Arts and Social Sciences, all of which have been recognized by the HEC. The university also owns three technology parks and two research centers.
5. University of Karachi
Link “ http://www.uok.edu.pk/ ”
University of Karachi was founded in 1951 and is among the oldest universities of Pakistan. It has the status of a public research university with currently 24,000 students getting the education from it. University of Karachi covers an area of 1200 acres which makes it Pakistan’s largest university as well.
Over the years, University of Karachi has developed a good reputation in the medical research, science and technology studies and social sciences. The university is known for its world-class research centers that are 19 in number with over 53 departments overall. The university is ranked among top 500 universities in the world and top 250 of Asia.