The top STEM universities in Australia

top STEM universities in Australia - Sydney
Future students exploring the University of Sydney, Australia's top STEM university, on Open Day. Image: Shutterstock

Looking for a university that lives, breathes and values STEM? We’ve got you!

According to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020, these are the top STEM universities in Australia, based on the science, tech, engineering and maths courses they offer.

1. The University of Sydney

Did you know that Australia’s first astronaut was a University of Sydney graduate? They’ve also taught an Antarctic explorer, a chief scientist and a Nobel laureate.

If that’s not cool enough, they have a wide range of study options in the STEM space, including:

When it comes to STEM facilities, their labs, teaching and learning hubs boast the latest technology and equipment, so you can get super hands-on in your science and engineering work.

They also want students to graduate with a global perspective, so there are lots of opportunities to study abroad or take part in international fieldwork and projects. Gotta love that!

Another reason to rate the University of Sydney is because they’re all about working towards gender equality in STEM. One third of their engineering students are female – that’s the highest proportion at any Australian university!

2. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University is in the top 2% of unis worldwide, and are known for being globally focused, research-led and committed to making a positive impact on communities.

When it comes to STEM, areas you can explore there include:

If you live in Sydney and want to study STEM, you’ll be pumped to know they have stacks of campuses spread out across the city. There’s Liverpool, Parramatta, Campbelltown, Bankstown, Parramatta South, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Lithgow, Sydney Olympic Park, Nirimba and Sydney City. You can also study online.

3. La Trobe University

top STEM universities in Australia - La Trobe
The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Biology building at La Trobe University. Image: Shutterstock

STEM at La Trobe University is awesome because you can dive into subjects that will help set you up for the next-gen careers in engineering and tech – think machine learning, robotics and cloud computing. It’s also an amazing place to study science as you get to learn from internationally renowned scientists, get amongst industry placements and fieldwork, and study in leading research centres.

Their STEM study areas include:

You can nab all the tech skills at La Trobe, but it’s also good to know that they really value creative thinking and innovation too.

4. RMIT

RMIT like STEM so much they have an entire STEM college! It includes four schools – the School of Computing Technologies, the School of Engineering, the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Science. Each one offers everything from certificates all the way through to PhDs.

In the School of Computing Technologies, you can study:

Areas in the School of Engineering include:

The School of Health and Biomedical Sciences is all about:

And at the School of Science, you can take your pick of:

RMIT also gets two big thumbs up from us for their Empowering Women in STEMM program, which aims to encourage women studying science, tech, engineering, maths and medicine to innovate and experiment, make a positive impact and build a sense of belonging.

5. Monash University

top STEM universities in Australia - Monash
The New Horizons building at Monash University. Image: Shutterstock

Monash University has a whole bunch of impressive accolades. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Monash is the best university in Australia for chemical and metallurgical engineering, and equal best for materials science and engineering, plus nanoscience and nanotechnology.

These are all the STEM subjects you can study here:

  • Biomedical science
  • Data science
  • Engineering – specialisations include aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer systems, environmental, materials, mechanical, robotics and mechatronics, and software
  • Health science
  • Information technology and computer science
  • Medical science
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceutical science
  • Science – majors, extended majors and minors include applied mathematics, astrophysics, atmospheric science, biochemistry, chemistry, computational science, developmental biology, earth science, ecology and conservation biology, environmental science, financial and insurance mathematics, genetics and genomics, geographical science, human pathology, immunology, mathematical statistics, mathematics, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, physics, physiology, plant sciences, psychology, pure mathematics and zoology

6. QUT

We’re also adding QUT to the list because they’re an awesome STEM all-rounder. They provide STEM scholarships, industry connections, overseas study opportunities, world-class labs, workshops and research facilities. We really like the way they prepare their students for the real world and jobs of the future too.

On the science and engineering front, they have their Science and Engineering Centre, which is a world-class facility that combines innovative use of physical space with leading technology. The centre is home to The Cube – one of the world’s largest interactive digital display systems!

And for maths, you can build your skills to solve problems with the latest specialist equipment. You also get access to internationally recognised academics and researchers.

top STEM universities in Australia - QUT
QUT Gardens Point Campus. Image: Shutterstock

STEM is everywhere

Rankings are just one way to find STEM universities in Australia. We are so lucky to have so many brilliant ones across the country, and the best one for you really depends on what you’re after.

Here are some others to explore:

Edith Cowan University (ECU) has an impressive STEM lineup, with a huge list of courses in engineering and tech, medical and health sciences, nursing and midwifery, and science. ECU also received the top undergraduate teaching quality ranking of all 37 public unis in Australia for the sixth year running, and is the top public university for undergraduate skills development, according to QILT.

The University of Adelaide is super focused on getting its students ready for a rapidly changing workforce, and understands that STEM skills are in high demand as employers search for leaders in tech-related fields. Here you can study agriculture, animal and veterinary sciences, biomedical science and bio technology, computer science and IT, earth and environmental sciences, engineering, mathematical sciences, science, and technology. They also have a STEM Academy for connecting high school students with real world careers and research, and a Women in STEM program to develop leaders and forge industry connections.

The University of Newcastle is also doing incredible things for women in STEM with their HunterWiSE initiative. The aim? To establish mentorship avenues for women in STEM throughout the Hunter region of New South Wales, and to promote positive collaboration and sharing of experiences. Key regional partners include BHP and Glencore. There are two parts to the initiative – high school programs and networking events for female STEM professionals across the Hunter.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is definitely one to consider if engineering is your passion. They are Australia’s top uni for engineering. UNSW is always really popular with future computer scientists too.

And The University of Melbourne is great if science is your jam. It has one of the most highly regarded science faculties in Australia!

If you’re keen on STEM, explore your favourite unis and find out exactly what they have to offer. Open Day is the perfect time to do this.

Liking one of the top STEM universities in Australia but don’t live locally? See if they are offering a virtual Open Day and tune in!

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.

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