According to official counts, the University of Cambridge is associated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other university or institute. Defining which school has the most Nobel Prizes is difficult, since some only count prizes given to people who were actively working at the university when the prize was given, while others count researchers and alumni. Also, some count prizes by separate campuses, like the University of California. Other universities with many laureates include the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In total, people from around 340 different universities and research institutes had received Nobel Prizes by 2012.
The University of Cambridge was associated with the most Nobel Prizes as of 2012, with 90 prizes awarded to its students, staff, alumni, and researchers. Some of the best known laureates include the physicist Nils Bohr, geneticist James Watson, philosopher Bertrand Russell, and economist Joseph Stiglitz. The University of Chicago has the next most laureates, with an official count of 87, followed by Columbia University with 82, MIT with 77, and Oxford University, with an official count of 48.
Unofficial Counts and Different Standards
Unofficial counts sometimes come up differently than the official ones because of the different criteria that each university takes into consideration when claiming laureates. Oxford, for example, only counts people who received the prize after attending the university, and doesn't count people to whom it gave honorary degrees. That means that although its official count is 48, its unofficial count is 59.
Other universities have different standards when it comes to counting someone who is staff or a researcher. While some only count people who work at the university on a full time basis, or for at least a year, others count people who worked at the university in any capacity for less than a year. Additionally, several universities or associations of universities have their parts counted separately, but would rank much higher if all of the parts were considered together. For instance, the University of London, which consists of over 30 different colleges, institutes, and bodies, has 72 prize winners associated with it in total.
Other Nobel Prize Statistics
Almost 850 Nobel Prizes had been awarded between 1901 and 2012, with fewer than 50 going to women. The average age of the winners was 59 years old, and more Americans had won than those of any other nationality. People from over 72 countries had been awarded prizes, with the US, the UK, and Germany receiving the most, followed by France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia. About 30 countries had only one prize winner, including Iceland, Ghana, and Yemen.