In the humanities subjects, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München at rank 22 and Freie Universität Berlin at rank 24 are still the best German universities. Freie Universität also continues to be among the 100 best universities worldwide in two other subject groups: In the social sciences the university improved from rank 87 to 75, and in the life sciences from rank 94 to 89.
The five best German universities in the world, according to the THE Ranking are Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (rank 29), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (rank 67), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (rank 70), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (rank 80), and Freie Universität Berlin (rank 81). Since 2012, Freie Universität has improved in the world ranking by 47 places, in the European ranking by 21 places, and nationwide by one place.
The Times Higher Education Ranking is partly based on a global survey among researchers with regard to research, teaching, international orientation, citation frequency of publications, and statistical indicators. The methodology of the ranking has not changed since 2012, therefore the improvements in Freie Universität's position are due to a continuous increase in the university's achievements.