Kolkata has some of the top ranked universities in India such as the University of Calcutta, Jadavpur University, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, among others.

The University of Calcutta was the first modern university in the Indian subcontinent. It is recognized as a "Five Star University" and a "Centre with Potential for Excellence" by the University Grants Commission.  The University is ranked in the world top 550 according to the QS World University Rankings 2010.

Jadavpur University has successfully established itself as a foremost Indian University. It has been accorded the highest grading and rated as a "Five Star University" in India by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. The Faculty of Engineering and Technology was ranked 1st in India by India Today, 2007.

The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences was established under the WBNUJS Act, 1999 (West Bengal Act IX of 1999) adopted by the West Bengal Legislature in July, 1999. The faculty members of NUJS are involved in many research activities and have published their research in many reputed journals. NUJS faculties also contribute to key national dailies like the Indian Express, The Hindu, The Statesman, Business Standard, Financial Express, etc.

List of major universities in Kolkata:
- Aliah University
- Indian Statistical Institute
- Jadavpur University
- Netaji Subhas Open University
- University of Calcutta
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
- West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences
- West Bengal University of Health Sciences
- West Bengal University of Technology
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World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek