College and University Rankings: Guide to study in the US

College and University Rankings: Study in the US


The US houses over 4,400 institutions offering a range of diverse and exciting range of academic programmes and cultural settings. Applying to higher education programmes in the US can be an exciting process, but it can be equally challenging and overwhelming too.

Choosing the college or university to attend will be one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. For most of you, the reputation of an institution could be the most important factor while making a decision.

How important are university rankings?

A recent survey says that around 2/3rds of the students consider national rankings during their application process. Most of them also believed that the rankings help to determine the differences between colleges.

How are universities in the US ranked?

Rankings of institutions in higher education are done with combinations of factors. Rankings are given to college and universities and also to specific programmes and departments. The rankings are based on factors like measure of wealth, research excellence, influence, student choices, demographics, surveys and others.

There is no official rankings of universities done by the government of the United States. The rankings of the American universities are done by the newspaper, magazine and book publishers.

When choosing the best university for you, the rankings can be a helpful starting point, although they can be very subjective and should not be the only criteria.

There are around 4,400 universities in America that grant degrees, but the university rankings are given only to the highest quality US universities.

We have considered the following five ranking systems to help you choose the best college for 2014.

  • U.S. News and World Report's 'Best Colleges' list only contains colleges which are in the top 32% of universities in the USA
  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  • 'America's Top Colleges' by Forbes, lists the best 15% of US universities
  • QS World University Rankings includes 145 US universities, which represent the top 3.3% of universities in America
  • Washington Monthly World University Rankings

Here is the list of rankings given by different ranking systems to the top 25 universities in the US for 2013-14:



U.S. News National University Rankings Forbes America's Top Colleges QS World University Rankings Times Higher Education World University Rankings  Washington Monthly World University Rankings
 1 Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Stanford University
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)California Institute of Technology (Caltech)University of California-San Diego (CA) 
 2 Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Pomona College
Harvard University  Harvard University University of California-Riverside (CA)
 3 Yale University
New Haven, CT
Princeton University
New Jersey 
 Stanford University Stanford University Texas A&M University-College Station (TX)
 Columbia University
New York, NY
Yale University
 Yale University Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Case Western Reserve University (OH)
 5 Stanford University
Stanford, CA
Columbia University
New York 
 University of Chicago Princeton University University of California-Berkeley (CA)
 University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Swarthmore College
 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)University of California, Berkeley  Stanford University (CA)
 7 Duke University
Durham, NC
United States Military Academy
New York 
 Princeton University University of Chicago University of Texas-El Paso (TX)
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
 Harvard University
 University of Pennsylvania Yale University Harvard University (MA)
 9 University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
 Williams College
Columbia University
 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Georgia Institute of Technology-Main (GA)
 10 California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Cornell University Columbia University University of California-Los Angeles (CA)
 11 Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
University of Pennsylvania
 Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University MA Institute of Technology (MA)
 12 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
 Brown University Rhode Island University of Michigan University of Pennsylvania University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (MI)
 13 Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Amherst College

 Duke University Duke University University of Washington-Seattle (WA)
 14 Brown University
Providence, RI
University of Chicago
 University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
University of Michigan 
 University of NC-Chapel Hill (NC)
 15 Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

Duke University  North Carolina

Northwestern University  Cornell University University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
 16 Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Dartmouth College
New Hampshire 
 University of Wisconsin-Madison Northwestern University University of Notre Dame (IN)
 17 Rice University
Houston, TX
Northwestern University
 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Carnegie Mellon University Tennessee State University (TN)
 18 University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
 California Institute of Technology
 New York University (NYU) 
University of Washington

University of Texas-Austin (TX) 
 19 Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Cornell University
New York 
 Brown University Georgia Institute of TechnologyUniversity of IL-Urbana-Champaign (IL) 
 20 Georgetown University
Washington, DC
Bowdoin College
 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill University of Illinois Vanderbilt University (TN)
 21 University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Washington and Lee University
 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Wisconsin-Madison University of Pennsylvania (PA)
 22 Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
 University of California, Berkeley
 Carnegie Mellon University University of California University of CA-Santa Barbara (CA)
 University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
 University of Notre Dame Indiana
University of Washington
 New York University University of California-Davis (CA)
 24 University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
Tufts University
 University of California, San Diego (UCSD) University of California University of Florida (FL)
 25 University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Georgetown University
District of Columbia 
 University of Texas at Austin Washington University in St Louis Indiana State University (IN)

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