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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