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Top 100 Colleges

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1.  Harvard University
Harvard University was established in 1636. Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 by the colonial Massachusetts legislature, Harvard is the first corporation chartered in the United States and oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Harvard University has around 20,000 students across the College and graduate schools located in Cambridge and Boston. When people refer to Harvard students, often they mean the subset of roughly 6,400 students who attend Harvard College. The college was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard. Although it was never formally affiliated with a church, the college primarily trained Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy. Harvard’s curriculum and students became increasingly secular throughout the eighteenth century and by the nineteenth century had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites.
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2.  Princeton University
Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,000 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. The University’s generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.
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3.  Yale University
Yale University is both a small college and a large research university. The College is surrounded by eleven distinguished graduate and professional schools, and its students partake in the intellectual stimulation and excitement of a major international center of learning. The faculty is known for its special devotion to undergraduate teaching. Many of Yale’s most distinguished senior professors teach introductory courses as well as advanced seminars to undergraduates. Yale University is one of the top ranking national universities.Yale University comprises three major academic components:Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs,libraries, museums, and administrative support offices. Approximately 11,250 students attend Yale.
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4.  Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia University) is a private research university in New York City and a member of the Ivy League. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country’s nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution. Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. From its beginnings in a schoolhouse in lower Manhattan, Columbia University has grown to encompass two principal campuses: the historic, neoclassical campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood and the modern Medical Center further uptown, in Washington Heights. Today, Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting pathbreaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education.
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5.  Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university located in Stanford, California, United States. The university is located on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus in northwestern Santa Clara Valley approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of San Jose. Stanford is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. Established more than a century ago by founders Jane and Leland Stanford, the university was designed, as clearly stated in the Founding Grant, to prepare students “for personal success and direct usefulness in life” and “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Today Stanford University remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students to become the next generation of leaders.
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6.  University of Pennsylvania
Today Penn is home to a diverse undergraduate student body of over 10,000, hailing from every state in the union and all around the globe. Penn consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the country. Another 10,000 students are enrolled in Penn’s 12 graduate and professional schools, which are national leaders in their fields. Penn traces its origins to 1740 when a trust was formed to establish the Charity School of Philadelphia. Later, in 1749, Benjamin Franklin presented his vision for a new type of learning institution, that unlike other American Colonial colleges, would not focus on education for the clergy, but would instead prepare students for lives of business and public service. The proposed program of study would become the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum. When, in 1750, Franklin and the first Trustees purchased Penn's first campus, they also assumed responsibility for the Charity School (though it had never opened, the Trust was still alive and well). Both the Academy and the Charity School opened in 1751.
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7.  California Institute of Technology
Caltech enrolls just under 900 undergraduate and 1200 graduate students and employs about 300 professorial faculty.[3] Despite its historically small size, 31 Caltech alumni and faculty have won the Nobel Prize, 66 have won the National Medal of Science or Technology, and 110 have been elected to the National Academies. Caltech managed $357 million in sponsored research in 2009 and a $1.4 billion endowment.The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.
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8.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research. MIT is one of two private land-grant universities[b] and is also a sea-grant and space-grant university. The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.
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9.  Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, coeducational university, comprising a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences. It is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Incorporated as “Trustees of Dartmouth College,” it is a member of the Ivy League and one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution. With a total enrollment of 5,987, Dartmouth is the smallest school in the Ivy League.At Dartmouth, people are forging close connections. Intense involvement in athletics, service, and other activities fosters collaboration and camaraderie. Our students enjoy personal contact with faculty both in and out of the classroom. Undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct original research and work one-on-one with faculty who are at the leading edge of their fields. This unique level of personal interaction and the opportunity to create new knowledge is a signature of our graduate and professional programs as well.
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10.  Duke University
The University is organized into two undergraduate, ten graduate and professional schools, and seven institutes. In its 2011 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s undergraduate program 9th among national universities, while ranking the medical, law, public affairs, nursing and business as high as 6th and as low as 15th, all among the top 15 in the United States. Duke University was also ranked 14th in the 2009 THES – QS World University Rankings.Besides academics, research, and athletics, Duke is also well known for its sizable campus and Collegiate Gothic architecture, especially the Duke Chapel. The forests surrounding parts of the campus belie the University’s proximity to downtown Durham. Duke’s 8,610 acres (35 km2) contain three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Construction projects have updated both the freshmen-populated Georgian-style East Campus and the main Gothic-style West Campus, as well as the adjacent Medical Center over the past five years.
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11.  University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private, coeducational research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society, with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller. Incorporated in 1890, William Rainey Harper became the university’s first president in 1891 and the first classes were held in 1892. University consists of the College of the University of Chicago, various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into four divisions, six professional schools, and a school of continuing education. The University enrolls approximately 5,000 students in the College and about 14,000 students overall. It has a reputation of devotion to academic scholarship and intellectualism, and is affiliated with 46 Rhodes Scholars and 85 Nobel Prize laureates as of the 2009 awards announcement.
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12.  Northwestern University
Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university located primarily in Evanston, Illinois, United States. Northwestern has twelve undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and colleges offering 123 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees.Northwestern was founded in 1851 by John Evans and eight other Chicago businessmen to serve the people of what had once been part of the Northwest Territory. Instruction began in 1855; women were admitted in 1869. Today, the main campus is a 240-acre (97 ha) parcel in Evanston, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The university’s law and medical schools are located on a 20-acre (8.1 ha) campus in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. In 2008, the Medill School of Journalism and School of Communication opened a campus in Education City, Doha, Qatar. In 2009, Northwestern enrolled 8,497 undergraduate and 7,880 graduate and professional students.
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13.  Johns Hopkins University
The university was founded on January 22, 1876 and was the first U.S. university to teach through seminars, instead of solely through lectures, as well as the first U.S. university to offer an undergraduate major (as opposed to a purely liberal arts curriculum). As such, Johns Hopkins was a model for most large research universities in the United States. Johns Hopkins is regarded as one of the top universities in the world. In 2010,U.S. News & World Report ranked Johns Hopkins #13 in the world. Over 30 Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with the university, either as graduates or as faculty. The university is among the most cited institutions in the world.
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14.  Cornell University
Cornell was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White as a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission was offered irrespective of religion or race. Its founders intended that the new university would teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s motto, an 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”Following the spirit of its motto, Cornell offers curricula in traditional liberal arts studies as well as in fields like engineering, agriculture, hotel administration, and city and regional planning. The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus—for example, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering—with each college and division defining its own academic programs in near autonomy.
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15.  Rice University
Rice began operation in 1912 as a coeducational institution with free tuition. The university was founded several years after the murder of its namesake, the prominent Houston businessman William Marsh Rice, who left a $4.6 million ($111 million in current dollars) founding endowment in his will. It is listed as one of thirty Hidden Ivies and as one of Newsweek’s “New Ivies.” Rice University is currently ranked 17th among “national universities” in the United States according to the 2010 US News and World Report.The student body consists of about 3,500 undergraduate, 900 post-graduate, and 1,200 doctoral students. The university employs about 610 full-time faculty members and 400 part-time or adjunct faculty members. Rice has a very high level of research activity and had $77.2 million in sponsored research funding in 2007.
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16.  Vanderbilt University
The university is among the top 10 recipients of federal research funding with $444.3 million in 2008. Also affiliated with the university are several research centers and institutes, including the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Dyer Observatory, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the only Level I trauma center in Middle Tennessee.Today, four undergraduate and six graduate schools comprise Vanderbilt, enrolling approximately 12,000 students from all 50 U.S. states and over 90 foreign countries. In its 2011 ranking of universities, U.S. News & World Report placed Vanderbilt 17th among national universities and the schools of education, law, medicine, and nursing were ranked among the top 20 in the country. The Academic Ranking of World Universities listed Vanderbilt as 41st in the world in its 2009 ranking. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11 has listed Vanderbilt as the 51st best university in the world.
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17.  University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame today is organized into five colleges and one professional school, the oldest of which, the College of Arts and Letters, began awarding degrees in 1849. The undergraduate program was ranked 19th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2010-2011.[6] Notre Dame has a comprehensive graduate program with 32 master’s and 25 doctoral degree programs. Additionally, the university’s library system is one of the 100 largest in the United States.It was founded by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also the school’s first president. It was established as an all-male institution on November 26, 1842, on land donated by the Bishop of Vincennes. The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. Today, about 47 percent of the student body is female.
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18.  Emory University
Emory University is a private research university located in the metropolitan Atlanta area of Druid Hills, Georgia. The Oxford College campus is located in Oxford, Georgia, where the university was founded in 1836 by a small group of Methodists as Emory College, which was named in honor of John Emory, a well-known Methodist bishop. The university follows a mission statement “to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity”. Emory’s students and faculty members are dedicated to giving back the community. The University received the 2008 Presidential Award for General Community Service, which is the highest federal recognition given to higher-education institutions for their commitment to community service, service-learning and civic engagement.
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19.  Georgetown University
The university is co-educational and has around 7,000 undergraduate and over 8,000 post-graduate students, who in most years come from all 50 U.S. states and over 120 countries. Campus groups include the nation’s oldest student theater group and the largest student-run business.Father John Carroll, later the first American bishop, founded the school in 1789, realizing efforts dating from 1634 to establish a Roman Catholic college in the province of Maryland. Georgetown expanded into a branched university after the American Civil War under the leadership of Patrick Francis Healy. Born a slave by law, Healy rose to become university president and is considered the school’s second founder. Though governed independently of church authorities or the order, Jesuits have been officially involved in the school since 1805, and the institution defines its identity in significant part through its religious heritage.
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20.  University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, California, Berkeley, Cal-Berkeley, UCB, and UC Berkeley), is a public research university located in Berkeley, California, United States. The oldest of the ten major campuses affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley offers some 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The university occupies 6,651 acres (2,692 ha) with the central campus resting on approximately 200 acres (80.9 ha).UC Berkeley ranks first nationally in the number of graduate programs in the top 10 in their fields, according to the most recent National Research Council study. In the study, 35 of Berkeley’s 36 graduate programs ranked in the top 10 in their fields in terms of faculty competence and achievement. The national and international awards held by facultyunderscore Berkeley’s preeminence.
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Subpages (1): Top 100 Colleges (pg 2)