Top Universities

Top Universities

Choosing a university is never easy. There are many things worth considering before making your final choice. Some things to consider are your budget, your research interests and where you would prefer to live. Universities usually have an emphasis on a certain area of research, so it is good to know ahead of time what area you are most interested in. Here is some background information about the best universities in the US.


Top Five

Harvard University

This Ivy League university is the oldest in the US and is unmatched in its offerings. Among its most notable famous attendees were many presidents, including the two presidents from the Roosevelt family, Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy. It boasts the oldest & largest private library collection of any university in the country. A part of this collection was left by Minister John Harvard of Charlestown, benefiting its students greatly to this day. It is located in Cambridge, MA, in a suburban setting. It is made up of twelve schools, including business, medical, engineering, and law schools. Its leading programs are Political Science, Governmental Studies and Economics.

sb10069478bh-001Princeton University

Princeton is currently tied in the rankings for first place with Harvard. Princeton was conceived of as a ‘college’, which was transferred to New Jersey, becoming its official institution in 1756. Along with its growth, it was named a university institution, in 1896. It is the fourth oldest university in the US and it is renowned for its beautiful campus, which has an ivy covering. It is the first place to offer grants to their students, instead of bursaries, in the US. The campus is divided into six colleges, which are residential. Similarly to Harvard, the most popular programs are Economics, Governmental Studies and Political Science, in addition to History and Operation Research.

Yale University

Yale, founded in 1701, offers a research intensive curriculum in a small school environment. The beautiful campus is divided into twelve colleges, which are residential. It is located in the urban setting of New Haven, CT. In addition to the programs which were popular in the last two schools, Yale offers very strong drama and music programs. It is host to the ‘Yale Record’, the oldest known university magazine which is devoted entirely to humor. These are offered in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. There are thirteen professional schools as well, which among others, offer leading programs in law, management, medicine and nursing.

Columbia University

Columbia University, located in New York, NY, is another Ivy League school which offers living arrangements throughout your studies. It was founded in 1754. It has a campus of 35 acres. The university is made up of academic institutions at the graduate and (3) at the undergraduate level. These are: Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of General Studies. Among others, these offer popular programs in business, law, dentistry, journalism, the arts and comprise a teacher`s college. The university also hosts many female and male fraternities.

University of Chicago

Formed in 1892, this institution has a strong community participation tied to both its old and new activities. Relatively recently, it has become the host to a very popular annual scavenger hunt. This urban university in Chicago, IL, offers its students a very large campus of 215 acres. It is tied for fourth place with Columbia University. Out of the universities mentioned, this is the only one with a quarterly semester set-up. In addition to its main college, it also hosts many above the undergraduate level, including professional and graduate schools. Their academic profile is a little bit different from the previous universities, as its most popular programs are in the Social Sciences, Biology, Mathematics, Statistics; and language-related programs.

Top Universities3Key Points

All of the above mentioned universities have a high freshman retention rate and are in cities. They also offer many opportunities to engage in sports, and many have a long history of competition with each other. Paying for university is one of the major things to consider when applying. Living at home may be one way to cut costs. However, most universities offer scholarships and grants based on need (income level). If you are entering as a top student, you may automatically qualify for one, but it is better to look into them, just in case. Remember to check out the leading programs at each university to see which ones best suit your interests and needs. These universities also offer on-campus living, which is very helpful when you are trying to get used to your new university environment.