Most Popular US Universities and Colleges for International Students badge

Well known Universities for International Students

For institutions of higher learning in the United States two records were set in the academic year 2012-13. First, more international students came to study in the United States than ever before. Over 819K (819,644) international students were enrolled — an increase of about 7% (55,000) from the previous year (2011-12). This is approximately 40% more international students than for the academic year 10 years previous. [Ref: iie ]

Second, more American students went to study abroad: over 283K (283,332) – an increase of about 3%. This number has tripled over two decades, yet only 10% of American students study abroad while undergraduates.

International students only make up about 4% of total student enrollment (about 25M students) in the USA. However, they contributed $24B to the U.S. economy across all 50 states. International undergrads have outnumbered international grads for the last two academic years, thanks mostly to scholarship programs in countries sending the most students abroad. This changes the 12-year trend in which international grad students outnumbered international undergrad students.

Nearly half (49%) of all international students enrolled for 2012-13 came from China, India and South Korea — even though numbers for the latter two declined from the 2011-12 academic year, down 4% and 2%, respectively. At the same time, 16 countries had an increase in 2012-13 over the previous academic year.

With this in mind, here is a list of the top 50 colleges and universities in the USA with the most international students.


International student enrollment figures are primarily from IIE (Institute of International Education) Open Doors report data on International Education Exchange covering the 2012-13 academic year for all institutions listed here. IIE data may not exactly match individual institution Web sites or their corresponding Wikipedia entries for listed universities.

Additional information in the IIE report is from NAFSA state economic impact statement reports for 2013.

Additional information for this list is from IIE leading institutions list

Numbers and percentages relating to student enrollment are for the 2012-13 academic year unless otherwise specifically marked.

Where readily available, the following information for each university or college is given: motto, freshman application acceptance rate for Fall 2012, total student enrollment for 2012.

The term “Public Ivy” refers to a higher-learning institution that is a publicly-funded research university and is considered to give the equivalent education of an Ivy League university at a public tuition cost. Some Public Ivies are private but have some sort of public funding component. The actual Ivy League universities are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, and University of Pennsylvania — all of which have been long-established. Not on this list: Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown.

Top 10 Most Popular US Universities and Colleges for International Students

Rank School Location
1 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
3 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
4 New York University New York, NY
5 Columbia University New York, NY
6 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
7 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
8 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
9 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
10 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
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  1. University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA

    The University of Southern California was founded in 1880, on the land and money donations of Ozro Childs, John Gately Downey, and Isaias W. Hellman. While original it was sectarian, it severed formal church ties in 1952. It is the oldest private research university in California. USC has 21 schools and colleges, with nearly 40K students enrolled in the 2012-13 academic year. It offers nearly 250 majors and minors, including professional programs. Notable schools include the School of Cinematic Arts is the oldest and largest film school in the United States, offering degrees in six programs. Produce/ director George Lucas (Star Wars) donated $175M in 2006 for expansion of the film school. Notable milestones include that USC has the highest number of Olympic medals (287 = 135 gold, 87 silver, 65 bronze) of any university worldwide, as of 2012; that USC physicians serve over a million patients yearly; and that it has affiliations with 5 Nobel Prize winners.

  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Champaign, IL

    The University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign was founded in 1867, originally as Illinois Industrial University — classes started in Mar 1868. It is considered to be a "public Ivy league" school, giving a comparable education to Ivy league schools for a public school price. It is als considered to be a RU/VH very high-activity research university. UIUC is one of few universities in the U.S. with its own airport, Willard Airport, which is used for UIUC's Institute of Aviation research projects. It also hosts American Airlines flights. UIUC has 17 schools, colleges and institutes, including the Institute of Aviation. Notable milestones for faculty and alumni include 25 Nobel laureates, 22 Pulitzer Prize winners, several Olympic medalists, astronauts and scientists, leaders of international corporations.

  3. Purdue University

    West Lafayette, IN

    Purdue University was founded in 1869 is the flagship of the six-campus Purdue University system. It was established with a $150K donation from businessman John Purdue, plus other money and land donations. Its 10 schools and colleges offer over 200 undergrad majors, 70+ master's and doctoral programs, plus professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Notable milestones include being the first college to offer credit in flight training; offering the first four-year bachelor's in aviation; having the first university airport; having 15,000 U.S. patents. Notable alumni include 13 Nobel laureates, 23 astronauts (including Neil Armstrong) and Orville Redenbacher (of popcorn products fame).

  4. New York University

    New York, NY

    NYU was founded in 1831 by Albert Gallatin and Mordecai Manuel Noah, making it one of the world's oldest research universities. It is one of the largest private nonprofit institutions of higher learning in the United States and was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1950. It is located in six centers throughout parts of New York, and over a dozen sites elsewhere in the world. NYU has 20 schools, colleges and institutes, and campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Notable milestones include that more American students study abroad coming from NYU than any other American university or college, according to IIE (Institute of International Education; and that international students search for "NYU" more than any other university, according to the College Board. Notable faculty and alumni milestones include winners of at least 36 Nobel Prizes, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, 30 Academy Awards and others.

  5. Columbia University

    New York, NY

    Columbia University was founded in 1754 and is New York state's oldest higher learning institution — and the fifth oldest in the United States. Columbia, an Ivy League school, is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities, and is one of nine Colonial Colleges (founded before the American Revolution -1775-1783). It was originally founded by royal charter as King's College by George II of Great Britain. It was renamed Columbia in 1784 and currently has around 20 schools and colleges. Notable milestones include that it administers the Pulitzer Prize; has Columbia Global Centers in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Nairobi; is affiliated (students, faculty, staff) with 101 Nobel laureates. Other notable alumni include five founding fathers of the United States (e.g., Alexander Hamilton); nine Supreme Court Justices (e.g., Ruth Bader Ginsburg), 43 Nobel laureates, 20 living billionaires (e.g., Warren Buffett); 28 Academy Award winners; Three U.S. presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama); 29 heads of state. It is also the first school in the U.S. to award an M.D. degree.

  6. University of California - Los Angeles

    Los Angeles, CA

    The University of California was founded in 1882, with the UCLA campus establish in 1919. UCLA, considered to be a Public Ivy, joined the Association of American Universities in 1974. It is the third oldest campus of the U of California system and is one of the two flagship universities in the UC system — Berkeley is the other. UCLA was the most applied-to four-year university nationwide, with over 105K applications for Fall 2014. UCLA is divided into five undergrad colleges, seven professional schools, four professional health science schools. Notable milestones for faculty, researchers and alumni include 15 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 1 Fields Medalist, 3 Turing Award winners, 52 current faculty elected to NAS (National Academy of Science), 26 to NAE (National Academy of Arts and Sciences), 39 to Institute of Medicine, 124 to American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 250 Olympic medals as of 2013 – 125 gold, 65 silver 60 bronze (#2 compared to Univ of Southern California LA). As well, UCLA athletes have competed in every Olympics since 1920 except 1924, and won gold in every Olympics that the U.S. has competed in since 1932. Amongst other honors, UCLA alumni and faculty helped created the Internet, and the campus was the first node in ARPANET – the predecessor of the Internet.

  7. Northwestern University

    Evanston, IL

    Northeastern University is an environmentally-aware institution that was founded in 1898. It is is a founding member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since 2007 — "a nationwide initiative to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions among institutions of higher learning." NU officially adopted a climate action strategy in 2010, and scored one of the highest ratings on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card. It was cited in 2012 by Green Metric Ranking of World Universities as America's Greenest College. NU has 9 schools and colleges plus a program for undeclared students. Amongst international students, there has been 447% increase in their numbers between Fall 2006 and Fall 2013. NU has a co-op program and had nearly 8K co-op job placements in 2012-13 with around 3,000 employers worldwide. It has placed students in "experiential learning opportunities" in over 110 countries 2006-13. The university claims that 90% of grads from 2006-12 either gained full-time employment or "enrolled in grad school within nine months of graduation." As well, "51% of 2012 grads received a job offer from a previous co-op employer" and "87% of 2012 grads who are employed full time are doing work related to their major." Other notable milestones include over 1 million "community service hours performed by students since 2006;" and nearly 190 patents filed by students and faculty in 2012-13.

  8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI

    The University of Michigan started in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania, 20 years before Michigan became a state, and moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. It's the oldest university in the state of Michigan and has satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn. It is a founding member of Association of American Universities and is considered an RU/VH very high research activity university. (Recent developments at UMich include the creation of see-through solar cells, which could potentially be used in windows and shades that generate electricity.) UMich has 19 schools and colleges which offer various undergrad programs. Its grad program "offers doctoral degrees in humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, plus professional degrees in medicine, law, nursing, social work and dentistry." It also has dual-degree and certificate programs. UMich has a long list of notable alumni, which includes 26 Rhodes Scholars; late U.S. President Gerald Ford; former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt; one Detroit mayor and a governor; 19 billionaires including Google co-founder Larry Page; playwright Arthur Miller; journalist Mike Wallace; actor James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies); actress Lucy Liu, and many more. Singers Madonna and Iggy Pop were non-graduating students.

  9. Michigan State University

    East Lansing, MI

    Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the first land-grant institution, and it served as the prototype for the Morrill Act of 1862, which gave land grants to each U.S. state in order to establish a state university system. Currently, the university has 5,200 acre campus, with 2,100 acres of existing or planned development. As well, it has access to just under 20K acres around the state for research and education in agricultural and natural resources. It is in fact the first U.S. institution of higher learning to teach scientific agriculture. MSU, which is considered to be a Public Ivy, has 3 campuses (including one in Dubai) and the Kellog Hotel and Conference Center. It's historical strengths have been in packaging, hospitality, supply chain management, and telecommunication. There are 19 colleges and schools offering over 200 programs (undergrad, grad, professional). MUS also has study-abroad programs numbering over 275, in more than 60 countries. Notable alumni include various former Michigan governors, U.S. senators and ambassadors; several billionaires; Pulitzer-winning novelist Richard Ford; actors Robert Urich and comedians Dick Martin and Jackie Martling; film director Sam Raimi; numerous NBA basketball players including Magic Johnson; major league football and baseball players, and others.

  10. Pennsylvania State University

    University Park, PA

    Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania was founded in 1855. A $50M gift in 1967 from chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey helped establish a college of medicine and a teaching hospital, the latter of which currently provides care to over a million patients yearly. Penn State has 24 campuses, 17K faculty, 100K students. PSU has 18 schools and colleges that offer over 160 bachelor majors, as well as various grad and professional degrees. It has an online World Campus that offers identical degrees to on-campus students. Notable projects include the Lunar Lion team's plans to land the first university-built robotic spacecraft on the moon in 2015.

  11. Arizona State University

    Tempe, AZ

    Arizona State University was founded in 1885. It is considered to be a RU/VH very high research activity university, with research expenditures of about $385M in Fiscal Year 2012. It is also a member of the Universities Research Association. After the economic downturn that started in 2008, ASU reorganized. Currently, there are 15 colleges, schools and institutes including the W.P. Carey School of Business, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. While there are four campuses (downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe, West/ northwest Phoenix), they are jointly accredited as a single campus. Over 18K degrees were awarded in 2010-11. The ASU Online program at SkySong campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers over 50 undergrad and grad programs, and had over 5,000 students for Spring 2012. (U.S. News and World Report ranked ASU Online as #1 in online Student Services and Technology.) Faculty and alumni awards milestones as of 2012 include 2 Nobel laureates, 127 Fulbright Scholars, 25 Guggenheim Fellowships, 27 National Academy winners, 6 Pulitzer Prizes and more. Other points of note: ASU is environmentally conscious. There are 17,500 daily cyclists on campus. The university also has over 61K solar panels that produce over 15.3 Megawatts of power, and the campus collects 800 tons of recyclables.

  12. Boston University

    Boston, MA

    Boston University was founded in 1839. It is now nonsectarian but was originally affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is one of Boston's largest employers and is considered an RU/VH very high activity research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning. BU has over 2,000 labs, and won over 1,700 grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2012 totaling over $366M. BU has 16 schools and colleges (2 campuses) that offer 250+ fields of study. There are also nearly 100 study-abroad programs in 36 cities and 23 countries. In 2012, 9,448 degrees were awarded, including 1,143 doctoral/ professional degrees. Students enjoy a 12.7-1 ratio of students to faculty. Notable alumni and faculty milestones include seven Nobel Prizes, including Martin Luther King, Jr., and Elie Weisel; 35 Pulitzers Prizes (including 2 to a current Dean); 6 Academy Awards; plus Emmy and Tony awards, Guggenheim Fellowships and more. Alexander Graham Bell, credited with the invention of the telephone, first lectured at BU in 1873.

  13. Indiana University - Bloomington

    Bloomington, IN

    The University of Bloomington started out in 1820 as the State Seminary. Currently, it is considered a Public Ivy, and is a member of the Association of American Universities. It was the fourth public university in the U.S. to admit women students on an equal basis. Sarah Parke Morrison joined in 1867 as the first woman student. Other milestones include: The Kinsey Institute for sexuality research, established in 1945; the annual Little 500 bicycle race — modeled after the Indianapolis 500 car race — which is the United States' largest collegiate bike race and was featured in the film "Breaking Away." IUB has 14 schools and colleges, including the Kelley School of Business, Jacobs School of Music and Maurer School of Law. International students from 165 countries were enrolled in Spring 2013.

  14. University of Washington

    Seattle, WA

    The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is located in Seattle, Washington, with additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. UW is a research-heavy university. It has over 5,000 grants including 200 that are over $1M each. About 280 startup companies have resulted from UW research, and there are close to 300 specialized research centers. Undergrads also participate in research; over 7,000 students participated in research in 2011-12 — totalling nearly 1.3M hours of undergrad research. UW's 16 colleges and schools offer 1,800 undergrad courses each quarter, and award over 12,000 degrees yearly (bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional). Over 14K degrees were awarded in 2010-11. Notable students and alumni have multiple awards: 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars, 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. Faculty collectively have six Nobel Prize winners — five of them in Medicine.

  15. Ohio State University

    Columbus, OH

    Ohio State University's main campus was founded in 1870. It is amongst the top five largest campuses in the U.S. in terms of student enrollment, and is considered amongst the top 20 American public universities, as per U.S. News and World Report's 2013 "America's Best Colleges" list. OSU has 22 schools and colleges, offering a combined 175 undergrad majors through about 12,000 courses. There are 4 regional campus, 1 tech institute, 1 R&D center, 1 laboratory, as well extension offices in each of 88 counties in Ohio. Six alumni had a role in the two top films in 2012 (Brave, Life of Pi), in terms of animation and/or special effects. Amongst notable faculty, six were named by the NSF as top scholars, who are studying a variety of subjects including ghost particles, human DNA, and computing devices.

  16. University of Minnesota

    Minneapolis, MN

    The U of M was founded in 1851. Currently, it is located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (Falcon Heights), which are a few miles apart. In 2009, Forbes named Minneapolis the safest metropolitan area in the U.S. U of M has 19 colleges and schools, and sister campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester in the state of Minnesota. It offers over 140 undergrad degree programs and about 150 through the grad school. It also has ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) in three branch campuses, and 200 institutes and centers. U of M alumni were involved in the creation of several inventions, including "the first wearable pacemaker, GORE-TEX(r), the retractable seat belt, and Post-it(r) Notes." Inventions in the past five years have generated close to $390M in revenue for the state of Minnesota. Other notable alumni include former Vice President Walter Mondale, satirist/ writer Garrison Keillor and others.

  17. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL

    University of Florida was founded in 1853, with East Florida Seminary in Ocala, Florida, being the oldest of UF's predecessor organizations. UF is the oldest university in Florida and has been considered a Public Ivy since 2001. It was ranked 14th best public uni in the U.S. in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report. Its 16 academic colleges offer professional grad programs in "business admin, engineering, law, dentistry, veterinary med." Overall, it offers 120+ master's degrees, 70+ doctoral degrees in over 80 schools and departments. It also claims over 150 research centers and institutes. Notable alumni include Nobel Prize winners, U.S. politicians and diplomats (senators, representatives, governors, ambassadors), athletes, actors, musicians, astronauts and others.

  18. University of Buffalo

    Buffalo, NY

    SUNY Buffalo was founded in 1846 by Millard Fillmore (13th president of the United States) as a private college. In 1962, the SUNY (State University of New York) system absorbed it into the fold. UB is the largest of the 64-campus SUNY system and itself has multiple campuses in Buffalo and Amherst in the state of New York. It was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1989 and is considered an RU/VH high-research university. UB has 13 schools and colleges offering over 100 undergrad degrees (including combined programs) and nearly 300 grad and professional programs (205 master's, 84 doctoral, 10 professional). It has three campuses in Buffalo and Amherst, combined. Total degrees awarded in 2012-13: 7,457. Notable alumni and faculty include one U.S. President (Leonard Fillmore), several Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rhodes Scholars, journalist / reporter Wolf Blitzer, physician and astronaut Ellen S. Baker, engineer and astronaut Gregory Jarvis, and others.

  19. University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, PA

    UPenn, an Ivy League school, was founded by Benjamin Franklin. Various sources put the date at between 1740-1749. It is America's first university, a founding member of the Association of American Colleges, and one of the nine original Colonial colleges. It is the "first academic institution to follow a multidisciplinary model" based on several European universities. It is also has the first school of medicine in the U.S. and the first collegiate business school, as well as the first student union. UPenn is considered a top five research university and has had a number of findings and innovations, including "the first general purpose electronic computer (ENIAC), the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines." It has 12 schools and colleges, including the esteemed The Wharton School of Business. Of these, all 12 have grad programs. Only four have undergrad programs. UPenn also has professional degree program, and degree and non-degree continuing ed and lifelong learning programs. The 2011 student body had over 11% international students. At least nine faculty or alumni have won Nobel Prizes over a ten-year period, with a total of 28 Nobel Prizes for Penn affiliates. Other awards include over 110 members in the United States National Academies, 100+ Sloan Fellows, about 170 Guggenheim Fellowships and many more. Other notable alumni include one U.S. President (William Henry Harrison) and 11 other heads of state, several Supreme Court Justices, tech company founders, at least 18 living billionaires and more. Graduates include linguist / philosopher Noam Chomsky, billionaire Warren Buffet, Elon Musk (co-founder/ founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX), Mark Pincus (founder of Zynga online and mobile games), enterpreneur Donald Trump, his son, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and many more.

  20. University of California - Berkeley

    Berkeley, CA

    UC Berkeley originally started in Oakland in 1869 as University of California; moved to Berkeley in 1870. The Oakland version is from the merger of the College of California and Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College. It was later renamed in honor of philosopher George Berkeley. It is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and has a RU/VH very high research activity designation. UC Berkeley has a number of honors to its credit. Berkeley Lab has discovered 16 chemical elements, the most of any university worldwide (as of 2011). The Manhattan Project — which developed the the first atomic bomb — had Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer as the scientific director. Faculty, alumni and researchers have collectively won 72 Nobel Prizes (30 to alumni) and numerous other awards. 7 Nobel laureates and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners are amongst current faculty. Other notable alumni include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Google exec Eric Schmidt. There are 14 colleges and schools, 130 departments and 80+ interdisciplinary research units. In total, over 7,000 courses are offered across 350 degree programs. Degrees granted by UC Berkeley in 2012-13: 7,526 bachelor's, 2,164 master's, 887 research/ scholarship doctoral, 377 professional doctoral. UC Berkeley produces the most Ph.D.s annually amongst American universities. Students of Fall 2012 enjoyed a 17-1 student to faculty ratio. The student body is also fairly diverse, with 66% of students enrolled in Fall 2010 having at least one parent born outside the U.S. Over 4,000 students do volunteer work yearly. UC Berkeley is the only U.S. school to produce over 3,000 Peace Corps volunteers since the latter's inception in 1961.

  21. University of Texas - Austin

    Austin, TX

    UT Austin had its start in 1883, with part of the income of land and grazing rights from 2 million acres in Texas, granted by the state. The university in the top five nationwide for "largest single campus enrollment." It is considered a Public Ivy school and has 17 colleges and schools which award 12,000 degrees yearly. This includes over 3,500 graduate degrees (master's, doctoral), and over 8,700 undergrad degrees in 170 fields of study, with 100 majors. In addition to over 50K on-campus students, UT Austin has 300K continuing ed students, and claims a diverse student population who enjoy 1,100 registered student organizations. It has a diverse student population with almost 10% of students (Fall 2012) being international.

  22. Houston Community College

    Houston, TX

    The Houston Community College System includes nine Texas cities and parts of three more, including Houston. Eight colleges are currently part of HCCS. It was governed under the HISD (Houston Independent School District) by public referendum, from 1971-1989. A Board of Trustees was established and the college separated from HISD in 1989. It was "restructured into a multi-college system" in 1992. Overall HCC has over 15 campuses and two sub-colleges. It offers two online programs – continuing ed and distance ed.

  23. University of Wisconsin - Madison

    Madison, WI

    The official beginnings of UW Madison are in 1838, when a law was passed to incorporate an University of the Territory of Wisconsin. However, the school was not founded until after Wisconsin became a state in 1848. The first women students were admitted in 1863, during the Civil War. Its 20 colleges and schools offer bachelor's degrees, graduate and professional degrees. As of 2009, UW-Madison had 130+ undergrad majors, approx 150 master's programs, and 120 doctoral programs. Overall, over 4,700 course are offered. It has an international institute jointly created by the College of Letters and Sciences and the International Studies division. The university's international student body represents 130 countries. UW Madison is categorized as an RU/VH Research University (very high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification. Notable faculty/ researchers include Elmer V. McCollum, who founded Vitamin A (1913) and B (1916).

  24. University of Texas - Dallas

    Richardson, TX

    UT Dallas was founded in 1969 in Richardson, Texas. UTD was ranked by Times Higher Education magazine in 2013 as 15th in their top 100 list of young schools (under 50 years old), using 13 performance indicators that include research, diversity and international collaborations, and teaching. Fortune magazine claims that 14 of the 20 most profitable companies recruit from UT Dallas. UTD has seven schools and colleges offer over 130 academic programs (undergrad and grad) — including the top-ranked Naveen Jindal School of Management MBA program. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21-1, and UTD has over 50 "centers, labs and institutes that facilitate research and opportunities for hands-on learning." International students made up over 20% of the student population. Notable faculty include a Nobel laureate and four members of the National Academies.

  25. Texas A&M University

    College Station, TX

    Texas A&M University got its start in 1876 as the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas, and is the first institute of higher learning in the state. It in the top 10 largest American universities (by enrollment) and tops in Texas. Its 5,500 acres houses the George Bush (Sr.) Presidential Library, which opened in 1997 — one of very few universities with a presidential library. Other milestones include membership in the Association of American Universities; an endowment of $7.6B, which puts it in the top 5 amongst public American universities; and a Corps of Cadets with 2,300 members. (TAMU is "one of three public universities with a full-time, volunteer Corps of Cadets." It is one of only six senior military colleges. Only U.S. service academies commission more officers than TAMU.) TAMU has 10 colleges and 18 research institutes, as well as branches in Galveston, Texas, and Qatar. It has over 120 undergrad and 240 grad degree programs and a number of professional degrees.

  26. Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA

    Harvard, an Ivy League school, was founded in 1636 and named after minister John Harvard, the first benefactor. It is the oldest American university and has the largest endowment of any university worldwide (over $32B for Fiscal Year 2013). As well as having over 5,000 acres of real estate holdings, it has the largest academic library in the U.S., with 80 libraries, 18.9M volumes, 400M manuscript items, 10M photographs and more. Harvard ranks #1 or #2 overall in many university ranking lists. The university has 12 degree-granting schools and colleges, plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as well as a division of Continuing Education (includes Harvard Summer School and Harvard Extension School). As of Fall 2012, international students have made up about 11% of the undergrad student body and 27% of grad and professional students. Harvard offers financial aid of over $160M to over 60% of undergrad students. Over 65% of all students receive scholarship aid, with the average grant in 2013-14 being $46K. Notable faculty as of 2010 included Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt; historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; economist Amartya Sen; political scientist Robert Putnam; astrophysicist Alyssa A. Goodman, and others. Alumni represent 201 countries. Notable alumni include 47 Nobel laureates and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as 32 heads of state. Graduates include numerous American political leaders including President Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Hancock, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, as well as political leaders of other countries, several royals, religious leaders, tech founders (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), civil rights leader W.E.B. DuBois, numerous famous writers and poets, musicians, filmmakers, athletes, actors and more. Harvard alumni and faculty are also on Time Magazine's 2014 100 Most Influential People in the World list: President Barack Obama, Sheika al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, John Kovac, Ory Okolloh, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Diane Paulus, and David Sinclair.

  27. Academy of Art University

    San Francisco, CA

    The Academy of Art University was founded by fine art painter Richard S. Stephens in 1929 and is now owned by the Stephens Institute. The founder's granddaughter, Dr. Elisa Stephens, took over in 1992 as President of the Academy from her father, Dr. Richard A. Stephens. It's one of the largest property owners in San Francisco and may be the largest privately owned art and design school in the United States. Bachelor's degrees in Fine Art were awarded starting in 1966, after the school was incorporated. It now offers two bachelor's degrees, three master's degrees, one associate's degree, and several certificate programs as well as Continuing Art Education courses in over 30 areas of emphasis. Students all have the same tuition, including U.S. permanent residents and international students. (About 30% of the Academy's students are international.) Federal and state financial assistance is not available for international students. Notable alumni include actresses Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag, and 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice.

  28. University of Houston

    Houston, TX

    University of Houston has 12 colleges and schools — including the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management — that collectively offer over 100 undergrad majors and minors, and almost 200 grad degree programs (131 master's, 54 research doctorates, and three professional doctorates in law, optometry, pharmacy) UH awards over 8,200 degrees each year. Its annual research budget is nearly $130M and it "operates 40+ research centers and institutes on campus." Notable faculty includes Nobel laureate Jody Williams and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee. Notable alummi include novelist Alice Sebold, Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress blogging software), numerous professional golfers, NFL football players and NBA basketball players, U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren, actor Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), actor Brent Spiner (Star Trek), actor brothers Randy and Dennis Quaid, TV host Star Jones, singer Kenny Rogers, rapper Lil' Wayne, and many others.

  29. Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY

    Cornell, an Ivy League school, was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell, Andrew Dickson White. Cornell is private but receives a federal land grant. Overall, it has seven undergrad schools and colleges, a grad school, and seven professional schools that offer professional degrees in business management, medicine, law, and veterinary medicine. It also has nearly 100 academic departments and numerous centers, institutes, labs and programs. Each college and school defines its own academic programs and admits students. Collectively, they offer 4,000+ courses across nearly 100 departments, with nearly 70 undergrad majors and 90+ minors, and 90+ grad fields of study. It also has dual-degree programs. There are two satellite medical campuses, in New York City and Education City, Qatar. Notable faculty includes several Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. Amongst faculty have been actor John Cleese and astronomer/ astrophysicist Carl Sagan. As of 2010, "Cornell is the only university with three female winners" of unshared Nobel Prizes amongst alumni. These winners are Pearl S. Buck, Barbara McClintock and Toni Morrison. Other notable alumni include, amongst many, Janet Reno (first female U.S. Attorney General), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Robert Atkins (creator of Atkins Diet), the founders and co-founders of many companies (Burger King,, PeopleSoft,, Staples, Qualcomm). Writer alumni include the aforementioned Pearl S. Buck and Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon and E.B. White. Cornell also claims several actor, athlete, CEO and other alumni.

  30. Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900 by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. It has 7 colleges and schools. Recruiters polled for a 2010 Wall Street Journal article ranked CMU as #1 for computer science hires. CMU also ranked highly for finance and business. The university has been involved in the creation of over 1,000 companies primarily in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley and India. As well as being a world leader in robotics, it also has its hand in space exploration. NASA Mars rovers and crash avoidance systems use software from CMU. Thirty-five percent of CMU student body are international – putting the university in the top 10 most international student bodies by percentage in the USA. Faculty are highly qualified, with about 96% having a Ph.D. or equivalent for their respective fields. This faculty teaches 99% of all undergrad courses and some grad courses. Notable alumni include "Nobel Prize winners, tech company founders, inventors, orchestra conductors, Oscar-winning producers." Examples include John Forbes Nash (Nobel laureate in economics and the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind), billionaire hedge fund investor David Tepper; Java programming language creator James Gosling; artist Andy Warhol; astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Judith Resnik, and others.

  31. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Atlanta, GA

    The Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885, and is the result of two Confederate officers being inspired by MIT's educational model. A bill signed in 1885 by the Governor of Georgia allowed for the creation and funding of the institute. Land was donated in 1887. The main Georgia Tech campus is partly in Midtown Atlanta, and there are satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia, as well as France, Ireland, China and Singapore. The 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics had the athletes village on campus. Georgia Tech has 6 colleges — including Scheller College of Business — that house 30+ schools and degree programs (bachelor's, master's doctoral). GT ranked in top ten (#7) of public American universities by U.S. News & World Report, who also ranked them as the top industrial engineering program and #5 undergrad and #5 grad engineering colleges. According to, GT ranks anywhere from #1 to #8 in degrees awarded to minority students overall, as well as African American students, Asian American students, Hispanic students and Native American students.

  32. Illinois Institute of Technology

    Chicago, IL

    IIT was founded in 1940, with its roots traced back to the Armour Institute of Technology — which was founded in 1890. Philip Danforth Armour, Sr., made a donation of $1M in 1890 (~$25M in 2012 value), with which the original institute was founded. Armour was inspired by a Chicago minister who wanted a school for all students instead of just the elite. The minister, Frank W. Gunsaulus, became the first president of the institute. IIT has eight schools and colleges, six of which offer undergrad programs. It has 34 undergraduate majors and offers both traditional and professional master's programs, as well as doctoral programs, certificate specializations and dual-degree options. The institute had a 93% retention rate for first year students in Fall 2012 enrollment. International students make up a large part of the student body, 59% of grad students and 24% of undergrad students classified as international. Notable faculty includes three Nobel laureates – 2 in Physics, one in Economics.

  33. Stanford University

    Stanford, CA

    Stanford University was established in 1885; opened in 1891 by Leland Stanford (former California governor and U.S. senator) and wife Jane Lathrop Stanford as a memorial to their son, who died from typhoid fever. It is the largest contiguous campus in the U.S. with over 8,000 acres, and has 700 buildings. There are currently over 5,000 externally-sponsored projects in which the university is participating. Stanford, which is the most selective research university in the U.S. as of the Class of 2017, has an endowment of $18.7B. It was also home to a node for the original ARPANET — a predecessor to the Internet. There are seven schools and colleges. Ninety-seven percent of undergraduates live on campus, and the student body enjoys a 5-1 student-to-faculty ratio (over 2,000 faculty members). Notable faculty and alumni include "22 Nobel laureates that are currently members of the Stanford community." Fifty-eight laureates have been or are affiliated with Stanford in total. Other notable alumni include 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts and 11 members of Congress. The approximate annual revenue of companies founded by Stanford alumni is about $2.7 trillion. Alumni and faculty have founded Google, Yahoo!, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, as well as other companies.

  34. University of Maryland

    College Park, MD

    University of Maryland – College Park, founded in 1856, is the largest university in Maryland. It has strong partnership ties, with various faculty members receiving funding and other support from NIH, NASA, NIST and DHS. The university is ranked highly by U.S. News (2014), Kiplinger's (2014), Academic Ranking of World Universities (2013), Princeton Review (2013) and others. UMCP's ten colleges and schools offer 90 undergrad majors, as well as grad and professional programs. In non-academic milestones, it's in the top 25 list (2013) of colleges that produce Peace Corps volunteers. Notable faculty includes four Nobel Prize winners. Two alumni are also Nobel Prize winners. Nobel prize winners from outside UMCP who have given an annual talk include President Jimmy Carter, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and South African President Nelson Mandela. Other notable alumni include Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Emmy-winning journalist Connie Chung, "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" co-creator Larry David, football player/ analyst Boomer Esiason, "The Boondocks" animated TV show creator Aaron McGruder and others.

  35. SUNY Stony Brook University

    Stony Brook, NY

    SUNY Stony Brook University started in 1957 as State University College in Oyster Bay on Long Island and moved to Stony Brook in 1962. It owns Stony Brook University Medical Center and co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 2005, it acquired land for a Research & Development Park in 2005. It also houses four business incubators. SBU is a member of the Association of American Universities and is a National Merit Institution. Times Higher Education's World University Rankings ranked SBU in the top 1 percent worldwide. It was ranked by U.S. News as in the top 100 nationwide and in the top 35 of public universities. Kiplinger ranked SBU as amongst the 30 best values in public colleges and universities. It is one of 10 American universities that the NSF recognizes for combining research with an undergrad education. SBU has 13 schools and colleges, which offer 68 majors and 80 minors. The university had a high freshman return rate of 90% for Fall 2011 enrollees returning for a second year. Teaching faculty are highly-credentialed, with 98% of instructors holding either a doctoral degree or the highest degree in their field. The faculty has over 1,840 inventions and 500 U.S. patents to their credit.

  36. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Cambridge, MA

    MIT was founded in 1861, although it did not open its doors until 1865. It has six schools and colleges, including the Sloan School of Management, and 35 departments and programs. Class lecture notes are freely available online through OpenCourseWare . The edX initiative offers online courses from other university partners (including Harvard, Berkeley, U of Texas) as well. It ranks sixth overall in U.S. News' 2012 American universities rankings — #1 for undergrad engineering and #2 for undergrad business. In QS World University Rankings for 2012, MIT ranked as the top university in the world for the first time, moving up from #3 in 2011 and #5 in 2010. Amongst its discoveries are the 2014 finding of a two-dimensional material similar to graphene that could be used to make flat solar cells and transistors. The list of notable alumni is long and includes 31 Nobel Prize winners, 47 Rhodes Scholars, and 61 Marshall Scholars. Graduates include Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, physicist Richard Feynman (1939 Nobel Prize, Physics) and others. Alumni have also founded or co-founded companies, including Intel, McDonnell Douglas, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Genentech, Dropbox, Campbell Soup, Bose and others.

  37. Iowa State University

    Ames, IA

    ISU was founded in 1858 and is amongst the first three colleges to take advantage of the land-grant law signed by then President Abraham Lincoln. Its eight colleges and two schools (including the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication) offer about 100 bachelor programs, 110+ master programs, 80+ doctoral programs, 1 professional program in veterinary medicine. There are over 800 student organizations on campus, and international students represent over 100 countries. ISU has over 90 centers and institutes. This science and tech heavy university claims the invention of the world's first electronic computer. It currently has the world's highest-resolution virtual reality lab, with 16.7M pixels per wall. It also has a supercomputer, Cyence, that performs 183 trillion calculations per second. Notable alumni include George Washington Carver, ISU's first African American student (and faculty member) and a botanist / scientist who promoted the idea of crop rotation and who developed about 100 household products made from peanuts.

  38. North Carolina State University

    Raleigh, NC

    Historically, NCSU's top programs are in engineering, agriculture, life sciences, textiles and design. Overall, it offers over 100 bachelor's degrees, 100+ master's degrees, 60+ doctoral degrees and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, through its 10 schools and colleges, plus the First Year College and Graduate School. It is consistently ranked in top 50 public universities in the U.S. by various organizations, and North Carolina's state capital, Raleigh, was ranked the best city to live in, in America, by Bloomberg Businessweek in Sep 2011. In 2013, the Washington Monthly listed NCSU as 4th amongst national universities that assist low- and middle-income students in getting affordable, marketable degrees. NCSU also has a strong research and startup environment. It is the only American university "leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers." It claims 800 U.S. and 1,500 worldwide patents, covering over 400 consumer products, and has over 800 license agreements with industry partners. Over 100 companies have been spun-off from NCSU research, including 8 in the last year, with venture capital exceeding $1.5B.

  39. Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, MD

    JHU was founded in 1876 and named for its primary benefactor, philanthropist Johns Hopkins. It has ranked #1 for over 3 decades by the NSF (National Science Foundation) amongst U.S. academic institutions for various research endeavors, including science, medical and engineering. Over 35 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with JHU (count as of 2011) — including 18 in Physiology or Medicine. Current faculty honors, specifically, include 4 Nobel Prizes, 1 Pulitzer Prize, 51 American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellows, 61 Institute of Medicine Members, 28 National Academy of Science Members, and several others. As well, faculty and staff have collectively written over 50 books JHU was "the first medical school to admit women on an equal basis with men and to require a bachelor's degree." A newly-created nursing school in 1889 accepted both men and women as students. However, other grad schools at JHU took a long time to allow the awarding of PhDs. Johns Hopkins was an abolitionist, which led to Kelly Miller becoming the school's first African American graduate student – albeit, some time after Hopkins' passing. However, commonplace racial diversity took until the 1960s-70s. In addition to Washington, D.C., and Maryland, JHU has campuses in Italy, Malaysia, China and Singapore. There are two main campuses in Baltimore, housing five graduate divisions. Overall, there are nine schools — including the Carey Business School, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Peabody Institute, SAIS and others — covering over 180 fields of study.

  40. University of Arizona

    Tucson, AZ

    The of U of A is classified as a Carnegie Foundation RU/VH (research university, very high research activity) university. It gets the most NASA grants for space exploration than any American university — the most funds per year than the next nine NASA-JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab)-funded universities combined. In addition to being involved in five spacecraft missions as of Jun 2011, it operates observatories and telescopes, including Peak National Observatory. U of A is also involved in the building of the $500M Giant Magellan Telescope, due for completion in 2016. U of A has been part of pop culture, with multiple films either shot there or otherwise referenced, including "Revenge of the Nerds." This is also reflected in notable alumni, who include singer Linda Ronstadt, actor Greg Kinnear, novelist Barbara Kingsolver, actress Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live alumnus). Notable alumni include Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt (2011, Physics). Notable faculty includes two Nobel laureates, Nicolaas Bloembergen and Willis E. Lamb.

  41. Rutgers University

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Rutgers was originally chartered as Queen's College in 1766, ten years before the American Revolution. Rutgers – New Brunswick is the oldest campus of Rutgers University, and it has 5 sub-campuses that hold its 18 schools colleges (undergrad, grad, professional). RU NB has 175 research centers and institutes, 22 libraries, 20 computer labs and 110 RU-tv channels for tutorials, interviews and other uses. It also has health care facilities, studios, and performance venues. All 670 buildings on the nearly 2700-acre university are deemed lighting energy efficient. The university offers 100+ undergrad majors and 220+ grad degree programs at its 5 campuses: Busch, College Avenue, Douglass, George H. Cook, Livingston. It claims nearly 60% of grad students are women, just over 40% are men. International students represent over 105 countries. Campus housing covers 85% of freshman students and 46% of undergrads in general. Students can choose from over 400 student organizations, 80+ frats and sororities and 6 student centers. Faculty include 35 National Academy members and 15 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members.

  42. University of California - San Diego

    La Jolla, CA

    UCSD is considered a Public Ivy. It offers over 200 undergrad and grad degree programs, including nine joint doctoral programs with San Diego State University and other University of California campuses. It has 10 schools and colleges (including six residential colleges), including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (existed before UCSD), Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Rady School of Management. UCSD has six undergrad colleges, five grad schools, two professional med schools, and runs four research institutes. It is affiliated with regional research centers, including the Salk Institute and the Sanford-Burhnam Medical Research Institute, and houses two think tanks. Additional research resources include a seaport and vessels for marine research, owned by the oceanography institute. UCSD also owns the Birch Aquarium. The university is highly regarded in multiple fields, including social psychology, oceanography, international relations, molecular biology, genetics, engineering, neuroscience, and behavior — according to ScienceWatch. Alumni, faculty and researchers have collectively won multiple awards, including at least 20 Nobel Prizes (as of Apr 2013) — although not necessarily while during their time at UCSD. For example, Linus Pauling won in 1954 and 1962, but was faculty from 1967-69. Other notable alumni include science fiction authors Gregory Benford, David Brin and Kim Stanley Robinson — all of whom earned PhDs — Mike Judge, creator of the animated TV shows "Beavis and Butthead" and "King of the Hill," and director/ writer of the TV show "Silicon Valley.

  43. Syracuse University

    Syracuse, CA

    SU's roots go back to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary founded in 1831 in Lima, New York — which became Genesee College in 1850. The actual university was independently established in 1870, after long debate about moving the college to Syracuse. While US considers themselves nonesectarian, they maintained a relationship with the United Methodist Church as recently as 2011. The university owns a hotel (Sheraton), country club with 36-hole golf course, a conference center, and more. The SCRC (Special Collections Research Center) contains "rare books, manuscripts, works of architecture and design, and popular culture," including cartoons, science fiction and pulp literature. The art collection has over 45,000 objects and includes work from Picasso, Rembrandt and others. There is also a collection of audio, the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, which has around 540,000 recordings in various formats. The collection has the voices of Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein and Oscar Wilde, amongst others. SU has thirteen schools and colleges, including the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and others. There are admissions and alumni presences in LA, NYC, and Atlanta, as well as an LA Semester program. SU is internationally-minded, with 40% of SU students study abroad through the SU Abroad program. Notable alumni include current U.S. V.P. Joe Biden, television host Dick Clark, Lt. Col. Eileen Collins (first female space shuttle commander), actor Taye Diggs, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, news anchor Ted Koppel, author Joyce Carol Oates, actor Tom Everett Scott, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, comedian/ actor Jerry Still, actress Vanessa Williams and others.

  44. University of Delaware

    Newark, DE

    The original "Free School" founded by Minister Francis Alison in New London, Pennsylvania, changed its name and location several times, eventually settling in Newark, Delaware, in 1769. At that point, it was still part of Pennsylvania, so it did not get chartered until 1833. The current UD is considered a Public Ivy. Its seven colleges and three schools collectively offer numerous degree programs: 3 associate, 147 bachelor's, 119 master's, 54 doctoral, 15 dual graduate programs. This is done in collaboration with over 70 research centers. Additional research resources include a 146-foot coastal vessel — part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment college — which is used by scientists for research. The STAR (Science, Technology and Advanced Research) campus repurposes a former General Motors assembly plant. There are over 300 student organizations on campus. Three of the original ten students went on to sign the Declaration of Independence; one of the ten signed the U.S. Constitution. Notable faculty includes a Nobel laureate and other highly-regarded award winners.

  45. George Washington University

    Washington, DC

    George Washington, while U.S. President, wanted an institution of higher learning in the Capital. He died before that happened, but through the efforts of Rev. Luther Rice, President James Monroe and 32 members of Congress, GWU was created in 1821 through an Act of Congress. The focus of GWU would be "dedicated to educating and preparing future leaders." The main campus of GWU is four blocks from the White House, has 10 grad and undergrad colleges and schools, and just under 100 research centers and institutes. There are three campuses — Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon (both in D.C.) and the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus — plus various graduate education centers. The Mount Vernon Campus was previously the Mount Vernon College for Women. The Virginia science and tech campus is used for research and grad programs, and hosts 17 research centers, labs and institutes — one of which is the National Crash Analysis Center. There are over 450 student organizations, and alumni live in 150 countries. Notable alumni/ former students include U.S. senator J. William Fulbright (creator of the Fulbright scholarships), J. Edgar Hoover (former FBI director), former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, actress Kerry Washington, actor Alec Baldwin, several politicians in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as numerous serving U.S. ambassadors, and others.

  46. University of Texas at Arlington

    Arlington, TX

    UTA has ten schools and colleges that collectively offer over 180 degrees (bachelor's, master's, doctoral, professional). The New America Foundation declared UTA in 2013 as one of six "Next Generation" universities in the USA. Factors for this ranking included degree programs, online courses, growth in enrollment, and emerging status as a research university. (UTA has a nanotechnology research and teaching facility, amongst other facilities.) The majority (~63%) of alumni live in North Texas; however, international students made up 9% of Fall 2013 enrollment and they represent over 120 countries. The university is also considered to have a racially and ethnically diverse student body. There are over 300 campus organizations, and 10,000 students live on or within five miles of campus. Notable alumni include singer Ray Price, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, and astronauts Kalpana Chawla and Robert L. Stewart.

  47. University of Iowa

    Iowa City, IA

    UI is the oldest university in the state of Iowa and is considered a Public Ivy school. The university has a number of firsts for a U.S. learning institution . It was the first public university in the U.S., in 1855, to admit men and women on an equal basis. It was the first university worldwide "to accept creative work in theater, writing, music, and art on an equal basis with academic research." E.g., in lieu of a thesis. -One of the first in the U.S.: "to grant a law degree to woman and to an African American, and to put an African American on a varsity athletic squad." It was the first state university to recognize the an LGBT student organization. UI has eleven colleges covering over 100 areas of study and seven professional degrees. This includes 5,000+ courses yearly covering 200 major, minor and certificate programs. UI is said to be the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree. The UI campus includes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. It also runs the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

  48. Santa Monica College

    Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica College is a two-year public junior college that ranks as the tops in California as a transfer college. Of all 109 community colleges in California, more students transfer from SMC to University of California, University of Southern California, and other four-year schools). SMC offers occupational certificate programs in over 80 fields of study, and has an Arts Mentor Program where select students receive grad-level training from professionals. Notable alumni include Sean Penn, James Dean, David Geffen, Dustin Hoffman, Rickie Lee Jones, Ryan Seacrest, Hilary Swank and others.

  49. The New School

    New York, NY

    The New School was founded in 1919 by Charles A. Beard et al. It has over 135 degree programs, houses the World Policy Institute think tank, hosts the National Book Awards, and has "Parsons The New School for Design" art school and Parsons Festival. There are seven different schools /divisions that cover several disciplines, including social sciences, liberal arts, humanities, architecture, fine arts, design, music, drama, finance, psychology and public policy. The graduate school started in 1933 as a place for scholars in exile. The undergrad programs have student-directed curriculum, which focuses on a particular discipline – requiring students to explore a general education beforehand. The curriculum is said to be "highly experimental and avant-garde." Courses include "Games 101," "Punk & Noise" and "Play and Toil in the Digital Sweatshop."

  50. University of Illinois at Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    UIC's original College of Pharmacy was founded in 1858, followed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1882, and the the Columbian College of Dentistry in 1891. These colleges were incorporate into the University of Illinois in 1913. The University of Illinois at Chicago Circle was founded in 1965. The current UIC is a merger of the all the above, with Chicago Circle joining in 1982. There are a total of 15 colleges and schools, with just over 27.5K students enrolled for Fall 2013. As of Fall 2012, there were 82 bachelor's programs, 93 master's, and 66 doctoral. US News ranked UIC tied for 10th place in 2012 for the most ethnically diverse universities in the United States. Over 1/3 of "students speak English as a second language." The student body is composed of 61% undergrad, 39% grad/ professional students. UIC has the largest medical school in the USA. Total annual research expenditures (all departments) is over $335M. The 2012 budget was $2.00 billion.

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