Top Rated Universities In The United States

Pool and courtyard outside of the Millikan Library building on the campus of CalTech in Pasadena, California.
Pool and courtyard outside of the Millikan Library building on the campus of CalTech in Pasadena, California.

Times Higher Education ranked the California Institute of Technology as the United States' leading university in the 2015-2016 year. The United States is a vast country, and it is dotted with many universities. Some factors used to rate the schools include student to faculty ratio, academic quality, contributions to various fields, and the employment status of graduates.

10. UCLA -

The University of California at Los Angeles lies in the western region of the massive urban center of Los Angeles. The public research institution was founded in 1919 after the Los Angeles State Normal School became integrated into the University of California’s southern division. The institution’s programs revolve around the fields of engineering, architecture, theater and film, arts, medicine, and science. The school’s undergraduate enrollment is estimated at 29,585. Notable alumni include such phenomenal athletes as baseball's Jackie Robinson and basketball's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

9. University of Pennsylvania -

The University of Pennsylvania can be found in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1749, Benjamin Franklin proposed to the residents of Philadelphia his vision of a school of higher learning, which equipped students with both theoretical and practical knowledge. The school was to be named the Public Academy of Philadelphia and would prepare the youth for both public and business life. The College of Philadelphia was named the University of Pennsylvania in 1791 after it became private. The institution has an acceptance rate of 14% and is home to approximately 24,900 students. Notable alumni of the institution include Donald Trump, the US President-elect, John Legend, an award-winning singer, and Sundar Pichai, a Google CEO.

8. Yale -

The foundation for Yale University was laid with the establishment of the Collegiate School in Saybrook Colony in 1701. The colony’s religious leader, Reverend John Davenport, envisioned an institution where students would be instructed in both theocracy and academics. Yale University is a privately ran institution of higher learning situated in New Haven, Connecticut. The school offers a broad range of courses, from law, music, public health, architecture, drama, to arts. Out of the 30,236 applicants in 2015, only 6.7% of them were admitted to the school. Yale University has produced a significant number of US Presidents including William Howard, Bill Clinton, and Gerald Ford. Other notable alumni have included Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

7. University of Chicago -

The University of Chicago began in 1890 and was molded by the vision of John D. Rockefeller, an oil magnate, and supported by the American Education Society. The institution was intended to cultivate Christian morals and facilitate scientific research in the Midwest. The university's land was provided for by Marshall Field, a successful retail merchant. The University is located in Chicago, Illinois and the school’s programs range from classical studies, biological sciences, astrophysics and astronomy, environmental studies, international studies, creative writing, and journalism. The school has an acceptance rate of 9% and is home to approximately 15,097 students. Notable alumni have included composer Philip Glass and astronomer Edwin Hubble.

6. UC Berkeley -

The University of California at Berkeley is a public institution which opened its doors in 1868. It began operations in Oakland until a campus school in 1873 in Berkeley. The school's total enrollment is estimated at 250,000, with nearly 33,000 students concentrated in the main campus at Berkeley. The school’s programs are diverse and include public policy, biology, business, civil engineering, computer science, and Earth sciences. As a research institution, the University is actively involved in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory and operates the Energy Institute. Notable alumni include Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Inc., and Robert Gaskins, the inventor of the PowerPoint software.

5. Princeton -

What had previously been the College of New Jersey was renamed Princeton University in 1896. The university is located in Princeton, New Jersey. The school admits 4,635 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate applicants. Princeton is an Ivy League institution which prides in scholarly excellence. The school offers a range of programs, from linguistics, economics, computer science, communication, political science, history, and psychology. Notable alumni include Jeff Bezos, founder of and Michelle Obama, a First Lady of the United States.

4. Harvard -

Harvard University came into being after a vote of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Great and General Court in 1636. John Harvard, Minister of Charlestown, inspired the institution’s name and bequeathed half of his estate and his library to the school after his demise. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is arguably the most prestigious university in the country. 79 libraries are at the disposal of the students, who study a range of programs in the humanities, arts, technology, and science disciplines. The school is affiliated with 8 US presidents including John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, and the incumbent Barrack Obama.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology -

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1861, William Barton Rogers envisioned a learning institution specializing in science and engineering, and after lobbying and raising funds, the university welcomed its first students in 1865. Computer science and engineering courses are the most popular programs with applicants, and the institution has an 8% acceptance rate. Notable alumni include Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Secretary General, and American astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

2. Stanford -

Stanford University opened its doors in 1891 in Stanford, California. Officially named Leland Stanford Junior University, the institution was founded by Leland Stanford and his wife in the memory of their son, who had died from a bout of fever. This school has a bias and well known in the fields of computer science, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. Admission is highly competitive. Only 2,063 applicants got places out of the 43,997 candidates who applied in 2015. The institution’s graduates have co-founded such technological giants as Yahoo!, YouTube, Intel, and Google, which have significantly helped shape the business and social realms of the Western world in this new millennium.

1. California Institute of Technology -

This institution began as Throop University in 1891, founded by the wealthy philanthropist Amos Throop. The school was named California Institute of Technology in 1920, with a focus on scientific research, technology, engineering, and education. The privately-owned institution is situated in Pasadena, California. The faculty includes of Nobel Laureates and world’s top researchers, and students enjoy world-class facilities and resources. The institution is home to a little over 2,000 students and only admits 226 students in the freshman class out of 6,625 applicants. Notable alumni include astronomer James E. Gunn and physicist Hideo Mabuchi.


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