The most prestigious and well-known universities in the United States are known as the Ivy League schools. The technical reason for the group of colleges is due to the collegiate athletic conference that holds these eight private schools, but over the years, they have also become known for their academic prestige.
Ivy League Schools
- Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, this is the 7th oldest institution in the United States. They currently have approximately 6,500 students in their undergraduate programs and approximately 2,500 graduate students.
- Columbia University, New York City, New York. Founded in 1754 as the King’s College and renamed in 1784, this university administers the Pulitzer Prize. There are currently over 28,000 students at Columbia, with approximately 18,000 of those students pursuing postgraduate degrees.
- Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 as a co-education, non-sectarian institution, there are currently 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 122 countries.
- Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth was founded in 1769 as a research institution, and did not become well-known until the 20th century. There are currently over 4,000 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate students at Dartmouth, making it the smallest Ivy League school.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard is possibly the most prestigious university in the United States, established in 1636 and known as the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. There are currently over 7,000 undergraduate students and 14,000 graduate students studying at Harvard.
- Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton is a research university which was originally established in 1746 as the College of New Jersey. In 1756, it was renamed to the College of Princeton, and finally became Princeton University in 1896. There are currently over 7,000 students studying at Princeton, with about 2,000 of those students in graduate programs.
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, this university was the first in the colonies to focus on practical education for those in commerce and public service as well as the more liberal arts fields (theology, classics). Currently, there are approximately 21,000 students at UPenn, with an even split between graduate and undergraduate studies.
- Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Yale was established in 1701 to train clergy and political leaders for the colony of Connecticut. Currently, there are approximately 11,000 students, evenly split between graduate and undergraduate studies.
If you would like more information about the Ivy League schools, take a look at their websites. International students from around the world attend these universities because of their prestige and the quality information that they know they will receive by attending one of these schools. And if you want to know about Ivy League athletics, take a look at the Ivy League Sports website.
Other Well-Known Universities
There are a number of well-known and respected universities throughout the United States other than the Ivy League Schools. The following is a brief list of some of the most well-known and respected universities in the United States
- Williams College. Williams College is a private institution that was founded in 1793 in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,052; it was ranked the number one National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report for 2014.
- Villanova University. Villanova is a Catholic University located in Villanova, PA, and is considered one of the best undergraduate universities in the country.
- Elon University. Elon is considered one of the best universities on the East Coast of the United States, with a high focus on student success and engagement. It is located in Elon, North Carolina.
- Pennsylvania State University. The Pennsylvania State University, known as “Penn State,” is located in University Park, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1855 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 39,192 students. They also have a number of smaller campuses in locations around the state of Pennsylvania.
- Stanford University. Stanford University is a private institution located in Stanford, California (San Francisco Bay Region) that was founded in 1885. It currently has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,063 students.
- University of Chicago. University of Chicago is a private institution located in Chicago, Illinois. The university was founded in 1890. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,590 students per year.
- Duke University. Duke University is a private institution, located in Durham, North Carolina, that was founded in 1838. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,655 students per year, and a number of graduate students.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is a private institution that has over 5,000 students attending the institution yearly. It was founded in 1861.
These are only a taste of the great universities that you can find throughout the United States. With almost 5,000 universities to choose from, it can seem daunting, but most universities that you look at in the United States will give you a high-quality education that you will never regret obtaining.
If you are looking for more information about the best colleges and universities across the United States, or just want more information about the United States Education system, U.S. News and World Report provides an annual list of the Best Colleges in the United States that you can check out. You can also take a look at the College Board website for more information about the universities you can apply to across the United States.