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2020 Best Universities in USA According to Times Higher Education

In these popular destinations that are well-known for their higher education opportunities, the universities at the very top of the ranking are concentrated; the top five are located in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

It is important to remember that in collaboration with the Wall Street Journal, we also create separate US College Rankings crafted with students in mind. A student survey taken by more than 170,000 students across the US, is at the center of the US College Rankings, capturing the most important topics for prospective learners, such as teaching quality, learning atmosphere, facilities, campus diversity and whether a student will recommend their institution.

Best universities in the United States 2020

Among the best in the world ranking, there are 172 US universities and schools; and wherever you choose to study in the US a top university is within reach. In the best US universities list, almost all states and about 130 cities are represented.

Review of Top 5 universities in the US

1. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

CalTech has a remarkable number of outstanding graduates and associates, including 39 Nobel laureates, six Turing Award winners and four Fields Medallists, compared to the tiny size of its student population.

At CalTech, there are about 2,000 students, and the main campus in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, occupies 124 acres. On campus, almost all undergraduates live.

There is an emphasis on science and engineering through the six departments.

The CalTech graduate community includes, in addition to Nobel laureates and top scholars, a number of politicians and public advisers, especially in the fields of science, technology and energy.

As part of the college’s alternative model to fraternities and sororities, all first-year students belong to one of four houses. Each house is associated with a series of house traditions and events.

The university has the largest proportion of students who continue to pursue a PhD, and the figure of the postgraduate CalTech has spread into popular culture; all the main characters work or research at CalTech in the TV comedy The Big Bang Theory.

2. Stanford University

Stanford, based in Palo Alto, right next to Silicon Valley, has played a prominent role in promoting the growth of the tech industry in the area.

Many faculty members, students and graduates, including Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard, have established successful technology firms and start-ups.

In total, Stanford alumni-founded businesses make $2.7 trillion (£2.2 trillion) per year.

As the campus was built on the site of the Palo Alto Stock Farm of the Stanford family, the university is sometimes referred to as the Farm.” 8,180 acres are covered by the campus, but more than half of the land is not yet developed.

Stanford’s campus is thought to be one of the most stunning in the world with its distinctive sand-coloured, red-roofed houses. It includes a variety of sculpture gardens and art museums, and a meditation center for the public.

Stanford is highly competitive, as would be expected from one of the best universities in the world. At present, the admission rate stands at just over 5%.

22 per cent of the 15,000 students, most of whom live on campus, are foreign.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

A strong entrepreneurial community is also cultivated by MIT, which has seen many alumni discover prominent companies like Intel and Dropbox.

Unusually, the MIT undergraduate and postgraduate programs are not completely separate; at either level, several courses can be taken.

The undergraduate program is one of the most selective in the world, accepting just 8% of applicants. The most famous among undergraduates are engineering and computer science programs.

Thirty-three percent of the 11,000 students hailing from 154 countries are foreign.

Buzz Aldrin, an astronaut and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and physicist Richard Feynman are prominent alumni.

4. Princeton University

Like Harvard, with a tradition going back more than 200 years, Princeton is a renowned Ivy League university.

The distinctive social atmosphere of Princeton includes private “eating clubs” that act as both social houses and dining halls. Many clubs are selective and competitive, but others simply require the sign-up of undergraduates.

At Princeton, fewer than 8,000 students are enrolled, and just over a fifth are foreign.

In New Jersey, Princeton’s campuses are about an hour away from both New York City and Philadelphia.

Degree courses have strict criteria. As part of their degrees, all students are expected to do independent study, and some must take a foreign language course.

The method for applying is highly selective. Princeton does not offer an early decision application path, unlike most US universities.

US presidents, astronauts, businesspeople and Olympians are renowned Princeton alumni. This includes Michelle Obama’s former first lady, author F. Scott Fitzgerald with Alan Turing, a mathematician.

5. Harvard University

Harvard is undoubtedly the world’s best-known university, most years toping the prestige rankings of Times Higher Education.

Established in 1636, it is the US’s oldest institution of higher education.

Around 20,000 students, a fifth of whom are foreign, are enrolled. Although the tuition expenses are costly, the financial endowment of Harvard helps students to receive plenty of financial assistance.

Prestigious Harvard is able to account for 8 former US presidents, 158 Nobel laureates, 14 Turing Award winners and 62 living billionaires, among many prominent alumni.

Harvard is at least as valued for the arts and humanities as it is for science and technology, if not more so, unlike several other universities at the top of the list.

Top Universities in the United States 2020

To display the full report on the World University Ranking 2020 results, click on each institution.

US Rank 2020 World University Rank 2020 University City State
1  2 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
2  4 Stanford University Stanford California
3  5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
4  6 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
5  7 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
6  8 Yale University New Haven Connecticut
7  9 University of Chicago Chicago Illinois
8  11 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania
9  12 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
10  =13 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley California
11  16 Columbia University New York City New York
12  17 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles California
13  19 Cornell University Ithaca New York
14  20 Duke University Durham North Carolina
15  21 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan
16  22 Northwestern University Evanston Illinois
17  26 University of Washington Seattle Washington
18  =27 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
19  29 New York University New York City New York
20  31 University of California, San Diego San Diego California
=21  =38 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta Georgia
=21  =38 University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas
23  =48 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign Illinois
24  51 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison Wisconsin
25  52 Washington University in St Louis St. Louis Missouri
26  53 Brown University Providence Rhode Island
27  54 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina
28  =55 University of California, Davis Davis California
29  =57 University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara California
30  61 Boston University Boston Massachusetts
31  =62 University of Southern California Los Angeles California
32  70 Ohio State University (Main campus) Columbus Ohio
33  78 Penn State (Main campus) State College Pennsylvania
34  79 University of Minnesota Minneapolis Minnesota
35  =80 Emory University Atlanta Georgia
36  84 Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan
37  88 Purdue University West Lafayette West Lafayette Indiana
38  =91 University of Maryland, College Park College Park Maryland
39  =94 Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
40  =96 University of California, Irvine Irvine California
41  =102 Georgetown University Washington D.C
42  104 University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
43  =105 Rice University Houston Texas
44  =107 University of Virginia (Main campus) Charlottesville Virginia
45  =113 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
46  116 Vanderbilt University Nashville Tennessee
47  119 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Ohio
48  124 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder Colorado
49  =134 Indiana University Bloomington Indiana
50  =139 Tufts University Medford Massachusetts
51  =155 Arizona State University Tempe Arizona
52  =157 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame Indiana
53  =168 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey New Brunswick New Jersey
54  172 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Alabama
=55  =173 Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts
=55  =173 University of Rochester Rochester (NY) New York
57  =175 University of Florida Gainesville Florida
58  178 Texas A&M University College Station Texas
59  =179 University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz California
60  =198 George Washington University Washington D.C
=61  201–250 Brandeis University Waltham Massachusetts
=61  201–250 University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Honolulu Hawai’i
=61  201–250 Howard University Washington D.C
=61  201–250 University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa
=61  201–250 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Worcester Massachusetts
=61  201–250 University of Miami Coral Gables Florida
=61  201–250 University of South Florida (Tampa) Tampa Florida
=61  201–250 University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah
=61  201–250 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg Virginia
=61  201–250 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem North Carolina
=61  201–250 William & Mary Williamsburg Virginia
=72  251–300 University at Buffalo Buffalo New York
=72  251–300 University of California, Riverside Riverside California
=72  251–300 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Ohio
=72  251–300 University of Delaware Newark (DE) Delaware
=72  251–300 Florida State University Tallahassee Florida
=72  251–300 George Mason University Fairfax Virginia
=72  251–300 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago Illinois
=72  251–300 University of Oregon Eugene Oregon
=72  251–300 Oregon Health and Science University Portland Oregon
=72  251–300 Syracuse University Syracuse New York
=82  301–350 Boston College Boston Massachusetts
=82  301–350 Colorado School of Mines Golden Colorado
=82  301–350 University of New Mexico (Main campus) Albuquerque New Mexico
=82  301–350 North Carolina State University Raleigh North Carolina
=82  301–350 Nova Southeastern University Davie Florida
=82  301–350 Rush University Chicago Illinois
=82  301–350 Stony Brook University Stony Brook New York
=82  301–350 Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania
=82  301–350 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville Texas
=82  301–350 University of Texas at Dallas Richardson Texas
=82  301–350 Tulane University New Orleans Louisiana
=93  351–400 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks Alaska
=93  351–400 University of California, Merced Merced California
=93  351–400 Clark University Worcester Massachusetts
=93  351–400 University of Connecticut Mansfield Connecticut
=93  351–400 University of Denver Denver Colorado
=93  351–400 Hofstra University Hempstead New York
=93  351–400 Iowa State University Ames Iowa
=93  351–400 Oregon State University Corvallis Oregon
=93  351–400 State University of New York Albany Albany New York
=93  351–400 Washington State University Pullman Washington
=93  351–400 Wayne State University Detroit Michigan
=104  401–500 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama
=104  401–500 American University Washington D.C
=104  401–500 Colorado State University, Fort Collins Fort Collins Colorado
=104  401–500 Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania
=104  401–500 University of Georgia Athens Georgia
=104  401–500 Georgia State University Atlanta Georgia
=104  401–500 University of Houston Houston Texas
=104  401–500 University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas
=104  401–500 University of Kentucky Lexington Kentucky
=104  401–500 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia Missouri
=104  401–500 University of Missouri-St Louis St. Louis Missouri
=104  401–500 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln Nebraska
=104  401–500 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro New Mexico
=104  401–500 Oklahoma State University Stillwater Oklahoma
=104  401–500 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy New York
=104  401–500 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia South Carolina
=104  401–500 University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio Texas
=104  401–500 University of Tulsa Tulsa Oklahoma
=122  501–600 University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville Alabama
=122  501–600 Binghamton University, State University of New York Binghamton New York
=122  501–600 Florida International University Miami Florida
=122  501–600 University of Idaho Moscow Idaho
=122  501–600 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge Louisiana
=122  501–600 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla Missouri
=122  501–600 University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Nebraska
=122  501–600 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark (NJ) New Jersey
=122  501–600 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff Arizona
=122  501–600 University of Rhode Island South Kingstown Rhode Island
=122  501–600 San Diego State University San Diego California
=122  501–600 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin
=134  601–800 University of Arkansas Fayateville Arkansas
=134  601–800 Auburn University Auburn Alabama
=134  601–800 Baylor University Waco Texas
=134  601–800 University of Central Florida Orlando Florida
=134  601–800 Clemson University Clemson South Carolina
=134  601–800 Creighton University Omaha Nebraska
=134  601–800 Kansas State University Manhattan Kansas
=134  601–800 Kent State University Kent Ohio
=134  601–800 Lehigh University Bethlehem Pennsylvania
=134  601–800 University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland
=134  601–800 Montana State University Bozeman Montana
=134  601–800 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada
=134  601–800 New Mexico State University (Main campus) Las Cruces New Mexico
=134  601–800 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro North Carolina
=134  601–800 Ohio University (Main campus) Athens Ohio
=134  601–800 Old Dominion University Norfolk Virginia
=134  601–800 Portland State University Portland Oregon
=134  601–800 University of South Dakota Vermillion South Dakota
=134  601–800 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken New Jersey
=134  601–800 University of Texas at Arlington Arlington Texas
=134  601–800 Texas Tech University Lubbock Texas
=134  601–800 University of Toledo Toledo Ohio
=134  601–800 Western Washington University Bellingham Washington
=134  601–800 West Virginia University Morgantown West Virginia
=134  601–800 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester Massachusetts
=159  801–1000 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach Florida
=159  801–1000 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton Florida
=159  801–1000 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne Florida
=159  801–1000 Louisiana Tech University Ruston Louisiana
=159  801–1000 Marquette University Milwaukee Wisconsin
=159  801–1000 Mississippi State University Starkville Mississippi
=159  801–1000 The New School New York City New York
=159  801–1000 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester (NY) New York
=159  801–1000 University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Texas
=168  1001+ California State University, Long Beach Long Beach California
=168  1001+ University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington North Carolina
=168  1001+ University of North Florida Jacksonville Florida
=168  1001+ Oakland University Rochester Michigan
=168  1001+ Texas State University San Marcos Texas

Top 10 universities in the US According to THE/WSJ US College Ranking 2020


WSJ/THE US College Rank 2020 University City State
1 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
3 Yale University New Haven Connecticut
4 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania
=5 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
=5 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
=7 Brown University Providence Rhode Island
=7 Stanford University Stanford California
9 Cornell University Ithaca New York
10 Duke University Durham North Carolina

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