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Top 10 Universities in the USA

The USA continues to remain a popular choice for Indian students. Go through this article to learn about the top ten institutions in the USA.

Antony Chacko

One of the reasons for Princeton University's global popularity is its esteemed alumni. In 1933, Albert Einstein became a lifetime member of the Princeton group.

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The Boston Latin School was one of the first formal educational institutions to be built in America, in 1635. From then on American education has come a long way. Today, it is the world’s number one destination for international students.

A lot of top American institutions feature consistently in the list of top 10 ranked Unis in the world.

The year 2011 saw a six per cent increase in international students studying in America, which led to a total of 765,000 students from all over the world. The majority of international students in the US are based out of China. But Indian students are the second-highest in the international student population. 

Since a good number of Indian students scramble for placements in American Unis every year, it would be only fair to take a look at the top 10 Unis for the year 2014 according to 'The Best Colleges: Top 50 Colleges and Universities in America’ rating.

These are the top 10 Unis in the US:

1. Princeton University

Originally called the College of New Jersey, Princeton University was founded in 1746 for the purpose of training ministers. Located in New Jersey, the University has been associated with 35 Nobel Laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners and three National Humanities Medal winners.

Former US President Woodrow Wilson graduated from Princeton University in the year 1879. Amongst its alumni are several Noble Laureates, astronauts and other political icons.

Princeton ranks fifth among the top Unis in the US, according to the Times Higher Education ranking, and seventh, according to the Shanghai Ranking. But one of the reasons for Princeton's popularity is its esteemed alumni. In 1933, Albert Einstein became a lifetime member of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Princeton campus. In terms of former students, it doesn't get bigger than that.

2. Harvard University

This University needs no introduction. Ranked the fourth-best and first in the world by the Times Higher Education and the Shanghai Ranking, respectively, almost every educated person in the world is familiar with the name 'Harvard'.

Harvard is known to have produced quite a few intellectuals and its alumni consist of eight US Presidents, 75 Noble Laureates, who have either studied there as students or worked as faculty members or staff affiliates, and 62 living billionaires. Among the 62 billionaires, the most notable and popular of the lot is Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Even former US President George W Bush and incumbent President Barack Obama are part of the Harvard circle.

3. Swarthmore College

Located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, the college was founded in 1864 and is one of the first co-educational institutions in the United States. The college has a reputation and history of social activism and was closely affiliated to the women’s rights movement. The college maintains its dedication to providing free education to those who cannot afford it.

In 2007, the college decided to remove the student loan financial schemes and replaced them with additional aid scholarships.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The growth of industries all over America in the mid 17th century led to the establishment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to fuel the growing demand for talent. The MIT was founded in the year 1861 and its main focus is on scientific engineering and technological education and research. The Times Higher Education ranked MIT as the fifth-best in the world, while the Shanghai Ranking placed it in third place.

The MIT is divided into five schools and one college that contain a total of 32 academic departments. The MIT is no stranger to producing some bright minds. Its alumni consist of 78 Noble Laureates, 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 45 Rhodes Scholars and 38 MacArthur Fellows.

5. The College of William and Mary

Established in 1693, the college got its name from the reigning monarchs of that time, King William III and Queen Mary II. It is the second oldest University in America after Harvard and is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The College has educated US Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler.

It has also produced many other notable dignitaries such as Supreme Court judges and 16 members who signed the Declaration of Independence. It ranked 184 in The Times Higher Education ranking.

6. Williams College

Established in 1793 and located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College is a private liberal arts college and is the second college to be founded in Massachusetts. The Williams education system follows the Oxbridge style tutorials — a mix between the Oxford and Cambridge system. The system is uncommon in the country as it is probably the only American institution to follow educational systems similar to that of UK Universities. The college is divided into three academic curricular divisions and 24 departments and offers 33 majors and two Master's degrees.

7. Amherst College

Located in Amherst, Massachusetts and established in 1821, Amherst College is an institution for liberal arts and uses the very uncommon open curriculum system. Students are allowed to take whatever subjects they want and also get to choose the order they want to complete them in, and sometimes even have the opportunity to design their own unique major.

It offers a total of about 850 courses covering 36 fields of study in science, arts, humanities, mathematics, computer science, social science and foreign languages. The Shanghai Ranking placed Amherst in the top 100 institutions in the world.

8. Stanford University

Founded in 1891 and located in the American state of California, Stanford is known worldwide to be the best educational provider for subjects such as computer science, mathematics and other sciences. The University is one of the few Universities to provide free education to exceptional students who cannot afford it. By doing so, it has only served to provide the world with some of the smartest brains on the planet.

Both the Times Higher Education and the Shanghai Ranking placed Stanford in second place amongst other institutions in the world. Stanford alumni are responsible for laying foundations to billion-dollar corporations such as Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo. The Uni has provided the US Congress with many of its members and boasts of producing 30 living billionaires and 17 astronauts.

9. California Institute of Technology

Founded in Pasadena, California in 1891, the California Institute of Technology was initially a vocational school under the name Throop University. It was only in 1920 when Throop evolved into a full-fledged University that started providing many professional courses, primarily dealing with science and engineering, to students. The Times Higher Education has ranked it as number one, while Shanghai Ranking placed it at number six in the world.

The California Institute of Technology, or Caltech as it is commonly called, is known for its esteemed alumni, of which, 31 have won the Noble Prize, 66 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology and 110 have been inducted into the National Academies. Additionally, many of its faculty members are known to be closely associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NASA.

10. Yale University

Who wouldn’t want to study in an institution where five US Presidents and 19 US Supreme Court judges passed out from? Yes! Yale is known to have educated some of America's most famous figures who have made their mark in history. Both the Times Higher Education and Shanghai Ranking ranked Yale as the 11th best institution in the world.

Located in Connecticut and established in the year 1701, it is the third oldest higher-education institution in the country. The Uni was originally part of the New England colonial era. So for all those who love the history of the Uni or its state of the art infrastructure and quality faculty, Yale is certainly a place worth considering.

Still undecided about studying in the US? Here are a few reasons why US is a popular study destination for Indians.


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