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Top Universities in USA for 2014
U.S. News College Rankings

Browse the 2014 College Rankings list below or search for a top-ranked on-campus or online college program that specializes in your area of interest.

Top-ranked national universities, such as Princeton and MIT, offer a wide variety of majors and award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Many of these 2014 top-ranked colleges and universities also produce groundbreaking research in one or more fields. Browse the college rankings list below for top school rankings or select a specific college ranking category from the list on the left.

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#1

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University, located in quiet Princeton, N.J., was founded in 1746. The historic campus offers several events, activities, and organizations on its 600 acres. The Princeton Tigers are part of the Ivy League and are known for their strong men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. This private institution has educated several notable alumni including U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. All undergraduate students are required to write a senior thesis, a unique aspect of Princeton’s academic program.

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#2

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University, located in urban Cambridge, Mass., is a private institution founded in 1636. Harvard is known for its extensive library system that houses the oldest book and document collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world. In addition to an education at an outstanding school, Harvard also offers sports and active student organizations. Harvard has also educated eight U.S. presidents and other notable alumni.

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#3

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University, located in urban New Haven, Conn., is a private institution founded in 1701. Yale is known for its excellent drama and music programs. The Yale Bulldogs are part of the Ivy League and have an on-going rivalry with Harvard. Yale is also well known for its secret societies, the most popular ones being the Skull and Bone Society and the Scroll and Key Society. Actress Meryl Streep, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and actor Edward Norton are distinguished Yale alumni.

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#4

Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University, located in the New York City borough of Manhattan, is a private institution founded in 1754. Columbia offers a wide range of student activities. The Columbia Lions have more than 25 NCAA Division I teams in the Ivy League, there are numerous Greek fraternity and sorority chapters on campus, and the university has organizations like the Urban New Yorker, which gives out free tickets to events in the city. John Jay, President Barack Obama, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Maggie Gyllenhaal are distinguished Columbia alumni.

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#5

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University, located in suburban Stanford, Calif., is a private institution founded in 1885. Stanford has 8,180 acres for student activities and many student organizations, including the Stanford Solar Car Project, which designs, builds and races a solar car every two years. U.S. President Herbert Hoover, NFL quarterback John Elway, actress Sigourney Weaver and golfer Tiger Woods are all distinguished Stanford alumni.

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#5

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago, located in urban Chicago, Ill., is a private institution founded in 1892 and known as one of the nation’s leading research universities. Aside from the academics, the University of Chicago also offers many student activities. The Chicago Maroons have more than 15 NCAA Division III Teams and there are more than 400 student organizations. Students also can join the small but active Greek life. Distinguished alumni include John Ashcroft, Milton Friedman, Jesse Jackson, John Paul Stevens and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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#7

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University, located in suburban Durham, N.C., is a private institution founded in 1838. The campus is 8,709 acres and offers, in addition to a top notch academic education, many different sports and student activities. The Duke Blue Devils are well known for their men’s basketball program and their rivalry with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Numerous students are affiliated with Greek life, which has several fraternities and sororities. Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NBA player Carlos Boozer and U.S. Congressman and two-time presidential candidate Ron Paul are among Duke’s notable alumni.

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#7

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in urban Cambridge, Mass., is a private institution founded in 1861 and known for scientific and technological research. The MIT Engineers have more than 30 NCAA Division III teams. MIT also offers housing in one of the coolest dorms in the country, known as “The Sponge”, designed by Steven Holl. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke are among MIT’s distinguished alumni.

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#7

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania, located in urban Philadelphia, Penn., is a private institution founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. The school offers several student activities. The Penn Quakers have more than 25 NCAA Division I sports that compete in the Ivy League and the Greek life is strong with numerous fraternities and sororities. The university offers several clubs and organizations and works closely with the west Philadelphia area through community service. William Henry Harrison, William Carlos Williams, and Donald Trump are among Penn’s distinguished alumni.

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#10

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

The California Institute of Technology, located in suburban Pasadena, Calif., is a private institution founded in 1891. CIT is highly regarded as one of the world’s leading institutions of science and engineering. CIT also has many different student activities. A unique tradition is dinner served by student waiters in the student houses. The school has several NCAA Division III teams that compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the Cal Tech Beavers. Big companies like Intel, Compaq and Hotmail were founded by CIT alumni.

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#10

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Dartmouth College, located in rural Hanover, N.H., is a private institution founded in 1769. In addition to a top-notch education, Dartmouth offers a diverse range of student activities, including NCAA Division I sports and an active Greek life. The Outing Club is the oldest and largest college outing club in the country and is the most popular organization at Dartmouth. Dartmouth College is comprised of the undergraduate arts and sciences and engineering departments and has “very high research activity”, according to The Carnegie Foundation. Theodor Geisel (well known as Dr. Seuss), Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner are all distinguished Dartmouth alumni.

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#12

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, located in urban Baltimore, Md., is divided into nine prestigious schools, five of which serve undergraduate and graduate students. The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the top-ranked overall hospital in the nation. This private institution, founded in 1876, also has a diverse range of student activities. The Hopkins Blue Jays are part of the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference (best known for their dominant men’s lacrosse team) and there are over 1,000 students that take part in the Greek community. Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, former president of the NAACP Kweisi Mfume, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are distinguished Johns Hopkins alumni.

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#12

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, located in suburban Evanston, Ill., offers several degree options with a dozen schools (nine offer undergraduate programs and 10 offer graduate and professional programs). This private institution, founded in 1851, has numerous student activities. Northwestern is a Division I school in the Big Ten athletic conference -- the women’s lacrosse team has won multiple NCAA national championships -- and there are more than 200 campus organizations. Notable Northwestern alumni include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, actor, writer and director Zach Braff, comedian Stephen Colbert and actress Heather Headley

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#14

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown University, located in urban Providence, R.I., is the only major research university in the nation where undergraduates create their own course of study. This private institution, founded in 1764, has a college-town feel with a center for shopping and dining. The Brown Bears have many NCAA Division I athletic teams (well-known for men’s soccer) and compete in the Ivy League. Brown has more than 200 campus organizations, a small but active Greek life, and an event called “Spring Weekend” where athletic events and concerts take place. Notable Brown alumni include John D. Rockefeller Jr., John F. Kennedy Jr., and CNN founder Ted Turner.

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#14

Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

Washington University is located in St. Louis and divided into three schools that serve undergraduate and graduate students. Like the city of St. Louis, this private institution, founded in 1853, offers many sporting activities in addition to its excellent academics. The university’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital is one of the top-ranked hospitals in the country and The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum located on campus has one of the most distinguished university collections in the country. Actor Peter Sarsgaard and former FBI Director William H. Webster are distinguished Washington University alumni.

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#16

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University, located in Ithaca, N.Y., has 14 schools that each admit their own students and provide their own faculty. This private institution, founded in 1865, offers several activities for students to participate in. Cornell has more than 500 student organizations on campus, a very active Greek life with numerous fraternity and sorority chapters, and more than 30 NCAA Division I varsity teams that compete in the Ivy League. The Cornell Big Red are best known for their successful men’s lacrosse team which won seven consecutive Ivy League titles. Distinguished Cornell alumni include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, author E.B. White, and Bill Nye, the "Science Guy”.

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#17

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University, located in urban Nashville, Tenn., is made up of 10 schools with disciplines ranging from humanities and music to engineering. This private institution, founded in 1873, offers numerous student activities. At Vanderbilt, Greek life plays a huge role in student activities, there are teams in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference and study abroad programs are extremely popular. Vanderbilt is well-known for its undergraduate Blair School of Music and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is ranked one of the best in the nation. Al Gore, Jay Cutler and James Patterson are notable Vanderbilt alumni.

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#18

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University, located in urban Houston, Tex., has eight schools, including the well-regarded School of Architecture and the Shepherd School of Music. This private institution, founded in 1912, is located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District and offers many student activities. The Rice Owls have many NCAA Division I athletic teams and are known for their baseball program. A unique aspect of Rice’s campus life is that students run institutions like The Rice Coffeehouse and Valhalla Pub serving on-campus food and drink. Rice is home to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Privacy, which offers students internships and lectures.

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#18

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

The University of Notre Dame, located in urban Notre Dame, Ind., is divided into eight schools, the College of Arts and Letters being the largest. This private institution, founded in 1842, is home of the “Fighting Irish” who have more than 25 varsity NCAA Division I athletic teams and are known for their strong football program. The sports film “Rudy,” a true story about how Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger overcame obstacles to play football at Notre Dame, was filmed on Notre Dame’s campus. Notable alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, talk-show host Regis Philbin and Hall of Fame football player Joe Montana.

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#20

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory University, located in suburban Atlanta Ga., is divided into nine schools, four of which serve undergraduates and graduates. This private institution, founded in 1836, has several on-campus organizations to offer students. Volunteer Emory is a community service activities organization, the Student Programming Council organizes events and performances throughout the year, and there is a thriving Greek life with several fraternity and sorority chapters. The Emory Eagles have about 20 NCAA Division III varsity teams and are known for their swimming and diving team. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, physician and CNN chief health correspondent Sanjay Gupta, and activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu have all taught at Emory.

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#20

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University, located in urban Washington, DC, is comprised of four undergraduate schools and three graduate and professional schools. This private institution, founded in 1789, is the nation’s oldest Catholic University. Georgetown offers several activities in which students can participate including religious groups, media outlets, and student government associations. The campus is also located near high-end shopping, restaurants, and bars. The Georgetown Hoyas, known for their men’s basketball team and rivalry with Syracuse, compete in the NCAA Division I competitions. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, actor Bradley Cooper, journalist Maria Shriver, and Hall of Fame basketball player Patrick Ewing are among Georgetown’s notable alumni.

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#20

University of California- Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

The University of California, located in urban Berkeley, CA, is comprised of 14 schools and colleges, many of which are graduate and professional schools. This public institution, founded in 1868, offers more than 700 student organizations ranging from political groups to the hang gliding club. Berkeley also has an active Greek life with numerous fraternity and sorority chapters. The California Golden Bears compete in the Pac-12 Conference and are known for their rivalry with Stanford. Notable alumni include former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley, and actor John Cho of the Harold and Kumar films.

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#23

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, located in urban Pittsburgh, PA, is comprised of seven schools and colleges and is known for its programs in science and technology. This private institution, founded in 1900, has an active Greek life with several fraternity and sorority chapters. The Carnegie Mellon Tartans compete in the NCAA Division III competitions and the Kiltie Band performs at every home football game. Undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in research and can receive grants or summer fellowships to support research in their field of study. Randy Pausch, author of the New York Times best-selling book The Last Lecture, was a professor at Carnegie Mellon.

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#23

University of California- Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

The University of California, located in urban Los Angeles, CA, is comprised of the College of Letters and Sciences and several graduate schools and programs. This public institution, found in 1919, offers more than 600 student organizations which includes several Greek chapters. Media groups including a newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV station are also popular. The UCLA Bruins, well known for their men’s and women’s water polo teams, compete in the Pac-12 conference. NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, and actor Sean Astin, best known for his portrayal of Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy are among UCLA’s notable alumni.

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#23

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California, located in urban Los Angeles, CA, is known for its Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and its highly esteemed School of Cinematic Arts, which has graduated students such as directors Judd Apatow and George Lucas. This private institution, founded in 1880, offers numerous on-campus organizations ranging from religious groups to sports clubs. USC has an active Greek life with more than 60 chapters. The USC Trojans, known for their football team, compete in the Pac-12 Conference. Films including The Graduate, Legally Blonde, and Forrest Gump all filmed scenes on USC’s campus.

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