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Washington, DC

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 45th

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It should hardly be a surprise to find Washington DC, the federal capital of the world’s most popular study destination, on a list of the planet’s best student cities. This year Washington DC is ranked as the 45th best student city in the world and sixth in the US.

Washington DC’s position as a leading student city is helped by the five universities based in and close to the city that feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16. These are led by the University of Maryland, College Park at joint 126th in the world, followed by Georgetown University, George Washington UniversityAmerican University and Howard University.

And of course, studying in Washington DC means being right at the heart of US history and politics – the White House, Supreme Court and national monuments and memorials are all located here. When not seeking study advice from statues of presidents past, you may enjoy spending time in the pretty and vibrant old port area of Georgetown, seeing an exhibition at one of the 19 museums in the Smithsonian group, or engaging in the traditional local pastime of debating politics over a good meal.

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QS ranked universities


More about Washington

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

University of Maryland, College Park (joint 126th in the world)



Students (% of total population)

1.6% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

13.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking

31st  (out of 140)

Mercer Cost of Living rank

50th  (out of 214)

Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

348th (out of 446)

Numbeo pollution rank

254th (out of 300)

Transparency International score

19th (out of 177)


Sources: QS World University RankingsGlobal Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer); Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).

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QS Staff Writer's profile image
Written by QS Staff Writer

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