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Ranked: The Top 100 US Universities

Ranked: The Top 100 US Universities main image

The university or college you choose to go to can have a major impact on the rest of your life, so it's probably a good idea to do some research first. To help with the process, we've compiled a ranking of the best 100 US universities and colleges, according to the QS World University Rankings® 2018. Also, for the first time ever, we've broken down the list of top US universities by state, so you can find a leading study destination that's close to home (and probably more affordable than expensive out-of-state options).

Top 100 US universities

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 Stanford University
3 Harvard University
4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
5 University of Chicago
6 Princeton University
7 Cornell University
8 Yale University
9 Johns Hopkins University
10 Columbia University
11 University of Pennsylvania
=12 University of Michigan
=12 Duke University
14 University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
15 Northwestern University
16 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
17 University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
18 Carnegie Mellon University
19 New York University
20 Brown University
21 University of Wisconsin-Madison
22 University of Washington
23 University of Texas at Austin
24 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
25 Georgia Institute of Technology
26 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
27 Boston University
28 The Ohio State University
29 Rice University
30 Pennsylvania State University
31 Washington University in St. Louis
32 Purdue University
33 University of California, Davis
34 University of Maryland, College Park
35 University of Southern California
36 University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
37 University of Pittsburgh
38 Emory University
39 Michigan State University
40 University of Minnesota
41 University of California, Irvine
42 Dartmouth College 
43 University of Virginia
44 University of Florida
45 University of Colorado Boulder
46 University of Rochester
47 Texas A&M University
48 University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)
49 Arizona State University
50 Vanderbilt University
51 Case Western Reserve University
52 University of Notre Dame
53 Georgetown University 
54 The University of Arizona
55 Tufts University
56 University of Massachusetts Amherst
57 University of Miami
58 North Carolina State University
59 Rutgers University - New Brunswick
60 University of California, Santa Cruz
61 Indiana University Bloomington
62 University at Buffalo SUNY
63 University of California, Riverside
64 The Katz School at Yeshiva University
65 Boston College
66 University of Hawai'i at Mañoa
67 Northeastern University
68 George Washington University
69 Rensselaer Polytechnic University
70 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
71 Stony Brook University, State University of New York
72 University of Kansas
73 University of Utah
74 University of Colorado, Denver
75 Illinois Institute of Technology
76 Washington State University
=77 Brandeis University
=77 Wake Forest University
=79 The University of Georgia
=79 University of Connecticut
=79 University of Delaware
=79 University of Iowa
=79 University of Texas Dallas 
84 Florida State University
85 Oregon State University
=86 Tulane University
=86 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
=88 University of New Mexico
=88 Wayne State University
=90 American University
=90 Iowa State University
=92 Colorado State University
=92 University of Maryland, Baltimore County
=94 City University of New York
=94 Clark University 
=94 Drexel University
=94 Lehigh University
=94 Syracuse University
=94 University of Cincinnati
=94 University of Nebraska-Lincoln
=94 University of Oklahoma
=94 University of South Florida

Top US universities by state

Alabama - 0

Alaska - 0

Arizona - 2 (Arizona State University (above), The University of Arizona)

Arkansas - 0

California - 11 (Stanford University (below), Caltech, UCB, UCLA, UCSD, University of California Davis, UCSB, University of Southern California, University of California Irvine, University of California Riverside, University of California Santa Cruz)

Colorado - 3 (University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University)

Connecticut - 2 (Yale University, University of Connecticut)

Delaware - 1 (University of Delaware)

Florida - 4 (University of Florida (below), University of Miami, Florida State University, University of South Florida)

Georgia - 3 (Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, The University of Georgia)

Hawaii - 1 (University of Hawai'i at Mañoa)

Idaho - 0

Illinois - 5 (University of Chicago (below), Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UIC, Illinois Institute of Technology)

Indiana - 3 (Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University Bloomington)

Iowa - 2 (University of Iowa, Iowa State University)

Kansas - 1 (University of Kansas)

Kentucky - 0

Louisiana - 1 (Tulane University (above))

Maine - 0

Maryland - 3 (Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore County)

Massachusetts - 9 (MIT, Harvard University, Boston University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston College, Northeastern University, Brandeis University, Clark University)

Michigan - 3 (University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University)

Minnesota - 1 (University of Minnesota (above))

Mississippi - 0

Missouri - 1 (Washington University in St. Louis)

Montana - 0

Nebraska - 1 (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Nevada - 0

New Hampshire - 1 (Dartmouth College)

New Jersey - 2 (Princeton University (above), Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

New Mexico - 1 (University of New Mexico)

New York - 10 (Cornell University, Columbia University, NYU, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, The Katz School at Yeshiva University, University at Buffalo SUNY, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, City University of New York, Syracuse University)

North Carolina - 4 (Duke University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University)

North Dakota - 0

Ohio - 3 (Ohio State University (above), Case Western Reserve University, University of Cincinnati)

Oklahoma - 1 (University of Oklahoma)

Oregon - 1 (Oregon State University)

Pennsylvania - 6 (University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Lehigh University, Drexel University)

Rhode Island - 1 (Brown University)

South Carolina - 0

South Dakota - 0

Tennessee - 2 (Vanderbilt University (above), The University of Tennessee Knoxville)

Texas - 4 (University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Texas Dallas)

Utah - 1 (University of Utah)

Vermont - 0

Virginia - 2 (University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)

Washington - 2 (University of Washington, Washington State University)

Washington D.C. - 3 (Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University)

West Virginia - 0

Wisconsin - 1 (University of Wisconsin-Madison (above))

Wyoming - 0

Hopefully, this ranking will be able to help you make a decision about where to study. For more information about US universities, sign up to our site (it's free and takes less than two minutes) and enjoy exclusive member benefits, including access to helpful tips and guides.

This article was originally published in April 2017 and was updated in June 2017 to reflect the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings.

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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