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Ranked: The Top 100 Universities In The USA

By Craig O

Updated April 29, 2022 Updated April 29, 2022
  • 352 US schools are featured in the recently released QS World University Rankings: USA. 
  • The state with the most schools featured is New York, followed by California.

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 recently released QS World University Rankings: USA 2021.

We've also broken down the complete 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 2020




Harvard University


Stanford University


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


University of California Berkeley (UCB)


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


Yale University


Columbia University


Princeton University


New York University (NYU)


University of Pennsylvania


University of Chicago


Cornell University


Duke University

14 =

Johns Hopkins University

14 =

University of Southern California


Northwestern University


Carnegie Mellon University


University of Michigan 


Brown University


Boston University


California Institute of Technology (Caltech)


Emory University


Rice University


University of Washington, Seattle


Washington University in St. Louis


Georgetown University


University of California, San Diego (UCSD)


Vanderbilt University


University of Texas at Austin

30 = 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

30 =

University of Rochester

32 =

Dartmouth College

32 =

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


University of California, Davis (UCD)


University of Florida

36 = 

Tufts University

36 =

University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)


Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)


Stony Brook University


University of Virginia


Case Western Reserve University


Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick


University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)


Pennsylvania State University, University Park

45 =

George Washington University

45 =

University of California, Irvine (UCI)


University of Notre Dame


University of Miami


Northeastern University

50 =

Ohio State University, Columbus

50 =

University at Buffalo SUNY


University of Maryland, College Park


Purdue University


University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

55 =

Boston College

55 =

Michigan State University


University of Massachusetts, Amherst


University of Wisconsin-Madison


Syracuse University

60 =

Lehigh University

60 =

University of Pittsburgh

62 =

Arizona State University, Tempe

62 = 

Brandeis University


Temple University

64 =

Texas A&M University

64 =

University of Arizona


University of Houston

67 =

Binghamton University, SUNY

67 =

Drexel University

67 =

North Carolina State University

67 =

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


University of Connecticut


University of Georgia


Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech)


University of New Mexico


Indiana University Bloomington


Tulane University


University of Colorado at Boulder

78 =

Florida State University

78 =

University of South Florida

80 =

Illinois Institute of Technology

80 =

University of California, Riverside (UCR)

80 =

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)

83 =

Howard University

83 =

University of Texas Dallas

85 =

Santa Clara University

85 = 

Wake Forest University

87 =

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

87 =

University of Utah


George Mason University

90 =

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

90 =

University of Massachusetts, Boston


University of Kansas


University at Albany SUNY


Oregon State University


University of Delaware


University of the Pacific

97 =

Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Newark

97 =

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

99 =

San Diego State University

99 = 

University of Iowa

99 = 

University of Oklahoma, Norman

Top US universities by state

Alabama – 4  

University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of South Alabama

Alaska – 2

University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage

Arizona – 3  

Arizona State University, Arizona State University Tempe, The University of Arizona

Arkansas – 1  

University of Arkansas Fayetteville

California – 38

Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of California, Davis (UCD), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of California, Irvine (UCI), University of California, Riverside (UCR), University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Santa Clara University, University of the Pacific, San Diego State University, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, San Jose State University, University of San Diego, Chapman University, Dominican University of California, California Lutheran University, California State University – Fullerton, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, California State University - Los Angeles, Sonoma State University, University of Redlands, California State University - San Marcos, California State University Northridge, California State University Sacramento, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, San Bernardino, Saint Marys College of California, University of La Verne, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California State University – Stanislaus, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Colorado – 5  

University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, University of Denver, Regis University

Connecticut – 5

Yale University, University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, University of Bridgeport, University of Hartford, Quinnipiac University, University of New Haven, Western Connecticut State University

Delaware – 2  

University of Delaware, Delaware State University

Florida – 16  

University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida State University, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Rollins College, Stetson University, Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, University of North Florida, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida Institute of Technology, Jacksonville University, Lynn University, University of Tampa

Georgia – 7  

Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, University of North Georgia, Mercer University

Guam – 1

University of Guam

Hawaii – 3

University of Hawai'i at Mañoa, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University

Idaho – 2

University of Idaho, Boise State University

Illinois – 14

University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC), Illinois Institute of Technology, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Dominican University, Northern Illinois University, Roosevelt University, Western Illinois University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS)

Indiana – 8

Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ball State University, Butler University, University of Evansville, Valparaiso University

Iowa – 2

University of Iowa, Iowa State University

Kansas – 3

University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University

Kentucky – 2

University of Kentucky, University of Louisville

Louisiana – 3

Tulane University, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Xavier University of Louisiana

Maine – 1

University of Maine

Maryland – 10

Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Loyola University Maryland, Morgan State University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Frostburg State University, Mount St Mary's College, Salisbury University, Towson University

Massachusetts – 16

Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston University, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Boston College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Brandeis University, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Bentley University, Clark University, Suffolk University, Simmons University, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Michigan – 12

University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Michigan Technological University, Andrews University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Oakland University, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Lawrence Technological University, Madonna University, University of Michigan-Flint

Minnesota – 4

University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Saint Thomas, Augsburg University, Hamline University

Mississippi – 2

University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University

Missouri – 7

Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri, Columbia, St. Louis University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri, Kansas City, University of Missouri Saint Louis, Truman State University

Montana – 2

University of Montana Missoula, Montana State University - Bozeman

Nebraska – 3

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Creighton University, University of Nebraska - Omaha

Nevada – 2

University of Nevada - Las Vegas, University of Nevada – Reno

New Hampshire – 2

Dartmouth College, University of New Hampshire

New Jersey – 11

Princeton University, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Newark, Stevens Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden, The College of New Jersey, Rider University, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Saint Peter's University

New Mexico – 2

University of New Mexico, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

New York – 42

Columbia University, New York University (NYU), Cornell University, University of Rochester, Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo SUNY, Syracuse University, Binghamton University SUNY, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Albany SUNY, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Fordham University, Clarkson University, Baruch College, CUNY, Hunter College, Hofstra University, Pace University - New York, St. Johns University, Yeshiva University, CUNY Queens College, New York Institute of Technology, College of Staten Island CUNY, CUNY City College, Ithaca College, State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego), SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz, Adelphi University, Alfred University, CUNY Lehman College, Manhattan College, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta, Buffalo State College (SUNY), Manhattanville College, Marist College, Nazareth College, Niagara University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam

North Carolina – 10

Duke University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Elon University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, East Carolina University, Appalachian State University (ASU), Campbell University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

North Dakota – 2

North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota

Ohio – 9

Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University, Columbus, University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, Miami University, University of Dayton, Kent State University, University of Toledo, John Carroll University

Oklahoma – 3

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma State University, University of Tulsa

Oregon – 4  

Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Portland State University, University of Portland

Pennsylvania – 18

University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Lehigh University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, Drexel University, Villanova University, University of Scranton, Immaculata University, La Salle University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Wilkes University, Chestnut Hill College, Duquesne University, Eastern University, King's College, Waynesburg University

Rhode Island – 4

Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Bryant University, Providence College

South Carolina – 3

University of South Carolina at Columbia, Clemson University, College of Charleston

South Dakota – 2

South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota

Tennessee – 4

Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University

Texas – 19

Rice University, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, University of Texas Dallas, Baylor University, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State University, University of St Thomas – Houston, St. Edward's University, University of Texas Arlington, Lamar University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Sam Houston State University, University of the Incarnate Word

Utah – 3

University of Utah, Brigham Young University-Provo, Utah State University

Vermont – 1

University of Vermont

Virginia – 11

University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), George Mason University, College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University, Marymount University, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, Radford University, Shenandoah University

Washington – 7

University of Washington, Seattle, Seattle University, Washington State University, Seattle Pacific University, Western Washington University, Gonzaga University, Pacific Lutheran University

Washington D.C. – 5

Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, American University, Catholic University of America

West Virginia – 1

West Virginia University

Wisconsin – 5  

University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Marquette University, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, Carthage College

Wyoming – 1

University of Wyoming


Hopefully, this ranking will help you decide 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 May 2021 to reflect the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings: USA 2021.

This article was originally published in April 2017 . It was last updated in April 2022

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Written by

As Head of Content, Craig is responsible for all articles and guides published across TopUniversities and TopMBA. He has nearly 10 years of experience writing for a student audience and extensive knowledge of universities and study programs around the world.

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