Study in Rhode Island | Top Universities

Study in Rhode Island

By Staff Writer

Updated June 7, 2019 Updated June 7, 2019

Rhode Island may be small, but it's a high performer in the higher education world, thanks to prestigious Ivy League member Brown University.

Rhode Island is the smallest of the 50 US states, with a total area of only 1,214 square miles – you could fit 221 Rhode Islands in Texas!

It also has one of the highest population densities in the country, with only New Jersey packing more people into a tighter space.

Most of the state’s population lives in the metropolitan area of capital city Providence, which spills over into neighboring Massachusetts. One of the main urban areas of the New England region, Providence is a socially progressive city with a large student population which helps to fuel the city’s bohemian café culture.

Recent years have seen Providence both try to attempt to capitalize on its creative side (it has been rebranded the ‘Creative Capital’) and become increasingly gentrified.

Much of the rest of the Ocean State is, as the nickname suggests, characterized by water. Though the main body of the state is not actually an island, it does have 400 miles of coastline, and nearly a third of state is actually underwater. Sailing enthusiasts, beach fans and those who just like to be by the sea will find plenty to keep them happy, therefore.

Second city Newport is notable for containing the highest number of colonial buildings in the US, and is famous for its historical cobbled streets and rustic charm. Resultantly it is an extremely popular tourist destination in the summer months.

So, is Rhode Island for you? Well, if the idea of cultured cosmopolitan city living within spitting distance of miles of rugged coastline sounds good, then the answer is a resounding yes…

Rhode Island: Fast facts

•    Rhode Island has a total population of around 1.1 million

•    Providence has more coffee and donut shops per person than any other US city

•    Rhode Island is one of the 13 states that made up original United States (represented by the 13 stripes of the US flag)

•    The White Horse Tavern in Newport, which opened its doors in 1673, lays claim to being to oldest continually operating tavern in the US

•    Redwood Library & Athenæum, also in Newport, is the oldest lending library in the country, having been established in 1747

•    Cumberlandite, a certain type of rock containing high amounts of iron, is only found in any noteworthy quantity in Rhode Island

•    Jersey Shore’s Pauly D, comedy director Peter Farrelly, sci-fi/fantasy author HP Lovecraft, and Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy  are some famous Rhode Islanders

•    Animated US comedy series Family Guy is set in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island

Top universities in Rhode Island

A member of the prestigious Ivy League, Providence-based Brown University is by far the state’s best known university. The private not-for-profit university is currently ranked 39 in the 2011/12 QS World University Rankings, and is the seventh oldest university in the US, having been founded in 1764.

It is strong across the disciplines, and can boast two Nobel Prize winning alumni, as well as five Nobel Prize winning professors (at the time of their award). Other notable alumni include spellcheck inventor John Seely Brown, William Williams Keen, the first US brain surgeon, and media tycoon Ted Turner. Current professors include Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, former Brazilian president Fernando Cardoso and Fields Medal winner David Mumford.

As you might expect from an Ivy League institution, entry to Brown is extremely competitive and tuition may be expensive – though the university is ‘need-aware’ for international students, meaning that your financial situation will be taken into account if you are up to the university's standards.

Brown currently hosts 8,000 students, around three quarters of which are undergraduates, as well as 400 medical students at the Alpert Medical School.

The University of Rhode Island is the state’s flagship public university. It is a Land, Sea and Urban Grant university, known for its nursing and engineering programs. It also specializes in agricultural economics.

The main campus of the university is based in the village of Kingston, towards the south of the state. The university offers 80 majors.

More states in the north east:

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in June 2019

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