50 Best Private Grad Schools 2022

When grad students are looking for a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services, a private graduate college or university could be the perfect choice.

50 Best Private Grad Schools 2022

Private colleges are independent, non-profit schools that receive their funding through a combination of endowment income and student tuition fees, rather than from public tax dollars. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs public college, consider that private colleges are often smaller, offering more individualized experiences, including opportunities for dynamic classroom discussions, independent research, and one-on-one relationships with your instructors.

A private university will on average be much smaller than a public university, the best of which are large state schools serving 30,000 to 40,000 students, or more. Small here doesn’t mean tiny, but it does mean more intimate, with readier access to mentors and research faculty. The best private grad schools also have an abundance of resources (often through large endowments), which they can make consistently available to students.

Even the best and largest public grad schools may face budget crunches when state legislatures decide to cut costs. We’ve seen it happen at large public universities where, on account of budget cuts, teachers have to provide their own chalk and students their own exam booklets. Finally, especially for doctoral programs, both private and public grad schools will, depending on the field, offer tuition remission and a stipend, so the out of pocket cost for graduate students tends to be no different, and thus no higher, at private graduate schools.

How can you choose the best graduate school for you?

A good answer to this question looks to your personal and professional goals. Certain professions will require you to earn an advanced degree. In other cases, an advanced degree can make you eligible for leadership roles and higher pay. For instance, the best graduate schools for education can improve your earnings as a teacher, make you eligible for tenure, or help you meet the basic threshold for continued employment. On the other hand, the best graduate schools for business can simply make you a more competitive candidate for job openings and management roles.

The best graduate school for you should have a stellar reputation and employ highly influential professors across the board and especially in your area of study. Indeed, much exciting academic work these days is cross-disciplinary, and for such work to flourish it helps to be at a school that is strong across discipines. The following list is composed of only private graduate schools.

How do we determine the best private grad colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 715 private colleges and universities that meet our criteria. In order to be included in this list of best graduate schools, a university must be a fully accredited private non-profit institution, and must offer doctoral degrees and a broad range of advanced degrees.

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50 Best Private Grad Schools in the US 2022

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    What is Harvard University known for?

    Harvard University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/33

    What is Stanford University known for?

    Stanford University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Law
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    What is Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for?

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Yale University

    New Haven , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    What is Yale University known for?

    Yale University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    What is Columbia University known for?

    Columbia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Princeton University

    Princeton , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    What is Princeton University known for?

    Princeton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

    What is University of Chicago known for?

    University of Chicago’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    What is New York University known for?

    New York University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    What is University of Pennsylvania known for?

    University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    What is Cornell University known for?

    Cornell University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1525/34

    What is Duke University known for?

    Duke University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #12

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    What is Carnegie Mellon University known for?

    Carnegie Mellon University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. #13

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is University of Southern California known for?

    University of Southern California’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1545/35

    What is California Institute of Technology known for?

    California Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Northwestern University

    Evanston , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/34

    What is Northwestern University known for?

    Northwestern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Law
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Georgetown University known for?

    Georgetown University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    What is Johns Hopkins University known for?

    Johns Hopkins University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. #18

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    What is Brown University known for?

    Brown University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #23

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1500/33

    What is Dartmouth College known for?

    Dartmouth College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #25

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    What is Syracuse University known for?

    Syracuse University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #30

    University of Miami

    Coral Gables , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    What is University of Miami known for?

    University of Miami’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #32

    Case Western Reserve University

    Cleveland , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    30%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1425/32

    What is Case Western Reserve University known for?

    Case Western Reserve University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  23. #36

    Tulane University

    New Orleans , LA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    What is Tulane University known for?

    Tulane University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Anthropology
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #39

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Wesleyan University known for?

    Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #40

    Northeastern University

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Northeastern University known for?

    Northeastern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  26. #42

    The New School

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/27

    What is The New School known for?

    The New School’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/31

    What is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute known for?

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  28. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/31

    What is Southern Methodist University known for?

    Southern Methodist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  29. #45

    Rockefeller University

    New York , NY

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Rockefeller University known for?

    Rockefeller University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  30. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/29

    What is Illinois Institute of Technology known for?

    Illinois Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Law
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  31. #48

    Lehigh University

    Bethlehem , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1365/31

    What is Lehigh University known for?

    Lehigh University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  32. #50

    University of Denver

    Denver , CO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/28

    What is University of Denver known for?

    University of Denver’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Find the Best Grad Schools Near You

The best grad schools in your state
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Find the Best Private Grad Schools in Your Area of Interest

The best private grad schools by discipline
2021 Ranking Archive
  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. Columbia University
  5. Yale University
  6. Princeton University
  7. University of Chicago
  8. New York University
  9. Cornell University
  10. University of Pennsylvania
  11. Johns Hopkins University
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Duke University
  14. University of Southern California
  15. California Institute of Technology
  16. Boston University
  17. Carnegie Mellon University
  18. Brown University
  19. George Washington University
  20. Georgetown University
  21. Tufts University
  22. Rice University
  23. Washington University in St. Louis
  24. Dartmouth College
  25. Syracuse University
  26. Brandeis University
  27. Vanderbilt University
  28. Emory University
  29. The New School
  30. University of Rochester
  31. Brigham Young University
  32. University of Notre Dame
  33. Wesleyan University
  34. American University
  35. Case Western Reserve University
  36. Howard University
  37. University of Miami
  38. Fordham University
  39. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  40. Drexel University
  41. Northeastern University
  42. Yeshiva University
  43. Boston College
  44. Tulane University
  45. The Catholic University of America
  46. Southern Methodist University
  47. Illinois Institute of Technology
  48. Pepperdine University
  49. Santa Clara University
  50. DePaul University