Harvard University is almost universally acclaimed as the world’s most prestigious university. There is little doubt that its towering reputation is well earned.
The University of California, Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the University of California, it is the state's first land-grant university and the first campus of the University of California system. Its fourteen colleges and schools offer over 350 degree programs and enroll 31,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. Berkeley is ranked among the world's top universities by major educational publications.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded shortly before the American Civil War and universally known as “MIT,” is located just across the Charles River from downtown Boston. Starting from the MIT campus, if you walk, cycle, or drive in a westerly direction along Massachusetts Avenue (“Mass Ave,” to the locals), or ride the Red Line underneath it, you soon arrive at Harvard Square, with the bulk of the town of Cambridge sandwiched in between. Thus, MIT is not unlike a bookend paired with Harvard, geographically speaking, and academically speaking, as well, it looks upon itself very mu...
Stanford University was founded by Leland Stanford, a wealthy railroad magnate and erstwhile US Senator from California, as well as a former Governor of the Golden State. He placed the university in an unincorporated area about 30 miles south of San Francisco, adjacent to the town of Palo Alto (which he also founded). The campus lies in what is now known as Silicon Valley, which contributes greatly to the immense intellectual and economic influence of the private, research university that still bears the Stanford family name. Today, Stanford University is perhaps the closest thing to a true Iv...
The California Institute of Technology (universally known as “Caltech”) is located in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena. It was originally founded as a vocational school, but took on the complexion of an institute at the cutting edge of scientific discovery quite early in its history.
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world (or, at least, in Europe, not to prejudge the claims of several Islamic institutions to that title).
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, which affords it an aura of awe and respect that no amount of money can buy.
An institution of higher education named University College London (UCL) was founded in the UK’s largest metropolis and capital city in 1826. A mere three years later, in 1829, a second, similar institution named King’s College London (KCL) opened its doors. Then, a mere decade after the founding of UCL, a third institution known simply as University of London (UL) was founded in 1836 by the merger of UCL and KCL.
The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877, the university is the first imperial university and currently selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government.
Kyoto University, or KyotoU, is a public research university located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded in 1897, it is the second oldest university in Japan, one of the former Imperial Universities, the first three Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. KyotoU is usually ranked amongst the top two in Japan, the top ten in Asia, and the world's top thirty institutions of higher education.
Columbia is the eleventh-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. After New Jersey founded its college (now Princeton University) in 1746, New Yorkers, not wishing to be outdone, established their own college just eight years later. Its original name was King’s College.
Peking University , is a major research university in Beijing, China, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities. Peking University was established as the Imperial University of Peking in 1898 when it received its first royal charter by the Guangxu Emperor. A successor of the older Guozijian Imperial College, the university's romanized name 'Peking' retains the older transliteration of 'Beijing' that has been superseded in most other contexts. Perennially ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China and the world, as of 2021, PKU is ranked 2nd in the Asia-Pacific an...
Cornell University was founded in turbulent times. With the Civil War winding down, and less than two weeks after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the Governor of New York signed the school’s official charter in the state capital, Albany, where only the day before Lincoln’s funeral procession had passed through the city’s streets.
Tsinghua University was founded in 1911 as Tsinghua College. In the modern Pinyin transliteration system, the name would be written as “Qinghua”; however, the university retains the older spelling for official purposes.
Osaka University , or Handai, is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was one of the Imperial Universities in Japan, and is now a Designated National University listed as a "Top Type" university in the Top Global University Project. It is often ranked among the top three public universities in Japan, along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. It is ranked third overall among Japanese universities and 71st worldwide in the 2020 QS World University Rankings.
Zhejiang University , https://www.educatepulse.com/zhejiang-university-school-of-medicine/ also colloquially referred to as Zheda , is an elite C9 League university located in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest, most selective, and most prestigious institutions of higher education. The university is organized into 37 colleges, schools, and departments offering more than 140 undergraduate and 300 graduate programs.
Yale was originally founded under the name of Collegiate School by Connecticut Colony in 1701. It is the fourth-oldest institution of higher learning in the US, after Harvard, the College of William & Mary (in Williamsburg, Virginia), and St. John’s College (in Annapolis, Maryland). Called the “Collegiate School,” its original mission was to train future ministers for the Congregational Church.
The University of Chicago is one of the foremost universities in the world academically, albeit one of the youngest in that august company. In spite of its relatively recent founding, the school has been associated with some of the world’s most important scientific achievements, above all, the first controlled, self-sustaining, nuclear chain reaction (atomic fission), which was achieved in late 1942 by a team led by the legendary Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, in a laboratory beneath a football field on the Chicago campus.
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA traces its early origins back to 1882 as the southern branch of the California State Normal School . It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system. UCLA receives the most college applications of any university in the United States and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The founding of Northwestern University was spearheaded by the physician and politician John Evans, for whom the town of Evanston, Illinois, is named. The school is a private institution whose campus lies along Lake Michigan, just north of Chicago.
The University of Minnesota (UM) traces its roots to a college preparatory school established in the city of Minneapolis seven years before Minnesota entered the Union in 1858. This school closed its doors during the Civil War, but reopened in 1867.
The flagship campuses of many of the state university systems have superb faculties and excellent academic reputations. However, setting aside Berkeley as a special case, by our criteria the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus is the most distinguished of all these many fine institutions. That is, Michigan has a strong claim to be considered (after Berkeley) the best public research university in the US.
Although only the ninth-oldest university in the country, Princeton is one of the most historic. Originally founded as the College of New Jersey, the school’s sixth presidents, the Scottish theologian and educator John Witherspoon, signed the Declaration of Independence—the only college leader to do so. The next year, George Washington’s colonials dealt a small but significant blow to Lord Cornwallis’s superior forces at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. The victories at the earlier Battle of Trenton and at Princeton had an important positive effect on American morale, leading ...
The University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as “Penn”) is a leading private research university (note that nearly all US universities named after their state are public-supported—Penn is an exception to this rule).
Fudan University is a major public research university in Shanghai, China. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China. Founded in 1905, shortly before the end of China's imperial Qing dynasty, Fudan was the first university established independently by the Chinese people. Fudan is a member of the elite C9 League and a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.
By rights, the University of Texas (known within Texas itself as “UT,” for short) ought to be 40 years older than it is. In 1839, the Republic of Texas officially set aside 40 acres of prime real estate in the center of the new country’s capital city, Austin, as the site for the campus of a national university. The Texas Congress also granted 288,000 acres of land, mainly in the western regions of the Republic, as a financial endowment for the future university.
Jilin University located in Changchun, founded in 1946, is a leading national research university under the direct jurisdiction of China's Ministry of Education. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University. It is strongly supported by state key projects such as Project 985, Project 211 and Project 2011. Jilin University is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in China, and has research projects in automobile engineering, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering and biology be identified as internationally renowned. In 2017,
The University of Science and Technology of China is a national research university in Hefei, Anhui, China, under the direct leadership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences . It is a member of the C9 League, China's equivalent of the Ivy League. It is also a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University. Founded in Beijing by the CAS in September 1958, it was moved to Hefei in the beginning of 1970 during the Cultural Revolution.
Purdue University was founded in 1869 with substantial financing provided by industrialist John Purdue. Its purpose was to train students in agriculture and engineering. The school officially opened for business in 1874 and grew quickly.
Tohoku University, or Tohokudai, located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It was the third Imperial University in Japan, the top three Designated National University along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. In 2020, the Times Higher Education Tohoku University was ranked No. 1 university in Japan.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a major research university in Shanghai. Established on April 8, 1896, as Nanyang Public School by an imperial edict issued by the Guangxu Emperor, it is one of China's oldest universities. Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a C9 League university and a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.
The University of Wisconsin was founded at the same time that the eastern part of the Wisconsin Territory became the new state of Wisconsin and entered the union. In accord with its charter, the new state university was physically located in the state capital, Madison.
The University of Illinois began life as the Illinois Industrial University, located in the city of Urbana. Although the original intention of lawmakers and the preference of many state residents was for the new school to concentrate on vocational training, the university’s first president, John Milton Gregory, wisely insisted on offering a full spectrum of liberal arts and science courses.
The University of Toronto received its royal charter in 1827 from King George IV. Originally known as King’s College, it was the first institution of higher learning in the colonial Province of Upper Canada (consisting of mostly what is now southern Ontario).
Nanjing University , known as Nanda , is a major public research university, the oldest institution of higher learning in Nanjing, Jiangsu, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities. NJU has two main campuses: the Xianlin campus in the northeast of Nanjing, and the Gulou campus in the city center of Nanjing.
In the 1850s, the Governor of Washington Territory and some of his Seattle-based friends and business associates, including a prominent Methodist minister, put their heads together to figure out a way to advance two causes close to their hearts: the prospect of statehood for the territory and the economic welfare of the city of Seattle.
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a public research university that was founded in 1981 as the Nanyang Technological Institute. Ten years later, in 1991, the institute was upgraded to university status.
Nagoya University, abbreviated to Meidai or NU, is a Japanese national research university located in Chikusa-ku, Nagoya. It was the seventh Imperial University in Japan, one of the first five Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. It is the 3rd highest ranked higher education institution in Japan .
ETH Zürich is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Like its sister institution EPFL, it is part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain, part of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.
The origins of Imperial College London (ICL) can be traced back to the Royal College of Chemistry, founded in 1845. In 1853, this school was merged with the Royal School of Mines, established two years previously.
The University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is a public university for graduate education, under the direct leadership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences . The predecessors of UCAS are the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Graduate School of the University of Science and Technology of China , which was founded in 1978 as the first graduate school in China by approval of the State Council.
Sichuan University is a public research university in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.Sichuan University is directed by the Ministry of Education. One of the top universities of China, it is a member of various education projects aiming at developing elite universities, including the Project 211, the Project 985 and the Double First Class University Plan.
Tokyo Institute of Technology is a national research university located in Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Tokyo Tech is the largest institution for higher education in Japan dedicated to science and technology, one of first five Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. It is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Japan.
Hokkaido University, or Hokudai, is a Japanese national university in Sapporo, Hokkaido. It was the fifth Imperial University in Japan, which were established to be the nation's finest institutes of higher education or research, and was selected as a Top Type university of the Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. The main campus is located in downtown Sapporo, just north of Sapporo Station, and stretches approximately 2.4 kilometers northward. It is considered one of the top universities in Japan.
Johns Hopkins was designed from its origin to contribute to the cutting edge of scientific discovery. With time, this goal has been fully achieved, leading to the top-tier research institution that the university is today. The school is named after its founding benefactor, the entrepreneur and philanthropist Johns Hopkins, who contributed $7 million (approximately $145 million in today’s money) to create both the university and an associated hospital.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) was founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, in what was then the British-controlled Straits Settlements colony.
University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) traces its roots to the Pittsburgh Academy, a preparatory school founded in 1787, when Pittsburgh was still a frontier outpost. Defined in this way, Pitt is the oldest continuously chartered educational institution west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) was founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania.
The University of Florida (UF) traces its roots back to East Florida Seminary, which was founded in 1853 in the town of Ocala. The seminary, which was the first publicly supported institution of higher learning in the state, relocated to the city of Gainesville in 1858.
The University of California, San Diego is a public land-grant research university in San Diego, California. Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the southernmost of the ten campuses of the University of California, and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling 31,842 undergraduate and 8,631 graduate students. The university occupies near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, with the main campus resting on approximately . UC San Diego is ranked among the best universities in the world by major college and univer...