Search Schools Result

Which colleges and universities are the most influential in the world? And, in what do they excel?

Find the colleges and universities that have made the biggest historical impact in the discipline, country, and timeframe of your choice! We rank universities and colleges from around the world based on the scholarly work of their faculty and alumni, i.e., influence.

Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …

What is Desirability?

List of the most influential schools in Nursing, for the years 2000 – 2020

University of London
# 1

University of London

#2 institution's overall influence
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.
Columbia University
# 2

Columbia University

#3 institution's overall influence
#6 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$53K

Acceptance

6%

Graduation

95%

Student body

28K

Median SAT/ACT

1505/34

New York, NY

View profile

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.
New York University
# 3

New York University

#16 institution's overall influence
#44 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$52K

Acceptance

20%

Graduation

85%

Student body

47K

Median SAT/ACT

1410/31

New York, NY

View profile

As the cultural mecca of the US, New York City naturally contains many fine colleges and universities. One of the very best is New York University (NYU), located in Washington Square in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. While NYU is a quintessentially urban school lacking a conventional, pastoral college campus setting, its site is immediately recognizable thanks to Washington Square Arch, which is a replica of the ancient Roman Arch of Titus and very similar in appearance to Paris’s celebrated Arc de Triomphe (though only half its size).
University of Pennsylvania
# 4

University of Pennsylvania

#17 institution's overall influence
#10 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$56K

Acceptance

8%

Graduation

95%

Student body

27K

Median SAT/ACT

1485/33

Philadelphia, PA

View profile

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).
Harvard University
# 5

Harvard University

#1 institution's overall influence
#2 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$50K

Acceptance

5%

Graduation

97%

Student body

25K

Median SAT/ACT

1520/34

Cambridge, MA

View profile

Harvard University is almost universally acclaimed as the world’s most prestigious university. There is little doubt that its towering reputation is well earned.
Ulster University
# 6

Ulster University

#691 institution's overall influence
Ulster University , legally the University of Ulster, is a multi-campus public university located in Northern Ireland. It is often referred to informally and unofficially as Ulster, or by the abbreviation UU. It is the largest university in Northern Ireland and the second-largest university on the island of Ireland, after the federal National University of Ireland.
Central Philippine University
# 7

Central Philippine University

#402 institution's overall influence
The Central Philippine University is a private research university in Iloilo City, Philippines. Established in 1905 through a benevolent grant of the American industrialist and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller, as the Jaro Industrial School and Bible School under the auspices of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, it is the first Baptist founded and second American university in the Philippines and Asia . In 1913, women began admitted to the school and it was converted into a junior college in 1923. In 1953, the college attained university status.
Emory University
# 8

Emory University

#113 institution's overall influence
#41 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$51K

Acceptance

19%

Graduation

91%

Student body

13K

Median SAT/ACT

1435/32

Atlanta, GA

View profile

Emory University is a private, research university originally founded in Oxford, Georgia, in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church as Emory College.
Johns Hopkins University
# 9

Johns Hopkins University

#20 institution's overall influence
#21 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$54K

Acceptance

11%

Graduation

92%

Student body

24K

Median SAT/ACT

1505/34

Baltimore, MD

View profile

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.
University of Edinburgh
# 10

University of Edinburgh

#12 institution's overall influence
In spite of dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the University of Edinburgh is only the fourth-oldest university in Scotland (after St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen), hence the sixth-oldest in the English-speaking world (with Oxford and Cambridge, of course, in first and second positions).
Yale University
# 11

Yale University

#7 institution's overall influence
#4 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$53K

Acceptance

6%

Graduation

98%

Student body

15K

Median SAT/ACT

1515/34

New Haven, CT

View profile

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.
Arizona State University
# 12

Arizona State University

#146 institution's overall influence
#1312 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

85%

Graduation

67%

Student body

50K

Median SAT/ACT

1245/25

Tempe, AZ

View profile

Arizona State University (ASU) was founded as the Territorial Normal School in 1885---over a quarter century before Arizona entered the Union in 1912---in Tempe, a town just east of Phoenix.
George Washington University
# 13

George Washington University

#62 institution's overall influence
#76 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$53K

Acceptance

42%

Graduation

84%

Student body

21K

Median SAT/ACT

1370/30

Washington, DC

View profile

George Washington University (GWU) was founded in 1821, under the name of Columbian College, by an act of the US Congress, signed by President James Monroe.
Teachers College
# 14

Teachers College

#303 institution's overall influence

Student body

4K

New York, NY

View profile

Teachers College, Columbia University is a graduate school of education, health and psychology in New York City. Founded in 1887, it has served as the Faculty and Department of Education of Columbia University since its affiliation in 1898. Teachers College is the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
University of Washington
# 15

University of Washington

#43 institution's overall influence
#69 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

49%

Graduation

84%

Student body

46K

Median SAT/ACT

1340/29

Seattle, WA

View profile

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.
University of Minnesota
# 16

University of Minnesota

#33 institution's overall influence
#890 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$15K

Acceptance

52%

Graduation

78%

Student body

44K

Median SAT/ACT

1375/28

Minneapolis, MN

View profile

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.
University of Michigan
# 17

University of Michigan

#15 institution's overall influence
#37 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$16K

Acceptance

23%

Graduation

91%

Student body

42K

Median SAT/ACT

1420/32

Ann Arbor, MI

View profile

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.
Duke University
# 18

Duke University

#31 institution's overall influence
#12 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$56K

Acceptance

9%

Graduation

95%

Student body

15K

Median SAT/ACT

1510/34

Durham, NC

View profile

Duke began life as Brown’s Schoolhouse, on a site in what is now the town of Trinity in Randolph County, North Carolina, a little over 70 miles west of its current location in the city of Durham.
University of Sheffield
# 19

University of Sheffield

#169 institution's overall influence
The University of Sheffield is a public research university in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Its history traces back to the foundation of Sheffield Medical School in 1828, Firth College in 1879 and Sheffield Technical School in 1884. University College of Sheffield was subsequently formed by the amalgamation of the three institutions in 1897 and was granted a royal charter as University of Sheffield in 1905 by King Edward VII.
University of California, Los Angeles
# 20

University of California, Los Angeles

#23 institution's overall influence
#31 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$13K

Acceptance

14%

Graduation

91%

Student body

44K

Median SAT/ACT

1405/32

Los Angeles, CA

View profile

The University of California, Los Angeles is a public 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.
Vanderbilt University
# 21

Vanderbilt University

#115 institution's overall influence
#16 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$50K

Acceptance

10%

Graduation

92%

Student body

11K

Median SAT/ACT

1505/34

Nashville, TN

View profile

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 as the Central University of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (known as Central University, for short).
Rush University
# 22

Rush University

#1194 institution's overall influence

Tuition + fees

$30K

Student body

2K

Chicago, IL

View profile

Rush University is a private university in Chicago, Illinois. The university, founded in 1972, is the academic arm of Rush University Medical Center.
Michigan State University
# 23

Michigan State University

#104 institution's overall influence
#1461 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$16K

Acceptance

78%

Graduation

78%

Student body

43K

Median SAT/ACT

1210/26

East Lansing, MI

View profile

Michigan State University (MSU) was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the first of its kind in the US. Its original curriculum elevated the study of the natural sciences over the Classical languages and humanities, which was quite unusual at the time.
Georgetown University
# 24

Georgetown University

#71 institution's overall influence
#19 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$54K

Acceptance

15%

Graduation

94%

Student body

14K

Median SAT/ACT

1450/32

Washington, DC

View profile

Georgetown University is a Catholic institution of higher learning that was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore.
University of Florida
# 25

University of Florida

#102 institution's overall influence
#45 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$6K

Acceptance

39%

Graduation

87%

Student body

45K

Median SAT/ACT

1360/29

Gainesville, FL

View profile

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.
# 26

University of Wolverhampton

#851 institution's overall influence
The University of Wolverhampton is a public university located on four campuses across the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire in England. The roots of the university lie in the Wolverhampton Tradesmen's and Mechanics' Institute founded in 1827 and the 19th-century growth of the Wolverhampton Free Library , which developed technical, scientific, commercial and general classes. This merged in 1969 with the Municipal School of Art, originally founded in 1851, to form the Wolverhampton Polytechnic.
# 27

University of Colorado

#161 institution's overall influence
The University of Colorado was founded in 1876 in the town of Boulder.
University of Toronto
# 28

University of Toronto

#24 institution's overall influence
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).
University of Hull
# 29

University of Hull

#319 institution's overall influence
The University of Hull is a public research university in Kingston upon Hull, a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1927 as University College Hull. The main university campus is located in Hull and is home to the Hull York Medical School, a joint initiative with the University of York. Students are served by Hull University Union.
Cornell University
# 30

Cornell University

#14 institution's overall influence
#14 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$55K

Acceptance

11%

Graduation

94%

Student body

24K

Median SAT/ACT

1465/33

Ithaca, NY

View profile

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.
University of Warwick
# 31

University of Warwick

#163 institution's overall influence
The University of Warwick (pronounced “Warrick”) was founded in 1965 near the West Midlands market town of the same name, which lies approximately halfway between Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon, and has a population of a little over 30,000. However, the university campus does not lie in Warwick proper, but rather in a rural area to the north of the old town center, virtually on the outskirts of Coventry.
University of the Philippines
# 32

University of the Philippines

#282 institution's overall influence
The University of the Philippines is a state university system in the Philippines, and is the country's national university. Founded by the American colonial government on June 18, 1908 for the Filipinos, it was established through the ratification of Act 1870 of the 1st Philippine Legislature to provide "advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training" to eligible students regardless of "age, sex, nationality, religious belief and political affiliation". UP has institutional autonomy as the country's national university
Boston University
# 33

Boston University

#37 institution's overall influence
#56 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$54K

Acceptance

22%

Graduation

87%

Student body

30K

Median SAT/ACT

1415/31

Boston, MA

View profile

Boston University (universally known as “BU”) traces its roots to a Methodist Church training college, the Newbury Biblical Institute, founded in Newbury, Vermont, by a group of Boston-based Methodist ministers and elders. Ten years later, in 1849, the school was transferred to the much larger town (and state capital) of Concord, New Hampshire, where it operated as the Concord Biblical Institute for 20 more years. Finally, in 1869, it moved again, this time to Boston itself, under the new name of the Boston Theological Institute.
Navamindradhiraj University
# 34

Navamindradhiraj University

#5204 institution's overall influence
Navamindradhiraj University , formerly University of Bangkok Metropolis , is a public university located in Bangkok, Thailand. The University focuses on medical science and public services such as medicine.
Ohio State University
# 35

Ohio State University

#105 institution's overall influence
#77 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$11K

Acceptance

52%

Graduation

84%

Student body

55K

Median SAT/ACT

1345/29

Columbus, OH

View profile

Ohio State University (OSU) was founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. Three years later, in 1873, the new school opened its doors to a small group of 24 students. In 1878, the first class of just six students graduated.
University of Pittsburgh
# 36

University of Pittsburgh

#63 institution's overall influence
#987 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$19K

Acceptance

59%

Graduation

81%

Student body

27K

Median SAT/ACT

1350/30

Pittsburgh, PA

View profile

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.
University of Massachusetts Boston
# 37

University of Massachusetts Boston

#404 institution's overall influence
#641 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$14K

Acceptance

78%

Graduation

45%

Student body

13K

Boston, MA

View profile

The University of Massachusetts Boston is a public research university in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the only public research university in Boston and the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. UMass Boston is the third most diverse university in the United States. While a majority of UMass Boston students are Massachusetts residents, international students and students from other states make up a significant portion of the student body. Founded with a distinct urban mission, UMass Boston has a long history of serving the city of Boston, including numero
Purdue University
# 38

Purdue University

#54 institution's overall influence
#1204 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$10K

Acceptance

58%

Graduation

77%

Student body

40K

Median SAT/ACT

1295/28

West Lafayette, IN

View profile

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.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
# 39

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

#1401 institution's overall influence

Tuition + fees

$9K

Student body

5K

Lubbock, TX

View profile

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is a public medical school based in Lubbock, Texas, with additional campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso and the Permian Basin. TTUHSC serves more than 100 counties in the western portion of Texas. The university is a separate institution from Texas Tech University; both universities are among four universities that are part of the Texas Tech University System.
University of California, Berkeley
# 40

University of California, Berkeley

#6 institution's overall influence
#29 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$14K

Acceptance

15%

Graduation

92%

Student body

41K

Median SAT/ACT

1425/33

Berkeley, CA

View profile

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the state's first land-grant university, it is the oldest campus of the University of California system and a founding member of the Association of American Universities. Among its 14 colleges and schools, the university employs over 2,500 faculty and enrolls some 31,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students, and its 180 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research units offer over 350 degree programs. Berkeley is ranked among the world's top universities by ma...
# 41

Moi University

#1528 institution's overall influence
Moi University is a public university located in Kesses, Uasin Gishu county, in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It was established in 1984 by the Moi University Act of the Parliament of Kenya, after recommendations from the McKay Commission.
East Carolina University
# 42

East Carolina University

#770 institution's overall influence
#1186 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

82%

Graduation

61%

Student body

26K

Median SAT/ACT

1115/22

Greenville, NC

View profile

East Carolina University is a public research university in Greenville, North Carolina. It is the fourth largest university in North Carolina.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
# 43

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

#74 institution's overall influence
#38 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$9K

Acceptance

23%

Graduation

91%

Student body

25K

Median SAT/ACT

1375/31

Chapel Hill, NC

View profile

The University of North Carolina (UNC) system is a large network of 16 public universities with a total student enrollment of around 240,000 souls. The oldest member of the UNC system is the flagship campus in the small, centrally located town of Chapel Hill.
Stanford University
# 44

Stanford University

#10 institution's overall influence
#1 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$51K

Acceptance

4%

Graduation

94%

Student body

14K

Median SAT/ACT

1495/33

Stanford, CA

View profile

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...
McMaster University
# 45

McMaster University

#149 institution's overall influence
McMaster University is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The main McMaster campus is on of land near the residential neighbourhoods of Ainslie Wood and Westdale, adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It operates six academic faculties: the DeGroote School of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Social Science, and Science. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
University of California, San Francisco
# 46

University of California, San Francisco

#148 institution's overall influence

Student body

1K

San Francisco, CA

View profile

The University of California, San Francisco is a public research university in San Francisco, California. It is part of the University of California system and it is dedicated entirely to health science. It is a major center of medical and biological research and teaching.
Florida Atlantic University
# 47

Florida Atlantic University

#615 institution's overall influence
#1363 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$5K

Acceptance

59%

Graduation

50%

Student body

25K

Median SAT/ACT

1160/23

Boca Raton, FL

View profile

Florida Atlantic University is a public university with its main campus in Boca Raton, Florida and satellite campuses in Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and Fort Pierce. FAU belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida and serves South Florida, which has more than five million people and spans more than 100 miles of coastline. Florida Atlantic University is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". The university offers more than 170 undergraduate and graduate degree programs within its 10 colleges.
University of Sydney
# 48

University of Sydney

#78 institution's overall influence
The wave of expansion of Homo sapiens out of its African birthplace reached the continent of Australia around 40,000 years ago, or more. However, the first visit of Europeans to the land down under did not occur until 1606, when the Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon made landfall at what is now the town of Weipa on the western shore of the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland.
Indiana University East
# 49

Indiana University East

#2783 institution's overall influence
#1414 student desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

65%

Graduation

32%

Student body

3K

Median SAT/ACT

1020/20

Richmond, IN

View profile

Indiana University East is a public university in Richmond, Indiana. It is a regional campus of Indiana University. Located in the eastern Indiana and western Ohio region, IU East enrolls over 4,000 students across its 60 academic degree programs. IU East is a traditional campus that excels in innovative learning options and a virtual campus with select online degree completion programs. The campus includes five buildings on 174 acres. Established in 1971 by the Indiana University Board of Trustees, IU East offers bachelor's and master's degree programs and certificates in areas of Business a
University of West London
# 50

University of West London

#2654 institution's overall influence
The University of West London is a public university in the United Kingdom which has campuses in Ealing and Brentford in Greater London, as well as in Reading, Berkshire. The university has roots back to 1860, when the Lady Byron School was founded, which later became Ealing College of Higher Education. In 1992, it became a university and 18 years later it was renamed the University of West London.