Universities in the USA (A to Z)
Don't be confused by the immodest name; just because it calls itself "American" doesn't mean it's going to give you an experience typical of the US. In fact, if there's anything characteristically American about this liberal, multi-national hotbed, it's that it doesn't conform to the stereotypes the more..
Take every stereotype you can imagine about New England colleges. The Puritan ethic, the white wooden buildings, the preppy students, the snow… Compile them all and you will have a fairly accurate vision of Amherst. This small college has long been hailed as one of the best of its kind in America more..
Bard is perched on the edge of a small town overlooking the Hudson River in upstate New York, and is a college of liberal arts and sciences. Students here are focused on finding their place in the world, not just a career, and they are strongly encouraged to pursue personal as well as academic interests more..
Although it is a pretty safe bet that most English students, regardless of their education up to this point, are not too keen to lock themselves up in single-sex institutions for the next four years, it is worthwhile giving Barnard a mention. For all those girls out there who are looking for a top-rate more..
If you are free-spirited, liberal-minded and don't have an aversion to body hair or clogs then Bennington could be the place for you. It's known not only for its distinctly artsy student body and breathtakingly beautiful Vermont campus but also for the free hand that students have in planning and fulfilling more..
Most people think that Boston University doesn’t actually have a campus. It’s certainly hard to spot it – a lot of people walk through the whole thing thinking that they’re just in an interesting part of town. But actually the jumbled stretch of buildings all the way down Commonwealth Avenue more..
Founded by wealthy industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1900, modernistic CMU has risen to become one of the finest and most reputable universities in America. With a historical focus on science and technology, nowadays CMU has more top-ranked departments (in fields as diverse as drama and more..
A top-notch, East Coast, very old public university (for America), W&M can be seen as a smaller, less famous version of the prestigious University of Virginia. As the second oldest university in the country, W&M educated many of the leading figures in America’s early history, including three Presidents more..
It takes a certain type of person to thrive at Columbia. New Yorkers are known for being as tough as they come and life at New York’s top university follows this trend. Many quiet country mice will be turned off by the overwhelming nature of the big city, the constant noise, and the proximity of Harlem more..
In many senses the Dartmouth atmosphere bears much resemblance to that of a British uni. If you are feeling homesick, there is tea served every day at four. Even more importantly for those used to non-Draconian drinking laws, the campus has its own pub – The Lone Pine Tavern – a rare institution more..
If you are a basketball fanatic, a lover of the South, longing to join a fraternity, dying for some warm weather or merely in search of a top tier US education that avoids the East Coast stereotypes, then Duke is well worth your consideration. Duke offers a highly social campus set a mere fifteen minutes more..
Talk to folks at Emory for more than a few minutes, and you’ll find a recurring theme in everything they say. Emory is a place of variety. No two students have the same experience here. What is remarkable is that, while providing a huge range of educational experiences that each individual can more..
The FSU experience may not be typically Floridian - you won’t find Cuban cafe con leche or stunning beaches here in the famous Panhandle (unless you drive an hour or so to the snow white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico) – but it is quintessentially American, complete with varsity sports, fraternities more..
A buzzing, urban community near the centre of the most powerful city on earth, this university offers an international atmosphere in a politically charged environment. With a hugely diverse student body, excellent quality of teaching, and the best financial aid in the country, it’s not hard to see more..
This Jesuit college was founded in 1789 in Washington DC and has remained a thriving institution for the last three hundred years. Located a stone’s throw away from the centre of American government, it has an informed and politicized scholastic environment. It is also one of the few universities more..
The MIT of the South, The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most formidable powerhouses of scientific research available to undergraduates who really want to push themselves. The experience will not be easy and for some not even enjoyable, but it will let you be part of the one of the most more..
Hampshire is a member of the Five Colleges consortium (meaning students are able to take classes and use the facilities of any of the other four Amherst, MA, schools) but is an entirely unique college experience unto itself. This is because of the passion students and teachers alike have for alternative more..
You can always spot the English people who get into Harvard. Ask them where they’re going to university and they’ll somewhat shiftily reply, ‘America’. Ask them where in America and they’ll say, ‘Somewhere in Boston’. Pry further and you’ll eventually be rewarded by a combination of pride more..
Do you want to wake up in a city that never sleeps? Do you want to make those little town (little island?) blues just melt away? Come “be a part of it” at Hunter, NYC’s cool commuter college. A public “City” university in both the official and urban sense, Hunter has a long history of educating more..
For those students who like the idea of a small college with big research opportunities, Johns Hopkins is an option that should not be left off the list. This relatively small institution was founded in 1876 as the country’s first research university and has gone from strength to strength since then more..
LC has a west-coast hippy reputation, but with its own flavour, different from the student demonstrations of Berkeley or the modern counter-culture of Seattle. Students at LC like to do cake-bakes in aid of Darfur, rather than shout their demands for human rights from the roofs of police cars more..
It’s hard to find anything wrong with Middlebury. Located in a small but quintessential college town in western Vermont (itself the quintessential New England state), it is one of the happiest and most highly regarded liberal arts colleges in the country. Known for being very rigorous and academic more..
A small, old, prestigious, all-female liberal arts college in rural Massachusetts (one of the so called "Seven Sisters", traditionally the women's Ivy League colleges where the smart girls went when Harvard etc were male only), Mount Holyoke remains firmly among the Massachusetts academic elite and one more..
NYU may not be the best college for you if you are the kind of person who likes to slack off or if you want a bona fide American campus experience. New York can be a lonely and scary place for those who are not gregarious or determined enough to go out there and make something of it. But if you have more..
From Old England to New England… For many Brits this leap across the Atlantic is quite far enough. Yet for those adventurous souls seeking to leave the familial nest yet further behind, there are a multitude of university options available beyond the pilgrim fathers' East Coast more..
Rated in consecutive years as having the most beautiful campus in the country (no easy feat when you consider the competition), Pepperdine really is something special. A sharp climb into the hills off the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway, where people come from miles simply to drive and admire the more..
This college is in many ways the most Ivy of the Ivies, a school steeped in East Coast tradition and catering to the most elite, and often most privileged, students America has to offer. Academically, it is a wonderful choice, competing with Harvard at the top of the rankings and in possession of some more..
Intensely eccentric, ferociously hard-working and one of the most unique educational experiences on offer, you’ll either love or hate Reed College. Definitely not for the weak of heart, nor for those seeking the classic American college - but you will feel the vibes the minute you open their brochure more..
Rice has traditionally attracted a slightly off-beat crowd from a wide range of backgrounds, most of whom are looking for a top-notch education without the elitism and other drawbacks of the big East Coasters, but also without the out-and-out hippies of the really small liberal arts schools more..
It’s not clear why Rutgers is not called The University of New Jersey, because that is essentially what it is. A gargantuan state-funded institution occupying no fewer than three separate campuses, the university seems to be engaged in a non-stop struggle to make itself manageable. In areas of more..
Located in Westchester County, New York, Sarah Lawrence is considered a top-tier liberal arts college, known for its superb writing programme. Their very different learning environment means that students don’t have to deal with grades, requirements, tests, or majors and have the luxury of classes more..
SCAD is simply one of the best art and design colleges in the whole of the U.S.A. Just ask its students. To study here gives you great opportunities regardless of what major you choose, from graphic designers working with Amazon and Google to fashion majors working with Coach and Gucci. Going to SCAD more..
Scripps sits relatively undiscovered in sunny California, like a hidden pearl waiting for the diver willing to take the plunge. An all-female liberal arts college founded on the highest principles of independent thinking and educational fulfillment, this is a tiny school with some of the luckiest students more..
Perched resplendently atop a mountain in rural Tennessee, the University of the South (universally called "Sewanee") offers an experience quite unlike any other. With a huge campus (called “the Domain”) but a tiny student body, the college may be hard to reach (buses and trains don’t go near more..
Whatever else you might say about St. John’s, there’s nothing else quite like it available to undergraduates in America. With a unique four-year curriculum, based on the “Great Books” reading list, in-depth discussion style classes, and a tiny number of intelligent, passionate students, this more..
This ‘Ivy of the West Coast’ does not only rest on the laurels of academic success, it also enjoys one of the prettiest campuses around. As with all the Californian schools, the year-round sunshine and blue skies do much to increase the atmosphere, but even in the event of a freak Ice Age, Stanford more..
One of the very finest liberal arts colleges in the country, you'll find Swarthmore up there at the tops of all the rankings lists, sometimes even above rival schools like Amherst and Williams. There's good reason for this fantastic reputation. Swarthmore's alumni read like a Who's Who of 20th century more..
Syracuse is in many ways an ideal university, combining the good points of both big-college and small-college education along with an independent and occasionally experimental approach. Fairly mainstream in its social life, Syracuse has a strong frat/party culture, but also lots of alternatives and more..
Ask anyone to expand on Tufts’ reputation and they will probably mention two things - elephants and international relations. This small but prominent university, located on a hill next to Boston, is dominated by its college mascot (who appears in statues all over the campus) and its excellent international more..
Tulane has everything going for it – excellent academics, fun students and awesome social life, all set on a beautiful campus in one of the coolest towns in the country. Interested? You should be. Tulane is considered a Southern Ivy, complete with top-fifty rankings and nation-wide recognition more..
Berkeley has always been the American university most known for its liberal attitude and democratic principles. The spirit that led to mass protests and riots in the sixties continues to thrive today and students are proud of the outspoken nature of their classmates and professors. If you are a shy and more..
Many myths about the West Coaster have reached English ears. They're all hippies, health freaks, environment obsessed, into technology, or bent on fame and fortune in entertainment. While some of these rumours are true (health is very big – it comes from being able to run outside in fetching bikinis more..
The glory of a University of Chicago education is that not only will you get a robust, fulfilling education that will mark you out for life, but you will get a unique chance to study in the great city of Chicago, where everything is possible - and where fun goes to thrive more..
The University of Florida may look from the outside like another bog standard massive state school, but it doesn't take long talking to students before you realise that their incredible enthusiasm and pride radiates from this place being something very special. Despite nasty budget cuts following the more..
As classic an experience as they come, UGA is the quintessential small-town, big-state-school US college. While competent academically, the focus here is much more on the glory of the Bulldogs sports teams, the honour of one’s fraternity or sorority, and the size of the parties one is able to throw more..
So you think you know all about Kansas. Tornados, endless fields of wheat, schools that don’t teach evolution and innocent little girls with plaits, right? Think again. While it may be true that the Dorothy State is a big, hot, empty rectangle of flatness, Kansas University is about as similar to its more..
The East Coast alternative to Orange County, UM is for those who like some sun and games with their education, but who for whatever reason didn’t make it into UCLA. One of the top universities in the region, the academics are great here and getting better. With a student:teacher ratio of 11:1 the work more..
Brits who are really looking to get away from the Brideshead Revisited Oxbridge experience, and who believe that East Coast America is simply not far enough, would do well to consider the University of Michigan. You may not even know where Michigan is (think mid-West, lots of lakes), but this top more..
Just talk to the students here for a few minutes; it'll be immediately apparent that they're not only intelligent, sophisticated and incredibly charming, but they also exude a heart-warming contentment and happiness that comes straight from their experience at school. “I only wish it were more than more..
A superb private Catholic school in the Middle Of Nowhere, Indiana, Notre Dame has for many years had an enviable reputation as one of the leading undergraduate academic programs in the country and a legendary football team [the kind played with a pointy ball]. For anyone concerned about the Catholic more..
Benjamin Franklin was not a man who believed in the merits of relaxation. Not content with setting up fire services, acting as international diplomat or inventing the stove, the lightning rod and bifocal spectacles, he also found the time to found one of the top academic institutions in America - the more..
To be 100% honest, USF’s campus is beautiful. During orientation, this reviewer was, understandably, in a group of a lot of Americans. They were mesmerized when they were being shown around the campus and told how old the buildings were. “That one is 40 years old! This one is 50!!” more..
The University of Southern California is where you go if you want to live like in the movies. Life here is a realisation of all the classic stereotypes of Los Angeles college life – the rich white kids, the parties, the fraternities, the drugs, the lack of work, the sun, the beaches and the beautiful more..
Like the state it represents, the University of Texas does nothing by halves. The second biggest college in the country, with a huge, ultra-liberal campus in a huge, ultra-conservative state, this public Ivy is extraordinarily capable in its academics, insanely ambitious with its party life, massively more..
The biggest university in a tiny state, and one of the oldest universities in the country, the University of Vermont (UVM) is an alternative school for a certain type of alternative. Having said that, the particular niche to which this school appeals actually encompasses a very large number of people more..
The university – known to one and all as UVA (or simply "Virginia") – has possibly the most beautiful campus in the States, is situated in a quintessential Southern college town, and offers an education that, despite its public status, is nationally acclaimed. This is a school for those of you looking more..
The 47,000 students at the University of Washington (UW - "U-Dub" to the locals) have life pretty good. Indeed, with a massive, leafy campus in the midst one of the coolest and most culturally interesting hubs of US society, life would be rewarding and stimulating here even if it weren't one of the best more..
Situated a mere five minutes from Nashville, the great country music hot spot, Vanderbilt is home to Southern belles and gents in their present form. In fact, if Scarlett O'Hara or Rhett Butler were searching for their ideal campus right now, the odds are that good ole Vandy would fit the bill nicely more..
Vassar is situated on 1,000 acres in the Hudson Valley of New York state - and every inch of it is lovely. In fact, Vassar looks more like a botanical garden than a college campus. Forests, meadows, gardens, and well-manicured lawns permeate the grounds. And the academic and residential buildings more..
The atmosphere at Virginia Tech is more like your typical large state school rather than a tech; Greek life and football dominate the campus life, and students are keen on making space in their hard-working schedules for lots of fun. Blacksburg, VTech's tiny college town, may be in the middle of nowhere more..
There’s only one university currently ranked by US News and World Report in the top 15 which is not a household name, and it’s Washington University in St. Louis. But despite not (yet) enjoying the same nation-wide recognition as, say, Ivy League Cornell, which is ranked below it, Wash U more than more..
Wesleyan has been coined the ‘Diversity University’. The campus tends to lean toward extreme political-correctness and, according to The New York Times, is “naively liberal”. But don’t expect to see a non-stop show of tree- hugging hippies, angry protesters and naked parties. By most measures more..
Williams is one of the few American colleges that draws only two reactions from its students – either they love it or they hate it. Fortunately, for the success of this small and thriving East Coast school, the majority of its undergraduates fall into the former category. But prospective students more..
Jewel. Muckheap. Two of the words that spring to mind when trying to describe Yale and its local town, New Haven. Yet while the reasons why one of the prettiest college campuses in the US ended up at the centre of one of its ugliest industrial cities remain enigmatic, the secret of the college’s success more..