These comprehensive universities offer graduate degrees in fields such as liberal arts, engineering, medicine, business, and law. For smaller colleges with more of an undergraduate focus, check out the list of top liberal arts colleges. Listed alphabetically, these ten universities have the reputations and resources to rank them among the best in the country and are often some of the hardest colleges to get into.


Sophomore: The culture at Rice is amazing! We are a diverse community of scholars who value collaboration, not cut-throat competition. We value what known as a "culture of care," and I believe this makes us unique from all other elite schools. The professors are amazing, classes push you and challenge former beliefs, and the community becomes family. Rice University is an amazing place, even with intense academics.

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Freshman: USC is an amazing school in terms of academics. There's definitely a higher standard and you have to work for your grades but you come out having learned a lot. Because it is a private school with lots of appeal in the heart of Los Angeles, it does attract a fair share of ignorant, privileged people. However, you can definitely find genuine people, just keep looking and being you! USC has so many perks and resources and I highly recommend getting involved whether it be sports or clubs! The professors are very experienced and amazing.
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Sophomore: The culture at Rice is amazing! We are a diverse community of scholars who value collaboration, not cut-throat competition. We value what known as a "culture of care," and I believe this makes us unique from all other elite schools. The professors are amazing, classes push you and challenge former beliefs, and the community becomes family. Rice University is an amazing place, even with intense academics.

California - 15 (Stanford University (below), Caltech, UCB, UCLA, UCSD, University of California Davis, University of Southern California, UCSB, University of California Irvine, University of California Santa Cruz, University of California Riverside, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco, University of the Pacific)


Located in Providence Rhode Island, Brown University has easy access to both Boston and New York City. The university is frequently considered the most liberal of the Ivies, and it is well known for its flexible curriculum in which students construct their own plan of study. Brown, like Dartmouth College, places more emphasis on undergraduate study than you'll find at research powerhouses like Columbia and Harvard.
Junior: MIT is an outstanding university with numerous and diverse opportunities in research and academics. Classes at MIT are indeed difficult, with homework and associated studying consuming a large chunk of time. The beauty of this is that it pushes students to go above and beyond their previous understanding of what they believed themselves to be capable of. Additionally, the explorative and creative atmosphere which springs from the vibrancy of the student body and the faculty is second to none. There are so many chances to do great things at MIT, even as an undergrad!
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The state also boasts a growing employment market, with a number of Florida cities named in the Top 100 Best Places for Jobs (WalletHub2017). The New York Times cited Tampa as the fourth fastest-growing job market in the nation, while Florida Trend reported that Kiplinger ranked the sunshine state third among “States with the Fastest Job Growth.” Florida’s 23-county High Tech Corridor promotes high tech growth in key industries such as agritechnology, aviation and aerospace, information technology, medical technology and sustainable energy, among others.
Freshman: As a freshman at Tufts, I am constantly blown alway by endless opportunities available to undergraduate students at various academic departments, student-run organizations, and Tisch College of Civic Engagement. Students are here to learn from a wide range of perspectives and always listen carefully to one another to reexamine their thoughts. Even in today's political divisiveness, I find Tufts students relatively open-minded and tolerant to perspectives and thoughts that might be contrary to their own. Furthermore, as a student who plans on majoring in International Relations, I am always struck by how organized the program is here at Tufts. Professors and students are experts in their field, and I can easily see future diplomats and leading scholars in my classroom. There are conferences at the Fletcher school almost every week where leading scholars and researchers come and speak. I love Tufts!
Benjamin Franklin's university, Penn, is frequently confused with Penn State, but the similarities are few. The campus sits along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and Center City is just a short walk away. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School is arguably the strongest school of business in the country, and numerous other undergraduate and graduate programs place high in national rankings. With close to 12,000 undergraduates and graduate students, Penn is one of the larger Ivy League schools.
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