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List of Major Colleges and Universities in the United States

An individual can go through both private and public avenues to find lists of major U.S. colleges and universities. Available options often include filtering schools by specific categories using ranking and government databases.

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Finding a List of Major Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Prospective students and others may find lists of credible U.S. colleges and universities via the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics ( Another avenue to find ranked lists of major colleges and universities is through the magazine U.S. News & World Report (

National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collects data from U.S. schools and provides web users with options for filtering this data into usable lists. Using the NCES College Navigator, individuals are able to search major universities and colleges in the U.S. by sorting the statistics according to their own needs.

School information available on the site includes details on accreditation, awards conferred, financial aid and admissions. Users can also find out whether a school offers non-traditional learning options such as distance education and weekend or evening courses. Users may sort schools by categories including the following:

  • Location
  • Undergraduate student population
  • Field of study
  • Institution type
  • Religious affiliation
  • Campus environment
  • Tuition

U.S. News & World Report

Each year, this news magazine rates the top American colleges and universities. Rankings are compiled using criteria such as the percentage of applicants accepted and the graduation rate, as well as faculty considerations and peer assessments. Universities and colleges are placed into categories, which include the following:

  • National universities
  • Public schools
  • Business programs
  • Liberal arts colleges
  • Baccalaureate colleges
  • Engineering programs
  • Historically black colleges and universities
  • Law schools
  • Medical schools

Specialized Rankings

Bachelor's and master's universities' lists are further broken down regionally into the West, South, North and Midwest. Although some of this information is accessible online for free, a fee is necessary for premium access; this allows users to create a login name and password to see each school's full information and perform more advanced searches. Users are also able to filter lists by categories such as acceptance rate, value, diversity, retention and debt upon graduation.

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