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Top 100 Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Learn about three of the top graduate schools in the nation. Find out why these schools were selected, including rankings, location, and program information.

School Overviews

While there are many graduate schools that are consistently ranked in the top 100 by education organizations, two stand out as the best: Harvard University and University of California - Berkeley. These Ivy League schools offer a variety of graduate degrees, including programs in medicine, law, engineering, social sciences, and business. These universities offer master's and Ph.D. programs, as well as professional degree and graduate certificate programs.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

School Highlight: Doctoral programs highly ranked by a National Research Council assessment (2010).

Harvard University's graduate programs are regularly ranked in the top ten in the nation by U.S. News and World Report (USNWR). Academic areas receiving number one rankings by this organization include Harvard's business and medical schools, as well as its programs in economics and political science. Harvard Law School is ranked number two among its peers, and many more graduate programs are in the top five. The university's many opportunities for study, manageable size of roughly 26,500 students, and Boston area location attract scholars and educators from all over the world.

2. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: National Research Council ranked 48 of 52 graduate programs in the top-10.

The University of California - Berkeley has received numerous high rankings, including being ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the number one public university in the U.S. for the past ten years. The university's graduate programs in English and sociology are also ranked number one by U.S. News, while many others, such as psychology, political science, education, history, and law are in the top ten. The Academic Ranking of World Universities rated UC - Berkeley third out of all universities worldwide. The school's relatively low tuition, along with its San Francisco Bay Area location, enhances its appeal as a learning institution with myriad opportunities for internships and employment related to graduate work.

Top Graduate Programs

University Distinction Location
Alfred University Ranked #1 for ceramics and #11 for fine arts by USN&WR in 2015 Alfred, NY
Arizona State University Online graduate business degree program ranked tied #3 in 2015 by USNWR Tempe, AZ
Art Center College of Design Ranked #18 for fine arts programs by USN&WR in 2015 Pasadena, CA
Bard College Ranked #13 for fine arts programs, per USN&WR in 2015 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Boston College Accountancy program ranked #1 in 2013, per Financial Times ranking of global MBA programs Newton, MA
Boston University Master's in Occupational Therapy program ranked #2 by USN&WR Boston, MA
Brandeis University Ranked #9 for social policy by USN&WR in 2015 Waltham, MA
Brigham Young University MBA grads have placement rates of 95% within three months Provo, UT
Brown University Earned top-100 world reputation ranking in 2014 from Times Higher Education Providence, RI
California Institute of the Arts First postsecondary school to offer visual and performing arts degrees Valencia, CA
California Institute of Technology Ranked #1 on the 2013-2014 Times Higher Education list of best universities Pasadena, CA
Carnegie Mellon University Top-ranked programs include business, computer science, engineering, fine arts, and public affairs, per USN&WR Pittsburgh, PA
City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School and University Center USN&WR-ranked programs within the top 50 include English, history, math, and sociology New York, NY
College of William and Mary Ranked #3 for U.S. colonial history by USN&WR in 2014 Williamsburg, VA
Colorado School of Mines Ranked #25 in earth sciences and tied for #56 for engineering schools, per USN&WR Golden, CO
Columbia University Top-10 ranked for business, law, medical school: research, chemistry, earth sciences, economics, English, fine arts, history, and math per USN&WR New York, NY
Cornell University Top-10 programs per USN&WR include chemistry, computer science, English, physics, and veterinary medicine Ithaca, NY
Dartmouth College Top-50 rankings in psychology, medical school, computer science, biological sciences, and business per USN&WR Hanover, NH
Drexel University Highly-ranked programs include art and design, law, business, education, physician assistant, computer science, and engineering Philadelphia, PA
Duke University Biomedical engineering program ranked #11 for research productivity by Academic Analytics 2012 Durham, NC
Emory University MBA programs highly ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Finanical Times, The Economist, and Forbes Atlanta, GA
Florida State University Top ranked programs in 2013-2014 include criminology and criminal justice, interior design, and school library media Tallahassee, FL
Fordham University Highly-ranked Catholic university in New York City New York, NY
Georgetown University SportBusiness International magazine ranked the professional master's program in sports industry management #4 among North American schools, #6 among international schools Washington, DC
Georgia Institute of Technology Top-10 engineering programs include biomedical, industrial, environmental, aerospace, civil, mechanical, electrical, computer, nuclear, materials, and chemical (per USN&WR in 2014) Atlanta, GA
Indiana University Kelley School of Business and its programs have been ranked #1 by Financial Times, USNWR, and Bloomberg Businessweek Bloomington, IA
Johns Hopkins University School of Education rank moved from 6th (in a tie) in 2012 to first in 2014 Baltimore, MD
Kent State University Named a best business school by the Princeton Review in 2014 Kent, OH
Maryland Institute College of Art Graduate fine arts program ranked #7 by USN&WR Baltimore, MD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate program in engineering ranked #1 by USN&WR in 2014, the same rank its held since 1990 Cambridge, MA
Michigan State University Ranked in the top 100 among world universities by Times Higher Education in 2013-2014 East Lansing, MI
New School Social policy, nonprofit management, and graphic design are top-25 programs, per USN&WR New York , NY
New York University From 2002-2013, business, education, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, and public affairs programs improved in rank, per USN&WR New York, NY
North Carolina State University Ranked #6 by USN&WR for biological and agricultural engineering in 2014 Raleigh, NC
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business's traditional and executive MBA programs consistently top-5 ranked Evanston, IL
Ohio State University National Science Foundation ranks graduate school in the top 10 nationally among public research universities Columbus, OH
Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine earned top-10 rank for primary care education and family medicine education in 2015, per USN&WR Portland, OR
Pennsylvania State University Five doctoral programs were top-ranked by the National Research Council in 2006 University Park, PA
Pratt Institute Graduate interior design program ranked #2 by DesignIntelligence Brooklyn, NY
Princeton University Top-20 programs include engineering, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, economics, English, history, and math, per USN&WR Princeton, NJ
Purdue University Ranked #1 for agricultural and biological engineering by USN&WR in 2013 West Lafayette, IN
Rice University Eight graduate programs earned top-20 rank by USN&WR Houston, TX
Rhode Island School of Design MFA program named one of the most 10 influential in the world by Artspace in 2014 Providence, RI
Rutgers University Graduate women's history program ranked #1 by USN&WR New Brunswick, NJ
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ranked #2 for graduate fine arts programs in 2013, per USN&WR Chicago, IL
Simmons College Offers 41 graduate programs Boston, MA
Stanford University Business programs recognized by USN&WR, Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013 Palo Alto, CA
Stony Brook University, the State University of New York Health programs earning high rankings in 2015, per USN&WR, include clinical psychology, physician assistant, nursing - midwifery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy Stony Brook, NY
Syracuse University USN&WR top-25 programs include audiology, library and information studies and public affairs. Syracuse, NY
Temple University Fox School of Business's MBA programs (online, executive, global, healthcare management, professional part-time) are nationally ranked Elkins Park, PA
Texas A&M University Typically ranks in the top 10 for research expenditures College Station, TX
University at Albany - SUNY 17 graduate programs were top-100 ranked by USN&WR in 2015, with two top-5 and eight top-25 Albany, NY
University at Buffalo - SUNY Law school named a best value school by National Jurist magazine Buffalo, NY
University of Alabama School of Law ranked #22 in 2016, per USN&WR Tuscaloosa, AL
University of Arizona National Science Foundation ranked the school #3 for physical sciences funding in fiscal year 2012 Tucson, AZ
University of California Hastings College of the Law ranked tied for #59 in 2015, according to USN&WR San Francisco, CA
University of California - Davis Doctoral programs ranked by the National Science Foundation in 2010 Davis, CA
University of California - Irvine Ranked #1 in the U.S. and #5 internationally by Times Higher Education among 100 best universities established less than 50 years ago (2013) Irvine, CA
University of California - Los Angeles Highly ranked programs include fine arts, library and information studies, education, public health, medicine, business, engineering, computer science, and law, per USN&WR's 2015 rankings Los Angeles, CA
University of California - San Diego USN&WR rankings gave high marks to business, law, education, engineering, behavioral neuroscience, political science, and more, in 2014 San Diego, CA
University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine top-ranked for primary care and research in 2013, per USN&WR San Francisco, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara Doctoral computer science programs rank in the top-ten nationally, per the National Research Council assessments in 2010 Santa Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz Times Higher Education ranked school #2 in global research influence in 2013 Santa Cruz, CA
University of Chicago Business, law, and medical schools are top-ranked Chicago, IL
University of Cincinnati Boosts a 75% job placement rate in academia for creative writing Ph.D. students Cincinnati, OH
University of Colorado - Boulder USN&WR ranked 7 graduate programs in the top 10 in 2016 Boulder, CO
University of Connecticut Doctor of Physical Therapy program is housed in one of the nation's top kinesiology departments Storrs, CT
University of Georgia Top ranked for graduate ecology, social work, public administration, pharmacy, law, business, education, and math Athens, GA
University of Hawaii - Manoa A school recognized for its very high research activity, this is one of 32 land-, sea-, and space-grant schools Honolulu , HI
University of Iowa 26 graduate programs earned top-25 rankings by USN&WR in 2013 Iowa City, IA
University of Kansas Graduate aerospace engineering program is #1 in the state, per USN&WR rankings for 2015 Lawrence, KS
University of Maryland - College Park 46 graduate programs earned USN&WR top-25 rankings in 2015 College Park, MD
University of Massachusetts Amherst USN&WR ranked online graduate nursing program #3 in the nation in 2015 Amherst, MA
University of Miami HispanicBusiness magazine ranked the business school #9 Coral Gables, FL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor DesignIntelligence ranked the graduate architecture program #1 in 2010 Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Offers several services to graduate students Minneapolis, MN
University of Missouri Interior design program is only one of its kind in the state to be professionally accredited Columbia, MO
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Audiology program ranked #3 by USN&WR in 2012 Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Texas USN&WR ranked online graduate business programs tied for #47 in 2016 Denton, TX
University of Notre Dame Ranked in the top-25 by Hispanic magazine Notre Dame, IN
University of Oregon Special education program ranked #3 in 2016, per USN&WR, for the 16th year Eugene, OR
University of Pennsylvania Graduate nursing program tied for #1 in 2015, per USN&WR Philadelphia, PA
University of Pittsburgh MBA programs highly ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, Forbes, and The Economist Pittsburgh, PA
University of South Carolina--Columbia Only public school in the state to hold the Carnegie Foundation's highest research university designation Columbia, SC
University of Southern California Top ranked for business, education, engineering, law, fine arts, public affairs, and more, per USN&WR Los Angeles, CA
University of Tennessee Knoxville MBA programs are highly ranked by USN&WR, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Information Week, and Financial Times Knoxville, TN
University of Texas at Austin In 2016, over 50 graduate programs were top-15 ranked, with another 56 earning top-25 rankings by USN&WR Austin, TX
University of Washington School of Medicine ranked #1 for primary care by USN&WR in 2014 Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin-Madison Ranked #6 for online graduate engineering programs by USN&WR in 2016 Madison, WI
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Graduate English programs offers 5 concentrations Milwaukee, WI
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine ranked #15 in 2015, per USN&WR Nashville, TN
Virginia Commonwealth University Graduate fine arts program ranked #1 among public universities by USN&WR Richmond, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University National Science Foundation ranks Virginia Tech as the top research university in the state, 2013 Blacksburg, VA
Wake Forest University Ranked top-50 for medical and law schools, per USN&WR Winston-Salem, NC
Washington and Lee University School of Law ranked tied for #42 by USN&WR Lexington, VA
Washington University in St. Louis Architecture school ranked #9 by Architectural Record in 2011 St. Louis, MO
Wayne State University School of Medicine is the largest among 1-campus medical schools in the U.S. Detroit, MI
Yale University Ranked #1 for law, history, and fine arts by USN&WR New Haven, CT

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