Top 10 Undergraduate Schools in the U.S.

Learn about the top ten undergraduate schools in the U.S., which offer bachelor's degrees in business, engineering, the humanities and social science, among other fields of study. Get more information about four of these high-ranking institutions, and see a list of the other six schools in the top ten.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks the top 10 undergraduate universities. It is important to note that liberal arts colleges are not included on this list.

School Overviews

Profiled here are four of the schools on the 2017 list of the top 10 undergraduate institutions. Each of these schools offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors in liberal arts and/or engineering.

Princeton University in Princeton, NJ

School Highlight: The school's student-faculty ratio is 5:1.

For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Princeton the #1 undergraduate institution among all national universities. The school also ranked #1 for undergraduate teaching, #2 on the list of Best Value schools, and #11 on the list of the best undergraduate engineering programs. Undergraduate students at Princeton can choose between 37 academic concentrations and 53 supplementary certificate programs. The most popular majors include public policy analysis, computer engineering, economics, history and psychology. When they graduate, undergraduates are awarded either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Harvard University, one of the oldest postsecondary schools in the nation, is ranked second among national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

The university consists of 15 schools and colleges, including the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School. Undergraduate programs are available through Harvard College, which grants bachelor's degrees in more than 40 fields of study. Programs at Harvard College include majors in mathematics, biology and literature, as well as sociology, economics and philosophy. Altogether, more than 3,000 courses are available to undergraduate students. Students also have access to research labs, museums, study centers and the largest academic library in the world.

University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

School Highlight: Eighty-nine Nobel laureates are affiliated with the University of Chicago, more than any other university world-wide.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Chicago as tied for #3 on its list of the best national universities for 2017. The school was also ranked #13 on the list of the Best Value schools. In addition, it boasts a student-faculty ratio of 5:1, with over 77% of all classes having fewer than 20 students. Students can choose from over 100 majors, minors and specializations; the most popular majors are economics, biology, math/statistics and public policy analysis. Located in the heart of Chicago, the school also offers undergraduates the chance to experience the city's vibrant cultural scene.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: MIT is a private university that is primarily known for its science and engineering schools.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked MIT seventh among national universities, as well as first for its undergraduate engineering programs. MIT is composed of five distinct schools, which include the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology; School of Architecture and Planning; School of Engineering, Sloan School of Management and School of Science. Undergraduates are able to select from 48 different majors and 56 different minors, ranging from biology to business. They can also participate in learning communities, such as the Concourse Program that utilizes small-group discussion sections or the Experimental Study Group, through which students pursue their degrees at their own pace.

Top Undergraduate Schools in the United States

These are the other six schools on U.S. News & World Report's list of the top 10 undergraduate universities:

  • Yale University in New Haven, CT, tied with University of Chicago for the #3 spot on the 2017 list of the top undergraduate universities, per U.S. News & World Report.
  • The student-faculty ratio at Columbia University in New York, NY, is 6:1.
  • Stanford University in Stanford, CA, was ranked #1 on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best colleges for veterans.
  • After finishing their undergraduate degree, 84% of students at Duke University in Durham, NC, enroll in graduate school to earn a higher degree.
  • The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for its undergraduate business program in 2017.
  • Over 60% of undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, earn a double major or minor.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report highlighted some of the best universities in the country for the excellent undergraduate education they offer.

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