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List of Top Ranked Grad Schools in the U.S.

There are numerous high-quality graduate schools across the country. Find out about the rankings, programs offered and other distinctions for some of the top-ranked graduate schools in the nation.

The top graduate schools in the country are heavily associated with research and typically feature a variety of programs and degrees. Get a synopsis of some of the best universities and colleges that offer these top grad programs.

School Overviews

The three schools listed below offer programs in areas such as education, business and law. These research-intensive institutions feature award-winning faculty. The schools' grad programs are frequently in the top 20 of their kind, according to recent lists by U.S. News and World Report. Read on for more information about some of the best places in the nation to pursue graduate study.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: The Dean of the university boasts Harvard as a place where innovation and scholarship converge to create scholars and knowledgeable students for their postgraduate careers.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University offers students the chance to earn a M.A. degree, M.S., M.E., M.F.S., and a Doctor of Philosophy in 55 separate departments and divisions. Non-degree programs are also available. According to U.S. News & World Report, Harvard is ranked #1 among all graduate business schools, #2 among all law schools, #2 among all graduate English schools and #1 among all graduate political science schools for 2017.

Stanford University in Stanford, CA

School Highlight: Graduate students at Stanford represent a study body from almost 100 different countries, creating a vibrant array of cultures and backgrounds.

Harvard offers a Graduate School of Education, the Graduate School of Business, as well as M.D. programs in the School of Medicine. The School of Law at Stanford offers joint-degrees, in addition to their J.D. program and advanced degree programs. M.S. degree and doctorate programs are available at the School of Engineering. Top Stanford graduate rankings include #1 for education, #1 for computer science, #2 for physics and #1 for non-clinical psychology, per U.S. News & World Report's most current rankings for 2017.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

School Highlight: This university has over 20 libraries, including facilities dedicated to law, medicine, engineering and the fine arts.

Cornell has a number of graduate schools such as Weill Cornell Medical College, the College of Engineering, the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, and a top law school. Cornell University was one of the first schools with a diverse student body and also to offer advanced degrees. Around 100 areas of study are available, and education options range from master's degrees to doctorates, as well as nearly 12 types of professional degrees. For the 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Cornell was ranked #14 for graduate business programs, #12 for graduate engineering programs and #2 for veterinary medicine.

Top Grad Schools

The following institutions are also known for their excellent graduate schools:

  • Duke University in Durham, NC, was ranked #12 among all graduate business schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
  • At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, global research is fostered through the university's campuses in China and Italy, as well as the U.S. campus.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, contains the Lincoln Laboratory which focuses on research aiming to use technology to resolve national security issues.
  • New York University, located in New York, NY, has the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) that gives doctoral students the chance to study at other New York area schools, like Columbia University, Princeton and Fordham University.
  • Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, is home to an exorbitant array of research centers, including centers for cancer and Alzheimer's disease, business, communication and the social sciences.
  • The University of California in Berkeley, CA, was named one of the best schools for doctoral study, with 48 of the university's 52 programs ranked in the nation's top 10 by The National Research Council.
  • The University of California in Los Angeles, CA, hosts hundreds of research centers, institutes and labs.
  • Graduate students have a broad range of opportunities to earn dual master's and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields, as well as medical and legal degrees at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL.
  • The University of Pennsylvania of Philadelphia, PA, is home to 12 graduate schools, including the Perelman School of Medicine, the law school and the Wharton School for business.

Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell, including the others mentioned, are among the best schools for graduate programs. Sundry academic options, research contributions, and exceptional faculty are what makes their grad schools top-of-the-line.


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