One country that conjures dreams in students across the world for higher education is the USA. The spread of quality universities in USA is wide covering almost all the states in about 130 cities, it is not surprising that 172 universities in USA rank among the world best. But there are interesting sidelights to this overwhelming concentration of the world’s best universities. The five top universities of USA are located in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Many of the other top ones are located in New York and Texas.
Top Universities in USA;
Ranking involves consideration of teaching standards, environment, resources and diversity on campus. It is also important for student endorsement that determines the ranks of universities. Accordingly, as per a reliable student survey, let us take a tour of the top US universities.
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech):
The main campus of this premier institute is located in Pasadena, near Los Angeles in sprawling 124 acres. Though the total student community is small numbering just 2000, the focus is on science and technology across six faculties. Almost all students are accommodated in the campus which bears a rich tradition. The institute is associated with 39 Nobel Laureates, 6 Turing Awardees and 4 Fields medalists.
- Stanford University:
The university is based in Palo Alto, adjacent to the Silicon Valley and has played a stellar role in the region’s technology revolution. Successful technology giants like Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard to name a few owe their origin to Stanford. Spread over 8180 acres on Stanford family’s Palo Alto farm, it is home to about 15K students of which 22% are international.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
It has an unusual education culture where UG and PG studies are not separate and courses are available at either level. Engineering and Computer Science are the most popular programs but only 8% of the applicants make it. It is home to about 11K students of which international students comprise 22%. The origin of Intel and Dropbox is linked to MIT.
- Princeton University:
It is an Ivy League University with a legacy stretching 200 years in the past. The campus is located in New Jersey about an hour away from New York City and Philadelphia. It is home to about 8000 students of which a quarter are international. The interesting feature of this university is that students are required to undertake independent research as part of their degree program.
- Harvard University:
It is not only the most well-known university in the USA, but also the oldest founded in 1636. It is home to approximately 20K students with a quarter of them international. Though expensive, there is ample scope for funding from the Harvard Endowment. It is reputed for its distinction in arts and humanities and as much in science and technology. Rich in lineage, the university is associated with 158 Nobel Laureates, 8 US Presidents, 14 Turing Award winners and 62 living billionaires.
Admissions to universities in USA:
The centralized process of admission called Common Application caters to around 800 US universities. The process takes about 18 months and is open from 1st August. The deadline is 10 months before the session starts. Meticulous planning makes for a seamless experience. Most universities seek English Proficiency as a criterion for international students. Some of the key tests for admissions in a US university are:
- TOEFL or IELTS for English
- Scholastic aptitude test (SAT) for UG
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for PG.
Studying in a US university is an overwhelming feeling for an international student. The vast number of top-ranked global universities opens a host of opportunities for students to access. The student community in USA is 20.4 million strong spread over 3000 institutions of higher education. Even the international student community is 1.1 million. Being a part of this Mecca for higher education is an experience in itself, more so in the top universities in USA.