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U.S. Colleges and Universities Beckon Canadian Students

Higher Learning

Thinking about going abroad to earn your undergraduate or postgraduate university degree? Consider our southern US neighbour’s top-ranked academic institutions. 

The US News & World Report assigned Global Scores to 1,250 institutions of higher learning worldwide, based on a variety of indicators. Global Scores are based on a variety of reputation indicators as well as composite scores from each of the institution’s subject rankings.

What follows is a listing of the top 15 US colleges and universities who earned all but 2 of the top 20 rankings. (Global Score rankings follow each university heading.) 

#1: Harvard University, Cambridge Massachusetts (Global Score: 100).

Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the US. Harvard has an undergraduate college with 11 other degree-granting programs. It is famous for its Business and Law Schools and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Most of Harvard’s students are enrolled in graduate level and more than 20 percent of the student body comes from outside the US.  Its total student population is over 20,000, with over 5,200 international students.

#2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (97.3).

Founded in 1861, world-famous MIT has 5 schools ranging from architecture, humanities, management, and science. 

First-year undergraduate students must live on campus. MIT has a student body of around 11,000, with 60% studying at the graduate level. The most recent count of international students was 3,784.

#3: Stanford University, Stanford, California (92.3).

Founded in 1885, Stanford University is located 30 miles south of San Francisco. Stanford has 7 schools, 3 of which offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in humanities and sciences, earth sciences, and engineering. 

Stanford’s student body population is nearly 16,000 with over 3,500 international students. International population at Stanford is 8 percent of the undergraduate student body and 30 percent of the graduate population. 

#4: University of California—Berkeley (90.8).

UC Berkeley is about 15 miles from San Francisco. It is a public university founded in 1860. Over 70 percent of its student population are undergraduates attending 14 colleges and schools. Those schools include the top-ranked Haas School of Business, Colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, and Schools of Public Help and Law.

About one-quarter of the student population lives on campus. The total student population is over 38,000 with over 6,000 international students.

Note: The universities listed so far are the top 4 ranked universities in the world. Coming in at #5 and #7 are the Universities of Oxford (87.3) and Cambridge (85.3) in the UK. The remainder of our listing consists of exclusively US academic institutions.

#5: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (85.7).

Caltech was founded in 1891. It is a science and engineering-focused institution and is located about 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Caltech runs 6 academic divisions, including biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, social sciences, and physics. 

Al first-year undergraduate students are guaranteed housing on campus. The student body population is over 2,200 with 603 international students.

#6: Columbia University, New York, New York (84.5).

Columbia University was founded in 1754. Located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, it was originally called King’s College. Around 30 percent of Columbia students’ study at undergraduate level with a population of 30 percent from outside the US Academic offerings are in Business, Engineering as well as its College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

More than 90 percent of undergraduate students live on campus. The total number of students is over 26,000 with over 8,400 international students.

#7: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (84.2).

Princeton was founded in 1746 and has 6 undergraduate programs where students can choose from over 30 majors. Housing is guaranteed for undergraduate students for all four years of their studies. Nearly all the undergraduate students reside on campus. 

Nearly two-thirds of its student body of 8,000 study at the undergraduate level. About 12 percent of their undergraduate population and 40 percent (numbering over 1,800) of their graduate students are international. 

#8: (Tie) Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (83.4).

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876. Its undergraduates attend classes at the main campus in north Baltimore. Johns Hopkins has nine academic divisions offering studies in the arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, international studies, medicine, music and public health.

Undergraduate students are required to live in university housing for their first two years of studies. Total student population is over 15,000 with about 3,700 international students.

#9: (Tie) University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (83.4).

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is a public institution located in Washington States largest city, Seattle. The university has 16 colleges and schools offering a wide range of concentrations in arts and sciences, engineering, medicine, and social work.  

About 70 percent of its students studying at its three campuses are undergraduates. University housing is available for both undergraduate and graduate students. The total student population is nearly 45,000 with almost 7,000 from outside the US.

#10: (Tie) Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (83.4).

Founded in 1701, Yale is a private university located about 80 miles northeast of New York City. Yale has an undergraduate college and a graduate school of arts and sciences as well as professional schools. Most popular among undergraduates are its economics, political science, and history majors.

About 45 percent of Yale students are undergraduates, with an international student population of around 20 percent.  Total student population is over 12,000, with around 2,600 international students.

#11: University of California—Los Angeles (83.2).

UCLA was founded in 1919 and is one of the most popular universities in the US.  Its undergraduate studies are across 5 academic divisions of applied sciences: letters and science, arts and architecture, engineering and applied sciences, nursing, and theater.

Around 70 percent of the student body is at the undergraduate level with population of 20 percent from outside the US. Total student population is over 39,000 with over 6,000 international students.

#12: University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (82.2).

Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is a private institution made up of an undergraduate college with graduate divisions and professional schools. Its Booth School of business, Law School, and the Pritzker School of Medicine are highly ranked. 

Around 40 percent of the student body are undergraduates, with roughly 10 percent of the undergraduates and 30 percent of graduate students from outside the US. Total student population is over 13,500 with about 3,400 international students.

#13: University of California—San Diego (81.7).

UC San Diego was established in 1960. It is a public institution located near the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla. It has 5 academic divisions, along with 5 graduate and professional schools. 

More than 75 percent of the student body consists of undergraduate students, who study in more than 100 undergraduate majors. Undergraduate students are guaranteed campus housing for two years.  

Total student population at UC San Diego is over 29,000 with nearly 4,900 international students.

In case you were wondering…

The University of Toronto ranked #20 on the list with a global score of 80.7, followed by the University of British Columbia at #27 (75.7). Canada does not appear again in the top 50 until McGill University in Montreal (72.3) makes the list at #49.

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