2023 Best Colleges and Universities in the World

Have you ever wondered what the best universities in the world were? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. Just check out our list of the best colleges and universities in the world.

University of Oxford – Oxford is one of the world’s oldest universities, and it provides both an undergraduate and postgraduate tradition steeped in history and incredible connections for research. Oxford provides an opportunity to access not only world-class research resources but are likely to rub shoulders with the best and brightest in their fields as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship.

Stanford University – Stanford is well known for programs in education, engineering, law, medicine, and business. First-year students are required to live on campus, but most Stanford students choose campus housing for their entire educational careers.

Harvard University – Founded in 1636 and one of eight Ivy League campuses, Harvard ranks second among universities nationwide. Getting accepted at this private school isn’t easy; Harvard is one of the most selective schools in the United States. Harvard is heaven for book lovers and home to the largest academic library in the world. It’s also a great place to network. Harvard tends to produce American presidents, Nobel laureates, and future billionaires. One of the things prospective students appreciate most about Harvard is that unlike other top schools which tend to skew towards the sciences, Harvard divides equal attention to humanities as it does to science.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – If you’re considering research schools, you’ve inevitably considered MIT. MIT is the holy grail of American research schools by design. Unlike other schools, it adopted a model of teaching from European universities that prioritizes laboratory instruction in addition to classroom instruction. MIT students can participate in or even initiate projects as part of their academic credit or as volunteers. MIT ranks fifth in national universities, and some of the best minds in science, engineering and technology can be found here. MIT is home to the Sloan School of Management.

University of Cambridge – Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and has produced some of the essential scientists in history from Sir Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking. If you’re looking for a university dedicated to innovation, research, and specialist subjects, Cambridge is your best bet.

Vanderbilt University –  Ten colleges make up Vanderbilt, and several of these have earned national distinction, including the prestigious Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Not surprisingly, the school has also been recognized for its undergraduate teaching.

Princeton University – Named the top school in the nation for 2019, Princeton was founded in 1746, making it one of the first institutions of higher education in America and home to the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and School of Engineering and Applied Science. Princeton also takes top honors in best value and best undergraduate teaching.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is a medium-size research school based on the island of Hong Kong. Founded in 19991, HKUST is a premier destination for students with a keen interest in the sciences as well as technology, business, and engineering.

Johns Hopkins University – This school is a top choice for many students who wish to study bioengineering, neuroscience, or cellular and molecular biology. Johns Hopkins focuses on nine areas of study, including public health, education, business, engineering, and medicine. The university offers more than 260 programs, and innovation is at the core of every discipline. The school requires that freshman and sophomore live on campus, but upperclassmen could easily find themselves studying abroad in Italy or China.

Columbia University – Three prestigious schools make up the university undergraduate program: Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of General Studies. Columbia is ranked in 5th place nationwide, and the school is a best-value university. C

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – The Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) makes the list because of its position as a highly-productive research university and its global academic reputation. KAIST was Korea’s first major public research institution in 1971. However, its student makeup is unique because there are more postgraduate and doctoral students combined than there are undergraduates. Located in Daejeon, South Korea, this university is a huge get for postgraduates interested in a career in research and the number of citations produced among the faculty is second to none not only in Asia but globally.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich – The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is the best research university on the European continent. Founded in 1854, it was designed to be a center of excellence in science and technology. While it’s still a national center of excellence, it personifies the global focus offered by Zurich and Switzerland as a whole and is home to an impressive number of international students and researchers. The university regularly partners with international institutions, both universities, and companies, to trade both information and resources for even stronger research programs.

Duke University – Duke is 9th in the nation among nationally-ranked universities. This private school has ten colleges and offers prestigious degrees in business, law, medicine, engineering, public policy, and nursing, to name a few. Duke is also considered a best-value school and offers outstanding undergraduate teaching, and it’s well-known for its basketball program.

University of Virginia – This school was founded by Thomas Jefferson. It is well-known for its schools of engineering, business and administration, law, and medicine. Those who attend Mr. Jefferson’s university” experience outstanding undergraduate teaching and the university is veteran-friendly.

University of Sao Paulo – The University of Sao Paulo, located in Brazil’s capital city, has been identified as the top university in South America, cracking the top 300 list on the Times rankings. USP has nearly a century of history in academic excellence. Founded in 1934, it pioneered higher education and new teaching standards in Brazil. As a point of interest for academics around the world, it has long attracted the world’s best teachers across a range of disciplines. The school has also produced presidents, CEOs, and incredible researchers. Students have 200 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate programs to choose from.

Ohio State University – Columbus – OSU is a favorite school for many. OSU offers more degrees and programs of study than any other institution of higher education in Ohio. The school is recognized for its undergraduate teaching.  The academics are rigorous, but there’s plenty of opportunity for entertainment as well.

Imperial College London – This prestigious college offers degrees in business, engineering, medicine, and science. Students attending Imperial College London come from more than 100 different countries, and their international enrollment drives their commitment to globalization and international partnerships. While many of the students hail from other European countries, the largest international population comes from China. For all these students, it makes sense to study in London, where they can apply their learning in real situations. For example, if you want to learn how the stock exchange at Paternoster Square works, earning a business degree from Imperial College London could be a smart move.

National University of Singapore – The National University of Singapore began as a medical college, and today this school attracts denizens of international students who study in 17 programs culminating in degrees or in taking certificate courses for continuing education. The university offers nearly six dozen concurrent and double courses in collaboration with universities around the world. Undergrads can participate in internships in most major countries in the world, including China, Israel, France, Germany, Sweden and the USA. NUS believes in collaborating around the globe, and their reach proves it.

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor – This university is among the largest in the nation, and has outstanding undergraduate instruction. The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is also a good choice for veterans.

Cornell University – Cornell is a private school that offers fourteen colleges of study. This university is part of the Ivy League, and it’s a best-value school that is also third in the nation for veterans.

University of Toronto – The University of Toronto is Canada’s premier research university with research funding that outpaces every other university in the country. It has also made a name for itself as one of the world’s best universities not only in research but overall. Whether you’re interested in science or the arts, the University of Toronto is an excellent school for current and future researchers.

The University of Tokyo – The University of Tokyo is recognized as being the best university in Japan and one of the best research universities in Asia and the world. It’s a unique university in the sense that it is home to as many undergraduate students as postgraduates and more so when you count doctoral students. Those students benefit from Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research as Tokyo receives 40% more in funding than the university with the second largest grants. Are you attending one of these research institutions? Did we mention your favorite university? Let us know in the comments below.

New York University – NYU is the largest private school in the United States. Students seeking a degree in theatre and film attend the famous Tisch School of the Arts. NYU is a city school that thrives in the heart of Manhattan.

Swarthmore College – This private school tied for third place among national liberal arts colleges, and the college also offers an engineering program.

Wake Forest University – A private school, Wake Forest accepts undergraduates into either the Wake Forest College or the School of Business. This university encourages study abroad, offering 70 international locations from which to choose.

Delft University of Technology – Based a stone’s throw from the international center The Hague and an hour from Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology is establishing itself as an important STEM university not only in Europe but across the world. The university features one of the largest university campuses in the world and includes a new media center, aerodynamics, and propulsion lab, and typically Dutch parks and cycle paths for students to enjoy.

University of Copenhagen – The University of Copenhagen is known for its research capacity – and it’s one of the best places to study. The university partners with global research groups and private sector companies for a multi-dimensional experience. It’s also welcoming of international students, who are 10% of the total full-time student population.

The University of Florida – This school boasts a classic campus and top-notch academics. You’ll find students here to be motivated and ambitious! And of course, the school’s athletic program is well-known.

University of Toronto – The University of Toronto is widely considered to be the best university in Canada and one of the best universities in the world. Today, the school is famous for the sheer amount of scientific research funding it receives, which far outpaces other Canadian and even many American schools. It’s also a member of the Association of America Universities – the only other member outside of the United States is McGill. Although famous for science, the University of Toronto has also been a pioneer in the humanities. Additionally, it produces a well-rounded student life with plenty of opportunities to become involved in the university and the greater Toronto area.

Diego Portales University – Diego Portales University is one of the top universities in South America located outside Brazil. Founded in 1982,  DPS is Chile’s first private university and has two campuses in Santiago and Huechuraba. Faculties at DSP range from architecture art and design to law to engineering and sciences, providing a well-rounded education.

The University of Chicago – offers the best of both worlds, with a vibrant campus life as well as big-city atmosphere right in the prestigious Hyde Park neighborhood. Known for its rigorous academics, the university boasts 70 majors and several renowned post-graduate programs.

Northwestern University – is best known for its music, performing arts, and communications programs. Between challenging academics and a busy social scene, students are fully occupied. Frequent plays, concerts, and social gatherings enliven a highly collaborative academic atmosphere.

Nanyang Technological University – Nanyang Technical University is one of the best universities in the world and is consistently ranked as one of the best in Asia. Located in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University is a science school, but it hasn’t pigeonholed itself. From materials science to engineering to natural sciences, there is no shortage of great programs for students at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

National Autonomous University of Mexico – The National Autonomous University of Mexico is a public research university based in Mexico City. Its urban campus is a sight to behold and is so unique that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Not all students attend the main Mexico City campus; there are also other campuses across the metropolitan area as well as in other cities catering to graduate studies and research across Mexico.

University of British Columbia – The University of British Columba offers everything you know and love about Vancouver and British Columbia wrapped up in two highly competitive campuses. UBC is spread across two campuses – one in Vancouver and one in Kelowna. Although it is competitive, it also tries to attract the best and brightest regardless of their background with scholarships like the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award, which is given to students who hail from war-torn countries.

Pontifical Javeriana University – Colombia’s best university is one of the top universities in South America. Pontifical Javeriana University, named after Francis Xavier, the Jesuit founder of the Friends of Jesus, is also one of the oldest universities on the continent – it has been educating students continuously since it was founded in 1623. Its status as a Jesuit university is not uncommon – 28 South American universities are run by the Friends of Jesus organization. One of the things we like about this university is that it combines a large number of degree options with small class sizes, something not found at USP or at Diego Portales.

McGill University – McGill University, based in Montreal, is another premier research university in Canada. McGill may be based in Canada, but it has an international attitude. In addition to joining the University of Toronto on the association of America Universities, it is also the only Canadian university found in the Global University Leaders Forum, which is a team of the world’s top universities within the World Economic Forum. The university is smaller than other Canadian universities. Yet, it has produced more Rhodes Scholars and Nobel laureates than the other schools. McGill, unlike Toronto, has a major arts focus: Twenty-two percent of the student body can be found in the Faculty of Arts. The Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine are home to another significant proportion of the students.

Central American University Jose Simeon Canas – Central American University, commonly known as UCA El Salvador is a private university based in the El Salvadorian capital of San Salvador. The university is run by the Society of Jesus and is one of many Central and South American universities run by the Jesuits. Despite its size, the school has played a role in Central American politics. Today, it provides undergraduate and postgraduate programs across many subjects ranging from science to humanities to professional degrees.

Fudan University – Fudan University is the oldest and largest university on this list. Based in Shanghai, it is one of the most competitive universities in mainland China and is known for both its wide range of disciplines and the quality of graduates it produces across politics, medicine, science, and in the humanities. Fudan isn’t as research-oriented as KAIST or HKUST, but it does have a strong academic reputation and an international faculty, both of which benefit the student experience.

The University of Notre Dame – is a private Catholic school just 100 miles away from Chicago. A strong athletic program (especially football!) are among the many things that make students’ experience here exceptional.

Tufts University – This school offers more than 70 majors, and it’s well-known for its School of Medicine and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Brandeis University – The curriculum focus here is a unique combination of liberal arts embedded with research, and students are encouraged to participate in the many extracurricular activities that the school provides.

University of Bergen – Although the cost of living in Bergen is higher than in New York City, students may find that the price justifies the means. Tuition at Norwegian universities is free, which means that the only expenses you’ll occur while studying abroad is your living costs.

Tecnológico de Monterrey – This university is anchored in beautiful Monterrey, Mexico, but it has satellite campuses throughout the country.

Northeastern University – Northeastern is well-known for getting their students hands-on work experience through internships.

Amherst College – A top-ranked liberal arts college, Amherst attracts students from around the world because of its academic offerings.

Wellesley College – Known for its academic rigor, this all-female school encourages women to dream big and achieve their goals. Wellesley has cross-registration agreements with schools like MIT. Not all the schools in Massachusetts are behemoths in size, but they offer just as rigorous a curriculum as larger universities.

Universiti Malaya (UM) – If you’ve wanted to attend school in Asia, consider Malaysia as your number one choice for value and affordability.  The University of Malaysia continuously improves its rankings among colleges in the world, but there are other universities here to consider as well, such as the University of Nottingham (UK) and University of Southern California – School of the Cinematic Arts (US).

Bowdoin College – This small, private college is the third-best liberal arts school in the United States. In addition to providing an excellent education, the college also offers plenty of rich college experiences. This school is home to the Peucinian Society, of which alumni Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a member.

Rice University – Located in downtown Houston between eccentric neighborhoods and the medical district, Rice house eight schools and colleges, each devoted to academic rigor. The schools of architecture, music, business, and engineering are highly respected. Rice University ranks third in undergraduate teaching and is considered a best-value choice.

University of Panama – Located in Panama City, the University of Panama is a public university with satellite campuses across the country. It was founded in 1935 with four disciplines and 175 students. Today, the school is home to students who have the opportunity to attend an institution that takes its role in global research seriously. The university participates in international research agreements and information exchanges as professors and staff visit institutions around the world.

University of Texas – Austin – This campus is in the heart of the state’s capital, where music and technology merge to create a vibrant scene. UTA, as it is known, has 18 colleges within the system, and the school is known for business, nursing, and engineering. Students can choose from more than 900 clubs and organizations to round out their college experiences.

The University of Miami – This school entices students with its proximity to the beaches of the Florida Keys and the cultural center of bustling Miami. Also, it is a top-ranked research institution.

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich – Perhaps the most international university is also the most popular. The ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology focuses on medicine, data, sustainability, manufacturing technologies, and a critical thinking initiative. Their goal is to contribute globally, to “politics, the economy, and society.” More than one-third of the student body is international, and the professors encourage international alliances and bilateral programs. Two of the university’s most notable students were Albert Einstein and his wife, Mileva Maric. Surrounded by Germany, Austria, Italy and France, the university is located in northern Switzerland, making travel to nearby countries convenient for students wishing to explore Europe or who are seeking authentic learning experiences.

Florida State University – With six Nobel Laureate faculty members, this school’s academics stand apart. The college offers a myriad of opportunities with 160 undergraduate degrees and academic advisors to guide students on the right path.

University of Washington – This university is known for its research as well as colleges of engineering and medicine, and it is an outstanding business school.

Texas A&M University – College Station – Formerly known as Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College, A&M is a public research school known for its veterinary medicine, but it also has highly respected programs in business, education, and engineering, A&M has also established a campus in Qatar.

Baylor University – Another private Texas school in the top 100 universities in the nation, students at Baylor are active volunteers in their communities, and this faith-based campus is a research university. Baylor is an excellent choice for veterans, and it’s also considered a best-value school.

University of Arizona, Tuscon – This school offers more than 100 degrees and professional certification programs of study. You’ll find students from all 50 states and 100 countries around the world, and the student population has a 1:1 female-male ratio.

University of Oklahoma – T It is a public research school that describes itself as “a major university experience in a private college atmosphere.” Most notably, this university caps its freshman English classes at nineteen students, which was a first among large schools. OU is a member of the Big 12 conference in collegiate sports.

Southern Methodist University – This university offers a secular liberal arts education. There are seven colleges on campus, most notably business and education. The university also has a prestigious lecture program. SMU is veteran-friendly and is considered a best-value school.

Claremont McKenna College – One of the top ten liberal arts schools in America, Claremont McKenna is known for its undergraduate programs focusing on leadership skills. Students enjoy small class sizes and hands-on experiences that lead to research projects and internships.

Harvey Mudd College –  The private, liberal arts school is an incubator for leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

University of California – Berkeley – Well-known for activism and the Free Speech Movement, this school is a thriving hub of not only academics but also social interest groups, with over 1,000 student clubs and organizations. The university is considered one of the top 25 in the nation, a superior undergraduate teaching school, and a best-value school.

Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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