20 Smartest Colleges and Universities in America


We've given you the best universities in the world according to Times Higher Education's (THE) World University Ranking (WUR) 2016-2017 and we've also shared with you the 50 college majors that pays the most, today we bring you the 20 smartest universities and colleges across the US.

Business Insider used test scores like SATs and ACT to determine which schools enrolled the smartest students. While test scores are not exactly the best indicators to use, it offers us a way to gauge the intelligence of the enrollees and allows us to have a glimpse of the average scores.

Schools in this year's list includes all schools that report their SAT and ACT scores to the government. The ACT scores were also converted to an SAT equivalent for his analysis.

Research Scientist Jonathan Wai of Duke University created the rankings and offers more details on the process, including its limitations.

So here are the 50 smartest colleges and universities in America:

1. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

  • Average SAT Score: 1545

  • Location: Pasadena, California

  • Tuition: $45,846

  • Student Population: 1,001

  • Best Known for: being the best school for technology and engineering in the world. Also ranked second in this year's WUR list after being on the top spot for 5 years.

2. Chicago University

  • Average SAT Score: 1505

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

  • Tuition: $50,997

  • Student Population: 5,844

  • Best Known for: its alumni, economist Milton Friedman and former US Attorney General John Ashcroft

3. Harvard University

  • Average SAT Score: 1501

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Tuition: $43,280

  • Student Population: 6,699

  • Best Known for: being the richest university in the US with its endowment portfolio amounting close to $37 billion. Notable alums include former presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

4. Harvey Mudd College

  • Average SAT Score: 1500 (tied with MIT)

  • Location: Claremont, California

  • Tuition: $52,383

  • Student Population: 815

  • Best Known for: being part of The Claremont Colleges that allows students to enroll and take classes in any of the schools in the system. Other Claremont schools are: Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Pitzer College, Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Average SAT Score: 1500 (tied with Harvey Mudd College)

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Tuition: $46,400

  • Student Population: 4,527

  • Best Known for: its science and technology programs. MIT is considered as one of the best schools for STEM and ranks 5th in this year's WUR list.

6. Yale University

  • Average SAT Score: 1493

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut

  • Tuition: $49,480

  • Student Population: 5,532

  • Best Known for: having the second largest endowment portfolio of $25.57 billion. Yale's notable graduates include current Secretary of State John Kerry and former President George W. Bush.

7. Princeton University

  • Average SAT Score: 1491

  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey

  • Tuition: $45,320

  • Student Population: 5,402

  • Best Known for: having all its undergraduate students write a senior thesis and its graduate programs in engineering and applied sciences and public and international affairs. Notable personalities from Princeton include First Lady Michelle Obama and President Woodrow Wilson.

8. Vanderbilt University

  • Average SAT Score: 1481

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee

  • Tuition: $44,496

  • Student Population: 6,883

  • Best Known for: the Vanderbilt University Medical Center which is ranked one of the best in the country and the Blair School of Music. Best-selling novelist James Patterson attended the graduate school's English program.

9. Washington University in St. Louis

  • Average SAT Score: 1478

  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri

  • Tuition: $48,950

  • Student Population: 7,504

  • Best Known for: its business and medicine programs. The school's Barnes-Jewish Hospital ranks as one of the finest in the country. Actor Peter Sarsgaard and former FBI Director William H. Webster received their degrees from Wash U.

10. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

  • Average SAT Score: 1475

  • Location: Needham, Massachusetts

  • Tuition: $46,800

  • Student Population: 370

  • Best Known for: being one of the hardest colleges to get into. The school offers a merit-based scholarship and the average GPA of students who gets accepted is 4.0.

11. Columbia University

  • Average SAT Score: 1470

  • Location: New York, New York

  • Tuition: $55,056

  • Student Population: 6,102

  • Best Known for: the Pulitzer Prize which it administers. Columbia also has strong offerings on public health, business and public and international affairs. Distinguished alumni includes President Barack Obama and Founding Father and first Supreme Court Justice John Jay.

12. Stanford University

  • Average SAT Score: 1465

  • Location: Stanford, California

  • Tuition: $45,729

  • Student Population: 6,999

  • Best Known for: being one of the most selective schools in the US, Stanford is known for its strong STEM programs. Actress Sigourney Weaver, golf legend Tiger Woods and former President Herbert Hoover all got their degrees from Stanford.

13. Northwestern University

  • Average SAT Score: 1461

  • Location: Evanston, Illinois

  • Tuition: $50,424

  • Student Population: 8,314

  • Best Known for: for its highly-ranked journalism program and graduate school programs in business and STEM. Its alumni includes Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert and US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

14. Rice University

  • Average SAT Score: 1460

  • Location: Houston, Texas

  • Tuition: $39,880

  • Student Population: 3,910

  • Best Known for: its good STEM programs. The university is als home to James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy .

15. Pomona College

  • Average SAT Score: 1454 (tied with Duke University)

  • Location: Claremont, California

  • Tuition: $49,005

  • Student Population: 1,663

  • Best Known for: being part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, students can also take courses at the 6 other colleges which are part of the system. Famous graduates include Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times and Robert Shaw, renowned choir conductor.

16. Duke University

  • Average SAT Score: 1454 (tied with Pomona College)

  • Location: Durham, North Carolina

  • Tuition: $51,510

  • Student Population: 6,639

  • Best Known for: highly ranked programs in business, law and medicine. Its notable graduates include Melinda Gates and Congressman Ron Paul.

17. Williams College

  • Average SAT Score: 1452 (tied with UPenn)

  • Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts

  • Tuition: $51,490

  • Student Population: 2,099

  • Best Known for: being ranked by US News and World Report as the best liberal arts college. The college is known for its rigorous academics and uses Oxford-style tutorials.

18. University of Pennsylvania

  • Average SAT Score: 1452 (tied with Williams College)

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Tuition: $51,464

  • Student Population:9,726

  • Best Known for: its Wharton School of Business, the university is also alma mater to real estate tycoon and presidential candidate Donald Trump and former President William Henry Harrison.

19. University of Notre Dame

  • Average SAT Score: 1450

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

  • Tuition: $49,685

  • Student Population: 8,462

  • Best Known for: its well-regarded architecture undergraduate and graduate programs as well as it s highly-ranked business and law schools. Notable graduates include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, football legend Joe Montana and talk show host Regis Philbin.

20. Dartmouth College

  • Average SAT Score: 1444

  • Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

  • Tuition: $49,998

  • Student Population: 4,307

  • Best Known for: its high research activity, Dartmouth has highly-ranked programs in medicine, business and engineering. Accomplished alumni include Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) and former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics