The Top 10 Universities Not In The Ivy League: Part 2

September 9, 2021

Choosing your ideal university in the US will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on your life. Getting into any one of these universities is by no means an easy feat, but the reward of admission will certainly prove immeasurable - both personally and professionally. In this blog, we take a closer look at the top 10 universities that are not in the Ivy League. We have listed them according to the world university rankings of Times Higher Education (THE). THE include more than 1500 universities across 93 countries and regions, making these the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.

Each university ranking is based on 13 carefully collaborated performance indicators that measure four areas: Teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. For a deeper look and understanding in the ranking methodology, click here for more information.

This is the second part of a two-part post, with the countdown beginning in Part 1 last week and continuing here. Read on to find out which universities made the list!

5. University of Chicago

Astronaut and Astronomer John Grunsfeld

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. 

Ranked at number 5, the university has focused on uniting diverse faculty and students for more than a century. It has fostered one of the most unique, decorated and intellectual communities in the world. Faculty, researchers, and alumni also boast Nobel Prize awards - a total of 90 in all! - and 50 MacArthur “Genius Grants”, along with numerous other national medals and fellowships.

Becoming a student at the University of Chicago will help you hone characteristics for driving innovation, leading international conversations, and making masterpieces a reality. Because of this healthy intellectual environment, alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become CEOs, university presidents, attorney generals, literary giants, and even astronauts, such as John Grunsfeld.

4. University of California, Berkeley

At number 4, we have the University of California, Berkeley. Part of the University of California System, this campus was founded in 1868. Berkeley’s creation stemmed from a vision in the state constitution. This called for a university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations”. As a result of this commitment, Cal Berkeley has ranked among the top 10 universities not in the Ivy League for generations.

The strong academic programs at Berkeley have produced a significant number of well-known graduates. Notable alumni include novelist and journalist Jack London, Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck, former prime minister and president of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, author Joan Didion and Women’s World Cup-winning US footballer Alex Morgan.

Berkeley is also famous for its sporting prowess. This was most easily seen at the 2012 Olympics in London, when its graduates won 17 medals. In fact, if Berkeley had been a country, it would have ranked joint sixth in the gold medal table. This is as many medals as France and Germany!

Missy Franklin, University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears Olympic gold medal winner

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an independent, coeducational, private research university based in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, MIT has developed a reputation as perhaps the best engineering school in the world.

The university lays claim to 85 Nobel Laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners, 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners and 45 MacArthur Fellows. Along with medal winners, MIT also has impressive world leaders in its alumni ranks. These include Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ben Bernanke.

MIT has overseen countless scientific discoveries and technological advances. These include the first chemical synthesis of penicillin, the development of radar, the discovery of quarks, and the invention of magnetic core memory, which enabled the development of digital computers. In short, these are the kinds of discoveries that put MIT at the top of many aspiring scientists' dream college lists.

The campus of MIT, located in Boston, Massachusetts

2. California Institute of Technology

At number 2, we have a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution. The California Institute of Technology - better known as Caltech - is located in Pasadena, and was founded in 1891.

Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis in science and technology teaching and research. The university has a competitive admissions process, so only a small number of the most gifted students are admitted.

The alumni and faculty of Caltech have been awarded 39 Nobel Prizes, one Fields Medal, six Turing Awards and 71 United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Four chief scientists of the US Air Force have also attended the institution! These alumni help the university uphold its reputation of being one of the top 10 universities not in the Ivy League.

1. Stanford University

Coming in at number 1, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, we find Stanford University. Stanford University was founded by Jane and Leland Stanford, and as a result of their vision and generosity, is a beacon of learning known all over the world. Since opening in 1891, Stanford's faculty and students have worked to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world. Their mission is to achieve this goal through the discovery and application of knowledge. Breakthroughs at Stanford include the first successful heart-lung transplant, the debut of the computer mouse, and the development of digital music

Stanford sits on a plot of 8180 acres in Palo Alto, California, commonly known as "The Farm" to students. As a result, the university has one of the largest campuses in the United States. Therefore, it has space for 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools on a single campus. These are the Graduate School of Business; School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Graduate School of Education; School of Engineering; School of Humanities and Sciences; Law School; and School of Medicine.

Although Stanford can be challenging academically, it is a really rewarding place to study. They have exceptional sports programs and many famous and trailblazing alumni. There is also the beautiful landscape of northern California as a backdrop!

Founders of Stanford University, Jane and Leland Stanford

Among the best

It is clear to see why these schools form part of the top rankings. Although vastly different from each other, becoming an alumni of any of these universities is a notable achievement. The combination of their strong academics, top tier sports facilities and unique traditions mean that these are certainly worth taking into consideration. Come back next week to find out which schools round out the top 10 universities that are not in the Ivy League!

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