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The 50 best USA universities and colleges / California Education Group California Education Group

Home  / Study  /  The 50 best USA universities and colleges

California Education Group has published own ranking of the best institutions for higher education in 2013 in the United States. The ranking is based on the factors such as the level of the enrollment requirements, teaching staff, research and developing activities, the international prestige and social significance.

1 PrincetonPrinceton University»

Princeton University was founded in 1746. Princeton, the fourth-oldest college in the United States, is located in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey. Notable alumni include US President Woodrow Wilson; model/actress Brooke Shields; and the first lady Michelle Obama. According to Princeton legend, if a student exits campus through FitzRandolph Gate prior to graduation, he or she may be cursed never to graduate.

2 HarvardHarvard University»

Harvard University is a private institution that was founded in 1636.Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Harvard's extensive library system houses the oldest collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world. Eight U.S. presidents graduated from Harvard College, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Other notable alumni include Henry David Thoreau, Helen Keller, Yo-Yo Ma and Tommy Lee Jones.

MITMassachusetts Institute of Technology»

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1861.MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from downtown Boston. MIT focuses on scientific and technological research and is divided into five schools and one college. Distinguished alumni include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke.

4 Yale Yale University»

Yale University is a private institution that was founded in 1701. Yale University, located in New Haven, Connecticut, is known for its excellent drama and music programs, which reach outside the classroom with student organizations such as the Yale Whiffenpoofs, a famous a cappella group, and the Yale Dramatic Association. Yale is made up of the College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and 13 professional schools. Yale is well known for its secret societies, the most famous of which are the Skull and Bone Society, which boasts members such as George W. Bush and John Kerry. Distinguished Yale alumni include actress Meryl Streep, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and actor Edward Norton.

Columbia Columbia University»

Columbia University is a private institution that was founded in 1754. Columbia University, located in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City. Columbia is comprised of three undergraduate schools—Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the School of General Studies—as well as a number of graduate and professional schools. Distinguished alumni include John Jay, founding father and first Supreme Court Justice; President Barack Obama; songwriting team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II; and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.

StanfordStanford University»

Stanford University is a private institution that was founded in 1885. Stanford University’s pristine campus is located in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. Stanford has a number of well-known theatrical and musical groups, including the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society and the Mendicants, an all-male a cappella group. Notable Stanford alumni include former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, famed NFL quarterback John Elway, actress Sigourney Weaver and golfer Tiger Woods, who began his professional career at Stanford.

Caltech California Institute of Technology»

California Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1891. Caltech, which focuses on science and engineering, is located in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Companies such as Intel, Compaq and Hotmail were founded by Caltech alumni. Famous film director Frank Capra also graduated from Caltech.

Dartmouth Dartmouth College»

Dartmouth College is a private institution that was founded in 1769. Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire. More than 50 percent of students participate in the many off-campus programs offered in more than 20 countries around the world. Distinguished Dartmouth alumni include Theodor Geisel (well known as Dr. Seuss), creator of the television show "Grey's Anatomy" Shonda Rhimes and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.

Penn University of Pennsylvania»

University of Pennsylvania is a private institution that was founded in 1740. The University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin. More than 2,000 students each year participate in international study programs offered in more than 70 countries around the world. Notable Penn alumni include former U.S. President William Henry Harrison, poet William Carlos Williams and businessman Donald Trump.

10 USCUniversity of Southern California»

University of Southern California is a private institution that was founded in 1880. The University of Southern California’s central campus, referred to as the University Park campus, is located in Los Angeles’s Downtown Arts and Education Corridor. USC has other campuses in L.A. in addition to sites around Southern California and in Sacramento, Calif., and Washington. USC is also well known for its Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and its highly esteemed School of Cinematic Arts, which has graduated students such as directors Judd Apatow and George Lucas. Films including "The Graduate," "Legally Blonde" and "Forrest Gump" all filmed scenes on USC’s campus.

11 Brown Brown University»

Brown University is a private institution that was founded in 1764. Located atop College Hill in Providence, R.I., Brown University has a college-town feel with Thayer Street serving as a center of activity for shopping and dining. The center section of the Van Wickle Gates on Brown’s campus opens only twice a year: once to let incoming students onto campus and once to let recent graduates exit after commencement. Brown hosts an annual celebratory "Spring Weekend" with athletic events, concerts and free food. Notable alumni include John D. Rockefeller Jr., John F. Kennedy Jr. and CNN founder and media mogul Ted Turner.

12 Chicago University of Chicago»

University of Chicago is a private institution that was founded in 1890. The University of Chicago, situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, offers a rich campus life in a big-city setting. Since 1987, the school has hosted the four-day long "University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt," now a venerable university tradition. Famous alumni include former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics recipient Milton Friedman, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

13 Berkeley University of California, Berkeley»

University of California--Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. The University of California—Berkeley, often referred to as Cal, is situated overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Distinguished alumni include former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley and actor John Cho of the "Harold and Kumar" films. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project during WWII to develop the atomic bomb, was a physicist and professor at Berkeley.

14 Duke Duke University»

Duke University is a private institution that was founded in 1838. Duke's most esteemed undergraduate scholarship, the Robertson Scholars Program, provides approximately 18 students from each class with a monetary reward and the opportunity to study for a semester at UNC-Chapel Hill. Notable alumni include Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; NBA player Carlos Boozer; and former U.S. Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul.

15 VanderbiltVanderbilt University»

Vanderbilt University is a private institution that was founded in 1873. Located in Nashville, or Music City, there are plenty of off-campus options for dining, shopping, music and entertainment. About 35 percent of students take advantage of Vanderbilt’s study abroad programs, which are offered in more than 35 countries. Former chairman and CEO of Time Inc. Ann Moore, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler and novelist James Patterson all received degrees from Vanderbilt.

16 Pomona Pomona College»

Pomona College is a private institution that was founded in 1887. Pomona College is located in Claremont, Calif., 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. "Ski-Beach Day" takes advantage of Pomona’s unique location: Students ski at a local resort in the morning, and spend the afternoon at a beach in Orange County. Notable alumni include former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller and renowned choral conductor Robert Shaw.

17 Cornell UniversityCornell University»

Cornell University is a private institution that was founded in 1865. Cornell University, located in Ithaca, N.Y., has more than 500 student organizations on campus, which range from the Big Red Marching Band to the International Affairs Society. One of Cornell’s oldest traditions is Dragon Day, during which a dragon built by first-year architecture students is paraded through campus and then burned during a bonfire celebrating the coming of spring. Notable alumni include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, author E.B. White and Bill Nye, the "Science Guy."

18 UCLAUniversity of California, Los Angeles»

University of California--Los Angeles is a public institution that was founded in 1919. The University of California—Los Angeles, commonly referred to as UCLA, is located in the Westwood neighborhood of L.A., just five miles from the Pacific Ocean. Notable alumni include former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and actor Sean Astin, best know for his portrayal of Sam Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy.

19 NYUNew York University»

New York University is a private institution that was founded in 1831. New York University’s primary campus is located in the lively Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. NYU is a true city school, with no borders separating a distinct campus from the streets of the Big Apple. New York University, a member of the distinguished Association of American Universities, is the largest private university in the United States, with a student population of over 44,000 and seventeen schools and divisions.

20 Boston College Boston College»

Boston College is a private institution that was founded in 1863. Boston College was founded by the Society of Jesus and has maintained its Roman Catholic Jesuit religious affiliation. "The Heights," a nickname for the college, refers to its hilltop location and is also the name of the student newspaper. Notable alumni include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill.

21 University of California, Irvine University of California, Irvine»

University of California--Irvine is a public institution that was founded in 1965. On the sunny campus of the University of California—Irvine, students don't have far to go to decompress after class. The Pacific Ocean is a quick 5-mile trip away, attracting surfers, sailors and sunbathers alike. Seated in Orange County, the bustling campus is home to more than 500 student organizations, including nearly 50 fraternities and sororities. The university has also earned accolades for its eco-friendly measures, promoting green initiatives through student groups like the Anteaters for Recycling and Conservation. Famous UC-Irvine alumni include former "Saturday Night Live" actor Jon Lovitz, Greg Louganis, four-time Olympic gold medality in diving, and author Alice Sebold, who wrote "The Lovely Bones."

22 Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University»

Johns Hopkins University is a private institution that was founded in 1876. Johns Hopkins University has four main campuses in and around Baltimore. The Homewood Campus, located next to the eclectic neighborhood of Charles Village, is the primary campus for undergraduates, and three other campuses house various graduate schools. Former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, former president of the NAACP Kweisi Mfume and businessman and the 108th Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg all received degrees from Hopkins.

23 Southern California Institute of Architecture Southern California Institute of Architecture»

Southern California Institute of Architecture is a private institution. It has a urban setting and the campus size is 2 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. With its location in the intensely urban artist's district in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, SCI-arc provides students with a uniquely inspiring environment in which to study Architecture. An integral part of the emerging cultural hub of a city with a tradition of architectural experimentation, the school is devoted to finding radically new responses to the real needs and aspirations of today's world.

24 University of Washington University of Washington»

University of Washington is a public institution that was founded in 1861. Located in the University District neighborhood (known as the U District) just north of downtown Seattle, the University of Washington is a cutting-edge research university with a long-standing history as one of the oldest public institutions on the West Coast. Notable alumni include Thomas Foley, former U.S. Speaker of the House; Chris DeWolfe, co-creator of MySpace; and Irv Robbins, co-founder and namesake of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain.

25 San Diego State University San Diego State University»

San Diego State University is a public institution that was founded in 1897. SDSU provides transformative experiences for students in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. Renowned for its academic excellence, the university is home to top-ranked graduate programs in business; engineering; public health; psychology; fine arts; biological sciences; public affairs; education; and speech, language, and hearing sciences. Ranked undergraduate programs include business, engineering and international business. Overall, San Diego State students can choose from 91 undergraduate majors, 78 master's programs and 22 doctoral degree programs.

26 Middlebury College Middlebury College

Middlebury College is a private institution that was founded in 1800. Middlebury College is located in the Champlain Valley between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks in the small town of Middlebury, Vt. Notable alumni include former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and writer Jeff Lindsay, who wrote the books that have become the basis for the TV show "Dexter."

27  University of Texas, Austin University of Texas, Austin

University of Texas--Austin is a public institution that was founded in 1883. Everything is bigger in Texas, as the saying goes, and it holds true at the University of Texas—Austin, one of the largest schools in the nation. The school has one of the biggest Greek systems in the country, two of the largest student publications and more than 900 clubs and organizations for students. UT offers hundreds of study abroad programs, with the most popular destinations being Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and China. Notable alumni include former pitcher Roger Clemens, actor Matthew McConaughey of films "The Wedding Planner" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and former first lady Laura Bush.

28 George Washington University George Washington University

George Washington University is a private institution that was founded in 1821. George Washington University’s urban location in downtown Washington, D.C., is ideal for fans of politics and city life. The school is spread out across the D.C. Foggy Bottom neighborhood, near the State Department and about a mile away from museums on the National Mall and the Washington Monument. Among the scores of famous GW graduates are politicians Harry Reid and Eric Cantor, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and performers including Kerry Washington. Alec Baldwin attended GW but did not graduate.

29 University of Kansas University of Kansas

University of Kansas is a public institution that was founded in 1866. The University of Kansas is a major public comprehensive research and teaching university. KU offers the highest-quality academic programs (139 undergraduate and 228 masters, doctorate, and professional degree programs.) The academic programs are supported by 12 libraries and several museums including art and natural history. Top ranked programs in education, public administration, occupational therapy, and special education provide outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic opportunities. Excellent programs in law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social welfare, and other fields prepare students for professional careers. More than 100 international study abroad and cooperative undergraduate research programs are available.

30 University of Michigan, Ann ArborUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor

University of Michigan--Ann Arbor is a public institution that was founded in 1817. The University of Michigan boasts one of the best college towns in the country: Ann Arbor, only 45 minutes from the city of Detroit. Former U.S. President Gerald Ford, actress Lucy Liu of the "Charlie’s Angels" and "Kill Bill" film series, and NFL quarterback Tom Brady all graduated from Michigan.

31 Northwestern University Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private institution that was founded in 1851. What began as farmland and swampland in the 1850s became the Northwestern campus and the city of Evanston, Ill. Northwestern University is a Division I school in the Big Ten athletic conference. Northwestern's women's lacrosse team has won multiple NCAA national championships. The school has hundreds of campus organizations fulfill students' varied interests. Notable alumni include the 55th mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel; retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; actor, writer and director Zach Braff; comedian Stephen Colbert; and Tony Award-winning actress Heather Headley.

32 University of Notre Dame University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame is a private institution that was founded in 1842. Notre Dame is located in South Bend, Ind., just 100 miles outside of Chicago. Notable alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, talk-show host Regis Philbin and Hall of Fame football player Joe Montana. The 1993 film "Rudy," ranked one of the top 25 sports movies of the past 25 years by ESPN, was filmed on Notre Dame’s campus and depicts the true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who overcame many obstacles to play football at Notre Dame.

33 United States Naval Academy United States Naval Academy

United States Naval Academy is a public institution that was founded in 1845. The United States Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, Md., at the intersection of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay, approximately 33 miles east of Washington, D.C. It is the second oldest of the five federal service academies. Notable alumni include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space; U.S. Senator John McCain; NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; and former presidential candidate Ross Perot.

34 Trinity College Trinity College

Trinity College is a private institution that was founded in 1823. The campus is located in Hartford, Conn., a large city where students can do everything from attending concerts at the Comcast and Webster theatres to learning how to shoot a cannon from the Revolutionary War at the Old State House. Among the college’s notable graduates are Jim Murren, chairman of casino chain MGM Resorts; journalist Tucker Carlson; and columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author George Will.

35 University of Nevada University of Nevada

University of Nevada--Las Vegas is a public institution that was founded in 1957. At the University of Nevada—Las Vegas, or UNLV, as it's known, students live, work and play in one of the most frequently visited destinations in the country. Not surprisingly, given its location, UNLV has graduated some top players in the hotel and casino industry, including George Maloof, former CEO of The Palms Casino Resort, and Scott Sibella, president of Mirage Hotel & Casino. Other notable alumni include Food Network personality Guy Fieri and ESPN broadcaster Kenny Mayne.

36 United Stated Military Academy United Stated Military Academy

United States Military Academy is a public institution that was founded in 1802. The United States Military Academy is located in West Point, N.Y., approximately 50 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River. The school, also known as USMA, West Point and Army, is the oldest of the country’s five federal service academies. Alumni and students are often referred to as "The Long Gray Line," and famous members include former U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant; former U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur; Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army; former CIA Director David Petraeus; and AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey.

37 University of Richmond University of Richmond

University of Richmond is a private institution that was founded in 1830. Virginia’s capital city of Richmond is a historic one, packed with parks, culture, nightlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation, so students at the university of the same name won’t likely be bored. University of Richmond students can go white water rafting on the nearby James River, or can stop by some of the city’s many events throughout the year, such as the Richmond Folk Festival and the Richmond Greek Festival. There are a handful of popular music venues downtown, as well as scores of restaurants, bars and clubs. Notable alumni of the University of Richmond include Grammy Award-winning record producer Steve Buckingham and Josh Abramson, co-founder of CollegeHumor.com.

38 Providence College Providence College

Providence College is a private institution that was founded in 1917. Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island, is the only college in the nation operated by Dominican Friars. The Slavin Center, the school's student union, houses a concert/lecture hall, student organization offices, a food court and McPhail's, a snack bar and hangout spot equipped with dance floor, pool tables and a projector-screen TV. There are more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus, and students can also create a team to compete in Battle of the Brains, an annual question and answer game-show-style tournament.

39 University of Connecticut University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut is a public institution that was founded in 1881. The University of Connecticut, located in Storrs, was originally known as the Storrs Agricultural School ­— a fitting name for an institution surrounded by farmland. Storrs is a sleepy town about a 30-minute drive from Hartford; 60 minutes from Providence, R.I.; and 90 minutes from Boston. Without many activities off campus, students can get involved in the more than 450 clubs and organizations on campus, including more than 30 fraternities and sororities. They can also catch a film in the on-campus movie theater and skate for free in the school’s ice rink. Sports are a major focus for students; the UConn Huskies compete in the NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference, in which UConn’s basketball teams are especially ferocious competitors. Notable alumni of the University of Connecticut include WNBA star Sue Bird; George Harrison, former senior vice president at Nintendo; and David Lee, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

40 University of Delaware University of Delaware

University of Delaware is a public institution that was founded in 1743. For students interested in attending the University of Delaware, it pays to live in the state. The University of Delaware admits all Delaware residents whose academic records predict success, and about 65 percent who apply will be accepted. Notable University of Delaware alumni include U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; Robert Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex; and Chuck Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity.

41 University of Oklahoma University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma is a public institution that was founded in 1890. The University of Oklahoma, known as OU for short, is a large, public research institution in Norman. Many notable athletes, including former football player and coach Darrell Royal and baseball player Greg Dobbs, have graduated from the University of Oklahoma, as did former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey and actress and comedian Olivia Munn.

42 Manhattan College Manhattan College

Manhattan College is a private institution that was founded in 1853. Manhattan College is a Catholic school located in the Riverdale neighborhood of New York City. Undergraduates can choose from many majors within the schools of arts, business, engineering, science, and education and health, and graduate students can earn master's degrees in fields such as education and engineering.

43 University of Pittsburgh University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh is a public institution that was founded in 1787. Located in the Oakland neighborhood, Pitt’s campus is a 3-mile trip from bustling downtown Pittsburgh. The city is home to powerhouse professional sports teams, such as the Steelers and Penguins, and dozens of unique cultural centers, like the Andy Warhol Museum and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. There are notable University of Pittsburgh alumni in almost every professional sector; some are famed football personalities Mike Ditka and Dan Marino; former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; and Roscoe Robinson Jr., the first African-American four-star general in the U.S. Army.

44 University of Wisconsin University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin--Madison is a public institution that was founded in 1848. The University of Wisconsin—Madison lies along the southern shore of Lake Mendota in the city of Madison. The Wisconsin Badgers compete in more than 20 NCAA Division I sports and are part of the Big Ten Conference. Notable Wisconsin alumni include renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly and author Joyce Carol Oates. Other past students include former Vice President Dick Cheney, aviator Charles Lindbergh, naturalist John Muir and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

45 Ohio State University – Columbus Ohio State University – Columbus

Ohio State University--Columbus is a public institution that was founded in 1870. Located in the state capital of Columbus, The Ohio State University is a sprawling school with seemingly endless opportunities for students to get involved. There are more than 1,000 clubs and organizations on campus, including about 65 fraternities and sororities. Sports are another big part of campus life, with the Ohio State Buckeyes competing in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference. The athletic teams are named after the state tree and cheered on by mascot Brutus Buckeye. The football stadium, which was completed in 1922, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There are notable Ohio State alumni in nearly every industry sector, and famous graduates include actress Patricia Heaton and "Goosebumps" author R. L. Stine.

46 Tufts University Tufts University

Tufts University is a private institution that was founded in 1852. Tufts University is located in the Medford/Somerville area of Massachusetts, not far from downtown Boston. Tufts has additional campuses in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood, where its health sciences program is located, and in the suburb of Grafton, home to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Notable alumni include eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Golden Globe-winning actor Peter Gallagher and Guster guitarist and vocalist Adam Gardner. Both Gallagher and Gardner sang in the Beelzebubs.

47 Georgetown University Georgetown University

Georgetown University is a private institution that was founded in 1789. Georgetown University is situated overlooking the Potomac River just a few minutes from downtown Washington. There are numerous traditional residence halls, and freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. Other students choose to live in the townhouses and apartments surrounding campus. Student organizations on campus include religious groups, media outlets and student government. The neighborhood of Georgetown surrounding the university’s campus houses high-end shopping, restaurants and bars. Notable alumni include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, actor Bradley Cooper, journalist Maria Shriver and Hall of Fame basketball player Patrick Ewing. The famous "Exorcist steps" used in the 1973 horror film "The Exorcist" are located just below Georgetown’s campus.

48 University of Missouri University of Missouri

University of Missouri--St. Louis is a public institution that was founded in 1963. Undergraduates at University of Missouri—St. Louis can choose from about 50 bachelor's degree programs. On campus, UMSL students can get involved in more than 120 organizations, including fraternities and sororities and student government. Notable alumni include Gary Belsky, former editor-in-chief of "ESPN The Magazine," and actress Phyllis Smith, who appeared on NBC's "The Office."

49 University of Vermont University of Vermont

University of Vermont is a public institution that was founded in 1791. Nestled between the Adirondack and Green Mountains is the University of Vermont, a quasi-public school founded in 1791. It is known colloquially as UVM, which is Latin for Universitas Viridis Montis, or University of the Green Mountains. Students who want to take advantage of the surrounding nature in Burlington, Vermont, can rent skis, snowshoes, canoes and camping equipment on campus. Students don’t have to go far for an adventure, though; UVM has an adventure ropes course and an indoor rock climbing wall. There are more than 170 student organizations on campus, including about 15 fraternities and sororities. Among the ranks of the university's distinguished alumni are John Dewey, an educational philosopher; Jody Williams, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for her campaign against land mines; and Jon Kilik, the film producer responsible for "Malcolm X" and "Babel."

50 Wheaton College Wheaton College

Wheaton College is a private institution that was founded in 1834. Located between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, Wheaton College can be found in the town of Norton, Massachusetts. Originally founded in 1834 as a female seminary, it became a women's college in 1912 and finally began admitting men in 1988. Students admitted to the college have the opportunity to select from about 40 majors and more than 100 student-run clubs and organizations. Notable alumni of the college include National Medal of Science winner Dr. Mary Ellen Avery; Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and former EPA director; and Oscar-nominated actress Catherine Keener.

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