Top 10 USA Universities to Check for Next Admission Intake

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04 April, 2023

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Statista revealed that in the 2021-2022 academic year, 948,519 international students studied in the USA. This is a rise from the 2018 global student count of 914,095. The USA has always been a favourite amongst international students. With a student visa acceptance rate of 85%, the USA continues to see various applications from multiple countries all over the world. 

The country has become a popular study-abroad destination as it is home to various prestigious universities catering to every international student's academic needs. In fact, as per the QS World University Rankings 2023, there are 202 USA-ranked universities mentioned on the list. But with so many top universities on the list, it can get confusing as to where your academic investment should be.

Thus, to simplify it for you, we are covering here the list of the top 10 universities in the USA and other vital information to smoothen your admission process. 

Top Universities in the USA

Top Universities in the USA: Overview

Here, below, you will find a list with some insightful information to introduce you better to the top universities in the USA. 

University Name

QS World University Rankings 2023

Academic Reputation

Employer Reputation

International Student Ratio

Employment Outcomes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1

100

100

90

100

Stanford University

3

100

100

60.3

100

Harvard University

5

100

100

66.9

100

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

6

96.5

87.1

85.1

98.8

University of Chicago

10

99.2

92.2

76

98.2

University of Pennsylvania

13

96.5

92.5

66.1

100

Princeton University

16

99.9

98.9

62.2

100

Yale University

18

99.9

100

77.3

100

Cornell University

20

98.3

91.4

55.3

99.5

Columbia University

22

99.7

98.1

94.6

99.8

Let’s now learn about each of these universities in our next category to help you confidently invest in any of them. 

Top 10 Universities In USA 

When it comes to choosing the finest USA universities, the above list of university names has proven to be the most popular. Whether for their academic reputation or employment wise, these universities have maintained the spotlight for international students for many years. 

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT has been a top preferred university for many international students globally. At MIT, students practice the art of learning via conducting activities rather than just depending on theoretical knowledge. The learning experience is unique here because students dedicate their time and energy to creating a solution that solves globally faced challenges. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses

Computer Science, Linear Algebra, and Algorithms.

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $59,750/year

Masters: up to $28,795/per term

PhD: $ up to 1,440/first 3 semesters

Location

Cambridge, United States

2. Stanford University

Stanford University is an excellent choice for students who wish to experience some academic freedom. The university hosts a range of programs that students can choose from. Thus, due to its quarterly semester approach, students can learn subjects better and decide which major they want to pursue. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses

Human Biology, Engineering, Industrial Management, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $19,231/per quarter

Masters/PhD: $12,240/ for 8–10 units

                       $18,829/ 11–18 units

Location

Stanford, United States


 USA Universities

3. Harvard University

Harvard is a common name widely recognized amongst international students. The greatest feature of pursuing academics at Harvard is the university's range of learning opportunities. The university makes learning easy, from offering a huge library for exploring knowledge, to receiving assistance with expert facilities anytime. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4-6 years

Popular Courses

Mathematics, Psychology, History, etc.

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $52,659/year

Masters/PhD: up to $58,479/year

Location

Cambridge, United States

4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

If you wish to pursue science and engineering in the USA, Caltech is the place for you. Home to 46 Nobel Prizes, the university holds a strong foundation of learning. What is unique about this university is its understanding of how complex finding a solution to a problem is. Yet, they support and encourage students by offering world-class facilities to support their learning. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4-6 years

Popular Courses 

Support services, Physical sciences, Engineering, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $60,816/year

Masters/PhD: up to $58,479/year

Location

Pasadena, United States

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is another highly recommended educational institution. The university has grown popular over the years for a particular aspect, that is freedom of discussion. When it comes to learning, the university and faculty practice the art of freedom. Students and teachers can have debates and open discussions on topics to enhance learning. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4-6 years

Popular Courses

Economics, Physics, Political Science, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $61,179/year

Masters: up to $12, 561/per quarter

PhD: Year 1- 4 $70,056/3 quarters

          Year 5+  $35,025/3 quarters

Location

Chicago, United States


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6. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is another popular choice of university among international students. Being one of the top research universities in the country, the university uses the latest information in its courses to keep students updated about the latest trends and future possibilities. 


Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses

Business, Marketing, Religious Studies, etc.

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $56,212/year

Masters: up to $30,168/per course unit 

(amount varies as per course program)

PhD: up to $39,838/year

Location

Philadelphia, United States


7. Princeton University

Princeton University is another example of a research-based university in the USA. What makes Princeton stand out from the crowd is the learning experience it offers to its students. Faculty members are dedicated to assisting each and every student when it’s required. Apart from this, they also encourage students to be creative and think about global issues and possible solutions.

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses

Health, Humanities, Social science, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate/Masters/PhD: up to $57,410/year

Location

Princeton, United States

8. Yale University

Yale University has grown to become a prestigious university that redefines the meaning of an educational institution. Yale proves to be a place that enables students to gain knowledge and enhance their skills, making them capable of performing any task at hand. At Yale, students can explore their choices and only enter those courses/programs that compel their interests. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses 

Psychology, Medicine, Law, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $64,700/year

Masters: $46,900- $47,600/year

PhD: up to $46,900/year

Location

New Haven, United States

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9. Cornell University

Since its establishment, the university has continued to prove its academic values over the years. At Cornell, the university’s prime focus is to help students learn in an innovative way. Students get to apply for various courses and participate in events to enhance their learning experience. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4-6 years

Popular Courses

Management, Engineering, Law, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $62,457/year

Masters: $20,800- $62,446/year

PhD: $20,800- $29,500/year

Location

Ithaca, United States


New York City

10. Columbia University

Lastly, Columbia University, located in New York City, has grown popular due to its prime location, which is closer to the top brands in the country. The university has a large library and multiple research centres that support each student's learning experience. Securing a spot becomes easier here as the university trains the students while keeping in mind the needs of the current market. 

Type of University

Private

Course Duration

Undergraduate programs- 4 years

Masters programs- 1.5-2 years

PhD programs- 4–6 years

Popular Courses 

Economics, Political science, Sociology, etc. 

Average Tuition Fees

Undergraduate: up to $65,524/year

Masters/PhD: $10,785/5 credit

                       $14,765/7 credit

                       $19,072/ 9 credit

Location

New York City, United States

It is advised that students visit the university's official website to access tuition fees and other information based on the course they are taking. 

How To Apply To The Top 10 Universities In the USA?

When you apply to the top universities in the USA, there are certain criteria that need to be met. Thus, make sure to do the below steps.

Step 1:

Identify which course you wish to pursue. There is a range of courses that you can study in the USA, such as music, engineering, medicine, law, and much more. Once your academic interest is fixed, find the US university that offers the course you’re looking for. 

Things to keep in mind while choosing your university:

  • If the university offers various programs to pursue your course.

  • If there are good infrastructures to support your learnings for this course.

  • If you wish to pursue further studies on this course, the university should have options.

  • If there are available spots, in the courses you want.

Step 2:

Visit the chosen university's official website to access the admission process. Every university have a set of requirements for students. Based on the degree and course level, the admission requirements will vary. Here is the complete list:

Degree Level

Admission Requirements

Documents Required

Bachelors

  • Completed 12 years of education

  • Scored well in the subjects related to the course they wish to undertake

  • Passed the English language proficiency test (IELTS- 6-7.5, TOEFL ibt- 80-100, etc.)

  • Scores of SAT/ACT/PSAT exam as enquired by the university

  • Scores a GPA of 3.0 or more out of 4.0

  • Meets the enquired subject requirements as per university website

  • Official high school transcripts

  • English language proficiency score report

  • Achievements related to course subjects

  • Proof of college contribution (attended any events, etc.)

  • Personal Achievements

  • Proof of entrance exam written (SAT/ACT/PSAT) 

Masters

  • A bachelor’s degree

  • GPA score of 3.0 and above out of 4.0

  • Entrance exam scores (GMAT/GRE/MCAT, etc.) as per university website

  • Scored well in English language proficiency test (IELTS- 7-7.5, TOEFL ibt- 80-90, etc.)

  • A Bachelor’s degree proof

  • Entrance exam score reports (GMAT/MCAT/GRE)

  • Proof of English language proficiency test 

  • Letters of Recommendation

  • Work Experience proof

  • CV/Resume

  • Statement of Purpose

PhD

  • A Bachelors and Masters degree

  • Proof of English language proficiency test (IELTS- 7, TOEFL ibt- 90-100, etc.)

  •  A Bachelors and Masters degree certificate

  • Proof of English language proficiency test

  • Letters of Recommendation

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Work Samples

  • CV/Resume

Step 3:

Once you have completed all required exams, submit those scores and other required documents before the application’s deadline. This process can be done online or in any other way specified on the university website. 

Step 4:

At times, students will have to attend an interview. Ensure you prepare well for it, be on time, and answer questions well. 

Step 5:

If the university chooses you, a confirmation email will be sent to you. After which, you can start applying for a USA student visa and arrange for funds to live in the USA. 

Also, you should visit the university website to access detailed information about the admission requirements based on your chosen course. 

Top Reasons To Study In A USA University

There are multiple reasons these universities have seen an increase in applications over the years. To help you make your decision, here are the top reasons to study at US universities:

1. Accommodation

To make your study in the USA journey easier, almost all US universities offer on-campus housing. Students can use this space to make friends and learn how to live in the country. The cost of living in on-campus housing varies from one university to another and ranges from $9,650/year and can go up to $17,940/year.

Normally, students, after a year, move away from the on-campus housing and opt for the off-campus housing option. To find your way to off-campus housing, using Casita will help. This is an all-around solution to helping international students find a home based on their housing and budget needs. 

2. Offer cost-effective universities

USA offers two types of universities, private and public. Private universities have grown popular, and they are widely recognized, although they are more expensive. 

Students who wish to pursue academics with a tight budget can take advantage of public universities in the USA. 

These public universities are cheaper and, despite the latter, offer valuable education and recognizable degrees. To name a few, there are California State University, Brooklyn College, Dakota State University, and many more. 

The tuition fee of cost-effective universities ranges from undergraduate programs - $8000- $16,722/year and for graduate programs- $8000- 12,000/year. 

The fees can vary based on the course and program chosen; thus, it is better to visit the university's official website to access it. 

3. Variety of university types

The USA is home to four types of educational institutions, private universities, public universities, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges. Based on your academic and career interests, a choice can be made. 

For example, if you’re looking to pursue art studies in the USA on a budget, studying at a dedicated college such as a liberal arts college is best for you.

4. Provides scholarship opportunities

Pursuing education in the USA at most universities can be expensive. To tackle such challenges, most US universities offer scholarship programs, to help support students financially. For example, Stanford University offers scholarships for international students to help them cover their tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs. 

Students seeking scholarships to study in the USA should visit the university's financial aid page to learn more about their eligibility and the application process. 

5. On-Campus job opportunities

International students are allowed to work up to 20 hrs/per week during their semesters. This is a great initiative since students can earn extra income to manage their budget needs while living in the country. Did you know that you can apply for jobs from your campus itself? 

While off-campus jobs such as waitressing and clerking are common, students can visit the university website to see the availability of on-campus jobs. A few examples of on-campus jobs include tutors, lab assistants, etc. The salary range of part-time on-campus jobs is between $7/hour and can go up to $15/hour or higher. 

How To Find The Right USA University For You?

Now that you have complete information about US universities, finding the right university for you is easier. To help you go through this process smoothly, here are a few tips you can follow:

1. Choose a university that offers multiple ranges of specializations based on your course choice.

2. Analyse what the university does to make your learning experience better. For example, do they have enough research centres? Do they have new facilities that can help you while learning? 

3. The USA is home to multiple universities whose tuition fees range from expensive to affordable. Understand your budgetary needs and shortlist those universities that meet them. 

4. Join a university that have available spots. Search and know more about how the employment chances are upon graduation. Research which brands are tied up with the university. 

5. Lastly, choose a university you know can benefit you both academically and professionally. 

As an international student, choosing a good study abroad destination is vital. The USA has remained a popular choice for many years due to its widely recognized education system, access to quality teaching, and the wide range of options based on students’ budgets. 

So, if you’re someone who is keen to study in the USA or considering the option, you need to focus on choosing the best academic institution as per your interest. Seeking the help of professional study abroad experts should be your first step. To get started, book a free 1-1 counselling session today.


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