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Top U.S. Universities Quiz

Each year, US News and World Report ranks the top US universities. Even though it's completely arbitrary and wrong, try to guess the top 50.
2019-20 school year
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedSeptember 17, 2012
Last updatedSeptember 13, 2019
Times taken59,748
Rating3.92
6:00
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#
School
1
Princeton
2
Harvard
3
Columbia
3
MIT
3
Yale
6
Chicago
6
Penn
6
Stanford
9
Northwestern
10
Duke
10
Johns Hopkins
12
Cal Tech
12
Dartmouth
14
Brown
#
School
15
Notre Dame
15
Vanderbilt
17
Cornell
17
Rice
19
Washington (St. Louis)
20
UCLA
21
Emory
22
Berkeley
22
USC
24
Georgetown
25
Carnegie Mellon
25
Michigan
27
Wake Forest
28
Virginia
#
School
29
Georgia Tech
29
NYU
29
North Carolina
29
Rochester
29
Tufts
34
Florida
34
UC Santa Barbara
36
UC Irvine
37
Boston College
37
UCSD
39
UC Davis
40
Boston University
40
Brandeis
40
Case Western
#
School
40
Northeastern
40
Tulane
40
William and Mary
46
Villanova
46
Wisconsin
48
Illinois
48
Texas
50
Georgia
50
Lehigh
50
Pepperdine
50
Rensselaer Polytechnic
+2
level 73
Sep 11, 2013
Miami? Huh...who knew.
+1
level 79
Sep 13, 2017
I know, huh? They haven't won a championship since 2001!
+3
level 68
Feb 6, 2018
That could be Miami of Ohio -- excellent school (and, no I am not an alumnus). (Nor alumna if somebody wants to get cute.)
+1
level 38
Sep 15, 2019
Miami Ohio
+2
level 77
Sep 14, 2013
MIT tumbled down the rankings? I guess 7th best in the USA is still good enough for top 2 or 3 internationally.
+1
level 50
Sep 14, 2013
Interesting how they can rank the schools for a year when academic results aren't even possible, or don't they care?
+2
level 77
Sep 15, 2013
They're not ranking how well students are going to perform this year. That really has nothing at all to do with it. Maybe when they rank middle schools or something they would take student performance on standardized tests into consideration but that is not what universities are about or how they are ranked.
+1
level 77
Sep 15, 2013
Here you go. Different organizations use different criteria but this is the criteria used for this particular test.
+1
level 77
Sep 15, 2013
One criteria that seems to be omitted from US News' formula that is often paramount in other similar rankings seems to be the amount of quality research being produced by that university. Maybe this only factors in when evaluating graduate schools, though.
+1
level 71
Sep 10, 2014
The criteria also changes year to year. And some of the criteria, IMO, hurts/helps school rankings in ways they shouldn't. For example, they often use freshman retention as a major component (or alternatively, 4/5 year graduation rates of incoming freshmen). Changing majors isn't unheard of. And if you decide to pursue a different major and your school doesn't offer it, you're likely to transfer for obvious reasons. That hits retention and (depending on how it is calculated) graduation rates. For a large state school, this may not mean anything. But if you have a school like Caltech, and you decide after a year you aren't cut out for science or engineering and want to pursue a business degree? Well, tough.... you have to transfer. Doesn't mean the school isn't good - just that they're highly specialized.
+2
level 51
Sep 14, 2013
Agreed. The list is completely wrong. How did Carnegie Mellon end up below Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Rice and Georgetown. Where is UT @ Austin. By the way, it would be nice to add tuition fees to the quiz. Then we parents know what we are against! Thanks for the quiz.
+3
level 59
Sep 10, 2014
As a Michigan student, I'm not liking this new list.
+1
level 33
Sep 10, 2014
That was the first thing I noticed, fell clean off the list.
+1
level 63
Sep 10, 2014
#29 is falling clean off the list? JeromesNiece - GO BLUE.
+2
level ∞
Sep 10, 2014
Dont worry @JeromesNiece. Michigan is still #17 in the world according to QS.

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/qs-world-university-rankings-quiz.php

+1
level 51
Aug 7, 2016
Ya know what, at least the Victors are still above the Buckeyes. By a lot. Go 'Cats! #12 on the list!
+1
level 71
Sep 10, 2014
Got 34, including all the California schools.
+3
level 65
Sep 10, 2014
Enjoyed this quiz, but there's a problem with the way it reads answers. I tried typing in Michigan State and it said "Michigan has already been guessed". Michigan and Michigan State are NOT the same. This happened with another state also, but I can't remember which one.
+2
level 22
Sep 12, 2015
I was kinda insulted when I realized that. People, pay attention! Michigan State is, like, amazing!!
+1
level 51
Aug 7, 2016
Yeah, just about the only school in the world where you can get a PhD. in packaging. That must be some really outstanding education system you got there!
+5
level ∞
Sep 14, 2016
You're only calling Michigan State a cow college because it was founded by a cow. Not fair at all.
+2
level 71
Sep 10, 2014
What's wrong is your spelling of Caltech. :) No space, only the C is capitalized.
+1
level 44
Sep 10, 2014
I expected a lot more small, private liberal arts schools.
+1
level 71
Aug 7, 2016
The question asks for *universities*, which by definition, are only PhD-granting institutions. This is why a lot of smaller colleges that would otherwise be on a "top schools" list do not appear.
+2
level 65
Dec 26, 2017
US news has liberal arts schools as a separate list.
+1
level 66
Sep 11, 2014
Yeah Rice represent!
+1
level 39
Sep 24, 2014
penn st? don't most people call berkeley, cal?
+1
level 26
Sep 26, 2014
no way is miami in there!!!??? no way
+1
level 82
Nov 11, 2014
Damn. Didn't know there was Penn and Penn State separetely.
+1
level 71
Aug 7, 2016
"Penn" refers to University of Pennsylvania, a private, Ivy League school in Philadelphia. Penn State is a HUGE public university, located in the boonies a couple hours west of Philadelphia, and is well-known for its successful football program under Joe Paterno (and the unfortunate Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal).
+2
level 38
May 17, 2019
Is Penn State the one located in a town called "State College"?
+1
level 71
Sep 16, 2019
Yep, that’s the one. There’s not much else out there except the school.
+1
level 76
Jan 8, 2015
I typed in NY for NYU but it wasn't accepted. Other schools didn't require adding university as part of the name so I assumed NYU wouldn't either.
+1
level 55
Sep 11, 2015
didn't take south Carolina or RIT
+1
level 72
Sep 11, 2015
south carolina didn't make the list
+1
level 63
Sep 12, 2015
USC is Southern Cal, not South Carolina
+1
level 79
Sep 11, 2015
it would seem that Penn St would be accepted for Penn State.
+1
level ∞
Sep 14, 2016
Penn St will work now
+1
level 72
Oct 4, 2018
How about Pennsylvania Ave?
+1
level 72
Sep 15, 2015
Missed two of the colleges I applied to. Oddly enough, I ended up going to the one ranked lowest on this list out of the bunch
+1
level 57
Sep 15, 2015
Please accept "University of" before several of the state schools and some others such as University of Rochester. Thanks!
+1
level 50
Jan 4, 2016
I find it quite strange that the University of Florida made it and UT Austin didn't.
+1
level 51
Aug 7, 2016
Same. When I first saw public institutions on the list, I was all like "Oh, Texas is probably on there," but then nothing worked- Texas, University of Texas Austin, UT Austin, Austin, Texas Austin. Nothing.
+1
level 67
Oct 1, 2016
Can you not accept "Mellon" or "Carnegie" for Carnegie Mellon? I tried both separately but no go.
+1
level 67
Aug 11, 2018
Second time around, and apparently you can't accept them as type ins. Oh well.
+1
level 54
Jun 5, 2017
O-H!
+1
level 54
Jun 28, 2017
I-O!
+2
level 79
Sep 13, 2019
They're not on there anymore . . . OH-NO!
+1
level 82
Sep 14, 2017
I know why, but still find it really funny that you have 51 universities in the top-50 ranking.
+1
level 79
Sep 13, 2019
53 now :)
+1
level 66
Sep 14, 2017
By "North Carolina", I'm assuming they mean Chapel Hill, not NCSU?
+1
level 51
Sep 22, 2017
It has only been five years since I was applying to colleges, and yet these rankings have changed considerably.
+1
level 79
Nov 8, 2017
Boy, these folks love the University of California system...
+3
level 72
Aug 11, 2018
Given that UCLA and UCSB were acceptable answers, when I typed UCI, and it didn't work, I reasonably concluded that UC-Irvine didn't make this. UCI certainly should be an acceptable abbreviated form, as I know that is how my California friends always referred to it.
+1
level 77
Sep 29, 2018
My alma mater is in the five least guessed.
+1
level 72
Oct 4, 2018
Seems quite random. I was almost expecting University of Phoenix Online.
+2
level 60
Oct 12, 2018
First year my alma mater, Georgia, cracked this list. Go mfcking dawgs, that free tuition was a good investment
+1
level 77
Sep 25, 2019
I always check UGA on lists like these. So glad our Alma Mater is up here!
+1
level 61
Nov 21, 2018
Can you please accept "UIUC" for Illinois?
+1
level 47
Nov 22, 2018
My school, Rutgers, ranks 56. Close enough lol
+1
level 77
May 17, 2019
I went to George Mason (currently #136) and UVA (currently #25). But I graduated from GMU in '07. Not sure what it was ranked back then. I know it had one of the top law schools in the country but I wasn't studying law.
+3
level 63
Feb 13, 2019
Tried CMU several times before considering you might be making us spell it out.
+1
level 71
Sep 16, 2019
Someone asked for “Carnegie” and “Mellon” to be accepted for Carnegie Mellon which I thought is a big “nah”, but “CMU” definitely should be!
+1
level 63
May 19, 2019
"Arbitrary and wrong" sums it up.
+1
level 69
Jun 28, 2019
Hard to believe U of Washington isn't on there. Go Huskies!!!
+1
level 70
Sep 14, 2019
Depending on your career, the majority of these should not be on the list in regards to cost to value. Unless you are going into the sciences or law, I would bet at least 75% of these would never pay for themselves.
+1
level 71
Sep 16, 2019
Law and medical schools have different lists.
+1
level 71
Sep 14, 2019
I'm happy to get Rensselaer, even if it was because of a typo of another. Never heard of the place, but it must be good... obviously.
+1
level 71
Sep 16, 2019
It definitely makes sense that Georgia and Georgia Tech are not both filled in when you type “Georgia”; similarly, it’s appropriate that the UC schools need to all be guessed separately. So then why oh why do you have Boston College and Boston University both filling in for the guess “Boston”? Having gone to BU, I tell you that being confused with BC – especially during the Doug Flutie years – has been much to the eternal chagrin of both schools. BC is the one with football. BU is the one with hockey.

…Okay, okay, so BC has a hockey team, too, but ours is much better! Other differences include: BC is a small, Jesuit, liberal arts college with a nice green campus in the ‘burbs. BU is an enormous (one of the biggest private schools in the US) research university in a very urban environment. Would you consider dividing them into two separate guesses?

+2
level 72
Sep 23, 2019
Or as my tour guide said when I toured BU, "BC isn't in Boston, it's in Chestnut Hill. It's also not a college, it's a university. So why would you want to go to a school that doesn't know what it is or where it is?"
+1
level 71
Oct 1, 2019
Ha! I’ve never actually heard that one, but it perfectly reflects our institutional inferiority complex.
+1
level 36
Sep 29, 2019
Im suprised USNA isn't on here