the logo

Best universities in the United States 2022

Find the best universities in the United States 2022 through Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

Best universities in
Rankings for Students
September 2 2021
Harvard University


Top 10 universities in the US 2022

Scroll down for the full list of best universities in the United States

World University Rank 2022 US Rank 2022 University City State
=2 =1 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
=2 =1 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
4 3 Stanford University Stanford California
=5 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
7 5 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
8 6 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley California
9 7 Yale University New Haven Connecticut 
10 8 The University of Chicago Chicago Illinois

Thinking about studying in the US can be overwhelming because there are so many options. Which US university is the best? Where are the top universities in the United States?

skills now employability course CTA
Develop the skills top employers want while you study and get a digital certificate to boost your CV!

We thought you might like to know the top universities in the US based on the highly respected Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.

There are 183 US universities and colleges among the world’s best, so wherever you want to study in the US, a top university will not be far away. Almost all states and about 130 cities are represented in the best US universities list.

UC Berkeley: self-motivating, thought-provoking and interactive
International perspective: a Nepalese student in the United States
Studying at a US university as an Indian student

What is it like to study at a liberal arts college?
How to make friends at university in the United States
Why the US is a unique study experience for international students

California is the most represented state among the best US universities for 2022, with 15 institutions, followed by 14 universities in New York, 12 universities in Texas and 10 universities in Massachusetts.

The universities ranking at the very top of the table are concentrated in these popular destinations, which are well known for their higher education opportunities; the top four are based in California and Massachusetts.

It’s important to note that we also produce a separate US College Rankings in partnership with the Wall Street Journal that is designed specifically with students in mind. At the heart of the US College Rankings is a student survey, taken by more than 170,000 students across the US and capturing the things that are most important to prospective students, such as teaching quality, learning environment, resources, diversity on campus and whether a student would recommend their institution.

You can see the full US College Rankings here, or scroll all the way down to the bottom of the article see the top 10.

How to write a US college admissions essay
Everything you need to know about the Common App

A guide to student bank accounts in the US
The cost of studying at a university in the United States
Scholarships available in the US for international students
Everything you need to know about studying in the US

Everything international students need to know about US student visas

Top 5 universities in the US 2022

5. Princeton University

- Princeton University is one of the oldest universities in the US.
- It is part of the prestigious group of Ivy League universities.

As well as high-quality teaching and research output, the university is well-known for its beautiful campus, with some buildings designed by some of America’s most well-known architects.

Notable alumni who have won a Nobel prize include the physicists Richard Feynman and Robert Hofstadter and chemists Richard Smalley and Edwin McMillan.

Princeton has also educated two US presidents, James Madison and Woodrow Wilson. Other distinguished graduates include Michelle Obama, actors Jimmy Stewart and Brooke Shields, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad.

The 10 most beautiful universities in the US

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

- Thirty-three per cent of the 11,000 students are international, hailing from 154 countries.
- Famous alumni include astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and physicist Richard Feynman.

MIT cultivates a strong entrepreneurial culture, which has seen many alumni found notable companies such as Intel and Dropbox.

Unusually, the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at MIT are not wholly separate; many courses can be taken at either level.

The undergraduate programme is one of the country’s most selective, admitting only 8 per cent of applicants. Engineering and computer science programmes are the most popular among undergraduates.

Women in STEM: stories from MIT students

3. Stanford University

- Many faculty members, students and alumni have founded successful technology companies and start-ups, including Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard.
- Of the 16,000 students – most of whom live on campus – 22 per cent are international.

Based in Palo Alto, right beside Silicon Valley, Stanford University has had a prominent role in encouraging the region’s tech industry to develop.

In total, companies founded by Stanford alumni make $2.7 trillion (£2.2 trillion) each year.

The university is often referred to as “the Farm” because the campus was built on the site of the Stanford family’s Palo Alto stock farm. The campus covers 8,180 acres (3,300 hectares), but more than half of the land is not yet developed.

With its distinctive sand-coloured, red-roofed buildings, Stanford’s campus is thought to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It contains a number of sculpture gardens and art museums, as well as a public meditation centre.

As might be expected from one of the best universities in the world, Stanford is highly competitive. The admission rate stands at just over 5 per cent.

Video: how I got into Stanford University as a low-income international student

=1. Harvard University

- Founded in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest higher education institution in the US.
- About 21,000 students are enrolled, a quarter of whom are international.

Harvard University is probably the best known university in the world, topping the Times Higher Education reputation rankings most years.

Although tuition is expensive, Harvard’s financial endowment allows for plenty of financial aid for students.

The Harvard Library system is made up of 79 libraries and counts as the largest academic library in the world.

Among many famous alumni, Harvard can count eight US presidents, 158 Nobel laureates, 14 Turing Award winners and 62 living billionaires.

Unlike some other universities at the top of the list, Harvard is at least equally reputed for arts and humanities as it is for science and technology, if not more so.

Vlogging a day at Harvard University

=1. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

- Across the six faculties at CalTech, there is a focus on science and engineering.
-  CalTech has an impressive number of successful graduates and affiliates, including 39 Nobel laureates, six Turing Award winners and four Fields Medallists

There are about 2,200 students at CalTech, and the primary campus in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, covers 124 acres (about 50 hectares). Almost all undergraduates live on campus.

In addition to Nobel laureates and top researchers, the CalTech graduate community includes a number of politicians and public advisers, particularly in the areas of science, technology and energy.

All first-year students belong to one of four houses as part of the university’s alternative model to fraternities and sororities. A number of house traditions and events are associated with each house.

Caltech: ‘uniquely difficult but a wonderful place to study’

Best universities in Europe
Compare top Canadian universities

The best universities in Asia
Best universities in Australia

Best universities in the UK

Top universities in the United States 2022

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2022 profile

World University Rank 2022 US Rank 2022 University City State
=2 =1 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
=2 =1 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
4 3 Stanford University Stanford California
=5 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
7 5 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
8 6 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley California
9 7 Yale University New Haven Connecticut 
10 8 The University of Chicago Chicago Illinois
11 9 Columbia University New York City New York
=13 =10 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
=13 =10 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania
20 12 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles California
22 13 Cornell University Ithaca New York
23 14 Duke University Durham North Carolina
=24 =15 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan
=24 =15 Northwestern University Evanston Illinois
26 17 New York University New York City New York
28 18 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
29 19 University of Washington Seattle Washington
34 20 University of California, San Diego San Diego California
45 21 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta Georgia
47 22 University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas
48 23 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign Illinois
51 24 Washington University in St Louis St. Louis Missouri
52 25 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina
=58 26 University of Wisconsin -Madison Madison Wisconsin
62 27 Boston University Boston Massachusetts
63 28 University of Southern California Los Angeles California
64 29 Brown University Providence Rhode Island
67 30 University of California, Davis Davis California
68 31 University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara California
82 32 Emory University Atlanta Georgia
85 33 Ohio State University (Main campus) Columbus Ohio
=86 34 University of Minnesota Minneapolis Minnesota
=93 =35 University of Maryland, College Park College Park Maryland
=93 =35 Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan
98 37 University of California, Irvine Irvine California
=99 38 Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
=105 39 Purdue University West Lafayette West Lafayette Indiana
=113 40 Vanderbilt University Nashville Tennessee
=119 41 Penn State (Main campus) State College Pennsylvania
126 42 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Ohio
=127 43 University of Virginia (Main campus) Charlottesville Virginia
130 44 Georgetown University   Washington D.C.
=132 45 Arizona State University (Tempe) Tempe Arizona
136 46 Rice University Houston Texas
140 47 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
142 48 University of Rochester Rochester (NY) New York
150 49 University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
154 50 University of Florida Gainesville Florida
=158 51 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder Colorado
167 52 Indiana University Bloomington Indiana
168 53 Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts
=172 54 Tufts University Medford Massachusetts
=183 55 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame Indiana
=190 56 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey New Brunswick New Jersey
=193 57 Texas A&M University College Station Texas
201–250 =58 University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz California
201–250 =58 George Washington University   Washington D.C.
201–250 =58 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Worcester Massachusetts
201–250 =58 University of Miami Coral Gables Florida
201–250 =58 University of South Florida Tampa Florida
251–300 =63 Boston College Boston Massachusetts
251–300 =63 Brandeis University Waltham Massachusetts
251–300 =63 University at Buffalo Buffalo New York
251–300 =63 University of California, Riverside Riverside California
251–300 =63 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver Colorado
251–300 =63 Florida State University Tallahassee Florida
251–300 =63 George Mason University Fairfax Virginia
251–300 =63 University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Honolulu Hawai’i
251–300 =63 Howard University   Washington D.C.
251–300 =63 University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa
251–300 =63 University of New Mexico (Main campus) Albuquerque New Mexico
251–300 =63 Oregon Health and Science University Portland Oregon
251–300 =63 University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah
251–300 =63 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg  Virginia
301–350 =77 University of California, Merced Merced California
301–350 =77 University of Delaware Newark (DE) Delaware
301–350 =77 Hofstra University Hempstead New York
301–350 =77 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago Illinois
301–350 =77 North Carolina State University Raleigh North Carolina
301–350 =77 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale Florida
301–350 =77 Rush University Chicago Illinois
301–350 =77 Stony Brook University Stony Brook New York
301–350 =77 Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania
301–350 =77 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville Tennessee
301–350 =77 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem North Carolina
301–350 =77 William & Mary Williamsburg Virginia
351–400 =89 Colorado State University, Fort Collins Fort Collins Colorado
351–400 =89 Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania
351–400 =89 University of Georgia Athens Georgia
351–400 =89 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago Illinois
351–400 =89 University of Oregon Eugene Oregon
351–400 =89 SUNY University at Albany Albany New York
351–400 =89 Syracuse University Syracuse New York
351–400 =89 University of Texas at Dallas Richardson Texas
351–400 =89 Washington State University Pullman Washington
401–500 =98 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks Alaska
401–500 =98 Colorado School of Mines Golden Colorado
401–500 =98 University of Connecticut Mansfield Connecticut 
401–500 =98 University of Denver Denver Colorado
401–500 =98 Georgia State University Atlanta Georgia
401–500 =98 Iowa State University Ames Iowa
401–500 =98 University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas
401–500 =98 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla Missouri
401–500 =98 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln Nebraska
401–500 =98 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia South Carolina
401–500 =98 Tulane University New Orleans Louisiana
401–500 =98 Wayne State University Detroit Michigan
501–600 =110 American University   Washington D.C.
501–600 =110 Clark University Worcester Massachusetts
501–600 =110 Florida International University Miami Florida
501–600 =110 University of Kentucky Lexington  Kentucky
501–600 =110 Mizzou - University of Missouri Columbia Missouri
501–600 =110 University of Montana Missoula Montana
501–600 =110 University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Nebraska
501–600 =110 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark (NJ) New Jersey
501–600 =110 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff Arizona
501–600 =110 Oklahoma State University Stillwater Oklahoma
501–600 =110 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy New York
501–600 =110 Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri
601–800 =122 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama
601–800 =122 University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville Alabama
601–800 =122 University of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas
601–800 =122 Auburn University Auburn Alabama
601–800 =122 University of Central Florida Orlando Florida
601–800 =122 University of Houston Houston Texas
601–800 =122 University of Idaho Moscow Idaho
601–800 =122 Lehigh University Bethlehem Pennsylvania
601–800 =122 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge Louisiana
601–800 =122 University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland
601–800 =122 University of Missouri-St Louis St. Louis Maryland
601–800 =122 Montana State University Bozeman Montana
601–800 =122 Northern Illinois University DeKalb Illinois
601–800 =122 Ohio University (Main campus) Athens Ohio
601–800 =122 University of Rhode Island South Kingstown Rhode Island
601-800 =122 San Diego State University San Diego California
601-800 =122 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken New Jersey
601–800 =122 SUNY Binghamton University Binghamton New York
601–800 =122 University of Texas at Arlington Arlington Texas
601–800 =122 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio Texas
601–800 =122 Texas Tech University Lubbock Texas
601–800 =122 University of Toledo Toledo Ohio
601–800 =122 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin
601–800 =122 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester Massachusetts
601–800 =122 University of Wyoming Laramie Wyoming
801-1000 =147 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Brownsville Texas
801–1000 =147 Baylor University Waco Texas
801–1000 =147 Chapman University Orange  California
801–1000 =147 Clarkson University Potsdam New York
801–1000 =147 Clemson University Clemson South Carolina
801–1000 =147 Creighton University Omaha Nebraska
801–1000 =147 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee Florida
801–1000 =147 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton Florida
801–1000 =147 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne Florida
801–1000 =147 Kansas State University Lawrence Kansas
801–1000 =147 Kent State University Kent Ohio
801–1000 =147 Marquette University Milwaukee Wisconsin
801–1000 =147 University of Memphis Memphis Tennessee
801–1000 =147 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada
801–1000 =147 The New School New York City New York
801–1000 =147 New Mexico State University (Main campus) Albuquerque New Mexico
801–1000 =147 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte North Carolina
801–1000 =147 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro North Carolina
801–1000 =147 Old Dominion University Norfolk Virginia
801–1000 =147 Portland State University Portland Oregon
801–1000 =147 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester (NY) New York
801–1000 =147 University of South Dakota Vermillion South Dakota
801–1000 =147 University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Texas
1001–1200 =170 Bowling Green State University Bowling Green Ohio
1001–1200 =170 Georgia Southern University Statesboro Georgia
1001–1200 =170 Mississippi State University Starkville Mississippi
1001–1200 =170 Morgan State University Baltimore Maryland
1001–1200 =170 Oakland University Rochester Michigan
1001–1200 =170 Rowan University Glassboro New Jersey
1001–1200 =170 San Jose State University San Jose California
1001–1200 =170 Texas State University San Marcos Texas
1201+ =178 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Colorado Springs Colorado
1201+ =178 Grand Valley State University Allendale Michigan
1201+ =178 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington North Carolina
1201+ =178 Purdue University Northwest Hammond Indiana
1201+ =178 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green Kentucky
1201+ =178 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo Michigan 

Top 10 universities in the US (THE/WSJ US College Ranking 2022)

2022 rank 2021 rank Institution City State
1 1 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
2 4 Stanford University Stanford California
3 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
4 3 Yale University New Haven Connecticut
5 =5 Duke University Durham North Carolina
6 =5 Brown University Providence Rhode Island
7 =7 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
8 =7 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
=9 11 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
=9 10 Northwestern University Evanston Illinois



Shorelight logo
Get free support to study in the United States

You may also like

university of michigan, public university, United states, university, study abroad

Best public universities in the United States 2022

Find the best public universities in the US using Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education’s US College Rankings data

September 21 2021
sticky sign up

Register free and enjoy extra benefits