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2021 Best Schools

807 Schools Ranked
$39,802 Average Earnings
$27,167 Avg Student Debt

With all the programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. Or you may find the programs at a trade school or bootcamp to be a better alternative for you.

The Best Schools ranking is one of many tools that Grad Degree Search has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 807 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Our 2021 rankings named Princeton University the best school in the United States for students working on their degree.

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#2

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Schools list.

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#3

Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire

The excellent programs at Dartmouth College helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in the United States.

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#4

Stanford University

Stanford, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Stanford University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Schools list.

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#5

Midwestern University - Glendale

Glendale, Arizona

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Midwestern University - Glendale. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Schools list.

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#6

Medical College of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Medical College of Wisconsin ranked #6 on this year’s Best Schools list.

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#7

Salus University

Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

With a ranking of #7, Salus University did quite well on this year’s best schools for students working.

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#8

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for students. It came in at #8 on the list.

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#9

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University landed the #9 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best programs.

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#10

Rice University

Houston, Texas

Rice University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Schools list.

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#11

Samuel Merritt University

Oakland, California

Samuel Merritt University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for students. It came in at #11 on the list.

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#12

Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, California

Fielding Graduate University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Schools list.

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#13

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

With a ranking of #13, Duke University did quite well on this year’s best schools for students working.

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#14

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

University of Notre Dame came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Schools ranking.

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#15

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

With a ranking of #15, Brown University did quite well on this year’s best schools for students working.

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#16

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best programs.

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#17

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for students. It came in at #17 on the list.

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#18

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for students. It came in at #18 on the list.

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#19

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

With a ranking of #19, Cornell University did quite well on this year’s best schools for students working.

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#20

The College of Saint Rose

Albany, New York

The College of Saint Rose came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Schools ranking.

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#21

Bentley University

Waltham, Massachusetts

Bentley University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Schools ranking.

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Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Schools ranking.

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#23

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best programs.

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University of Nebraska Medical Center landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best programs.

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Schools ranking.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Rochester, Minnesota
#27

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
#29

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
#30

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia
#31

Medical University of South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
#32

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, California
#33

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia
#35

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania
#38

Bank Street College of Education

New York, New York
#39

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California
#40

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri
#41

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
#42

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee
#44

Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts
#45

The College of New Jersey

Ewing, New Jersey
#46

University of Maryland - Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland
#47

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut
#48

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
#49

Middlebury College

Middlebury, Vermont
#50

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rest of the Top 15% Best Schools in the United States

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Rank School Location
51 Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans New Orleans, LA
52 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
53 Upstate Medical University Syracuse, NY
54 Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR
55 The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX
56 Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
57 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA
58 Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
59 Trinity International University - Illinois Deerfield, IL
60 SUNY Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn, NY
61 New York Medical College Valhalla, NY
62 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR
63 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
64 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
65 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL
66 University of Delaware Newark, DE
67 Emory University Atlanta, GA
68 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
69 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
70 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
71 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
72 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
73 Brandman University Irvine, CA
74 Eastern Virginia Medical School Norfolk, VA
75 Pennsylvania State University - Great Valley Malvern, PA
76 Creighton University Omaha, NE
77 University of Washington - Tacoma Campus Tacoma, WA
78 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
79 New York University New York, NY
80 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY
81 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
82 Endicott College Beverly, MA
83 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO
84 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
85 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
86 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Boston, MA
87 Teachers College at Columbia University New York, NY
88 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
89 George Washington University Washington, DC
90 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
91 Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network Boston, MA
92 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
93 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
94 Misericordia University Dallas, PA
95 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
96 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
97 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
98 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
99 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
100 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre, PA
101 Boston University Boston, MA
102 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI
103 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
104 Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD
105 Norwich University Northfield, VT
106 Iowa State University Ames, IA
107 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Monterey, CA
108 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
109 University of Redlands Redlands, CA
110 The University of Tennessee-Health Science Center Memphis, TN
111 The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago Chicago, IL
112 Clarkson College Omaha, NE
113 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
114 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
115 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
116 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
117 Northeastern University Boston, MA
118 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
119 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
120 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
121 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
122 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our best schools ranking:

Rank School Location
123 Winona State University Winona, MN
124 University of New England Biddeford, ME
125 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
126 Alfred University Alfred, NY
127 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
128 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
129 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
130 Concordia University - Irvine Irvine, CA
131 Belmont University Nashville, TN
132 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
133 University of the Pacific Stockton, CA
134 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
135 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
136 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC
137 Providence College Providence, RI
138 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
139 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
140 Wagner College Staten Island, NY
141 Clarkson University Potsdam, NY
142 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
143 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
144 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
145 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
146 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY
147 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, SD
148 Rush University Chicago, IL
149 Drake University Des Moines, IA
150 Arcadia University Glenside, PA
151 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
152 Shenandoah University Winchester, VA
153 Utica College Utica, NY
154 Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO
155 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
156 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
157 National University La Jolla, CA
158 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
159 University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
160 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
161 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
162 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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