Ivy League schools. You’ve certainly heard of them before. They are well-known in the United States and have produced well-rounded athletes, future presidents, Nobel Prize winners, and many other high-achieving graduates.
But, what does Ivy League mean? The term defines a group of eight long-established colleges and universities in the eastern US that have high academic and social prestige. These private schools are known for their academic excellence, highly selective admissions process, and the career opportunities that await graduates.
Ivy league schools are home to some of the most respected professors in higher education, and have next to unlimited research grants and ample financial aid resources. To attend an Ivy League school, a student must be extraordinary both on and off paper.
If you are looking to attend an Ivy League school, read on for our guide to the best Ivy League schools in the US.
List of Ivy League Schools
Princeton University is the fourth-oldest college in the country. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton is home to popular majors including social sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences, and public administration.
According to US News & World Report, total undergraduate enrollment at the university stands at just 5,422. This Ivy League school has specialized libraries, state-of-the-art labs, and an art museum. Students also benefit from small class sizes with a five-to-one student-faculty ratio, allowing for one-on-one relationships with prestigious professors.
Additionally, Princeton has one of the nation’s highest graduation rates. Princeton graduates you may have heard of include former first lady Michelle Obama and former President Woodrow Wilson.
Harvard University is the oldest educational institution in the United States, founded in 1636. As a private research school, Harvard is one of the most selective Ivy League schools. The university has 13 schools, including the top-ranked medical school in the country.
With more than 100 research centers on campus, Harvard also has highly-ranked programs in business, engineering, and law for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students have access to more than 445 extracurricular activities at Harvard, including athletic organizations. The university’s extensive library system has the oldest national collection and the most comprehensive private collection worldwide.
Columbia University isn’t just known for its featured scenes in blockbuster films like the Spider-Man franchise. It’s also the third-best college in the US, according to US News & World Report. Established in 1754, Columbia, located on the upper west side of Manhattan, is the fifth-oldest university in the nation.
This Ivy League school is also the proud home of one of the country’s most diverse student bodies. Students at Columbia enjoy access to many on-campus academic resources, including 22 libraries, over 200 research institutes and laboratories, and thousands of internship opportunities. Some of its prominent programs include the business and law schools, the Teachers College, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Graduates from Columbia can count among their peers former President Barack Obama.
Founded in 1701, Yale is a private Ivy League university that is best known for its top-ranked law school. Additional highly-ranked programs include drama, music, medicine, management, and nursing.
Students at Yale can take advantage of many opportunities, including a strong global study abroad program and international internships. Yale is proud to have produced many firsts, including becoming the first university in the United States to award doctoral degrees and the first to have a school of public health.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn, counts Benjamin Franklin among its founders. Penn offers a mixture of liberal arts and pre-professional education. Of all the Ivy League schools, Penn has the most international students. Some of Penn’s renowned schools include its School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Perelman School of Medicine.
Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Compared to other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth offers students a more intimate learning setting, with fewer than 20 students in each class. Along with their smaller class sizes, more than 50 percent of students study in off-campus programs as part of Dartmouth’s push toward global, hands-on education.
Brown University is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and was founded in 1764. The private research institution offers an open that allows students to design their own personalized courses, encouraging them to become creative thinkers and intellectual risk-takers. This open program includes rigorous study from a choice of more than 80 concentrations, including egyptology, cognitive neuroscience, and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, Brown also has a highly competitive program in liberal medical education, in which students complete an undergrad degree and a medical degree in a single eight-year program.
Cornell is the youngest Ivy League institute, founded in 1865 in Ithaca, New York, with a mission to discover, preserve knowledge, produce creative output, and promote a culture of broad inquiry. Cornell’s largest undergraduate colleges are the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. With more than 100 fields of study on offer, Cornell also has campuses in Geneva, New York, New York City, and Doha, Qatar.
Term Ivy League vs Public Ivies
Public Ivy is a term used to describe an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public university price. Author Richard Moll invented the term in his book Public Ivies.
According to bestcolleges.org, schools that fall under this category include William & Mary, UC Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, UCLA, and the University of Virginia.