As part of our ongoing “top 25 niche bachelor’s colleges” series, we chose to look at the most exclusive private, nonprofit, bachelor’s-granting colleges by admissions rate. This complements our earlier ranking of exclusive public bachelor’s colleges.
Private, nonprofit colleges are often associated with prestige, and getting in can be difficult even for prospective students with good marks in high school, as well as top test scores. However, if you feel you have the right characteristics as a top student, you might be surprised to find that some private schools can be more affordable than might appear, even for the most exclusive private schools. To wit, look at the interactive chart below:
This combination bar/ line chart compares official in-state and out-of-state tuition (blue and orange bars, respectively) and the average net price (all academic and living costs, averaged across all undergrad students at the institution for the last academic year) represented by the green dots and line. If you hover your computer mouse over any bar or point, you’ll see the name of the college and the three cost values. Colleges are arranged left to right by ranking #1 to #25 (e.g., most exclusive private, nonprofit college at the left — Stanford University.)
You can quickly see that the official tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, at any given school, and that collectively, tuition ranges from $39,720 (Juilliard School) to $53,000 (Columbia University). You can also see that net price has more variation than tuition rates, going as low as $14,687 (Amherst College) to $34,352 (University of Chicago). The net price is only a measure that factors in other costs, financial aid, etc. Since it is a college-wide (undergrad) average, some students actually spent less than the lowest net price. What you pay depends on year, college and financial situation.
Some notes on using the above interactive chart:
- A modern browser is required for most of the charting features.
- The vertical Y axis represents cost in dollars, for both net price and tuition data per college.
- The horizontal X axis represents the schools (not the rankings).
- For this chart, schools are sorted left to right by increasing admissions rate (e.g., rank #1 to #25).
- Hover your mouse over a tuition bar or net price point and a tooltip will pop up that shows the institution name and the two cost values – net price and tuition.
- Use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in on a section in the main chart. The sub-chart below the main chart will indicate what section you are viewing.
- Hover your mouse over either of the two labels, “tuition” or “netprice,” underneath the sub-chart to visually highlight just the selected chart.
Summary of Colleges Ranked in this List
Many of the institutions on this are amongst the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the United States. Some are also prestigious worldwide. So not surprisingly, all eight prestigious Ivy League schools (Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University) are on this exclusive colleges list.
Collectively, over half a million (527,152) freshman applications were submitted to these 25 colleges (possibly with some student overlap). Out of that set, roughly 10% of applying students (53,122; overlap possible) were admitted. And of those students whose applications were accepted at one or more of these 25 colleges, 28,607 enrolled (likely no overlap, unless actor/ filmmaker James Franco is still adding to his collection of six college degrees – one bachelor’s, four MFAs, one PhD).
Summary of Bachelor’s Programs Offered
We compiled a list of all available bachelor’s level academic programs, using the program names in the NCES.ed.gov database. In total, there are over 300 (303) different programs — with one or more bachelor’s degrees offered per program, depending on the college. The Top 10 programs by the number of colleges offering them are as follows. There is a six-way tie for the most common programs:
- Chemistry, General
- Economics, General
- English Language and Literature, General
- Mathematics, General
- Physics, General
The above six programs are offered by 23 of the 25 ranked colleges. (NOTE: The exact name of degree programs may vary from college to college, and more than one degree path may be available.) Rounding out the Top 10 are four more programs, each offered at 22 of the 25 ranked colleges:
- Geology/Earth Science, General
- History, General
- Music, General
- Political Science and Government, General
On the flipside, certain bachelor’s programs are fairly exclusive:
- We found that 120 bachelor’s programs are only offered at one college each (possibly with some college overlap)
- 45 programs are offered at at most two colleges each.
- 28 programs are offered at only three colleges each.
In other words, nearly two-thirds of bachelor’s programs offered collectively across the 25 ranked colleges are only available at a handful of colleges.
Overall Statistics Summary
This is a summary of data available for the bachelor’s programs of colleges/ universities mentioned in this college rankings list.
|Yearly net price range:||$14,687 – $34,352 (avg. for all students per school after discounts/ financial aid).|
|Tuition range (in-/out-of-state):||$39,720 – $53,000|
|Lowest net price:||Amherst College.|
|Lowest in-state:||Juilliard School.|
|Lowest out-of-state:||Juilliard School.|
|Graduation rate range:||84-98%.|
|Transfer-out rate range:||1-3% (only five schools reported).|
|Highest graduation rate:||Harvard University.|
|Lowest transfer-out rate:||Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.|
|Student population range:||804-28791.|
|Undergrad population range:||569-14282.|
|Largest # students:||Harvard University.|
|Largest # undergrad:||Cornell University.|
|Oldest school:||Harvard University (est. ).|
|Youngest school:||Pitzer College (est. 1963).|
|# states covered:||14.|
|States covered:||California (6), Connecticut, Illinois (2), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts (3), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (4), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas.|
Alphabetic list of schools covered in this ranking
The abbreviations used in the table below may not be official and in which case are used here for convenience only.
|NCES Name (abbrev, estdate, rank)||location||$in-state||$out-of-state||$net price|
|Amherst College (Amherst, 1821, 20)||Amherst, Massachusetts||$50,562||$50,562||$14,687|
|Bowdoin College (Bowdoin, 1794, 23)||Brunswick, Maine||$48,212||$48,212||$22,289|
|Brown University (Brown, 1764, 8)||Providence, Rhode Island||$49,346||$49,346||$21,193|
|California Institute of Technology (Caltech, 1891, 10)||Pasadena, California||$45,390||$45,390||$26,910|
|Claremont McKenna College (CMC, 1946, 13)||Claremont, California||$49,045||$49,045||$23,982|
|Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia, 1754, 4)||New York, New York||$53,000||$53,000||$20,838|
|Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Cooper, 1859, 24)||New York, New York||$42,650||$42,650||$17,453|
|Cornell University (Cornell, 1865, 19)||Ithaca, New York||$49,116||$49,116||$28,537|
|Dartmouth College (Dartmouth, 1769, 14)||Hanover, New Hampshire||$49,506||$49,506||$21,277|
|Duke University (Duke, 1838, 12)||Durham, North Carolina||$49,241||$49,241||$21,764|
|Harvard University (Harvard, 1636, 2)||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$45,278||$45,278||$15,095|
|Harvey Mudd College (HMC, 1955, 21)||Claremont, California||$50,649||$50,649||$33,137|
|Johns Hopkins University (JHU, 1876, 25)||Baltimore, Maryland||$48,710||$48,710||$25,207|
|Juilliard School (Juilliard, 1905, 7)||New York, New York||$39,720||$39,720||$29,013|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1861, 6)||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$46,704||$46,704||$22,212|
|Northwestern University (NU, 1851, 16)||Evanston, Illinois||$49,047||$49,047||$28,667|
|Pitzer College (Pitzer, 1963, 18)||Claremont, California||$48,670||$48,670||$26,082|
|Pomona College (Pomona, 1887, 15)||Claremont, California||$47,620||$47,620||$19,205|
|Princeton University (Princeton, 1746, 5)||Princeton, New Jersey||$43,450||$43,450||$18,885|
|Rice University (Rice, 1912, 22)||Houston, Texas||$42,253||$42,253||$20,512|
|Stanford University (Stanford, 1885, 1)||Stanford, California||$46,320||$46,320||$17,952|
|University of Chicago (U of C, 1890, 9)||Chicago, Illinois||$51,351||$51,351||$34,352|
|University of Pennsylvania (UPenn, 1740, 11)||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||$49,536||$49,536||$22,694|
|Vanderbilt University (Vandy, 1873, 17)||Nashville, Tennessee||$44,712||$44,712||$22,173|
|Yale University (Yale, 1701, 3)||New Haven, Connecticut||$47,600||$47,600||$19,317|
Circular “Circos” Non-Interactive Chart: Multiple Data Points
This chart may appear intimidating at first. However, if you know what the charts/ text in each circular “track” represent, it’s relatively easy to visually compare multiple data points simultaneously – something that’s very difficult to do from a list or even a multi-data point rectangular chart.
Map for schools covered
Note: the following Google Map is auto-generated from addresses listed in the NCES database for the schools referenced below and may not be 100% accurate. As well, the map may not render correctly in some Web browsers due to security issues. (Simply click on the map’s “view larger” icon at top right to be taken to the Google Maps page — which should work properly in all modern browsers.) We apologize for any inconvenience.
- As college accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- NCES data is subject to change and this ranking list uses the most recently reported data at time of writing.
- The Areavibes cost of living score is from Areavibes.com and represents the city/ town of the college in question. It is independent of each college’s on-campus housing costs.
Rankings: Most Exclusive Nonprofit Bachelor’s Colleges by Admissions Rate
Peabody Library interior, Johns Hopkins University (source)
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1876 and located in Baltimore, Maryland, about 39 miles roughly northeast of Washington, DC. It was established from a $7M gift from entrepreneur Johns Hopkins (upon his death) — the largest such gift in the U.S. at that time. Notable alumni include former NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and Woodrow Wilson, later U.S. President, who completed a PhD in History at JHU, and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 – about two years before the end of his 8-year term.
The last reported admissions rate is 16%. JHU offers certificates and degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across nine divisions: Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Whiting School of Engineering; Carey Business School; School of Education; School of Medicine; School of Nursing; Peabody Institute; Bloomberg School of Public Health; Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. (The Bloomberg and Medicine schools are grad-level only.) There are nearly 280 programs of all types and study levels, covering topics in arts, business, education, engineering, health professions, humanities, international studies, music, natural sciences and social sciences. Study-abroad programs are also available to undergrads in nearly 30 countries. Other facts: It has the highest R&D spending of any academic institution in the U.S. ($2.242B in fiscal year 2014).JHU offers distance programs at the bachelor’s level in: business/ commerce; computer and information science; computer engineering; engineering; creative writing; behavioral sciences.
New Academic Building, Cooper Union (source)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Cooper) is a private, nonprofit institute established in 1859 and located in New York, New York. It was named in honor of the founder, industrialist/ philanthropist Peter Cooper, a women’s rights and anti-slavery advocate who invited Abraham Lincoln (a not-yet-announced Presidential candidate) to speak what later became known as the latter’s “right makes might” address. Other serving or future Presidents also spoke there, along with other notable speakers. Cooper Union offers at least a half-scholarship per admitted student.
The last reported admissions rate is 15%. Cooper offers certificates and degrees (bachelor’s, master’s) across four divisions: The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture; School of Art; Albert Nerken School of Engineering; Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. Undergrads can choose from BArch (architecture), BFA and BEng (engineering) degrees at the bachelor’s level. Topics include film/video, graphic design, chemical engineering, civil engineering and others. Cooper currently has no online bachelor’s degree programs.
23: Bowdoin College
Hubbard Hall, Bowdoin College (source)
Bowdoin College (Bowdoin) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1794 and located in Brunswick, Maine, about 137 miles roughly north-northeast of Boston, MA. It was originally founded as a men’s college and catered to the “political elite.” Notable alumni include American writers Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter; The House of Seven Gables) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Paul Revere’s Ride; The Song of Hiawatha).
The last reported admissions rate is 15%. Bowdoin offers bachelor’s degrees across 36 departments. Undergrad students can choose from 32 majors and 35 minors. Topic examples: cultural studies (various), earth and oceanographic and other physical sciences (various); computer science; environmental studies; government and legal studies; neuroscience; languages (various) and others. Other facts: 9:1 student-faculty ratio; 71% of classes have < 20 students. Bowdoin currently has no online bachelor's degree programs.
22: Rice University
McNair Hall, Rice University (source)
Rice University (Rice) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1912 and located in Houston, Texas. It was originally founded as William M. Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art (aka Rice Institute). Notable alumni include former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; former Houston Mayor Anise Parker; Astronaut Peggy Whitson; and aviator Howard Hughes.
The last reported admissions rate is 15%. Rice offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research) across eight schools: Shepherd School of Music; School of Architecture; School of Social Sciences; School of Humanities; George R. Brown School of Engineering; Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business; Wiess School of Natural Sciences; Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Undergrads can choose from 50+ majors in six broad areas of study, plus nearly 20 minors, interdisciplinary and preprofessional programs. Other facts: 19 applications received per available place in the freshman class; 6:1 student-faculty ratio, with median undergrad class size of 14; residential college system; 99% of freshman and 72% of all undergrads live on campus; $102M spent on annual research in AY 2014-15. Rice currently has no distance/ online bachelor’s programs. However, it does offer online, non-credit courses through edX and Coursera programs (public-access).
Harvey Mudd College (source)
Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1955 and located in Claremont, California, about 32 miles east and slightly north of Los Angeles, CA. It is one of the seven Claremont Colleges Consortium (aka 7-Cs) – four members of which made this list – and has a strong focus on STEM courses.
The last reported admissions rate is 14%. Harvey Mudd offers bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics, as well as several joint majors: chemistry and biology; mathematics and computer science; and mathematical and computational biology. Students can also choose from two additional major options: the Individual Program of Studies and the Off-Campus Major (OCM), in which a student satisfies the “major” component of the curriculum at one of the other Claremont Colleges. Regardless of major, Harvey Mudd students take an intense yet comprehensive group of core courses from every department as well as nearly a third of their overall coursework in the humanities, social sciences and the arts. Study-abroad options are available in 23 countries, and exchange programs in two countries. Other facts: 9:1 student-faculty ratio; 99% of students live on campus; 76% received some form of financial aid. HMC has no online bachelor’s programs.
20: Amherst College
Kirby Memorial Theater, Amherst College (source)
Amherst College (Amherst) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1821 and located in Amherst, Massachusetts, about 22 miles roughly north-northeast of Springfield, MA. It was originally founded as a men’s college with ties to Calvinism, but is currently non-sectarian. Notable alumni include Calvin Coolidge, later a U.S. President.
The last reported admissions rate is 14%. Amherst offers bachelor’s degrees. Undergrads can choose from nearly 40 majors in arts, humanities, natural sciences or social sciences. There is an option to study abroad, and 40% of Amherst students do so. Amherst itself offers 850+ courses, and students have access to 6,000+ courses through the Claremont Colleges Consortium. Other facts: 98% of students live on campus; student-faculty ratio is 8:1, with an average class size of 16, and 90% of classes having less than 30 students; 58% of students received some form of financial aid; 98% of freshmen students return for sophomore year; Amherst currently has no online bachelor’s programs, although it does offer non-credit online courses through a lynda.com portal.
Sage Chapel, Cornell University (source)
Cornell University (Cornell) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1865 and located in Ithaca, New York, about 56 miles roughly south-southwest of Syracuse, NY. It was founded by Senators Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White (also an educator) and is an Ivy League school.
The last reported admissions rate is 14%. Cornell offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 14 colleges and schools. They are comprised of seven undergard units and four grad/professional units all in Ithaca, NY, as well as additional medical units (grad) in New York City and Doha, Qatar, plus a Tech Campus in NYC. These divisions comprise nearly 120 academic departments. Undergrad students can choose from nearly 80 majors, several dual-degree programs, and interdisciplinary majors. Other facts: Cornell has achieved a number of milestones, including: first university in the U.S. to offer American Studies; first to teach modern Far Eastern Languages; first degree in veterinary medicine; world’s first degree in journalism; and others.Cornell has no distance/ online programs at the bachelor’s level. However, the eCornell program offers online certificate and corporate programs, as well as various credit and non-credit programs. There are free, non-credit online courses, certificates and MOOCs for public access.
18: Pitzer College
West and East residence halls, Pitzer College (source)
Pitzer College (Pitzer) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1963 and located in Claremont, California, about 32 miles east and slightly north of Los Angeles, CA. It was originally founded as a women’s college and named after benefactor/ orange grower Russell K. Spitzer. It is one of the seven Claremont Colleges Consortium (aka 7-Cs) – four members of which made this list.
The last reported admissions rate is 13%. Pitzer offers bachelor’s degrees Undergrads can choose from either 26 bachelor’s majors offered at Pitzer, or from over a dozen majors offered by other undergrad members of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. Popular concentrations include: psychology; sociology; political studies; media studies, environmental studies and art. Students can also choose from nearly two dozen minors (some combinations restricted), and there are options combined majors or double majors. Other facts: Pitzer students have been awarded the most Fulbright Fellowships on a per 1,000 students basis for 12 straight years. Pitzer has no online bachelor’s degree programs.
Peabody Library, Vanderbilt University (source)
Vanderbilt University (Vandy) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1873 and located in Nashville, Tennessee, about 250 miles roughly northwest of Atlanta, GA. It was founded by an endowment of $1M from magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was then the wealthiest American. Notable alumni include Nobel Laureates Al Gore Jr. (former U.S. Vice President; grad school and law school) and entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus (PhD).
The last reported admissions rate is 13%. Vandy offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 10 schools and colleges: College of Arts and Science; Blair School of Music; Divinity School; School of Engineering; Graduate School; Law School; School of Medicine; School of Nursing; Owen Graduate School of Management; Peabody College of Education and Human Development. The largest three schools by enrollment, in decreasing size, are: College of Arts and Sciences; Graduate School; Peabody College. Across these divisions, undergrads can acquire any of the following degrees: BA, BM (Music), BE (Engineering), BS. Bachelor’s degree programs number nearly 70. Other facts: 93% of undergrads live on campus; there is an 8:1 student-faculty ratio; 97% of freshman return for sophomore year; 65% of undergrads receive some form of financial aid. Vandy has no distance/ online programs at the bachelor’s level, but does offer for-credit online courses for students, and free, non-credit MOOCs for via Coursera for the public.
Northwestern University (NU) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1851 and located in Evanston, Illinois, about 14 miles north-northeast of Chicago, IL. It was founded by nine Methodist Church members but is a nonsectarian school.
The last reported admissions rate is 13%. NU offers certificates and degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 12 schools, colleges and divisions: Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences; School of Communication; School of Education & Social Policy; McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science; Graduate School; Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications; Pritzker School of Law; Kellogg School of Management; Feinberg School of Medicine; Bienen School of Music; School of Professional Studies; Northwestern University in Qatar Undergrads can choose from 100 bachelor’s majors and nearly 90 minors. There are also 160+ graduate and professional programs and certificates, for those who plan to take advanced studies.NU has no distance/ online programs at the bachelor’s level.
15: Pomona College
Pomona College (source)
Pomona College (Pomona) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1887 and located in Claremont, California, about 32 miles east and slightly north of Los Angeles, CA. It was originally founded in Pomona, CA, and is a founding member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium of seven colleges (aka 7-Cs), which includes five undergrad and two graduate colleges. Four of the 5Cs (undergrad members) made this college ranking list. Notable alumni include actors Kris Kristofferson and Richard Chamberlain. A significant number of working alumni are in either education (nearly 24%) or business and finance (also nearly 24%).
The last reported admissions rate is 12%. Pomona offers bachelor’s degrees across nearly 50 departments. Undergrads can choose from nearly 50 majors and minors covering arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and interdisciplinary studies. The top three majors completed in AY 2015, in descending order, are: (1) Mathematics; (2) Biology; (3) Neuroscience. Undergrads can study abroad in over 30 countries — and around 50% of Pomona students do so.Other facts: American students are admitted “regardless of their ability to pay” and Pomona covers the full, demonstrated need, when necessary. Around 56% of students received financial aid. Pomona has no distance/ online programs.
Aerial view of the Sherman Fairchild Sciences complex, Dartmouth College (source)
Dartmouth College (Dartmouth) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1769 and located in Hanover, New Hampshire, about 126 miles roughly northwest of Boston, MA. It is named after the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth (who opposed the school’s creation) and is an Ivy League school. A 2008 WSJ (Wall Street Journal) article indicated, from Payscale.com data, that Dartmouth alumni with at least 10 years work experience had a higher median pay than similarly skilled people graduating from other U.S. colleges.
The last reported admissions rate is 12%. Dartmouth offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across four schools: Arts & Sciences; Geisel School of Medicine; Thayer School of Engineering; Tuck School of Business. There is also the Graduate Studies division and 50+ research centers and institutes. The four schools encompass 40 departments and interdisciplinary programs. Undergrads have flexibility in the four 10-week terms per year, and can choose from 50+ majors and several minors, allowing for a personally-tuned degree. Dartmouth has no distance/ online programs at the bachelor’s level.
Kravis Center, Claremont McKenna College (source)
Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1946 and located in Claremont, California, about 32 miles east and slightly north of Los Angeles, CA. It was originally founded as Claremont Men’s College and is one of the seven Claremont Colleges Consortium (aka 7-Cs). Other members are elsewhere in this list. Notable alumni include cofounders and CEOs of several large consumer-based companies (Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch, Toys “R” Us); founding partners of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co; comedian/ actor Robin Williams, author Jamaica Kincaid and others.
The last reported admissions rate is 11%. CMC offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s) across 12 departments/ schools: Government; History; Literature; Mathematical Sciences; Military Science and Leadership; Modern Languages and Literatures; Philosophy; Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics; Psychology; Religious Studies; The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; W.M. Keck Science Department. Undergrads can choose from 30+ majors from CMC, as well as four 5-College (5-C) majors options from the other four undergrad colleges of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. Other facts: CMC has a 9:1 student-faculty ratio.
12: Duke University
Perkins Library, Duke University (source)
Duke University (Duke) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1838 and located in Durham, North Carolina, about 24 miles roughly northwest of Raleigh, NC. It was originally founded as Brown School by Quakers and Methodists in Trinity, NC.
The last reported admissions rate is 11%. Duke offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 14 divisions: Trinity College of Arts & Sciences; Pratt School of Engineering; Nicholas School of the Environment; Sanford School of Public Policy; Continuing Studies; Divinity School; Graduate School; Fuqua School of Business; Duke Law School; Nicholas School of the Environment; Pratt School of Engineering; Sanford School of Public Policy; School of Medicine; School of Nursing. Undergrads can choose between Liberal Arts or Engineering, and can enroll in the first four of these schools, and have nearly 60 majors, 50+ minors, 20+ interdisciplinary certificates and 4,000 courses (per semester) to choose from. Trinity College has about 80% of Duke undergrads. Many undergrads in the Engineering school complete double majors — some with two engineering disciplines, others who combine engineering with Arts & Sciences (Trinity). Other facts: over 80% of undergrads earn additional credits beyond a major, including at least another major, a minor or certificate. Duke has no distance/ online programs at the bachelor’s level.
University Museum and Warden Garden, University of Pennsylvania (source)
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1740 and located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is considered to be the first American university with both undergrad and graduate programs. Benjamin Franklin is indicated as the “primary founder” of this Ivy League school, which was originally founded as the “Academy and Charitable School.
The last reported admissions rate is 10%. UPenn offers certificates and degrees (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 12 divisions: Annenberg School for Communication; Arts & Sciences; Dental Medicine; Design; Engineering and Applied Science; Graduate School of Education; Law School; Nursing; Perelman School of Medicine; Social Policy & Practice; Veterinary Medicine; The Wharton School Undergrads can choose from 90+ majors across four of the schools (College of Arts & Sciences; School of Engineering and Applied Science; School of Nursing; Wharton School), including interdisciplinary programs that utilize the resources of all 12 schools. There are also a number of dual-degree options available. Other facts: has a 6:1 student-faculty ratio and a research budge of over $850 million. UPenn offers free, non-credit online courses some from degree curriculum courses).
Millikan Memorial Library, Caltech (source)
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private, nonprofit institute established in 1891 and located in Pasadena, California, about 11 miles roughly northeast of Pasadena, CA. It was originally founded as Throop University.
The last reported admissions rate is 9%. Caltech offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research) across six divisions: Biology & Biological Engineering; Chemistry & Chemical Engineering; Engineering & Applied Science; Geological & Planetary Sciences; Humanities & Social Sciences; Physics, Mathematics & AstronomyUndergrads can choose from around 26 majors and 10 minors (with some topic overlap). Caltech has no formal online degree programs but does have non-credit online courses through Coursera and edX.
Main Quadrangles, University of Chicago (source)
University of Chicago (U of C) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1890 and located in Chicago, Illinois. It has the largest university press in the U.S., University of Chicago Press, and a number of influential schools/ colleges in several disciplines.
The last reported admissions rate is 9%. U of C offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 14 divisions: Biological Sciences Division; Chicago Booth School of Business; The College; Divinity School; Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies; Harris School of Public Policy Studies; Humanities Division; Law School; Institute for Molecular Engineering; Oriental Institute; Physical Sciences Division; Pritzker School of Medicine; School of Social Service Administration; Social Sciences Division. These schools encompass over 80 departments at all study levels. Undergrads enroll in the undergraduate College and have nearly 70 areas of study to choose from, including concentrations, specializations and variants. U of C has no online programs at the bachelor’s level
Van Wickle Gates, Brown University (source)
Brown University (Brown) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1764 and located in Providence, Rhode Island, about 48 miles roughly south-southwest of Boston, MA. It was originally founded with the much longer name of “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” and is an Ivy League school. There are seven affiliated teaching hospitals, giving practice options for students working towards a medical degree.
The last reported admissions rate is 9%. Brown offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 4 divisions: Alpert Medical School; School of Engineering; School of Public Health; School of Professional Studies. These schools encompass over 40 academic departments, which collectively offer around 2,000 courses yearly. Undergrads are enrolled through The College and work towards a BA or a BS degree, with a choice of 80 concentration programs. Academic divisions include: Arts and Humanities; Life Sciences; Physical Sciences; and Social Sciences. Brown offers free, non-credit online courses through Coursera, though currently no bachelor’s-level online degree programs.
Juilliard School (source)
Juilliard School (Juilliard) is a private, nonprofit school established in 1905 and located in New York, New York. It was originally founded as the Institute of Musical Art and later renamed for textile merchant and benefactor Augustus Juilliard, after merging with another institute. It is regarded worldwide as a top music/ performing arts school. Alumni have won many of the various performing arts awards, including Emmy, Academy, Grammy, and Tony Awards and others. The collection of nearly 300 Steinway pianos is the largest of any single institution worldwide.
The last reported admissions rate is 8%. Juilliard offers certificates and degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research) across 3 divisions: Dance; Drama; Music. From Drama, undergrad students can choose either acting or playwriting. Music has over a dozen choices that include composition, voice/ opera, conducting, various instruments and historical performance.
Great Dome, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (source)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, nonprofit institute established in 1861 and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 3 miles roughly northwest of Boston, MA. The school has long list of award-winning faculty and alumni. It fought off merger attempts from Harvard University, finally receiving a then-anonymous donation for a larger campus by industrialist George Eastman (founder of Eastman Kodak photography and imaging products). This contribution helped ensure that MIT would stay independent and become the prestigious institution that it is today.
The last reported admissions rate is 8%. MIT offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research) across 5 divisions: School of Architecture and Planning; School of Engineering; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; School of Science. Undergrad students can choose from over 40 majors and from 50 minors.Other facts: 33% of undergrad students in AY 2014-15 attended tuition-free, and 56% of undergrads received a need-based MIT scholarship averaging $36,566. First semester students receive a pass/fail grade on courses, with no retention in a student’s profile of “fail” courses for that semester. MIT participates in several online open learning initiatives – OCW (OpenCourseWare), MITx/ edX – which make curriculum course materials available for non-credit use to the public.
Murray-Dodge Hall, Princeton University (source)
Princeton University (Princeton) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1746 and located in Princeton, New Jersey, about 13 miles north-northeast of Trenton, NJ, and about 51 miles southeast of New York City. It was originally founded as College of New Jersey and is an Ivy League school. Notable alumni include current First Lady Michelle Obama.
The last reported admissions rate is 7%. Princeton offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research). Undergrad students can enroll in either an AB (Bachelor of Arts) or a BSE (BS Engineering) degree program, with 37 concentrations to choose from, as well as 50 interdepartmental certificates. AB students complete 1-2 courses in each of seven areas of study during their first two years: epistemology and cognition; ethical thought and moral values; historical analysis; literature and the arts; quantitative reasoning; laboratory science and technology; social analysis. BSE students can choose a concentration after their first year.Other facts: the student-faculty ratio is about 6:1; 60% of undergrads receive some financial aid; and 98% of undergrads live on campus. There are no online degree programs at the bachelor’s level.
Butler Library at night, Columbia University (source)
Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1754 and located in New York, New York. It was originally founded as King’s College and is a member of the prestigious Ivy League group of schools. While it is amongst the oldest institutions of higher education in the U.S., it was closed for eight years, after the American Revolution, from 1776-1784.
The last reported admissions rate is 7%. Columbia offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 22 divisions. Of the 22 schools and colleges, three are undergrad divisions: Columbia College, Engineering, General Studies. There are over 460 areas of study at all degree levels. Bachelor’s programs lead to AB, BA and BS degrees. No online degree programs at the bachelor’s level.
Peabody Museum, Yale University (source)
Yale University (Yale) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1701 and located in New Haven, Connecticut, about 39 miles roughly south-southwest of Hartford, CT. An Ivy League school, it was originally founded as Collegiate School and has numerous notable alumni, including five U.S. presidents, as well as presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and over a dozen current billionaires.
The last reported admissions rate is 6%. Yale offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional, other) across 14 schools and colleges: Yale College; Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; School of Architecture; School of Art; Divinity School; School of Drama; School of Engineering & Applied Science; School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Law School; School of Management; School of Medicine; School of Music; School of Nursing; School of Public Health. Undergrad students register through Yale College, which covers the sciences and liberal arts. All other academic divisions are for graduate students. Undergrads can choose from over 80 majors, which result in a BA or BS degree (some majors offer both). For-credit and non-credit online courses (MOOCs) are available, though no formal online degree programs at the bachelor’s level.
Harvard-Yenching Institute and Library, Harvard University (source)
Harvard University (Harvard) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1636 and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 3 miles roughly northwest of Boston, MA. Originally founded as New College, this Ivy League school was eventually named after its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard. It is the oldest college/ university in the United States.
The last reported admissions rate for is 6%. Harvard offers degrees (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across 12 divisions: Harvard College; Harvard Business School; Harvard Divinity School; Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; Harvard Graduate School of Design; Harvard Graduate School of Education; Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Law School; Harvard Medical School; Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (There are additional non-academic divisions, including Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.) Undergrads are all enrolled under Harvard College. (All other schools are graduate schools.) There are over 45 concentration options, plus secondary fields (some interdisciplinary). Concentrations are selected near the end of the third term. The remainder of courses fall into General Education (11 half-courses in eight categories, which equates to 30% of a bachelor’s program) and Electives. Undergrads can choose secondary fields to supplement their program. Other facts: $160M in financial aid was awarded collectively to 60% of undergrads. Harvard has distance/ online courses in multiple topic areas, which results in a selection of hybrid on-campus/ online degree programs. (See site or contact Harvard for details.) There are also non-credit courses and MOOCs through the edX/ HavardX program.
Green Library, Stanford University (source)
Stanford University (Stanford) is a private, nonprofit university established in 1885 and located in Stanford, California, adjacent to Palo Alto, CA, and about 36 miles southeast of San Francisco, CA. It was founded by former California Governor Leland Stanford in memory of his deceased son, Leland Stanford Jr. The full formal name is Leland Stanford Junior University, and it is one of the largest college campuses in the U.S. in terms of acreage and building count.
The last reported admissions rate for is 5%. Stanford offers degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate – research, professional) across seven divisions: Humanities & Sciences; Engineering; Business; Law; Medicine; Education; Earth Sciences. Stanford offers BA, BS and BAS degrees at the bachelor’s level. Undergrads can choose from over 100 majors of study. The largest majors (by enrollment), in decreasing order, are: Computer Science; Human Biology; Engineering; Biology; Science, Technology and Society. Undergrad students can combine majors with minors, secondary majors or another major as a double major. Stanford offers a variety of non-credit online courses available publicly — some of which are the equivalent of curriculum courses at the bachelor’s level.