Best College Rankings and Lists
Schools in the National Universities category, such as the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and Ph.D. programs. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.
Among the National Liberal Arts Colleges are schools like Pomona College and Bowdoin College, which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.
Regional Universities offer a full range of undergrad programs and some master's programs but few doctoral programs. Regional Universities include Providence College, Elon University, Creighton University and Santa Clara University. These rankings are split into 4regions: North, South, Midwest and West.
These colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. Regional Colleges include Messiah College, High Point University, Taylor University and the California Maritime Academy. These rankings are split into 4regions: North, South, Midwest and West.
These undergrad business programs were ranked solely on a peer assessment survey conducted in spring 2013. To appear on this survey, the undergraduate business program must be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
These undergrad engineering programs were ranked solely on a peer assessment survey conducted in spring 2013. The accredited programs are split into two groups: schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a doctorate and schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a bachelor's or master's.
These historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were compared only with one another for these rankings. To qualify for the U.S. News ranking, an HBCU must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is currently part of the 2014 Best Colleges rankings.
Many colleges have a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates instead of graduate-level research. Based on a survey conducted in spring 2013, all the schools on these lists are ones that received the most votes from top college administrators for paying a particular focus on undergraduate teaching.
These are the highest ranked public colleges and universities in the 2014 Best Colleges rankings, listed according to their ranking category.
In spring 2013, we asked counselors from a nationwide sampling of public high schools in the 2013 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings that were gold, silver or bronze medal winners, as well as from the largest private independent schools nationwide, to tell us which National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges they think offer the best undergraduate education to their students.