There are many university rankings, but finding a reliable one demands mentioning a name. All specialists say that the QS World University Ranking is the one to consult when you want to know the best American universities.
Once you identify them, you must visit every university’s website in your list. Except for University of California, Berkeley, all universities have websites in English, so you must be fluent in English to visit them.
It is no secret that the world´s best universities are in the United States, and this is reflected in the many university rankings which are published. The most important ones are Business Week´s and the QS World University Ranking. They have published their 2010-2011 rankings for the best universities in the world.
According to the QS World University Ranking, among the 10 best universities are Harvard University (second place), Yale University (third place), Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT (fifth place), University of Chicago (eighth place), California Institute of Technology Caltech (ninth place) and Princeton University (tenth place). Such is their prestige that many American politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs have graduated from them. Unlike many Latin American countries, these universities are not located in the country´s capital (Washington D.C.) or in big cities (New York).
Harvard University is located in Cambridge, capital of Massachusetts. For over a century, it has been known worldwide as the best private university, and this recognition is extended to the Harvard Law School. Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT is known around the world as the best engineering school. It is also located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private university.
Yale University is in New Haven, Connecticut. The Yale Law School is also well known. It is a private university. University of Chicago is in Illinois. It is a private university. 85 Nobel Prize winners have graduated there. It has the famous Chicago School of Economics. Princeton University is in New Jersey. It is also a private university.
There are seven American universities in ranks 11 to 17 of the QS World University Ranking:
Columbia University (Manhattan, New York), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has the Wharton Business School), Stanford University (Stanford, California), Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland). All of them are private universities.
The best positioned public American university is University of California (Berkeley, California). It is known for its antiwar militant activism.
For international students, the tuition costs in any of these universities are over 30,000 dollars a year. The application procedures are tedious and long, so a lot of patience is required. There is a lot of competition for most grants or scholarships to international students.