North America is home to a large number of world-famous universities. These prestigious institutes have produced countless Noble Prize laureates, wealthy entrepreneurs and other successful professionals. Many of these universities have gained renown for making significant contributions in various fields including science, technology and medicine.
Discussed below are the five top universities in North America.
The dream of thousands of education seekers from all around the globe, the Harvard University is considered to be the best in the world. It was founded in 1636 with its main campus located in the state of Massachusetts. It is a research university which offers 134 different graduate programs along with 32 professional degree programs.
Here are some interesting facts about your favorite university in the world.
- The institute has been named after its first benefactor – John Harvard, an English minister in the United States. He made a generous donation of his whole library of books, numbering four hundred, along with a half of his estate to the institution.
- It is the country’s first university and, therefore, the oldest institution established for higher studies.
- The admission criterion of the university is one of the strictest in the world. Only six percent of the applicants are offered admission each year.
- Many notable personalities have been or are still a part of Harvard University’s alumni. These include several of the country’s presidents – John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. Other famous personalities include Elle Johnson Sirleaf, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
- The university boasts of the eight alumni members who signed the American Declaration of Independence.
- It has been estimated that, on average, individuals who have graduated from the Harvard University manage to earn a starting salary of $60,000.
- A Harvard student’s life has been depicted by William Faulkner in his novel, the Sound and the Fury.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Abbreviated commonly as MIT, it is ranked as the second best university in the world. It was established in 1861 and is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At present, there are 5 schools along with 1 college divided into 32 different departments. The main areas of research are physical sciences as well as engineering. Quite recently, several other important fields have also been introduced, including economics, management, biological sciences and linguistics.
Learn about some interesting MIT facts here.
- The idea for the establishment of a polytechnic university was coined by William Barter Roger – a natural philosophy professor and founder of MIT.
- The motto of the university is “Mens et Manus”. It literally means “Mind and Hand”.
- The institute was established to meet the demand of the rapidly growing industrialization in the United States in the nineteenth century.
- Research carried out in MIT on computers and radars proved to be beneficial for the country in World War I.
- Eighty-five Nobel Laureates have been members of the MIT alumni.
- Currently, the university students are members of five hundred and ten different groups on campus. New students can join one of these groups or create their own.
- Beaver has been chosen as the mascot of MIT since the animal is regarded as nature’s engineer.
- The number of female and male students admitted to the university is almost equal. Currently, 46% of the students are female while 54% are male.
- Top employers of MIT graduates are Google, Amazon, McKinsey and Accenture.
Another of the top universities in North America is the Stanford University. This prestigious institute was established in 1885 and is situated in the state of California. Officially, it is known as Leland Stanford Junior University. The campus consists of around seven hundred buildings. There are seven major schools offering law, business, humanities and sciences, education, business, engineering, earth sciences and medicine as the major fields of study.
Here is some interesting information about the Stanford University.
- The institute’s founder – a former US Senator, Leland Stanford – named the university after his only child, Leland Stanford Junior.
- The university’s mascot is known as the Stanford Tree. A highly selective process chooses the Stanford students who get the responsibility to play this mascot.
- The Hoover Tower is a famous monument located on the campus of the Stanford University. It has been presented by the Belgian-American Education Foundation as a reminder of the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace.
- The university has run over five thousand externally funded projects amounting to a budget of 1.22 billion US dollars.
- Since 1908, the Stanford University has brought home 244 Olympic medals out of which 129 have been gold medals.
- The institute has produced nineteen Nobel Prize laureates and four winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
- Around thirty billionaires and seventeen astronauts have been members of the Stanford alumni.
Another of the most prestigious universities in the United States is the Cornell University. This institute for higher education was established in 1865 with the purpose of teaching all fields of education. Today, the university is divided into a hundred departments offering more than four thousand different courses.
Those who wish to have a future affiliated with the Cornell University will find the following facts to be very interesting.
- The university might have been established in Syracuse had it not been for its founder – Ezra Cornell – who chose the city of Ithaca in New York instead.
- So far, the Cornell University alumni number more than two hundred thousand, spread around different parts of the world.
- The institute provides financial aid to almost half of the enrolled students.
- Celebrating the Dragon Day every year in March is a Cornell tradition. It involves the building of a huge dragon by the Architecture students who then parade it all across the campus.
- Many notable personalities have studied at the Cornell University. Among the most famous of the alumni are Christopher Reeve, Harry Chapin and Ann Coulter.
- The university has the largest number of student organizations, numbering around 900. Some of the organizations, such as the Glee Club and the Sphinx Head have existed since the 1800s.
University of California Berkley
University of California Berkley is a name found in the list of the top universities in North America. It also enjoys a high ranking among the best institutes for higher education around the world. Also referred to as UC Berkley, this public research university was founded in 1868. It is a part of the three components of the University of California System. It currently ranks as the number one public university in the country. There are fourteen colleges and schools divided into 170 different academic departments.
Following is some interesting information about UC Berkley.
- The university’s motto is “Let there be Light” which is “Fiat lux” in Latin.
- The team of researchers, faculty and alumni at the Berkley University has successfully won a large number of awards and prizes, including 72 Nobel Prizes, 11 Pulitzer Prizes and 20 Academy Awards.
- UC Berkley athletes have brought home 185 Olympic medals, out of which, 105 are gold medals, 47 silver and 33 Bronze medals.
- Sixteen chemical elements have been discovered at the UC Berkley research lab. This is more than that discovered by any other institute of the world.
- The university library holds around 12 million books.
- Ten faculty members of UC Berkley have won the National Medal of Science.
Other than the above mentioned prestigious institutes, there are many other names included in the list of world’s best universities. For instance, the University of Washington, the Duke University, Yale and several others are revered by those who dream big. A large number of high achievers have earned fame and are making a successful living after graduating from the best North American universities.