Forget US News, Times, and QS. What is Jamie Beaton’s ranking of the top universities (US/UK/International all included)?
A few disclaimers before giving this a crack for you:
- This is only for undergraduate international students (I think the decision varies a lot being international because the reputation of the university becomes a lot more relevant if you plan to head back to work in your original country)
- Rankings are fast approximations which are outclassed by good research. For specific subjects, the rank and order changes dramatically. I will answer this for your average student but it really varies tremendously if you are looking to study computer science or engineering or philosophy or folklore and mythology.
- In choosing the university for me (I answered this here: Why choose Harvard over other universities?), I had to make this choice first hand out of Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Wharton, Cambridge etc so I put my money where my mouth is so to speak and followed my own ranking.
- My ranking is slightly biased in favor of the universities that facilitate outperformance in finance/consulting/entrepreneurship/technology/law school/business school over academia.
With that out of the way:
- UPenn (Wharton)
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- California Institute of Technology
- = UPenn (ex Wharton) + Duke
- Ecole Hotelier du Lussaune (number 1 hospitality program in the world, great return on investment!)
- Cornell University
- Swarthmore College
- University of Washington - Seattle (2nd most recruited computer science program in the US/right next to Microsoft)
- Reed College (one of the more quirky options but 2nd most Rhodes Scholars of any liberal arts school and a curriculum that de-emphasizes formal grading and has its own nuclear reactor for undergrads!)