2017 Colleges with the Best Professors in America

The 2017 Colleges with the Best Professors ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges have diverse, accomplished, and well paid faculty members that are rated highly by students.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Rice University

    • Houston, TX
    • 968 reviews
    Sophomore:Rice is incredible. The people are so friendly and collaborative, and the residential college system gives you an automatic support system and built-in friends/family. While people are smart, the atmosphere is close-knit and not cutthroat, which I've come to realize is hugely important when I hear my friends at other top universities talk about the pressure and competition they suffer through. The academics aren't easy- especially the STEM programs, which are structured to be some of the most rigorous in the country, but that's why we have such a good reputation and ease with post-graduation placements. Compared to other colleges, there's a lot of freedom with social life/partying and distribution requirements. Overall, the campus is beautiful and quality of life (dorms/food/area) very high. I love Rice and wouldn't go anywhere else!
    More about Rice University
  2. 2

    Brown University

    • Providence, RI
    • 917 reviews
    College Freshman:Professors, even in large lecture classes, are always approachable and friendly. They are open to extensions when asked and even small talk. However, with the amount of time you have with each professor (this also depends on the size of the class) it's unlikely for you to become very friendly with any teachers throughout college unless you take initiative.

    Classes can range from 7 people to 200. There are a variety of options, usually intro classes are big while seminars, language classes, and specific topic classes are smaller. With large classes there is an immense amount of TAs that are always available to help. They also run review/discussion sections to allow students to ask specific questions and get advice from experts who already aced the class.

    Most classes, in the humanities, make you do a lot of reading, have a smaller discussion section, and then 2-4 big assignments like midterms, finals, essays, take home exams, etc.

    The variety of courses speaks for itself. There are too many choices and they are all interesting!
    More about Brown University
  3. 3

    Dartmouth College

    • Hanover, NH
    • 653 reviews
    College Junior:I would definitely choose Dartmouth again. I love the spirit of the school, the people, the professors and all of the non-academic learning experiences that are available. I think in the Engineering school there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of consistently having consistently good teachers. For the most part, teachers are good in the entry level classes, occasionally there is a great teacher, but often ( so far 1 class out of three, every trimester) there is one teacher who isvery suboptimal in their ability to teach or communicate well. Not acceptable at this type of school.

    Additionally, because Dartmouth is out of the way for most companies, their engineering recruiting fairs are extremely lacking in depth and availability. Much of the fair is online. Being only 3 hours from Boston, The Thayer school of engineering should host a weekend or trip to Boston for a recruiting fair to coincide with all the other colleges there when there are HUNDREDS of companies available to talk to and connect with. Students could take a bus to Boston and even make up the classes that are missed at some later point if necessary. Job hunting and internship opportunities are far inferior than at many other schools, even if they are not as highly ranked as Dartmouth!
    More about Dartmouth College
  4. 4

    University of Chicago

    • Chicago, IL
    • 1,104 reviews
    College Sophomore:My experience at UChicago so far has been wonderful! There is such a variety of courses to choose from, and so many interesting majors are available. All of the courses are respectable and worth taking. The professors and TA's are all very experienced in their fields, and are very passionate about what they're teaching. The Core classes are usually taught in lecture halls, but also have classes periods that are broken up into smaller groups (during discussion). Other classes can have as few as five students, like my Yucatec Maya class, which allows students to have awesome conversations with their professors and TA's.
    More about University of Chicago
  5. 5

    Bowdoin College

    • Brunswick, ME
    • 640 reviews
    Freshman:Whether its the Outing Club, the Literary Magazine, the Film Society, or an a Capella group, there is always something for every kind of person to get involved in. Also, people here are incredibly friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you. Bowdoin's size, with 1700 students, really enables this sense of community. If I could change one thing about Bowdoin, I would offer class credit for laboratory time. Also , this is just my wish , but I think Bowdoin should advertise more to the outside world. I grew up overseas, so most of my other friends had not heard of Bowdoin, or Brunswick for that matter. I can understand that I was surprised that not many people in United States knew about this school either. The social scene is great on the weekends, but for the most part exists only on the weekends as people work very hard during the week. As for food, you can guess exactly how delicious it is from just taking a peek at the NYtimes article and the college rankings.
    More about Bowdoin College
  6. 6

    Yale University

    • New Haven, CT
    • 913 reviews
    Freshman:Yale managed to exceed my expectations. I originally chose Yale because of how genuine every student I met was and that perception continues to persist. I have met the most interesting and talented people while at Yale and have made some of the closest friends. One moment we'll be discussing a bio problem set, the next discussing the real solution to economic disparity, the next talking about our upbringings. While it's easy to think of Yale as a competitive college, I think that's far from the truth. I have never collaborated as much as I have at Yale. Everyone wants the best for each other and grades are not a focus. The social scene at Yale is also great. Frat parties are open to anyone for the most part and it's very easy to get integrated with Greek life members even if you aren't in it yourself. Just based off of the year I've been here, I can already say that Yale has changed me to be a more well-rounded person.
    More about Yale University
  7. 7

    Stanford University

    • Stanford, CA
    • 1,087 reviews
    Sophomore:I've really enjoyed Stanford so far.
    Academics are certainly challenging, but rewarding, and students usually aren't excessively stressed about grades.
    Professors are, for the most part, incredibly knowledgeable and care about students, but there are some (particularly those teaching intro classes) who could use some improvement.
    The local area can be a bit expensive and far away (especially without a car).
    Currently, the administration is facing a lot of criticism about the school's handling of sexual assault. It's not the best situation, but a lot of the criticism also comes from Stanford's own professors and students, so I do still feel relatively safe and supported on campus.
    More about Stanford University
  8. 8

    Emory University

    • Atlanta, GA
    • 1,370 reviews
    College Freshman:I have had a fantastic experience at Oxford College of Emory University. Professors here are brilliant, available to students, and committed to teaching undergraduates before their personal studies and research. The atmosphere is quaint and home-like, and I've never felt unsafe on campus. Oxford is great for freshmen and sophomores who are eager to get involved on their campuses and get into leadership positions early. I feel like I have community here, which is something rare to experience in your first year of college. Food is fantastic, buildings are beautiful, and the small campus makes it easy to get to classes on-time. I would definitely recommend Oxford at Emory for your undergraduate experience!
    More about Emory University
  9. 9

    California Institute of Technology

    • Pasadena, CA
    • 106 reviews
    Freshman:As a freshman in the second term, the experience here has been pretty positive. The coursework is definitely challenging, but it keeps me motivated to pursue higher goals. I am extremely grateful for finding such a like-minded community of scholars who are supportive and caring.
    More about California Institute of Technology
  10. 10

    Duke University

    • Durham, NC
    • 1,003 reviews
    Freshman:If you aren't entirely decided on what you want to study, or want to combine two fields that don't seem to fit, Duke is the best school available to you. The flexible pathway through Duke is one of its best features, and it guarantees there's something academic for nearly everyone here. Not to mention everything that goes on outside of academics. Whether you're a performance artist, coder, engineer, service-learner, researcher, intense athlete, or a just for fun one, there's a place for you here. If you're anything at all, and looking to challenge yourself, then come to Duke!
    More about Duke University
  11. 11
    College Freshman:I absolutely love my school and I wouldn't change it at all! It's probably the most stressful, hard, and demanding thing I've done up to now but that's what I love about it! It's a challenge and it really is intense but the people I've met, my friends, help me through it all and I love that! The community at MIT is amazing too, there are so many different people on campus both mainstream and off-stream(I guess that's how you say it?) but that makes everyday much better in an open and accepting campus.
    More about Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  12. 12

    Pomona College

    • Claremont, CA
    • 347 reviews
    Junior:Pomona's largest assets are not its $2b endowment, its buildings, or its location, but rather its people. Here, some of the world's most inquisitive, interesting, and downright intelligent students come together in the pursuit of knowledge and with the intention of changing the world. Professors care deeply about students and are some of the most well-regarded in their fields, a rare combination that allows for students to do meaningful work and learn from people who love to teach, never a teacher's assistant. The admitted class of 2021 is made up of 56.7% domestic students of color, plus 11.4% international students, making Pomona's the most diverse campus in the country.
    More about Pomona College
  13. 13

    Northwestern University

    • Evanston, IL
    • 1,242 reviews
    Alum:I attended Northwestern because of the music program and the professor I would be working with. My professor was amazing, and so was the music program as a whole. I was able to pursue a double major with an outside field, and while it was difficult and busy, the administration helped me every quarter by allowing me to take extra classes to finish on time. The campus is beautiful, but there is always construction. It is not a huge party school, but there are parties and lots of other ways to have fun. I loved the proximity to Chicago and the public transit system. Overall, I liked the student body. There was a general hard work ethic, and though my majors weren't particularly competitive, I know there were some that were fairly cut-throat. The mental health services can be improved upon, but I felt that NU was a very accepting, diverse, and progressive school overall. Financial aid was great, and getting better!
    More about Northwestern University
  14. 14

    Thomas Jefferson University

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 257 reviews
    Graduate Student:Thomas Jefferson University is a great school! It has a community feel, and it's so close to resteraunts and sight seeing. Diversity of students is pretty low, but it's a very inclusive environment for those whom represent less represented populations.
    More about Thomas Jefferson University
  15. 15

    Colby College

    • Waterville, ME
    • 487 reviews
    Freshman:I am currently a freshman at Colby. I am a member of the Women's Soccer team and am currently pursuing a Biology/Pre-Health major with the aspiration of going to medical school. Colby has provided me so many great resources, not just academically, but also in terms of networking, and helping me create my future beyond Colby. The student body is incredibly diverse and everyone is super friendly. Colby is also a really active school. The Outing Club is super popular, there is so much local outdoor recreation. There's a college ski pass to Sugarloaf, Loon, and Sunday River for the winter. I am also a Colby Cares About Kids Mentor which is a really cool volunteering program a Colby. Colby students are matched with a student (usually low-income) in the local Waterville area school district. There are so many ways to get involved inside and outside of Colby. It really is a school that is what you make of it.
    More about Colby College
  16. 16

    Washington University in St. Louis

    • Saint Louis, MO
    • 1,323 reviews
    Freshman:WUSTL is a fantastic university! I first came here because of the prestigious pre-med program, comfy dorms, yummy food, beautiful campus, and great FA. I found all of those here to be true. My experience truly has been an excellent one. Although the academics are undoubtedly challenging, it is equally rewarding.
    More about Washington University in St. Louis
  17. 17

    Barnard College

    • New York, NY
    • 397 reviews
    Sophomore:AMAZING school! You get best of both worlds: small, women's liberal arts college with all the resources and facilities of a large, co-ed, Ivy-League university. Plus, you get to live in NYC. You get a campus feel since it is on the Upper West Side ( residential area).

    Barnard women get degrees from Columbia University, graduate at Columbia University graduation, take classes at CU and join CU clubs/sororities/sports/ societies. Barnard women can also eat at Columbia dining halls, study in all 22 CU libraries, and use the same academic buildings. Columbia students take classes at Barnard and use Barnard libraries/cafeterias/buildings. It's a great campus environment.

    BTW, acceptance rate is 14.8% now (on Niche it still has a very old acceptance rate). Gets more competitive with each year as more people learn about it.
    More about Barnard College
  18. 18

    Vanderbilt University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 1,156 reviews
    Sophomore:Vanderbilt is an excellent place to continue your education. It is easy to find your place at this school because the environment is amazingly friendly and welcoming. Greek life is huge here and many people get involved. The weather is usually mild and the faculty is great. The food is ranked in the country, and as a sophomore, I still enjoy it. Anchor Down! This school is not without flaws, however. The campus is pretty divided racially. There is no malice, but it is clear that intermingling between races only truly occurs in the classroom. That is one thing this school could improve.
    More about Vanderbilt University
  19. 19

    University of Southern California

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 3,316 reviews
    Sophomore:I love attending the University of Southern California! The school has high caliber academics, a competitive yet fun environment for students of all majors, and a gorgeous campus. USC is a bit expensive however, hardworking students can come in with large scholarships to defray this cost. I definitely think that this experience is worth the cost of living and expenses out here and will truly pay off in the end. I have definitely met life long friends and have made unforgettable memories throughout my time here!
    More about University of Southern California
  20. 20

    Yeshiva University

    • New York, NY
    • 250 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love my teachers and the classroom buildings. The school has incredible security and is well kept. The quality of life on campus is excellent and active. The food could be better, but the dinning rooms themselves are very nice. The class sizes are small which is fantastic. The teachers really make it a priority to get to know their students and create relationships with their students. I feel like a real person and not just another face in the crowd or number on a list of hundreds.
    More about Yeshiva University
  21. 21

    Scripps College

    • Claremont, CA
    • 425 reviews
    Sophomore:Great academic programs that are also very flexible. Diversity in the student body is getting better, overall a supportive academic and living community!
    More about Scripps College
  22. 22

    Grinnell College

    • Grinnell, IA
    • 378 reviews
    Senior:Grinnell is an academic rigorous school with a strong sense of diversity and community. Some people find the location to be a negative based on where its located, but I find it to be a positive. We have students coming from all over the country and world, so its definitely a global school, but there is not only a strong community, but students actively choose to be there. They provide many opportunities on and off campus too for students. Provides great financial aid and resources for all students to take advantage of. Many clubs and organizations to join and many concerts, events, performances and speakers to keep you entertained.
    More about Grinnell College
  23. 23

    Princeton University

    • Princeton, NJ
    • 383 reviews
    Freshman:I love Princeton! The financial aid is incredible, the campus is beautiful, and the academics are really fantastic. While things can get stressful, the University tries to provide resources to combat that (even though CPS is massively backlogged, which can make things tough). Because the grade deflation policy is over, a lot of the old stress is gone!

    The social scene can be a little odd because of eating clubs (which is definitely something for incoming freshmen to be aware of), but it's definitely navigable and plenty of upperclassmen are really cool and helpful when it comes to social stuff.

    The experience of a lot of people of color tends to differ from white students (like myself), so this is definitely something to take into consideration. It can be tough because there's so much privilege on the campus, so a lot of the dialogue surrounding the experiences of people of color and people of lower classes can be difficult to navigate.
    More about Princeton University
  24. 24

    Wake Forest University

    • Winston Salem, NC
    • 723 reviews
    College Freshman:Wake Forest is the perfect school if you are looking for like minded, career driven individuals that are very well rounded and are incredibly aware of everything. The size is perfect so that you don't have to see the people you don't want to see everywhere, yet you see a ton of people you know at the same time. The school has people from all over the place and brings together bright minded people that are easy to get along with. Keeping up with the academic portion of the school can get difficult, but is manageable with basic time management skills. Also, there is resources that can be tapped if you are having difficulties in school. The campus is well connected and no building is too far to walk to. Fraternities are the social scene on campus and it is difficult to have fun without being in a Greek organization. There are a ton of extracurricular activities and will have a club or organization that meets you're interests. As a second semester Freshman, I could not have made a better decision with my college decision.
    More about Wake Forest University
  25. 25

    Carnegie Mellon University

    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • 1,299 reviews
    Alum:Carnegie Mellon is tough, no doubt about it. But it's also a place where you'll be pushed and surrounded by other talented and passionate people working hard too. You bond over that and I made awesome friends who will always be close no matter the years and distance. It can be very stressful, but making it through did convince me that I could persevere through anything, something that has benefitted me a lot out in the working world. I'll always prefer to hire CMU graduates because I of this.

    Sports? Nah. Don't go there for sports. Campus? A lot better now then when I was there! Dorms? They're OK but moved off campus after 1st year. Parties? Well my group of friends had a lot of house parties but this was more Art, Design, Drama and random stragglers group ;) Pittsburgh? Wasn't convinced at the time (wanted to be in NYC) but it's a good place to go to school - enough to do, fairly safe, pretty cheap to live, plenty of arts and culture if you want it, decent food, etc.
    More about Carnegie Mellon University