2017 Best Colleges in Massachusetts

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 64
  1. 1
    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
  2. 2

    Harvard University

    • Cambridge, MA
    • 619 reviews
    Alum:Harvard University offers the most incredible experience for its students. From the rich history to the esteemed faculty to the vibrant atmosphere of Harvard Square, it is truly one of a kind and inspiring. During my time at Harvard, I got to dance to Gangnam Style with Psy, read a Gutenberg Bible, study and work under my hero, perform fMRIs, and eat brunch in what is essentially the Great Hall of Hogwarts. I cannot begin to tell you the opportunities available here nor what you will learn from working and studying alongside people from all over the world. Harvard also tries to promote diversity further by offering a needs-blind application process and a financial aid package that guarantees you will not have to turn down your acceptance due to financial hardship! Harvard truly takes care of its students, giving them every opportunity imaginable and giving them an experience they will never forget.
    More about Harvard University
  3. 3

    Tufts University

    • Medford, MA
    • 857 reviews
    Freshman:Tufts is an amazing school! The intellectual environment is extremely is stimulative. The Professors are very passionate about what they teach and are open to helping any of their students. The food is good too! Students are generally friendly depending on the crowd you hang out with. The political environment is one of liberalism. I love this school and would attend it again when given the chance. There is diversity in terms of the many people from different backgrounds and categories. The surrounding area is beautiful! The school is not called the "Light on the Hill" for no reason
    More about Tufts University
  4. 4

    Williams College

    • Williamstown, MA
    • 251 reviews
    College Freshman:I really enjoy being at my college. It is academically challenging while being engaging. The professors love teaching their subjects, and I have learned the value of a liberal arts education by taking classes in many different areas of study, which are helping me become a well-rounded scholar. I really like it here! The relatively small class sizes allow me to get to know my professors and classmates, which helps me learn better, as I can approach my professors comfortably during office hours and form study groups with my fellow classmates. I would choose my school again if I could do it all over because it has everything I want and need: small classes, passionate professors, engaging courses, welcoming atmosphere, beautiful location, and the list can go on!
    More about Williams College
  5. 5

    Amherst College

    • Amherst, MA
    • 248 reviews
    College Sophomore:The campus is beautiful, it's FAR, far away from where I used to live (Seoul, Korea), and all the students and professors are so immersed in what they love to learn. I absolutely love it! However, there have been a few issues where the administration hasn't dealt well with students suffering from mental disabilities or other illnesses.
    More about Amherst College
  6. 6

    Northeastern University

    • Boston, MA
    • 3,142 reviews
    Freshman:I can't believe it took me until that November before college applications were due to find this school! This is my dream school - A realization I had after starting classes.

    I am in the 6-year PharmD program (2022). This is an accredited pharmacy program that exceeds accreditation requirements to prepare students to be future healthcare leaders. All conversations with upperclassmen in their professional years reflect a rigorous, yet rewarding path towards graduation.

    The student body is passionate and ambitious. There are countless clubs and activities to join. There are opportunities to get involved with other students, faculty, and/or the community every day. The only downsides to the social scene is a lack of "good" parties and Greek life. Go to parties at MIT or upperclassmen house parties in Mission Hill.
    More about Northeastern University
  7. 7

    Smith College

    • Northampton, MA
    • 828 reviews
    College Freshman:The academics are great, workload hard but manageable. The access to the 5 College Consortium and PVTA lets you basically take any class you can think of. Career services is great if you're an Econ or STEM major, less helpful if you're in the other social sciences and humanities. There are ample opportunities and funding for internships and studying abroad. The social scene is what you make it. In the quad, there is a general social atmosphere that (to me) makes college less stressful. Also good parties on the weekends! Other areas of campus tend to be quieter and have more study-heavy atmospheres, especially Green Street.
    More about Smith College
  8. 8

    Wellesley College

    • Wellesley, MA
    • 522 reviews
    Freshman:I love the community and the support at Wellesley. From the moment I set foot on Campus, I felt to natural to be in this community. I am currently a freshman but I think Wellesley is growing to be my home. Food is amazing and since we have five dining halls, we can choose to go anywhere. The campus is stunning and is such a safe place to walk around even at like 2 in the morning. The professors are all passionate and willing to give the most in every class. The work load is not small but manageable. They are setting us up for success!
    More about Wellesley College
  9. 9

    College of the Holy Cross

    • Worcester, MA
    • 470 reviews
    Alum:The College has an exceptional tradition and especially high academic standards. Its alumni are close and tightly-knit... a great thing for friendship and professional interests. The campus is among the most beautiful in the country and if Worcester is not Boston, it is lively and within easy travel not only to Boston but to ski country to the West and North. Though (like Boston College and Georgetown) it has a Catholic history, kids who are not Catholic will find it a hidden treasure and on a par with New England's finest liberal arts colleges. Not to be overlooked!
    More about College of the Holy Cross
  10. 10

    Boston College

    • Chestnut Hill, MA
    • 1,332 reviews
    Junior:Boston College was the perfect fit for me. Originally, I had been extremely hesitant to start school. It was my third choice and I was worried about the student culture. However, I've made the best friends I've ever had, taken intellectually stimulating courses with top-notch professors, and found a perfect home-away-from-home. I'll miss BC!
    More about Boston College
  11. 11

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    • Worcester, MA
    • 600 reviews
    Alum:WPI courses are structured in four terms; they are seven-week long, with a 10-day break between A and B Term, a month of Christmas vacation between B and C, and another 10-day break between C and D Term. While this structure makes courses very intense compared to other colleges, the fact that they last for only 7 weeks is refreshing and improves the students' quick-thinking ability. The courses are heavily based on practical work, research, public speaking, and travelling abroad. The class sizes vary, and while freshmen are often taught in big lecture rooms, they eventually develop stronger interactions with their professors, once their courses become more degree-specific. WPI is expensive, but it tends to be big on scholarships and financial aid, especially towards international students. Most freshmen live in dorms, which makes socializing easy, and then move to off-campus housing. Don't expect much from the Woo nightlife, but there are plenty of student parties throughout the year.
    More about Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  12. 12

    Mount Holyoke College

    • South Hadley, MA
    • 781 reviews
    College Freshman:I love Mount Holyoke so far! I'm enjoying it so much more than High School! I'm loving being on the rowing team, and reading and learning new and interesting things and having great, interesting, thought-provoking discussions both in class and out. The vegan food options are great and plentiful and my dorm (Safford) is really nice (except its really hot and has really squeaky floors). I think M&Cs and mountain day make the school unique. I would definitely choose Moho again even though it doesn't have quite as good financial aid as Smith.
    More about Mount Holyoke College
  13. 13

    Boston University

    • Boston, MA
    • 3,048 reviews
    College Freshman:Boston University is an institution that within one semester has taught me the value of balance, friendships and motivation. What makes Boston University so unique is the students' ability to be bot intellectual yet socially and culturally aware, well socialized and happy. Yes, towards finals week things may get more stressful and the work is very challenging but through it you get to know a lot about yourself, what you can handle and what you can do to prepare yourself best for a successful experience at the University. Another thing that makes Boston U unique is the fact that there are so many resources on and off of campus that can make your experience more dynamic than just going to another great school in the Northeast. Research labs, internships, corporations and the notable alumni and professors all act as accessible tools to help cultivate and enrich your experience beyond the books.

    If I had the option I would choose Boston University again. Despite this being my first semester at the University, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. The culture, the overall vibe, the people and the appreciation and longing for academic and cultural enrichment cannot be matched! If you are looking for a University where you can meet the smartest yet most interesting people ever- Boston University is the place. Go Terriers!
    More about Boston University
  14. 14

    Brandeis University

    • Waltham, MA
    • 941 reviews
    Niche User:I was very impressed with the staff and students we were in contact with during our informational seminar and tour. I signed up for lunch with a student to see a little more "through the eyes of a student".
    I also registered for an interview, which I enjoyed immensely! The interviewer was a student in her senior year and was ver personable. I have toured 6 schools so far, but I really felt this school would be a great fir for me!
    More about Brandeis University
  15. 15
    Junior:UMass is a great place if you want a big school (and are looking to save money if in-state). I came here to save money which I’m happy about, but am not pleased with the big-school aspect. Sense of community is lacking. Professors can be inaccessible; large lectures feel very impersonal.
    Campus is fine when the weather is nice, but winter is rough. Walking 20 minutes to class when it is 10 degrees out isn’t ideal. There are a lot of ugly buildings on campus, but they're constantly doing construction so hopefully the campus will get prettier in the future. The overwhelming amount of construction is frustrating.
    The different residential areas all have very different cultures so there is a place for almost any "type" of person (quiet/shy, partier, stoner, studious, etc) to feel comfortable living. Dorms could use some renovations but overall are not too terrible.
    Location is great; Amherst is wonderful. The surrounding colleges are fun to mingle with!
    More about University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  16. 16

    Bentley University

    • Waltham, MA
    • 632 reviews
    College Freshman:Bentley University is slowly becoming a more popular school for students, and for good reason! I am currently finishing up my first year at Bentley and couldn't be more pleased with how my experience went. At first, Bentley wasn't even a possibility for me, in fact, at the bottom of my list! Then, when I finally decided to take a tour, everything changed. Even just a few hours on the campus made me feel so at home (cheesy but true). Everyone at Bentley is dedicated, ambitious, and hard working individuals all with the dream of becoming a successful business men/women. It is great to be with a group of like minded individuals because it makes your education all the more exciting knowing exactly where you want to be in four years. Bentley also offers liberal studies majors which allow you to explore much more than just your business education and you can take classes in other topics that interest you. This school is also top notch with professors who have had years of experience with well known and reputable companies along with state of the art technology that most schools don't have. Although Bentley is a small school, the social scene is still amazing! There's so many different clubs and orgs to be a part of, you'll never get bored! Granted the party scene isn't what you'd expect at a large state school, but there is always something to do on the weekends! Along with that, with such close proximity to Boston, you can't go wrong! Bentley University is the perfect school for a driven student who wants to learn in a competitive environment along with receive a well-rounded and experiential education.
    More about Bentley University
  17. 17

    Babson College

    • Wellesley, MA
    • 308 reviews
    Freshman:Babson has been a phenomenal experience thus far. The professors genuinely care and push you to be your best, and the courses are pleasingly challenging. Campus is gorgeous and the people the populate it are great. If I were to change anything about it, I would want it to be a bit bigger (maybe 3,000 students) so that you have the small campus feel and community but see more faces around.
    More about Babson College
  18. 18

    Clark University

    • Worcester, MA
    • 676 reviews
    Junior:Clark University is a located in Worcester, MA. Though campus is safe, the area surrounding campus can be sketchy at times; but, like all universities, the safety of students is a top priority. It is a very interesting and diverse community of students and professors. Most professors, faculty, and staff are kind and have their doors open to students when ever possible. One thing Clark is really focusing on these days is the job availability to students within the campus community so as to have students gain experience within their fields of study, or within other fields that may not pertain to their field of study.
    More about Clark University
  19. 19

    Stonehill College

    • Easton, MA
    • 474 reviews
    Alum:The best part of attending Stonehill College is the sense of community. It's large enough that there are plenty of academic and extra curricular events in which to engage, yet small enough that professors are friendly and accessible, and each student has a place to belong. As an institution of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Stonehill students have ample opportunities to pursue religious education and celebration of faith without requirement or burden to participate. Athletic varsity and club teams are competitive yet fun. Campus lies between Boston and Providence. Dorm residence is comfortable and lively. A Stonehill education is truly rounded, thorough, and meaningful. Stonehill graduates are prepared for the working world and to create a more just and compassionate world.
    More about Stonehill College
  20. 20

    Simmons College

    • Boston, MA
    • 647 reviews
    Freshman:Simmons is an women's center college located in Boston! The community in Simmons is different compared to a co-ed higher learning institution! PLAN is alright, I thought the Simmons Explore part of PLAN was a waste of time, but the Boston Course is amazing. However some might have different views on the Boston Course. I really like the Boston Course because the class easily introduce me to the city with the few field trips we have. Which was very helpful for me, not being from Massachusetts.
    There is a lot to do and participate in and the classes are not that overwhelming.
    The students are very accepting for the most part! Republicans are a minority though so be watch out!
    Not much of a party scene within the campus, but you can attend parties at other colleges if you know the right people. We also have Machine nearby with +18 nights on Fridays.
    However, I feel that Simmons needs room for improvement which is why I give 4 stars.
    More about Simmons College
  21. 21

    Emerson College

    • Boston, MA
    • 1,005 reviews
    Alum:My four years at Emerson gave me great friends, helped shape my worldview, and greatly contributed to my career trajectory. The amount of opportunity there, both in and out of classes, is endless. The Emerson connections aren't a myth and the name is recognized outside the film/TV industry as well. I was a marketing communications major and I can't count how many times people in the marketing/advertising industry called out, recognized, and asked me about my school during internship interviews and networking events. After participating in an internship for credit at a Boston agency during my senior year, I received a job offer right before graduation, and I've been very happy there since!
    More about Emerson College
  22. 22
    Junior:I attend the College of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell, and I am very impressed with the caliber of instructors here. They are all tops in their chosen field, and most have been out there in the field, doing the work, and have come to UML to share their knowledge with the students. They genuinely care if you learn, and go above and beyond to help you understand the information you are learning, and how that translates into real world application. They have a diverse campus with a vibrant student life, and have Division 1 sports teams, including one of the best hockey teams in the country. You can't beat UML!
    More about University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  23. 23
    Freshman:I love my college, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. I knew from the moment I walked inside for Accepted Students Day that MCPHS was the place for me! It's in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts and is surrounded by many amazing opportunities and hospitals. This college is very focused on medical professions and really set up their students for success by having great professors and opportunities to find nearby internships/volunteer opportunities. I am very happy with my choice to attend MCPHS because the courses I am taking are interesting and important for my future. The location of the school is ideal for me, as I plan on volunteering at Boston Children's Hospital which is right across the street. MCPHS also has excellent graduate programs including the Master of Physician Assistant program that I plan on applying for in a few years. MCPHS is a small, safe, diverse college worth looking into if you're interested in the medical field.
    More about Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  24. 24

    Bay Path University

    • Longmeadow, MA
    • 571 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love attending Bay Path! Almost all of my classes have under 20 students, (one even had 6), and my professors genuinely care about each student and the course material. They all have such interesting personal experiences that they share and are always willing to help students network! Although there are limited sections available for each course, it's understandable since the student body is so small. My advisor always makes sure I am comfortable with my schedule and that I am on track to receive my degree on time. Being such a small community lets students make personal relationships with almost all of the professors and other students on campus!
    More about Bay Path University
  25. 25

    Wheaton College - Massachusetts

    • Norton, MA
    • 599 reviews
    Freshman:Wheaton is diverse in interests of students which adds to our collaborative community. Whether you're a poet, an athlete, a scientist, an artist or a philosopher, there's a niche for you here. Some aspects are definitely better than others -- such as, the food certainly isn't what draws you in. But the student body, the faculty, and the professors are! Overall, it's a happy places here where students hang out in hammocks in front of res halls and play frisbee in the Dimple when there's good weather. And when it's a typical day in the New England winter, you can find students indoors hanging out drinking wine.
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