2017 Top Public Universities in America

The Top Public Universities 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 over 500 public colleges and state universities.
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  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • 3,751 reviews
    College Sophomore:Well I'm currently studying at the University of Michigan, which is known for its business and engineering programs. But I'm currently triple-majoring in Linguistics, Spanish, and Japanese. And I am constantly impressed by just how amazing our faculty is here. In almost every department, there is at least one professor that is a leading contributor in his/her field. I've taken several classes where the textbook that we use to structure the class was written by the professor him/herself.

    I personally have never attended another school, but I assume that this is very atypical for colleges. And it's something that I take pride in as a Wolverine. One of our slogans here is "the leaders and the best". Now I will admit that I can see the pride, and perhaps the arrogance as well, in this statement, but I find it to be quite fitting. I came to Michigan because it's a university taught by the best, for the best.

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  2. 2

    University of California - Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 4,386 reviews
    College Sophomore:UCLA's historical reputation for research contributes to an extremely positive aura around the school. The job opportunities are many; and so is the alumni network.

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  3. 3

    University of Virginia

    • Charlottesville, VA
    • 2,002 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely adore my school. There is not a day that goes by that I don't walk to class, finding new reasons to be grateful for choosing it. The combination of history, academics, athletics, social scene and opportunities is one that cannot be compared.

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  4. 4

    University of Texas - Austin

    • Austin, TX
    • 5,336 reviews
    College Sophomore:This university has it all. There are over 1000 clubs you can join so there is something for everyone if they want to get involved. There are such a wide range of majors that it's easy to find something that fits what you want to do. The professors are always so passionate about what they teach and you can tell they genuinely care about their students. They always make sure to explain things clearly and offer more than enough opportunities to reach them outside of class hours. The advisors on campus are life savers, I wouldn't have been able to navigate this far without their amazing help. This university really makes me feel like my needs are important instead of feeling like just another student out of 50,000. The people are friendly, the culture is fantastic, and the school is stellar. I couldn't see myself attending anywhere else.

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  5. 5

    University of California - Berkeley

    • Berkeley, CA
    • 3,613 reviews
    College Junior:I love my school, it may not be perfect but nothing in this world is. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a cal bear. The professors are top notch! They want to see their students be successful, although they don’t go easy on us they challenge us, and thats the entire purpose of this university.

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  6. 6

    Virginia Tech

    • Blacksburg, VA
    • 3,378 reviews
    College Sophomore:Virginia Tech may be one of the best decisions I've made in my life. The people I've met, the experiences I've had, and the environment in general is one that can't be beat. I gladly call Tech my home away from home, and when I'm not there I want to be there, when I am there, I don't want to leave. Tech has great academic programs, it's an easy place to make a ton of friends and have fun, a great place to live, and best of all it's been rated one of the most fit campuses in the states. Next to the fittest campus we're also rated number one for campus dining. In my opinion, it would be hard to find any other school that would make me as happy as Tech has.

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  7. 7

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • Chapel Hill, NC
    • 2,116 reviews
    College Sophomore:Chapel Hill is a great college town- it is especially fun during basketball season because the whole town is excited. While sports are always fun to go watch, there are plenty opportunities to get involved on campus in clubs and other things such as intermural sports.

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  8. 8

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    • Atlanta, GA
    • 1,815 reviews
    College Sophomore:The amount of internships and job opportunities are fantastic. Most students have offers before graduation. Employers are always recruiting at Tech.

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  9. 9

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    • Champaign, IL
    • 4,031 reviews
    College Junior:I personally enjoy my studies at the University of Illinois. I'm enjoying being independent and living on my own, and I also like the flexibility of choosing when my classes are.

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  10. 10

    University of Wisconsin

    • Madison, WI
    • 2,811 reviews
    College Sophomore:This was my dream school and I know by the atmosphere it's where I belong. There are so many interesting courses to take and areas to explore. Overall, it is a fantastic school.

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  11. 11

    College of William & Mary

    • Williamsburg, VA
    • 1,354 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:William and Mary does a great job at filling the class with reasonable, amazing people. There were a few questionable choices, but I was able to quickly find my niche of people. I really enjoyed my four years here.

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  12. 12

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, FL
    • 6,628 reviews
    College Sophomore:The school offers plenty of chances for research, jobs, and diverse activities. The all around experience of UF generally great, and the name UF on you degree gives a person an edge up in the work field.

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  13. 13

    Penn State

    • University Park, PA
    • 6,132 reviews
    College Junior:Since I transferred from the University of Findlay, I have never been happier in my life. The atmosphere and curriculum is perfect for a college student.

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  14. 14

    Ohio State University

    • Columbus, OH
    • 4,682 reviews
    College Sophomore:I cannot say enough good things about The Ohio State University. Everyone is so passionate about what they do, and I could not ask for a better place to complete my undergrad.

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  15. 15

    Colorado School of Mines

    • Golden, CO
    • 780 reviews
    College Sophomore:Although the first semester of freshman year went rough with tough homework assignments, I was used to the atmosphere similar to my high school (a college preparatory school). Ever since then, I knew I wanted to go to Colorado School of Mines because not only dd it have great academic courses like math and physics but it is also one of the top-10 engineer schools for many career opportunities. In addition, it is close to my home and the view of the Rocky Mountains is picturesque! Be aware however that you have to really do well with your GPA or ACT scores to be admitted to Mines (at least the average).

    The professors are fantastic and there are so many resources to help you do well, including the course help program CASA. Most importantly, the college stresses about collaboration; students are encouraged to work with others on certain problems and significantly with projects. Colorado School of Mines has certain classes involving actual work ethics that industries participate through teams, such as designing, organizing the best possible outcomes, and finalizing the results with presentations. All of these show that a student can even do more with team effort alone!

    In addition to having great faculty and classes, there are so many attractions you and your friends can visit. The City of Golden has small businesses booming where students can walk from campus and even enjoy Clear Creek flowing East from the Rocky Mountains. Golden also has its unique history of certain places, including a mine near campus from the late 1800s. Fun activities include high gliding, water rafting, rock climbing, and so much more.

    Overall, with a nice school fight song, Mines can make you a helluva engineer as long as you take advantage of its many opportunities! Good luck to anyone who wants to come to Mines; it is worth a lot to be a student there!

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  16. 16

    Texas A&M University

    • College Station, TX
    • 6,027 reviews
    College Sophomore:I have enjoyed every bit of my college experience. I went to a huge college and was able to shrink it by joining organizations and making friends in them. But I still went to a college were everyone is friendly. You will have a tough time finding a professor you do not like, however they will all challenge you.

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  17. 17

    Purdue University

    • West Lafayette, IN
    • 4,039 reviews
    College Sophomore:A Purdue degree carries a lot of weight around the country, especially with the successful alumni the school has. Annual career fairs show exactly how many businesses are looking for Purdue students specifically, and if you know what field you want to work in, you'll find a lot of help getting an internship or job within it.

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  18. 18

    University of California - Santa Barbara

    • Santa Barbara, CA
    • 4,042 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love UCSB. I know I'm a little biased but I think the atmosphere is amazing and the people there are incredibly easy-going. The beach is ridiculously close and I met my boyfriend here :)

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  19. 19

    University of Georgia

    • Athens, GA
    • 4,748 reviews
    College Junior:UGA is a really nice school and the city of the Athens is the best. There are so many people your age around you, so it's really fun and since it's a big school, there's literally something for everyone. There's even a furry's club and a medieval sword fighting club. That's how diverse the school is!

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  20. 20

    University of Washington

    • Seattle, WA
    • 3,741 reviews
    College Sophomore:What makes my school so unique is its diversity that is represented within the community. I've experienced already an abundant amount of different insights, organizations and paths. As I have been working towards my academic life, i am still able to balance out my social activity by joining clubs, networking with professional organizations and undergraduate pipelines. My freshman year has been a blast and looking forward to my second year at The University of Washington.

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  21. 21

    University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    • Minneapolis, MN
    • 3,824 reviews
    College Sophomore:I would choose the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities every single time if someone asked me what school I wanted to attend. The academic rigor is challenging but very possible to get good grades with and the community is so friendly and welcoming. The campus is gorgeous and there is always new opportunities to try new things or become apart or new programs and extracurricular activities. The professors are outstanding and always willing to lend a hand if you are struggling. I have made so many great memories here as a gopher and I can't wait to see what lies in store for the next three years.

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  22. 22

    Michigan State University

    • East Lansing, MI
    • 4,856 reviews
    College Sophomore:Moving into my second semester as a sophomore, I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to come here. I have met so many amazing people, and the endless opportunities to thrive make me feel like I am cared about here. The faculty and staff treat students as equals and work hard to ensure they understand the material in order to be successful. This summer I have been given the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, and I couldn't be more excited. Michigan State is an all-around fabulous school; I would highly recommend taking a tour and learning more about this university if you have an interest in attending.

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  23. 23

    Clemson University

    • Clemson, SC
    • 2,803 reviews
    College Junior:Clemson is so unique in the sense that you will not get that small town family feel anywhere else, at least not without sacrificing the fun and or excitement that other schools offer. Clemson offers wonderful academics, with a wonderful environment, and wonderful people - its simple

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  24. 24

    University of California - Davis

    • Davis, CA
    • 4,024 reviews
    College Sophomore:The community, diversity, opportunities, and people are truly amazing. While maintaining the academic rigor, students are happy and friendly with plenty of interesting activities to do around the campus

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  25. 25

    University of Maryland - College Park

    • College Park, MD
    • 4,641 reviews
    College Sophomore:I have learned so much in the three semesters I have been here. Not only are the academics exceptional, I also learned things outside of the classroom. I was afraid that I would not be able to make new friends in college, but I have managed to form a very supportive and fun friend group. The school spirit here is very impressive. I love attending the soccer games and the basketball games. The crowd always gets very creative with the cheers and makes a welcoming atmosphere. I have also enjoyed being part of the club soccer team and playing intramural sports with my friends.

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