New England has one of the best selections of universities and colleges in the world, and the public universities in particular are a stellar bunch. We chose our list of the 10 best public universities in New England based on the unique features of the campuses, the strength of their programs and their commitment to sustainability. We also added in some bonus points for athletic performance, and overall student body involvement.
To rank in the list, the school must reside within the New England region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont. These states, since our country’s founding, have placed substantial importance on the quality and accessibility to a higher education.
#10 Plymouth State University
Campus – Plymouth State is one of those campuses where the trees out-number the buildings. One might venture to say that they outnumber the students too. It’s a glorious sight of burgundy and golden leaves in the autumn, but this campus actually looks stunning all year long. The school sits at the gateway to the White Mountains, so hiking, skiing, and rock and ice climbing are popular extra-curriculars.
Sustainability – The school has some serious green status, which could be because the students and faculty of Plymouth feel connected to the surrounding natural landscape. Langdon Woods, PSU’s most recent residence hall, was one of the first collegiate residence halls in the U.S. to gain “Gold” certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED is the internationally accepted distinction for green construction and design in 150 countries.
#9 Eastern Connecticut State University
Campus – Welcome to Eastern Connecticut State University, a coeducational liberal arts university and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Eastern’s gorgeous three-part campus is spread over 182 acre and is home to the school’s first dormitory building from 1921.
Programs – As a liberal arts-centric school, the most popular majors are fairly predictable: Business Management, Marketing (15%); Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (14%); Social Sciences (12%); Psychology (10%).
Accolades – Eastern Connecticut State University was ranked 92 in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, in Regional Universities North. One of the reigning reasons for that is the class sizes there. The student-faculty ratio at Eastern Connecticut State University is 16:1, and 32.4 percent of the classes there have less than 20 students.
Alumni – Among those students was Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2001), is alumni along with New York Times best seller, Susan Wilson (1973).