Home College Towns Here are the 10 Smartest Public Universities In the US

Here are the 10 Smartest Public Universities In the US

Here are the 10 Smartest Public Universities In the US

8. The University of California at Berkeley

UC-Berkeley is a member of the university of California system. It is part of three-system public higher education plan in the state, including California Community College System and California State University System.

It offers students a beautiful and bustling campus in the San Francisco Bay area; it is the home to one of the top business and engineering schools in the country. It boasts over 70 notable alumni and faculty who have won Nobel Peace Prize award.

UC-Berkeley is consistently ranked as one of the best public universities in the United States. For instance, in 2015, it was ranked 9th in the United States by the Money Magazine Best College rankings based on affordability, educational quality and alumni earnings.

In the same year, U.S. News and World Report ranked it as the top public national university in the United States. In addition, the Center For The World University Rankings ranked UC-Berkeley seventh in the world in 2015 based on alumni employment, quality of education, faculty publication, quality of teaching, reference citations, influence, patents, and other measurable criteria.

7. The University of Virginia at Charlottesville

university virginia photo
Photo by Phil Roeder

Established over 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson, UVA boasts one of the most historic and beautiful campuses in the United States. It has a wide range of academic areas from engineering to the humanities. It is the wealthiest of the Virginia schools and consistently ranks among the top public universities in the United States.

It is a member of the “public Ivy League,” schools with excellent academic performance, visual appearance, the school traditions, and other Ivy League characteristics. In the 2014-2015 academic years, U.S. News and World Report ranked it as the first public national university in the state based on alumni employment, quality of education, and more.

6. University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA photo
Photo by alberth2

UCLA is a public institution established in 1919. Settled in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, the campus size is 419 acres.

In the Best Global Universities Ranking issued by U.S. News and World Report, UCLA ranked eighth in the world in 2016. Also of note is that it lists UCLA as the second public institution in the United States. This ranking focuses on research performance, number of citations, and reputation of 750 universities from 57 nations.

Regardless of the methodology used in ranking the universities, UCLA is always recognized in a variety of international and national rankings. It is ranked 16th overall by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The campus is home to the renowned faculty in the world who teach in over 230 graduate and undergraduate majors, with more than three dozen academic programs ranked among the top 30 in their disciplines.

It is the home to the leading research institutes and centers, an elite Division I athletics program, top performing arts programs and some of the preeminent hospitals in the Western United States.


Jennifer Bruce Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


    1. Yes, I would like to know the methodology behind these rankings. MIchigan should certainly be on this list, far above UCF. What did they use to measure “intelligence?”

    2. Michigan is not a “public university”. It’s not part of a state system, and most of its funding is from private sources, rather than state/federal.

      1. Actually, the University of Michigan most definitely *is* a public university. While it does have a tremedous endowment and very generous donors, the lack of state funding is entirely a function of politics for all education in the state of Michigan – it has nothing to do with it’s status as public or private.

      1. The University of Michigan most definitely is a public university. It is a state university as are Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Northern Michigan, Ferris State, and several others.

    1. All these lists do is make people upset that they were left off. I graduated from Indiana University. And I believe it is a great public university. However many schools meet the criteria for best public university, including Michigan.

    1. As someone who choose UCF as their first choice (along with many friends who did the same) because of it’s top-tier programs in various different majors (Specifically I’m a CS major), I’m going to have to strongly disagree with you.

  1. Michigan is #10 in medicine, #8 in law, #6 in engineering, and #11 in business. One university, with a professional school in or near the top ten in every field. UCF? Really? Why do I get the impression that the person who put together this list went to Ohio State?

    1. Your comment alone proves Mich produces grads that just memorize crap pushed at them – research if Mich is private. Research if funding is private. Then delete your whining commentary in defeat.

  2. Come on now, number 8? Look at the actual stats, and you’ll find that Berkeley’s ranking should be much higher. Definitley some bias in your research.

  3. William & Mary left off the list and somehow Indiana is first? yeah this list was clearly written by someone with a subpar education because its way off base

  4. Well shoot! I guess the first man to walk on the moon and nobel prize winners couldn’t make the smart cut. ? clearly this is not accurate (Purdue University must have been mistaken as a private school. Common misconception)

  5. People. Who gives a crap. This single, arbitrary ranking list will not change anything. The writer draws our attention to some schools we might otherwise not consider. And she provides some unknown facts about each school which is the interesting takeaway from this article. That’s all this article should serve as. Your school is still number 1 and every other school sucks. Now go about your day.

  6. Who cares about MI. I lived there for 14 miserable years of my life. The real issue if IU #1. Go IU the best of the best

  7. The University of Michigan is a public school and is the #1 ranked public school in the Big 10 according to US News and several other rankings. Leavin out Michigan while including several schools that aren’t anywhere close makes this a complete farce.

  8. I understand that people feel loyal to their own school but there are legitimate ratings of universities using objective standards. The top public universities are the service academies, Michigan, Virginia, Berkeley and UCLA. People debate what order to rank them in but there is little debate which schools are on the list–except for this silly article.

  9. IU and Nebraska are the two bottom schools in the B10 for academics, so Im assuming this is satire.

    1. Ok that’s also not true. IU is far more competitive than Nebraska, Michigan State, or Iowa.

  10. Wow. As an IU grad I am flattered by this bogus ranking that places IU and Nebraska much higher than traditional public ivys. My girlfriend is a Heel and I will say that UNC students are far more intelligent than what I observed at IU. As a UW grad student I’ll also say that Wisconsin offers a lot that Indiana can’t keep up with. Appreciate the love, again graduated from IU with a degree in Math and Econ, but this list is such garbage.


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