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

5. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is an American public research university located in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the largest universities in the United States for both undergraduate and total enrollment. In 2015, it was ranked as the third best up-and-coming public university by the U.S. News and World Report.

The university was rated as one of the 50 Best Value Public Universities by the Princeton Review & USA Today. UCF is also also rated 97th among public universities in the United States and 173rd overall on the list of Tier I National universities. Forbes lists UCF as the 42nd most affordable university in the United States. The renowned professors, not the graduate assistants, are the teachers and advisors to the students at this reputable Florida institution.

4. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

UNC chapel hill photo
Photo by yeungb

UNC-Chapel Hill is among the so-called “Public Ivy” schools. It is constantly ranked in the top five of the public universities in the United States. The total cost of university fees is, to the delight of many parents, generally lower than other highly ranked schools.

UNC-Chapel Hill colleges of law, medicine and business have excellent reputations. This university was ranked second in the U.S. News and World Report as the top public health graduate school in 2015. The university offers 71 bachelor’s programs, 107 master’s programs, and 74 doctorate degree programs. Chapel Hill, which surrounds the university, is widely regarded as one of the best college towns in the nation, with its diverse culture embracing music, the arts, and an array of shops and nightlife.

3. Ohio State University

Ohio State University photo
Photo by marada

The Ohio State University is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio.

Want to know an interesting fact about this school? It has the distinction of being the largest university in the United States.

Founded in 1870, it is consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the country according to Forbes. In fact, Forbes magazine ranked Columbus city as one of the seven smartest cities in the world in 2015.

The university boasts a strong school of law and business; its political science department is also well-respected globally. Its research strengths earned it membership in the Association of American Universities. In fact, it has ranked third among the American universities for private industry sponsored research.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked The Ohio State university as the 16th best public university in the U.S. in its 2016 edition. Besides, the academic ranking of world universities ranks Ohio State 67th globally and 40th nationally in the 2015 edition.


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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