Best universities in the United States unveiled
U.S. News ranked 1,388 institutions across the country. Source: Shutterstock

American website U.S. News has officially released its much-anticipated Best Colleges Rankings for 2018.

Big name Ivy League schools somewhat unsurprisingly dominated the top 10 in the National Universities category, with Princeton and Harvard taking out the top two places, followed by Yale in equal third with the University of Chicago.

These are schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, masters and doctoral programmes.

Princeton University took out the top place in the US News Best Colleges 2018. Source: Shutterstock

To come to its conclusions for “best” colleges out of some 1,388 institutions that are ranked, U.S. News gathered data on each college according to up to 15 indicators of academic excellence.

Accordingly, the top National Universities in the United States are:

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University

3. University of Chicago

3. Yale University

5. Columbia University

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5. Stanford University

8. University of Pennsylvania

9. Duke University

10. California Institute of Technology

Harvard came in at second place in the US News Best National Universities 2018. Source: Shutterstock

Next ranked were Dartmouth College, John Hopkins University and Northwestern University ranked equal 11th, followed by Brown University, Cornell University, Rice University and Vanderbilt University which were tied for 14th place.

The University of Notre Dame and Washington University in St Louis took equal 18th place, while Georgetown University was ranked 20.

Emory University, the University of California – Berkeley, the University of California – Los Angeles and its Los Angeles-based rival the University of Southern California took out equal 21st.

UCLA was tied with its Los Angeles rival USC for 21st place. Source: Shutterstock

In terms of National Liberal Arts Colleges – which tend to focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education – the top 10 are:

1. Williams College

2. Amherst College

3. Bowdoin College

3. Swarthmore College

3. Wellesley College

6. Middlebury College

6. Pomona College

8. Carleton College

8. Claremont McKenna College

10. Davidson College

U.S. News’ college rankings have however come in for criticism in recent years, and for 2018 that is no exception.

A piece published in the Chronicle of Higher Education argued that people should “stop looking at rankings” and “use academe’s own measures instead”, while a Politico op-ed argued the rankings “promote economic inequality on campus.”

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