Top 23 USA Universities with the powerful Alumni Network 

Considering a study program in the United States can be awesome. There are over one hundred and seventy (170) universities and colleges in the US among the world’s best that have a very powerful Alumni Network.

This Article features the Top 23 USA Universities with the powerful Alumni Network, ranging from men that have influenced society at large in one way or the other, and have also contributed immensely to the development of the economy that studied under the Universities in the United States.

An alumni network is a union of former students (graduates). It is an association of colleges, universities, schools, fraternities, and sororities which are often groups with alumni from the same institution.

List of the Top 23 USA Universities with the Powerful Alumni Network

Here are the Top 23 USA Universities with the powerful Alumni network are as follows:

1) Stanford University

Stanford University is an Ivy private research university in Stanford, California. It is known for its academic strength, wealth, and proximity to Silicon Valley.

The university was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in remembrance of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at fifteen (15) the previous year.

Stanford was a U.S. Senator and former the Governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon.

The school admitted its first set of students on the 1st of October 1891, ranking among the world’s top universities. Stanford University is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

Based in Palo Alto, beside Silicon Valley, Stanford had a prominent role in encouraging the region’s tech industry to develop.

Many of its faculty members, students and alumni have founded successful technology companies and start-ups, including Google, Snapchat and Hewlett-Packard. In total, companies founded by Stanford alumni make $2.7 trillion annually.

Notable Alumni

  • Gene D. Block (A.B. 1970), 8th chancellor of University of California, Los Angeles
  • Derek Bok (A.B. 1951), 25th president of Harvard University
  • Michelle Alexander (J.D. 1992), a civil rights activist and professor of law at Ohio State University
  • Anant Agarwal (Ph.D in EE), president of edX at MIT
  • Ružena Bajcsy (Ph.D in CS), winner of 2009 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science
  • Andy Bechtolsheim (Ph.D. dropout), designer of the first networked SUN workstation
  • James B. Aguayo-Martel (M.D. 1981, M.P.H. 1981), chairman, Department of Surgery, founder and inventor of NMR microscopy and Deuterium NMR spectroscopy.

2) Harvard University

Harvard is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roughly 20,000 students are enrolled, a quarter of whom are international. Though tuition is costly, Harvard’s financial endowment allows for plenty of financial aid for students.

Harvard University was established in 1636 and was named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world’s most prominent universities. The Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation.

Harvard University is perhaps one of the top universities in the world, topping the Times Higher Education reputation rankings for most years. The Harvard Library system is made up of seventy-nine (79) libraries and counts as the largest academic library in the world.

Amongst many prominent alumni, Harvard can count eight US presidents, 157 Nobel laureates, 14 Turing Award winners and 62 living billionaires. Unlike some other universities at the top of the list, Harvard University is at least equally reputed for arts and humanities as it is for science and technology, if not more so.

Notable Alumni

  • Roger Adams (1889–1971) College 1909, PhD 1912 – Pioneering organic chemist
  • Howard H. Aiken (1900–1973) M.A. 1937; PhD 1939 – Computer scientist; designer of the Harvard Mark 1.
  • Darius Adamczyk (born 1966) Business 1995 – CEO of Honeywell
  • John Adams (1735–1826) 1755 – College – President of the United States
  • John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) 1787 – College – President of the United States
  • Abdiweli Mohamed Ali(born 1965) HKS – 1999 – President of Puntland; Prime Minister of Somalia
  • Sophia Akuffo (born 1949) Law – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana
  • Mark Fields (born 1961) Business – CEO of Ford Motor Company

3) Princeton University

Princeton University is a prestigious Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey.

The university was founded in the year 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine (9) colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Princeton’s distinct social environment includes private “eating clubs”, which function as both social houses and dining halls.

So many of the clubs are selective and competitive, but others oblige undergraduates to sign up. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, where it was renamed Princeton University in year 1896.

Notable Alumni

  • James Millikin Bevans – U.S. Air Force Major General
  • Alexander Bonnyman, Jr., 1932 – World War II Medal of Honor recipient killed in the Battle of Tarawa
  • Mike Archer (Biology) B 1967 – Director of the Australian Museum, 1999–2003
  • Stan Allen – Dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture; author of Points and Lines
  • Orley Ashenfelter – professor of economics, winner of the Frisch Medal (1982)
  • Bruce Alger – former U.S. Representative for Texas’s the 5th congressional district, based in Dallas
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah – professor of philosophy
  • Philip Warren Anderson – Joseph Henry Professor of Physics and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Robert Calderbank – professor of electrical engineering, mathematics, and applied mathematics

4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a prestigious research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, the university was founded in the year 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.

The University is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences and engineering, but more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, and management as well. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is often ranked among the world’s top universities.

In the month of August 2018, 91 Nobel laureates, 25 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members or researchers.

MIT also cultivates a strong entrepreneurial culture, which has seen many alumni found notable companies such as Intel and Dropbox.

Notable Alumni

  • Ben Bernanke PhD – Economics 1979 Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank Julius A. Furer SM 1905 U.S. Navy admiral
  • Kofi Annan SM – Management 1972 Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Ogden Codman, Jr. (1884) – Beaux-Arts domestic architect, interior designer
  • Marion Mahony Griffin (1894) – co-designer of the master plan for Canberra, Australia
  • Arash Ferdowsi (dropped out); co-founder of CTO at Dropbox
  • Karel Bossart (SM 1927) – designer of the SM-65 Atlas missile
  • Michael Brennan – pioneering finance academic, former president of the American Finance Association
  • Herbert Kalmus (1903) – inventor of Technicolor, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Wesley A. Clark – computing pioneer, creator of the LINC (the 1st minicomputer)
  • Johan Harmenberg – épée fencer, a gold medal winner in the 1980 Olympics, world champion

5) California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

Caltech is a private doctorate-granting Research University located in Pasadena, California, US. Known for its strength in natural science and engineering, It is often ranked among the world’s top ten universities.

The university was established as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in the year 1891, in the early 20th century, the college attracted influential scientists such as Arthur Amos Noyes, George Ellery Hale and Robert Andrews Millikan.

The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in year 1921.

In the year 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities and the antecedents of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between the year 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán.

There are approximately Two thousand (2,000) students at CalTech, and the primary campus in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, covers 124 acres. Approximately all undergraduates live on campus.

Across the six (6) faculties there is a focus on science and engineering. CalTech has the highest proportion of students who continue on to pursue a Ph.D., and the trope of the CalTech postgraduate has filtered into popular culture; all the major characters in the television comedy The Big Bang Theory work or study at California Institute of Technology.

Notable Alumni

  • Frank Borman, commanded the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission, the first team of astronauts to circle the moon
  • Gordon Fullerton, piloted the 3rd space shuttle mission and orbited the earth in Skylab
  • France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation
  • Chester F. Carlson, Inventor of Xerography (photocopying)
  • Frank Capra, film director (It Happened One Night; Lost Horizon; It’s a Wonderful Life)

6) Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is an American private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in the year 1876, It takes its name from its first benefactor, the American abolitionist, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Johns Hopkins.

His $7 million bequests (roughly $141.2 million in today’s dollars) of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital – was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States at that time.

The Johns Hopkins University has four campuses in Baltimore with regional satellite campuses throughout Maryland and a biotech hub north of Washington, DC.

It has a presence in more than one hundred and fifty (150) countries including Argentina, France, China, Italy and Singapore, and an extensive study abroad program.

More than three thousand (3,000) of the university’s students are international, totaling 20 percent (%) of the student body, and representing 120 different countries.

The university counts up to 36 Nobel Laureates among past and present faculty and students.

Further notable alumni include the journalist PJ O’Rourke, film director Wes Craven, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States and the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Russell Baker.

Its major campus comprises red-brick buildings, an iconic clock tower and vast areas of woodland.

Notable Alumni

  • M. Coetzee – Nobel Prize in Literature, 2003
  • Joseph Erlanger – Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1944
  • William Foxwell Albright – authenticator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, linguist, expert on ceramics
  • Louise L. Sloan – ophthalmologist and vision scientist
  • Louis Clarke – Olympic track champion
  • Sanju Bansal (M.S. 1990) – co-founder of MicroStrategy
  • Arthur Talmage Abernethy – journalist, theologian, minister, first North Carolina Poet Laureate

7) University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research institution; situated in the University City section of West Philadelphia.

It incorporates as the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is among the fourteen (14) founding members of the Association of American Universities and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

The founder of Penn, Benjamin Franklin advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology, though his proposed curriculum was never adopted.

With an endowment of $12.21 billion in the year 2017, it had the seventh largest endowment of all colleges in the United States. In its fiscal year 2015, Penn’s academic research budget was roughly $851 million, involving over 4,300 faculty, 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, and 5,500 support staff/graduate assistants.

As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 14 heads of state, 25 billionaires; three 3 United States Supreme Court justices; 33 United States Senators, 42 United States Governors and 158 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; 8 signers of the US Declaration of Independence; 12 signers of the United States Constitution, and the current President of the United States.

Notable Alumni

  • Herman Vandenburg Ames: Professor of Constitutional History
  • Cyrus Adler: Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary; President, Dropsie College
  • Elizabeth Alexander: poet who recited at the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama
  • Reds Bagnell: Maxwell Award football halfback at Penn, and member of the College Football Hall of Fame
  • B. Beaumont: first head coach in football at the University of Alabama
  • Pard Pearce: 1921 NFL Champion playing for the Chicago Staleys (now the Chicago Bears)
  • Greg Best: winner of two silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • Steve Baumann: President of the National Soccer Hall of Fame
  • Joe Burk: Award-winning Ivy League oarsman and coach
  • Laura J. Alber: President and CEO of Williams-Sonoma

8) Yale University

Yale University is an American private Ivy League research university that is the third-oldest higher education institution in the US.

Yale traces its history back to 1701 when it was founded as the Collegiate School in Saybrook, Connecticut, which moved to New Haven 15 years later.

Yale University’s central campus covers 260 acres of New Haven and includes buildings dating back to the mid-18th century.

Around one in five students at Yale is an international student, and more than half of all undergraduates receive scholarships or grants from the university.

Yale has an endowment that exceeds $25 billion (£17.3 billion), making it the second-richest educational institution in the world, and a library with more than 15 million volumes, making it the third-largest in the US.

Yale alumni and sports teams are known as “Bulldogs”, and many Yale graduates have gone on to notable careers in politics, the arts, science etc.

Notable Alumni

  • George Akerlof (B.A. 1962), Economics, 2001
  • Anne Applebaum (B.A. 1986), 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction
  • Richard Anuszkiewicz, painter of the Op-Art movement
  • Frank Aarebrot, professor of comparative politics at University of Bergen
  • Joel Benjamin (B.A. 1985), chess Grandmaster, three-time U.S. chess champion (1987, 1997, 2000)
  • John Fellows Akers (B.A. 1956), former CEO and Chairman of IBM
  • Isaac K. Beckes (Ph.D. 1943), president of Vincennes University, 1950–1980
  • Henry Bean, screenwriter/director The Believer
  • Joseph P. Allen (Ph.D. 1965), NASA Astronaut with two STS missions experience
  • Elizabeth Adams (Ph.D. 1926), professor of Zoology at Mount Holyoke College

9) University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new methods of thinking since 1890. Its commitment to free and open inquest draws enthused scholars to its global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

The University of Chicago scholars has played a great role in developing many academic disciplines, including economics, sociology, law, literary criticism, religion and the behavioralism school of political science.

The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the USA.

The University of Chicago’s creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs become CEOs, attorneys general, literary giants, university presidents, and astronauts.

Notable Alumni

  • William Lyon Mackenzie King (A.M. 1897) Prime Minister of Canada (1935–1948)
  • Lester Beall (A.B. 1926) – modernist graphic designer
  • Jay Berwanger (A.B. 1936) – first Heisman Trophy winner
  • Roger Altman – Founder and senior chairman of Evercore, United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
  • Henry Steele Commager (Ph.B. 1923, A.M. 1924, Ph.D. 1928) – American historian
  • Jessica Abel (A.B. 1991) – comic book writer and artist
  • Robert Gallo (Resident in Medicine 1963–1965) – identified first retrovirus in humans
  • Leonard Bloomfield – linguist who led the development of structural linguistics

10) University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a top-ranked public research university in the United States. Situated in the city of Berkeley, it was founded in 1868 and served as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system.

Berkeley has since grown to instruct over forty thousand (40,000) students in roughly 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering various disciplines.

The University is one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities, with $789 million in R&D expenditures in the fiscal year ending 30th June 2015.

The University’s creation stemmed from a vision in the state constitution of a university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations.”

It has a tradition as a center of political activism. During the year the 1960s and 1970s, the campus was a hotbed for student protests against the Vietnam War. Attractions on campus include a Botanic Garden established in 1890, and the 60,000-capacity California Memorial Stadium used by the university’s sports teams.

Notable Alumni

  • Michael Freedman – mathematician, recipient of the Fields Medal in 1986
  • Mark Anchor Albert, B.A. 1984 – Los Angeles based attorney, lay Catholic leader, founder of the Queen of Angels Foundation
  • Timothy Leary, Ph.D. 1950 – psychologist and counterculture figure
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, B.A. [1992], Ph.D. 1997 – author (also listed in Pulitzer Prize); 2017 MacArthur Fellowship (291)
  • William Thurston, Ph.D. 1972 – 2012 mathematician, recipient of the Fields Medal in year 1982

11) University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university in the Westwood region of Los Angeles, United States. In the year 1919, it became the Southern Branch of the University of California, making it the second-oldest undergraduate campus of the ten-campus University of California system.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 – 2019 ranked UCLA 17th in the world for academics, No. 2 United States Public University for academics and 9th for reputation.

In the year 2017, UCLA ranked 12th in the world, 10th in North America by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and 33rd in the year 2017 – 2018 QS World University Rankings.

In the year 2017, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked UCLA 15th in the world based on the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact, and patents. In 2018 – 2019, US News & World Report ranked UCLA as the No. 1 public university in the United States.

University of California, Los Angeles also encourages students to study abroad. Over two thousand four hundred (2,400) do so each year – with more than 275 programs in approximately 40 countries. Community service is equally a cornerstone of undergraduate education at UCLA.

Notable Alumni

  • Ralph Bunche – recipient of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Allen Adham, B.S. Engineering, 1990 – co-founder, Blizzard Entertainment
  • Luis Aguilar – Monsalve – writer and educator
  • Inez Asher – television writer and novelist
  • Eric Byrnes – former Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Ike Anigbogu – National Basketball Association player, Indiana Pacers
  • Anthony Barr –Minnesota Vikings linebacker
  • Mohini Bhardwaj – Olympic silver medalist in gymnastics

12) Columbia University

Columbia University is a private League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It was established in the year 1754.

Columbia University is the oldest college in the state of New York. It is the fifth chartered institution of higher learning in the United States, making it one of nine (9) colonial colleges founded before the Declaration of Independence.

It was formally established as King’s College by the royal charter of George II of Great Britain and renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolutionary War.

The university’s main landmark is the Low Memorial Library, built in the Classical Roman style and housed the university’s central administration offices. As well as its main campus in the heart of New York City on Broadway, Columbia has two (2) facilities outside Manhattan:

Nevis Laboratories, a center for studying high energy experimental element and nuclear physics in Irvington, New York, and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York.

Up to eighty (80) faculty members, adjunct staff, and alumni of Columbia had won a Nobel Prize since year 1901 when the awards were first granted. These include US President Barack Obama, who was given the Peace Prize in the year 2009, chemist Robert Lefkowitz and economist Joseph Stiglitz.

The private research-based university has 20 schools – which include architecture, planning and preservation; business; Jewish theological seminary; law, and 23 libraries that are spotted across the city. Sponsored research from its medical center produces more than $600,000,000 (six hundred million USD) annually.

The Columbia University also has nine (9) Columbia Global Centres, which aim to promote and facilitate collaboration between the university’s staff, students and alumni in order to address global challenges. These are in China, Jordan, Turkey, India, Kenya, France, Chile, Brazil, and New York City.

In the year 2014 to 2015, the university’s total endowment value passed the $9.6 billion mark.

Notable Alumni

  • Willie Blount – Governor of Tennessee (1809 – 1815)
  • William Pelham Barr (B.A. 1971, M.A. 1973) – 77th United States Attorney General (1991–1993)
  • Charles Fried (1985–1989) – United States Solicitor General
  • John Jay – first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Governor of New York
  • François Blanchet (M.D. c.1800) – member, Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada
  • Hans Blix – Swedish diplomat, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1981–1997)
  • Annette Nazareth – commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Dan Abrams (J.D. 1992) – media legal commentator

13) Duke University

Duke University is one of the wealthiest private universities in the United States of America and a top producer of international scholars, situated in North Carolina, United State.

The university was founded in 1838 as Trinity College but became known as Duke University only in 1924 after the Duke Endowment was established. The university portrays itself as younger than most other prominent research universities in the country.

About 95 percent (%) of all students graduate within four (4) years of enrolling. In the 2015 entry class, the most popular majors were economics, public policy, psychology, biomedical engineering, and biology.

In the year 2014, Duke Kunshan University opened in China, to integrate liberal arts education with Chinese tradition. Duke also has a partnership with the National University of Singapore to collaborate on a joint medical program, which took its first students in the year 2007.

The most notable alumnus is Richard Nixon, the United States 37th president. He graduated from Duke University with a law degree in the year 1937. Duke alumni also head many Fortune five hundred (500) companies including Apple, Cisco Systems, JPMorgan Chase and PepsiCo.

Notable Alumni

  • Ricardo Lagos (Ph.D. 1966), former President of Chile
  • Edward Gurney (LL.M. 1948), former United States Senator from Florida
  • Jim Courter (J.D. 1966), former Congressman from New Jersey
  • Cynthia G. Efird (A.M.), U.S. Ambassador to Angola (2004-2007)
  • Charles S. Hamilton (B.S. 1974), a rear admiral in the United States Navy
  • Michael Dreeben (J.D. 1981), Deputy Solicitor General
  • Larry Klayman (A.B. 1973), public interest lawyer

14) Cornell University

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university situated in Ithaca, New York. The University was in the year 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was projected to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge – from the classics to the sciences and from the theoretical to the practical.

It is a federal land grant university with a private endowment; it has six locations worldwide. Its major campus in Ithaca, New York State, covers 2,300 acres of the Finger Lakes region and is so wide that students can go hiking without even leaving the university premises.

The University counts 45 Nobel laureates among its faculty members and alumni. Other famous alumni include Tsai Ing-wen, the president-elect of Taiwan, and Huey Lewis, frontman for the band Huey Lewis and the News.

Notable Alumni

  • Joachim Frank (postdoctoral fellow 1972) – Chemistry, 2017; member of the National Academy of Sciences (2006)
  • Pearl S. Buck (M.A. 1925 English literature) – Literature 1938
  • Hermann Joseph Muller (graduate study 1911–12) – Physiology or Medicine 1946; member of the National Academy of Sciences (1931)
  • Mario García Menocal (B.S. 1888 engineering) – President of Cuba, 1913–21
  • John Alden Dix (attended 1879–1882) – 38th Governor of New York, 1911–1912
  • John G. Alexander (J.D. 1916) – Minnesota 3rd District, 1939–41
  • David Buckel (J.D. 1987) – U.S. LGBT rights lawyer and environmentalist
  • Carol Aichele (B.A.) – Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania (2011–2015)
  • Aldo Bensadoun (attended, transferred) – billionaire founder and executive chairman of the ALDO Group

15) University of Michigan

The University of Michigan frequently called Michigan, is a high-ranked public research university in the United States. Situated in the city of Ann Arbor, the institution is Michigan’s oldest, having been founded in the year 1817 in Detroit as the University of Michigania or Catholepistemiad; this was 20 years before the territory became a state.

The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus.

Referred to as one of the foremost research universities in the United States, Michigan is classified as one of 115 Doctoral Universities with Very High Research by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

As of the year 2018, 25 Nobel Prize winners, 6 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields Medalist have been affiliated with University of Michigan.

The university’s mission is to serve the people of Michigan and the world throughout “preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying art, knowledge and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will confront the present and enrich the future”.

Notable Alumni

  • Ricardo Ainslie (Ph.D.), native of Mexico City, Mexico; Guggenheim award winner
  • Aisha Bowe (BS, MS 2009), NASA aerospace engineer; CEO of STEMBoard, a technology company
  • Jack Lousma (COE: BSAE 1959), Skylab 3 1973; STS-3, 1982
  • Theophilus C. Abbot (LL.D. 1890), third President of Michigan State University
  • Rodolfo Arévalo, president, Eastern Washington University
  • Ray Stannard Baker (MDNG LAW: 1891), biographer of Woodrow Wilson
  • Caroline Walker Bynum (BA 1962), Medieval scholar; MacArthur Fellow
  • James McDonald Vicary, market researcher; pioneered the notion of subliminal advertising in 1957.

16) Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Carnegie Mellon University is a private and nonprofit research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Established in 1900 by famous industrialist Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four years degree. In the year 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University.

The main campus is located 3 miles (5km) from Downtown Pittsburgh; Carnegie Mellon has grown into an international university with over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and more than twenty (20) research partnerships.

Its cohort numbers well over thirteen thousand (13,000) students from 114 countries and a faculty of more than 1,400.

With its strong focus on creating new things, many of its students go on to connect with some of the world’s most successful companies.

CMU boasts numerous student traditions with a distinctly Scottish flavor that owe their heritage to its Scottish-American founder, Andrew Carnegie.

They comprise of celebratory bagpipe playing on campus and the kilt-wearing student marching band known as the ‘Band without Pants.’ The university has been home to about 19 Nobel Laureates and is the recipient of an immense array of other prestigious awards.

Notable Alumni

  • John L. Hall (B.S. 1956, M.S. 1958, Ph.D. 1961), 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Edward Feigenbaum (B.S. 1956, Ph.D 1960), artificial intelligence, 1994
  • Raoul Bott (Ph.D. 1949), Mathematical, Statistical, and Computer Sciences, 1987
  • Luis von Ahn (Ph.D. 2005), Carnegie Mellon professor of computer science, 2006
  • Allen Barnett (1966), principal investigator of the DARPA-funded Consortium for Very High-Efficiency Solar Cells
  • René Auberjonois (1962), actor, Benson, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Boston Legal
  • Mel Bochner (1962), pioneer of postminimal arts and conceptual art
  • Peter Corroon (B.S.), Mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah
  • Padmanabhan Balaram (Ph.D.1973), Director of Indian Institute of Science, India
  • Marvin L. Goldberger (B.S. 1943), Physics, 1963

17) New York University

New York University is one of the largest private higher education institutes in the United States and is highly regarded amongst American institutions.

Its history dates back to the year 1831 when Albert Gallatin the head of the US Department of Treasury pushed forward the idea of establishing an easily accessible, innovative university in the most populous city in the United State.

The institution, which itself has a significant endowment, is perhaps famously associated with its undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in social science, nursing, dentistry, and fine arts.

With campuses on two continents from New York to Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, the university’s affiliates officially operate in 25 countries across the globe.

Locally, the university’s New York campus is formed of over 20 colleges and schools located at 5 different locations in and around New York, such as Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

The major campus, situated in the heart of Lower Manhattan in the vicinity of Sixth Avenue and Washington Square Park, covers 1 km² of land.

It proffers guaranteed housing options to freshmen, who may find themselves amongst the eleven thousand (11,000) visitors who explore the Bobst library, one of the 11 libraries operated by NYU.

The University’s alumni have received a number of Nobel and Crafoord Prizes, as well as numerous Pulitzer Prizes and Abel Prizes in the past.

Notable Alumni

  • John S. Allen (1936) GSAS Ph.D. – 1st president of the University of South Florida in Tampa; interim president of the University of Florida in Gainesville
  • Louis Nirenberg (1949) Courant Ph.D. – Abel Prize (2015)
  • Julius Axelrod (1941) Med M.Sc. 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Mohamed ElBaradei (1967) Law M. – 2005 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Kobi Alexander Stern, M.B.A., (1980) – Founder and former CEO of Comverse Technology
  • Julius Axelrod Med 1941, M.Sc. (1970) – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

18) University of Washington

The University is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. It was founded in the year 1861; it was first established in downtown Seattle around a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development.

Currently, the university’s 703 acres main Seattle campus is situated in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest.

The university has two extra campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through one hundred and forty (140) departments in various colleges and schools, sees about 46,000 in total student enrollment every year, and functions on a quarter system.

It is a member of the Association of American Universities and classified as an R1 Doctoral Research University classification under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

It is referred to as a leading university worldwide for scientific performance and research output by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the CWTS Leiden Ranking. In the 2015 fiscal year, UW received nearly $1.2 billion in research funding, the 3rd biggest among all universities in the United States.

The University has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 20 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, and members of other distinguished institutions.

Notable Alumni

  • Linda B. Buck (1975) – Physiology and Medicine, 2004
  • Kim Bottomly – former president of Wellesley College
  • Michael R. Barratt (1981) – NASA astronaut and physician
  • Deborah Aschheim (1990) – new media artist
  • John M. Koenig – former U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus (2012–2015)
  • Linda Bierds (1969, 1971) – poet and MacArthur Fellowship recipient
  • Morgan Christen (B.A., 1983) – United States federal appellate judge
  • Daryl Chapin (1929), physicist best known for co-inventing solar cells

19) University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego, is a public research university in the United States, in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California. The university occupies 2,141 acres (866 ha) near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, with the main campus resting on roughly 1,152 acres (466 ha).

Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the seventh oldest of the 10 University of California campuses. He offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling about Twenty-eight thousand (28,000) undergraduate and eight thousand (8,000) graduate students.

The university operates 19 organized research units (ORUs), including the Center for Energy Research, Qualcomm Institute (a division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology), San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, as well as eight (8) School of Medicine research units, six research centers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and two multi-campus inventiveness, together with the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

UC San Diego is also closely affiliated with numerous regional research centers, such as the Salk Institute, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine and the Scripps Research Institute.

According to the National Science Foundation, the University of California, San Diego, spent $1.101 billion on research and development in the fiscal year 2015, ranking it 5th in the nation.

As of August 2018, UC San Diego faculty, researchers and alumni have won 27 Nobel Prizes and 3 Fields Medals, eight National Medals of Science, eight MacArthur Fellowships and two Pulitzer Prizes.

Furthermore, the current faculty, 29 have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 70 to the National Academy of Sciences, 45 to the Institute of Medicine and 110 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Notable Alumni

  • Silas Weir Mitchell – Earned MFA in Acting
  • Geoff Abrams, MD (Medicine), 2006. Tennis player.
  • Bill Atkinson, BS (Chemistry), 1974. Co-developer of the Macintosh computer
  • Hart Bochner, BA (Theatre), 1979. Film actor notably of Breaking Away.
  • Katie Hafner, BA (German Literature), 1979.
  • Debito Arudou, MPIA (International Affairs), 1990. Author and activist.
  • Chad Butler, BA (History of Science), 1997. Drummer of the rock band Switchfoot.
  • Bruce Beutler, BS (Biology), 1976. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • David Antin, Visual Arts. Known, poet and performance artist.

20) University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university and the flagship institution of Texas Education System. Established in 1883, the university is situated in Austin, Texas, United States, approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the Texas State Capitol.

It was inducted into the Association of American in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected.

The institution has the nation’s eighth largest single-campus enrollment, with over fifty thousand (50,000) undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

It is a major center for academic research, with research expenditures above $550 million for the 2014 -2015 school academic session.

The university houses seven museums and seventeen libraries, including the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art. It operates various auxiliary research amenities, such as the J. J. Pickle Research Campus and the McDonald Observatory.

Amongst the university faculty are recipients of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Wolf Prize, Primetime Emmy Award, Turing Award, the National Medal of Science, and many other awards.

Notable Alumni

  • Michael Bailey 1989 Ph.D   Psychologist specialized in sexual point of reference
  • Moulay Abdallah ben Ali Alaoui 1989   A.     Alaouite prince, advisor of king Mohammed VI and president of energy company Mediholding SA
  • Mark Dennis 2007 Sc. Award-winning filmmaker, Strings
  • Sarah Dougher 1997 M.A.; Ph.D. Indie-rock musician
  • Berkeley Breathed 1979 Sc. Author of comic strip Bloom County
  • Joseph M. Watt 1972 J.D. Chief Justice, Oklahoma Supreme Court
  • Fernando Belaúnde Terry 1935 B.A. Former president of Peru (1963–1968, 1980–1985)
  • Scott McClellan 1991 B.A. Former White House Press Secretary (2003–2006)

21) University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. It was established when Wisconsin achieved statehood in the year 1848, University of Wisconsin Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System.

It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the state’s oldest and biggest public university.

It became a land-grant institution in the year 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) major campus includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is organized into 20 schools and colleges, which enrolled 30,361 undergraduate and 14,052 graduate students in 2018-2019.

The University employs over 21,600 faculty and staff. The university’s comprehensive academic program offers 136 undergraduate majors, 148 master’s degree programs and 120 doctoral programs.

The University is also categorized as a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In the year 2012, it had research expenditures of more than $1.1 billion, the third highest among universities in the country.

Wisconsin is one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities. During the month of August 2018, 24 Nobel laureates and 2 Fields medalists have been associated with UW-Madison as alumni, faculty, or.

The Wisconsin Badgers compete in twenty-five (25) intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference and have won twenty-eight (28) national championships.

Notable Alumni

  • Virgil Abloh, fashion designer, artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection
  • Roger G. DeKok, astronaut
  • Michael J. Critelli, executive chairman of Pitney Bowes
  • Irene Osgood Andrews, former labor journalist
  • Charles L. Aarons, Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge
  • Nathan Heffernan, former justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Ivan A. Nestingen, former Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
  • Thomas A. Benes, U.S. Marine Corps Major General
  • Charles Russell Bardeen, first dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School

22) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is an accredited public research university in the U.S. state of Illinois and the flagship institution of the University of Illinois education System. It was founded in the year 1867 as a land-grant institution; its campus is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana.

The University is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified as a R1 Doctoral Research University under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which denotes the highest research activity. In the fiscal year 2017, research expenditures at Illinois totaled $642 million.

The university contains sixteen (16) schools and colleges and offers more than 150 undergraduate and over 100 graduate programs of study. It holds 651 buildings on 6,370 acres (2,578 ha) and its annual operating budget in year 2016 was over Two billion Dollars ($2 billion).

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also operates a Research Park home to innovation centers for over 90 start-up companies and multinational corporations, including Caterpillar, Abbott, Capital One, AbbVie, Dow, State Farm, and Yahoo, among others.

As of year 2017, 30 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the university as alumni, faculty members, or researchers.

Notable Alumni

  • Edward Doisy, B.S. 1914, M.S. 1916 – Physiology or Medicine, 1943
  • Barry Bearak, M.S. 1974 – International Reporting, 2002
  • Arnold O. Beckman, B.S. 1922, M.S. 1923 – former Professor of Chemistry at Caltech
  • Benjamin Allen – President, University of Northern Iowa
  • Nancy Lee Grahn, briefly attended – Daytime Emmy-winning actress
  • Henry Bacon – architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Mark Staff Brandl, B.F.A. 1978 – artist, art historian, and critic

23. The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

The UCSB is a public research university and one of the ten (10) campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a 1,022 acre (414 ha) site close to Isla Vista, California, United States, 8 miles (13 km) from Santa Barbara and 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles.

Tracing its roots back to the year 1891 as an independent teachers’ college, the University of California, Santa Barbara joined the University of California system in the year 1944 and is the third-oldest general education campus in the system.

It is one of America’s Public Ivy universities that recognize top public research universities in the United States; it was ranked 30th among the “National Universities”, 5th among the U.S. public universities, and 24th among the Best Global Universities by U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 rankings.

It also ranked 48th worldwide for the year 2016 – 2017 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 45th worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2017.

The University of California, Santa Barbara’s campus has an active social life. The major famous event on campus is the Extravaganza free music festival, which gathers approximately eight thousand (8,000) visitors every spring.

Notable Alumni

  • Denis Dutton, B.A. 1966, Ph.D. 1975 – professor, philosopher and founder of Arts and Letters Daily
  • Lisa Bruce, B.A. 1983 – film producer, The Theory of Everything
  • Joseph M. Acaba, B.S. 1990 – participated with STS-119
  • Salud Carbajal – member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • John R. Kirtley, B.A. 1971, Ph.D. 1976 – physicist and professor at Stanford University
  • Robert Mardian – one of the Watergate Seven

24) Brown University

Brown is the seventh oldest university in the United States and one of its most renowned higher education institutions, founded in the year 1764; it is part of the Ivy League and, as an institution that prides itself on candidness, was the first of the members to accept students from all religious affiliations.

Formerly called the College of Rhode Island, its first home was Warren, Rhode Island, before it later relocated to College Hill, overlooking the state’s capital city Providence, in 1770. Thirty-four (34) years later, the university was renamed to reflect its current title in recognition of a Five thousand US dollars ($5,000) gift from alumnus and leading Providence businessman Nicholas Brown.

The campus is made up of 230 buildings over 150 acres within walking distance of downtown Providence and close to the lively Thayer Street, Wickenden Street and Wayland Square where students and local residents mix amongst ample shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Besides study, Brown is a leading research institution. The university has links to seven (7) Nobel laureates, including alumni Craig C. Mello and Jerry White, who won for physiology or medicine & peace, respectively, and current physics faculty member Leon Cooper.

David Mumford, the Fields Medal winner, is an emeritus professor of applied mathematics at the university. Notable alumni exemplify Brown University’s diverse student body from all walks of life.

Notable Alumni

  • Linda Martín Alcoff (PhD 1987) – Professor of Philosophy, Hunter College
  • Thomas Angell (1862) – Free Will Baptist preacher, professor at York University
  • Lee Eliot Berk (A.B 1964) – president and namesake, Berklee College of Music
  • John Seely Brown (A.B. 1962) – inventor of spellcheck
  • Lincoln Chafee (1975) – Governor of Rhode Island
  • Elisha Dyer – Governor of Rhode Island (1857–1859)
  • Maggie Hassan (A.B. 1980) – U.S. Senator, D-New Hampshire
  • Dan Maffei (1990) – U.S. Congressman, D-New York, 25th Congressional District

25. Washington University in St Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university situated in the St. Louis metropolitan area and elsewhere in Missouri. Founded in the year 1853 and was named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries.

As of 2017, Washington University in St. Louis has been associated with 24 Nobel Laureates, many of whom did a significant portion of their award-winning work at the university.

Washington University’s undergraduate program is ranked 18th by the U.S. News & World Report in the year 2018 and 11th by the Wall Street Journal in their year 2018 rankings. Washington University in St. Louis is ranked 20th in the world in the year 2017 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Notable Alumni

  • Doug Dillard: bluegrass musician, banjo player for the Dillards
  • Hugh Ferriss (B.Arch 1911, M.Arch 1928): architect
  • Andrew Puzder (JD 1978): CEO of CKE Restaurants
  • Joyce Ladner (AM 1966, PhD 1968): sociologist and activist
  • William G. Hyland (BA): editor of Foreign Affairs (1984–1993)
  • Clark M. Clifford (LLB 1928): U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1968–69; former presidential advisor
  • Chris Koster (MBA 2002): Attorney General of Missouri

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