Maryland’s Best Colleges & Universities

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For over three decades, U.S. News & World Report has been publishing an annual list of the best universities in the United States, providing prospective students and their families with valuable insights into the country’s top higher education institutions. This list is compiled through an extensive evaluation process that considers a range of factors, including academic excellence, research opportunities, student retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, and more. The rankings are highly regarded in the academic community and are often used by students and their families as a guide to making important decisions about their education. Each year, the list offers a snapshot of the best and brightest universities in the country, showcasing the institutions that are leading the way in higher education. Below are the top colleges and universities in the state of Maryland according to U.S. News.

#7 Overall (tie)

Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a private research university known for its world-renowned programs in medicine, public health, and engineering. Founded in 1876, the university has consistently ranked among the top 20 national universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, and has produced numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other distinguished scholars. With a commitment to research, innovation, and social responsibility, Johns Hopkins continues to be a leading institution in higher education, providing its students with unparalleled opportunities for academic and personal growth.

#55 Overall (tie)

The University of Maryland at College Park, also known as UMD, is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. Located just outside of Washington, D.C., UMD is a public research university with a diverse student body and a wide range of academic programs, including nationally recognized programs in engineering, journalism, and public policy. With a strong commitment to research, innovation, and community engagement, UMD has consistently ranked among the top 25 public universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, and offers its students a rich and dynamic learning environment that prepares them for success in their chosen careers.

#137 Overall (tie)

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a public research university located in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. With a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, UMBC has gained national recognition for its innovative teaching methods and groundbreaking research initiatives. The university is known for its close-knit community and commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top up-and-coming universities in the country. With a focus on hands-on learning and real-world experience, UMBC provides its students with a unique and enriching educational experience that prepares them for success in a rapidly-changing world.

#317 Overall (tie)

Morgan State University is a historically black university located in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1867, it is one of the oldest and most distinguished institutions of its kind in the country. Morgan State offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, education, engineering, and the liberal arts, and has a strong commitment to research and community engagement. The university has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top public HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the country, and provides its students with a supportive and inclusive learning environment that fosters personal and professional growth.

#6 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)

The United States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, Maryland, is a federal service academy that prepares students to become officers in the United States Navy or Marine Corps. Founded in 1845, the academy offers a rigorous four-year program that combines academic coursework with military training, athletics, and leadership development. Graduates of the Naval Academy go on to serve their country as leaders in the military, government, and private sectors, and are known for their commitment to excellence, integrity, and service. The academy has been consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the world.

 

#61 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)

St. John’s College is a private liberal arts college with campuses in Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 1696, the college has a rich history and a unique educational philosophy that emphasizes the study of great books and ideas. The curriculum is based on a shared set of texts that includes works of literature, philosophy, science, and political theory, and is taught through seminar-style discussions that encourage students to engage with the material in a deep and meaningful way. St. John’s has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, and is known for its small class sizes, personalized attention, and commitment to intellectual rigor and inquiry. Graduates of St. John’s are well-prepared for a wide range of careers and pursuits, and are valued for their critical thinking skills, broad knowledge base, and strong communication abilities.

7. Washington College

Washington College is a private liberal arts college located in Chestertown, Maryland. Founded in 1782, it is one of the oldest colleges in the country and is known for its commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and civic engagement. The college offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in fields such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and has a strong emphasis on experiential learning and research opportunities. With a small student body and a low student-to-faculty ratio, Washington College provides its students with personalized attention and support, and encourages them to take an active role in shaping their own educational experience. The college has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, and is highly regarded for its strong sense of community and intellectual vitality.

#89 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)

St. Mary’s College of Maryland is a public liberal arts college located in St. Mary’s City, Maryland. Founded in 1840, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the state and is known for its beautiful waterfront campus and strong commitment to environmental sustainability. The college offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in fields such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and research. With a small student body and a low student-to-faculty ratio, St. Mary’s provides its students with personalized attention and support, and encourages them to engage in hands-on learning experiences both on and off campus. The college has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the country, and is highly regarded for its rigorous academic programs, vibrant campus community, and commitment to social justice and civic engagement.

#111 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)

Goucher College is a private liberal arts college located in Towson, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Founded in 1885, the college has a long history of innovation and is known for its unique academic programs, experiential learning opportunities, and commitment to social justice and global citizenship. Goucher offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in fields such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary study and international education. With a small student body and a low student-to-faculty ratio, Goucher provides its students with personalized attention and support, and encourages them to engage in hands-on learning experiences both on and off campus. The college has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, and is highly regarded for its strong sense of community, diversity, and commitment to academic excellence and social responsibility.

#4 in Regional Universities North

Loyola University Maryland is a private Catholic university located in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1852, the university is grounded in the Jesuit tradition and is known for its commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and service to others. Loyola offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, education, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary study and hands-on learning. With a relatively small student body and a low student-to-faculty ratio, Loyola provides its students with personalized attention and support, and encourages them to engage in research, internships, and service opportunities that will prepare them for successful careers and lives of purpose. The university has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional universities in the North, and is highly regarded for its strong sense of community, academic rigor, and commitment to the development of the whole person.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Maryland a great state for higher education?

Maryland is home to many top-tier universities and colleges that offer world-class education and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Maryland has a diverse economy with many industries, including technology, healthcare, finance, and government, which provides opportunities for students to gain practical experience through internships, research, and other forms of experiential learning. Additionally, Maryland's proximity to Washington D.C. and other major cities in the northeast makes it a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and cultural exchange.

What types of programs are available at Maryland's top universities and colleges?

Maryland's top universities and colleges offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, education, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Many institutions also offer interdisciplinary programs and opportunities for students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals.

What is the campus culture like at Maryland's top universities and colleges?

The campus culture at Maryland's top universities and colleges varies, but generally emphasizes academic excellence, social responsibility, and community engagement. Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations, and to become active members of their respective campus communities. Many institutions also have a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provide resources and support for underrepresented students and communities.

What opportunities are available for experiential learning at Maryland's top universities and colleges?

Maryland's top universities and colleges offer a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning, such as research, internships, service learning, and study abroad programs. These opportunities allow students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations, gain practical experience, and develop skills that will prepare them for successful careers and lives of purpose.

What is the admissions process like for Maryland's top universities and colleges?

The admissions process varies by institution, but generally involves submitting an application, transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. Admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of the applicant's academic and personal achievements and potential. Many institutions also consider factors such as extracurricular activities, community involvement, and demonstrated interest in the institution.

What is the cost of attending Maryland's top universities and colleges?

The cost of attending Maryland's top universities and colleges varies by institution and program. In general, tuition and fees tend to be higher for private institutions and graduate programs. However, many institutions offer financial aid, scholarships, and other forms of assistance to help make education affordable and accessible to all students.

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