Study in Massachusetts
The state capital, Boston, took joint 13th place in QS Best Student Cities 2016, consolidating its reputation as one of the world’s best places to live and study. Nicknamed the ‘Athens of America’ due to its long-established association with academic excellence and social development, Boston is known as a progressive city with liberal politics and a strong community culture.
Not all universities in Massachusetts are located in Boston – but many of the state’s leading institutions are found either here or in the nearby student-centered city of Cambridge. Beyond these urban centers, those who study in Massachusetts will also find plenty of natural settings to explore, from Cape Cod’s beaches to the popular summer island resort, Martha’s Vineyard.
Top universities in Massachusetts
With one Ivy League institution and a myriad of public universities in Boston and across Massachusetts, it’s difficult to know where to start. Despite this, when choosing where to study, remember that not all universities in Massachusetts offer the same programs, lifestyle or subject strengths, so their appeal will vary depending on your own priorities.
While a number of the top universities in Massachusetts have the advantage of being located in or close to the thriving city of Boston, a few are found further out in smaller cities. The state’s two top universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, are both located in the city of Cambridge, just a short drive from Boston.
Subject strengths at universities in Massachusetts vary, allowing prospective students to search for a school which best matches their own interests. For example, in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, MIT is ranked 1st in the world in an impressive 12 out of 42 possible subjects, most of which are engineering and technology specializations. Harvard also ranks 1st in the world for 12 subjects, which are mainly in the social sciences and life sciences.
The only Ivy League university in Massachusetts, Harvard University is another sharp shooter in the world rankings, currently ranked third both among US universities and in the world. Established in 1636 and known as the oldest university in the US, Harvard University is a multidisciplinary school located – like MIT – in the city of Cambridge just outside of Boston. While charging some of the highest tuition fees in the US, Harvard University offers a financial aid scheme which currently helps pay for the tuition of almost 60% of Harvard undergraduates. There are approximately 21,000 students studying at Harvard today, of which over half (14,500) are postgraduate students.
The top-ranked of all universities in Boston’s city center, Boston University is currently ranked 89th in the world and 29th in the US. Another multidisciplinary university, Boston University (BU) offers 17 schools and 250 fields of study. Heavily involved in innovation, research and development and forward-thinking politics, BU has a history of incubating new ways of thinking and groundbreaking research, boasting more than US$368 million in research awards. With 16,478 undergraduates and 14,150 graduates, BU offers the chance to study in Boston across two campuses, including one based in the historic south end of Boston, the Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC), which trains all life sciences and medicine students.