The southern United States is a formed region of 16 states: Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida to Georgia, Kentucky, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. And while the most recognized universities in the United States (with institutions Ivy League, UCLA, NYU and Stanford ) are in other regions, this part of the country is also not bad about high-quality higher education. But what are the best universities in the southern United States? Keep up with us to find out!
Before talking about the best universities in the southern United States, let’s draw a quick overview of the region, which is known for its contrasts. While Texas and Florida are among the country’s economically wealthiest states; Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky, for example, are among those with the highest rates of poverty and social inequality. But at the same time, this region is the one that has grown most economically within the United States in recent years.
The five largest cities in the region are all concentrated in the state of Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth. Completing the TOP 10 appear (exactly in that order), Jacksonville (Florida), Charlotte (North Carolina), El Paso (also in Texas), Nashville (Tennessee) and Oklahoma City (capital of the state of the same name).
Other major cities in the region are Memphis (Tennessee); Louisville (the largest city in Kentucky); Baltimore (Maryland’s largest city); Atlanta (capital of Georgia) and Miami, which needs no introduction.
Now that you know what the Southern United States is and what states are part of that area, it’s time to find out which are the best universities in the region. Check the list below, compiled from the QS World University Rankings 2021 assessment.
1. Johns Hopkins University (Maryland)
Position in the QS world ranking: 25th
Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins has its main campus in Baltimore, as well as other smaller campuses in Washington, DC, Italy and China. It is considered the first research university in the United States and 39 Nobel Prize winners have passed through its corridors.
It has approximately 26,500 students and the vast majority of them (more than 20,000!) Are enrolled in graduate courses, which is irrefutable proof of the institution’s focus on research, which ranks 12th among the top US universities, according to QS.
2. Duke University (North Carolina)
Position in the QS world ranking: 42nd
Duke University was founded in 1838 by Methodist Christians and Quakers in the city of Trinity. It was only in 1892 that the institution moved to Durham, where it remains today.
Before receiving its current name in 1924, in honor of businessman James Buchanan Duke (who donated a large sum to the university), the university was once known as Brown School, Union Institute, Normal College and Trinity College. All this in an interval of just 84 years!
Currently, about 16 thousand students study there, a little less than 7 thousand in undergraduate courses and almost 9 thousand in graduate programs. Among the students of the past, Duke won 15 Nobel prizes and even a former American president, Richard Nixon.
In the QS ranking, the university ranks 17th among the best universities in the United States, being one place below UCLA and one place above Carnegie Mellon University.
3. University of Texas at Austin (Texas)
Position in the QS world ranking: 71
Also known as UT Austin, the University of Texas at Austin is a public institution founded in 1883 in the city of Austin (of course!), One of the most developed in the state of Texas. With almost 52,000 students (almost 41,000 in undergraduate programs only), it is the eighth largest public university in the United States in terms of enrollment.
With 12 Nobel winners on its alumni list, UT Austin is the 22nd best university in the USA, according to the QS ranking.
4. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia)
Position in the QS world ranking: 80th
Better known as Georgia Tech, the Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885 in the city of Atlanta to help build an industrial economy after the Civil War that rocked the region. In the beginning, only the Mechanical Engineering course was offered. Today, 134 years later, the university is divided into 6 faculty and 31 departments, but the emphasis remains on Science and Technology.
Occupying the 24th position among the best American universities, Georgia Tech currently has about 33 thousand students, with a very balanced distribution between undergraduate and graduate programs, both with just over 16 thousand students.
5. Rice University (Texas)
Position in the QS world ranking: 89th
Rice University is located in Houston, the largest city in Texas, and was founded in 1912. With a focus on undergraduate programs, the university stands out especially for its Applied Science programs in the areas of Structural Chemical Analysis, Artificial Heart research, Signal Processing (Electrical Engineering subfield), Space Science and Nanotechnology.
With two Nobel -winning alumni, the institution has also produced a significant number of astronauts and space scientists, thanks to its connections with NASA.
Occupying 28th place among the best universities in the USA, Rice has just over 7 thousand students, with almost 4 thousand in undergraduate programs and 3.1 thousand in graduate programs.
6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina)
Position in the QS world ranking: 95th
Founded in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the first institution of higher education in the state of North Carolina. It is considered as one of the “Public Ivy” of the USA, a term used to refer to public institutions that offer an academic experience equivalent to that of universities that are part of the Ivy League, but for much lower values. The University of Texas at Austin, which is also on that list, is also part of that group.
Ranked 29th among the best universities in the USA, the institution is in the city of Chapel Hill, which has just under 50 thousand inhabitants. About 30 thousand students study there, 19117 in undergraduate courses and 10894 in graduate programs. His alumni include 9 Nobel laureates and even a former president.
But what about the other southern states of the United States?
You noticed that only Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Georgia have universities among the top 6 in the Southern United States, didn’t you? In order not to leave the other states out of our list, we will also inform you below which is the best university in each of them and what position they occupy in the world ranking of QS. Check out:
- Florida: University of Florida (162º)
- Tennessee: Vanderbilt University (187th)
- Virginia: University of Virginia (217th)
- Louisiana: Tulane University (414th)
- Delaware: University of Delaware (541-550) *
- South Carolina: University of South Carolina (571-580)
- Kentucky: University of Kentucky (601-650)
- Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma (651-700)
- Alabama: University of Auburn and University of Alabama (801-1000)
- Mississippi: University of Mississippi (801-1000)
- Arkansas and West Virginia have no university in the ranking
( * ) As of the 500th position in the QS ranking, universities are placed in groups.