The Mid-Atlantic Region is fortunate to have within a 100-mile radius from Washington, DC some of the best full-fledged universities and four-year liberal Arts colleges. The latest national ranking of TheBestSchools.Org entitled the 100 Best U.S. Colleges and Universities by State, which selects each state's best full-fledged university and its best four-year liberal arts college, includes several colleges and Universities located in our region.
Below are the top colleges and universities per state in the MAHCC's service area (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) as ranked by TheBestSchools.Org:
University of Delaware (Newark, DE). Founded in 1743 as a small private college, the University of Delaware has since grown greatly in both size and stature. The main campus, located in the small town of Newark, is part of the greater University of Delaware system which includes campuses all over the state, including in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown.
The current student body comprises about 17,000 undergraduates and 3,600 graduate students. It is considered a medium-sized university. It is a rare mix of both public and private university: It receives government funding as if it were a state-supported research facility, but is also privately chartered.
Due to the quality of the education it provides and the hands-on research opportunities it offers, the University of Delaware is considered one of the "Public Ivies." The university currently offers 147 bachelor's programs, 119 master's programs, 54 doctoral programs, a handful of associate's programs, and 15 dual programs. These offerings are spread out among seven Colleges and 70+ research facilities.
If you hope to study overseas, the University of Delaware is an excellent choice, since it was the first university to offer a study abroad program and thus has the most experience of any college or university in the country in running such programs. The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Wesley College (Dover, DE). Wesley College was founded in 1873 as a college prep school named Wilmington Conference Academy. today, it is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is the oldest private college in the state. While the school remains a United Methodist institution, it strives to foster a values-based education that is available to students of all faiths.
The cozy 50-acre main campus is located in Delaware's state capital, and is home to approximately 2,100 students. On average, 90 percent of those students receive financial aid in some form of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and on-campus employment. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 17-to-one.
Wesley College currently offers 30 areas of study across five different Departments: Arts and Sciences, Business, Health Sciences, Education, and Fine Arts. The majority of students pursue a degree in the Arts and Sciences program, which includes American Studies, English, History, International Studies, Mathematics, Media Arts, Music, Political Sciences, Psychology, and Professional Studies. Wesley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). Johns Hopkins University is a not-for-profit, private research university located in Baltimore. Founded in 1876, this university pioneered the idea of a modern research university in the United States, based on the German model. The campus is spread out all over the city of Baltimore, and the university also has satellite locations in Washington, D.C, Italy, Singapore, and China.
The current student body comprises 6,023 undergraduates and 14,848 post-graduates. The university has 10 libraries, which hold in excess of 3.6 million volumes.
Johns Hopkins is known for being a highly innovative university and teaching medical center. It is responsible for the creation of the very first implantable, rechargeable pacemaker, as well as the first effective successful treatment for sickle cell anemia. The university also led the way in authentication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Research done at Johns Hopkins is among the most-cited worldwide.
Beyond its innumerable contributions to science, Johns Hopkins is also a long-standing member in the fight for equal rights, and was one of the earliest supporters of the civil rights and women's rights movements. Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
St. John's College (Annapolis, MD) St. John's College at Annapolis is a private liberal arts college well known for its ultra-rigorous, Great Books–only curriculum. The school was initially founded in 1696 as King William's Preparatory School. The prep school eventually added a collegiate charter in 1784, making St. John's is one of the oldest higher-education institutions in the nation. Since 1964, it has had a sister campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1937, St. John's decided to implement the Great Books Program, a curriculum it follows to this day. The Great Books Program is a four-year course of study, which requires students to read the original texts that have made the greatest contribution to Western Civilization in such fields as philosophy, theology, history, mathematics, science, music, poetry, and literature.
Everyone at St. John's takes four years of a foreign language, four years of math, four years of interdisciplinary study, three years of life science, and a year of music. Additionally, all students are required to attend a school-wide lecture on a weekly basis. Students are allowed only two electives, which cannot be taken until the winter semester of their junior year.
Class sizes at St. John's College are not allowed to exceed 20 students, with an average class size of 14. There is currently an eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. St. John's College (Annapolis) is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). The University of Pennsylvania, universally known as "Penn," is a private, research university located on the near West side of Philadelphia. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the 992-acre campus is a member of the Ivy League and one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution.
Visitors and residents are often impressed by the university's Gothic buildings, which are modeled after those found at Cambridge and Oxford. The current student body totals a little over 21,000 students, and is divided about half and half between undergraduates and graduate students.
Penn is acclaimed for its series of firsts, including the first medical and business schools in North America. It was also one of the first universities in this country to adopt a multidisciplinary approach, which makes it popular among students looking for the resources of a university coupled with a more liberal arts teaching style and atmosphere. On a less solemn note, the Penn marching band was the first to be featured in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Penn's undergraduate program accepts, on average, 12 percent of applicants, making it the sixth-most-selective university in the U.S., according to Princeton Review. The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA). Swarthmore College is a private, liberal arts college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, just eleven miles from downtown Philadelphia on the famous "Main Line." The college was established in 1864 by local Quakers, and is considered one of the "Little Ivies." In 1933, the school dropped its religious affiliation. Today, the college has a student enrollment of nearly 1600 individuals.
Swarthmore, which occupies a 399-acre campus, was organized by some of the most prominent names in the abolitionist movement, including Lucretia Mott. The school is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, along with Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, allowing students to register for classes at any of the three colleges. Swarthmore is also affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, which allows the college's students to register for classes at Penn, as well.
Apart from the many liberal arts degrees available, Swarthmore has an engineering program, which is rare for a smaller liberal arts school. With all of these advantages, it is easy to understand why the college is highly selective, admitting only 14 percent of applicants. Students who are admitted will have 100 percent of their demonstrated need covered by financial aid. According to U.S. News & World Report, Swarthmore is the third-best liberal arts college in the country. Swarthmore College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA). The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public, research university whose flagship campus is located in Charlottesville, a town northwest of Richmond not far from Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Established in 1819, the university was conceived and planned by Thomas Jefferson. The third President also designed and oversaw construction of several of the buildings on campus, notably the iconic Rotunda, which he modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, and which was one of the largest buildings in North America at the time. Jefferson also insisted that UVA not be affiliated with any particular religious group—something highly unusual for the times. The university is one of the eight original "Public Ivies," and one of the very few Southern universities that remained open throughout the Civil War.
UVA is divided into 14 individual Schools and offers 51 bachelor's degrees in 47 fields, 81 master's degrees in 65 fields, and 57 doctoral degrees in 55 fields. The school accepts fewer than 30 percent of applicants. In solidarity with Jefferson's principles, students at the University of Virginia do not "graduate"; instead they "take their degree." This represents Jefferson's belief that learning is a lifelong process with no end.
U.S. News & World Report considers UVA to be the #23 Best National University in the country. The University of Virginia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Hampden-Sydney College (Hampden Sydney, VA. Hampden-Sydney College is a private, liberal arts college for men, located in the small town of Hampden-Sydney, about halfway between Richmond and Lynchburg. Founded in 1775, it was the last college established before the American Revolution and is one of three remaining all-men's liberal arts colleges in the U.S.
Hampden-Sydney's 1,200-acre rural campus is home to 1106 undergraduates. Freshmen are required to live on campus, but nearly all students remain on campus until the graduate. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 10-to-one. There are more than 40 student-run clubs on campus, including political, sports, and religious clubs, a radio station, a band, and several fraternities.
The college is governed by a strict honor code. Major offenses, such as theft, lying, and cheating, are grounds for expulsion. If a student is accused of such an offense, he will stand trail and be judged by a group of his peers. Hampden-Sydney Students are expected to complete a rigorous core curriculum on top of their major specific course work. Forbes ranked Hampden-Sydney College as the #4 Best College in the South. Hampden-Sydney College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV). Founded in 1867, West Virginia University (WVU) is a public, research university located in Morgantown, nestled on the banks of the Monongahela River in the Appalachian Mountains, about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh. The 913-acre campus, which is home to nearly 30,000 students, consists of a cluster of three mini-campuses that are all within close proximity and are linked the Personal Rapid Transit system. This system was built for the sole purpose of eliminating student traffic on local highways.
WVU is made up of 15 Colleges: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; Creative Arts; Engineering and Mineral Resources; Human Resources and Education; Journalism; Law; Dentistry; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; Technology; and Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. Students may choose from 184 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs spread out among the 15 Colleges.
According to U.S. News & World Report, WVU is the #90 Best Public University in the country. Reader's Digest has named the campus among the safest in the nation, due to its text message alert system and its excellent campus police force, which is the largest in the state.
West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
West Virginia Wesleyan College (Buckhannon, WV). Founded in 1890 by the United Methodist Church, West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college located in small town of Buckhannon in the mountainous eastern part of the state. The college sits at 1432 feet above sea level. In any given academic year, the school has a student body of approximately 1,400 students, 90 percent of whom live on campus.
Undergraduates may take bachelor's degrees in art, science, nursing, or music education. The college also fosters engineering partnerships with Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and West Virginia Tech. this partnership provides students pursuing engineering with an extensive network of resources.
West Virginia Wesleyan is dedicated to a personalized college experience; thus, the school has a current student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-one and an average class size of less than 20 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks West Virginia Wesleyan as #12 in the South, and #2 in the South for students looking for a great school at a great price.
West Virginia Wesleyan College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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