Explore 2021 Best National Universities

Learn about the top 40 National Universities.

A quality education from a top college can lead to many career opportunities for graduates. The best National Universities include a mix of public and private research institutions that offer a diverse range of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Find out which schools topped the 2021 Best National Universities rankings and see key details about each, including costs using the latest data available to U.S. News.

39 (tie). University of California–Davis

Total undergraduate enrollment: 30,982

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $14,653 (in-state), $44,407 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–Davis.

39 (tie). William & Mary (VA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,256

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $23,362 (in-state), $46,283 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about William & Mary.

35 (tie). Boston College

Total undergraduate enrollment: 9,370

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $60,202

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Boston College.

35 (tie). Georgia Institute of Technology

Total undergraduate enrollment: 15,964

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $12,682 (in-state), $33,794 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 6

More about the Georgia Institute of Technology.

35 (tie). University of California–Irvine

Total undergraduate enrollment: 30,382

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $13,932 (in-state), $43,686 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–Irvine.

35 (tie). University of California–San Diego

Total undergraduate enrollment: 30,794

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $14,451 (in-state), $44,205 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–San Diego.

34. University of Rochester (NY)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,780

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $58,208

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 5

More about the University of Rochester.

30 (tie). New York University

Total undergraduate enrollment: 26,981

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $54,880

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about New York University.

30 (tie). Tufts University (MA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 5,907

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $60,862

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Tufts University.

30 (tie). University of California–Santa Barbara

Total undergraduate enrollment: 23,349

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $14,391 (in-state), $44,145 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–Santa Barbara.

30 (tie). University of Florida

Total undergraduate enrollment: 35,405

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $6,380 (in-state), $28,658 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: March 1

More about the University of Florida.

28 (tie). University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

Total undergraduate enrollment: 19,355

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $9,021 (in-state), $36,200 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 15

More about the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

28 (tie). Wake Forest University (NC)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 5,287

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,760

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Wake Forest University.

26 (tie). Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 7,022

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $58,924

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Carnegie Mellon University.

26 (tie). University of Virginia

Total undergraduate enrollment: 17,011

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $18,878 (in-state), $52,957 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about the University of Virginia.

24 (tie). University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Total undergraduate enrollment: 31,266

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $15,948 (in-state), $52,266 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Feb. 1

More about the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.

24 (tie). University of Southern California

Total undergraduate enrollment: 20,351

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $59,072

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 15

More about the University of Southern California.

23. Georgetown University (DC)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 7,513

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,928

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 10

More about Georgetown University.

22. University of California–Berkeley

Total undergraduate enrollment: 31,780

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $14,226 (in-state), $43,980 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–Berkeley.

21. Emory University (GA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 7,118

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $53,868

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Emory University.

20. University of California–Los Angeles

Total undergraduate enrollment: 31,543

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $13,226 (in-state); $42,980 (out-of-state)

Regular decision application deadline: Nov. 30

More about the University of California–Los Angeles.

19. University of Notre Dame (IN)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 8,731

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,699

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about the University of Notre Dame.

18. Cornell University (NY)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 15,043

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $59,316

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Cornell University.

16 (tie). Rice University (TX)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 3,989

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $51,107

Regular decision application deadline: Jan.1

More about Rice University.

16 (tie). Washington University in St. Louis

Total undergraduate enrollment: 7,822

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,386

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Washington University in St. Louis.

14 (tie). Brown University (RI)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 7,160

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $60,696

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Brown University.

14 (tie). Vanderbilt University (TN)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,886

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $54,158

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Vanderbilt University.

13. Dartmouth College (NH)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 4,459

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $59,458

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Dartmouth College.

12. Duke University (NC)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,649

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $60,488

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 3

More about Duke University.

9 (tie). California Institute of Technology

Total undergraduate enrollment: 938

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $56,862

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 3

More about the California Institute of Technology.

9 (tie). Johns Hopkins University (MD)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,256

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,010

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Johns Hopkins University.

9 (tie). Northwestern University (IL)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 8,327

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $58,701

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Northwestern University.

8. University of Pennsylvania

Total undergraduate enrollment: 10,019

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $60,042

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 5

More about the University of Pennsylvania.

6 (tie). Stanford University (CA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,996

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $56,169

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Stanford University.

6 (tie). University of Chicago

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,734

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $59,298

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 4

More about the University of Chicago.

4 (tie). Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Total undergraduate enrollment: 4,530

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $53,818

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

4 (tie). Yale University (CT)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,092

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $57,700

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 2

More about Yale University.

3. Columbia University (NY)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,245

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $64,380

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Columbia University.

2. Harvard University (MA)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,755

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $54,002

Regular decision application deadline: Jan. 1

More about Harvard University.

1. Princeton University (NJ)

Total undergraduate enrollment: 5,422

2020-2021 tuition and fees: $53,890

Regular decision application deadline: Jan.1

More about Princeton University.

Learn more about the Best Colleges rankings.

Check out the complete 2021 Best Colleges rankings, which include exclusive lists such as A-plus Schools for B Students and Best Value Schools. Sign up for our newsletter to get tips for parents helping teens apply to college. Connect with U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter, and use the #BestColleges hashtag to share your thoughts on the rankings.

These are the top 40 National Universities.

1. Princeton University2. Harvard University
3. Columbia University
4 (tie). Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4 (tie). Yale University
6 (tie). Stanford University
6 (tie). University of Chicago
8. University of Pennsylvania
9 (tie). California Institute of Technology
9 (tie). Johns Hopkins University
9 (tie). Northwestern University
12. Duke University
13. Dartmouth College
14 (tie). Brown University
14 (tie). Vanderbilt University
16 (tie). Rice University
16 (tie). Washington University in St. Louis
18. Cornell University
19. University of Notre Dame
20. University of California–Los Angeles
21. Emory University
22. University of California–Berkeley
23. Georgetown University
24 (tie). University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
24 (tie). University of Southern California
26 (tie). Carnegie Mellon University
26 (tie). University of Virginia
28 (tie). University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
28 (tie). Wake Forest University
30 (tie). New York University
30 (tie). Tufts University
30 (tie). University of California–Santa Barbara
30 (tie). University of Florida
34. University of Rochester
35 (tie). Boston College
35 (tie). Georgia Institute of Technology
35 (tie). University of California–Irvine
35 (tie). University of California–San Diego
39 (tie). University of California–Davis
39 (tie). William & Mary

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Explore the 2021 Best National Universities originally appeared on usnews.com

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