With the Top Consensus Ranked National Research Universities, College Consensus brings prospective college students all they need to know about the best research universities nationwide. For future professionals, researchers, scientists, and scholars, College Consensus gathers data from national and international ranking agencies and reliable student reviews for a complete view of their educational options.
How Do We Make Our Ranking of the Best National Research Universities?
College Consensus is an aggregated best schools ranking combining data from across the internet. For the Publisher Rating, we average every school’s scores in rankings from U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and WalletHub. Then, we compute the Student Review Rating for each college from sites like Unigo, My Plan, and Students Review. Taken together, these rankings make up the College Consensus.
The top research universities include some of the most prestigious and world-renowned names in higher education. We define national research universities as institutions that draw a student body from across the US and world, rather than a primarily regional population. These are universities that are classified by the Carnegie Foundation as research universities: R1 (Highest Research Activity), R2 (Higher Research Activity), or R3 (Moderate Research Activity). These designations include well over 300 universities nationwide. National research universities are dedicated not only to teaching, but on creating new knowledge through scientific, social scientific, and humanities research.
What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?
The difference between College Consensus and other ranking sites is the difference between Rotten Tomatoes and your favorite movie reviewer. College Consensus is comprehensive. It’s not just one voice stating an opinion – it’s many, many voices, computed objectively and equally. Students who are actually there day to day have as much say about their college as experts who have never visited. And all of those perspectives mean an even playing field for every college and university, from the richest and best-known university to the smallest and hardest-working regional college. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.
This ranking focuses on the best nationally-recognized, major research universities. For students who are interested in the more traditional atmosphere of a small college, College Consensus has also ranked the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. For the full, comprehensive ranking of all American colleges and universities, regardless of size or class, see the Best Colleges and Universities.
The Top Consensus Ranked National Research Universities are listed in descending order by their Consensus score. In the event of ties, schools are ranked in alphabetical order with the same rank number.