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50 Best Colleges By State You’ll Be Interested in Studying In

50 Best Colleges By State You’ll Be Interested in Studying In

You are going to college soon. Congratulations! A new life full of events, friends, knowledge and adventures is waiting for you there; and you want to choose the best college to spend the best years of your life there by all means. How to do that? What points to consider?

While choosing the best college to study, you better check educational institutions of all states. This list of the US best colleges by state will definitely help you compare them, make a right choice, and start your college life that will provide you a brilliant future.

The US best colleges by state include:

Alabama — University of Alabama

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    • Background: Located in Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama was founded in 1831 and dedicated to excellence in everything concerned to education. It was the first public and best college in the state that provided a creative campus environment to make students the best individuals possible.
    • Number of applications: 30,975
    • Programs: more than 200 fields of study; bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees.
    • Acceptance rate: 57%
    • Famous for: college Greek life, more than 250 student organizations.

    Alaska — University of Alaska-Anchorage

    university of alaska
      • Background: The largest post-secondary institutions in the state, University of Alaska was accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
      • Number of applications: 3,062
      • Programs: more than 150 fields of study; associate, master’s, baccalaureate degrees as well as doctoral, professional and vocational certificates.
      • Acceptance rate: 72%
      • Famous for: exchange programs, a big number of offered programs.

      Arizona — Arizona State University

      arizona
        • Background: Located in Tempe, Arizona State University was founded in 1885 and developed a new model of educational institutions. It is ranked among the US top 25 research institutes in terms of innovation, research output, awarded research grant proposals, and development.
        • Number of applications: 26,329
        • Programs: more than 300 undergraduate programs (bachelors, masters, doctors); about 1,000 registered student organizations.
        • Acceptance rate: 77%
        • Famous for: the largest public university by enrollment in the US.

        Arkansas — John Brown University

        arkanzas
          • Background: Founded in 1919, John Brown University is a private Christian liberal arts college located in Siloam Springs.
          • Number of applications: 2,183
          • Programs: 47 undergraduate majors.
          • Acceptance rate: 70%
          • Famous for: student sports teams, 2 associated centers.

          California — Stanford University

          california
            • Background: Established in 1885, Stanford University is one of the world’s most prestigious colleges today. It is a private university with a quarter-based academic calendar, located in Silicon Valley. Stanford is a research university with the US highest fund raising performance.
            • Number of applications: 15,877
            • Programs: 7 schools that offer undergraduate and graduate coursework.
            • Acceptance rate: 5,7%
            • Famous for: the US highest undergraduate selectivity; the Alma Mater of 58 Nobel laureates, 30 billionaires, 18 Turing Award laureates; one of the US Congress members leading producers.

            Colorado — University of Colorado-Boulder

            colorado
              • Background: Founded in 1876, this is a public research institution with a total enrollment of 25,881 undergraduates. It consists of 9 colleges and schools and has a proud academic tradition. Plus, University of Colorado is ranked among the US top “green” universities.
              • Number of applications: 22,473
              • Programs: more than 150 areas of study, 78 degree programs.
              • Acceptance rate: 88%
              • Famous for: one of 30 “Public Ivy League” schools; strong sports teams (26 NCAA championships won); honors programs; international students from more than 100 countries.

              Connecticut — Yale University

              connecticut
                • Background: A private research institution in New Heaven, founded in 1701. It is considered the third-oldest educational institution in the USA. Yale University is the Ivy League college organized into 12 schools.
                • Number of applications: 28,977
                • Programs: more than 2,000 undergraduate courses.
                • Acceptance rate: 7%
                • Famous for: its drama and music programs, students organizations, The Yale Bulldogs, secret societies (the Skull and Bone Society in particular).

                Delaware — University of Delaware

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                delaware
                  • Background: Founded in 1743, University of Delaware is a public institution located in Newark. It is considered the largest university in the state and a research institution with a very high level of research activity.
                  • Number of applications: 25,458
                  • Programs: 5 most popular majors (Engineering, Education, Business, Health, Social Sciences); associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate professional and doctorate research degrees available.
                  • Acceptance rate: 65%
                  • Famous for: a study abroad program, athletic teams, college Greek life.

                  Florida — University of Florida

                  University-of-Florida-Jim-Dewey-e1395949883228
                    • Background: Located in Gainesville, University of Florida is a public land-, sea- and space-grant research institution founded in 1853. It has a semester-based academic calendar and well-regarded graduate programs.
                    • Number of applications: 31,820
                    • Programs: certificate, associate, bachelor’s, post-bachelor’s, master’s, post-master’s, and doctorate degrees. 123 master’s programs and 76 doctoral programs.
                    • Acceptance rate: 49%
                    • Famous for: sports teams, individual awards (Fields Medal, Pulitzer Prizes, NASA’s awards for research).

                    Georgia — Emory University

                    georgia
                      • Background: A private research institution founded in 1836 and located in Atlanta. It is divided into 9 schools, and 4 of them serve undergraduates and graduates.
                      • Number of applications: 17,652
                      • Programs: 71 majors, about 57 minors.
                      • Acceptance rate: 26%
                      • Famous for: numerous awards and honors, membership in the National Academy of Sciences, Emory University Hospital, numerous student organizations.

                      Hawaii — University of Hawaii at Manoa

                      hawaii
                        • Background: Founded in 1907, University of Hawaii is a public co-educational research institution focused on developing an awareness of commonality and diversity.
                        • Number of applications: 6,601
                        • Programs: 93 programs for bachelor’s degrees. 84 fields for master’s degrees, 51 fields for master’s. 28 undergraduate and 29 graduate programs. Plus, 3 fields for post-baccalaureate degrees.
                        • Acceptance rate: 80%
                        • Famous for: student organizations, athletic programs, study abroad programs.

                        Idaho — Brigham Young University-Idaho

                        College
                          • Background: Established in 1888, this university is a private institution located in Rexburg. It is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it offers programs in performing Arts, Agriculture, Engineering, Liberal arts, and Management.
                          • Number of applications: 18,110
                          • Programs: 70 programs for bachelor’s degrees and 18 programs for associate degrees.
                          • Acceptance rate: 99%
                          • Famous for: athletics, culture and an honor code.

                          Illinois — Northwestern University

                          illinois
                            • Background: Founded in 1851, it is a private research institution that has a quarter-based academic calendar. Northwestern University has 2 campuses (in Chicago and Evanston) and 12 schools.
                            • Number of applications: 32,060
                            • Programs: 145 graduate and 124 undergraduate programs.
                            • Acceptance rate: 15%
                            • Famous for: the most academically productive schools, a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, Northwestern Wildcats (a team that completes in 19 sports).

                            Indiana — University of Notre Dame

                            indiana
                              • Background: A Catholic private research university, founded in 1842 and located in South Bend. University of Notre Dame consists of 5 colleges and one professional school.
                              • Number of applications: 17,900
                              • Programs: 15 programs for master’s degree and 26 programs for doctoral degrees.
                              • Acceptance rate: 22%
                              • Famous for: Driehaus Architecture Prize award, Notre Dame School of Architecture, study abroad programs, and athletic teams.

                              Iowa — Iowa State University

                              iowa
                                • Background: founded in 1858, Iowa State University of Science and Technology (known as Iowa State University) is a flagship institution of the state’s university system. This is a public land- and space-grant institution located in Ames.
                                • Number of applications: 21,642
                                • Programs: the university is organized into 2 schools and 8 colleges; 100 programs for bachelors, 112 programs for masters, and 83 programs for PhD can be found there.
                                • Acceptance rate: 80%
                                • Famous for: the first electronic digital computer was “born” there; the home of Ames Laboratory, the university museums and 19 on-campus residence halls.

                                Kansas — University of Kansas

                                kanzas
                                  • Background: A public research university founded in 1866, the largest university of Kansas that has 5 campuses, the main one is is located in Lawrence.
                                  • Number of applications: 12,389
                                  • Programs: more than 345 programs for all degrees.
                                  • Acceptance rate: 92%
                                  • Famous for: radio stations KANU and KJHK, university museums, the University Daily Kansan newspaper, the Beach Center on Disability.

                                  Kentucky — Berea College

                                  kentucky
                                    • Background: A private college of liberal arts, founded in 1855. It provides free education and is considered the US first college to be racially integrated and coeducational.
                                    • Number of applications: 1661
                                    • Programs: 32 majors for bachelor’s degree.
                                    • Acceptance rate: 34%
                                    • Famous for: no tuition (all students get a 4-year scholarship); 70 student organizations; being a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics; students are required to work 10 hours per week (minimum) and live on campus (if they are not married or parents).

                                    Louisiana — Tulane University

                                    louisiana
                                      • Background: Established in 1834, Tulane University is a private research institution, located in New Orleans. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and is organized into ten schools (sciences, specialized professions, and liberal arts).
                                      • Number of applications: 30,122
                                      • Programs: over 70 subject areas in five undergraduate schools.
                                      • Acceptance rate: 26%
                                      • Famous for: The Tulane Hullaballo newspaper, a membership in the American Athletic Conference, notable alumni (David Filo, Randall Lee Gibson and others).

                                      Maine — Bates College

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                                      maine
                                        • Background: Founded in 1855, Bates College is an elite private institution of liberal arts, located in Lewiston. It is considered the oldest coeducational institution in New England.
                                        • Number of applications: 1,791
                                        • Programs: more than 30 majors for bachelors of science and bachelors of arts.
                                        • Acceptance rate: 24%
                                        • Famous for: its 4-4-1 schedule, study abroad programs, a host of Gordon Research Conferences, notable alumni, mentions in films and literature.

                                        Maryland — Johns Hopkins University

                                        maryland
                                          • Background: A private research university, founded in 1876 and located in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins is one of the American Association of Universities founders; it has four main campuses and is divided into 9 schools.
                                          • Number of applications: 21,327
                                          • Programs: numerous undergraduate and graduate studies in all schools (Business, Nursing, Education, Engineering, Arts and Sciences).
                                          • Acceptance rate: 17%
                                          • Famous for: 36 Nobel Prize winners, top rankings for research and students activity, its university library and press, numeral research centers and institutes.

                                          Massachusetts — Harvard University

                                          massachusetts
                                            • Background: established in 1636, Harvard University is located in Cambridge and considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is a private institution, an Ivy League research university, the alma mater of 9 U.S. presidents, 62 billionaires and about 150 Nobel laureates.
                                            • Number of applications: 21,200
                                            • Programs: the university is organized into 10 different faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. It offers 32 professional degrees, 46 undergraduate majors, and 134 graduate degrees.
                                            • Acceptance rate: 6%
                                            • Famous for: the oldest library system in the USA, research work, being accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the highest rankings by many international organizations, notable faculties.

                                            Michigan — University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

                                            michigan
                                              • Background: A public research university with a trimester-based academic calendar, founded in 1817. It is one of the Association of American Universities founding members, and its campus includes more than 580 major buildings.
                                              • Number of applications: 46,813
                                              • Programs: more than 200 undergraduate majors, 90 programs for master’s degrees, and 100 doctoral programs.
                                              • Acceptance rate: 33%
                                              • Famous for: being one of the best college towns in the USA, Wolverines athletic team (members of the Big Ten Conference), high research activity, comprehensive graduate program.

                                              Minnesota — University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

                                              minnesota
                                                • Background: A public research university, founded in 1851 and located in Minneapolis. It is organized into 19 schools and colleges.
                                                • Number of applications: 48,048
                                                • Programs: 143 degree programs, 150 programs through the graduate school.
                                                • Acceptance rate: 44%
                                                • Famous for: active college Greek life, having the oldest campus within the system, Minnesota Golden Gophers athletic team (members of the Big Ten Conference), high research activity.

                                                Mississippi — University of Mississippi

                                                mississippi
                                                  • Background: This is a public institution, founded in 1844 and located in Oxford. It is considered the coeducational research university with four branch campuses, and it operates the Field Station in Abbeville.
                                                  • Number of applications: 14,258
                                                  • Programs: 14 academic institutes and 7 academic programs, more than 30 departments with numbers of research and study centers.
                                                  • Acceptance rate: 59%
                                                  • Famous for: its large community if sororities and fraternities, its Ole Miss Rebels sports teams, its largest blues music archive in the USA, its only legal marijuana farm in the country.

                                                  Missouri — Washington University in St. Louis

                                                  missouri
                                                    • Background: A private research university, founded in 1853. It is divided into 7 undergraduate and graduate schools with a wide range of academic fields. All freshmen are required to live on campus (the university has 5 of them).
                                                    • Number of applications: 30,117
                                                    • Programs: more than 90 programs and about 1,900 courses for students of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees; additional opportunities for minors; numerous individualized programs.
                                                    • Acceptance rate: 16%
                                                    • Famous for: active Greek life, 14 libraries and museums, research centers, and Washington University Bears (sports team, a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association), students from more than 100 countries.

                                                    Montana — University of Montana

                                                    montana
                                                      • Background: A public research university, founded in 1893 and located in Missoula. It is organized into 5 colleges and 3 independent schools.
                                                      • Number of applications: 12,581
                                                      • Programs: numerous academic programs (including graduate degrees in business and law schools and the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences).
                                                      • Acceptance rate: 84%
                                                      • Famous for: research centers and institutes, numerous projects, Montana Kaimin newspaper, many notable alumni athletes (Colt Anderson, Micheal Ray Richardson, and others).

                                                      Nebraska — Creighton University

                                                      nebraska
                                                        • Background: a private coeducational Roman Catholic institution, founded in 1878 and located in Omaha. It is considered the largest private university in the state, and it was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
                                                        • Number of applications: 8 019
                                                        • Programs: the university is organized into 9 schools (undergraduate, graduate and professional) of Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health, and Dentistry.
                                                        • Acceptance rate: 77%
                                                        • Famous for: a semester study abroad program, numerous affiliate programs and grants, more than 200 student organizations.

                                                        Nevada — University of Nevada-Reno

                                                        nevada
                                                          • Background: a public institution, founded in 1864. This university is a teaching and research institution, a land grant institution for Nevada.
                                                          • Number of applications: 19,129
                                                          • Programs: 9 colleges and 9 schools of the university offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.
                                                          • Acceptance rate: 84%
                                                          • Famous for: mentions many movies, 200 student organizations, research centers and facilities.

                                                          New Hampshire — Dartmouth College

                                                          new hampshire
                                                            • Background: a private research university, a member of Ivy League, founded in 1769 and located in Hanover. It is organized into 3 schools and 1 college.
                                                            • Number of applications: 23,110
                                                            • Programs: 19 graduate programs is the sciences and arts; 56 major programs; Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees for undergraduates.
                                                            • Acceptance rate: 10%
                                                            • Famous for: Greek organizations, NCAA Division I sports, the Outing Club (the oldest collegiate club in the USA), traditions, research activity.

                                                            New Jersey — Princeton University

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                                                            new jersey
                                                              • Background: A private research university, a member of Ivy League, founded in 1746. It is one of the 9 colleges established before the American Revolution. Princeton University is considered the wealthiest institution in the USA.
                                                              • Number of applications: 8,014
                                                              • Programs: undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, social and natural sciences, and humanities. Doctoral programs are also available.
                                                              • Acceptance rate: 7%
                                                              • Famous for: lacrosse teams, notable faculty, strong traditions.

                                                              New Mexico — University of New Mexico

                                                              new mexico
                                                                • Background: Founded in 1889, University of New Mexico is a public research institution located in Albuquerque. It is the largest post-secondary university in New Mexico, and it is considered the flagship research institution of the state.
                                                                • Number of applications: 11,467
                                                                • Programs: more than 200 programs, including 94 – for baccalaureates, 74 – for masters, and 40 – for doctors.
                                                                • Acceptance rate: 65%
                                                                • Famous for: more than 300 student organizations, KUNM-FM (a national public radio station in the city), high university rankings, very high research activity.

                                                                New York — Cornell University

                                                                new york
                                                                  • Background: Founded in 1865, this is a private Ivy League university, a land-grant research institution located in Ithaca. Cornell University is organized into 7 undergraduate and 7 graduate colleges, and each of them has its own academic programs and admission standards.
                                                                  • Number of applications: 21,424
                                                                  • Programs: 80 undergraduate majors and minors, 108 graduate fields, about 4,000 courses across 100 academic departments.
                                                                  • Acceptance rate: 15%
                                                                  • Famous for: the Middle States Commission of Higher Education accreditation, 4-1-4 academic calendar, international programs, very high research activity, notable faculty and alumni.

                                                                  North Carolina — Duke University

                                                                  north carolina
                                                                    • Background: Located in Durham, Duke University is a private research institution founded in 1838. It is organized into 10 schools that serve both undergraduate and graduate students.
                                                                    • Number of applications: 30,374
                                                                    • Programs: 2 undergraduate paths (engineering and liberal arts), 5 graduate paths (nursing, medicine, business, law, engineering), Stanford School of Public Policy, Nickolas School of the Environment.
                                                                    • Acceptance rate: 13%
                                                                    • Famous for: the Blue Devils athletic team (15 national championships won), 32 highly cited researchers, high research activity and rankings, high selectivity when it comes to students admissions.

                                                                    North Dakota — University of Jamestown

                                                                    north dakota
                                                                      • Background: A private institution, founded in 1884. This is a co-educational liberal arts college with about 1,000 students enrolled.
                                                                      • Number of applications: 1,088
                                                                      • Programs: the most popular majors include Nursing, Business Administration and Management, Teaching, Criminal Justice, Biological Sciences.
                                                                      • Acceptance rate: 63%
                                                                      • Famous for: the Journey to Success program, a membership in the Association of Independent Institutions, notable faculty and alumni.

                                                                      Ohio — Ohio State University

                                                                      ohio
                                                                        • Background: A public research institution in Columbus, founded in 1870. This is a land-grant university focused on comprehensive study; it has the largest university campus in the USA.
                                                                        • Number of applications: 31,359
                                                                        • Programs: more than 175 majors at the undergraduate level, a wide variety of graduate programs ( Medicine, Law, Engineering, Business, Human Ecology, Education).
                                                                        • Acceptance rate: 56%
                                                                        • Famous for: high research activity, numerous honors programs, over 1,000 student organizations, membership in the Association of American Universities, participation in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

                                                                        Oklahoma — University of Tulsa

                                                                        oklahoma
                                                                          • Background: A private university, established in 1894. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
                                                                          • Number of applications: 4,597
                                                                          • Programs: 60 undergraduate majors (natural and computer sciences, clinical psychology, engineering, and English disciplines).
                                                                          • Acceptance rate: 41%
                                                                          • Famous for: many National Merit Scholarship winners, petroleum engineering programs, athletic teams, and adherence to traditions.

                                                                          Oregon — University of Oregon

                                                                          oregon
                                                                            • Background: This is a public research university, founded in 1876 and located in Eugene. It is considered one of the oldest institutions on the West Coast, and it is organized into 8 colleges and schools.
                                                                            • Number of applications: 21,263
                                                                            • Programs: undergraduate programs in Psychology, Biology, Business, and Economics; doctoral programs in Psychology, Physics, Geography, and Biology.
                                                                            • Acceptance rate: 74%
                                                                            • Famous for: high-calibre researches, its student government, media and traditions.

                                                                            Pennsylvania — University of Pennsylvania

                                                                            pennsylvania
                                                                              • Background: Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, Penn is a private research university in Philadelphia. It is a member of Ivy League and one of the 9 original Colonial Colleges.
                                                                              • Number of applications: 24,630
                                                                              • Programs: undergraduate (12 schools, 157 programs), graduate (170 programs), professional education (15 master’s degree programs).
                                                                              • Acceptance rate: 10%
                                                                              • Famous for: its English language programs, 9 Nobel laureates, highly productive research programs.

                                                                              Rhode Island — Brown University

                                                                              rhode island
                                                                                • Background: one of the most prestigious universities in the USA, this private research institution is a member of Ivy League, and it is located in Providence. One of the 9 Colonial Colleges, Brown University was founded in 1764.
                                                                                • Number of applications: 28,919
                                                                                • Programs: it offers 79 majors, an undergraduate major in Egyptology.
                                                                                • Acceptance rate: 9%
                                                                                • Famous for: Pembroke College (a women’s institution), its engineering program, Alpert Medical School, and the Marine Biological Laboratory.

                                                                                South Carolina — University of South Carolina-Columbia

                                                                                south carolina
                                                                                  • Background: Established in 1801, this is a public, co-educational research institution. It has 7 campuses, and it is organized into 14 degree-granting schools and colleges.
                                                                                  • Number of applications: 23,429
                                                                                  • Programs: more than 350 programs available (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees); professional schools (law, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and business) and several thousand programs for future students.
                                                                                  • Acceptance rate: 61%
                                                                                  • Famous for: very high research activity, International Business programs, the largest collections of Ernest Hemingway and Robert Burns, student government, more than 400 student organizations.

                                                                                  South Dakota — Augustana College

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                                                                                  south dakota
                                                                                    • Background: a private liberal arts institution, founded in 1860 and located in Sioux Falls. It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church and is considered the largest private college in the state.
                                                                                    • Number of applications: 1,353
                                                                                    • Programs: it has 4-1-4 academic calendar and grants 4-year Bachelor of Arts degrees. Program includes 53 majors, 12 pre-professional programs, and 34 minors.
                                                                                    • Acceptance rate: 62%
                                                                                    • Famous for: high rankings among Midwestern schools, KAUR radio station, notable alumni (Nancy Erickson, Davis Soul, and others).

                                                                                    Tennessee — Vanderbilt University

                                                                                    tennessee
                                                                                      • Background: Located in Nashiville, this university is a private research institution, founded in 1873. It is organized into 4 undergraduate and 6 graduate and professional schools, governed by Board of Trust.
                                                                                      • Number of applications: 31,099
                                                                                      • Programs: undergraduate and graduate programs from schools of Nursing, Engineering, Law and Medicine, from Owen graduate School of Management and Peabody College of Education.
                                                                                      • Acceptance rate: 13%
                                                                                      • Famous for: active Greek life, Blair School of Music, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, notable alumni: Ann Moore (CEO of Time Inc.), James Patterson (novelist), and others.

                                                                                      Texas — University of Texas at Austin

                                                                                      texas
                                                                                        • Background: A state research university, founded in 1883. It is considered a flagship institution of the state and is inducted into the American Association of Universities.
                                                                                        • Number of applications: 38,161
                                                                                        • Programs: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees (100 undergraduate and 170 graduate ones). 8 honors programs.
                                                                                        • Acceptance rate: 40%
                                                                                        • Famous for: 17 libraries, 7 museums, various research facilities (the McDonald Observatory for example), Nobel, Pulitzer and Wolf Prizes winners among faculty.

                                                                                        Utah —

                                                                                        • Background: Located in Salt Lake City, this university was founded in 1850 and considered a public co-educational institution (space-grant and research one). It is a flagship university of Utah.
                                                                                        • Number of applications: 32,077
                                                                                        • Programs: 72 undergraduate majors, 92 graduate degree programs; 40 teaching majors, about 70 minors.
                                                                                        • Acceptance rate: 83%
                                                                                        • Famous for: being a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, a renewable energy partnership, being a part of the state’s System of Higher Education, its notable programs.

                                                                                        Vermont — University of Vermont

                                                                                        vermont
                                                                                          • Background: A public research university, founded in 1791 and located in Burlington. It is also known as State Agricultural College and is considered one of the oldest educational institutions of the USA.
                                                                                          • Number of applications: 22,381
                                                                                          • Programs: the university is organized into 7 undergraduate schools, a college of medicine, a graduate college, and an honors college. It offers numerous bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs.
                                                                                          • Acceptance rate: 78%
                                                                                          • Famous for: its debate team, active Greek life, high research and academics activity, a strong sports team.

                                                                                          Virginia — University of Virginia

                                                                                          virginia
                                                                                            • Background: Located in Charlottesville, this public research university was founded in 1819. First-year students are required to live on campus here, and it is organized into 12 colleges and schools.
                                                                                            • Number of applications: 28,984
                                                                                            • Programs: Medicine and Law professional degrees, six educational specialist degrees, 48 degrees for bachelors, 94 master’s degrees, and 55 degrees for doctors.
                                                                                            • Acceptance rate: 30%
                                                                                            • Famous for: its special scholars, #1 ranking from The Daily Caller (“the best school in the land – 2014”), a membership in the Association of American Universities, 7 Nobel winners and 5 NASA astronauts.

                                                                                            Washington — University of Washington

                                                                                            washington
                                                                                              • Background: Established in 1861, this public research university is located in Seattle. It is considered one of the best medical institutions in the world.
                                                                                              • Number of applications: 30,199
                                                                                              • Programs: the university is organized into 16 colleges and schools; more than 100 majors are available for undergraduates and graduates here.
                                                                                              • Acceptance rate: 55%
                                                                                              • Famous for: about 500 student organizations, its commuter school, high research activity.

                                                                                              West Virginia — Wheeling Jesuit University

                                                                                              west virginia
                                                                                                • Background: A private Roman Catholic university (co-educational one), founded in 1954. It is one of the 28 members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
                                                                                                • Number of applications: 1,619
                                                                                                • Programs: 5 graduate programs (Business Administration, Accountancy, Nursing, Organizational Leadership, Physical Therapy).
                                                                                                • Acceptance rate: 67%
                                                                                                • Famous for: membership in the Mountain East Conference, its Laut Honors Program, Acker Science Center and Donahue Hall.

                                                                                                Wisconsin — University of Wisconsin-Madison

                                                                                                wisconsin
                                                                                                  • Background: A public research university in Madison, founded in 1848 and organized into 20 colleges and schools. It is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
                                                                                                  • Number of applications: 43, 275
                                                                                                  • Programs: 132 undergraduate majors, 200 doctoral programs, and 149 master’s degree programs.
                                                                                                  • Acceptance rate: 51%
                                                                                                  • Famous for: very high research activity (about 100 research centers and programs), its Letters & Science Honors Program, active athletics teams, many notable alumni.

                                                                                                  Wyoming — University of Wyoming

                                                                                                  UW Buildings - Old Main UW Emergency Plan - 2010
                                                                                                    • Background: Established in 1886, this land-grant university is located in Laramie. University of Wyoming is organized into 7 colleges (law, business, arts, natural resources, education, engineering, health).
                                                                                                    • Number of applications: 4,181
                                                                                                    • Programs: more than 190 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Juris Doctor and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees are available too.
                                                                                                    • Acceptance rate: 96%
                                                                                                    • Famous for: notable faculty and alumni, various campus organizations.

                                                                                                    Featured photo credit: Dear Hogwarts …/Mischief Managed via flickr.com

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                                                                                                    Last Updated on October 9, 2018

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                                                                                                    19 Ways to Improve Creative Thinking Skills in the Workplace

                                                                                                    Our world is changing at faster pace than ever. In order to keep up, we are continually adapting to new technology and the changing industries.

                                                                                                    Employers are looking for employees who can solve problems, think creatively and be a leader in every situation.

                                                                                                    These 19 tips will help you find ways to improve creative thinking skills. You can also use these skills to gain credibility as a leader in the workplace:

                                                                                                    1. Set limitations

                                                                                                    In order to increase your own creative thinking, it helps to set limits for yourself, so you have to think outside the box to come up with solutions.

                                                                                                    Set deadlines, budgets or any other type of limitation to increase your creative problem solving. This will build your credibility as a creative problem solver as you come up with innovative solutions.

                                                                                                    2. Change things up

                                                                                                    If you find yourself falling into a rut and doing the same thing every single day, then you will likely struggle to come up with new ideas. This is why it is important to change things up in your routine and break out of your rut.

                                                                                                    Get your creative juices flowing by exercising at a different time, or trying something new for lunch. Move your desk to a different position or change your personal workspace.

                                                                                                    Any of these changes will help spark your mind and get the new ideas pumping again.

                                                                                                    3. Listen and care about others

                                                                                                    When you show that you care about others and listen to their ideas and thoughts, they will trust you more.

                                                                                                    “Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty. You know the leaders who have their employees’ best interests at heart because they truly listen to them.” — Glenn Llopis

                                                                                                    Listening to your coworkers allows them to be more open with you and feel that they can take risks and be creative.

                                                                                                    Discussing ideas with your coworkers will not only help you improve creative thinking techniques, but also set the environment for a more creative office.

                                                                                                    4. Find good mentors/critics

                                                                                                    If you want your creative work to improve, then you need to find a good mentor or critic who can give you positive feedback and help you to keep moving forward.

                                                                                                    As your work improves over time because of your dedication and your mentor, people will hold you in greater respect.

                                                                                                    Every type of creative work takes several drafts before it is ready to go. With your mentors, you can find ways to continually improve your work. Ed Catmull, president of Pixar said:[1]

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                                                                                                    “Early on, all of our movies suck. That’s a blunt assessment, I know, but I… choose that phrasing because saying it in a softer way fails to convey how bad the first versions of our films really are. I’m not trying to be modest or self-effacing by saying this. Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them go… from suck to non-suck. We are true believers in the iterative process – reworking, reworking and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul.”

                                                                                                    Use your mentor’s knowledge to bring your first drafts to life.

                                                                                                    5. Try and fail, a lot

                                                                                                    The best way to get better at things is to keep trying and failing until you improve. This enhances your creative thinking and shows your coworkers that you don’t give up easily and are willing to improve.

                                                                                                    The ability to take failure and turn it around is one of the best qualities of any leader.

                                                                                                    The Harvard Business Review reported:[2]

                                                                                                    “Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy has shown through her research about how expert entrepreneurs make decisions, they must make lots of mistakes to discover new approaches, opportunities, or business models. She frequently references Howard Schultz who, when he started Il Giornale in Seattle, the company that Schultz used to later buy the original Starbucks brand and assets, the store had nonstop opera music playing, menus written in Italian, and no chairs. As Schultz has often said, “We had to make a lot of mistakes” before discovering a model that worked.”

                                                                                                    6. Be consistent (no tortured artists here)

                                                                                                    When you think of creativity, an image of a broken-hearted artist or alcoholic writer may come to mind. Many people today associate creativity with isolation, despair, alcohol and inconsistency.

                                                                                                    Just picture Jay Gatsby.

                                                                                                    While that is good for drama, that’s not really how creativity works. Creativity is fostered through consistent effort. Put in the work everyday and you will find your creative muscles and credibility will grow.

                                                                                                    As a leader in your workplace, you need to show consistency in everything you do, not just your own work, but throughout the company to build your business’s credibility.

                                                                                                    7. Be honest to yourself and others

                                                                                                    Acting dishonestly is one of the fastest ways for you to lose your credibility. Always be honest to the people around you and to yourself.

                                                                                                    If your coworkers feel that they can trust you, then they rely on you more and work with you better. Honesty is what builds a solid foundation for a successful workplace.[3]

                                                                                                    During the creative process, it is important to be honest to yourself. It’s easy to get carried away with fantastic ideas but you will need to learn to be honest with yourself about what is and is not possible.

                                                                                                    8. Collaborate

                                                                                                    The best work usually comes from teamwork. Katherine W. Phillips said,[4]

                                                                                                    “The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving.”

                                                                                                    Show your coworkers that you value their efforts and perspective. By working together, you can create new ideas and make something better than you ever have before.

                                                                                                    Collaborating will not only improve your own creative thinking but will create a bond between you and your team.

                                                                                                    9. Use humor

                                                                                                    As a leader, you want your coworkers to feel comfortable to be creative and open-minded.

                                                                                                    Humor has been proven to help people to relax and feel more willing to try something new and helps foster creativity.[5]

                                                                                                    To improve your own credibility and help others gain confidence in their own creative thinking, use an appropriate sense of humor to lighten the mood when needed and to get those creative juices flowing.

                                                                                                    10. Be vulnerable

                                                                                                    This goes along with being honest with yourself and others. To be a creative thinker, then you have to be willing to fail, admit your failures and be open to receiving critique.

                                                                                                    This can be difficult especially in a workplace where you want to show your strengths instead of weaknesses, but by admitting yo ur weaknesses and being open to others, your credibility will grow as your coworkers know that you listen and are adaptable.

                                                                                                    Take a look at this article to find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.

                                                                                                    11. Have meaningful conversations

                                                                                                    Creative people love to have meaningful conversations. This is the best way to gain a new perspective.

                                                                                                    You have had a certain amount of experiences that have shaped the way that you see the world. But everyone around you may have different perspectives. By engaging with these people, you can learn more about their views. Try to walk in their shoes and understand their perspectives, especially if you disagree.

                                                                                                    Steer clear of shallow small talk and discuss bigger and more meaningful topics with those around you. Ask about their experiences, their hopes, their opinions and you will gain new perspectives that will assist your creative thinking.

                                                                                                    12. Be constantly learning new things

                                                                                                    Some of the greatest minds in the world (Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerburg) have said they dedicate at least five hours every week to learning new things.

                                                                                                    They are passionate about growing their minds and learn about everything from nuclear physics to politics. As they learn about different topics, they look for ways to apply what they have learned to their own industry.

                                                                                                    Start your own educational journey today by finding some books you would like to read or finding high-quality articles online about each topic.

                                                                                                    Keep in mind your own industry and how you can apply what you learn to your job. You never know all the different ways astronomy can help your marketing efforts.

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                                                                                                    13. Experience it all

                                                                                                    Steve Jobs once said that creativity comes from experience.[6] The more experiences you have, the better connections you will be able to make to find solutions.

                                                                                                    Try to experience as many things as possible. You don’t have to go on some huge trip around the world to have more experience; simply meeting new people and trying new things will give you more experience that will build your creative skills.

                                                                                                    14. Give yourself some love

                                                                                                    When I was younger, I was given the advice to take the time everyday before I went out for the day to ensure I felt good about myself and fully confident. Sometimes this took the shape of wearing a new pair of shoes or writing in my journal that morning.

                                                                                                    I was told if I could take the time to prepare myself for the day, then I could focus all of my energy on the people around me. This is something that great leaders do today.

                                                                                                    Take the time to rest and prepare for the next day, so you can throw yourself into your creative work and help those around you.

                                                                                                    Self-care can be whatever it is that you need: a hot bath, going to the gym, walking your dog, reading, the list goes on and on. Figure out what energizes you, and do it as often as needed.

                                                                                                    15. Take ownership

                                                                                                    Accountability fosters your creative thinking because you know that others will see your work and know whether you did it well or not.

                                                                                                    Creativity works best under some pressure, so take your projects seriously by taking responsibility for them.

                                                                                                    Your coworkers will have greater respect for you as you take ownership for your work projects, even if you are disappointed in the results.

                                                                                                    16. Be reflective

                                                                                                    Hindsight is 20-20, so by looking back at past successes and failures, you can get new ideas for your work.

                                                                                                    Reflecting is a part of the creative process and will help you as you continue to create and work. Learning from the past sets an example for your coworkers and will improve your credibility among your colleagues.[7]

                                                                                                    “Creativity requires us to be confident in our areas of practice, whatever they may be. And reflection is an indispensable part of observing, developing, digesting and being in dialogue with our creative ’self’.”

                                                                                                    17. Communicate

                                                                                                    Communication is key to any good relationship and this includes the relationships between you and your coworkers.

                                                                                                    Notice how your coworkers handle critique and find the best way to give them constructive criticism. Notice how your coworkers handle conflict, and find a positive way to help each of them through it.[8]

                                                                                                    “Effective communication is one of the key prerequisites for a thriving workplace. It drives fast, clear and precise flow of information between individuals and groups. A lack of proper communication can greatly decrease productivity.”

                                                                                                    Communication is a skill that is vastly underestimated and incredibly useful in the workplace. As you develop this skill, you can become an impressive creative leader.

                                                                                                    18. Meet deadlines

                                                                                                    We have all experienced those coworkers who can’t meet a deadline with their projects. It can be frustrating and throw off everyone else’s work.

                                                                                                    To be a credible leader, don’t be that person.

                                                                                                    I’ve already mentioned that creativity works best with a little bit of pressure. When you try to meet deadlines, you force yourself to come up with creative ideas.

                                                                                                    Use your creative thinking to finish your projects on time, so you can meet your deadlines.

                                                                                                    Your coworkers will know that they can count on you to get the job done on time, which will likely lead to you getting more projects.

                                                                                                    19. Respect others

                                                                                                    No matter how brilliant you are, if you don’t show respect for the people around you, your credibility in your workplace will suffer.

                                                                                                    The opposite is true as well, if you show respect to each of your coworkers, your credibility as a leader will grow.

                                                                                                    Michigan Ross Professor Jane Dutton who has conducted research on the impact that mutual respect has on creativity said:[9]

                                                                                                    “Across our studies, we demonstrate that respectful engagement is more than simply a nice way to interact, but is a catalyst and cultivator of creativity.”

                                                                                                    By creating a friendly workplace, not only your creative thinking will improve but also everyone around you. With a work environment of mutual respect, ideas can develop into something incredible.

                                                                                                    The bottom line

                                                                                                    Creative thinking and leadership abilities are some of the top skills that employers are looking for. Start applying these 19 tips to your work, and you will see great results in your own work and with your coworkers’ work.

                                                                                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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