The United States has long been a popular choice for international students pursuing higher education and employment opportunities. With over 5,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down which schools may be best for you and which are equipped to meet the specific challenges and needs of international students.
Although selecting a university or college is a personal decision, there are common questions that every international student may consider before pursuing a degree. Does this school offer my desired major or program? Will I feel comfortable on campus? How much will my program cost, and what will my career options be after graduation?
To help with your search, we’ve rounded up a list of some top-rated U.S. schools for international students, based on program availability, student body diversity, and more:
1. Northeastern University
Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts, is a popular choice for international students interested in a variety of programs and career paths. The number of current international students enrolled at a school is usually a strong indicator of the resources available to such students, and Northeastern is no exception. 20.5% of Northeastern’s student body consists of international students, and in 2021, the university welcomed students from 148 different countries.
Located in a historic New England city, Northeastern is known for setting graduates up for success. The university has abundant internship opportunities, a strong postgraduate network, and renowned programs in business, marketing, and engineering. International students also obtain personalized support from Northeastern’s faculty, when it comes to academic advising, career development, financial services, and more.
2. New York University (NYU)
One of the country’s most iconic universities, New York University (NYU) is located in the heart of New York City. Aside from being located in a major metropolitan area, NYU has a lot to offer international students looking for a top-rated education. NYU is home to the largest number of international students in the U.S., and the faculty regularly host programs and events to help international students acclimate to life in the U.S. and build a strong community on campus and beyond. To help further ease the transition, NYU offers immigration assistance for those seeking student visas, and certain immigrants may also be eligible for grants and financial aid.
In a city bustling with art, culture, and business, NYU also has an extensive list of over 400 academic programs for students to choose from.
3. Arizona State University (ASU)
Arizona State University (ASU) is a public university that has one of the highest numbers of international students in the U.S. ASU is known for its highly rated research facility and has even been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s most innovative school.
ASU fosters a welcoming environment for students from different backgrounds, and offers a high 88.4% acceptance rate for international student applicants interested in one of their 85 academic programs. Prospective international students can find admission information, immigration support, and community services on ASU’s site here.
4. University of Illinois
Last year, the University of Illinois welcomed over 10,000 international students to its various campuses across the state. The school’s Chicago campus (UIC) is ranked among the top universities in the U.S. and can offer international students more than 80 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs to choose from. UIC’s engineering program is particularly well known across the U.S. and is a popular choice for international students looking to gain invaluable professional experience, even before entering the workforce. The program offers students guaranteed paid internships and provides a strong foundation for those looking to start their careers in the U.S. upon graduation.
5. Rice University
Rice University is a private research institution in Houston, Texas, that can offer international students a more “hands-on” approach to education. Rice’s student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1, which ensures that international students will get the personalized support and guidance they need. Rice prides itself on maintaining a diverse campus, and as of 2021, international students made up around a quarter of the school’s student population. Celebrated for its applied sciences programs, Rice is a strong choice for any international student seeking a smaller university environment for their studies.
6. Ivy League Schools
Boundless would be remiss not to mention the prestigious Ivy League and its eight world-renowned institutions that attract tens of thousands of students from around the world each year. Many of the Ivy League schools provide specific programs to help their international students adjust to life in the U.S., and actively bolster their alumni networks.
Princeton, Yale, and Harvard are also some of the only universities in the country that offer need-blind or full-need financial aid policies for international students. This can help ease the financial burden of costly programs, as tuition assistance is often difficult to secure for international students.
7. University of California (UC) Schools
California boasts several of the top-rated public schools in the U.S., and the state’s diverse campuses and well-funded programs are a popular choice for many international students each year. UC, Los Angeles, UC, San Diego, and UC, Berkeley have some of the largest international student populations in the country, with coveted academic opportunities and diverse communities where international students can flourish. UC, San Diego has strong medical and engineering programs for students interested in those fields, while UC, Berkeley offers some of the best humanities and liberal arts programs the U.S. has to offer.