largeThese colleges are large and in charge. Definitions of “large” colleges might change depending on who you ask, but for the purposes of this list we’re considering any school that has 10,000 or more undergraduate students. (Note: “student enrollment” within these summaries includes both undergraduate and graduate students).

Check out College Raptor’s list for the Top 25 Best Large Colleges of 2017!

25. University of Georgia

Wikimedia Commons user DXR

Wikimedia Commons user DXR

Location: Athens, GA

Student Enrollment: 35,197

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

This university has an acceptance rate of 53%, meaning that around 11,600 of the nearly 22,000 applications sent in each year are accepted. The school has an 18 to 1 student to faculty ratio, and a first year retention rate of 95%. The most popular major on campus is Psychology.

Learn more about the University of Georgia

24. University of Texas at Austin

Wikimedia Commons user Larry D. Moore

Wikimedia Commons user Larry D. Moore

Location: Austin, TX

Student Enrollment: 51,313

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

With over 51,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty, the University of Texas is one of the largest  universities in the nation in terms of enrollment. It offers over 100 bachelor’s degrees and 170 graduate degrees. Of these graduate degrees, its Latin, accounting, American history and petroleum engineering programs are ranked number one in the country.

Learn more about the University of Texas at Austin

23. George Washington University

Wikimedia Commons user Mst48

Wikimedia Commons user Mst48

Location: Washington, DC

Student Enrollment: 25,613

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Named after the Founding Father and First President of the United States, this university sits in the heart of the country’s capital. It’s only a few blocks away from the White House, and unsurprisingly its most popular majors include: International Relations and Affairs, Political Science and Government, Finance, Psychology, and Economics.

Learn more about George Washington University

22. University of Wisconsin—Madison

Wikimedia Commons user James Steakley

Wikimedia Commons user James Steakley

Location: Madison, WI

Student Enrollment: 42,598

College Type: Public, 4 year

Considered one of America’s Public Ivy League institutions, UW is the official state university of Wisconsin. It consists of 20 colleges offering 136 undergraduate degrees, 148 master programs and 120 doctoral programs. It is especially well known for its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin- Madison

21. Boston University

Wikimedia Commons user jcpahill

Wikimedia Commons user jcpahill

Location: Boston, MA

Student Enrollment: 32,112

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Sporting the colors red and white, Boston University sports teams are known as the Terriers, and their mascot is Rhett the Terrier. It was founded in 1869 and given the school motto “Learning, Virtue, Piety.” Undoubtedly the most well-known alumni of BU is Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but other notable alums include inventor Alexander Graham Bell, actress Julianne Moore, and internet personalities Jenna Marbles and Dan Avidan.

Learn more about Boston University

20. University of California—Irvine

Flickr user Mathieu Marquer

Flickr user Mathieu Marquer

Location: Irvine, CA

Student Enrollment: 30,051

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

The top 3 majors at UC-Irvine are: Biology, Public Health, and Social Psychology. Thanks to a student-run contest, the school mascot is an anteater nicknamed Peter, who has even appeared on Conan.

Learn more about the University of California-Irvine

19. Georgia Institute of Technology

Wikimedia Commons user TheCustomOfLife

Wikimedia Commons user TheCustomOfLife

Location: Atlanta, GA

Student Enrollment: 23,109

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

On this campus, these are the top 5 most popular majors: Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration and Management, Industrial Engineering, Computer and Information Sciences, and Electrical Engineering. It has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio and a first year retention rate of 97%.

Learn more about the Georgia Institute of Technology

18. SUNY at Binghamton

Wikimedia Commons user yohey1028

Wikimedia Commons user yohey1028

Location: East Vestal, NY

Student Enrollment: 16,695

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

A doctoral university with extensive research present, SUNY Binghamton freshmen have impressive ACT and SAT scores—on average, they scored between 27 and 31 on the ACT, and between 1,227 and 1,382 on the SAT. They have a 42% acceptance rate.

Learn more about SUNY at Binghamton

17. University of Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons user daderot

Wikimedia Commons user daderot

Location: Storrs, CT

Student Enrollment: 26,541

College Type: Public, 4 year and above

Also known as UCONN, this university sees nearly 35,000 applications submitted every year, and with an acceptance rate of 53% nearly 18,600 of those applications are accepted. The school is part of the NCAA I-A Division when it comes to athletics. Popular sports on campus include: football, ice hockey, rowing, and swimming / diving.

Learn more about the University of Connecticut

16. Ohio State University

Wikimedia Commons user Ibagli

Wikimedia Commons user Ibagli

Location: Columbus, OH

Student Enrollment: 58,322

College Type: Public, 4 Year

OSU has regional campuses throughout Ohio in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark and Wooster. The Buckeyes compete in Division I athletics as a part of the Big 10 Conference. The University was originally established to specialize in agriculture and mechanics but is now a comprehensive top research institution.

Learn more about Ohio State University

15. University of California—Santa Barbara

Flickr user Marcus Bernales

Flickr user Marcus Bernales

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Student Enrollment: 23,051

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

UC-Santa Barbara has an acceptance rate of 33% and gets around 70,000 applications each year. The UC-Santa Barbara campus is known for being very bicycle-friendly, and is also considered a Public Ivy.

Learn more about the University of California-Santa Barbara

14. University of California—San Diego

Wikimedia Commons user Daderot

Wikimedia Commons user Daderot

Location: La Jolla, CA

Student Enrollment: 30,709

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

UC-San Diego is a public, sea-grant and space-grant university. The top 3 majors are: Economics, Psychology, and Computer Science. Two popular campus traditions include the Pumpkin Drop that happens during Halloween, and the Watermelon Drop that occurs each spring.

Learn more about the University of California-San Diego

13. New York University

Wikimedia Commons user PointsofNoReturn

Wikimedia Commons user PointsofNoReturn

Location: New York City, NY

Student Enrollment: 49,274

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Nearly 50,000 students attend this university, and it’s a near 50 / 50 split between undergraduate and graduate students. It is a doctoral / research university and the top 3 majors on campus are the following: Business, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Economics.

Learn more about New York University

12. University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign

Wikimedia Commons user HalloweenHJB

Wikimedia Commons user HalloweenHJB

Location: Champaign, IL

Student Enrollment: 45,140

College Type: Public, 4 year

Home of the Fighting Illini, the U of I campus is split among the neighboring cities of Urbana and Champaign. With over 1,000 student organizations, 59 fraternities and 38 sororities, there are plenty of ways for students to be involved on campus. The University is also known for its science and engineering research programs.

Learn more about the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

11. University of Florida

Wikimedia Commons user DouglasGreen

Wikimedia Commons user DouglasGreen

Location: Gainesville, FL

Student Enrollment: 49,459

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

This university is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant school, in addition to being the state’s flagship school. Their colors are orange and blue and their mascots are Albert and Alberta Gator. The popular sports drink Gatorade was made for and named after the athletics at the school.

Learn more about the University of Florida

10. University of Maryland—College Park

Flickr user Carmichael Library

Flickr user Carmichael Library

Location: College Park, MD

Student Enrollment: 37,610

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

Incoming freshmen at this university score, on average, between a 27 and 32 on the ACT, and between 1,210 and 1,420 on the SAT. They have an impressive 95% first-year retention rate. The 5 most popular majors on campus include: Biology, Criminology, Economics, Psychology, and Accounting.

Learn more about the University of Maryland—College Park

9. University of Southern California

Flickr user Great Degrees

Flickr user Great Degrees

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Student Enrollment: 42,453

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

USC has an acceptance rate of only 18%, and the average ACT composite scores for incoming students range between 29 and 34, and the average SAT combined scores range between 1,299 and 1,483. The university boasts a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, and a 96% first year retention rate.

Learn more about the University of Southern California

8. University of California—Los Angeles

Flickr user Ignacio Andrade

Flickr user Ignacio Andrade

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Student Enrollment: 41,845

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

An impressive 93,000 some applications are submitted to UCLA. The university has a 17% acceptance rate, so only about 16,000 are accepted per year. It has a 96% first-year retention rate. There are countless notable alumni, including: composer John Williams, CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki, and director Francis Ford Coppola, among many others.

Learn more about the University of California–Los Angeles

7. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Student Enrollment: 43,625

College Type: Public, 4 year

The top 5 most popular majors on campus include: Business Administration, Economics, Experimental Psychology, Computer and Information Sciences, and Physiological Psychology. In terms of athletics it is a NCAA Division I-A school, and sports on campus include: track, football, lacrosse, and rowing among others.

Learn more about the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor

6. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

Flickr user Nan-Cheng Tsai

Flickr user Nan-Cheng Tsai

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Student Enrollment: 29,135

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

UNC is known for the Old Well located in the middle of campus—in fact, the Well is the symbol for the school. About 30,000 applications are sent into UNC every year, with over 9,600 of them being accepted—giving the university a 31% acceptance rate. Biology is the most common major on campus.

Learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

5. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, NY

Student Enrollment: 21,679

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

Nearly 42,000 applications are sent in to this school, and with an acceptance rate of 15% only about 6,300 of those applicants are chosen. Cornell boasts a 97% first-year retention rate and a student-faculty ratio of 9:1. They have a total of about 1,086 athletes on campus and are considered a NCAA Division I-AA school.

Learn more about Cornell University

4. University of California—Berkeley

Flickr user Mike Procario

Flickr user Mike Procario

Location: Berkeley, CA

Student Enrollment: 37,565

College Type: Public, 4 year or above

UC Berkeley is the oldest of the 10 research universities associated with the University of California system. Their school motto “Fiat lux” means “Let there be light.” With their signature colors of Berkeley Blue and California Gold, UC Berkeley students are nicknamed the Golden Bears. The most common major on campus is Economics, followed by Cell and Molecular Biology and Electrical Engineering.

Learn more about University of California–Berkeley

3. University of Virginia

Flickr user Alex Proimos

Flickr user Alex Proimos

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Student Enrollment: 23,732

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison (among others), helped select the city of Charlottesville to be home to the university. Here you’ll find liberal arts studies and business to be the most popular majors.

Learn more about the University of Virginia-Main Campus

2. University of Pennsylvania

Flickr user Rob Pettengill

Flickr user Rob Pettengill

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Student Enrollment: 24,806

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Nicknamed “Penn”, the university was founded by Benjamin Franklin, and has an acceptance rate of 10%, admitting a little more than 3,700 students each year. Distinguished alumni include Warren Buffett, John Legend, Noam Chomsky, and John Heisman.

Learn more about the University of Pennsylvania

1. Harvard University

Flickr user Yu-Jen Shih

Flickr user Yu-Jen Shih

Location: Cambridge, MA

Student Enrollment: 28,791

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Harvard University is the oldest and one one of the most reputable institutions of higher education in the United States. With $37.6 billion in financial endowment, it is also the largest academic institution in the country.

Learn More about Harvard University


Each of these rankings are based on an analysis of data about the school’s selectivity, financial health, academic rigor, and student success. We’ve outlined our full methodology here.