University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

Brown University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Brown University is a private, Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as "The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution.

At its foundation, Brown was the first college in the United States to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation. Its engineering program, established in 1847, was the first in the Ivy League. Brown's New Curriculum-sometimes referred to in education theory as the Brown Curriculum-was adopted by faculty vote in 1969 after a period of student lobbying; the New Curriculum eliminated mandatory "general education" distribution requirements, made students "the architects of their own syllabus," and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory or unrecorded no-credit. In 1971, Brown's coordinate women's institution, Pembroke College, was fully merged into the university. Pembroke Campus now operates as a place for dorms and classrooms.

Undergraduate admissions is very selective, with an acceptance rate of 9 percent for the class of 2020, according to the university. The University comprises The College, the Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies (which includes the IE Brown Executive MBA program). Brown's international programs are organized through the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and the university is academically affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Rhode Island School of Design. The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, offered in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, is a five-year course that awards degrees from both institutions.

Brown's main campus is located in the College Hill Historic District in the city of Providence, the third largest city in New England. The University's neighborhood is a federally listed architectural district with a dense concentration of Colonial era buildings. On the western edge of the campus, Benefit Street contains "one of the finest cohesive collections of restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architecture in the United States".

Brown has produced 7 Nobel Prize winners, 55 Rhodes Scholars, five National Humanities Medalists, eight billionaire graduates, and 10 National Medal of Science laureates, and has also produced Fulbright, Marshall, and Mitchell scholars.

History | The foundation and the charter

The origins of Brown University may be dated to 1761 when three residents of Newport, Rhode Island, drafted a petition to the General Assembly of the colony:

"Your Petitioners propose to open a literary institution or School for instructing young Gentlemen in the Languages, Mathematics, Geography & History, & such other branches of Knowledge as shall be desired. That for this End ... it will be necessary ... to erect a public Building or Buildings for the boarding of the youth & the Residence of the Professors."

The three petitioners were Ezra Stiles, pastor of Newport's Second Congregational Church and future president of Yale; William Ellery, Jr., future signer of the United States Declaration of Independence; and Josias Lyndon, future governor of the colony. Stiles and Ellery would two years later be co-authors of the Charter of the College. The editor of Stiles's papers observes that, "This draft of a petition connects itself with other evidence of Dr. Stiles's project for a Collegiate Institution in Rhode Island, before the charter of what became Brown University."

In 1762 there is further documentary evidence that Stiles was making plans for a college. On January 20, ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brown University", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Brown University Details

Brown University Details
detail value
stateRhode Island
conferenceIvy League
overall ROI rank[34
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Brown University?

1. number 25 for Academics.

2. number 34 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Brown University?

1. Princeton University

2. Johns Hopkins University

3. Vanderbilt University

4. Stanford University

5. Washington University in St Louis

6. Yale University

7. University of Notre Dame

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Brown University National Academic Rankings

Brown University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Private1412271315682014
Ivy League879884558
New England Region1313591114692212
State of Rhode Island111111111
Top Ten Top2502524119223216228534
Top Ten Ivy League879884558
Top Ten New England Region9810994766
Top Ten State of Rhode Island111111111

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

Brown University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Brown University

Brown University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Brown University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Wellesley CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateElite78158
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Hamilton CollegeNew YorkNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite115153
Washington and Lee UniversityVirginiaOld Dominion Athletic ConferencePrivateElite11746
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsNew England Football Conferenc...PrivateElite52
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Brown University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Brown University

Brown University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Brown University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-21
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Harvey Mudd CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite4919
University Athletic Association (Average)-University Athletic Association-Conf-Elite-21
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvaniaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite219
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Franklin W Olin College of EngineeringMassachusettsNo Conference AffiliationPrivateElite4853
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent2734
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Case Western Reserve UniversityOhioPresidents' Athletic Conferenc...PrivateExcellent2814
New York UniversityNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent35101
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
University of California-BerkeleyCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent1826
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
Big Ten Conference (Average)-Big Ten Conference-Conf-Excellent-22
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
University of California-San DiegoCaliforniaDivision II IndependentsPublicExcellent2670
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinnesotaBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3022
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325