10 Best Universities in the American Midwest
Do you know what the American Midwest is? Also known as the Midwestern United States, this is one of four geographic regions in the country and is made up of 12 states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The main cities in this region are Chicago (Illinois), Columbus (Ohio), Indianapolis (Indiana), Detroit (Michigan), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Kansas City (Kansas), Omaha (Nebraska), Minneapolis (Minnesota), Wichita (Kansas) ), Cleveland (Ohio), St. Louis (Missouri), St. Paul (Minnesota), Cincinnati (Ohio), Lincoln (Nebraska), Toledo (Ohio), Fort Wayne (Indiana) and Madison (Wisconsin).
And what are the best universities in the American Midwest?
Now that you know what the American Midwest is and what states are part of that area, it’s time to find out which are the best universities in the region. Check the list below, compiled from the QS World University Rankings 2021 assessment.
1. University of Chicago (Illinois)
Position in the QS world ranking: 9th
Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is by far the best in the American Midwest, ranking among the top 10 educational institutions in the world and fifth in the United States, behind only MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Caltech.
Located on an 88-hectare campus in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the institution has a total of approximately 17,000 students. Of these, about 6,300 take undergraduate courses and just under 10,000 are enrolled in graduate courses.
2. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Michigan)
Position in the QS world ranking: 21st
The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, a city of just over 100,000 people located about 70 kilometers from Detroit, the largest urban center in the state.
It is the oldest university in Michigan, founded in 1817. In the early years, the institution was based in Detroit and it was not until 1837 that it settled in Ann Arbor. Today, with almost 50 thousand students between undergraduate and graduate courses, it is the 11th best university in the USA, according to the rankings of QS.
3. Northwestern University (Illinois)
Position in the QS world ranking: 29th
With nearly 22,000 students, Northwestern University has two main campuses. The largest is in the city of Evanston, in the Chicago metropolitan area. However, some units such as the schools of medicine and law and the university hospital of the institution are located in Chicago itself, in the neighborhood of Streeterville. Founded in 1851, it is the 13th best American university.
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison (Wisconsin)
Position in the QS world ranking: 65th
Out of the TOP 20 of the best universities in the USA by only one position (ranked 21st in the QS ranking), the University of Wisconsin is in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. Founded in 1848, it is the oldest and largest public university in the state. It currently has about 45 thousand students, of which, just over 30 thousand are enrolled in undergraduate courses.
5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois)
Position in the QS world ranking: 82nd
Another Illinois state university on the list! The University of Illinois is divided between two neighboring cities: Urbana (about 43,000) and Champaign (just under 90,000). It has the second largest university library in the United States (behind Harvard) and the fastest supercomputer within a university in the country.
Founded in 1867, today it has almost 52 thousand students (about 34 thousand in undergraduate courses and just over 16 thousand in graduate courses). According to the QS ranking, it is the 25th best university in the USA.
6. Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri)
Position in the QS world ranking: 105th
In the TOP 30 of the best American universities (in 29th position), Washington University in St. Louis was founded in 1853 and was named after George Washington, one of the most important politicians in US history. Precisely because of the name, many people confuse and think that this institution is in the American capital or in the state of Washington, which is not the case.
It is the best university in the state of Missouri and its campuses are located in the metropolitan area of the city of St. Louis. It has just over 15 thousand students that are practically equally distributed between undergraduate and graduate courses.
7. Ohio State University (Ohio)
Position in the QS world ranking: 108th
Ohio State University is located in Columbus, the state’s capital and largest city. Founded in 1870 with a focus only on the areas of Agriculture and Mechanics, it has expanded over the years to become one of the three largest university campuses in the country. In addition to the main campus, the institution also operates other smaller campuses in other cities in the state.
Adding all its campuses, the university has about 68,000 students, 61,000 of which are on the main campus alone. The vast majority of students (just under 54 thousand) are enrolled in undergraduate courses. It is the 34th best university in the USA.
8. Purdue University (Indiana)
Position in the QS world ranking: 109th
Founded in 1869, Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, a city of about 60,000 students 105 kilometers from Indianapolis (state capital) and 166 kilometers from Chicago. It is the best university in the state of Indiana and the 35th best in the country.
With about 200 undergraduate courses and 69 master’s and doctoral programs, the institution has about 44 thousand students.
9. Michigan State University (Michigan)
Position in the QS world ranking: 157th
Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, a city of about 50,000 people located just five miles from Lansing, the state capital of Michigan. It was founded in 1855 and today has almost 50 thousand students.
Some of its graduate programs, such as African History; Organizational and Industrial Psychology; Child Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, are among the best in the country in their respective areas. It ranks 42nd among the best universities in the United States.
10. Case Western Reserve University (Ohio)
Position in the QS world ranking: 162
Closing our list, ranked 44th among the best American universities according to the QS list, Case Western Reserve University is a private institution created in 1967 in Cleveland, one of the main cities in the state of Ohio. It arose from the merger of two other former institutions: the Western Reserve University (founded in 1826) and the Case Institute of Technology (founded in 1880).
Among the institutions on this list, it is the smallest in number of students: there are about 12 thousand, just over 5,000 in undergraduate courses and almost 7 thousand in graduate programs.
But what about the other states in the American Midwest?
You noticed that some of the states in the American Midwest don’t have universities in the top 10 in the region, do you? They are North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska. In order not to leave these states out of our list, we will also inform you below which is the best university in each of them and what position they occupy in the world ranking of QS. Check out:
- Minnesota: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (177th)
- Kansas: University of Kansas (383rd)
- Iowa: University of Iowa (420th)
- Nebraska: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (561-570)
- North Dakota and South Dakota have no university in the ranking