The University of Wisconsin barely counts as an "Eastern" school, and the city of Madison is less than two hours from the natural dividing line that is the Mississippi River. And yet, that hasn't stopped UW from climbing its way to the top of our list as the #1 best alternative graduate school. In addition to its highly esteemed programs in Education, Medicine, Chemistry, and Psychology, the university boasts a wide selection of other worthwhile options, from Sociology to Physics. UW has also revealed an ambitious plan it calls "UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative," which will fund projects that "have the potential to fundamentally transform a field of study." This independent spirit manifests in many other UW projects as well, from the "Institute for Discovery" to ecological restoration at the Arboretum.
By Iris Stone
Read below for our ranking of the 50 best alternative graduate schools in the Eastern United States.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “alternative.” Why wouldn’t we just rank the best grad schools? Why did we feel compelled to look for something different? In short, because a list of the 50 best graduate schools based on traditional factors – like selectivity and test scores – wouldn’t be news to anyone. That’s because the same colleges and universities always appear at the top of those rankings, in almost the exact same order. We all know about the prestigious Ivy League universities and schools like Northwestern and Emory, which many consider to be “new Ivies.” And so we wondered: is it possible to create a ranking of top grad schools that doesn’t include any of these typical options?
We developed our own “alternative” methodology, which you can read all about here.
The 50 best alternative grad schools in the region are listed below. Many schools are probably still not that much of a surprise, as they all have plenty to offer advanced degree seekers. For each, we highlight some of the university’s strongest subjects, which we hope will help guide you as you consider the school that’s right for you.
|1||University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI|
|2||University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||Pittsburgh, PA|
|3||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL|
|4||Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI|
|5||Rutgers University-New Brunswick||New Brunswick, NJ|
|6||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|7||Indiana University-Bloomington||Bloomington, IN|
|8||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|9||University of Connecticut||Storrs, CT|
|10||Temple University||Philadelphia, PA|
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U.S. News Education: Grad Schools
Carnegie Classification Definitions
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
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