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Small Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Bentley University, Emerson College, Cambridge College

Massachusetts, located in the northeastern New England region of the United States, experiences warm summers and cold, snowy winters, with rainfall distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. The most populous of the New England states, it has been a major player in American history dating back to the first settlements established by colonists from Europe. The seeds of American revolution that eventually resulted in independence from England are considered to have germinated in the state’s capital of Boston, leading the city to often be referred to as the “Cradle of Liberty.” Having the third highest per capita income in the nation, the state owes its economic success to the vital sectors of biotechnology, health care, finance, and tourism. It is also widely known for its stellar higher education options. It is home to some of the best universities that can be found anywhere in the world. Many of the world’s best and brightest students place the institutes of higher education in Massachusetts extremely high on their list of desirable schools, and for good reason.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

With an undergraduate student body of approximately 4000 students, a spot at MIT is one of the most highly coveted positions amongst undergraduate applicants. Its School of Engineering is especially highly lauded, often ranked number one not only in the nation, but in the world. Although there are 5 schools with 32 academic departments among them, there is always a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research. Located in Cambridge, MIT has the distinction of being at the forefront of computer, radar, and defense research and development in the past. It promises 4 years of dormitory style living arrangements for all of its undergraduates and makes them complete a core curriculum known as the General Institute Requirements, which places emphasis on science and math courses. MIT is notorious for being exceptionally challenging for undergraduates and so they are often graded on a pass/no-record grading system during their first year where transcripts only report if a class was passed. Classes that were not passed are not shown at all. Its annual research expenditures is one of the highest for any American university.

Harvard University

Harvard is widely considered to be one of the leading academic institutions in the world, often placing at the very top of such lists. With an undergraduate student body of around 7000 students, it is one of the most selective universities in America, as its acceptance rate hovers around a mere 7%. Harvard’s history dates as far back as 1636 during the early days of colonial Massachusetts, making it the oldest institute for higher learning in the United States. Located in Cambridge just like MIT, Harvard is host to the country’s largest academic library and one of the largest in the world, with a collection that consists of over 15 million volumes. Many of America’s greatest and most influential political leaders, including past and present Presidents, along with numerous Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners are in fact graduates of Harvard University.

Bentley University

Located 10 miles west of Boston in Waltham, it’s undergraduate studies have a business-centered focus. With an undergraduate student body of around 4000 students, it is able to offer its students an excellent Mobile Computing program that puts a notebook computer in their hands during their first year and gives them widespread access to wireless internet. They are fitted with a brand new notebook computer during their third year so that they have the latest in computing technology. This second notebook is theirs to keep as a parting gift from the university. It consistently ranks in the top 50 and often in the top 20 for its undergraduate business programs and is also considered one of the most well-connected schools in the nation in terms of access to computers and internet.

Emerson College

Located in Boston and having a student body of approximately 3500 undergraduates, it offers over 3 dozen programs of study in the area of Arts and Communication, which is its specialty. It also maintains buildings in Los Angeles and the Netherlands as well in Massachusetts. It is home to a number of highly active and diverse organizations, from those that focus on social action to those that are more curriculum based. It also has its own radio station and a vibrant comedy community.

Cambridge College

Consisting of approximately 1400 undergraduates, this small college based in Cambridge offers degrees in education, management, and counseling. It is know to be especially welcoming of America’s veterans of armed service as students, often listed in the top 15 percent of schools in that regard. The school specializes in adult education.

Brandeis University

Located in Waltham just 9 miles west of Boston, it often breaks into the top 30 as one of the best national universities in America. This school of only around 3000 undergraduates is especially noted as having one of the top teacher education programs in the nation among liberal arts schools. The school library boasts access to over 1.6 million volumes, including access to a large United States Government archive. It is also home to an excellent investigative reporting institute.

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Best Colleges by State