More Top Public Universities in the United States

Excellent State-Funded Schools in the U.S.

My list of the top public universities doesn't do justice to the field of excellent state-funded schools. This list presents more great public universities that feature state-of-the-art facilities, world-renowned faculty, and powerful name recognition. I've listed the schools alphabetically rather than try to make superficial distinctions between excellent yet extremely different schools.

Also check out the lists of Military Academies and Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

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Binghamton University
Binghamton University. Greynol1 / Wikimedia Commons

Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, typically ranks among the very top public universities in the northeast. For its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, Binghamton University was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. 84% of students come from the top 25% of their high school class.

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Tilman Hall at Clemson University
Tilman Hall at Clemson University. Angie Yates / Flickr

Clemson University is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along Lake Hartwell. The university's academic units are divided into five separate colleges with the College of Business and Behavioral Science and the College of Engineering and Science having the highest enrollments. For its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, Clemson was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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UCONN
The University of Connecticut. Matthias Rosenkranz / Flickr

The University of Connecticut at Storrs (UConn) is the state's flagship institution of higher learning. It is a Land and Sea Grant University made up of 10 different schools and colleges. UConn's faculty is heavily involved in research, but the university was also awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in undergraduate education in the arts and sciences.

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University of Delaware
University of Delaware. Alan Levine / Flickr

The University of Delaware is the largest university in the state of Delaware. The university is made up of seven different colleges of which the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest. UD's College of Engineering and its College of Business and Economics often place well on national rankings. The University of Delaware's strengths in liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

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Tree-Lined Walk at the University of Florida
Tree-Lined Walk at the University of Florida. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Florida offers a huge range of undergraduate and graduate programs, but they have most made a name for themselves in pre-professional areas such as business, engineering and the health sciences. General strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned Florida a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Research strengths earned the school membership in the Association of American Universities.

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University of Georgia
University of Georgia. hyku / Flickr

Founded in 1785, UGA has the distinction of being the oldest state-chartered university in the U.S. Georgia's attractive 615-acre campus features everything from historic buildings to contemporary high rises. For the high-achieving student who wants the feel of a liberal arts college education, UGA has a well-respected Honors Program of about 2,500 students. The university can also boast of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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Sample Gates at Indiana University Bloomington
Sample Gates at Indiana University Bloomington. lynn Dombrowski / Flickr

Indiana University in Bloomington is the flagship campus of Indiana's state university system. The school has received numerous accolades for its academic programs, its computing infrastructure, and the beauty of its campus. The school has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and its research strengths earned it membership in the Association of American Universities. The 2,000-acre campus is defined by its buildings constructed from local limestone and its wide array of flowering plants and trees.

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James Madison University
James Madison University. Alma mater / Wikimedia Commons

James Madison University, JMU, offers 68 undergraduate degree programs with areas in business being the most popular. JMU has a high retention and graduation rate compared to similar public universities, and the school frequently does well on national rankings for both its value and its academic quality. The attractive campus features an open quad, a lake, and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.

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University of Maryland McKeldin Library
University of Maryland McKeldin Library. Daniel Borman / Flickr

Located just north of Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland is an easy Metro ride into the city and the school has many research partnerships with the federal government. UMD has a strong Greek system, and about 10% of undergrads belong to fraternities or sororities. Maryland's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and its strong research programs earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

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Pillsbury Hall at the University of Minnesota
Pillsbury Hall at the University of Minnesota. Michael Hicks / Flickr

The campus occupies both the east and west banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, and the agricultural programs are located on the quieter St. Paul campus. U of M has many strong academic programs, especially in economics, the sciences, and engineering. It's liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. For outstanding research, the university gained membership in the Association of American Universities.

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Ohio Stadium
Ohio Stadium. Acererak / Flickr

Ohio State University (OSU) has the distinction of being the largest university in the U.S. Founded in 1870, OSU consistently ranks among the top 20 public universities in the country. It has strong schools of business and law, and its political science department is particularly well respected. The school has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and its research strengths earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

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Penn State Old Main
Penn State Old Main. Cole Camplese / Flickr

Penn State in University Park is the flagship campus of the 24 campuses that make up the state university system in Pennsylvania. Penn State's 13 specialized colleges and roughly 160 majors provide a wealth of academic opportunities for students with diverse interests. The undergraduate programs in engineering and business are noteworthy, and general strengths in the liberal arts and sciences won the school a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Research strengths earned PSU membership in the Association of American Universities.

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University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning. gam9551 / Flickr

The 132-acre campus of the University of Pittsburgh is easily recognized by the towering Cathedral of Learning, the tallest educational building in the U.S. On the academic front, Pitt has wide-ranging strengths including Philosophy, Medicine, Engineering and Business. Like several schools on this list, Pitt has a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and its research strengths earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

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Purdue University
Purdue University. j_cavera / Flickr

Purdue University in West Lafayette is the main campus of the Purdue University System in Indiana. As the home to over 40,000 students, the campus is a city unto itself that offers over 200 academic programs for undergraduates. Purdue has a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and its strong research programs earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

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Rutgers University Football
Rutgers University Football. lisatozzi / Flickr

Located between New York City and Philadelphia, Rutgers gives its students easy train access to two major metropolitan centers. Rutgers, like many of the best public universities, has a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and the school was granted membership in the Association of American Universities for its strengths in research.

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University of Texas, Austin, Tower
University of Texas, Austin, Tower. Silly Jilly / Flickr

Academically, UT Austin frequently ranks as one of the top public universities in the U.S., and the McCombs School of Business is especially strong. Other strengths include education, engineering and law. Strong research earned the University of Texas membership in the Association of American Universities, and its excellent programs in the liberal arts and sciences earned the school a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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Texas A&M
Texas A&M. Blue Ag09 / Flickr

Texas A&M is far more than an agricultural and mechanical college these days. It is a huge, comprehensive university where business, humanities, engineering, social science and the sciences are all extremely popular with undergraduates. The university can boast of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and it is a member of the Association of American Universities for its research strengths.

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UC Davis Performing Arts
UC Davis Performing Arts. basykes / Flickr

Like so many of the top-ranked public universities, the University of California at Davis has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and it is a member of the Association of American Universities for its research strengths. The school's 5,300-acre campus, located west of Sacramento, is the largest in the UC system. UC Davis offers over 100 undergraduate majors.

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UC Irvine
UC Irvine. Ned Raggett / Flickr

The University of California at Irvine is located in the heart of Orange County. The 1,500-acre campus has an interesting circular design with Aldrich Park in the center. The park features a network of paths running through the gardens and trees. Like the other top University of California schools, Davis has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and membership in the Association of American Universities.

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UCSB
UCSB. tkramer / Flickr

UCSB has wide-ranging strengths in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering that have earned it membership in the selective Association of American Universities and a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The 1,000-acre campus is also a draw for many students, for the university has miles of beach-front property on the California coast.

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Virginia Tech Stadium
Virginia Tech Stadium. CipherSwarm / Flickr

Established in 1872 as a military institute, Virginia Tech still maintains a corps of cadets and is classified as a senior military college. Virginia Tech's engineering programs typically rank in the top 10 among public universities, and the university also gets high marks for its business and architecture programs. Strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned the school a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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University of Washington
University of Washington. Ken Lund / Flickr

The University of Washington's attractive campus looks off to Portage and Union Bays in one direction and Mount Rainier in another. With over 40,000 students, Washington is the largest university on the West Coast. Washington earned membership in the Association of American Universities for its research strengths, and like most universities on this list, it was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences.

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Enrollment: 40,218 (28,570 undergraduates)
  • Athletics: NCAA Division I Pac 10 Conference
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the Washington profile
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Grove, Allen. "More Top Public Universities in the United States." ThoughtCo, Mar. 17, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-public-universities-788291. Grove, Allen. (2017, March 17). More Top Public Universities in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-public-universities-788291 Grove, Allen. "More Top Public Universities in the United States." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-public-universities-788291 (accessed November 18, 2017).