Resources › For Students and Parents Big Ten Conference Big Sports and Big Research Define the Universities in the Big Ten Share Flipboard Email Print For Students and Parents College Admissions Choosing A College College Admissions Process College Profiles College Rankings Application Tips Essay Samples & Tips Testing Graphs College Financial Aid Extracurricular Activities Advanced Placement Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Life Graduate School Business School Law School Distance Learning View More By Allen Grove College Admissions Expert Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Allen Grove Updated February 27, 2020 The members of Big Ten Conference can brag about more than athletics. These schools are all members of the Association of American Universities, schools distinguished by their excellence in research and teaching. Each also has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Several of these universities make the lists of top public universities, top business schools, and top engineering schools. The Big Ten is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA's Division I. Learn more quick facts about the Big Ten schools, and see what it takes to get in by looking at the Big Ten SAT comparison table and ACT comparison table. Illinois (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) University of Illinois Research Park/Wikimedia Commons The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign consistently ranks among the top public universities in the country. Its science and engineering programs are especially strong, and its library is outdone only by the Ivy League. Enrollment: 49,702 (33,915 undergraduates)Team: Fighting IlliniFor admission data, see the University of Illinois profile. Indiana University at Bloomington Nyttend/Wikimedia Commons The flagship campus of Indiana's state university system, Indiana University at Bloomington has an impressive 2,000-acre park-like campus whose buildings are often constructed from local limestone. Enrollment: 43,503 (33,301 undergraduates)Team: HoosiersFor admission data, see the Indiana University profile. Iowa (University of Iowa at Iowa City) Vkulikov/Wikimedia Commons Located in Iowa City, the University of Iowa, like many schools on this list, has some top-notch academic programs to complement its impressive athletic teams. Nursing, creative writing, and art are all winners, to name just a few. Enrollment: 31,656 (23,989 undergraduates)Team: HawkeyesFor admission data, see the University of Iowa profile. Maryland (University of Maryland at College Park) G Fiume/Getty Images Another highly-ranked public university, the University of Maryland at College Park is the flagship campus of Maryland's state university system. College Park is an easy Metro ride into Washington, D.C., and the university has benefited from numerous research partnerships with the federal government. Enrollment: 41,200 (30,762 undergraduates)Team: TerrapinsFor admissions data, see the University of Maryland profile Michigan (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor) AndrewHorne/goodfreephotos.com Academically, the University of Michigan is one of the strongest public universities in the country. On national rankings, Michigan is usually right up there with Berkeley, Virginia, and UCLA. For pre-professionals, Michigan scores big in both business and engineering. The school's home in Ann Arbor places it in one of the country's best college towns. Enrollment: 46,716 (30,318 undergraduates)Team: WolverinesFor admission data, see the University of Michigan profile. Michigan State University at East Lansing Mark Cunningham/Getty Images Michigan State has a massive 5,200-acre campus in East Lansing, Michigan. With over 50,000 students and close to 700 buildings, Michigan State is a small city unto itself. It may not be a surprise, then, that they have the largest study abroad program in the country. Enrollment: 50,351 (39,423 undergraduates)Team: SpartansFor admission data, see the Michigan State profile. Minnesota (University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and Saint Paul) Raymond Boyd/Getty Images With over 51,000 students, the University of Minnesota is the fourth largest university in the country. Strong academic programs include economics, the sciences, and engineering, and its location in the Twin Cities provides plenty of internship opportunities. Enrollment: 50,734 (34,437 undergraduates)Team: Golden GophersFor admission data, see the University of Minnesota profile. Nebraska (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) Joe Robbins/Getty Images The University of Nebraska at Lincoln consistently ranks among the top 50 public universities in the country. The university features excellent research facilities and strengths in fields ranging from business to English. The city of Lincoln can boast of a high quality of living and an extensive trail and park system. Enrollment: 25,820 (20,830 undergraduates)Team: CornhuskersFor admission data, see the University of Nebraska profile. Northwestern University Madcoverboy/Wikimedia Commons Northwestern University has the distinction of being the only private university in the Big Ten Conference, so you can expect a significantly higher price tag. Nevertheless, students who qualify for financial aid can expect substantial grant aid, and on the academic front, the university has impressive strengths across disciplines, from English to Engineering. The school's lakefront location in Evanston, Illinois, gives students easy access to Chicago. Enrollment: 22,127 (8,642 undergraduates)Team: WildcatsFor admission data, see the Northwestern University profile. Ohio State University at Columbus Michael010380/goodfreephotos.com The Ohio State University is one of the largest universities in the country, so it's fitting that they have a stadium that can seat 102,000. The university typically ranks among the top 20 public universities in the country, and its programs in law, business, and political science are particularly noteworthy. OSU's attractive campus is located in the state's largest city, Columbus. Enrollment: 61,170 (46,820 undergraduates)Team: BuckeyesFor admission data, see the Ohio State profile. Penn State University at University Park Rob Carr/Getty Images Penn State is the flagship campus of Pennsylvania's state university system, and it is also by far the largest. Like several of the big universities on this list, Penn State has strong programs in business and engineering. Enrollment: 46,810 (40,363 undergraduates)Teams: Nittany Lions and Lady LionsFor admission data, see the Penn State profile. Purdue University at West Lafayette Michael Hickey/Getty Images Purdue University in West Lafayette is the main campus of the Purdue University System in Indiana. With over 200 academic programs for undergraduates, Purdue offers something for nearly everybody. Chicago is 65 miles away. Enrollment: 44,474 (33,735 undergraduates)Team: BoilermakersFor admission data, see the Purdue University profile. Rutgers University Tomwsulcer/Wikimedia Commons Rutgers University in New Brunswick is the largest of the three State University of New Jersey campuses. The university does well in national rankings of public universities, and students have easy train access to both New York City and Philadelphia. Enrollment: 50,254 (36,039 undergraduates)Team: Scarlet KnightsFor admission data, see the Rutgers University profile. Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin at Madison) Mike McGinnis/Getty Images The University of Wisconsin's main campus in Madison frequently ranks among the top ten public universities in the country, and it is well respected for the amount and quality of research conducted in its nearly 100 research centers. But students also know how to play. The university frequents lists of top party schools. Enrollment: 43,463 (31,705 undergraduates)Team: BadgersFor admission data, see the University of Wisconsin profile.