Top Public Universities in USA

6 minute read
Public Universities in USA

The United States is a coveted and preeminent destination when it comes to education. Due to its immense repute in the fields of Technology, Science and Humanities, students from every part of the world dream to pursue their educational journey in the US and aspire to be a part of its internationally accredited universities. The academic institutions in the USA are home to a distinguished faculty and are renowned for excellence in academia, teaching and research leading to many technological advancements and innovations. There are a large number of leading private and public universities in the USA that also have their outstanding presence on a global scale, witnessing a deluge of applications from every nook and corner of the world. This blog brings you a complete list of top public universities in the USA and their offered programs you must explore!

Eligibility Criteria for Top Public Universities in the USA

While applying for admission to any university in the US, you are likely to find different criteria for admissions in each institute. Here, we have listed some of the typical requirements for prospective students:

  • You must have an excellent academic record and educational qualifications equivalent to the prerequisites required for your chosen degree.
  • SAT exams are recognised at a majority of US universities as a prerequisite for undergraduate admissions. Further, for postgraduate degree programs, universities might ask for GMAT or GRE scores depending upon the course.
  • English proficiency scores demonstrate a student’s command of the language. The universities to study in the USA commonly accept scores for exams like TOEFL-IBT, IELTS and PTE (Pearson Test of English). 

Top Public Universities in the USA

If you’re contemplating pursuing your academic career in the US and lack the proper financial resources to secure admission, it becomes important that you apprise yourself about alternative options available in the form of government hosted education. Here is a list of top public universities in the USA, along with their QS rankings:

Public Universities in the USAQS Rankings 2022US News 2022
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor2324
University of California, Berkeley3222
University of California, Los Angeles4020
University of California, San Diego4835
University of Washington – Seattle7258
Georgia Institute of Technology8035
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign8247
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill100227
University of California, Davis11239
Purdue University11153
University of Maryland, College Park15858
Michigan State University15780
University of Florida17330
North Carolina State University30080
University of Utah35897

Let’s explore some of these prominent public universities in the USA in further detail:

Michigan State University

One of the biggest public universities in the USA, Michigan State University is a renowned public research institute. It was established in the year 1855, and soon became a benchmark for various land-grant universities founded later on. MSU originally began as an agriculture university in Michigan. It is the first University in the country that introduced scientific agriculture as a field of study. This university is among the biggest and oldest academic institutions in the United States. It has a spectacular strength of more than 6,30,000 alumni in different parts of the world. MSU offers a huge number of courses in different subject areas, ranging from Literature, Dentistry, Medicine, Engineering & Technology, Nursing, Law Studies, Sciences, Art Programs, Music, Environmental Studies, Theatre and Dance.

Public Universities in the USA: University of Washington

The University of Washington is a public research university par excellence situated in Seattle and established around 1861. Today, the University has many schools of learning in its five-hundred buildings. It boasts the biggest, unmatched and unparalleled network of twenty-six libraries within the university. It has state-of-the-art lecture halls, advanced art studios, sophisticated science laboratories, sports stadiums and seminar halls. The University of Washington provides bachelor, postgraduate, and research programs in its 140 distinguished departments. It witnesses a cut-throat competition of students vying for admission every academic year. Its distinctive programs include American Ethnic Studies, Architectural Studies, Early Childhood and Family Studies, Chemical Engineering, Astrobiology, Physiology and Biophysics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and much more.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a public research institute established in 1817 in Detroit and has emerged as a prominent centre of groundbreaking innovations in Technology. At the heart of the University of Michigan is the world-famous Ross School of Business which offers a host of varied business management courses. Around 5000 students of different regions are enrolled every year in this university. Its alumni list includes the renowned singer Madonna, famous playwright Arthur Miller, former President of United States Gerald Ford and American actress Lucy Liu. Its offers degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning, Literature, Science, Arts, Public Health, Music, Theatre, Public Policy, Pharmacy, Nursing as well as Engineering.

Spring Intake in the USA

Public Universities in the USA: University of California, Davis

Originally established in 1905, the University of California-Davis began as an agricultural institute but later was transformed into a formal campus in the year 1959. With exponential growth over the past many decades it is now offering degrees like Atmospheric Sciences,  Biological Systems Engineering, Integrative Genetics and Genomics, MFA in Dramatic Art, Health Informatics, Business Analytics, Native American Studies and Environmental Policy and Management. The University of California is considered an inclusive research institute and a hotbed of groundbreaking research publications. Its distinguished alumni have been conferred with prestigious awards, like the Nobel Peace Prize, National Medal of Science, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Pulitzer Prizes. Hasan Minhaj, Stephen Robinson, Martin Yan are among its notable alumni.

University of Florida

The University of Florida was founded in the year 1853. The university is located in Gainesville, Florida and offers dual-mode learning programs. You can apply for programs taught online as well as the general on-campus courses. The university has built around 16 top-notch colleges and hosts over 100 institutes for research and doctorate programs. A wide range of graduate degrees offered at the University of Florida encompass STEM courses, Management, Business Administration, Legal Studies, Medicine, Drugs and Pharmacy. Amongst the finest public universities in the USA, its enormous diversity in programs can be gauged by its 123 postgraduate degree courses, more than 70 research areas to choose from. Its students have a distinguished record of winning more than a hundred Olympic medals.

Study in the USA for Indian Students After 12th

Public Universities in the USA for Masters

Students who wish to pursue their postgraduation education in public universities in the USA can choose from various universities. Public universities have much more affordable programs and a variety of courses. Here are a few top public universities in the USA for masters.

  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • The University of Virginia
  • University of California—Santa Barbara
  • University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
  • University of California Irvine (UCI)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Public Universities in the USA for MBA

Being among the most sought-after programs in the USA, studying for an MBA can incur a lot of expenses. Public universities are the best options for students who need affordable and quality management or business programs in the USA. Here are a few top public universities in the USA for MBA.

Cost of Studying in Public Universities

Public universities in the USA are much more affordable and cost-effective as compared to private universities. The average tuition fees of public universities can cost up to $26,290 (INR 19,54,829). Other expenses inclusive of room and board can cost $11,140 (INR 8,28,330). The total cost of studying in public universities in the USA can range between $41,950-$49,950 (INR 31,19,250- 37,14,102). Students must take note that most public universities don’t provide scholarships unless funded by someone.


How many public universities are in the US?

There are 1,625 public four-year and two-year colleges in the USA as of 2019.

Are public universities in the USA free?

Public universities are cheaper compared to private universities with a few of them being absolutely free.

What is the number 1 public university in America?

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is the number 1 public university in America.

What’s the cheapest university in the US?

Indian River State College is the cheapest university in the USA.

We hope this blog helped you explore the best public universities in the USA. Aspiring to study in the USA? Get in touch with our admissions experts at Leverage Edu and we will help you choose the best-matched course and university combination. We will also guide you throughout the admission process to ensure that you send a winning application! Register for a free consultation session with us today!

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