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Ivy League Universities- An Intricately Detailed Guide

In this article we tell you everything you need to know about the prestigious Ivy League Universities.

The term “Ivy League Universities” is quite famous in pop culture references and academic circles. The Ivy League represents the creme de la creme of education for most students. It is a group of 8 prestigious universities located in the Northeast USA. Although many prestigious colleges across the US are at times mistaken to be ivy league institutes, the original 8 Ivy League schools are – Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.

How did this group of universities get the term “Ivy League Universities”? The answer is simple. All 8 colleges were a part of the Ivy League athletic conference which hosted several inter-college sports competitions. In the year 1933, the term was coined by sports journalist Stanley Woodward to describe the football season at these “ivy schools” The athletic conference was given its formal name in the year 1954. 

According to the QS ranking and other university rankings, the Ivy League schools are ranked thus (from highest to lowest average ranking with  Harvard being the first) in the following list of Ivy League schools :-

  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University
  • Brown University
  • Dartmouth College

Read on to know more details about each of these Ivy League schools.

List of Ivy League schools with their descriptions:-

Harvard University

Harvard University is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the USA. It usually ranks first not only in the Ivy League universities but among all the colleges in the US and the world. It has a top-notch educational program, state-of-the-art facilities for education, and expert faculties. It also offers free tuition and scholarships for students in financial need. Biology, Economics, English, History, Psychology, etc. are the popular majors in this university.   

Suggested Read- The Most Prestigious Scholarships In The World 2021 – 22

Columbia University |Ivy League Universities

Columbia University is the second-best of the Ivy League universities and was originally established as King’s College in the year 1753 when it was affiliated with the Church of England. It was rechristened as Columbia University in 1896. It is the fifth oldest university in the USA and the oldest university in New York. It offers a variety of UG and PG programs and was the first university in the US to award an MD degree.

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University of Pennsylvania

UPenn is the third best university of the Ivy League and was founded in the year 1740 in West Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin as a private research university. It is the fourth oldest institute of higher education in the US and offers a variety of world class programs taught by expert faculty,    

Yale University | Ivy League Universities

Yale is the 4th best Ivy League university and the third oldest educational institute in the USA, having been established in the year 1701 by a group of Calvinist missionaries. After the school was moved to New Haven, Connecticut, the institute was given its present name in honour of Welsh merchant Elihu who had provided generous donations to the institution. Over the years, it has produced several successful alumni and gotten a reputation for being a prestigious institution for education. 

Princeton University

Princeton is the 5th best Ivy League school which was founded in 1746 in the town of Elizabeth, US. It was initially named the College of New Jersey. However, later in the year 1896, it was renamed Princeton University. It is a school of great academic excellence and repute and has had 65 Nobel laureates, 2 US Presidents, 12 US Supreme Court justices as its alumni. Albert Einstein had strong ties with the university as he gave frequent guest lectures there. 

Cornell University |Ivy League Universities

Cornell University is the only Ivy League college that was co-educational and non-sectarian since its inception and also the only university that was founded after the American Revolutionary War in 1865. It is one of the only 3 private land grant institutes in the US and the only such college in the city of New York.

Brown University

Brown University is the 7th best Ivy League college and also the seventh-oldest university in the US, having been established in 1764 in Providence, Rhode Island. Brown University is a non-sectarian college and was the first college in the US that accepted students regardless of their religions. It has had 8 Nobel laureates, a Supreme Court Chief Justice and 21 Pulitzer Prize winners as its alumni.

Dartmouth College |Ivy League Universities

Dartmouth, unlike the other Ivies, is a private research university that was established in 1769.  It is the 9th oldest university in the US and is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. It was founded by Eleazar Wheelock. It has a strong network of more than 80,000 alumni around the world in leading professional roles. 

Apart from these 8 original Ivy schools, a number of public universities in the US have been given the term of being public Ivy League schools as they offer a college education level similar to that of the original ivies.  The top public ivy league schools in the US include William & Mary, UC Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, UCLA, and the University of Virginia. They are a good option for those students who are looking for a budget-friendly top-notch US institute.


1. Why is it called the Ivy League?

“Ivy” is used as another name for the Roman numeral IV. It is thought that the league originally consisted of four (IV) members, hence the reading of IV (Ivy) League.

2. Why is Stanford not an Ivy League?

Academically, schools like Stanford, MIT, and the University of Chicago frequently outperform Ivies. But they aren’t Ivy League colleges in the strictest sense because they participate in different athletic conferences.

3. How many universities are in the Ivy League?

The most sought-after colleges and universities in the nation and the world are those in the Ivy League. These eight private colleges in the Northeastern United States are renowned for their rigorous admissions standards, academic brilliance, and good employment prospects for graduates.

We hope you enjoyed this blog on Ivy League universities. To know more about related fields, do check out our other blogs. 

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In this article we tell you everything you need to know about the prestigious Ivy League Universities.

Ivy League Universities- An Intricately Detailed Guide