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Higher Education in the New England States

Tucked into the northeast corner of the United States, New England has long been heralded as a global center of higher education. Some of America’s oldest colleges and universities are here and new research opportunities are popping up everyday. And with the energetic city of Boston in the middle of it all, it’s hard to find an area so alive and yet so communal as New England.

The six New England states—Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont—are home to more than 270 colleges and universities, including world-renowned schools like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. Students from all over the globe are represented on these campuses and others around the region.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts features a wealth of private universities, including Harvard, MIT and Tufts, as well as famed liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Williams, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, and Smith. The cultural hub of Boston is accessible to all of these schools, making the Bay State a premier destination for higher education.

Harvard, for example, is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and among the most prestigious. Students and scholars from more than 80 countries flock to Harvard for its excellence as a learning center and research environment. While there, many fall in love with the hip eccentricities of Harvard Square—America’s quintessential college community.

MIT is synonymous with high technology, attracting past and future Nobel Prize scientists.

If your passion lies in a conservatory rather than a lab, consider Berklee College of Music. Berklee was founded on the idea that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of its contemporary form, and since the campus is located in the heart of Boston’s cultural scene, the environment is ideal. Among Berklee’s accolades, the school is known for its global diversity, with one third of the student body coming from outside the United States.

Along with the distinguished private campuses in Massachusetts, the public University of Massachusetts–Amherst draws students from over 70 countries, all of whom take advantage of the intelligence, curiosity, and diversity that make up the university’s community.

Connecticut

What Harvard is to Massachusetts, Yale is to Connecticut: a first-rate university, rich in tradition and history, but thriving in the 21st century as a world-leader in education and research. Yale lies in the historic city of New Haven, Connecticut—just 120 kilometers from New York City and 200 kilometers from Boston.

Just to the north in Storrs, Connecticut, you can find the flagship campus of the University of Connecticut (UConn), another of New England’s top public universities. UConn is the only public university in New England with its own schools of law, social work, medicine, and dentistry.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to Brown University, a private liberal arts and sciences school located in Providence, New England’s second largest city. Brown is recognized as an open and friendly environment, while maintaining a position as one of the top schools in the United States. Brown students take part in international film festivals, ethnic dinners, cultural shows, lectures by international leaders and more, making the school a front-runner of international diversity.

Adjacent to Brown among the handsome brick mansions of Providence you can find an education that focuses on the visual as much as the intellectual at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD is New England’s leading private college of art. In recent years, RISD’s foreign enrollment has skyrocketed—15% of RISD’s student body is made up of students from all over the world.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) became one of the nation’s first four Sea Grant universities in 1971 and quickly made its presence felt in marine sciences and fisheries. Now, URI pursues state-of-the-art research and training programs for newer industries such as biotech.

Maine

At the very tip of New England you will find Maine, home to a state university that is making leaps and bounds in terms of research and education. The University of Maine combines world-class faculty, nationally recognized research and first-rate facilities, with easy access to some of the United States’ most exquisite natural sites. To help those students from around the globe, The University of Maine’s International Student Association brings students from countries worldwide together as a community within a community on the campus.

Maine is also home to three world-famous private liberal arts colleges: Colby College, Bates College, and Bowdoin College. These colleges have strong global diversity in their student bodies and emphasize the importance of world citizenship in their curricula. Meanwhile, Maine’s College of the Atlantic offers hands-on ecology programs in opulent Bar Harbor astride a beautiful rugged coastline.

New Hampshire

Much like Maine, New Hampshire is a state rich in outdoor appeal. The University of New Hampshire (UNH), located in Durham, is just an hour away from the White Mountains and the Northeast’s highest peak, Mt. Washington. But proximity to nature isn’t all UNH has to boast about; the university is made up of dozens of academic departments, interdisciplinary institutes, and research centers that attract students and faculty from around the world. 

Also in New Hampshire, Dartmouth is a private, Ivy League university committed to close teacher-student relationships and maintaining a highly personal learning environment. Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth has a beautiful 269-acre campus, nine libraries, an art museum, and many other features that set the college apart both esthetically and culturally. Dartmouth also features a major engineering college, business school, and medical center.

Vermont

The University of Vermont (UVM), located in Burlington—a small but vibrant city and just a short ride from Montreal—is a welcoming and rewarding place to get an education. The campus and surrounding environment combine the natural beauty of the mountains and Lake Champlain with the exciting atmosphere of the city. As an institution for higher learning, UVM stands out as having the closeness and charm of a smaller college, while maintaining itself as a major research institution.

Middlebury College, a liberal arts school in west-central Vermont, holds its own as a much smaller school with a big vision. Middlebury prides itself on its international focus. On the campus, students learn about their own traditions and embrace those of others. This international flavor is so important to Middlebury that every summer the campus hosts an institution devoted to the study of foreign languages and cultures. This language institute has been part of the college’s tradition since 1915.

The picturesque mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, the stunning coastline of Maine, the booming city life of Massachusetts, and the cultural richness of Connecticut and Rhode Island are all great reasons to come to New England. Here, you can ski, hike, dine, shop, and simply bask in the fresh air of a truly multifaceted region. And as a place for higher education, you can do all that while gaining academic and life experiences that will shape your future no matter how far you have come from or how far you will go.