The state of Massachusetts is located in the northeastern United States. It is one of the oldest states, as one of the original 13 colonies. Massachusetts is the most populated state in New England. Over 80% of the state’s population is concentrated in the city of Boston. Massachusetts shares borders with Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts, with an area of over 10,500 square miles, is home to some of the world’s finest institutions of higher education, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
For the sake of this list , a “college” is considered any accredited public or private not-for-profit institution that offers four-year degree programs. Campus crime stats, graduation rates, and student retention rates were taken from U.S. Department of Education annual reports. Campus crime rates are based on the number of crimes per 1,000 residents.
#1 Northpoint Bible College
Northpoint Bible College is located in Haverhill Massachusetts. The Zion Bible College promotes the expansion of the Christian gospel and education of Pentecostal ministry. The student body is small, enrolling approximately 400 students each year. Students major in biblical studies, as well as a second major within the ministry discipline. Students participate in Chapel, as well as a program known as SPICE, which encourages student participation in maintaining the school grounds and facilities.
#2 Eastern Nazarene College
Located within 8 miles of Boston, Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) is nestled in Quincy, Massachusetts just blocks from the ocean. ENC is a Christian coeducational liberal arts institution with over 50 majors. The college celebrates serving a highly diverse student population of over 1,000. Some of the most popular majors are business/marketing, education and the sciences. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available.
#3 Regis College
The Catholic institution known as Regis College is situated in Weston, Massachusetts, 12 miles from Boston. Recently, in 2007, Regis became a coeducational school. Undergraduates and graduates make up a total student body of approximately 2,000. The school offers a number of opportunities to study and serve abroad, as well as participate in student teaching stateside. More than 39 areas of study are available to all students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts.
#4 Bay Path University
Bay Path University, formerly known as Bay Path College, is set in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. A body of students, totaling 2,300, have the option to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees, either on campus or online. Bay Path belongs to the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, of which there are eight. The undergraduate programs are majority female and focus on women’s education; the graduate level programs are coeducational. Extracurriculars include athletics and a women’s leadership conference.
#5 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, or MCPHS, are located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston’s Back Bay. The institution offers traditional as well as non-traditional and accelerated programs, all with an emphasis on hands-on training. Two additional campuses are now located in Worcester, Massachusetts and Manchester, Massachusetts. Schools of study include the School of Occupational Therapy, Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene, School of Nursing, School of Optometry, and the School of Physical Therapy, among others. MCPHS in a member of the Colleges of the Fenway, which includes shared research, medical, and dining facilities between campuses.
#6 School of the Museum of Fine Arts
Operating under Tufts University, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts is located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. The school has an affiliation with the nearby Museum of Fine Arts. It also belongs to the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, including member colleges across the country. There are approximately 300 undergraduate and 150 postgraduate students each year. In addition, the school belongs to the Professional Arts Consortium, and other arts programs within the city which allow students to earn credit at affiliated Boston colleges. Famous alumni include sculptors, musicians, photographers, and graphic designers.
#7 The Boston Conservatory
Students attend the Boston Conservatory in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston to pursue degrees and careers in music, dance, and theater. Programs include Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Music. In addition to collegiate level courses, the conservatory conducts outreach programs in the city and provides intensive programs for high school students in dance, brass, choral, musical theater, horn, and music composition. About 750 students attend the school each year.
#8 Wellesley College
Located west of Boston in the city of Wellesley, Wellesley College is an all-women’s liberal arts college. It is one of the Seven Sisters Colleges. Nearly 2,500 undergraduate students attend the school each year. In addition to 56 major choices, students are also given the option of cross-registering at MIT, Brandeis, Babson College and Olin College. Wellesley has consistently ranked high in terms of academics among national publications and university reviews.
#9 Cambridge College
Situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge College specializes in adult education. About 7,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students attend the school each year. Common majors include health care management, psychology, education, counseling, and human services. Master’s programs include Master of Education and Master of Education in Counseling Psychology.
#10 University of Massachusetts-Boston
The University of Massachusetts-Boston, or UMass, is a public school and one of the largest in the University of Massachusetts system. UMass is situated in Columbia Point, on the southern edge of the Boston metropolitan area. Undergraduate and graduate students make up a total student body of over 16,500. Most are residents from the state, although there are students that come from out of state and around the world. UMass belongs to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Academic institutions on campus include the Institute for Survey Research, Center for Social Development and Education, and the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences. Students can become involved in NCAA Division III athletics, as well as student publications and student government.
#11 Stonehill College
Located in Easton Massachusetts (20 km from Boston) is the liberal arts institution known as Stonehill College. Approximately 2,500 undergraduates attend the school each year. Students choose from 38 major programs and 45 minor programs. Staff encourages students to become involved in study abroad, internships, and extracurricular research. In addition to NCAA Division II athletics, students can contribute to a variety of campus media outlets.
#12 Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke College is a Seven Sisters college, of which it was also the founding member. The institution is a liberal arts college set in South Hadley. It’s an all-women college of over 2,000 students. The school has consistently ranked high for its bachelor’s programs as well as Fulbright scholarship recipients. Students choose from 50 majors, and most often pursue a Bachelor of Arts. The campus is extensive, including 17 residence halls since most student live on campus. Mount Holyoke encourages students to become involved in study abroad and other academic and extracurricular opportunities.
#13 Simmons College
The private women’s institution, Simmons College, educates undergraduate and graduation students in the city of Boston. There are a total of approximately 2,000 undergraduate women, and nearly 3,000 graduate men and women. Academics are focused in concentrations such as the School of Social Work, the School of Management, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the School of Library and Information Sciences. Simmons students can play in NCAA Division III athletics. The school is also committed to sustainability efforts.
#14 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Among the country’s first engineering and technology educational institutions, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Undergraduate and graduate students, a total of approximately 6,000, choose from over 50 majors across 14 departments. Common areas of study include engineering, social sciences, technology, and humanities and the arts. Campus provides a tranquil respite among its larger urban setting.
#15 College of Our Lady of the Elms
The Catholic liberal arts college, College or Our Lady of the Elms, or more simply, Elms College, is located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The study body is a small makeup of approximately 1,200 undergraduates. Students choose from 33 majors within the departments of natural sciences, fine arts, mathematics, humanities, communication sciences and disorders, and more. Incoming freshman are welcomed in each year with Elms Night, a passing of the torch more or less from upperclassmen to the new arrivals.
#16 Harvard University
Legendary Harvard University is located in Cambridge Massachusetts, across the river from downtown Boston. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States since 1636, and over the years has maintained its reputation of academic excellence. While most of the present-day residence and academic buildings are located in Cambridge, Harvard also includes facilities in northwest Boston, including in Allston and Longwood Medical Area. Harvard is renowned for its work as a research institution. Although tuition costs are high, generous endowment funds allow students significant scholarship opportunities. Harvard boasts alumni including billionaires, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, and Nobel laureates. Harvard hosts NCAA Division I athletics, including football, crew, and hockey.
#17 Endicott College
Situated in Beverly, Massachusetts, Endicott College is a private coeducational college. Undergraduate and graduate students total over 5,000. The school’s campus includes many historic buildings as well as modern facilities like Reynolds Hall, Diane M. Halle Library, and Walter J.Manninen Center for the Arts. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree choose from 23 programs and an additional 27 minors. Outside of academics, students can get involved in more than 60 extracurricular activities.
#18 Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts is home to Smith College, a private women’s liberal arts college. Smith College belongs to the Five Colleges consortium, including Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students are able to attend any of these partner institutions for transferable academic credit. There are nearly 3,000 students at Smith College, including undergraduate and graduate students. Campus is comprised of academic, residential, and athletic facilities. Smith has also made strides to expand it LGBTQ outreach across campus.
#19 Boston College
Boston College is a Jesuit Catholic school–and ironically, neither located in Boston proper nor strictly a college. BC is located in Chestnut Hill (although still accessible to the city of Boston via the metro) and technically a university. The school enrolls over 9,000 full-time undergraduates and more than 5,000 graduate students. BC has a long-held reputation in the Boston area, with its original campus in Boston’s South End. It boasts many alumni as recipients of Fulbright scholarships. In addition to its rigorous academics, BC offers students options to participate in Division I athletics, student-run newspapers and radios as well as diversity groups, like AHANA (African-America, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent).
#20 Babson College
Babson College is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts and is home to nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students study from a choice of 25 areas of concentration. Master’s degree programs include finance, accounting, entrepreneurial leadership, and management. Babson boasts a unique study abroad experience, which is offered to juniors and seniors in the countries of Russia, China, and India. Greek Life is an important part of student life, as are student publications and athletics.
#21 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Famously known as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private school located in Cambridge, across the Charles River from downtown Boston. Academics have always focused on applied sciences and engineering. Research began as efforts to support World War II and the Cold War. Today, students pursue studies in the physical sciences and engineering and more recently biology, linguistics, and economics. MIT is known all over the world for its rigorous programs and notable alumni, including Nobel laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, and Rhodes Scholars. MIT is home to powerful equipment and facilities, including a pressurized wind tunnel and nuclear reactor.
#22 Brandeis University
Brandeis University of Waltham, Massachusetts was originally founded as a Jewish community co-educational school in 1948. Today, the school enrolls nearly 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Students elect their area of study from 43 majors and 46 minors. Brandeis belongs to the Association of American Universities and the Boston Consortium, which allows students to dual enroll in similar accredited universities such as Boston College, Boston University, and Tufts University. Brandeis is home to the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism as well as Women’s Studies Research Center.
#23 Massachusetts College of Art & Design
The Massachusetts College of Art & Design, or MassArt, is located in the Longwood Medical area of Boston, neighboring Fenway-Kenmore and Back Bay neighborhoods. MassArt is one of the oldest art schools in the countries since its founding in 1873. Nearly 2,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students attend the school each year. The school belongs to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the National Association of School of Art and Design, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and the Colleges of the Fenway. Common major concentrations include Fine Arts (2D), Fine Arts (3D), Communication Design, Media and Performing Arts, and Arts Education. The school is easily accessible via metro transportation.
#24 Anna Maria College
The liberal arts college Anna Maria College is located in Paxton, Massachusetts. Undergradutes total 1,100 students, and postgraduates include about 300 students. Campus is in a rural setting on 190 acres. Academically, students can choose between 35 undergraduate programs and 21 graduate programs. Common areas of study include Art Therapy, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Paramedic Science, and Psychology. Anna Maria belongs to NCAA Division III athletics, including football, cross country, field hockey, and softball, among others.
#25 Amherst College
Situated in Amherst, Massachusetts, Amherst College is a private liberal arts college home to 1,800 undergraduates. Students choose from 38 major options, and are not required to take a preliminary set of core curriculum classes. The school maintains a 13.7% acceptance rate. Amherst students can compete in Division III athletics. Other student organizations include cultural and religious groups, student publications, and performing arts groups.
#26 Montserrat College of Art
Beverly, Massachusetts is home to the Montserrat College of Art, a four-year residential school with an emphasis on the visual arts. About 400 students enroll in the school each year. Originally founded by the North Shore Community Arts Foundation, campus is grounded in a suburban setting. Degree programs include interactive media, graphic design, printmaking, sculpture, and creative writing.
#27 Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music is set in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. It’s considered the largest independent school of contemporary music, and enrolls nearly 5,500 students each year. Areas of music study include rocks, hip hop, flamenco, reggae, salsa and bluegrass. As of 2012, Berklee also operates a campus in Valencia, Spain at the renowned Parque de Arte y Ciencias. Future plans have been made to combine the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, to create “Berklee”. Berklee belongs to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Graduate programs include Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Master of Music in Contemporary Performance.
#28 Tufts University
Located in Medford, Massachusetts, Tufts University is a private research institution. Each year the school welcomes over 10,000 undergraduate students. Tufts is broken down into two schools, made up of two undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs. Tufts puts an emphasis on a global perspective and encourages students to study abroad. Athletics are based in the New England Small College Athletics Conference.
#29 Emmanuel College-Massachusetts
Emmanuel College of Massachusetts, or EC, was the first Catholic college exclusively for women in New England. As of 2001, Emmanuel now admits men and women to the school. The total student body is composed on 2,500 students, including undergraduate and graduate. EC also belongs to the Colleges of the Fenway. Emmanuel is located in the Longwood Medical District within the Fenway region of Boston. Students can choose between 50 majors, minors, and concentrations. Most students participate in a for-credit internship before graduation.
#30 Wheaton College-Massachusetts
Wheaton College is located in Norton, Massachusetts, meaning its roughly equal distance between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. About 1,600 students attend the school each year. The school’s liberal arts focus allows students to choose between 36 majors and 50 minors. Common areas of study include physics, computer science, theater, English, and economics. Wheaton has recently undergone renovations to expand its arts programs. Athletic teams play for NCAA Division III.
#31 Wheelock College
Wheelock College of Boston was founded in 1888. Today, students totaling roughly 1,000 undergraduates and graduates choose between programs in education, social work, and arts & sciences. Wheelock belongs to Colleges of the Fenway as well as the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. The school’s NCAA Division III athletics include five varsity men’s teams and six varsity women’s teams.
#32 Wentworth Institute of Technology
The co-educational college, Wentworth Institute of Technology, is located in Boston. Studies specialize in technical design and engineering. Students, totaling over 3,500 choose between studies such as architecture, computer science, engineering technology, and management. Campus is made up of the expansive Wentworth Quad as well as several residential and academic buildings. Wentworth is easily accessible to downtown Boston via the MBTA Green Line. Extracurricular activities include student government, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Student Association of Interior Designers.
#33 Suffolk University
Suffolk University is a private school located in the heart of downtown Boston, across from the Boston Common and into parts of Beacon Hill. Each year just over 10,000 students are admitted. The schools also includes Suffolk University Law School and the College of Arts & Sciences. Sawyer Business School hones in on a global educations and admits students from around the world. Student life includes Black Student Union, Latinos on the Move, Student Leadership and Involvement and Environmental Club, among dozens of others.
#34 Boston University
Boston University, or BU, is a private university that stretches along the Charles River and includes several MBTA stops along the Green Line. Nearly 32,500 attend the university, including approximately half undergraduate and half graduate students. BU boasts many notable alumni, such as Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipients. Besides the Boston headquarters, additional campuses are located in Los Angeles, Paris, Washington DC, and Sydney. There are 18 schools including School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Medicine, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Student life includes working for student publications and participating at and with the Community Service Center.
#35 Salem State University
Located in Salem, Massachusetts, Salem State University is a four-year public school. Each year just under 10,000 students are admitted. Degrees include bachelor’s and master’s programs in the Arts and Sciences, Master of Business Administration, and Post Masters Certificates. Campus includes a North, Central, and South Campus, including the Richard O’Keefe Athletic Center and Cat Cove Maritime Facility. Salem belongs to Division III athletics.
#36 Worcester State University
The liberal arts and sciences school, Worcester State University admits 5,500 undergraduates and 800 postgraduates each year. Campus area of interest include the Ghosh Science and Technology Center, the Learning Resource Center, Wellness Center, and the May Street Building and Auditorium. Worcester State belongs to Division III athletics including dozens of men’s, women’s, and co-ed teams.
#37 University of Massachusetts-Lowell
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a public research school with approximately 17,500 students. Students can choose between 122 bachelor’s, 43 master’s, and 36 doctoral programs. Schools include the College of Health Sciences, the Francis College of Engineering, and the Manning School of Business, among others. Student activities include Student Government Association, Greek Council, Off-Broadway Players, and the UMass Lowell Connector (student newspaper).
#38 Framingham State University
Framingham State University, or FSU, is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, 20 miles from Boston. There are about 6,500 students who attend the school, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Areas of study include art, biology, and communication arts. FSU is committed to a campus of sustainability. Students at FSU can participate in athletics as well as student radio, gaming club, Black Student Union, and the Catholic Newman Association.
#39 Bentley University
Situated in Waltham, Massachusetts, Bentley University is home to about 5,500 students, of which about a fourth are postgraduates. Academics includes degrees in science, business, bachelor of arts, and science disciplines. Students can compete in NCAA Division II athletics as well as campus media and Greek Life.
#40 Western New England University
Western New England University is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Nearly 4,000 students including undergraduate and graduates attend schools such as the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, the School of Law, and the College of Pharmacy. Undergraduates choose from 50 majors across a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration concentration. Student life includes Greek Life, athletics, student radio and campus ministry.
#41 Becker College
Becker College, split between campuses in Worcester and Leicester is located in Central Massachusetts. More than 40 undergraduate degree programs are available to the school’s 2,000 students. Popular programs include nursing, veterinary science, and video game design. Campus stretches across historically significant places and both campuses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students participate in clubs, civic service, creative expression and Division III NCAA athletics.
#42 College of the Holy Cross
College of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic school for undergraduates located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Holy Cross is among the oldest catholic colleges in the country. Today, almost 3,000 students come to the school each year to pursue a liberal arts degree. The school belongs to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities as well as NCAA athletics.
#43 Northeastern University
Known also as NU, Northeastern University is situated in Boston, near the Longwood Medical Center area southwest of the Back Bay. Additional campus facilities are located in Fenway-Kenmore, Roxbury, and the South End. There are additional satellite campuses across the country and in Toronto, Canada. Students at Northeastern participate in a cooperative education, meaning the average student will attend the school for five year, including at least a year of professional work within their area of study. NU belongs to Division I athletics. Basketball, hockey, and rowing are especially popular. Almost 25,000 undergraduate and graduates attend the school each year.
#44 Assumption College
The liberal arts and Roman Catholic school called Assumption College is situated in Worcester, Massachusetts. Over 2,000 undergraduates attend the school each year to pursue a Bachelor of Arts. Degrees in Master of Arts, Masters of Business Administration, and Associate’s degrees are also available. Students are encouraged to become involved in student publications, athletics, and other extracurricular student organizations.
#45 Emerson College
Emerson College is located in downtown Boston, situated across from the Boston Common and in parts of the theatre district. Emerson’s mission is to bring “innovation and communication to the arts.” Students choose from degree programs focused in the arts and communication, such as film, performing arts, journalism, communication disorders, and creative writing. The school owns several downtown theaters, including the Cutler Majestic and Paramount Theater. Students of just over 4,000 undergraduates and graduates are encouraged to gain real-life work experience through internships and work study programs. Notable alumni have gone on to star on television shows, write for television shows, become well-regarded in the publishing world,etc. The school maintains additional campuses in Los Angeles and Well, Netherlands.
#46 Clark University
The private school of Clark University in located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Approximately 3,400 students, undergrad and graduates, attend the school each year. Common majors, of which there are 32, include studies like the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Additional programs include geography, physics, and biology. Students are encouraged to study abroad in one of 34 different countries.
#47 Lasell College
Newton, Massachusetts is home to Lasell College. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are granted, with a focus on either the liberal arts of professional fields. About 1,800 student total attend the school. The school hosts a popular Fashion Program, where students pursue degrees in Fashion Communication and Promotion and Fashion Retail & Merchandising. Students can also be a parts of athletics, student media, and multicultural clubs.
#48 Curry College
Set in Milton, Massachusetts, Curry College is a private liberal arts school. There are 2,100 traditional undergraduate students, 1,600 on-traditional students, and an additional 1,000 postgraduate students. Undergraduate students choose from 22 majors and between 4 programs for those pursuing a Master’s. Main campus is 7 miles from Boston. An additional campus is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Students can participate in over 30 extracurricular clubs including student government and athletics.
#49 Springfield College-Massachusetts
The private, co-education institution of Springfield College is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Undergraduate and graduate students total approximately 5,000. Students can choose between 40 majors, from five different colleges. The School of Professional and Continuing Studies includes campus locations across the country. Student athletes participate in Division II athletics.
#50 Westfield State University
Westfield, Massachusetts hosts Westfield State University, a four-year public institution. The total number of students enrolled equals about 5,500. Westfield is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Students choose between degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Master of Education, to name only a few. Students can also strive to belong to the Honors Program. As a part of the Urban Education Program, Westfield hopes to attract the most diverse study body possible.