The Oldest and Newest Universities in the U.S.

If someone asked you to name ten universities in the United States, you probably could. When they ask you about the newest and oldest universities in the US, what would you say? To help you answer that question, here are the first founded universities and the ones that can be considered “babies”.

Oldest Universities

Harvard University, 1636

This university was founded in 1636 and is known to almost every American. A sprawling 210-acre campus named after Harvard, its first benefactor, is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

It is considered an Ivy League university with 11 different faculties. The Ivy League refers to colleges with a high level of selectivity, social elitism, and excellence. It was the school of Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), Barack Obama and George W. Bush (US presidents) and Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook). Although the tuition is expensive, different financial aid packages are available to help students.

The College of William and Mary, 1693

Virginia University was founded in 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II.

After becoming a private university in 1776, it became a public university in 1906. Besides its law and medicine programs, it also offers business, education, and marine science programs. In 1776, its students founded Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest liberal arts and sciences honor society in the country. The U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe attended.

Yale University, 1701

New Haven, Connecticut’s Ivy League private university was founded in 1701 and has 14 constituent schools. Although Yale Corporation governs the whole university, faculties oversee their own curriculum and degree programs. As part of the NCAA Division I Ivy League, Yale students compete with other schools represented by the Yale Bulldogs. A number of important people have studied here, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, and Jodie Foster.

Newest Universities

University of California Merced, 2005

Founded in 2005, it occupies 810 acres of land in San Joaquin Valley, California. Buildings on campus are also LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This university offers 21 undergraduate majors and 22 minors across three schools. The most recent building is the one for science and engineering. Medical and management schools will be added.

Ave Maria University, 2003

Founded in 2013, this Catholic, private university has been operating since 1998. It’s located in Ave Maria, Florida, east of Naples, and offers three graduate degrees and 30 undergraduate degrees. In 2012, it was included on U.S News & World Report’s list of “National Liberal Arts College Rankings”. 

This university was founded by Tom Monaghan. At the beginning of the 1960s, he founded Domino’s Pizza and made his fortune.

Soka University of America, 2001

In Aliso Viejo, California, this liberal arts school emphasizes pacifism, human rights, and the coexistence of nature and humanity. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Studies, Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences, or International Studies, as well as master’s degrees in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. 

The maximum number of students in a class is 12. Additionally, students must be able to speak at least one non-native language. A number of languages are offered by the university, including Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Japanese.

Are you interested in attending a historic school or a brand new one? To see which universities are recommended for you, enter your information into our college match tool!

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