List of Ivy League Schools

Puzzled about what is Ivy League and what is special about it? Learn the list of schools in Ivy League, their history and more.

TCM Staff

7th August 2020

What is the Ivy League?

The term Ivy League is used to refer to the athletic conference that was created by eight highly esteemed private universities in the Northeastern United States. After the formation of the NCAA athletic division conference in 1954, the term Ivy League became so professional that the term is also used to refer to the academic excellence, acceptance rate, highly selective admission process, and the social elitism of those universities.

You may read: Demographics of the Ivy League

History of Ivy League Schools

Despite the fact that Ivy League schools are extremely esteemed and prestigious for their acceptance rate, academic excellence, and social elitism as aforementioned, it originally started with the sports and athletics sector.

The Ivy group was formed in the year of 1950 as the Ivy group, but the colleges had their existence far back to the 16th century when the Harward University was formed in 1636 as New College, Yale University was formed in 1702. The University of Pennsylvania was formed in 1740 as a charity school. And in 1746 Princeton University was formed in New Jersey as the College of New Jersey, followed by that the church of England formed the Columbia University in 1754 as king’s college, and the Brown University was formed in 1764 as the college in the English colony of Rhode Island and finally Dartmouth college in 1769 and Cornell University in 1865 was established.

Though the Ivy group was formed inn1950s itself, the term Ivy league was coined later in 1954, shortly after the NCAA athletic conference Divison was formed. In the period of 1950s basketball was considered as the sport with high prestige in the realm of sports. So even though the Ivy League was a group of elite schools, there were rivalries and disputes within and outside the league like Cornell and Harvard University had hockey rivals, likewise, Harvard and Penn had football rivals along with that Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania have been basketball rivals for a long time, these college’s sports and athletics became so famous that they even used to play games in new york city, where the people can spectate by getting tickets, the colleges made a good amount of revenue from the ticket sales. These colleges not only had rivalries in sports but also in terms of academics.

Apart from the rivals and disputes within each Ivy League college, they have also played an important role in the cultural impacts and they have made their own achievements.which made them more famous and lead them to become some of the prestigious colleges in the world.

List of Ivy League schools.

The complete list of Ivy League schools are mentioned below

Brown University

Brown University is a private research institution, embraces an open curriculum to allow students to design a personalized course of study while becoming creative thinkers and intellectual risk-takers.  Its highly competitive program in liberal medical education allows students to complete an undergraduate degree and a medical degree in a single eight-year program. Six libraries specialize in subjects such as the sciences and music. The Brown University Library holds more than 250 special collections, each home to rare primary research materials. Undergraduates have more than 500 clubs and organizations to choose from, and all first-year students live on campus.

Columbia University

Columbia University is located on the Upper Westside of Manhattan and is the oldest institution of state New York.  The university is made up of three undergraduate schools: Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies. Highly ranked graduate and professional schools include the business and law schools, the Teachers College, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.  The university emphasizes research and teaching on global issues to create cross-cultural academic relationships. Columbia has nine global centers that create opportunities in research, scholarship, teaching, and service around the world. Students can access many academic resources on campus, including 22 libraries; more than 200 research institutes, centers, and laboratories; thousands of internships offered through the Center for Career Education; and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

Cornell University

 Founded in 1865 and the youngest Ivy League school, Cornell University has a mission to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, to produce creative work, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community. Each of Cornell’s seven undergraduate colleges and schools admits its own students and provides its own faculty, even though every graduate receives a degree from Cornell University. Cornell’s two largest undergraduate colleges are the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Graduate schools include the highly ranked Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Weill Cornell Medical College, College of Engineering, and Law School. Cornell is also known for its top-ranked College of Veterinary Medicine and esteemed School of Hotel Administration. Cornell offers more than 100 fields of study and has campuses in Ithaca, New York; New York City; Geneva, New York; and Doha, Qatar.

Dartmouth University

Dartmouth College is the birthplace of the programming language BASIC, which gave way to other computing innovations. The college includes the highly ranked Tuck School of Business, which houses the world’s first graduate school of management, as well as Thayer School of Engineering and Geisel School of Medicine. Dartmouth established one of the first Native American programs in the country to begin actively recruiting students and has more Native American graduates among its alumni than any other Ivy League institution. The college has more than 50 research-focused centers, institutes, and groups in areas ranging from medicine and the arts to engineering and business. With a 7-to-1 student-faculty ratio and more than 60% of classes with fewer than 20 students, Dartmouth allows students to learn in an intimate setting. More than 50% of students study through off-campus programs for an immersive, global, and hands-on education that doesn’t interrupt their academic plan. The college is also ranked No. 2 in our Best Colleges for Veterans ranking.

Harvard University

Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education established in 1636 and is one of the most selective schools of the Ivy League. The university got 2nd rank in our National Universities ranking. Harvard includes the top-ranked U.S. medical school and highly ranked business, graduate education, engineering, and law schools, as well as the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Students can access more than 445 extracurricular, co-curricular, and athletic organizations, in addition to academics.

Princeton University

Princeton University is a private institution that was founded in 1746.  University is established 270 years ago. It is located in New Jersey and it is the fourth-oldest college in the country. Princeton University is ranked 1 in the 2020 edition of Best College and University. Princeton offers the best academic resources, from specialized libraries to state-of-the-art laboratories and an art museum on campus. The most demanded majors at Princeton University include social sciences; engineering; computer and information sciences and support services; biological and biomedical sciences; and public administration and social service professions. University has some notable alumni which include past U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, Olympic medalists, and Nobel Prize, winners.

University of Pennsylvania

Founded in part by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania offers a mixture of world-class liberal arts coursework and pre-professional education. Penn has the most international students of all the Ivy League schools: Of the undergraduate and graduate population, 13% of students are international and come from more than 100 countries. Also, more than 2,500 students each year participate in international study programs offered in more than 50 countries worldwide. Penn’s highly ranked graduate schools include the Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the education and law schools. Penn’s other notable graduate schools include the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the School of Dental Medicine. The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers acclaimed faculty, state-of-the-art research laboratories, and interdisciplinary curricula. Penn has more than 300 student groups spanning political action efforts, performing arts, sports clubs, and student publications.

Yale University

Yale University is known for its drama and music programs at the well-regarded Yale School of Drama. In addition to Yale College and Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the university has 12 professional schools, including the country’s top-ranked law school and highly ranked schools of medicine, management, art, and nursing. Undergraduate students at this research institution have made strides in many fields, discovering new species and patenting products. Students can take advantage of global learning opportunities, from studying abroad to embarking on international internships and directed research. The most popular majors at Yale include social sciences; biological and biomedical sciences; history; mathematics and statistics; and engineering. Lastly, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies focus on teaching and research on international affairs, societies, and cultures around the world, and it enables students to conduct research abroad.

You may also read: Which Ivy League is right for you?


Why should you care about the Ivy League Schools?

All the colleges of Ivy League have made their own accomplishment, and they are considered a few of the oldest universities in the US, these college’s history can be traced back to the 16 and 17 century giving a historic landmark in education as aforementioned.

The Ivy League was concerned about the athletic and sports interest of the colleges, thus leading the colleges to excel in academics.


Most of the top universities will provide the students and professors with funds and materials to research and proceed a study on that, enrolling in an Ivy League you will add an advantage of obtaining resources needed for the research.

In fact, these universities expect professors to create new theories and topics for publication. So this facility provides you with intellectual and talented professors along with the resources required for the students for their education.

Career and Job

Pursuing your education in Ivy League schools can train you to face the highly competitive world with ease.

A survey conducted by CNN reveals that out of the top 100 startups, 34 of the CEOs went to Harvard University.

And out of 114 Supreme Court Justices, more than 60% of them pursued their education in an Ivy League University.

And more than half of the senior finance managers of the top finance companies like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc are from the Ivy League University especially the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.

A study conducted by the US Department of Education reveals that students who graduate in the Ivy League universities get a higher salary than the students who graduated in general university.

You may also read: Does Ivy League provide a scholarship?

Average GPA to get into Ivy League schools

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