The Hardest Universities To Get Into Around The World

Amherst College

The Hardest Universities To Get Into Around The World

The Hardest Universities To Get Into Around The World

Going to university is a very exciting time in anyone’s life, especially if you choose to study abroad! It looks great on your CV (or resume depending on where you’re from) and it can help you to land a job once you’ve graduated.

But no matter where you are in the world, there will always be competition to bag a place in some of the most prestigious universities. This is particularly true in countries that are very densely populated like the US, UK, China and India.

And with the acceptance rate determined based on applicants per seat, this is not merely a case of who is good enough. Often, there will be thousands of talented students who apply but there is simply not enough space to admit them all.

Stanford University

Cornell University

Cornell University

Lewis Liu /

George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University

Andrea Izzotti /

“This architectural masterpiece with five tiers of wrought-iron balconies and a skylight 61 feet above the floor contains 300,000 volumes. Opened in 1878, it is also a prized venue for weddings and other high-brow events. Definitely worth a visit.”

Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute

College student during the pandemic

Zigres /

“An extensive review of existing admissions processes, focusing on those of other top-tier universities, revealed that none comprehensively identify all the qualities we seek in our students. To provide a truly equitable alternative, we developed our own three-part, merit-based admissions process. The process, which does not include standardized tests like the SAT, is interactive, challenging, and does not require lengthy preparation, or expensive consultants.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT Campus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) admits approximately 1,500 students to its Cambridge, Massachusetts campus every year. 90% of MIT students complete at least one research experience through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which enables students to join professors’ research teams in hundreds of laboratories on campus. Students can also conduct research around the world with fully-funded internships. Outside the classroom, MIT students are known for their elaborate and sophisticated pranks, referred to as MIT hacks.

University of Chicago

Rockefeller Chapel at sunrise, University of Chicago

Recent college applicants may know the University of Chicago best for its unusual supplemental essay questions, which in recent years included “What’s so odd about odd numbers?” and “Where is Waldo, really?” University of Chicago students praise the university’s ethos of intellectual curiosity and individualism. The campus is renowned for its beautiful Gothic architecture as well as its iconic modern structures, and since it’s located just 15 minutes from the center of Chicago, students have easy access to city life. Quirky campus traditions include an annual multi-day scavenger hunt that sometimes takes students on adventures as far away as Canada and Tennessee.


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