Oldest Universities In The US Schools/Colleges

Oldest Universities In The US

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The oldest colleges in America are still some of the most prestigious universities in the USA. It may seem hard to believe, but many old American colleges have history that dates all the way back to the time before the United States even became its own country in 1776. The list starts with the first college ever in America, Harvard, which was founded in 1636. Many of the oldest universities in the US still retain important traditions that were started centuries ago, when they were founded. 

What are the oldest universities in the US? Historic figures have graduated from these alma maters and it's always interesting to visit and see what brick or stone your favorite author or scientist may have walked on their way to class. Is your university among these famous, storied schools? Check out the list to find out!


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    Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 1636. Its history, influence and wealth have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for ...more

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    The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. Privately founded in 1693 by letters patent issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States after Harvard ...more

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    St. John's College is a private liberal arts college with two U.S. campuses: one in Annapolis, Maryland, and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The College was founded in 1696 as King William's School, a preparatory school. It received a collegiate charter in 1784, making it one of the oldest institutions of ...more

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    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the "Collegiate School" by a group of Congregationalist ministers and chartered by the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.more

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    The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League, research university located in Philadelphia. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and one of the nine original Colonial Colleges. Penn has ...more

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    The University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is medium-sized – approximately 16,000 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students. UD is a private university and receives public funding ...more

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    Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton was the fourth chartered institution of higher education in the American colonies and thus one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before ...more

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    Washington and Lee University is a private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia, United States. Washington and Lee's 325 acre campus sits at the heart of Lexington and abuts the Virginia Military Institute in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the ...more

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    Columbia University in the City of New York, or simply Columbia University, is an American private Ivy League research university located in Morningside Heights, in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the State of New York, the fifth oldest in the United ...more

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    Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as "The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial ...more

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    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, commonly referred to as Rutgers University, Rutgers, or RU, is an American public research university and the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey. Originally chartered as Queen's College on November 10, 1766, Rutgers is the eighth-oldest ...more

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    Dartmouth College, commonly referred to as Dartmouth, is a private Ivy League research university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. It consists of a liberal arts college, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 ...more

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    College of Charleston
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    The College of Charleston is a public, sea-grant and space-grant university located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The college was founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, making it the oldest college or university in South Carolina, the 15th oldest institution of higher ...more

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    Salem College is a liberal arts women's college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States founded in 1772. Originally established as a primary school, it later became an academy and finally a college. It is the oldest female educational establishment that is still a women's college and the oldest ...more

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    Dickinson College
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    Dickinson College is a private, residential liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1773 as Carlisle Grammar School, Dickinson was chartered September 9, 1783, six days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, making it the first college to be founded after the ...more

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    Hampden-Sydney College
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    Hampden–Sydney College, also known as H-SC, is a liberal arts college for men located in Hampden Sydney, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1775, Hampden–Sydney is the oldest private charter college in the Southern U.S., the last college founded before the American Revolution, and one of only three ...more

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    Union College is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college located in Schenectady, New York, United States. Founded in 1795, it was the first institution of higher learning chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. In the 19th century, it became the "Mother of Fraternities", as three of ...more

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    Transylvania University
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    Transylvania University is a private university in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. It was founded in 1780, making it the first university in Kentucky and among the oldest in the United States. It offers 36 major programs, as well as dual-degree engineering programs, and is accredited by the Southern ...more

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