10 Oldest Colleges in America

Rutgers University Campus

Edit: This post has been updated.  It’s been brought to our attention that we had some mistakes on our previous list.

When it comes to choosing a college, it’s easy to get lost in shiny new buildings and attractive landscaping, but there’s something to be said for educational tradition. Below you’ll find ten of the oldest colleges in the United States. They’re all very different institutions, but what they have in common is a commitment to excellence, and all have produced talented alumni throughout their many long years of operation.

1. Harvard University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Founded in 1636, Harvard is one of the most prestigious Ivy League research universities in the world. It offers some 46 undergraduate concentrations and 134 graduate degrees.

2. College of William & Mary

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Also sometimes called The College for short, The College of William & Mary was founded in 1693 in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is known as a “Public Ivy” – that is, a publicly founded university with a quality of education comparable to Ivy League schools.

3. St. John’s College – Annapolis – Founded in 1696

4. Yale University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Like Harvard, Yale University is a private Ivy league research university. It was founded in 1701 and was named in honor of a governor of the British East India Company.

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5. Washington College – Founded in 1723

6. University of Pennsylvania

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Founded in 1740 and located in Philadelphia, UPenn has been home to some significant educational innovations. It hosted the first school of medicine in North America, the first student union, and the first collegiate business school.

7. Moravian College

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Moravian is a private liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1742. Between 2002 and 2007, seven Moravian students were selected as Fulbright Scholars.

8. University of Delaware – Founded in 1743

9. Princeton University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Founded in 1746, Princeton is one of only nine colonial colleges that were established before the American Revolution.

10. Washington & Lee University – Founded in 1749

11. Columbia University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Columbia University was founded in 1754 and is located in the Morningside Heights portion of Manhattan. It is known worldwide on account of its Columbia Global Centers, which operate in cities such as Beijing, Istanbul, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro.

12. Brown University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Brown University has the distinction of being one of the most selective universities in the country, accepting just 8.9% of applicants. It was founded in 1764, meaning it existed before the very idea of American independence.

13. Rutgers University

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Founded in 1766 as a private liberal arts college for men, Rutgers later broadened its horizons to include agriculture, engineering, and the sciences.

14. Dartmouth College

10 Oldest Colleges in America

Dartmouth was founded in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire. It consists of a liberal arts college, a school of medicine, and a school of engineering. Notable alumni include Daniel Webster.

If you’ve decided on pursuing a traditional college education, this list should give you an idea of what some of the nation’s very best universities are like. For anybody who might be considering an accredited online college, your journey begins at eCollegeFinder.

Students who attend college online can often do so at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home, making it a singularly appealing alternative for anyone who doesn’t favor the college campus experience.

The top online schools offer a wide variety of courses just like you’d find at a brick-and-mortar college, and thanks to advances in distance learning, you have unprecedented access to your instructors, whereas you might otherwise be stuck in a very large class at a traditional university.

If you’ve ever questioned whether college was right for you, or circumstances have forced you to put off pursuing higher education, there’s never been a better time to see what online college is all about.