6 Prestigious Universities In The American South

From prominent research centers giving students the opportunity to make a difference in the world, to Historically Black Colleges and Universities grooming the nation's next leaders, the American South is home to several of the country's top institutions for higher learning. In no particular order, here are some acclaimed universities in the region offering quality education.

Kicking off the list at #1, Rice University is a comprehensive research college dedicated to producing the next generation of leaders, generating innovative solutions, and promoting progressive thought. Located in the urban environment of Houston, Texas, the 300-acre tree-lined campus allows students to take advantage of the multitude of collaborative opportunities available in a metropolitan center.

Ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report, the private institution boasts a 6-to-1 undergraduate to faculty ratio. The campus supports students through social events, intramural sports, plays, lecture programs, courses, and student government organizations. Individuals may select from dozens of undergraduate majors across several divisions of study, like architecture, engineering, music, and natural sciences.

At #2, Virginia Tech was established in 1872. The institution claims to offer an intersection of education and technology that transforms the way individuals learn, perform research, and engage with communities around the world. Echoing its motto, Ut Prosim, or "That I May Serve," the Blacksburg, Virginia university encourages students to dedicate concentrated effort to various personal, professional, and civic pursuits.

Virginia Tech offers hundreds of programs for every level of learning, from certifications to doctoral degrees. Students gain knowledge in at least one discipline, while also building skills in communications, critical thinking, design, teamwork, and analysis. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech's Outreach and International Affairs program partners with the community on projects, building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning, with the goal of improving the quality of life for people within the region and beyond.

Entering the list at #3 is Duke University. Situated in Durham, North Carolina, the University comprises a campus of over 8,000 acres and a number of distinct colleges, including the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering. Duke students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the globe. The institution seeks to inspire students to confront complex issues and challenge the status quo to drive real-world change.

First-year Duke students reside on East Campus, which includes several research labs, tennis courts, a dining hall, convenience store, library, theater, and gym. In conjunction with the academic curriculum, students may enroll in both domestic and global study programs according to major or individual field of interest. Finally, the Duke athletics program includes highly competitive teams in multiple sports, such as women's soccer and men's basketball.

Next on our list, at #4, is Tulane University. Since its start as a medical college in 1834, the New Orleans campus has grown into one of the top-ranked research institutions in the country, and is a member of the Association of American Universities. Faculty are involved in numerous diverse projects, from protecting the aquatic resources of the Gulf, to chronicling the region's musical heritage. Meanwhile, undergraduate students fulfill a community service requirement, executing projects throughout New Orleans.

Tulane offers 70 majors across five schools, including science and engineering, architecture, business, liberal arts, and public health, while one-third of students at the University choose a double major. Advisors help chart a course curriculum that aligns with one's personal aspirations. Individuals may also join one of Tulane's student organizations, fraternities, sororities, or athletic teams. These clubs offer an opportunity to meet like-minded people, while cultivating passions that expand one's worldview.

Coming in at #5 is the University of Virginia. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the Charlottesville institution aims to advance human knowledge, educate leaders, and cultivate an informed citizenry. UVA boasts nationally ranked schools and programs, a diverse faculty, a major academic medical center, and a proud history as a renowned research university. The institution has an active student government, as well as a commitment to the arts and a NCAA Division I Athletics program.

University of Virginia is regularly ranked among U.S. News & World Report's Best Public National Universities, and has consistently been named best hospital in Virginia by the same publication. UVA invests in several cross-disciplinary initiatives, including the Data Science Institute and the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative. Researchers focus on intellectual and societal challenges that impact the greater good.

Lastly, at #6 is Tuskegee University. Located in Alabama, forty miles east of Montgomery, the historically black college's programs serve a student body that is coeducational, as well as racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse. Tuskegee University emphasizes the relationship between education and workforce preparation in scientific, professional, and technical areas. In addition, all academic majors stress the mastery of a required core of liberal arts courses.

Founded by George Washington Carver, Lewis Adams, and Booker T. Washington in 1881, Tuskegee University offers a wide array of programs. Schools include the College of Agriculture, the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, the Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science, and others. The University's overarching goal is to help students discover a unique passion, as well as realize a potential and ability to impact the community, nation, and world.