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2021 Best Colleges in the United States for Students from Iran

270 Colleges
$44,597 Avg Tuition & Fees*
66% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Quality BadgeInternational students have lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking.

Our analysis looked at 270 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for Iranian students. To come up with this ranking, we look at a number of factors that are all objective measurements. These factors include the school's overall quality as determined by our Best Colleges ranking and the percentage of international students on campus.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to online students or returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head! If you don't have time right now, you can bookmark it for later.

Top Colleges in the U.S. for Students from Iran

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for Iranian students. Boston, Massachusetts is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,127 students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 32.5% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Taiwan come to Northeastern to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Northeastern is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#2

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Southern California helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for Iranian students. USC is located in Los Angeles, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,337 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.9% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to USC to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. USC also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for Iranian students. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large public school located in Champaign, Illinois that handed out 8,983 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 22.3% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at UIUC come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UIUC also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#4

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out of the 270 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #4 spot on the list. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the large public school awarded 7,815 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Around 14.9% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to U-M to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. U-M also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#5

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of California - Irvine. The school came in at #5 in this year’s ranking. UC Irvine is a large public school situated in Irvine, California. It awarded 8,394 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 19.1% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UC Irvine to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UC Irvine also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#6

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Texas A&M University - College Station came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking. Texas A&M College Station is a public institution located in College Station, Texas. The school has a large population, and it awarded 13,198 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 8.0% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at Texas A&M College Station come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Texas A&M College Station excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#7

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Virginia Tech ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. Located in Blacksburg, Virginia, the large public school awarded 7,156 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 11.1% are international. Students studying at Virginia Tech come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 93%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Virginia Tech also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking, coming in at #8. Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus is a large public school located in Atlanta, Georgia that handed out 3,717 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 23.8% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at Georgia Tech come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Georgia Tech also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#9

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, Illinois
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Illinois Institute of Technology landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. Illinois Tech is located in Chicago, Illinois and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 600 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Around 41.8% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Spain come to Illinois Tech to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Illinois Tech is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#10

Stanford University

Stanford, California

With a ranking of #10, Stanford University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Stanford, California. It awarded 1,892 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 24.6% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at Stanford are China, India, and Canada.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Stanford excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#11

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

University of California - Los Angeles did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking, coming in at #11. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large public school awarded 9,069 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 15.8% are international. Students studying at UCLA come from such countries as China, South Korea, and India.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UCLA also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#12

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

North Carolina State University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. North Carolina State University is a large public school located in Raleigh, North Carolina that handed out 5,953 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 11.5% are international. Students studying at NC State come from such countries as India, China, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, NC State also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#13

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of California - San Diego ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. Located in La Jolla, California, the large public school awarded 8,037 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.2% are international. Students studying at UCSD come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, UCSD is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#14

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

With a ranking of #14, Carnegie Mellon University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,848 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 41.0% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at Carnegie Mellon come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 96%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Carnegie Mellon also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#15

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. Boston U is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Boston, Massachusetts. It awarded 4,780 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 24.8% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Boston U are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Boston U also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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Columbia University in the City of New York ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. Columbia University in the City of New York is a large private not-for-profit school located in New York, New York that handed out 2,702 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 36.3% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Columbia to study.

The impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Columbia also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#17

New York University

New York, New York
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

New York University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking. NYU is located in New York, New York and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 6,658 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

International students make up 27.6% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at NYU are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, NYU also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#18

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking, coming in at #18. Cambridge, Massachusetts is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,333 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 29.5% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at MIT come from such countries as China, India, and Canada.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 3 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. MIT did well in our overall quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our overall quality list.

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#19

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

University of Florida landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. UF is located in Gainesville, Florida and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 9,663 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Around 8.4% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at UF are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UF excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#20

University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, Maryland
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Maryland - College Park did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking, coming in at #20. University of Maryland - College Park is a large public school located in College Park, Maryland that handed out 8,390 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 12.6% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at UMCP are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, UMCP is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#21

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #21, University at Buffalo did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. Located in Buffalo, New York, the large public school awarded 5,273 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 19.8% are international. Students studying at University at Buffalo come from such countries as India, China, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, University at Buffalo is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#22

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Michigan State University landed the #22 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students. Michigan State is a public institution located in East Lansing, Michigan. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,997 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 12.4% are international. Students from as far away as China, South Korea, and India come to Michigan State to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Michigan State also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Washington - Seattle Campus ranked #23 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. University of Washington - Seattle Campus is a large public school located in Seattle, Washington that handed out 9,269 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 16.5% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at UW Seattle are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UW Seattle excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#24

The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, Texas
Top 20% in Quality in the United States

The University of Texas at Dallas ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for Iranian Students list. Located in Richardson, Texas, the large public school handed out 4,225 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 20.4% are international. Students from as far away as India, China, and Taiwan come to UT Dallas to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 88%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UT Dallas also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#25

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking, coming in at #25. Northwestern is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Evanston, Illinois. It awarded 2,770 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 17.1% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at Northwestern are China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Northwestern excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Rest of the Top 15% Best Colleges for Iranian students

Not only did these schools make the top 41 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York
#27

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#29

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
#30

Rice University

Houston, Texas
#31

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
#32

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota
#33

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri
#34

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

University Park, Pennsylvania
#35

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut
#36

University of California - Davis

Davis, California
#37

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa
#38

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts
#40

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts
#41

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for Iranian Students ranking:

Rank College Location
42 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
43 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
44 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
45 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
46 Princeton University Princeton, NJ
47 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
48 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
49 University of Delaware Newark, DE
50 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
51 George Washington University Washington, DC
52 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
53 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
54 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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