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By Some US universities are more popular with Indian students than others. Dibyendu Roy lists 10 US schools that are a hit with Indians
  • Published 16.06.11

Every year thousands of Indian students apply to US universities to pursue higher studies in that country. While most universities get a fair number of Indian applicants, there are some that are more popular with Indian students than others. The following is a list of 10 universities (barring Ivy League colleges) that are favourites with Indians. They are not listed in any particular order or preference.

University of Southern California

Founded in 1880 and located close to Hollywood, this university has consistently featured in the top schools of the US News and World Report college rankings. Its Viterbi School of Engineering has some of the finest engineering programmes in the country. Almost 1,500 Indians are registered as full-time students at the USC.

“I chose USC because of its proximity to Silicon Valley. This greatly increases my chances of postgraduate employment,” says Adarsh Malhotra, an engineering student at the Viterbi school.

The sunny weather of Los Angeles and the fact that it has such a strong Indian community makes it attractive to Indian students. USC also has the highest number of foreign students among all the US universities, according to the Institute of International Education. It regularly conducts workshops for potential students in cities such as Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai as well as Chennai. For admissions, contact: USC Office of Admission, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911 or visit for additional information.

Purdue University

Founded in 1869 and representing students from more than 120 countries, Purdue is one of the nation’s most distinguished research institutions with a tradition of academic excellence. According to the Institute of International Education report, Purdue has the second highest international student population among all US public universities. With over 200 majors for undergraduates and over 70 graduate and doctoral programmes, this university offers a plethora of options to choose from. The most popular fields for Indians in this university are business administration and engineering, followed by agriculture. Visit or contact

University of Illinois

Located in the beautiful township of Urbana Champaign, UIUC is a world leader in research, with a history of academic excellence. The US News and World Report ranked UIUC as the 15th best public university in the country. The university has about 3,000 international students on its rosters. “I chose UIUC because of the breadth of academic excellence it has to offer as well as its prominent alumni,” says Ashima Thakkar, an information systems student. The most popular programmes of study for Indian students are biological sciences, computer science, business administration, engineering and information science / systems. For more information, visit or contact University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 901 West Illinois Street, Urbana, IL 61801.

University of Michigan

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan is one of the best research universities in the country and arguably in the world. With a total enrolment of more than 58,000 students, this university has one of the most diverse campuses in the world. Be it architecture or performing arts, medicine or engineering, it has a notable alumni, including such luminaries as Thomas Weller who is known for his research on the polio virus. It is a particular favourite with Indian students and there are about 1,000 of them currently enrolled in its various programmes. Engineering, medicine and aeronautical and aerospace engineering are considered to be among its best programmes. For more information, visit

George Washington University

Founded in 1821, GWU stands for cutting edge programmes in medicine and law. Conveniently located around New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, this university has a substantial Indian population, accounting for about 11 per cent of its total number of students.

“Just being surrounded by such a strong intellectual community gives me the stimulus to be the best at what I am studying,” says Parth Shah, a student of law at the university. For more information, go it its website —

New York University

Founded in 1831 and home to over 40,000 students, NYU is one of the oldest and best private universities in the US. Representing students from more than 133 countries, it is one of the first to have set up branches in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, realising the vision of a global network university. Located in New York City, this university has a real competitive edge. “I got a degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business and it changed my life,” says Akash Shah, a recent graduate from Stern, which is considered to be one of the best business schools in the world. The most popular fields at NYU are management and medicine. For more information, visit

University of Texas

Founded in 1895, University of Texas at Arlington is a research-active university. This university, which also happens to be astronaut Kalpana Chawla’s alma mater, has a sizeable number of Indian students. “If you like research, this is the community and environment you want to be in,” says Raj Patel, an engineering student at UTA. Engineering is the favoured subject of study for most Indian students here. For more information, visit

Drexel University

Located in Philadelphia, Drexel University is noted as one of the most “up and coming schools,” according to the US News and World Report college rankings. It is one of the best and most comprehensive private research institutes in the nation today. As part of its curriculum, every student is required to do a six-month paid internship (for the four-year programme) and three six-month paid internships (for the five-year programme). Out of its 19,000-strong undergraduate student population, more than 25 per cent are Indians.

The most popular programmes at Drexel are business administration, engineering and information systems. “What attracted me the most about Drexel is its strong industry interface and the opportunity to graduate with practical hands-on experience,” says Ishan Patel, a management student. Contact or visit

SUNY State University

Founded in 1846 and the birthplace of artificial intelligence, this university has a strong population of Indian graduate students. SUNY is divided into the north and south campuses in the town of Buffalo. On an average, SUNY spends about $300 million dollars every year on research. Noted programmes are in the fields of management, mechanical and computer engineering and biological sciences. “Coming to this university changed my perception of academia,” says Arup Dey, a former graduate student of SUNY Buffalo. Visit

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

More than 45 per cent of its 11,000 undergraduates are Indians or of Indian descent. The most popular programmes for Indians in this university are accounting, finance and biological sciences. Contact admissions@ or visit