Harvard University is the best university in the US, according to education research firm Quacquarelli Symonds .

QS releases an annual ranking of the best universities in the world . This year, the company decided to release its first-ever US-specific national university ranking.

"The QS US Rankings aim to provide not only international students with new and more granular insights when deciding on a study destination in the [United States], but also offer domestic students with a fresh outlook on their home institutions, set within the frame of a new bespoke methodology," QS told Business Insider.

QS ranked 300 US universities that have both undergraduate and graduate programs.

To rank the universities, QS used 17 metrics that fall into four broader groups that were weighted and combined into a final index score: Employability had a weight of 27%, diversity and internationalization had a weight of 25%, learning experience had a weight of 22%, and research had a weight of 26%. A university's scores in each category were added together to calculate the total index score on a scale of 0 to 100. Harvard University earned the highest overall score of 93.3, making it the best US university according to QS' metrics. Harvard scored a perfect score in employability and research, 76.0 in diversity and internationalization, and 96.8 in learning experience.

Stanford, MIT, and University of California, Berkeley, followed behind Harvard with scores above 79.0. Additionally, 14 universities on the list had a total index score of over 70.0 out of 100.

The following are the 50 best US universities and their total index scores. To find out where the top 300 universities in the US fall on the list, read the full ranking on QS' website.

50. University of Virginia

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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Overall index: 55.8

Read more about the University of Virginia on QS Top Universities.

48 (tie). University of Maryland, College Park

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Location: College Park, Maryland

Overall index: 56.3

Read more about University of Maryland, College Park, on QS Top Universities.

48 (tie). Boston College

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Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Overall index: 56.3

Read more about Boston College on QS Top Universities.

47. Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Location: Centre County, Pennsylvania

Overall index: 56.4

Read more about Pennsylvania State University on QS Top Universities.

46. University at Buffalo SUNY

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Location: Buffalo, New York

Overall index: 56.6

Read more about University at Buffalo on QS Top Universities.

45. Stony Brook University

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Location: Stony Brook, New York

Overall index: 56.8

Read more about Stony Brook University on QS Top Universities.

43 (tie). University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)

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Location: Chicago, Illinois

Overall index: 57.5

Read more about University of Illinois, Chicago, on QS Top Universities.

43 (tie). Case Western Reserve University

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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Overall index: 57.5

Read more about Case Western University on QS Top Universities.

41 (tie). University of California, Irvine (UCI)

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Location: Irvine, California

Overall index: 57.6

Read more about University of California, Irvine, on QS Top Universities.

41 (tie). Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

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Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

Total index score: 57.6

Read more about Rutgers University, New Brunswick, on QS Top Universities.

40. University of Notre Dame

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Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Total index score: 57.8

Read more about the University of Notre Dame on QS Top Universities.

39. University of Miami

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Location: Coral Gables, Florida

Total index score: 57.9

Read more about the University of Miami on QS Top Universities.

38. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Total index score: 58.3

Read more about The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on QS Top Universities.

37. Dartmouth College

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Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Total index score: 58.4

Read more about Dartmouth College on QS Top Universities.

35 (tie). University of Florida

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Location: Gainesville, Florida

Total index score: 58.6

Read more about University of Florida on QS Top Universities.

35 (tie). Tufts University

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Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Total index score: 58.6

Read more about Tufts University on QS Top Universities.

34. The George Washington University

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Location: Washington, D.C.

Total index score: 59.1

Read more about George Washington University on QS Top Universities.

33. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Location: Champaign, Illinois

Total index score: 55.9

Read more about University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on QS Top Universities.

32. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Total index score: 60.4

Read more about Georgia Tech on QS Top Universities.

30 (tie). Vanderbilt University

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total index score: 60.8

Read more about Vanderbilt University on QS Top Universities.

30 (tie). University of Rochester

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Location: Rochester, New York

Total index score: 60.8

Read more about University of Rochester on QS Top Universities.

28 (tie). Washington University in St. Louis

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Total index score: 60.9

Read more about Washington University in St. Louis on QS Top Universities.

28 (tie). University of California, Davis (UCD)

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Location: Davis, California

Total index score: 60.9

Read more about University of California, Davis, on QS Top Universities.

27. Emory University

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Total index score: 61.1

Read more about Emory University on QS Top Universities.

26. University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

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Location: San Diego, California

Total index score: 62.3

Read more about UCSD on QS Top Universities.

25. The University of Texas at Austin

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Location: Austin, Texas

Total index score: 62.4

Read more about The University of Texas at Austin on QS Top Universities.

24. University of Washington

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Location: Seattle, Washington

Total index score: 62.5

Read more about University of Washington on QS Top Universities.

23. Georgetown University

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Location: Washington, D.C.

Total index score: 64.1

Read more about Georgetown University on QS Top Universities.

21 (tie). Rice University

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Location: Houston, Texas

Total index score: 64.3

Read more about Rice University on QS Top Universities.

21 (tie). Boston University

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Total index score: 64.3

Read more about Boston University on QS Top Universities.

20. Brown University

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Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Total index score: 65.8

Read more about Brown University on QS Top Universities.

19. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

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Location: Pasadena, California

Total index score: 66.1

Read more about Caltech on QS Top Universities.

18. University of Michigan

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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Total index score: 66.3

Read more about University of Michigan on QS Top Universities.

17. Carnegie Mellon University

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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Total index score: 66.5

Read more about Carnegie Mellon University on QS Top Universities.

16. Northwestern University

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Location: Evanston, Illinois

Total index score: 67.2

Read more about Northwestern University on QS Top Universities.

15. University of Southern California

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Location: Los Angeles, California

Total index score: 68.5

Read more about University of Southern California on QS Top Universities.

14. John Hopkins University

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Total index score: 70.2

Read more about John Hopkins University on QS Top Universities.

13. Duke University

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Location: Durham, North Carolina

Total index score: 70.5

Read more about Duke University on QS Top Universities.

12. University of Chicago

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Location: Chicago, Illinois

Total index score: 71.8

Read more about University of Chicago on QS Top Universities.

11. New York University (NYU)

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Location: New York City, New York

Total index score: 72.9

Read more about NYU on QS Top Universities.

10. Cornell University

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Location: Ithaca, New York

Total index score: 73.5

Read more about Cornell University on QS Top Universities.

9. Princeton University

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Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Total index score: 75.7

Read more about Princeton University on QS Top Universities.

8. University of Pennsylvania

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Total index score: 76.1

Read more about University of Pennsylvania on QS Top Universities.

6 (tie). Yale University

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Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Total index score: 78.3

Read more about Yale University on QS Top Universities.

6 (tie). University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

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Location: Los Angeles, California

Total index score: 78.3

Read more about UCLA on QS Top Universities.

5. Columbia University

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Location: New York City, New York

Total index score: 79.0

Read more about Columbia University on QS Top Universities.

4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

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Location: Berkeley, California

Total index score: 79.2

Read more about University of California, Berkeley, on QS Top Universities.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Total index score: 87.1

Read more about MIT on QS Top Universities.

2. Stanford University

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Location: Stanford, California

Total index score: 89.7

Read more about Stanford University on QS Top Universities.

1. Harvard University

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Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Total index score: 93.3

Read more about Harvard University on QS Top Universities.

See Also:

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