Highest Research & Development FundingSchool Amenities

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Best School Ranking

Learn about our methodology

This list will be useful if you have an interest in academic research, but are not sure which colleges and universities will provide the best opportunities for your specific career path. This ranking informs readers about not only the top schools for research investment, but also the schools that contribute the most funding to research in specific fields.

  1. Rank School Location Tuition +
  2. Rank
    1
    School

    Johns Hopkins University

    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Tuition
    $47,069 annually

    Websites

    Address

    3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall
    Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
    (410) 516-8000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Johns Hopkins leads all U.S. colleges and universities for research and development by a landslide, outpacing second-place University of Michigan-Ann Arbor by nearly $800 million in annual expenditure. Life sciences (particularly biology and medicine) and electrical engineering were the fields that received the most R&D funding at JHU.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $2,106,185

    • Science: $1,233,438
    • Engineering: $859,561
    • Other: $13,186

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $1,857,580
    • State and local government: $5,109
    • Institution funds: $80,988
    • Businesses: $47,102
    • Nonprofit organizations: $114,054
    • Other donors: $1,352
  3. Rank
    2
    School

    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Tuition
    $13,486 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    503 Thompson Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    (734) 764-1817

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    University of Michigan leads all public U.S. colleges and universities in research and development. The school receives very little funding from state and local government sources, but manages to offset this shortfall with more than $433 million in institution funds; this figure comprises roughly one-third of the university's annual R&D expenses.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,322,711

    • Science: $1,026,614
    • Engineering: $221,066
    • Other: $75,031

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $791,729
    • State and local government: $639
    • Institution funds: $433,249
    • Businesses: $41,947
    • Nonprofit organizations: $46,970
    • Other donors: $8,177
  4. Rank
    3
    School

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Location
    Madison, WI
    Tuition
    $455 per credit in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    500 Lincoln Dr
    Madison, WI 53706-1380
    (608) 262-1234

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Nearly 80% of research and development funding at the University of Wisconsin is allocated for scientific fields; life sciences alone comprise more than half of the school's entire R&D expenditure. Engineering research, on the other hand, receives relatively little funding at the school in 2012, funding for non-science and engineering research outpaced engineering by more than $25 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,169,779

    • Science: $916,863
    • Engineering: $113,742
    • Other: $139,174

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $580,661
    • State and local government: $72,156
    • Institution funds: $313,895
    • Businesses: $23,152
    • Nonprofit organizations: $157,818
    • Other donors: $22,097
  5. Rank
    4
    School

    University of Washington

    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Tuition
    $12,394 in state;
    $33,513 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1400 NE Campus Parkway
    Seattle, WA 98195-4550
    (206) 543-2100

    Accreditation

    NCCU

    School Description

    Funding for medical science research represents and development more than one-third of University of Washington's annual R&D expenditure, while environmental and biological science research comprises more than a quarter. Other fields that receive the most R&D funding from UW include unclassified life sciences, electrical engineering, and bioengineering.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,109,008

    • Science: $961,218
    • Engineering: $104,196
    • Other: $43,594

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $909,652
    • State and local government: $14,741
    • Institution funds: $74,242
    • Businesses: $19,731
    • Nonprofit organizations: $69,617
    • Other donors: $21,025
  6. Rank
    5
    School

    University of California – San Diego

    Location
    La Jolla, CA
    Tuition
    $13,456 in state;
    $22,878 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    9500 Gilman Dr
    La Jolla, CA 92093
    (858) 534-2230

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    In 2012, UCSD allocated a whopping 87.5% of its R&D funding toward scientific studies. Medical sciences-related projects received more than half of this allotment, while the fields of environmental science and oceanography each received more than $1 million. R&D in non-science and engineering fields earned a relatively low amount of funding ― roughly $8.5 million, most of which came from either the federal government or institution funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,073,864

    • Science: $939,199
    • Engineering: $126,107
    • Other: $8,558

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $656,891
    • State and local government: $54,974
    • Institution funds: $118,616
    • Businesses: $73,443
    • Nonprofit organizations: $112,971
    • Other donors: $56,969
  7. Rank
    6
    School

    University of California-San Francisco

    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Tuition
    $32,106 in state;
    $44,351 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    500 Parnassus Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94143-0244
    (415) 476-9000

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Virtually all of the R&D funding at UCSF is allocated to scientific studies. Medical science received the vast majority of these monies (roughly $987 million in 2012), while R&D projects in the fields of chemistry and biological sciences collectively received the remaining funds (roughly $46 million).

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,032,673

    • Science: $1,032,673
    • Engineering: $0
    • Other: $0

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $559,329
    • State and local government: $36,401
    • Institution funds: $160,711
    • Businesses: $59,557
    • Nonprofit organizations: $127,679
    • Other donors: $88,996
  8. Rank
    7
    School

    Duke University

    Location
    Durham, NC
    Tuition
    $47,488 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    103 Allen Bldg
    Durham, NC 27708
    (919) 684-8111

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    In 2012, Duke University allotted nearly $950 million to R&D studies in biology, medicine, and other life science fields. Engineering research, on the other hand, received less than $60 million, the majority of which funded projects related to either electrical or bio/biomedical engineering. Duke leads all schools in terms of R&D funding from private businesses.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,009,911

    • Science: $946,167
    • Engineering: $58,592
    • Other: $5,152

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $587,268
    • State and local government: $5,539
    • Institution funds: $123,198
    • Businesses: $226,200
    • Nonprofit organizations: $66,437
    • Other donors: $1,269
  9. Rank
    8
    School

    University of California – Los Angeles

    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuition
    $13,686 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    405 Hilgard Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
    (310) 825-4321

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Nearly $900 million of UCLA's 2012 R&D budget was given to researchers in scientific fields; $686 million was allotted for medical research. The school also funded more than $33 million in R&D projects outside the fields of science and engineering, outpacing Johns Hopkins in this area by roughly $20 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $1,003,375

    • Science: $898,926
    • Engineering: $70,756
    • Other: $33,693

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $539,054
    • State and local government: $46,780
    • Institution funds: $174,526
    • Businesses: $51,311
    • Nonprofit organizations: $101,999
    • Other donors: $89,705
  10. Rank
    9
    School

    Stanford University

    Location
    Stanford, CA
    Tuition
    $45,729 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Stanford, CA 94305
    (650) 723-2300

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Stanford University ranked third among the top 10 schools on our list in terms of R&D expenditure for engineering projects. Six different fields of engineering received at least $10 million in 2012, and the federal government provided the lion's share of these funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $903,238

    • Science: $722,400
    • Engineering: $131,406

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $338,759
    • State and local government: $54,973
    • Institution funds: $137,894
    • Businesses: $92,103
    • Nonprofit organizations: $86,601
    • Other donors: $20,018
  11. Rank
    10
    School

    Columbia University in the City of New York

    Location
    New York, NY
    Tuition
    $51,008 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    West 116 St and Broadway
    New York, NY 10027
    (212) 854-1754

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    All but $100 million of Columbia's $889 million R&D budget was allotted to scientific research projects in 2012, with life science fields (such as biology and medicine) claiming nearly $600 million. Other fields that received a relatively large amount of funding include physics and electrical engineering.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $889,487

    • Science: $788,570
    • Engineering: $59,239
    • Other: $41,678

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $645,573
    • State and local government: $12,580
    • Institution funds: $102,628
    • Businesses: $37,341
    • Nonprofit organizations: $71,117
    • Other donors: $20,248
  12. Rank
    11
    School

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Tuition
    $11,994 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    103 South Bldg Cb 9100
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599
    (919) 962-2211

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    More than 97% of the 2012 R&D budget at UNC Chapel Hill was allotted to projects in science-related fields; biology, medicine, and non-classified life science fields collectively received roughly $650 million. The school invested less than $4 million in engineering R&D, all of which was earmarked for bioengineering and biomedical engineering studies.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $884,791

    • Science: $860,791
    • Engineering: $3,957
    • Other: $20,043

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $606,348
    • State and local government: $14,722
    • Institution funds: $163,669
    • Businesses: $26,722
    • Nonprofit organizations: $73,108
    • Other donors: $222
  13. Rank
    12
    School

    University of Pittsburgh

    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tuition
    $21,142 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    4200 Fifth Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260
    (412) 624-4141

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    More than 97% of the 2012 R&D budget at UNC Chapel Hill was allotted to projects in science-related fields; biology, medicine, and non-classified life science fields collectively received roughly $650 million. The school invested less than $4 million in engineering R&D, all of which was earmarked for bioengineering and biomedical engineering studies.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $884,791

    • Science: $860,791
    • Engineering: $3,957
    • Other: $20,043

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $606,348
    • State and local government: $14,722
    • Institution funds: $163,669
    • Businesses: $26,722
    • Nonprofit organizations: $73,108
    • Other donors: $222
  14. Rank
    13
    School

    University of Pennsylvania

    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Tuition
    $49,536 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    34th & Spruce Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
    (215) 898-5000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The second highest ranked Ivy League school on our list (after Columbia), Penn allocates more than 80% of its annual R&D expenditure toward projects in life sciences (particularly biology and medicine). Other fields that received at least $10 million in R&D funding in 2012 include chemistry, physics, business and management, and electrical engineering.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $847,077

    • Science: $767,369
    • Engineering: $45,841
    • Other: $33,867

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $669,970
    • State and local government: $20,185
    • Institution funds: $52,324
    • Businesses: $42,744
    • Nonprofit organizations: $61,501
    • Other donors: $353
  15. Rank
    14
    School

    University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Tuition
    $13,626 resident;
    $20,876 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    100 Church Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
    (612) 625-5000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    A relatively small percentage of R&D funding at the University of Minnesota is derived from federal funds (roughly 59%), but the school makes up the difference with more than $216 million in institution funds. Only University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan boast higher figures in this category.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $826,173

    • Science: $715,839
    • Engineering: $90,993
    • Other: $19,341

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $485,462
    • State and local government: $50,691
    • Institution funds: $216,007
    • Businesses: $29,657
    • Nonprofit organizations: $22,476
    • Other donors: $21,880
  16. Rank
    15
    School

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Tuition
    $43,720 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
    (617) 253-1000

    Accreditation

    NEASC/CIHE

    School Description

    MIT receives a surprisingly low amount of financial support from state and local government sources (roughly $163,000 in 2012), but the prestigious school received nearly $120 million from private businesses that same year. With the exception of Johns Hopkins, MIT leads all schools on our list in terms of engineering-related R&D expenditure with roughly $365 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $824,130

    • Science: $405,168
    • Engineering: $365,199
    • Other: $53,763

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $496,132
    • State and local government: $163
    • Institution funds: $80,832
    • Businesses: $119,068
    • Nonprofit organizations: $88,595
    • Other donors: $39,340
  17. Rank
    16
    School

    Cornell University

    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Tuition
    $48,885 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    300 Day Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853
    (607) 255-2000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Roughly two-thirds of Cornell University's R&D budget was allocated to life science-related projects in 2012. $87 million was additionally given to engineering research endeavors ― but interestingly, nearly $35 million of this allotment went toward 'non-specified' engineering fields; electrical engineering was the only other discipline in this field to receive more than $10 million in R&D funding.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $802,387

    • Science: $711,943
    • Engineering: $87,851
    • Other: $2,593

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $472,673
    • State and local government: $63,881
    • Institution funds: $145,932
    • Businesses: $31,365
    • Nonprofit organizations: $85,314
    • Other donors: $3,222
  18. Rank
    17
    School

    Harvard University

    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Tuition
    $45,278 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Massachusetts Hall
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 495-1000

    Accreditation

    NEASC/CIHE

    School Description

    Roughly 88% of Harvard's R&D budget went to scientific studies and projects in 2012 ― although the university is one of the only schools on our list to allocate more funding toward biology-related projects than those concentrated in medical science. The remaining 12% of R&D funding is almost evenly split between engineering and non-science and engineering fields.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $799,432

    • Science: $706,020
    • Engineering: $47,953
    • Other: $45,459

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $589,860
    • State and local government: $1,632
    • Institution funds: $69,386
    • Businesses: $34,901
    • Nonprofit organizations: $91,040
    • Other donors: $12,613
  19. Rank
    18
    School

    Pennsylvania State University

    Location
    University Park, PA
    Tuition
    $16,572 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    201 Old Main
    University Park, PA 16802-1503
    (814) 865-4700

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    In 2012, nearly one-third of Penn State's R&D budget went toward projects related to life sciences (medical science alone claimed more than $110 million). Beyond that, engineering fields were given the most individual R&D support; electrical, mechanical, and metallurgical/materials engineering each received at least $70 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $797,679

    • Science: $485,083
    • Engineering: $298,811
    • Other: $13,785

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $531,421
    • State and local government: $47,402
    • Institution funds: $138,999
    • Businesses: $36,973
    • Nonprofit organizations: $38,626
    • Other donors: $4,258
  20. Rank
    19
    School

    Ohio State University

    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Tuition
    $4,584 per semester in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    190 N. Oval Mall
    Columbus, OH 43210
    (614) 292-6446

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Nearly 75% of Ohio State's R&D budget was allocated to scientific studies and projects in 2012, with medical science alone claiming roughly $262 million. Among all of top 20 schools on our list, OSU received the second lowest amount of R&D backing from nonprofit institutions (after the University of Minnesota).

    Total R&D Expenditure: $766,513

    • Science: $570,741
    • Engineering: $149,341
    • Other: $46,431

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $445,635
    • State and local government: $69,456
    • Institution funds: $91,490
    • Businesses: $100,986
    • Nonprofit organizations: $25,108
    • Other donors: $33,838
  21. Rank
    20
    School

    University of California – Berkeley

    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Tuition
    $16,614 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    200 California Hall
    Berkeley, CA 94720
    (510) 642-6000

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Life science and Non-classified science studies led UC Berkeley's 2012 R&D budget with roughly $208 million and $152 million in funding, respectively. Less than half of UC Berkeley's R&D budget came from the federal government; this is a low percentage compared to most schools on the list, but typical of members of the University of California system.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $730,348

    • Science: $524,471
    • Engineering: $172,433
    • Other: $33,444

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $269,734
    • State and local government: $7,700
    • Institution funds: $138,499
    • Businesses: $13,892
    • Nonprofit organizations: $16,347
    • Other donors: $257
  22. Rank
    21
    School

    University of California – Davis

    Location
    Davis, CA
    Tuition
    $15,641 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    One Shields Avenue
    Davis, CA 95616-8678
    (530) 752-1011

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Not surprisingly, UC Davis (one of the country's leading providers of veterinary science education) allotted more funding to agricultural science, biological science, and medical science than any other field. These three fields collectively comprised roughly 72% of the school's R&D budget in 2012.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $713,292

    • Science: $621,859
    • Engineering: $83,140
    • Other: $8,293

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $358,577
    • State and local government: $59,920
    • Institution funds: $156,550
    • Businesses: $40,392
    • Nonprofit organizations: $64,699
    • Other donors: $33,154
  23. Rank
    22
    School

    Washington University

    Location
    Saint Louis, MO
    Tuition
    $22,850 per semester in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    One Brookings Drive
    Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899
    (314) 935-5000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    In 2012, Washington University earmarked roughly 95% of its R&D budget for scientific studies; more than $400 million went toward medical science research alone. Most of the remaining $37 million was allocated to research in two specific fields: electrical engineering and social work.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $706,410

    • Science: $668,913
    • Engineering: $20,122
    • Other: $17,375

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $441,406
    • State and local government: $17,520
    • Institution funds: $109,867
    • Businesses: $45,567
    • Nonprofit organizations: $91,355
    • Other donors: $695
  24. Rank
    23
    School

    University of Florida

    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Tuition
    $6,310 in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Gainesville, FL 32611
    (352) 392-3261

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Research in agricultural, biological, and medical science received the bulk of R&D funding at the University of Florida (each field received between $120 million and $170 million). Only 44% of the University of Florida's 2012 R&D budget came from the federal government, but the school was able to make up for this shortfall in more than $233 million in institutional funding.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $696,985

    • Science: $562,110
    • Engineering: $87,878
    • Other: $46,997

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $305,067
    • State and local government: $94,435
    • Institution funds: $233,648
    • Businesses: $24,662
    • Nonprofit organizations: $32,801
    • Other donors: $6,372
  25. Rank
    24
    School

    Texas A&M University

    Location
    College Station, TX
    Tuition
    $713 per credit in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    805 Rudder Tower
    College Station, TX 77843-1244
    (979) 845-3211

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Not surprisingly, agricultural science research received more R&D funding from Texas A&M in 2012 than any other specific field, with roughly $176 million (roughly one-quarter of the school's overall R&D budget). Only 38% of the university's R&D budget comes from the federal government, but state/local government sources and institution funds generated 46%.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $693,421

    • Science: $413,866
    • Engineering: $256,102
    • Other: $23,453

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $269,460
    • State and local government: $128,819
    • Institution funds: $193,012
    • Businesses: $49,392
    • Nonprofit organizations: $52,378
    • Other donors: $360
  26. Rank
    25
    School

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Tuition
    $4,906 per semester in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    225 North Ave
    Atlanta, GA 30332-0530
    (404) 894-2000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Engineering-related research and development comprised roughly 70% of Georgia Tech's 2012 R&D budget; electrical engineering alone received $176 million in support, while seven other engineering fields were given at least $26 million. In science fields, computer science, chemistry, and physics received the most research funding.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $688,905

    • Science: $201,136
    • Engineering: $482,758
    • Other: $5,011

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $484,212
    • State and local government: $12,487
    • Institution funds: $129,080
    • Businesses: $44,491
    • Nonprofit organizations: $14,788
    • Other donors: $3,847
  27. Rank
    26
    School

    University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

    Location
    Houston, TX
    Tuition
    $1,600 per semester in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1515 Holcombe Blvd.
    Houston, TX 77030-4009
    (800) 392-1611

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    This cancer research offshoot of the University of Texas allocated roughly 90% of its $685 million R&D budget toward studies in life science; the remaining funds went toward research in fields like chemistry, psychology, and sociology. The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is the highest ranked institution on our list to receive more state/local government funding than federal government funding.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $685,814

    • Science: $685,814
    • Engineering: $0
    • Other: $0

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $196,753
    • State and local government: $246,988
    • Institution funds: $72,864
    • Businesses: $68,414
    • Nonprofit organizations: $100,795
    • Other donors: $0
  28. Rank
    27
    School

    Yale University

    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Tuition
    $45,800 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Woodbridge Hall
    New Haven, CT 06520
    (203) 432-4771

    Accreditation

    NEASC/CIHE

    School Description

    Yale University is the lowest ranked Ivy League school on our list ― but in terms of overall R&D budget allocation toward scientific research, it places first at roughly 95%. This includes more than $400 million for studies related to medical science and roughly $156 million for research in biological science.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $656,555

    • Science: $621,814
    • Engineering: $33,010
    • Other: $1,731

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $518,184
    • State and local government: $5,229
    • Institution funds: $55,554
    • Businesses: $22,204
    • Nonprofit organizations: $50,547
    • Other donors: $4,837
  29. Rank
    28
    School

    Northwestern University

    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Tuition
    $48,624 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    633 Clark St
    Evanston, IL 60208
    (847) 491-3741

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Almost half of Northwestern's 2012 R&D budget went toward medical science research, while the fields of biology, chemistry, and non-specified sciences collectively received more than $150 million in financial support. Additionally, four engineering fields (biomedical, chemical, metallurgical/materials, and non-specified) each received between $10 million and $20 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $631,078

    • Science: $522,201
    • Engineering: $80,250
    • Other: $28,627

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $393,074
    • State and local government: $8,875
    • Institution funds: $156,803
    • Businesses: $15,023
    • Nonprofit organizations: $57,303
    • Other donors: n/a
  30. Rank
    29
    School

    University of Arizona

    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Tuition
    $29,000 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1401 E University
    Tucson, AZ 85721-0066
    (520) 621-2211

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Roughly 88% of the 2012 R&D budget at the University of Arizona went toward scientific research, with astronomy and medical science claiming more funds than any other field with $132 million and $126 million, respectively. Chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering additionally received between $16 million and $26 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $625,365

    • Science: $552,829
    • Engineering: $62,605
    • Other: $9,931

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $331,578
    • State and local government: $19,915
    • Institution funds: $200,439
    • Businesses: $15,693
    • Nonprofit organizations: $33,695
    • Other donors: $24,045
  31. Rank
    30
    School

    University of Southern California

    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuition
    $29,889 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    University Park
    Los Angeles, CA 90089
    (213) 740-2311

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    USC is California's oldest private research institution, yet the school was still bested in terms of R&D expenditure by five members of the University of California public system. Roughly 85% of USC's R&D budget went toward scientific research in 2012, and medical science projects and studies claimed more than half of the school's overall research spending.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $623,544

    • Science: $529,810
    • Engineering: $63,193
    • Other: $30,541

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $443,842
    • State and local government: $18,576
    • Institution funds: $100,648
    • Businesses: $28,353
    • Nonprofit organizations: $32,125
    • Other donors: $0
  32. Rank
    31
    School

    University of Texas at Austin

    Location
    Austin, TX
    Tuition
    $4,673 per semester in state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2400 Inner Campus Drive
    Austin, TX 78712
    (512) 471-3434

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    At roughly $72 million, the University of Texas ranks fifth on our list in terms of total R&D spending on non-science and engineering-related research (after the University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, Purdue, and Emory). Education and business and management received the most funding in this category with roughly $30 million and $9.5 million, respectively, while non-specified fields received an additional $20 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $621,538

    • Science: $351,019
    • Engineering: $198,293
    • Other: $72,226

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $354,873
    • State and local government: $36,018
    • Institution funds: $125,732
    • Businesses: $67,890
    • Nonprofit organizations: $32,202
    • Other donors: $4,823
  33. Rank
    32
    School

    Purdue University

    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Tuition
    $10,002 resident;
    $28,804 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Hovde Hall of Administration
    West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040
    (765) 494-4600

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    At 12.3%, Purdue ranked second among all schools on our list (after Emory) for total allotment of R&D funds toward research studies and projects unrelated to science or engineering. In terms of individual fields, agricultural science earned the most funding (roughly $117 million), followed by mechanical and civil engineering with $49.5 million and $42 million, respectively.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $602,501

    • Science: $312,103
    • Engineering: $216,037
    • Other: $74,361

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $270,655
    • State and local government: $68,604
    • Institution funds: $184,277
    • Businesses: $32,552
    • Nonprofit organizations: $43,911
    • Other donors: $2,502
  34. Rank
    33
    School

    University of Illinois at Urbana

    Location
    Champaign, IL
    Tuition
    $15,636 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    601 E John Street
    Champaign, IL 61820-5711
    (217) 333-1000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    More than 20% of the 2012 R&D budget at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign went toward research in the field of agricultural science (roughly $134 million). Other fields that received large sums of R&D funding included biological sciences ($63 million), electrical engineering ($44 million), and physics ($30 million).

    Total R&D Expenditure: $583,754

    • Science: $410,524
    • Engineering: $147,498
    • Other: $25,732

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $359,989
    • State and local government: $25,996
    • Institution funds: $141,817
    • Businesses: $37,433
    • Nonprofit organizations: $18,228
    • Other donors: $291
  35. Rank
    34
    School

    Vanderbilt University

    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Tuition
    $43,620 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2101 West End Avenue
    Nashville, TN 37240
    (615) 322-7311

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Approximately $248 million (or 44% of Vanderbilt's R&D expenditure in 2012) went toward medical science, while biological science claimed another $163 million. About 80% of the school's R&D budget is derived from the federal government; in contrast, state/local government sources only provide $189,000 in financial support for the school's research activities.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $560,446

    • Science: $478,388
    • Engineering: $55,490
    • Other: $26,588

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $448,948
    • State and local government: $189
    • Institution funds: $73,871
    • Businesses: $12,920
    • Nonprofit organizations: $21,967
    • Other donors: $2,571
  36. Rank
    35
    School

    Emory University

    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Tuition
    $44,008 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    408 Administration Building, 201 Dowman Drive
    Atlanta, GA 30322
    (404) 727-6123

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Emory University committed 14% of its 2012 R&D budget (roughly $78 million) toward non-science and engineering research activities; no other school on our list allocated a higher percentage of funds toward research in these fields. Most of the remaining funds went toward scientific research, particularly medicine and biology; only $16 million was allotted to engineering research.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $552,707

    • Science: $457,934
    • Engineering: $16,603
    • Other: $78,170

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $361,165
    • State and local government: $673,000
    • Institution funds: $117,832
    • Businesses: $29,360
    • Nonprofit organizations: $40,917
    • Other donors: $2,760
  37. Rank
    36
    School

    Michigan State University

    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Tuition
    $13,579 in state;
    $34,283 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    East Lansing, MI 48824-1046
    (517) 355-1855

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Most of Michigan State University's research and development activities are concentrated in science; biology- and agriculture-related projects and studies collectively represented nearly 40% of the school's 2012 R&D expenditures. Combined federal and state/local government sources finance roughly 60% of MSU's research budget, with institution funds covering most of the remainder.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $507,061

    • Science: $426,038
    • Engineering: $45,582
    • Other: $35,441

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $268,952
    • State and local government: $36,238
    • Institution funds: $172,202
    • Businesses: $5,084
    • Nonprofit organizations: $9,162
    • Other donors: $15,423
  38. Rank
    37
    School

    University of Maryland-College Park

    Location
    College Park, MD
    Tuition
    $9,579 resident;
    $29,999 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    College Park, MD 20742
    (301) 405-1000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Although the University of Maryland committed $117 million to engineering-related research and development in 2012 (particularly in the fields of electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering), more than 75% of the school's R&D budget is focused on scientific research activities. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other donors collectively provide just 3% of the university's R&D budget; the federal government, on the other hand, supplies more than two-thirds of the funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $502,406

    • Science: $381,174
    • Engineering: $117,243
    • Other: $3,989

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $340,180
    • State and local government: $14,433
    • Institution funds: $130,888
    • Businesses: $6,353
    • Nonprofit organizations: $3,109
    • Other donors: $7,443
  39. Rank
    38
    School

    Baylor College of Medicine

    Location
    Houston, TX
    Tuition
    $6,550 resident;
    $19,650 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    One Baylor Plaza
    Houston, TX 77030-3498
    (713) 798-4951

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    After the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at #26, Baylor College of Medicine is the second of two exclusively medical research facilities on our list that are located in the city of Houston. BCM's R&D activities are exclusive to two fields ― biology and medical science ― and the school's R&D expenditures are somewhat neatly divided between the two.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $474,700

    • Science: $474,000
    • Engineering: $0
    • Other: $0

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $268,753
    • State and local government: $23,278
    • Institution funds: $122,687
    • Businesses: $14,678
    • Nonprofit organizations: $45,304
    • Other donors: $0
  40. Rank
    39
    School

    New York University

    Location
    New York, NY
    Tuition
    $21,872 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    70 Washington Sq South
    New York, NY 10012-1091
    (212) 998-1212

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    NYU is the first school on our list with a 2012 R&D expenditure that fell below $500 million ― as well as the only school on our list that funds research projects and studies focused on non-science and engineering fields, but not in engineering fields. Medical and biological science research activities comprise more than 70% of the school's R&D budget.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $458,645

    • Science: $425,043
    • Engineering: $0
    • Other: $33,602

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $316,208
    • State and local government: $6,127
    • Institution funds: $71,245
    • Businesses: $15,579
    • Nonprofit organizations: $33,377
    • Other donors: $13,109
  41. Rank
    40
    School

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Tuition
    $5,248 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    222 Burruss Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061-0131
    (540) 231-6000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    The R&D expenditure at Virginia Tech is split nearly 60-40 between science and engineering, although the school committed more than $6 million to research activities outside these two fields ($4 million in the field of education). The federal government, state/local government sources, and institution funds all provide at least $100 million toward the school's R&D budget.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $454,417

    • Science: $259,136
    • Engineering: $188,918
    • Other: $6,363

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $184,175
    • State and local government: $103,679
    • Institution funds: $121,812
    • Businesses: $25,056
    • Nonprofit organizations: $16,495
    • Other donors: $3,200
  42. Rank
    41
    School

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Tuition
    $9,280 in state;
    $21,220 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Administration Bldg Suite 1070
    Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
    (205) 934-4011

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    UAB is home to one of the country's leading nursing programs ― and not surprisingly, more than two-thirds of the school's R&D budget was allocated to medical science-related research in 2012. UAB receives very little funding from state/local government sources and virtually none from 'other' donors, but the federal government alone provides roughly 68% of the funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $453,779

    • Science: $429,745
    • Engineering: $19,363
    • Other: $4,671

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $306,210
    • State and local government: $818
    • Institution funds: $107,597
    • Businesses: $21,430
    • Nonprofit organizations: $17,724
    • Other donors: $0
  43. Rank
    42
    School

    University of Iowa

    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Tuition
    $8,104 resident;
    $27,890 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    101 Jessup Hall
    Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
    (319) 335-3500

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Three quarters of the University of Iowa's R&D expenditures went toward life science-related research in 2012 ― but considering Iowa's role as a major contributor of farmed products, it's interesting to note that none of these funds support studies or projects in the field of agricultural science. The school derives virtually all of its R&D budget from either the federal government of institution funds; businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other donors provided only 6.7%.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $446,429

    • Engineering: $132,180
    • Other: $48,658

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $636,348
    • State and local government: $36,465
    • Institution funds: $80,878
    • Businesses: $62,918
    • Nonprofit organizations: $79,074
    • Other donors: $7,555
  44. Rank
    43
    School

    University of South Florida

    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Tuition
    $6,410 in state;
    $17,324 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    4202 East Fowler Ave
    Tampa, FL 33620-9951
    (813) 974-2011

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Medical science and biology receive the bulk of R&D funding at USF (roughly two-thirds in 2012), but the school also provides significant funding for research activities in fields like oceanography, civil engineering, and education. The federal government and institution funds together provide about 85% of the financial backing for the school's R&D studies.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $443,206

    • Science: $357,065
    • Engineering: $37,629
    • Other: $48,512

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $236,148
    • State and local government: $23,351
    • Institution funds: $142,402
    • Businesses: $24,368
    • Nonprofit organizations: $14,239
    • Other donors: $2,698
  45. Rank
    44
    School

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Tuition
    $16,500 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    5323 Harry Hines Blvd
    Dallas, TX 75390-9096
    (214) 648-3606

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    As a medical research center, UT Southwestern allocates the vast majority of its R&D funds toward activities in two fields: biology and medicine, each of which received at least $200 million in 2012; the remaining funds go toward research in non-specific life science fields. Unlike the two previous medical research facilities on this list, UT Southwestern receives financial backing from 'other donors' ― roughly $35 million last year.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $435,085

    • Science: $435,085
    • Engineering: $0
    • Other: $0

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $207,513
    • State and local government: $64,958
    • Institution funds: $64,679
    • Businesses: $18,464
    • Nonprofit organizations: $44,437
    • Other donors: $35,034
  46. Rank
    45
    School

    Rutgers University – New Brunswick

    Location
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Tuition
    $13,856 resident;
    $28,280 nonresident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    83 Somerset St
    New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281
    (732) 932-1766

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Unlike most schools on our list that allocate most of their R&D expenditures toward activities in medical and biological science, Rutgers provided at least $10 million for research in 13 different scientific and engineering fields in 2012. Nearly 80% of the school's R&D budget came from either the federal government or institution funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $434,901

    • Science: $359,614
    • Engineering: $61,123
    • Other: $14,164

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $279,161
    • State and local government: $40,555
    • Institution funds: $68,621
    • Businesses: $15,972
    • Nonprofit organizations: $26,927
    • Other donors: $3,665
  47. Rank
    46
    School

    University of Cincinnati

    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Tuition
    $10,784 in state;
    $25,816 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2624 Clifton Avenue
    Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
    (513) 556-6000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The University of Cincinnati allocated more than 80% of its 2012 R&D expenditures to life science-related research activities alone, with less than 15% of funds going toward projects and studies outside the field of science. Roughly $60 million of the school's R&D budget came from state/local government sources, businesses, or nonprofit organizations; the rest was provided by either the federal government or institution funds.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $433,688

    • Science: $368,626
    • Engineering: $39,668
    • Other: $25,374

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $267,691
    • State and local government: $10,132
    • Institution funds: $106,980
    • Businesses: $20,600
    • Nonprofit organizations: $28,265
    • Other donors: $0
  48. Rank
    47
    School

    University of Maryland – Baltimore County

    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Tuition
    $10,068 in state;
    $21,642 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1000 Hilltop Circle
    Baltimore, MD 21250
    (410) 455-1000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The University of Maryland committed the vast majority of its 2012 R&D expenditures (roughly 94%) toward studies and projects in the fields of medicine and biology. The school also allocated more than $13 million toward R&D related to social work; engineering activities, in contrast, only received $6.2 million.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $433,228

    • Science: $408,501
    • Engineering: $6,253
    • Other: $18,474

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $231,886
    • State and local government: $24,690
    • Institution funds: $106,711
    • Businesses: $18,595
    • Nonprofit organizations: $50,876
    • Other donors: $470
  49. Rank
    48
    School

    University of Colorado Denver

    Location
    Denver, CO
    Tuition
    $7,008 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
    Denver, CO 80217-3364
    (303) 556-5600

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    University of Denver's Anschutz Medical Campus is the only medical research facility on our list that allocated R&D funds toward projects and activities outside the realm of life science in 2012. Roughly $2 million supported research in engineering fields (mostly civil engineering), and another $9 million went toward research in non-science and engineering fields.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $431,997

    • Science: $420,592
    • Engineering: $2,252
    • Other: $9,133

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $315,685
    • State and local government: $15,230
    • Institution funds: $28,290
    • Businesses: $35,928
    • Nonprofit organizations: $30,869
    • Other donors: $5,975
  50. Rank
    49
    School

    Case Western Reserve University

    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Tuition
    $44,156 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    10900 Euclid Ave
    Cleveland, OH 44106
    (216) 368-2000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Case Western earmarked nearly 85% of its 2012 R&D budget for activities related to life science (with 80% going toward either medicine or biology), with an additional 10% funding engineering research. Approximately 83% of the school's R&D budget is supported by the federal government.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $431,090

    • Science: $385,526
    • Engineering: $44,720
    • Other: $844

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal government: $359,000
    • State and local government: $14,555
    • Institution funds: $32,968
    • Businesses: $6,647
    • Nonprofit organizations: $16,623
    • Other donors: $1,297
  51. Rank
    50
    School

    University of Utah

    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Tuition
    $8,240 resident
    +

    Websites

    Address

    201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 203
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9008
    (801) 581-7200

    Accreditation

    NCCU

    School Description

    Our top 50 list concludes with the University of Utah, a school with a 2012 R&D budget roughly one-fifth that of top-ranked Johns Hopkins ― although it should be noted that Utah's R&D expenditures exceeded those of nearly 900 other schools ranked by the NSF. More than half of the school's R&D budget supported life science-related activities, with another 20% going toward engineering-related research projects and studies.

    Total R&D Expenditure: $430,456

    • Science: $341,654
    • Engineering: $83,904
    • Other: $4,498

    Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):

    • Federal Government: $273,150
    • State and local government: $1,285
    • Institution funds: $123,639
    • Businesses: $13,514
    • Nonprofit organizations: $16,026
    • Other donors: $2,442

Information & Data

The list is divided between public four-year universities and private universities, although it also includes four institutions exclusively dedicated to medical research. Most of the ranked schools allocate between 50% and 80% of their R&D budget toward science-related research, particularly in the fields of medicine and biology. Engineering R&D funding was a little less consistent throughout the list; some schools evenly split funding for engineering and science R&D, while others provided virtually no funding toward engineering-related activities. With a few exceptions, the schools on our list allotted less than 10% of their R&D budget toward studies and projects outside these two fields.

How to Interpret the Data

As you are browsing the list, be sure to also note the percentage of R&D funds each school has committed to certain fields. Top-ranked Johns Hopkins University, for example, committed nearly $40 million toward environmental science research in 2012 ― but this figure represents only 1.8% of the school’s overall R&D budget for that year. The University of Southern California (#30), on the other hand, spent half as much on environmental science research in 2012, but this represented twice as much of the school’s R&D budget.

Please note that all dollar amounts in our list represent thousands of dollars. For instance, a total R&D expenditure of $150,000 (as presented in the ranking) actually represents $150 million. Also, percentages have been rounded to the nearest tenth.