The 50 U.S. Colleges That Spend the Most on Research and Development

The 50 U.S. Colleges That Spend the Most on Research and Development

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.

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.

Rank
School Name
Location
Tuition
  School Description Address Services Websites Accreditation Rates
1 Baltimore, MD
  • $47,069 annually
More Info
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
Address
3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall
Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
(410) 516-8000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
18.13% Admission Rate
35.93% Enrollment Rate
92.54% Graduation Rate
97.04% Retention Rate
2 Ann Arbor, MI
  • $13,486 annually
More Info
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
Address
503 Thompson Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 764-1817
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
33.26% Admission Rate
39.82% Enrollment Rate
89.97% Graduation Rate
96.88% Retention Rate
3 Madison, WI
  • $455 per credit in state
More Info
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
Address
500 Lincoln Dr
Madison, WI 53706-1380
(608) 262-1234
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
67.92% Admission Rate
39.64% Enrollment Rate
82.84% Graduation Rate
95.17% Retention Rate
4 Seattle, WA
  • $12,394 in state;
  • $33,513 out of state
More Info
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
Address
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195-4550
(206) 543-2100
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCCU
Rates
55.23% Admission Rate
37.49% Enrollment Rate
81.83% Graduation Rate
93.03% Retention Rate
5 La Jolla, CA
  • $13,456 in state;
  • $22,878 out of state
More Info
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
Address
9500 Gilman Dr
La Jolla, CA 92093
(858) 534-2230
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
37.5% Admission Rate
20.06% Enrollment Rate
85.8% Graduation Rate
94.2% Retention Rate
6 San Francisco, CA
  • $32,106 in state;
  • $44,351 out of state
More Info
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
Address
500 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143-0244
(415) 476-9000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
7 Durham, NC
  • $47,488 annually
More Info
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
Address
103 Allen Bldg
Durham, NC 27708
(919) 684-8111
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
13.42% Admission Rate
42.04% Enrollment Rate
94.23% Graduation Rate
97.2% Retention Rate
8 Los Angeles, CA
  • $13,686 annually
More Info
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
Address
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
(310) 825-4321
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
21.99% Admission Rate
35.17% Enrollment Rate
90.31% Graduation Rate
96.26% Retention Rate
9 Stanford, CA
  • $45,729 annually
More Info
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
Address
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-2300
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
5.69% Admission Rate
75.95% Enrollment Rate
95.76% Graduation Rate
98.58% Retention Rate
10 New York, NY
  • $51,008 annually
More Info
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
Address
West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1754
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
7.42% Admission Rate
59.91% Enrollment Rate
93.29% Graduation Rate
97.34% Retention Rate
11 Chapel Hill, NC
  • $11,994 annually
More Info
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
Address
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
27.59% Admission Rate
49.89% Enrollment Rate
90.02% Graduation Rate
96.09% Retention Rate
12 Pittsburgh, PA
  • $21,142 annually
More Info
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
Address
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-4141
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
56.13% Admission Rate
26.35% Enrollment Rate
80.44% Graduation Rate
90.87% Retention Rate
13 Philadelphia, PA
  • $49,536 annually
More Info
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
Address
34th & Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
(215) 898-5000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
12.24% Admission Rate
63.21% Enrollment Rate
95.69% Graduation Rate
97.78% Retention Rate
14 Minneapolis, MN
  • $13,626 resident;
  • $20,876 nonresident
More Info
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
Address
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
(612) 625-5000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
44.42% Admission Rate
28.99% Enrollment Rate
75.4% Graduation Rate
90.22% Retention Rate
15 Cambridge, MA
  • $43,720 annually
More Info
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
Address
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
(617) 253-1000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NEASC/CIHE
Rates
8.15% Admission Rate
72.03% Enrollment Rate
93.07% Graduation Rate
97.88% Retention Rate
16 Ithaca, NY
  • $48,885 annually
More Info
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
Address
300 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-2000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
15.56% Admission Rate
51.8% Enrollment Rate
93.34% Graduation Rate
96.77% Retention Rate
17 Cambridge, MA
  • $45,278 annually
More Info
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
Address
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NEASC/CIHE
Rates
5.84% Admission Rate
81.05% Enrollment Rate
97.47% Graduation Rate
97.06% Retention Rate
18 University Park, PA
  • $16,572 annually
More Info
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
Address
201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802-1503
(814) 865-4700
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
54.2% Admission Rate
29.68% Enrollment Rate
84.84% Graduation Rate
92.36% Retention Rate
19 Columbus, OH
  • $4,584 per semester in state
More Info
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
Address
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
55.53% Admission Rate
40.95% Enrollment Rate
83.23% Graduation Rate
92.45% Retention Rate
20 Berkeley, CA
  • $16,614 annually
More Info
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
Address
200 California Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-6000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
18% Admission Rate
37.47% Enrollment Rate
91.03% Graduation Rate
96.37% Retention Rate
21 Davis, CA
  • $15,641 annually
More Info
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
Address
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8678
(530) 752-1011
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
45.21% Admission Rate
23.12% Enrollment Rate
81.33% Graduation Rate
92.94% Retention Rate
22 Saint Louis, MO
  • $22,850 per semester in state
More Info
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
Address
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899
(314) 935-5000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
15.55% Admission Rate
34.37% Enrollment Rate
94.04% Graduation Rate
96.42% Retention Rate
23 Gainesville, FL
  • $6,310 in state
More Info
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
Address
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-3261
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
46.55% Admission Rate
50.51% Enrollment Rate
86.54% Graduation Rate
96.46% Retention Rate
24 College Station, TX
  • $713 per credit in state
More Info
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
Address
805 Rudder Tower
College Station, TX 77843-1244
(979) 845-3211
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
69.47% Admission Rate
46.97% Enrollment Rate
79.08% Graduation Rate
91.43% Retention Rate
25 Atlanta, GA
  • $4,906 per semester in state
More Info
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
Address
225 North Ave
Atlanta, GA 30332-0530
(404) 894-2000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
54.93% Admission Rate
37.84% Enrollment Rate
82.19% Graduation Rate
95.52% Retention Rate
26 Houston, TX
  • $1,600 per semester in state
More Info
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
Address
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030-4009
(800) 392-1611
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
27 New Haven, CT
  • $45,800 annually
More Info
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
Address
Woodbridge Hall
New Haven, CT 06520
(203) 432-4771
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NEASC/CIHE
Rates
7.05% Admission Rate
66.37% Enrollment Rate
97.79% Graduation Rate
98.67% Retention Rate
28 Evanston, IL
  • $48,624 annually
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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
Address
633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-3741
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
15.32% Admission Rate
41.47% Enrollment Rate
94.19% Graduation Rate
97.69% Retention Rate
29 Tucson, AZ
  • $29,000 annually
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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
Address
1401 E University
Tucson, AZ 85721-0066
(520) 621-2211
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
76.92% Admission Rate
36.55% Enrollment Rate
61.39% Graduation Rate
81.48% Retention Rate
30 Los Angeles, CA
  • $29,889 annually
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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
Address
University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2311
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
WASC/SCUC
Rates
19.84% Admission Rate
31.1% Enrollment Rate
91.17% Graduation Rate
95.99% Retention Rate
31 Austin, TX
  • $4,673 per semester in state
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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
Address
2400 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-3434
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
40.19% Admission Rate
47.27% Enrollment Rate
79.44% Graduation Rate
93.63% Retention Rate
32 West Lafayette, IN
  • $10,002 resident;
  • $28,804 nonresident
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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
Address
Hovde Hall of Administration
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040
(765) 494-4600
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
60.42% Admission Rate
34.2% Enrollment Rate
69.94% Graduation Rate
90.59% Retention Rate
33 Champaign, IL
  • $15,636 annually
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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
Address
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL 61820-5711
(217) 333-1000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
62.39% Admission Rate
35.38% Enrollment Rate
83.8% Graduation Rate
93.06% Retention Rate
34 Nashville, TN
  • $43,620 annually
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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
Address
2101 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-7311
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
12.74% Admission Rate
40.7% Enrollment Rate
92.52% Graduation Rate
97.32% Retention Rate
35 Atlanta, GA
  • $45,008 annually
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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
Address
408 Administration Building, 201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-6123
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
26.33% Admission Rate
29.62% Enrollment Rate
89.61% Graduation Rate
94.38% Retention Rate
36 East Lansing, MI
  • $13,200 in state
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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
Address
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046
(517) 355-1855
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
68.65% Admission Rate
37.3% Enrollment Rate
77.36% Graduation Rate
90.51% Retention Rate
37 College Park, MD
  • $9,579 resident;
  • $29,999 nonresident
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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
Address
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-1000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
46.99% Admission Rate
32.6% Enrollment Rate
84.06% Graduation Rate
94.68% Retention Rate
38 Houston, TX
  • $6,550 resident;
  • $19,650 nonresident
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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
Address
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030-3498
(713) 798-4951
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
39 New York, NY
  • $21,872 annually
More Info
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
Address
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
(212) 998-1212
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
26.05% Admission Rate
34.56% Enrollment Rate
83.31% Graduation Rate
92.5% Retention Rate
40 Blacksburg, VA
  • $5,248 annually
More Info
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
Address
222 Burruss Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0131
(540) 231-6000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
70.28% Admission Rate
39.93% Enrollment Rate
82.43% Graduation Rate
91.19% Retention Rate
41 Birmingham, AL
  • $9,280 in state;
  • $21,220 out of state
More Info
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
Address
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
86.73% Admission Rate
35.93% Enrollment Rate
53.77% Graduation Rate
80.16% Retention Rate
42 Iowa City, IA
  • $8,104 resident;
  • $27,890 nonresident
More Info
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
Address
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
(319) 335-3500
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
80.23% Admission Rate
25.69% Enrollment Rate
69.62% Graduation Rate
85.84% Retention Rate
43 Tampa, FL
  • $6,410 in state;
  • $17,325 out of state
More Info
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
Address
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
45.24% Admission Rate
30.26% Enrollment Rate
63.21% Graduation Rate
88.78% Retention Rate
44 Dallas, TX
  • $16,500 annually
More Info
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
Address
5323 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75390-9096
(214) 648-3606
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
SACS/CC
Rates
45 New Brunswick, NJ
  • $13,856 resident;
  • $28,280 nonresident
More Info
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
Address
83 Somerset St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281
(732) 932-1766
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
59.51% Admission Rate
34.76% Enrollment Rate
79.69% Graduation Rate
90.93% Retention Rate
46 Cincinnati, OH
  • $10,784 in state;
  • $25,816 out of state
More Info
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
Address
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
73.25% Admission Rate
38.27% Enrollment Rate
57.9% Graduation Rate
84.62% Retention Rate
47 Baltimore, MD
  • $10,068 in state;
  • $21,642 out of state
More Info
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
Address
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
(410) 455-1000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
MSCHE
Rates
63.15% Admission Rate
26.9% Enrollment Rate
64.58% Graduation Rate
87.33% Retention Rate
48 Denver, CO
  • $7,008 annually
More Info
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
Address
1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
75.87% Admission Rate
42.48% Enrollment Rate
41.29% Graduation Rate
75.21% Retention Rate
49 Cleveland, OH
  • $44,156 annually
More Info
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
Address
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCACS/THLC
Rates
41.88% Admission Rate
16.23% Enrollment Rate
80.12% Graduation Rate
94.24% Retention Rate
50 Salt Lake City, UT
  • $4,098 resident
More Info
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
Address
201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 203
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9008
(801) 581-7200
Websites
University homepage
Accreditation
NCCU
Rates
81.74% Admission Rate
33.66% Enrollment Rate
60.37% Graduation Rate
87.91% Retention Rate