The Most Technologically Advanced Colleges

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers

Published on November 20, 2020

Share this Article

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

Most colleges have adjusted to take advantage of today's interconnected, digital world. However, some schools have thrived while others have merely adapted. Schools with a reputation for providing excellent STEM programs are typically the most technologically advanced colleges.

These schools offer tech-based tools to enhance academics and campus life. Learners interested in tech careers can often access additional academic and extracurricular opportunities at technologically advanced colleges.

The following ranking highlights the top colleges and universities in the United States that provide technology-based tools that benefit students. Opportunities for student engagement, creation, and management of tech resources also affect this ranking. These technological resources, often influenced by a STEM-heavy course catalog, enhance the higher education experience.

Top Most Technologically Advanced Colleges

The Most Technologically Advanced Colleges

  1. Wake Forest University
    Location

    Winston-Salem, NC

    This private university in North Carolina was founded in 1834, and the campus boasts an old-world feel. However, WFU is anything but old school. With apps for almost everything students need for success, this campus is excellent for students seeking to stay connected at all times.

    Each of the school's 8,116 students and their families can download the WFU Mobile Web app to search the campus map and directory, discover the latest news about the university, and learn about classes. Students can also open the app to find available parking and on-campus shuttles.

    WFU sports fans can download the free Wake Forest Gameday app. This intuitive program allows users to listen to real-time audio from games, find the best seating at the stadium, and receive important game day alerts. WFU also has apps for campus safety, orientation, custom emojis, laundry, and events.

  2. Arizona State University
    Location

    Tempe, AZ

    ASU partners with some of the biggest names in tech to enhance the learning environment. The university developed a program with the Amazon Alexa team that is implemented in the engineering dorm. Students in this residence hall can choose to receive free Echo Dots that connect them to voice-enabled learning. Not only can these students ask Alexa to play music and look up words, but they can ask their Echo Dots to connect them to several campus-specific services.

    ASU also created smart classrooms and a stadium. The campus has sensors to detect factors like temperature, noise levels, and humidity. These sensors provide the university with valuable information, such as if someone left a faucet running. They also support fan engagement with capabilities like allowing fans to participate in stadium cheering contests.

  3. California Institute of Technology
    Location

    Pasadena, CA

    This world-renowned university, which is better known as "Caltech," attracts some of the brightest inventors in the world. Caltech offers some of the most advanced research and technology in the world to support students. The learners and researchers on this California campus design so many technological marvels that the school created a department to help student inventors partner with companies.

    Caltech is home to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Researchers in this lab use advanced robotics to study complicated questions about the solar system and Earth's atmosphere. The NASA professionals and Caltech researchers in the laboratory have conducted more than 100 missions and currently operate 19 spacecraft.

    Caltech is an excellent fit for learners seeking the latest sustainability technology. The Resnick Sustainability Institute on campus brings chemists, engineers, and technology together to create a greener future.

  4. Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    This research-driven university partnered with Cisco to create a secure, scalable network that manages the thousands of connected devices in each building, as well as the data generated from research labs. The collaboration also created the Forecast app for students. This mobile application gives learners data about their activity on campus, compares the data to how successful students acted in the past year, and suggests ways to improve academic performances.

    Degree candidates can also download The Purdue App. This application has up-to-date campus information, including available recreation equipment, laundry tracking, bus stops, and weather conditions. Purdue Mobile Menus lets students check what dining halls serve at any given time, and the Boiler Lights app is critical for any fan attending basketball games. Purdue also uses the internet of things to improve production in the College of Agriculture at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education field.

  5. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Clemson is technologically savvy in several areas, including energy efficiency, student apps, and research laboratories. The university boasts solar-covered parking lots that provide covered student and faculty parking while producing energy for the campus. The school also installed an energy storage system to use solar energy efficiently.

    Learners receive access to several Clemson apps. The my.Clemson app allows students to access online course components, see the bus routes and stops, find parking, access the university directory, and keep up with campus events. Clemson Lights helps learners and fans connect at the games. The PERSIST Lab allows STEM students to use the latest technology to conduct research.

  6. University of Minnesota
    Location

    Minneapolis, MN

    UMN made visible technological breakthroughs that anyone on campus can see. Among the most noticeable are the 275 digital signs across the campus. This digital network of signs is fully scalable and operates on a Carousel network. Students can use them to access emergency information, bus routes, and donor biographies. Departments control these signs, so each building has signs aligned with its needs.

    The U Minnesota Mobile App gives learners another way to get important details about campus. Students can view schedules, create to-do lists, receive university announcements, connect to social media, find parking, and receive news about on-campus events.

    Behind all of these signs, apps, and connected devices is a reinforced network. UMN recently upgraded its infrastructure with more than 10,000 Aruba access points and troubleshooting. Users may notice a reliable connection and high speeds, even when hundreds of students attend a class together.

  7. Carnegie Mellon University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Researchers at this university project the world to have more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Each of these smart devices is part of the "internet of things," in which all devices are interconnected to paint a digital picture of the surrounding area and users.

    Carnegie-Mellon launched an initiative to become a smart campus and real-life test facility for some of the ways the internet of things enhances daily life. Amazon Web Services, Infineon Technologies, and Nokia Bell Labs came together to assist Carnegie Mellon with this "living lab" project.

    The school also established the Block Center for Technology and Society in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Learners can use this facility to devise new ways to use the internet of things and test these ideas on campus.

  8. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    UNL offers several technological advances, such as a robust, free, secure, and automatic WiFi connection. NU-Connect allows students to automatically encrypt WiFi every time they come on campus. This system helps connect the university's internet of things.

    One of the most helpful ways that UNL uses the internet of things is through its printer kiosks. Students no longer have to go to the library or computer lab to print papers. Instead, they can visit any of the smart kiosks across campus to easily print, scan, fax, and make copies.

    The school also offers the Nebraska App to keep learners connected. Users can access the campus directory, view schedules, browse the library catalog, and receive university news. Furthermore, the university uses 60,000 sensors and controls to make the campus more efficient.

  9. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    USC is another major university featuring technological breakthroughs in several areas. For example, the institution has a "smart grid" research center in which students test new ways to create tomorrow's energy grids. Engineering learners can attend high-tech workshops to accelerate learning with topics like air quality sensing, cyber-physical systems, and driverless vehicles.

    All students can use the school's network of mobile applications to connect with campus. These apps help degree candidates stay safe, find transportation services, access the library remotely, and follow game day activities. The school's CHARIOT initiative sits at the intersection of education and the internet of things. Education, technology, and information management students work together in this program, creating ways to use real-time data to personalize education.

  10. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Penn State makes this list for its useful student apps and secure building automation. Learners can download several practical mobile applications, such as Penn State Life, where students can find campus events, check schedules, and find university resources.

    Another app is Dining@PSU, which offers a way for degree candidates to find dining halls, see their hours, and check daily menus. The app also lets users read the nutritional values of all menu items and easily log food intake. Students at the institution are currently developing another app, which is aimed at connecting commuter students and cultivating community.

    Learners can access these apps through Penn State's robust networks. The university recently upgraded to BACnet traffic systems to keep information safer and improve efficiency.

What Are the Benefits of Attending a Technologically Advanced College?

Technologically advanced colleges and universities offer several benefits to students. Schools that implement an advanced digital infrastructure allow learners to more effectively engage with coursework, faculty, and other students. Additionally, schools with a strong digital footprint offer students easier access to important information, such as campus news. Learners pursuing a STEM major also benefit from the advanced facilities found on campus.

In many cases, schools that embrace technology have adapted more seamlessly to restrictions and obstacles caused by COVID-19.

What Are Some Examples of Technologically Advanced Features on College Campuses?

Schools use technology in a variety of ways. Many colleges have their own school-specific mobile apps, and the best apps allow learners to access critical information like safety alerts and breaking news.

Colleges with well-regarded STEM programs often implement technology in unique, forward-looking ways. These programs boast the state-of-the-art technology needed to keep up with modern research, allowing students to develop in-demand skills.

How Does Advanced Technology Enhance Teaching and Learning?

Technologically advanced colleges have responded better to the COVID-19 pandemic than their less advanced peers by implementing various online tools. These tools, like videoconferencing and social networking, have increased student engagement in attempts to make up for the lack of on-campus camaraderie.

The increase of online learning tools also expands access to higher education. Online learning platforms can reach a greater number of students and increase diversity in the classroom.

What Kind of Degrees Benefit from Technology Research Funding?

STEM-focused degrees are the most obvious beneficiaries of advanced technology. High-tech laboratories, access to sophisticated computer programs and characterization instruments, and tech-savvy educators can elevate the academic experience.

However, the advantages provided by technology funding also extend to many other disciplines. For example, art majors benefit from having access to complex photo editing software, music students can work in state-of-the-art recording studios, and English composition majors can learn about coding to more effectively market themselves as digital journalists.

Find Additional Resources

The Student Guide to College Planning

Your Guide to College Applications

Technology Careers


Explore Related Rankings

Most Affordable Online Computer Science Programs Best Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Programs Best Online Bachelor's in Web Development Programs

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.