These 25 schools are tops for producing the nation’s leaders

Harvard University was the clear leader of the pack with 10 more points than second-place Stanford University. The next 98 schools differed from second place by no more than 9 points.

The working person can thank their degree for helping them land the big job, but where that credential was earned says a lot about their potential as the nation’s next leader, according to a new analysis from TIME.

As might be expected, the Ivy League Pluses were responsible for producing the majority of leaders across sectors such as law, media and academia. For example, University of California, Berkeley; University of Michigan; and University of Wisconsin-Madison are among a few in the tight bubble of schools responsible for domestically training 80% of U.S. faculty, according to one 2022 study published in Nature.

However, colleges and universities offering premium programs in specific trades like engineering and agriculture helped diversify the list. For example, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University were recognized for their contribution to producing the country’s leaders in oil and gas.

But above all, the institutions most likely to make this list have at least one notable postgraduate program or are large research universities.

The seminal magazine, along with data collection provider Statista, reviewed the alma mater and career milestones of 2,000 politicians, CEOs and other leaders and compiled the 100 colleges and universities where they studied. They also identified the most influential companies where future leaders started their careers and that guided them through the “career funnel” to top leadership positions in the U.S.

Some consulting firms begin their marketing tactics early in these top-flight college students’ academic careers. They even have quotas to fill to ensure their interview process is saturated with applicants from these 100 institutions, said Lauren Rivera, a professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, according to the article.

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The top 25, ranked

Harvard University was the clear leader of the pack with 10 more points than second-place Stanford University. The next 98 schools differed from second place by no more than 9 points.

Seven public universities made the first 25, including U-M, UC Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, Arizona State University-Tempe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Texas A&M.

  1. Harvard University (100)
  2. Stanford University (90)
  3. University of Pennsylvania (89)
  4. Columbia University (87)
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (87)
  6. Yale University (86)
  7. Princeton University (86)
  8. Northwestern University (85)
  9. University of Michigan (85)
  10. University of Chicago (84)
  11. University of California, Berkeley (84)
  12. Georgetown University (84)
  13. New York University (83)
  14. University of Texas at Austin (83)
  15. Cornell University (83)
  16. Dartmouth College (83)
  17. University of Virginia (83)
  18. Duke University (83)
  19. Brown University (83)
  20. Arizona State University – Tempe (82)
  21. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (82)
  22. University of Notre Dame (82)
  23. Texas A&M University (82)
  24. Vanderbilt University (82)
  25. University of Southern California (82)
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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