The Country’s Smartest Professors Work at These 5 Colleges

If you want to learn from the best, check out these five schools

Mar 29, 2014 at 4:00PM


Choosing a college or university is hard work, and takes a lot of time and research for those who are serious about making the right choice. Of the myriad factors usually considered, however, the intellectual prowess of a school's faculty might not be something degree-seekers put on their priority list.

It's worth investigating, after all, since the caliber of the instructor surely has some bearing on student performance. Here are the top five institutions of higher learning, each ranked by the perceived intellect of its faculty, courtesy of the website Niche – which uses a variety of sources  for its ratings, including polls of students and alumni.

Stanford University, California
Currently No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report's ranking of national universities, Stanford has some extremely well-regarded programs, notably its Law School and School of Engineering, and is one of the top schools for computer science, as well. At more than $43,000 per year, the university is very pricey; those surveyed by Niche gave the school an A+ in academics, computers, and campus strictness – which may indicate a level of discipline that is conducive to learning.

University of Chicago
Tied with Stanford for position No. 5 by U.S. News is the University of Chicago, where the personal attention given to students undoubtedly has contributed to its strong academic rating. Over 77% of the University's classes have fewer than 20 students, and another 17% have between 20 and 49. Tuition and fees top those of Stanford, though, at more than $46,000 per year.

College of Wooster, Ohio
Of the five schools on this list, College of Wooster is probably the least well known. This college is, not surprisingly, quite a bit smaller than either Stanford or the University of Chicago, though it rates only an A- in academics  by Niche contributors. Still, students note that faculty treat them less formally, and despite the fact that the student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1 is double that of the two universities, students like the easy camaraderie and community spirit that permeates the college.

College of William and Mary, Virginia
A venerable institution founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary is a public school, which makes its price tag a bit more platable: Out-of-state students pay just under $38,000 in tuition and fees annually, while those who reside in-state face a much smaller bill, just over $15,000. Students feel affection and loyalty toward the college, professors, and each other, and most say they would choose William and Mary again, if they had the opportunity.

Smith College, Massachusetts
This private college in western Massachusetts has its own brand of cachet, perhaps due to its continuing status of being a women-only institution – though its graduate programs are available to men, as well. Smith's yearly tuition is comparable to Stanford's at approximately $43,000.

The overall perception of Smith by its students is that its appeal is somewhat limited, but that it offers a stellar academic experience. Especially attractive is the school's willingness to allow undergraduates a taste of graduate work, such as independent study and research with the college's faculty.

While there are many factors involved in choosing where to pursue your college degree, knowing that you will be taking instruction from the cream of the crop is no small thing, and is definitely worthy of your consideration.

3 stocks to own for the rest of your life
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information

Compare Brokers