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Association of American Universities

Top Private Research Universities in the United States


Harvard University

Harvard University

David Paul Ohmer / flickr
AAU Members: private universities | public universities

The Association of American Universities is a highly selective non-profit organization of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only, and all members focus on issues such as research policy, research funding, and both graduate and undergraduate education.

More than half of the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States come from members of the Association of American Universities. While the primary focus of the AAU is graduate study and research, these universities do offer benefits for undergraduates. The perks of a research-centered institution include:

  • opportunities to assist graduate students and professors with research (hands-on work is a great resume builder)
  • a faculty that is well-connected in the academic and corporate world (this has obvious benefits when looking for jobs and internships)
  • strong institutional name recognition in key research areas
Below are the private university members of the AAU in the United States. Click on a name to get the school's description, costs, and admissions data.

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