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Atlantic Coast Conference

From New England to Florida, ACC Schools Shine on the Field and in the Classroom

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A university in the Atlantic Coast Conference may be a good choice if you want your college experience to include packed stadiums, deafening arenas and massive tailgate parties. Be sure to click on the "learn more" links below to find out what it takes to get accepted. You'll discover that these universities have strong academics and research to complement their athletics.

Compare the Atlantic Coast Conference schools: SAT chart | ACT chart

Explore other top conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac 10 | SEC

Also be sure to visit the About.com guides for college football and basketball.

Boston College

Boston College Campus
Juthamas / Flickr

One of the top Catholic colleges in the country, Boston College features beautiful Gothic architecture on a campus in the Boston suburb of Chestnut Hill. The undergraduate business program is particularly strong.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • School type: private, Jesuit
  • Enrollment: 14,754 (9,826 undergraduates)
  • Team: Eagles
  • Explore the campus: Boston College photo tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Boston College profile

Clemson University

Clemson University Football Stadium
Jas&Suz / Flickr

A highly-ranked public university in South Carolina, Clemson sits among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the shores of Lake Hartwell. Business and engineering are particularly popular, and Clemson distinguishes itself with a strong commitment to service learning.

  • Location: Clemson, South Carolina
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 19,914 (15,836 undergraduates)
  • Team: Tigers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Clemson University profile

Duke University

Duke University
cb2vi3 / flickr

Of all the Atlantic Coast Conference universities, Duke is the hardest to get into. Both the acceptance rate and caliber of student makes Duke comparable to several of the Northeastern Ivy League schools. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke's campus has some stunning Gothic architecture.

  • Location: Durham, North Carolina
  • School type: private
  • Enrollment: 15,427 (6,680 undergraduates)
  • Team: Blue Devils
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Duke University profile

Florida State University

Florida State University
J-a-x / Flickr

One of the flagship campuses of the Florida state university system, FSU sits just west of Tallahassee and an easy drive to the Gulf of Mexico. Academic strengths at Florida State include music, dance and engineering.

  • Location: Tallahassee, Florida
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 41,087 (32,201 undergraduates)
  • Team: Seminoles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Florida State University profile

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Football Stadium
brian.chu / Flickr

Located in Atlanta, Georgia Tech is an academic powerhouse that made it onto my list of top public universities and top engineering schools. And yes, their athletic programs are also excellent.

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 20,941 (13,948 undergraduates)
  • Team: Yellow Jackets
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Georgia Tech profile

Maryland (University of Maryland at College Park)

University of Maryland Patterson Hall
forklift / Flickr

Another highly-ranked public university, the University of Maryland at College Park is the flagship campus of Maryland's state university system. College Park is an easy Metro ride into Washington, D.C., and the university has benefited by numerous research partnerships with the federal government.

  • Location: College Park, Maryland
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 37,631 (26,826 undergraduates)
  • Team: Terrapins
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Maryland profile

Miami (University of Miami)

University of Miami
BurningQuestion / Flickr

Business and nursing are extremely popular at the University of Miami, and the school also boasts of a top-ranked marine biology program. Located in the well-to-do suburb of Coral Springs, not Miami, the university's campus is defined by modern white buildings, fountains, and palm trees.

  • Location: Coral Gables, Florida
  • School type: private
  • Enrollment: 16,068 (10,509 undergraduates)
  • Team: Hurricanes
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the University of Miami profile

North Carolina (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

UNC Chapel Hill Wilson Library
Marchmain05 / Wikimedia Commons

Academically, UNC Chapel Hill is probably the strongest of the public universities on this list, and their Kenan-Flagler Business School made my list of top undergraduate business schools. Opened in 1795, Chapel Hill has a beautiful and historic campus. For North Carolina residents, the university is an exceptional value.

  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 29,137 (18,430 undergraduates)
  • Team: Tar Heels
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the UNC Chapel Hill profile

North Carolina State University

NC State University Football
opus2008 / Flickr

North Carolina State University is a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and it is the largest university in North Carolina. The most popular undergraduate programs are in business, engineering, the sciences and the social sciences.

  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • School type: public
  • Enrollment: 34,767 (25,176 undergraduates)
  • Team: Wolfpack
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the North Carolina State University profile

Syracuse University

Syracuse University
Matt McCullough / Flickr

Located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, Syracuse University's programs in media studies, art and business are all worth a look, to name just a few. The university's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned Syracuse a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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