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Top 150 Universities in the United States

The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges rates America’s top 150 universities (as listed by US News and World Reports) according to the degree of viewpoint diversity that a new student is likely to find there. Is it a place where you are likely to encounter a variety of views on politically controversial topics? Or is it a place where students who do not hold the dominant political viewpoint are afraid to speak up? The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges helps you evaluate schools by integrating these four sources of information:

  1. Endorsed Chicago: Whether the university has endorsed the Chicago Principles on free expression
  2. FIRE Rating: Whether the school’s speech codes foster or infringe upon free speech. As rated by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
  3. ISI Rating: Is the school a reasonably welcoming place for conservative and libertarian students? Obtained from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) guide to Choosing the Right College. (We presume that open-minded progressive students would prefer not to attend a school at which students who are not on the left feel unwelcome, and are less likely to speak up.)
  4. Relevant Events Since 2014: Events on campus that indicate a commitment by faculty, administration, and/or students to protect or restrict free inquiry and viewpoint diversity. We ignore events that involve just a few students or professors and focus on those indicating broader sentiment, norms, or policy.

Methodology: Below you’ll find our ratings for the top 150 national universities. (Ratings for the Top 50 Liberal Arts Schools coming soon.) For this first edition, we assign each of the four criteria a value from 0 to 1. We then multiply each by 25 and add up the values to create a “Heterodoxy Score” that runs from 0 (worst, most orthodox) to 100 (best, most heterodox, most open to viewpoint diversity). View our methodology in more detail. We welcome corrections from university administrators and current students as well as your feedback via: collegeguide@heterodoxacademy.org.

Coming Soon: This first edition of the guide was made public on October 19, 2016. Because university policies are changing rapidly this semester, we do not believe that our first edition is reliable enough to serve as a basis for decision making. Our goal is to release a revised and improved version in February 2017. Additionally, we will soon rate the Top 50 Liberal Arts Schools. See our schedule of updates. See our Guide to Colleges mentioned in The New York Times!

Sort any column by clicking on it. Search via the box at the top right of the table. View currently unranked schools.

HxA SCORE

SCHOOL

US News RANK

ENDORSED CHICAGO

FIRE RATING

ISI RATING

RELEVANT EVENTS SINCE 2014
(GREEN = POSITIVE, RED = NEGATIVE)

93.75U of Chicago

Chicago IL

3YesGREENGREENUniversity of Chicago outlines policies regarding free expressions to incoming class of 2020
87.5Purdue U

West Lafayette IN

60YesGREENUNRATEDPurdue president emails all students and faculty: University remains committed to free speech (see also: Email from President Daniels)
Purdue begins Fall 2016 semester with free speech training
68.75College of William and Mary

Williamsburg VA

32NoGREENGREENVice President of University Life reaffirms campus commitment to free speech in email to student body
68.75Washington U - St. Louis

St. Louis MO

19YesYELLOWGREENUniversity officially endorses commitment to free expression
62.5Carnegie Mellon U

Pittsburgh PA

24NoGREENGREEN
62.5George Mason U

Fairfax VA

143NoGREENGREENGeorge Mason University alters a speech code seen as unconstitutional due to hindering free speech
62.5Princeton U

Princeton NJ

1YesREDGREENStudents form the Open Campus Coalition (see also: Princeton Open Campus Coalition Facebook page)

2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
62.5U of Florida

Gainesville FL

50NoGREENGREEN
62.5U of Maryland - College Park

College Park MD

60NoGREENGREEN
62.5U of Mississippi - Oxford

University MS

135NoGREENGREEN
62.5U of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill NC

30NoGREENGREEN
62.5U of Tennessee - Knoxville

Knoxville TN

103NoGREENGREENUniversity declines to pursue disciplinary action against law professor for tweet, cites First Amendment as reason for decision (see also: the statement from Dean Wilson)

Student investigated for Title IX violation for writing incorrect name of lab instructor on his quiz
62.5U of Utah - Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City UT

111NoGREENGREEN
62.5U of Virginia

Charlottesville VA

24NoGREENGREEN
50Arizona State U

Tempe AZ

129NoGREENUNRATED
50Louisiana State U

Baton Rouge LA

135YesREDGREEN2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for threats to academic freedom
50Seton Hall U

South Orange NJ

118NoUNRATEDGREEN
50Texas
A & M

College Station TX

74NoYELLOWGREENUniversity president reaffirms first amendment rights on campus in message to student body and school faculty
50The Catholic U of America

Washington D.C.

124NoUNRATEDGREEN
50U of Minnesota - Twin-Cities

Minneapolis MN

71YesYELLOWYELLOWUniversity of Minnesota to adopt powerful free speech statement (see also University of Minnesota adopts most comprehensive free speech protections to date)

2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
50U of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison WI

44YesYELLOWYELLOWUniversity revises definition of bias incident to include clear standards that protect free speech (see also: University's official definition of bias)

University introduces training program to teach incoming students about "disrespectful speech"
50Vanderbilt U

Nashville TN

15YesYELLOWREDUniversity faculty formally adopts an Academic Freedom of Expression Statement (see also: The official statement)
43.75American U

Washington D.C.

74YesREDUNRATEDUniversity faculty unanimously adopts resolution on freedom of expression (see also: The official resolution)

American University to require courses in 'oppression studies' to graduate
University student government launches campaign in support of mandatory trigger warnings
43.75Auburn U

Auburn AL

99NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75California Institute of Technology

Pasadena CA

12NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75Columbia U

New York NY

5YesREDYELLOW
43.75Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge MA

7NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75North Carolina State U

Raleigh NC

92NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75Oregon State U

Corvallis OR

143NoGREENUNRATEDOregon State's incoming Fall 2016 Class is Required to Participate in Social Justice Training (see also Oregon State's proposed social justice training program)
43.75Pepperdine U

Malibu CA

50NoWARNINGGREENLangbert et al: Top 5 university for viewpoint diversity
43.75Southern Methodist U

Dallas TX

56NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75SUNY - Binghamton

Binghamton NY

86NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75U of Connecticut

Storrs CT

60NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75U of Kentucky - Lexington

Lexington KY

133NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75U of New Hampshire

Durham NH

107NoYELLOWGREEN
43.75U of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia PA

8NoGREENYELLOW
37.5Baylor U

Waco TX

71NoWARNINGGREEN
37.5Boston College

Chestnut Hill MA

31NoREDGREEN
37.5Florida State U

Tallahassee FL

92NoREDGREEN
37.5Johns Hopkins U

Baltimore MD

10YesREDYELLOWLangbert et al: Bottom 5 university for viewpoint diversity
37.5The Ohio State U - Columbus

Columbus OH

54NoYELLOWYELLOWOhio State President informs protesters that administrative offices are "safe spaces" for university employees
Langbert et al: Top 5 university for viewpoint diversity
37.5Tulane U

New Orleans LA

39NoREDGREEN
37.5U of Georgia - Athens

Athens GA

56NoREDGREEN
37.5U of Kansas - Lawrence

Lawrence KS

118NoREDGREENKansas University Senate forms free speech committee to protect freedom of speech and expression on campus

Professor cleared of using racial slur in class, but not re-appointed to tenure-track position
37.5U of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor MI

27NoREDGREEN
37.5U of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln NE

111NoYELLOWGREENUniversity chancellor welcomes students, faculty, and staff by reminding them that the school's beliefs on matters of diversity and inclusion are non-negotiable
37.5Wake Forest U

Winston-Salem NC

27NoREDGREEN
31.25Case Western U

Cleveland OH

37NoREDUNRATEDLangbert et al: Top 5 university for viewpoint diversity
31.25Colorado School of Mines

Golden CO

82NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Colorado State U

Fort Collins CO

129NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Dartmouth College

Hanover NH

11NoYELLOWYELLOWDartmouth students petition administration to stop policing students and start educating them (see also the petition)
31.25Duke U

Durham NC

8NoGREENRED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers and for censorship by students
31.25Illinois State U

Normal IL

152NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Kansas State U

Manhattan KS

135NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Miami U - Oxford

Oxford OH

79NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Michigan State U

East Lansing MI

82NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Michigan Technological U

Houghton MI

118NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Ohio U

Athens OH

146NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25San Diego State U

San Diego CA

146NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy NY

39NoREDUNRATEDLangbert et al: Top 5 university for viewpoint diversity
31.25St. John Fisher College

Rochester NY

146NoUNRATEDUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
31.25Stony Brook U

Stony Brook NY

96NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Syracuse NY

99NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25U of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara CA

37NoYELLOWGREENUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
31.25U of Cincinnati

Cincinnati OH

135NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25U of Denver

Denver CO

86NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25U of Oklahoma - Norman

Norman OK

111NoYELLOWGREEN2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
31.25U of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh PA

68NoYELLOWUNRATED
31.25Virginia Tech

Blacksburg VA

74NoYELLOWUNRATEDJason Riley re-invited to campus by Virginia Tech President

Jason Riley speaking invitation rescinded (see also Jason Riley invitation and disinvitation emails)
31.25Washington State U

Pullman WA

143NoYELLOWUNRATED
25Brigham Young U

Provo UT

68NoWARNINGUNRATED
25Clark U

Worcester MA

74NoREDUNRATED
25Cornell U

Ithaca NY

15NoYELLOWYELLOW
25Depaul U

Chicago IL

124NoUNRATEDUNRATEDActivists storm stage, shut down speaking event
Administration demands police to not intervene as students shut down speaking event, slap speaker in face
Faculty member calls for university president's resignation after controversy over Milo Yiannopoulos event
University bans conservative pundit from speaking on campus
25Drexel U

Philadelphia PA

96NoREDUNRATED
25George Washington U

Washington D.C.

57NoREDUNRATEDUniversity faces calls to cancel speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, opts to allow speech to occur

2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
25Howard U

Washington D.C.

124NoREDUNRATED
25Iowa State U

Ames IA

111NoREDUNRATED
25Lehigh U

Bethlehem PA

44NoREDUNRATED
25Loyola U - Chicago

Chicago IL

99NoUNRATEDUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for efforts to limit press access on campus
25New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark NJ

135NoREDUNRATED
25Northeastern U

Boston MA

39NoREDUNRATEDLangbert et al: Bottom 5 university for viewpoint diversity
25Oklahoma State U

Stillwater OK

152NoREDUNRATED
25Pennsylvania State U

State College PA

50NoREDYELLOWLangbert et al: Top 5 university for viewpoint diversity
25Stanford U

Palo Alto CA

5NoYELLOWYELLOW
25Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken NJ

71NoREDUNRATED
25SUNY - Albany

Albany NY

146NoREDUNRATED
25Syracuse U

Syracuse NY

60NoREDUNRATEDUniversity vice chancellor and provost reinvites filmmaker to screen film

Filmmaker disinvited from campus because faculty feared screening the film would provoke political protests and backlash
25Temple U

Philadelphia PA

118NoYELLOWYELLOW
25Texas Christian U

Fort Worth TX

82NoUNRATEDUNRATEDStudent suspended over social media posts following complaints from out-of-state residents not enrolled at the university
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award
25U of Arizona - Tucson

Tucson AZ

124NoYELLOWYELLOW
25U of Arkansas - Fayetteville

Fayetteville AR

135NoYELLOWYELLOW
25U of Colorado - Boulder

Boulder CO

92NoYELLOWYELLOW
25U of Delaware

Newark DE

79NoYELLOWYELLOW
25U of Illinois - Chicago

Chicago IL

152NoREDUNRATED
25U of Iowa

Iowa City IA

82NoYELLOWYELLOWUniversity scraps plans for bias response team

2014 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
25U of Massachusetts - Amherst

Amherst MA

74NoYELLOWREDStudent petition for diversity of thought among the UMass faculty
University officials have no plans to crack down on the use of jokes and memes on campus about Harambe

University diversity office creates flow chart to help students determine if their costume is offensive
25U of Massachusetts - Lowell

Lowell MA

152NoREDUNRATED
25U of Miami

Coral Gables FL

44NoREDUNRATED
25U of Rochester

Rochester NY

32NoYELLOWUNRATEDLangbert et al: Bottom 5 university for viewpoint diversity
25U of South Carolina

Columbia SC

107NoREDUNRATED
25U of Washington

Seattle WA

54NoYELLOWYELLOW
25Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester MA

60NoWARNINGUNRATED
25Yeshiva U

New York NY

66NoWARNINGUNRATED
18.75Boston U

Boston MA

39NoREDUNRATEDLangbert et al: Bottom 5 university for viewpoint diversity
18.75Brown U

Providence RI

14NoYELLOWYELLOWUniversity president proclaims Brown as a safe-space for freedom of expression
University launches series of events focused on free speech to promote open dialogue

Brown Daily Herald denounces op-ed column, removes it from its website
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
Langbert et al: Bottom 5 university for viewpoint diversity
18.75Emory U

Atlanta GA

20NoREDYELLOWEmory University Senate rules that pro-Trump chalk messages and a "Mein Trumpf" poster are protected speech under the university's Open Expression Policy

2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
18.75Fordham U

New York NY

60NoREDYELLOW
18.75Georgia Tech

Atlanta GA

34NoYELLOWRED
18.75Indiana U - Bloomington

Bloomington IN

86NoYELLOWRED
18.75U of Notre Dame

Notre Dame IN

15NoREDYELLOW
18.75Rice U

Houston TX

15NoREDYELLOW
18.75St. Louis U

St. Louis MO

96NoWARNINGUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
18.75SUNY - Buffalo

Buffalo NY

99NoREDUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
18.75Tufts U

Medford MA

27NoREDYELLOW
18.75U of Alabama - Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa AL

103NoYELLOWGREEN
18.75U of California - Davis

Davis CA

44NoYELLOWUNRATEDUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
18.75U of California - Irvine

Irvine CA

39NoYELLOWUNRATEDUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
18.75U of California - San Diego

La Jolla CA

44NoYELLOWUNRATEDStudent government pulls all funding for student media
University of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
18.75U of California - Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz CA

79NoYELLOWUNRATEDUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
18.75U of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

Champaign IL

44NoYELLOWYELLOW2014 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
18.75U of Southern California

Los Angeles CA

23NoYELLOWYELLOW2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
18.75U of Texas - Austin

Austin TX

56NoREDYELLOW
18.75U of Vermont

Burlington VT

92NoYELLOWRED
12.5Brandeis U

Waltham MA

34NoYELLOWYELLOW2014 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Harvey Silverglate Muzzle Award for administrators punishing student journalists
12.5Marquette U

Milwaukee WI

86NoREDUNRATED2014 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
Professor punished for blogging
2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
12.5Northwestern U

Evanston IL

12NoYELLOWYELLOW2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students, and for threats to academic freedom
University administration censors faculty-produced medical journal, in response professor resigns (see also: The letter of resignation)
University President declares that people who deny the existence of microaggressions are "idiots" and calls people who think trigger warnings are unnecessary "lunatics"
12.5U of California - Berkeley

Berkeley CA

20NoYELLOWYELLOWUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students and outside speakers
Campus Republican event vandalized and protesters get violent, campus police witnessed event but made no attempt to intervene
12.5U of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles CA

24NoYELLOWYELLOWUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
UCLA suspends social activities of fraternity and sorority that held a Kim Kardashian/Kanye West theme party
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students and outside speakers, and for censorship by students
12.5U of California - Riverside

Riverside CA

118NoREDUNRATEDUniversity of California system urges faculty not to criticize affirmative-action or refer to America as a "melting pot"
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award
12.5U of Tulsa

Tulsa OK

86NoREDUNRATEDStudent suspended because of husband's Facebook post
2016 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students
12.5Yale U

New Haven CT

3NoYELLOWYELLOW2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
2016 Harvey Silverglate Muzzle Award for students demanding the resignation of professors over an email
6.25Georgetown U

Washington D.C.

20NoREDYELLOW2014 FIRE's 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
University police remove envelopes with free condoms from doors of H*yas for Choice student representatives
University prohibits students from setting up a table to campaign for Bernie Sanders
6.25Harvard U

Cambridge MA

2NoREDYELLOWHarvard Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion release placemats suggesting ways students can talk with their families about race relations, Islamophobia, and student activism on campus
Harvard administration blacklists private clubs, fraternities, and sororities
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of outside speakers
6.25New York U

New York NY

36NoREDYELLOWScientist who discovered DNA disinvited from giving a lecture on campus because his views run counter to the university's mission of diversity and inclusion
University officials cite security concerns, cancel Milo Yiannopoulos Speech
6.25Rutgers U - New Brunswick

New Brunswick NJ

70NoYELLOWREDCondoleeza Rice withdraws from commencement speech
To avoid microaggressions, students advised to use only "kind" and "necessary" language when speaking to others
6.25U of Missouri - Columbia

Columbia MO

111NoYELLOWREDUniversity of Missouri police asks individuals who witness incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech to immediately call the campus police station (or 911)
University of Missouri bans student protests
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students, and for efforts to limit press access on campus
0U of Oregon - Eugene

Eugene OR

103NoREDREDSummaries of reports to the University of Oregon's bias-response team suggests student affairs and interactions are micromanaged (see also 2015 annual report: Bias-Response Team, University of Oregon)
Campus police office tells anti-abortion preacher that free-speech on campus has limits and he cannot make incendiary anti-abortion statements
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for the censorship of students