America's Smartest Colleges

National and global rankings for colleges each year are based almost solely on standardized test performances and information about the school’s resources (including endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, and graduation rates)

Dr. Daniel Sternberg at Lumosity, a cognitive training site run by Lumos Labs, sought to find out with a series of games which of America’s leading higher education institutions was actually the most intelligent.

He and his team tested 70,000 students from colleges and universities (with a minimum of 50 Lumosity users) nationwide with games that measured various cognitive skills including attention, memory, speed of processing, problem solving, and flexibility.

This year, Tufts University was ranked highest in attention, while Dartmouth was best in speed. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed first in both memory and problem solving, and Yale University was ranked the highest for flexibility.

The overall winner was Washington University in St. Louis, squeaking past last year’s winner, MIT, as well as beating powerhouse institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton for the title.

Of course, as we’ve written about before, there are two major downsides to this method of analysis: First, Lumosity only sampled people who were willing to play their games, which left off a number of top schools and liberal arts colleges, including CalTech. Secondly, there is no peer-reviewed research demonstrating that the Lumosity games are reliable or valid measures of intelligence.

But check out the top 30 Lumosity schools below anyways to get some bragging rights. (See the full ranking and analysis here.)

1. Washington University in St Louis

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. Princeton University

4. Northwestern University

5. Carnegie Mellon University

6. University of Chicago

7. Rice University

8. Harvard University

9. Yale University

10. Dartmouth College

11. Tufts University

12. Stanford University

13. Georgetown University (TIE)

13. University of Notre Dame (TIE)

15. University of Virginia

16. Duke University

17. Bucknell University (TIE)

17. Vanderbilt University (TIE)

19. College of William and Mary (TIE)

19. Boston College (TIE)

21. Bowdoin College

22. Johns Hopkins University

23. Cornell University (TIE)

23. University of California-San Diego (TIE)

23. Georgia Institute of Technology (TIE)

26. Columbia University in the City of New York

27. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

28. Boston University

29. Wheaton College

30. Case Western Reserve University

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