The 20 Best Graduate Schools For Your Social Life

For many people, college can be the best four years of their lives. It’s a time to learn a lot, socialize, and make long lasting friendships.

But what about graduate school? Grad school is seriously hard work, but it can also be a great place to form new frienships and have tons of fun in a new city.

Graduateprograms.com ranked the most social graduate schools in the country based on votes from 40,000 students from more than 1,200 schools. To rank the schools, Graduate Programs assigns 15 categories such as academic competitiveness, quality of network, ability to make friends, and the dating scene.

A program’s final ranking score is determined by averaging the 15 categories together across programs. The highest score is a 10.

#19 Indiana University -- Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

8.212 out of 10

Indiana University Bloomington has a business school, a law school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'I think very highly of the school and its atmosphere. The community is great and the people awesome. There is always something to do. I enjoy getting out and enjoying the town.'

#18 Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

8.214 out of 10

Kansas State University has an architecture school, a business school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'The faculty and staff are great and supportive; you will always find assistance and guidance. There will always be someone to turn too. You will also make great friends within this college. The programs are smaller than most and you form great friendships with your peers.'

#17 University of Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa

8.22 out of 10

The University of Iowa has a law school, a dental school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'It is an academically competitive school, where one does not have to be cut throat, but can instead find good relationships.'

#16 Rice University

Houston, Texas

8.23 out of 10

Rice University has a business school, an architecture school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'Great school! I have a good (social) life and enjoy the research here!'

#15 University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

8.28 out of 10

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a business school, a law school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: I appreciate meeting students outside my area of study, which wouldn't have happened at a conservatory. Madison is a fantastic city with lots going on culturally as well as socially.'

#14 University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

8.29 out of 10

The University of Virginia has a law school, a medical school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'Best parts: -Social life is amazing- so much to do in CVille! -Class time is only 8:10am-12pm every day!'

#12 Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

8.31 out of 10

Brown University offers 50 doctoral programs and 27 master's programs.

What a student says: 'The student body is pretty diverse in the program; we have students from various parts of the world doing different types of research, from demographic studies to qualitative ethnographic projects. I've made some good friends while studying here, and miss those who have already left.'

#11 Texas A&M University

Corpus Christi, Texas

8.33 out of 10

Texas A&M has a business school, an architecture school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'The school is small enough to know almost everyone, but large enough to have the funding for good technology. The departments are smaller, so it is easier to make close friendships with other students and professors.'

#7 University of Miami

Miami, Florida

8.535 out of 10

The University of Miami has a medical school, a law school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'The family you create amongst your class is great. Your peers are amazing and your greatest support, no matter what competition there may be.'

#5 University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

8.54 out of 10

The University of Georgia has a law school, a veterinary school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: Pros: highly respected, located in a bubbly, happening city -- Athens also has a diverse student group, which makes going out fun.'

#4 The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

8.56 out of 10

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers 37 doctoral programs, and masters level programs in 50 areas.

What a student says: 'The diversity here at UAB allows students to interact with various race and cultures which ultimately facilitates the growth of the students.'

#3 University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

8.6 out of 10

The University of Texas at Austin has a law school, a business school, an architecture program, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'Pros: Great faculty, network, they really strive to provide you opportunities to make friends and connections. The social aspect of the university is wonderful, and the school's alumni network is fantastic.'

#2 University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

8.63 out of 10

The University of Dayton has a law school, a business school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'I also attended University of Dayton for my bachelor's degree. I love UD! It was a warm and caring environment amongst both students and faculty. My undergraduate years are some of the fondest times of my life'

#1 University of Colorado at Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

8.89 out of 10

The University of Colorado at Boulder has a law school, a business school, and several other graduate programs.

What a student says: 'People are easy to meet and hang out with. There is plenty to do at night! The faculty is accessible and the class sizes are great.'


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