10 “Southern Ivies” As Good As the Actual Ivies

3) University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)

photo via Wikimedia Commons

Based in beautiful Coral Gables, Florida, the University of Miami is home to many of the south’s very best programs.

Its music program, the Frost School of Music, is widely recognized among the best programs for classical music, contemporary music, and musical theatre. The acceptance rate into Frost is among the lowest of all university-based music schools.

As a whole, the University of Miami is classified as a “R1” research institution by the Carnegie Classification; less than 2% of all schools in the United States have achieved this prestigious designation.

Several niche programs at Miami are ranked highly by US News; majors in Physical Therapy, Game Design, and Clinical Training have recently been ranked in the top 25.


2) Davidson College (Davidson, NC)

photo by Dacoslett via Wikimedia Commons

One of the nation’s great liberal arts colleges, Davidson is probably best known to the everyday person as the school that graduated NBA superstar Stephen Curry.

However, the list of amazing alumni does not stop at Steph Curry; an incredible 23 Rhodes Scholars have once called Davidson College their home. 

Davidson is great for the student who desires exploration; an impressive 3/4ths of the student body does at least one study abroad term during their 4 years at Davidson.

True to its liberal arts college heritage, Davidson also has a small student:teacher ratio, making 1-on-1 learning and attention a staple of the Davidson experience.

One of the nation’s best schools, this Southern Ivy is currently ranked in the top 20 on the US News Liberal Arts College list.


1) Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas)

photo by Yelpet via Wikimedia Commons

Southern Methodist is a school rising on the ranking charts; it currently sits in the top 100 in publications by US News, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes Magazine.

The list of accomplished alumni from SMU is extensive. They include former First Lady Laura Bush, three Pulitzer Prize winners, an Oscar winning actress in Kathy Bates, and CEOs of major airlines such as British Airways and Virgin America.

Home to a $1.7bn endowment, several of the constituent schools at SMU are as prestigious in the south as Ivies are in the east coast. 

These include Dedman School of Law, which has graduated five Fortune 500 executives, the most of any school according to this article, White House Counsel, and Federal judges.

Although the school is affiliated with the Methodist Church, it is actually nonsectarian in education and enrolls students of all backgrounds.

Students at SMU benefit tremendously from the resources of Dallas, getting the best of a major city urban experience with the focus and academic wherewithal of a top Southern Ivy.

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