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Best Cities to Study in USA for International Students in 2024

Updated on 15 April, 2024

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Housing a majority of the world’s top universities, the United States of America is the hub of the world’s higher education. Based on key factors such as affordability, desirability, student mix, employer activity, and infrastructures, there are the 10 best Cities to Study in the USAChecking everything about the best places to study in the USA well in advance will give you an upper hand which will enable you to choose the best city to study that suits you the most along with giving you an idea of the kind of lifestyle you are going to live. However, before discussing the best cities to study in this country, let’s look at the reasons why a great number of international students prefer to study in the USA.

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Why Study in USA

For several years, the USA has been attracting a lot of students from across the globe. Along with the leading universities, even the mid-range universities also see a massive influx of international students from across the globe.

-Home to a majority of the world’s most valued universities

Quality education with some of the best higher education programs offered by US universities is the reason why the country entices a large number of international students from all over the world. A degree from a reputed university in the USA is much valued all across the world and which is why a student completing a degree from any reputed university in the USA will stand apart from their peers and shine in the arena of the international job market. 

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-American Universities celebrate cultural diversity

A multicultural environment is one of the main reasons why international students feel welcome in the universities of the country. Regardless of religion, language, nationality, or ethnicity, international students are given the freedom and respect to live with dignity while getting equal opportunities for world-class education and subsequent employment. Interacting with a diverse range of people will not only instill the global perspective in students but interacting with people from diverse cultures and languages will also eventually help them succeed in professional life as well.  

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-American Universities provide world-class facilities 

The universities in the US are well-known for being the torchbearer in educational technology and are leaders in the field of education. The facilities that are provided by the American universities are matchless. This translates to various workshops, orientation, campus familiarization, training programs, and English language classes to the foreign students and gets their skills at a similar level to the American students. From technology to research, international students get to enjoy top-notch facilities which will help them immensely in their international careers.  

-American Universities offer flexibility in studies

The American education system is well-known for the flexibility offered to the students which allows them to fully explore the potential offered by the course as well as the university. Whatever your goals, aspirations, or strengths may be, you can find fields of studies that are available in the United States that you can pursue. The education system in the US is much more flexible than many other countries where the students need to stick only with the field of their study and can’t make any changes according to their interests and talents. 

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Best Cities to Study in USA

Here's a table presenting the top-ranked US cities in 2024: 

CityQS Best Cities Rankings 2024Overall QS Score
New York  1789.6
San Francisco2087.4
Los Angeles 2785
Washington DC6272.6
San Diego6670.8

There are six indicators on the basis of which the best student city ranking is decided. The indicators include university rankings, desirability, student mix, affordability, employer activity, and student view. Let us discuss some of the cities in the USA that are best to study in.


Boston has been ranking very well on the list of best cities to study in USA for a long time now. There are a total of eight universities in this city, which include two of the top universities in the world such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Boston performs well in all the six indicators, and mostly in the employer activity indicator. The other indicator in which it scores well is the university rankings. The graduates from Boston are immediately hired by employers and most of them get high packages too.

New York

New York is one of the most populated cities in the USA and 1.5 percent out of the population are students. This clearly means New York ranks well in the diversity indicator. The other two indicators in which the city does well are rankings and student view. The city houses around 10 reputed universities, including the well-known ones such as Ivy League universities Columbia University and New York University.

Los Angeles

Popularly called ‘The City of Angels’ and ‘Creative Capital of the World’, Los Angeles is known for Hollywood. You can find here some of the best universities including the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles. The indicator in which the city does well is student view.

San Francisco

San Francisco ranks fourth in the best places to study in the USA. You can find three top universities in this city and among these, two universities are part of the Ivy League group, which include Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. San Francisco ranks higher in employer activity indicators. The city is also home to some of the most successful companies such as Apple, IBM, Facebook, etc. Therefore, can be called a great place for students to get exposure and get a job easily.

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Chicago, the Windy City, is one of the most sought-after cities in the USA for study. One of the indicators in which Chicago scores strongly is the employer activity indicator. The culture of this city is strong and the people are friendly. You can also find several restaurants and tourist attractions here. There are some of the well-known universities in this city, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. 


Atlanta is the capital as well as the most populated city in Georgia. The population in the city is around 5 million people, out of which 63,000 are students. There are many successful companies headquartered in Atlanta, including The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, and United Parcel Service (UPS). Therefore, the city ranks well in the employment activity indicator. Some of the most well-known universities in Atlanta are the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Emory University, and Georgia State University.


The next city on the list is Philadelphia. The city score high in the university ranking with its three universities, including the much sought-after, the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is often discussed when we talk about history. It is the place wherein 1776; the Declaration of Independence was signed and famous for monuments such as the Liberty Bell.

Washington DC

Washington DC is popular for various reasons, especially for being the capital city of the United States of America. The city is also known for housing some of the best universities in the globe, such as the University of Maryland, College Park, and Georgetown University. The city scores high in the desirability indicator. There are a number of tourist attractions and theatres in this beautiful city.

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Pittsburgh is known for housing two excellent universities-Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The city scores high in university rankings. The city is known for its beautiful skyline, theatres, and museums-

San Diego

Top university in San Diego is the University of California. The city ranks higher in the desirability indicator. Living in San Diego is an excellent way to experience the best of California which is considered as one of the most beautiful states in the United States.



If you’re planning higher education in the USA from any of these cities and worried about the intricacies around the preparation and overall admission process, you can check upGrad Abroad, an online higher education platform that offers unique study abroad programs. upGrad Abroad offers programs in collaboration with the reputed universities in the USA which will let you fulfill your dream of studying in the USA without worrying about the exorbitant cost that comes with studying in the USA.  

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Urvi Agrawal

Urvi has 3 years of experience as a content writer and marketer. Over years, she has established herself as a study-abroad expert and is adept at crafting compelling and engaging content for students. Self-driven and passionate professional, she likes writing poetry and has authored a poetry book ‘Thoughts of a Wallflower’.

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