Scores of organizations rank the country’s colleges and universities based on practical information like tuition, dorm conditions, and student stress levels every year. But which school has the quirkiest traditions? The most celebrity alumni? The ugliest campus?
Click through to see where Boston colleges rank on the stuff incoming freshmen really want to know.
Tufts University’s Medford campus ranks number six, and University of Massachusetts Amherst comes in at number seven, according to The Daily Meal ranking of the 52 best colleges for food in America.
Other universities that are on the list but are not part of the top 10 include Harvard, BU, and MIT.
Northeastern’s dorms, “prime Boston location,’’ and fierce sports rivalry with BU and BC land it on the top of HerCampus’s 2011 list of the Boston schools that best represent the city.
Harvard (despite being in Cambridge), BU, BC, and UMass Boston round out the top five.
Most Famous Faculty
Harvard (left) and BU both rank in the top 10 on Unigo.com’s 2013 list of schools with the most famous faculty.
At BU, Robert Pinsky, Robert Zelnick, and Elie Wiesel are currently on staff, while Harvard boasts Alan Dershowitz, Steven Pinker, Lawrence Lessig, and Henry Louis Gates.
Since the 1970s, Tufts students have participated in the Naked Quad Run the night before the start of winter exams.
When the administration shut it down in 2010 due to safety concerns, the students instead held the “Excessively Overdressed Quad Stroll.’’
Outrageous College Traditions
For more recent traditions—next to UC Boulder’s 4/20 pot celebration, Northwestern’s Armadillo Day, and Barnard’s midnight breakfast—MIT Pumpkin’s Drop and BU’s Marathon Monday traditions are highlights of the year, according to HerCampus.
Girl Power Colleges
Though it may not be surprising, female-only Wellesley (left) tops HerCampus’s list of the top colleges for women empowerment. Simmons comes in third, while nearby Smith and Tufts (where women now comprise 50 percent of each incoming class) round out the top five.
No Last Call
Though UMass Amherst has sports teams, students have said the games are “mostly used as an excuse to drink,’’ Unigo.com reported. It’s a small town with a party scene that isn’t much different from those at larger, state schools, leading Unigo.com to give it the number 6 spot on its “No Last Call’’ list.
Boston schools boast some notable alumni, like Emerson’s Henry “The Fonz’’ Winkler (left).
Harvard’s got its presidential alumni, BU its Oscar winners, BC its TV stars, and Berklee College its, you guessed it, musicians.
Schools that are #DuhWinning
For your daily dose of pop culture, Harvard’s movie credits (The Social Network, Legally Blonde, etc.) and recent speakers (Amy Poehler, the cast of HBO’s The Wire) have you covered. But head to BU to take “The Colbert Report: American Satire’’ for credit or to see their PopShowdown! quiz show.
If scenery is important to you, you may want to avoid UMass Amherst, Brandeis, and Northeastern, according to Campus Squeeze. UMass Amherst ranks second, thanks to its old-fashioned and dull buildings. Brandeis’s architecture (left) is “way-out weird’’ and though Northeastern is merely 15th, its utilitarian blocks still dominate campus.