The 25 Best Colleges for INTJs

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INTJs are among the rarest personality types around, accounting for just .8% of the population. They have many fine qualities — open-mindedness, ambition, dexterous skill-sets – but perhaps their most important trait is curiosity. INTJs are always exploring new interests, activities, and unfamiliar terrains. Niche specializations aren’t really up their alley; they want a broad base of knowledge. They have big dreams, but they’re rational. They are open to new ideas, but they’re introverted and typically stubborn when it comes to opinions. (That said, if you can mount a rational, logically grounded argument, they’re the first to adopt it.) Because of their curious-bent, INTJs don’t enjoy overly structured, rigid environments. They also don’t love the limelight and typically work best alone or in small groups. If all these qualities fit your personality, congrats – you’re truly less-than-one-percent-of-a-kind. That might make your college decision more difficult, but thankfully we’ve narrowed down the top 25 schools for you and your fellow INTJs.

Looking for advice on what type of school and major to choose? Check out our Interview Series. Are you an INTJ? Check out our Best Career and College Advice for INTJs from 3 Successful INTJs.

Methodology:

  • 1/5) Number of Top 5 Majors in the Arts & Humanities, Applied Sciences, or Interdisciplinary Studies
  • (1/5)Class Size
  • 1/5)Academic Prestige (US News Rank)
  • (1/5)Diversity of Student Organizations (international and minority student organizations)
  • ((1/5)Study Abroad Opportunities

1. Temple University

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Located in Philadelphia, Temple has been ranked in the top 4% of all universities in the country by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Temple 55th among U.S. public universities in 2016. Students enjoy a wealth of curricular offerings from Temple’s ten different schools. INTJs, in particular, will appreciate that Temple’s most popular majors are in the Communication/Journalism, Visual and Performing Arts, Psychology, Business, and Education areas. Further, the backdrop of Philadelphia gives INTJs access to one of the country’s most diverse, vibrant cities to explore and take on new creative and intellectual challenges. Plus, with study abroad programs in more than 20 countries – including in London, Dublin, Leipzig, and Oviedo, Spain – INTJs can push beyond Philly, should their curiosity lead them elsewhere. The school offers nearly 40 international and minority student organizations.

1. University of Southern California

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The University of Southern California is, of course, synonymous with sun-kissed Los Angeles. But make no mistake, despite the world-class beaches and daily celeb sighting, USC students mean business: alumni have gone on to found such successful and diverse companies as Lucasfilm, Myspace, Salesforce.com, Intuit, Qualcomm, Box, Tinder, and Riot Games. U.S. News has ranked it 23rd among national universities. In particular, its film, business, communication and journalism, and architecture are considered top-5 programs. Though, at 19,000 undergraduates, USC may seem large for the typical INTJ, nearly 60% of classes consist of 20 students or less. Study abroad programs are popular, and the school offers opportunities in almost 30 countries. INTJs also shouldn’t have too hard a time finding their particular nice: there are a huge number of student organizations on campus, including 119 minority and international organizations.

3. New York University

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With colleges spread throughout Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, NYU is one of the most widely-respected universities in the country. In fact, U.S. News and World Report, Times Higher Education, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities have all ranked it among the top 40 most reputable universities in the world. INTJs can surely appreciate the success NYU alumni have enjoyed: thirty-six Nobel Prize winners, three Turing Award winners, over thirty National Medals for Science, Technology and Innovation, Arts and Humanities recipients, over thirty Pulitzer Prize winners, over thirty Academy Award winners…the list goes on. And despite its big city feel, over 60% of NYU classes consist of 20 students or fewer. New York itself presents another huge plus for INTJs wary of static environments – namely, the freedom of controlled chaos. There are few cities that can be more rewarding, or accommodating, to a fierce, occasionally stubborn independence.

4. University of Dayton

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The University of Dayton sits on 388 scenic acres on either side of the Great Miami River, perfect for the INTJ type that’s looking to escape to the country to come up with their next big idea. Plus, with about 2,000 students per class, INTJs will be particularly enjoy a student body that’s neither overwhelmingly large, nor so small that they feel forced into the limelight. Among the most popular majors are in Business, Engineering, Education, Communication/Journalism/, and Health. Study abroad programs are offered in Argentina, Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, and the U.K., among several others. Dayton also seems to attract strong-minded entrepreneurial types: more than 150 patents have been assigned to the university.

5 (tied). University of California – Los Angeles

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The University of California – Los Angeles is located in the Westwood neighborhood of the city and is the second-oldest undergraduate campus of the state system, behind Berkeley. UCLA’s academic standing has never been in doubt: the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has ranked it 16th in the world for academics and 13th for reputation for 2016; U.S. News has ranked it second in the nation for public universities. Unsurprisingly, it’s graduates have gone on to win thirteen Nobel laureates, three Turing awards, and many other honors. Among its most popular areas of study include the Social Sciences, Psychology, English Language and Literature, and History. Further, while large at 30,000 undergraduates, the school maintains modest class sizes, and over 50% of classes have 20 students or less. Still, if the crowds get too big for the relatively private INTJ type, UCLA offers plenty of opportunities to get away – there are 42 countries in which students can study abroad.

5 (tied). Florida State University

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Florida State University sits on more than 1,300 acres of Gulf Coast property in Tallahassee. Its honors program is nationally recognized, and the school also offers a Presidential Scholars program that guarantees a 4-year full ride at the university. Perhaps overlooked is the FSU’s International Program, which has been ranked 12th in the nation. Among the popular study abroad destinations include London, Florence, Valencia, and Panama City, Panama. With over 360 programs to choose from, INTJs will not want for intellectually challenging course work, and the most popular areas of study are Criminal Justice, Psychology, English Language and Literature, Finance, and Biology. The undergraduate student body numbers over 30,000, but a large percentage of classes consist of 20 students or less. Further, the campus and surrounding area is large and open enough to let INTJs find some personal space to work alone or in smaller groups.

5 (tied). Vassar College

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Situated in the charming, 18th-century town of Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar is one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, as well as one of the most selective. From U.S. News, to the Princeton Review, to Forbes, is routinely ranked in or near the top 10 liberal arts schools in the country. INTJs will enjoy the small town atmosphere, like-minded (and open-minded) student body, and diverse curricular offerings. The most popular areas of study are in the Social Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Foreign Languages, and English. And who can’t love a 1,000-acre campus that’s been designated an arboretum? In particular, INTJs will appreciate Vassar’s consciously independent streak: students are encouraged to explore any and all activities and studies that further develop their intellectual palette – or merely out of curiosity.

5 (tied). University of California – Santa Barbara

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UC Santa Barbara is as SoCal as they come, located near Goleta, California, right along the Pacific Ocean. The school is commonly considered one of the country’s Public Ivies, ranked 37th nationally and 8th among public universities. UCSB particularly excels in research, with 12 separate research centers, including the world-renowned Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. At just under 20,000 undergraduates Santa Barbara can’t be said to be a small liberal arts school, but 50% of classes consist of 20 students or less to maintain an intimate learning environment. INTJs have more than enough to explore a wealth of opportunities: the school has numerous student organizations, including 78 minority and international organizations. Further, if for some reason you want to escape sunny beachside-living, there are 39 study abroad options. The most popular areas of study are the Social Sciences, Psychology, Biology, Communication/Journalism, and Visual and Performing Arts.

9 (tied). Purdue University

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Purdue calls 2,600 acres in West Lafayette, Indiana home. A highly regarded university, the school offers an impressive 200+ majors to undergraduates, which INTJs interested in expanding their knowledge base should appreciate. The most popular areas of study are Engineering, Business, the Humanities, Agriculture, and Education. In particular, Purdue has been categorized among schools with “very high research activity,” which has been endeavored alongside such organizations as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services. In other words, INTJs have the opportunity to dig deep into passion projects – often with a level of creative and academic freedom unique among most schools in the country. Purdue boasts 107 diverse student organizations and a whopping 57 countries for study abroad, for interested students.

9 (tied). University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati is located in the city’s uptown neighborhood, made up of 62 buildings on 137 acres. A ranked tier-one school, Cincinnati is also considered to be one of the most architecturally distinguished in the world, following a massive renovation in 1989. Buildings incorporate aspects of Gothic architecture, stone, and art-deco designs to create a distinct urban campus that is utterly unique. Cincinnati is also the founder of the co-operative education, giving students the opportunity to combine academic work with hands-on professional experience, which especially driven INTJs will appreciate both for its practical initiative and hard-work ethic. While certainly a large school, more than 40% of classes have 20 students or less. Further, there are 50 diverse student organizations and 18 countries in which students may study abroad (where they may continue the co-op model).

9 (tied). Stanford University

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Just a stone’s throw (or drone’s fly) from Silicon Valley, Stanford is simply one of the country’s very best. Just consider that companies founded by Stanford alumni and faculty account for an astonishing $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, enough to qualify as the 10th-largest economy in the world. The list includes Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yahoo!, to name a few. The school also fosters an excellent environment for INTJs, with 70% of classes consisting of 20 students or less and more than 100 diverse student organizations. INTJs will find a student body that combines a unified appreciation of entrepreneurship, technology, and social progress with an equally respected ethic of meritocratic competition. Further, in that spirit of entrepreneurship, Stanford affords its students a healthy amount of curricular and intellectual freedom, ideal for INTJs that frown on overly-structured systems.

12 (tied). Fordham University

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Fordham University has three unique campuses in the South Bronx at Rose Hill, at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and in Westchester, New York. In addition, the university also has campuses in the UK, South Africa, and Spain, with study abroad opportunities in 13 countries. At just over 15,000 students (8,400 undergraduate; 6,800 graduate), INTJs have the advantage of a modestly sized student body in which they can avoid the limelight, while also engaging in smaller, like-minded peer groups. Fordham is a top-ranked university by many publications, and its programs in law, business, English, history, social work, education, and sociology are ranked among the top 100 in the country. Further, Fordham boasts the top 5 highest-paid humanities graduates in the U.S. Nearly 50% of classes consist of 20 students or less. The core curriculum exposes students to a wide variety of subjects, and, from there, INTJs won’t feel constrained in their academic pursuits: there are approximately 50 major programs, one of which is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to customize coursework.

12 (tied). Indiana University – Bloomington

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Indiana is situated on nearly 2,000 acres in Bloomington, one of the state’s most scenic towns, having been designated a “Tree City” for more than 30 years. The university has been ranked highly in U.S. News and World Report(with 8 total programs ranked in the top 25), the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance . Nearly 40% of classes consist of 20 students or less, and the most popular areas of study include Business, Communication/Journalism, Social Sciences, and Biology, among others. There are 67 diverse student organizations on campus and 650 in total. Perhaps most appealing, especially to INTJs looking to branch out, Indiana offers an impressive 57 countries in which to study abroad. Accordingly, the school offers classes in more than 40 foreign languages, one of the largest foreign language offerings at any university in the U.S.

12 (tied). Binghamton University – SUNY

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Binghamton University is, in fact, located in the nearby town of Vestal, between the Susquehanna River and the Pennsylvania border. As Vestal is largely made up of students, the atmosphere is intimate, community-based, and largely rural – in other words, very welcoming to the typical INTJ. Binghamton is highly ranked by U.S. News, America’s Best Colleges and Universities, and several other publications. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has classified it as a Research University with high research activity. Almost half the classes consist of 20 students or less (the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1) and there are over 60 diverse student organizations on campus. INTJs also have an exceptional amount of room to explore academic interests: there are more than 130 undergraduate majors, minors, certificates, concentrations, emphases, tracks, and specializations. Postgraduate degrees include more than 60 master’s, 30 doctorate’s, and 50 accelerated degrees.

15 (tied). Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

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Commonly called IUPUI, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (yeah, let’s call it IUPUI) lies along White River and Fall Creek near the city’s vibrant downtown area. INTJs take note: there are no shortage of options at IUPUI, starting with the 200+ degree programs. The most popular areas of study are Business/, Healthcare and Professions, the Liberal Arts and Humanities, Communication/Journalism, and Education. In addition, IUPUI is home to more than 400 student organizations, 63 of which are diverse. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad in 31 countries. Indianapolis is a particularly appealing to INTJ types ready to explore their surroundings, providing a wealth of cultural attractions, from world-renowned restaurants to Indy Car racing.

15 (tied). Pennsylvania State University – University Park

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Penn State is a research-intensive university often in the running for the “Public Ivy” title. With over 80,000 undergraduates, Penn State is among the largest colleges in the country. Nonetheless, University Park is a diverse and open town with room to wiggle, and 40% of Penn State’s classes still have 20 students or less. For INTJs, the nice thing about a study body of such size is the ability to live in relative anonymity, if that’s your prerogative. Plus, somewhat paradoxically, gigantic institutions like Penn State also tend to self-organize into much smaller, tightly-knit communities, which INTJs favor. There are over 800 student organizations to explore, including 80 organizations with a minorities and/or international focus. Study abroad opportunities are numerous, too: students can travel to 68 countries across the world to pursue academic interests. There are over 160 undergraduate programs, of which studies in Business, Engineering, Communication/Journalism, Social Sciences, and Healthcare and Health Professions are the most popular.

17 (tied). Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is located in Troy, New York, with additional campuses in Hartford and Groton, Connecticut. The main campus in Troy is particularly attractive, built into a hillside overlooking the Hudson River. And with an emphasis on the “application of science to the common purposes of life,” RPI also holds the title of the oldest technological university in English-speaking world. In addition to high rankings in U.S. News, RPI and its programs have also been highlighted by BusinessWeek, USA Today, Forbes, Newsweek, and more, with 8 programs ranked in the top 25 of their field. INTJs should enjoy a small undergraduate student body at just 5,400, promoting an intimate learning environment; more than 50% of classes consist of 20 students or less. Still, for a school of its size, there are more than enough extracurricular activities. Of the 100+ student organizations, 25 are focused on minority and international students, and there are 14 countries in which to study abroad.

17 (tied). University of Illinois

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The University of Illinois calls 4,500 acres in Urbana-Champaign home. It has been highly ranked in U.S. News, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, among other publications. A designated research-intensive institution, Illinois also boasts the second-largest university library in the United States, after only Harvard. Large and diverse, Illinois offers especially curious INTJs more than 150 programs of study, from 17 different colleges. Among the most popular areas of study include Engineering, Business, Communication/Journalism, the Social Sciences, and Biology, among others. Further, students can study abroad in over 50 countries around the world, and there are 79 diverse student organizations on campus. Illinois alumni have gone on to found such successful companies as PayPal, Netscape, Safari, Firefox, Yelp!, YouTube, Andreessen Horowitz, and many more.

17 (tied). Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech is synonymous with Blacksburg, Virginia, which Southern Living named the “Best College Town in the South” and BusinessWeek called the Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids.” Not bad for a relatively small town in the Appalachian hills. When it comes to academic offerings, INTJs have their pick of the litter, with 225 undergraduate and graduate programs to explore. Among the most popular areas of study include Engineering, Business, Human Sciences, Biology, and the Social Sciences. The College of Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Pamplin College of Business, and College of Architecture and Urban Studies are ranked among the very best in the entire country. Most important, students love VaTech. The Princeton Review ranked Virginia Tech in the top 10 for each of the following categories: Happiest Students, Best Campus Food, Best Quality of Life, Their Students Love These Colleges, Town-Gown Relations are Great, Best Alumni Network, and Lots of Race/Class Interaction. Those are characteristics any personality type can appreciate.

17 (tied). Georgia Institute of Technology

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Georgia Tech is smack in the heart of midtown Atlanta, a vibrant, diverse, and increasingly hip section of the capital of the South. (It also served as the setting for much of the 1996 Olympic Games.) GT is routinely ranked among the very best schools in the world – public and private – and is currently listed as the smartest public college in the United States. In particular, it’s engineering program is a top 10 program in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Predictably, Georgia Tech is also a research-intensive university, and undergraduates and graduates alike are encouraged to pursue intellectual and creative interests at free will, which has lead to a blossoming startup and small business tech scene. In other words, INTJs should feel right at home. Nearly 40% of classes consist of 20 students or less, and undergrads can study abroad in 41 different countries, including France, Ireland, China, and Singapore.

17 (tied). Boston University

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Boston University’s main campus lies along the Charles River in the city’s Fenway-Kenmore and Allston neighborhoods. BU is one of the mostly highly regarded schools in the country, and its alumni and faculty can sport the credentials: among them, 7 Nobel Laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, 9 Academy Award winners, and several Emmy and Tony Award winners. The most popular areas of study include Business, the Social Sciences, Communication/Journalism, Biology, and Healthcare and Health Professions, among others. INTJs will no doubt love Boston, which combines all the resources of a major US city with the charm and character of tight-knit, community-oriented town in New England. The learning environment tends to reflect that sense, as well; 60% of classes are 20 students or less, and there are more than 30 diverse student organizations on campus. Should an INTJ type get the urge to explore international studies, BU has programs in 25 countries worldwide.

17 (tied). University of Iowa

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The University of Iowa is situated on 1,700 acres along the Iowa River in Iowa City. A highly respected university, Iowa is often considered among the elite “Public Ivies.” In particular, the Iowa Writer’s Program, the first of its kind, is regarded as the premier program in the world, having produced 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. INTJs should find the surroundings ideal to pursue independent ventures – academic and social – while staying relatively under the radar. Among the most popular areas of study include Business, the Social Sciences, Communication/Journalism, and Engineering; and more than 50% of classes consist of 20 students or less. There are 52 diverse student organizations on campus, and INTJs looking to see the world can choose from over 40 countries to study abroad.

17 (tied). Bard College

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Bard is in cozy Annandale-on-Hudson, a small town within another small town of Red Hook, New York. If ever there was a great INTJ destination, Bard might be it. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 (80% of classes have 20 students or less), INTJs get to work and study in the small and intimate groups they tend to prefer. (The Princeton Review ranked Bard first in best classroom experience.) Further, while all Bard students are required to take the university’s signature freshman interdisciplinary seminars – such as Language and Thinking and First-Year Seminar – rather than bound students in a strict, parochial curriculum, these programs actually open up countless intellectual areas to explore. The school offers 40 majors and 12 interdisciplinary concentrations, with the Visual and Performing Arts, Social Sciences, English Lit, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy and Religious Studies being the most popular.

24 (tied). Marquette University

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Holding the title of first co-ed Catholic University in the world, Marquette is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has an undergraduate study body of approximately 8,300 – an excellent number for the INTJ that wants a smaller school, but not necessarily of the New England liberal arts variety. (36% of its classes consist of 20 students or less.) The diversity of Marquette’s academic offerings is reflected in the accomplishments of its alumni, which include Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Academy Award winners, and heads at Sears, Texas Instruments, and more. Of its 11 schools, the most popular areas of study are in Business, Communication/Journalism, Engineering, Healthcare, and Biology. There are 18 organizations on campus that focus on minority and international students, and nearly 30 countries available for study abroad programs.

25 (tied). University of Texas – Dallas

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The University of Texas at Dallas is just north of downtown, originally a research branch of Texas Instruments. It’s no surprise, then, that the school has particularly excelled in the research sciences, technology, and engineering fields. In particular, it’s most popular areas of undergraduate study include Business, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Psychology, and the Social Sciences. There are 28 diverse student organizations on campus and 27 countries in which to study abroad. INTJs will likely enjoy Dallas, a city that packs the size and bravado of Texas (with all its opportunities) alongside a small-town, down-home kind of feel. Most important, it’s the kind of city, in the kind of state, that values freedom and independence above all. INTJs can be left to their own devices.