Ivy League Universities in the USA and enjoy their interesting trivia

The Ivy League is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities located in the Northeastern United States. Beyond its athletic connotations, the term “Ivy League” commonly refers to these eight schools, which are globally recognized for their academic excellence, highly selective admissions processes, and associations with social elitism. In the kingdom of higher education, few names come with as much prestige and excellence as the Ivy League universities in the United States. Known for their rich history, meticulous academic standards, and distinguished old pupils, these institutions have long been synonymous with intellectual expertise and unparalleled opportunity. From the leafy campuses of Brown University to the sacred halls of Harvard, each Ivy League school offers a unique educational experience to cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Explore the eight Ivy League universities:

Brown University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 73

Established in 1764 in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University prides itself on its distinctive open curriculum. This curriculum allows students to design their academic journey. With a focus on interdisciplinary learning and student-driven inquiry, Brown promotes a culture of academic curiosity and exploration. Renowned programs include its School of Engineering, School of Public Health, and Alpert Medical School. The university also houses the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, offering students unique opportunities for research and engagement with global issues.


  1. Open Curriculum: Brown is famous for its Open Curriculum, which was established in 1969. This allows students to design their own course of study, taking classes they are genuinely interested in without the constraints of a core curriculum.
  1. Van Wickle Gates: These iconic gates at the entrance of the university are only opened twice a year: once for incoming freshmen during Convocation and once for graduating seniors at Commencement. It’s considered bad luck to pass through them at any other time.
  1. Underground Tunnels: There is a network of underground tunnels connecting various buildings on the Brown campus. These tunnels are not generally accessible to the public but have been the subject of student exploration and folklore.
  1. Alumni Network: Brown boasts an impressive list of alumni, including famous actors (like Emma Watson and John Krasinski), politicians (such as former President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim), and business leaders (like CNN founder Ted Turner).

Columbia University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 23

Founded in 1754 in New York City, Columbia University is a hub of scholarly activity and cultural diversity. Its renowned Core Curriculum provides students with a foundational education in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Columbia’s esteemed schools, including the Columbia Business School, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Mailman School of Public Health, offer precise programs to prepare graduates for leadership roles in their fields. The university’s proximity to Wall Street and the United Nations provides students with unparalleled access to internships and networking opportunities.


  1. Underground Tunnels: Like Brown, Columbia also has a network of underground tunnels that connect various buildings on the Morningside Heights campus. These tunnels have fueled many campus legends and student explorations.
  2. Pulitzer Prizes: Columbia administers the Pulitzer Prizes, a prestigious set of awards for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition.
  3. Nobel Laureates: Columbia University has a significant number of Nobel laureates among its faculty and alumni, with over 100 recipients. This is one of the highest numbers associated with any institution worldwide.
  4. Notable Alumni: Columbia boasts an impressive list of alumni, including five Founding Fathers of the United States (like Alexander Hamilton and John Jay), Presidents Barack Obama and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and numerous other influential figures in various fields.

Cornell University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 13

Established in 1865 in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is a pioneering institution known for its commitment to both research and outreach. Its diverse array of colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, and Cornell Law School, offer comprehensive programs spanning the arts, sciences, and professional disciplines. Cornell’s emphasis on experiential learning and community engagement prepares students to tackle complex global challenges with creativity and innovation. The university’s extensive network of research centers and institutes provides students with hands-on research experience and teamwork with world-class faculty.


  1. Campus Legend: The A.D. White Library, part of Uris Library, is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a former student who died there in the 1890s. This legend contributes to the library’s eerie and historic charm.
  1. Ice Cream: Cornell has its own dairy and is famous for its ice cream, produced by students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The dairy bar on campus is a popular spot for enjoying these treats.
  1. Clock Tower Pumpkin: In 1997, a mysterious pumpkin appeared impaled on the spire of McGraw Tower, over 170 feet high. It remained there for several months, and its installation remains an unsolved mystery and a beloved part of Cornell lore.
  1. Cornell Chimes: The Cornell Chimes are housed in McGraw Tower and have been ringing daily concerts since 1868. Chimesmasters, a select group of students, play three daily concerts, often featuring a mix of traditional and contemporary music.

Dartmouth College

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 237

Founded in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is famous for its liberal arts education and united community. The Dartmouth Plan, a unique academic calendar, engages students in immersive learning experiences through its renowned off-campus programs and interdisciplinary majors. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering exemplify its commitment to building leadership and innovation in a rapidly evolving world. The college’s strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and mentorship builds close relationships between students and faculty, creating a supportive learning environment.


  1. Robert Frost: The poet Robert Frost had strong ties to Dartmouth, having attended as a student and later returning as a lecturer. His legacy is honored through the Robert Frost Statue on campus.
  1. Rauner Special Collections Library: Home to rare books and manuscripts, the Rauner Library holds significant collections, including original Shakespeare folios, a manuscript of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and many important historical documents.
  1. Dartmouth Night and Homecoming Bonfire: A long-standing tradition, Dartmouth Night, began in 1895 and includes a massive bonfire constructed and lit by students during Homecoming weekend.
  1. Dartmouth Planets: In 2016, Dartmouth researchers discovered two new exoplanets using data from the Kepler Space Telescope. This discovery added to the college’s contributions to astronomy.

Harvard University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 4

Established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is synonymous with academic excellence and strictness. Harvard College offers a liberal arts education grounded in the search for truth and knowledge. Harvard’s esteemed graduate and professional schools, including Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Kennedy School, attract top-tier students and faculty from around the globe, driving groundbreaking research and innovation. The university’s vast resources, including its extensive library system and museums, provide students with unparalleled opportunities for academic exploration and personal growth.


  1. Founding: Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard, who left his library and half his estate to the school.
  1. Widener Library: The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is the largest university library in the world, with over 3.5 million books. It was built with a donation from Eleanor Elkins Widener in memory of her son, Harry, who died on the Titanic.
  1. Harvard-Yale Rivalry: Known as “The Game,” the annual football match between Harvard and Yale is one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in American college sports, dating back to 1875.
  1. Notable Alumni: Harvard has educated eight U.S. presidents, including John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama, as well as numerous influential figures in various fields.

The University of Pennsylvania

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 12

Founded in 1740 in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania is a dynamic research university with a global outlook. Its renowned Wharton School of Business and Perelman School of Medicine are constant favorites among aspiring professionals seeking to excel in their respective fields. Penn’s interdisciplinary approach to education and extensive resources empower students to make meaningful contributions to society through research, scholarship, and service. The university’s location in the heart of Philadelphia offers students access to a vibrant cultural scene and opportunities for community engagement and social impact.


  1. First Medical School: Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, established in 1765, is the oldest medical school in the United States.
  1. Wharton School: Founded in 1881, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the world’s first collegiate business school and is renowned for its finance and business education.
  1. ENIAC: The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the world’s first general-purpose electronic computer, was developed at Penn’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering and completed in 1945.
  1. Campus Dogs: Penn has a tradition of campus dogs, where the president’s dog often becomes a beloved campus figure. Current President Amy Gutmann’s dog, a golden retriever named Shadow, is popular among students.

Princeton University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 17

Established in 1746 in Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University is renowned for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and research excellence. Its precise academic curriculum and close-knit community environment promote academic curiosity and skills. Princeton’s esteemed graduate programs, including the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, prepare students to address complex global challenges through interdisciplinary teamwork and innovation. The university’s strong emphasis on undergraduate research and independent study allows students to pursue their academic interests under the guidance of world-class faculty mentors.


  1. The Nude Olympics: Although discontinued in the early 2000s, the Nude Olympics was a winter tradition where students would run naked around campus during the first snowfall.
  1. Albert Einstein: Famed physicist Albert Einstein spent the last two decades of his life at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and his presence is a notable part of the university’s history.
  1. Lake Carnegie: Donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1906, Lake Carnegie is a man-made lake used for Princeton’s rowing team and recreational activities.
  1. Cane Spree: An annual tradition since the 1860s, Cane Spree is a series of athletic contests between freshmen and sophomores, culminating in a tug-of-war over a cane.

Yale University

QS World University Rankings, 2024: 16

Founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is an iconic institution for tradition and academic excellence. Yale College offers a comprehensive liberal arts education to cultivate intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning. Yale’s esteemed professional schools, including Yale Law School and Yale School of Management, prepare graduates to excel in their chosen fields and make a positive impact on society through leadership and service. The university’s rich extracurricular offerings provide students with opportunities for personal growth and creative expression.


  1. The Beinecke Library: The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds one of the largest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world, including the Gutenberg Bible and the mysterious Voynich manuscript.
  1. Yale Art Gallery: The Yale University Art Gallery, founded in 1832, is the oldest university art museum in the Western Hemisphere and houses a vast collection of art from ancient to contemporary times.
  1. Yale’s Secret Societies: Besides Skull and Bones, Yale hosts several other secret societies, including Scroll and Key, Wolf’s Head, and Book and Snake, each with its own rituals and traditions.
  1. Yale’s Alumni: Yale has produced five U.S. presidents: William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as well as numerous Supreme Court justices and influential figures.

Why are Ivy League universities excellent for building a successful career?

  • The Ivy League universities consistently rank among the top institutions globally in various academic rankings, including the QS World University Rankings.
  • Their rigorous academic curricula, world-class faculty, extensive resources, and expansive student networks provide you with unparalleled personal and professional growth.
  • Employers often hold Ivy League degrees in high regard, recognizing the caliber of education and level of achievement associated with these institutions.
  • The Ivy League universities offer an array of programs across a wide range of disciplines, ensuring that students can pursue their passions and interests while gaining the skills and knowledge important to achieve an ultra-modern, aggressive task market.
  • Whether aspiring to careers in business, law, medicine, engineering, or the arts, Ivy League graduates are well-equipped to excel in their chosen fields and make a positive impact on society.

The Ivy League universities represent the peak of academic excellence and opportunity. With their rich history, thorough academic standards, and commitment to innovation, these institutions continue to shape the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. Whether pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies, students who have the privilege of attending an Ivy League university are floating for success in their academic and professional endeavors.  Apply now to avail of the SIO Scholarship of Rs. 20,000 on your USA Student Visa.

Also Read – 10 Reasons to Study in the USA