The College Experience from the Asian American Perspective


sian Americans are the biggest minority in nearly every top 50 national university in the United States. In five they are either an outright majority or a plurality. In two dozen more, Asians comprise 20% or more of the student body. For Asian American students who like the society and support of an extensive on-campus Asian community, the number and concentration of Asians is a key factor in choosing a college. For many Asian Americans, college may be the one and only time in their lives when they can enjoy the experience of being a member of a racial majority. It's an experience that often produces a radical change in perspective and self-image, even future career choices.

     This list is intended as a guide for those students whose experiences have taught them that race does matter in American society and that a community's racial composition can influence one's position, status and sense of well-being.

     In arriving at the rankings we considered prestige, academic standard, quality of life on campus and environs, and the ambience as well as the concentration of Asians in the undergraduate student body. We also considered the many comments offered by our readers. This list isn't exhaustive (we had trouble narrowing it down to the top 25) but we hope it will serve as a starting point in the search for your ideal Asian American University!




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RANK Name/Location No. of Asian
Asian Percentage
of Undergrads
Popular Majors Standards/
Quality of Life
1 UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
8,500 42% molecular bio, econ, English Highest Superb
Los Angeles, CA
9,200 40% psych, econ, sociology Highest Superb
3 Stanford
Palo Alto, CA
1,600 25% econ, bio, English Highest Superb
Cambridge, MA
1,200 28% engr, comp sci, bio Highest Very Good
5 Harvard
Cambridge, MA
1,270 19% econ, poli sci, bio Highest Very Good
6 UC San Diego
La Jolla, CA
5,600 35% biochem, psych, bio Very High Superb
7 Yale
New Haven, CT
930 17% hist, econ, bio Highest Good
8 UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
8,400 58% bio, psych, soc Very High Superb
9 Columbia
New York, NY
1,050 16% comm, edu, engr Highest Very Good
10 UC Davis
Davis, CA
7,000 36% psych, bio, biochem Very High Very Good
11 Princeton
Princeton, NJ
700 15% econ, hist, poli sci Highest Very Good
14 USC
Los Angeles, CA
3,700 25% bus mgmt, visual arts, comm High Very Good
13 Duke
Durham, NC
900 24% bio, econ, psych Highest Good
14 Cornell
Ithaca, NY
2,340 17% engr, econ, bio Very High Good
15 UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
2,900 18% business, soc, comm Very High Superb
16 Univ of Penn
Philadelphia, PA
2,000 21% finance, econ, psych Very High Good
17 NYU
New York, NY
2,900 18% bus mgmt, thtr arts, film High Very Good
18 Carnegie Mellon
Pittsburg, PA
1,120 22% engr, business, comp sci Very High Good
19 Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD
830 21% engr, bio, inter rel Very High Very Good
20 Wellesley
Wellesley, MA
560 25% soc sci, hist, psych Highest Very Good
21 Univ of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
3,000 13% engr, psych, English Very High Good
22 Univ of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
1,400 11% bus mgmt, egnr, psych Highest Good
23 UC Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
1,480 15% bio, psych, foreign lang High Very Good
24 Univ of Washington
Seattle, WA
5,000 23% bus mgmt, psych, Eng lit High Superb
25 Univ of Texas
Austin, TX
5,300 16% bus mgmt, egnr, bio High Good