Universities with the most international students - where and what they study

Posted 21 days ago


In celebrating International Students Week, Crimson wanted to take the chance to point out the top 20 universities with the highest numbers of international students. The International Institute of Exchange released the Open Doors Report, which focuses on international student trends in the United States. Their continued work ensures cultural and intellectual exchange across borders, while preserving the opportunity for students from abroad to study in the United States.

These statistics are based solely on university enrollment numbers, rather than proportions of total student body. So, for instance, a university with a smaller total student body, may have a very high proportion of international students, but is not listed below.

Open Doors’ 2019 Report shows an all-time high of international students pursuing higher education in the United States of America. In 2018-2019, there were 1,095,299 total students from other countries studying in the United States. International students make up 5.5% of the total higher education population in the United states.

This year Crimson assisted students across the world in securing over 60 acceptance letters for the Ivy League and 20 admission offers to both Cambridge and Oxford. Discover more about our international students.


Curious about where those international students are studying? Check out this quick list below.

Universities with Highest Enrollment of International Students

1) New York University: 19,605 students
2) University of Southern California: 16,340 students
3) Northeastern University-Boston: 16,075 students
4) Columbia University: 15,897 students
5) University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign: 13,497 students
6) Arizona State University-Tempe: 13,324 students
7) University of California-Los Angeles: 11,942 students
8) Purdue University: 10,943 students
9) University of California San Diego: 10,652 students
10) Boston University: 10,598 students
11) University of California Berkeley: 10,063 students
12) University of Texas-Dallas: 9,401 students
13) Pennsylvania State University-University Park: 9,396 students
14) University of Washington: 9,311 students
15) University of Michigan Ann-Arbor: 8,726 students
16) Carnegie Mellon University: 8,669 students
17) University of California-Irvine: 8,064 students
18) University of California- Davis: 8,048 students
19) Ohio State University: 8,020 students
20) Cornell University: 7,214 students

Now that we’ve looked at where international students choose to study, let’s look at what they choose to study. The STEM field remains the most popular course of study for international students, with 51.6 percent pursuing degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math fields in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Degrees with Highest Number of International Students Enrolled

1) Engineering: 230,780 students
2) Math + Computer Sciences: 203,461 students
3) Business + Management: 182,170 students
4) Social Sciences: 84,320 students
5) Physical + Life Sciences: 81,580 students
6) Fine + Applied Arts: 63,097 students
7) Health Professions: 35,446 students
8) Communications and Journalism: 24,017 students
9) Intensive English: 22,026 students
10) Humanities: 17,013 students
11) Education: 16,786 students
12) Legal Studies and Law Enforcement: 16,483 students
13) Agriculture: 13,754 students

“International exchange makes our colleges and universities more dynamic for all students and an education at a U.S. institution can have a transformative effect for international students, just like study abroad experiences can for U.S. students,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Studying in different countries provides invaluable experiences both in and out of the classroom. If you’re interested in learning more about studying abroad, check out this blog studying overseas. Crimson is here to help in making this process as easeful as possible.


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