Top 10 Blockchain Colleges And Universities In The US
Due to an increase in the popularity of blockchain technology, a lot of students in the US have developed an interest in this tech. Numerous US-based universities have noticed this over the last several years. Because of that, they invested heavily in creating entirely new courses that are dedicated to studying this technology and possibly finding new use cases for it.
Both blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are still new, with only a decade behind them. Because of this, they are still difficult to teach, especially since they are created on a foundation of several other complex industries. These include business, computer science, law, economics, and alike.
This is why it is difficult to rank universities with blockchain courses properly. Still, the increase in demand for these courses has grown large enough that students are trying to find the best college possible in order to understand this tech properly. This is why we will still try to rank different US universities, in order to find the best ones.
The Methodology Behind the Ranking
University ranking is based on three factors — the number of blockchain organizations on campus, the number of courses that study blockchain technology, and access to the blockchain industry.
The most importance will be placed on the number of courses that each university offers. This does not mean that the top ranking universities will have the best quality courses. Instead, only the number of courses will be included.
Blockchain-related campus organizations will be the second most important factor during the ranking. This includes organizations that will allow students to join different research groups and get the first-hand experience with this technology. The ranking also won't make a difference between university-sponsored organizations and regular student groups. Instead, it will be based on professionalism, impact, and reach of these organizations.
Finally, access to blockchain communities and networks will be the final aspect of the ranking. This will include various blockchain-related events, meetups, and possible connections. While this is the third most important aspects in university evaluation, it is still important, since it allows students to access the blockchain industry and explore it for themselves.
Top 10 US-Based Blockchain Colleges and Universities
1. Stanford University
Stanford University has easily made the top of the list, and its reputation as the leader in this field continues to grow. The university offers not only excellent courses but also professionals who agreed to teach them. These include Kathryn Haun, Andreessen Horowitz's general partner, and former federal prosecutor, as well as Balaji Srinivasan, Earn.com's former CEO. Apart from teaching Bitcoin course, Srinivasan is also the current CTO at Coinbase.
Additionally, Stanford also received numerous investment from the blockchain space. Its research was funded by several big entities, such as the Ethereum Foundation.
UC Berkeley is the only public school that this list will have, but even so, it ranks second. This serves to prove that universities can teach even blockchain technology courses without having to charge high tuitions. UC Berkeley already has quite a reputation as one of the top engineering schools in the US. Because of this, it is not surprising that it offers multiple courses that study blockchain.
One of its best courses carries the name “Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law.” Clearly, the course covers three great industries, and it also requires professors from schools of business, law, and computer science.
Finally, Berkeley also has one of the biggest and best campus communities — Blockchain at Berkeley. This is a student organization that builds products but also educates about blockchain tech. Additionally, it also offers paid consulting services for numerous companies, including Qualcomm and Airbus.
3. New York University
NYU was among the first universities to start teaching crypto and blockchain courses. The first such course was launched as far back as 2014 when two professors — Geoffrey Miller and David Yermack — offered a course that would focus on the new technologies. The course is called “Digital Currency, Blockchains and the Future of Financial Services”, and it studies the economy, banking, and influence of cryptocurrencies over these and similar areas.
Furthermore, NYU also offers some of the best blockchain-related extracurriculars as well. It even held the first Bitcoin hackathon supported by the university. Apart from that, it offers some of the most popular campus organizations, such as the Blockchain Digital Asset Forum, and Blockchain Lab.
Finally, New York itself provides a perfect point of access to numerous blockchain startups that are a part of an active ecosystem. This is a great opportunity for students to get internships, and possibly even jobs.
Considering that the topic is new technology, it is of no surprise that MIT has made the list. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers numerous courses such as Cryptocurrency Engineering and Design. Not only that but among the professors are also Tadge Dryja, Lightning Network paper's co-author, as well as Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) director, Neha Narula. These are the experts of blockchain and crypto world and can expose students to all the newest breakthroughs in crypto and blockchain departments.
Not only that, but students also have access to some of the biggest contributors to the blockchain world. This includes individuals and groups that are responsible for improving public key cryptography, core internet protocols, and other important aspects of the modern web's infrastructure. Not to forget about MIT's own Sloan School of Business, which offers courses that are exposing students to regulatory implications and business as well.
5. Cornell University
When it comes to computer science courses, there is only a handful of them that can match the ones taught at Cornell. Some of its best courses are “Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts“, which is taught by Rafael Pass and Ari Juels, as well as “Distributed Consensus and Blockchains”, taught by E. Shi.
Despite the fact that Cornell Blockchain club was led by students themselves, there is also a more professional organization with significant connections to the school. This is, of course, IC3 — Initiative for Cryptocurrencies & Contracts. It is made up of Cornell faculty members, as well as other top educational centers, such as University College London, and UC Berkeley.
6. Georgetown University
Many who are familiar with Georgetown University are probably aware that this is a school that is known for business programs and political science. While its engineering prowess likely cannot match that of some other schools mentioned on this list, this university has an advantage of having connections to Washington DC's policymakers.
A lot of courses taught at Georgetown University have roots in the law department. This is the place that offers courses such as “Cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, and the Law Seminar.” While blockchain mostly attracts engineers and developers, it is still important for this technology to be understood and properly regulated from law and business standpoint.
7. Harvard University
Harvard is also known for several courses related to blockchain technology, such as “Introduction to Blockchain and Bitcoin”. Additionally, it also covers these technologies in its business course called “Entrepreneurship and Innovation”.
Harvard Undergraduate Blockchain Group and Harward Blockchain Group are two groups that are working on expanding the interest in new technology on campus. They often organize events and provide educational content. Additionally, the university also has a unique location used for interacting with different partners in the space, such as MIT, as well as Boston-based businesses.
8. Duke University
Duke has an excellent blockchain program that was developed by Campbell Harvey, one of the business school's professors. Harvey created a course “Innovation and Cryptoventures” as far back as 2014, which places him among the pioneers of crypto and blockchain education. At first, the course did not attract a lot of attention, but Harvey expected that things will improve in a few years.
Of course, by now, the course became very popular, and it even inspired similar courses in other departments. Harvey even assisted in founding the Duke Blockchain Lab, which is an organization led by students. Even so, the organization is working on bringing professors, students, and even blockchain professionals together. That way, connections to professional blockchain communities are made, and many members of the organizations are known for ending up working in the best companies in this industry.
9. Carnegie Mellon University
CMU is known for its engineering programs, as well as their quality. As such, it quickly included blockchain-related courses, such as “Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and Applications“. The course is taught by Kyle Soska and Nicolas Christin, and it teaches numerous aspects of the blockchain, including legal, technological, and even business.
The CMU also has its own Blockchain club, which allows students to work on blockchain projects in various sectors. These include pretty much anything, from agriculture to Internet of Things (IoT). The club has also grown to be quite popular, and it currently has over 100 members.
10. University of Pennsylvania
Finally, there is the University of Pennsylvania. This university still doesn't have a large number of courses, especially not as many of them as others on this list. However, it does have one of the most vibrant communities, due to early adoption of blockchain technology on campus.
The growth of interest in this tech was also helped by several professors, like Kevin Werbach, who teaches business ethics and legal studies. Naturally, professors' support and students' interest eventually led to the creation of Penn Blockchain club. Now, the club has hundreds of members, and it even hosts conferences on an annual basis.