We'll Give You 3 Colleges, You Tell Us Which State They're In


By: Abi Luftig

7 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

We are... PENN STATE. We are... PENN STATE. Rather than continue this popular college chant, if we were to ask you where Penn State is, you'd obviously answer with Pennsylvania! While this is an easy one, not all colleges and universities are the same! With over 5,300 places of higher education in the United States, can you give us the state based on three colleges? Let's find out! 

When you hear schools like the University of Maryland or the University of Alabama, it's clear that those schools are located in Maryland and Alabama, respectively. Even if you don't know that the C in UCLA stands for California, the LA (Los Angeles) would probably be your indicator. While some colleges and universities come with easy names like this, others are ready to trip you up.

With a name like the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, you might hesitate on whether it's located in Indiana or Pennsylvania. You might even get tripped up with the California University of Pennsylvania, but it gets harder than that! 

A school like Boston University might be easy to decipher, but what if we asked you where Duke University was? USC might be a piece of cake, but what about the Division 1 school, Auburn University?

In this quiz, we're traveling all around the United States to their colleges and universities. When given three colleges, can you figure out the state?

Will you be given a degree once you're done or will you have to drop this quiz? Let's find out!

In which northern state would you find Columbia University, The United States Military Academy and The Juilliard School?

New York prides itself on being the best of the best, and these three schools are no exception. Julliard has been known as the one of best performing arts school in the world since it opened in 1905. Columbia is a proud member of the Ivy League. And while "The United States Military Academy" may sound unfamiliar to many, referring to it by its location, as many do, has inspired centuries of service members to commit themselves to excellence. That's right, you know it better as West Point.


In which Pacific state would you find Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College and Willamette University?

Willamette has the distinct honor of being the oldest university in the Western United States. Located in Salem, Oregon, it was founded in 1842, a full 17 years before Oregon became a state.


In which not-quite-a-state would you find Georgetown University, Howard University and Gallaudet University?

Considering it's a district and not a state, there are a lot of higher education institutions in DC, 20, to be exact. The three listed above all stand out for being pioneers. Gallaudet was the first higher education institute to specifically tailor its education to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and make accommodations for those who could hear, as opposed to the other way around. Howard was one of the first HBCUs to be nonsectarian. Georgetown is both the oldest college in DC and the oldest Jesuit college in America.


In which Southern state would you find Appalachian State University, Duke University and Wake Forest University?

These three schools all have an athletic connection. Wake Forest has made it into the March Madness tournament 23 times, while Duke has one of the most successful team records in the nation (sixteen Final Fours and twelve Championship games, five of which resulted in wins). Appalachian State has only made it into the tournament twice, but basketball takes a back seat to their football team, which scored three consecutive national championships.


In which East Coast state would you find McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University and the University of Baltimore?

Nearly 400,000 students are enrolled at the 55 schools in Maryland. More than half of these schools are part of the University System of Maryland, whether their name implies it or not. However, of these three, the University of Baltimore is the only one in the system; McDaniel and The Mount are both private schools.


In which Southwest state would you find the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and the University of the Southwest?

Approximately two million people live in New Mexico, making it the 36th most populous state in America. This population poured into the fifth-largest state made New Mexico the fifth least densely populated state in the country. To be fair, people have to find places to live that don't infringe upon the seven national forests and the 18 national monuments.


In which mountain state would you find The United States Air Force Academy, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Regis University?

The United States Air Force Academy was the last of the five military academies to be established but ranks third in seniority. Admissions are extremely competitive, with approximately 1,200 cadets being accepted. By the time they complete the four-year course, about 1,000 will graduate as second lieutenants.


In which Midwest state would you find Northwestern University, Chicago State University and Aurora University?

Chicago State has the distinct honor of being one of the 47 schools to be a part of The Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, named after the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, is a nonprofit that provides scholarships and other resources for students attending public HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). They do not work with private HBCUs.


In which Southern state would you find Auburn University, Troy University and the University of Mobile?

While the University of Mobile does technically have a football program, it doesn't even come close to the success that the programs of Auburn and Troy have enjoyed. Troy has won three national championships and has five Bowl wins. Auburn has had five national championships, 12 undefeated seasons, 12 conference championships, and a staggering 24 Bowl victories.


In which Gulf state would you find the Sam Houston State University, Stephen F. Austin State University and Baylor University?

All three schools are named after important figures in Texan history. Sam Houston State University honors Sam Houston, first president of Texas and hero of the Battle of San Jacinto. Stephen F. Austin State University celebrates Stephen Fuller Austin, the "Father of Texas", who successfully colonized the territory. Baylor is the namesake of Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, an ordained minister and one of the first appointed to the Texas Supreme Court.


In which Atlantic state would you find The United States Naval Academy, Towson University and Johns Hopkins University?

All three top-notch schools have an impressive alumni roster. Towson was the academic home of actor John Glover and NFL players Jermon Bushrod and Dave Meggett. Johns Hopkins has produced 27 Nobel Laureates including President Woodrow Wilson, and The Yard claims bragging rights to President Jimmy Carter, astronaut Alan Shepard and talk show host Montel Williams.


In which southeastern state would you find the University of Louisville, the Lexington Theological Seminary and Morehead State University?

The University of Louisville is the second-largest school in Kentucky (behind the University of Kentucky), but its medical school is second to none when it comes to innovations. Among its many successes, the University of Louisville School of Medicine is credited with "the first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant surgery, as well as the first successful hand transplantation ... the first civilian ambulance, the nation's first accident services, now known as an emergency room (ER), and one of the first blood banks in the US."


In which coal country state would you find Marshall University, the University of Charleston and Appalachian Bible College?

Football and movies fans alike know the phrase "We are Marshall", but not for the happiest of reasons. In 1970, all but 13 members of the team, as well as the coaches, were on a plane coming back from a game. It crashed and all 75 people on board were killed. Several documentaries have been made about the crash and the campus' efforts to regroup and rebuild, as well as the somewhat dramatized 2006 film We Are Marshall.


In which southern state would you find the University of Memphis, Vanderbilt University and Austin Peay State University?

While it is generally respected as a serious school of education and research, it is important to note that Vanderbilt has a research program designed to study coffee. It has its own on-campus institute and even awards scholarships. Drink your heart out, Starbucks!


In which Great Lakes region state would you find St. Cloud State University, Saint Paul College and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design?

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) focuses on visual arts and is one of the very few art schools in America to offer a major in Comic Art. Good thing, too, since it's the alma mater of Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon.


In which Pacific state would you find Evergreen State College, the University of Puget Sound and The Art Institute of Seattle?

Evergreen State University is a rarity in the field of education, in that it does not assign letter grades. ESU uses what is called "narrative evaluations," where professors write several paragraphs describing the student's work and performance. Some schools use narrative evaluations in addition to letter grades, but a select few like ESU, Goddard and Yale use narrative evals only.


In which mid-Atlantic state would you find Drexel University, Carnegie Mellon University and Temple University?

In addition to being top academic and athletic schools, these three PA universities are bonded by the common thread of unique mascots. Carnegie Mellon is home to the Tartans, which is characterized as a Scottish Terrier wearing a plaid scarf, Temple is home to the Owls, and Drexel wins the prize for the best mascot, having chosen the Dragons.


In which Pacific state would you find the Los Angeles College of Music, Stanford University, and the University of Redlands?

The official name for Stanford is the Leland Stanford Junior University. Many people assume, due to its excellent reputation, that Stanford is an Ivy League school, but it is not. In order to be considered Ivy League, a school must be on the East Coast. (However, many experts consider Stanford to be a better school than Harvard or Yale.)


In which Pacific state would you find the Naval Postgraduate School, Anaheim University and Golden Gate University?

These three schools are unique in that they are primarily post-graduate schools. GGU does offer undergrad programs, but only two, compared to the 15 graduate degrees they offer. Anaheim was one of the first grad schools in America to offer an online Masters Degree program. And as the name implies, the Naval Postgraduate School offers Naval grad students an opportunity to receive a "relevant and unique advanced education ... to increase the combat effectiveness of commissioned officers of the Naval Service to enhance the security of the United States."


In which two-word state would you find Cornell University, Sarah Lawrence College and Syracuse University?

Higher education is a point of pride in New York State, with over 1.5 million students attending 307 different schools. The vast majority of these school belong to either SUNY (State University of New York) which has 68 campuses across the state of New York or CUNY (City University of New York), which is independent of SUNY and operates 21 colleges across the Five Boroughs. These three, however, are not part of either network.


In which Midwestern state would you find Wichita State University, Haskell Indian Nations University and Emporia State University?

Haskell Indian Nations University is a federally run tribal university that is home to approximately 1,000 students per year, representing over 140 Nations and Tribes. It is one of the 47 tribal universities in the United States that are still operational. (There are also 21 in Canada.)


In which Midwestern state would you find Kent State University, Wright State University and Oberlin College?

Since their first flight took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, people can sometimes forget that the Wright brothers were from Ohio. Never fear, people from Ohio will remind you whenever they can in as many ways as possible. The residents of Dayton, the hometown of the Wrights, chose to set up Wright State University in a suburb of Dayton to honor their hometown heroes.


In which Southern state would you find George Mason University, Old Dominion University and the College of William and Mary?

William & Mary is the oldest college in Virginia and the second-oldest college in America (it was beaten out by Harvard). In its three and a quarter centuries of existence, it has educated four presidents, 13 cabinet members, four Supreme Court Justices, actors like Glenn Close and Patton Oswalt, and the category-defying Jon Stewart.


In which New England state would you find Amherst College, Harvard University and Salem State University?

There are 114 post-secondary schools in Massachusetts, including four medical schools and nine law schools. Harvard, founded in 1636, is the state's oldest university.


In which southern state would you find the Savannah College of Art and Design, Valdosta State University and Emory University?

With bigger (football-playing) schools like U of Georgia and Georgia Tech getting most of the attention in the South, Emory has a tendency to be overlooked, since it is one of the rare Southern schools to not have a football program. However, it more than makes up for it with its academic and alumni achievements. Emory is the alma mater of six Pulitzer Prize winners, two foreign heads of state and countless members of both state and federal levels of legislative branches.


In which sparsely populated state would you find Black Hills State University, the University of Sioux Falls and Northern State University?

There are twenty-two colleges and universities in South Dakota, most of which fall under the banner of the University of South Dakota. This includes the only law school and the only medical school in the state.


In which New England state would you find the United States Coast Guard Academy, Wesleyan University and Yale University?

The United States Coast Guard Academy is the smallest of the five federal service academies (the others being Military in West Point, Naval in Annapolis, Air Force in Colorado Springs and Merchant Marine in Kings Point). Approximately 250 cadets enroll every year, with a yearly average of 200 graduating to ensigns.


In which New England state would you find Brown University, Providence College and the Naval War College?

There are only 12 schools operating in Rhode Island, which is not surprising given its size. Ivy League Brown is the oldest school in the state, being the only one founded before the American Revolution.


In which Atlantic coast state would you find Rutgers University, Thomas Edison State University and Princeton University?

New Jersey, always the rebel, was the only British colony to allow for the setup of two colleges during the colonial period. Those two colleges, Princeton and Rutgers, were two of only nine colleges founded on New World soil before the American Revolution.


In which southern state would you find Saint Louis University, the College of the Ozarks and Truman State University?

There are 67 degree-granting institutions in Missouri, including 13 community colleges, 13 public universities and 39 private schools. Truman University is named after Harry Truman, the only U.S. president to be born in Missouri.


In which Great Lakes region state would you find Purdue University, Ball State University and the University of Notre Dame?

All three schools cast a big shadow in the world of collegiate sports, but Notre Dame and Purdue are a bit unique. Notre Dame is one of only six universities to be an independent, meaning they do not belong to a conference. Purdue is unique because they are one of the few schools that do not fund the athletics program through student fees or school subsidies.


In which Atlantic state would you find Villanova University, Bucknell University and Gettysburg College?

Gettysburg College is adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, though to be fair, the school was there first. One of the dormitories, Pennsylvania Hall, was used as a surgical ward by both Union and Confederate troops during the battle. The college has embraced its history and adopted the nickname "The Bullets".


In which southern state would you find Clemson University, the College of Charleston, and Winthrop University?

Several actors graduated from the College of Charleston. Thomas Gibson from Dharma & Greg and Criminal Minds, Orlando Jones from MADtv and Sleepy Hollow, and Matt Czuchry from Gilmore Girls and The Good Wife are just a few. Several state politicians also come from The College.


In which northwestern state would you find Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University and Stevens–Henager College?

Boise State is the most recent school in Idaho to become a university, having been Boise Junior College until 1974. It is one of only three schools in Idaho to have a doctoral program, the other two being the University of Idaho and Idaho State.


In which New England state would you find Plymouth State University, Dartmouth College and Franklin Pierce University?

There are 25 post-secondary education schools in New Hampshire, but Ivy League Dartmouth is the only one to have been established prior to the American Revolution in 1769. The newest school in the area is the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, which began in 1985.


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