Lumosity Unveils America’s Smartest Colleges

Analysis of World’s Largest Database of Human Cognitive Performance Names Massachusetts Institute of Technology Number One

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Lumosity, the online brain training and neuroscience research company, today revealed the smartest colleges in America based on an analysis of its database of human cognitive performance. The study examined game play data from over 60,000 college students across five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving, and named Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the smartest school.

College rankings typically use standardized test scores to measure intelligence, but tests like the SAT and ACT are designed solely to predict scholastic ability and performance.

“This new metric is really interesting because for the first time, we are able to directly measure cognitive performance by looking at the underlying core cognitive abilities of a student population,” said Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D., Data Scientist at Lumosity. “Deciding where to go to college can be a difficult decision, and this analysis provides college applicants another data point to determine what the right college fit might be for them.”

Below are the rankings of the top 50 smartest colleges.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2. Harvard University
3. Stanford University
4. Northwestern University
5. Yale University
6. Washington University in St Louis
7. Dartmouth College
8. Wellesley College
9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
10. Duke University
11. College of William and Mary
12. University of Pennsylvania
13. University of Portland
14. University of California-Berkeley
15. Vanderbilt University
16. University of Chicago
17. Carnegie Mellon University
18. Macalester College
19. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
20. University of California-Los Angeles
21. Emory University
22. Lafayette College
23. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
24. Case Western Reserve University
25. Boston College
26. Boston University
27. University of the Pacific
28. Vassar College
29. Hamilton College
30. Brown University
31. University of Rochester
32. Lehigh University
33. Oberlin College
34. University of Notre Dame
35. Villanova University
36. Tufts University
37. Bucknell University
38. Northeastern University
39. Princeton University
40. Bowdoin College
41. Trinity University
42. Butler University
43. St. Olaf College
44. University of Virginia-Main Campus
45. Colgate University
46. Rice University
47. Johns Hopkins University
48. University of Wisconsin-Madison
49. Ohio Northern University
50. The College of New Jersey

The study controlled for the effects of gender, age, and their interactions, included only users who had played at least one game in each cognitive area, and who had provided their date of birth and gender. In order to improve the reliability of the findings while still providing good coverage across a large number of schools, the list includes only institutions with at least 50 users who had complete score and demographic data. The list does not include users associated with ongoing university-based studies of Lumosity.

A university’s score on the Lumosity’s Smartest Colleges metric was strongly correlated with that school’s median composite SAT and ACT scores (r = .85 and .84, respectively), suggesting that Lumosity game performance can be related to real-world outcomes. The rankings were also strongly correlated (r = .79) to U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings, indicating that Lumosity’s measures of individual students cognitive performance overlaps with the university-based measures used by other sources.

The study also breaks down the college rankings by cognitive area. Dartmouth College performed the highest on attention, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students had the best memory, Harvard University students performed the highest on speed of processing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology students were the best problem solvers, and Yale students performed the highest on flexibility.

This data analysis is part of Lumosity’s Human Cognition Project, a research initiative designed to advance our understanding of the human mind. The complete whitepaper including a full list of over 400 colleges and the top 50 schools by cognitive area is available here:

About Lumosity

Lumosity is committed to pioneering the understanding and enhancement of the human brain to give each person the power to unlock their full potential. Lumosity's online and mobile programs train core cognitive abilities such as memory and attention. Launched in 2007, Lumosity now has more than 40 games, 25 million members, and paying subscribers from 180 countries. Lumosity’s games are based on the latest discoveries in neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other academic institutions. Lumosity is available at and on the iPhone. Lumosity is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit


For Lumosity
Ashley Cummings, 415-277-4919


For Lumosity
Ashley Cummings, 415-277-4919