4. Columbia University
Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
Campus international relations organization: Columbia International Relations Council and Association
Why go to Columbia? The only way to get closer to the intellectual debate that animates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a 5,000-mile plane flight. The late Professor Edward Said's intellectual home has long been the scene of contentious debates over the conflict -- Norman Finkelstein and Alan Dershowitz are just two recent combatants. University President Lee Bollinger has also proven not to be someone to shy away from a fight, inviting Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007 to address the university in free intellectual debate. Not everyone was convinced.