Safest Universities in USA for International Students

You’re an international student who has just landed in the USA to follow your dream of studying overseas. You’re thrilled, anxious, and curious about your new surroundings. But you’re also concerned about your well-being.

How can you tell if the university you’ve picked is safe and friendly? How do you deal with the possible dangers and difficulties of living in a foreign country? These are some of the questions that many international students encounter when they choose to study in the USA.

In this article, we’ll assist you in answering these questions by examining the significance of safety for international students, the factors that influence university security, and a list of some of the most secure universities in the USA for international students.


Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for international students, but it also involves certain safety issues. International students may additionally face issues like crime, violence, discrimination, harassment, and natural disasters, depending on the university they select. Those troubles can affect their educational achievement, intellectual fitness, social integration, and enjoyment of their studying abroad. Therefore, when selecting a university in the USA, one of the most popular destinations for international students, safety becomes a vital factor to consider.

In this article, we’ll look at how to select a safe and suitable university in the USA by considering five indicators of a secure university environment:

Safest Universities in USA for International Students

  1. The crime rate in the surrounding area
  2. Campus safety measures and security protocols
  3. Availability of emergency services
  4. Diversity and Inclusion within the university community
  5. Cultural sensitivity of the university

We’ll also provide a list of some of the safest universities in the USA for international students based on these indicators.

Importance of Safety for International Students in the USA:

Safety holds significant importance for international students in the USA due to several reasons:

  • Impact on Education and Learning:

Feeling safe and secure enables international students to concentrate on their studies. Participate actively in class activities, interact with classmates and instructors, and enjoy their academic experience.

  • Well-being and Happiness:

A safe environment contributes to the well-being and happiness of international students. It also facilitates their adjustment to a new culture, encouraging friendships, exploration of surroundings, and an enjoyable stay.

  • Reputation and Attractiveness:

International students who feel safe and satisfied are more likely to recommend their universities and the USA to others, thereby improving the reputation, diversity, and competitiveness of American higher education.

Factors Affecting University Safety for International Students:

Several factors influence the safety of universities for international students, including:

  • Crime Rate in the Nearby Area:

One of the first factors to consider when choosing a safe university in the USA is the crime rate in the nearby area. The frequency and severity of crimes like robbery, robbery, attack, rape, and homicide inside the community or city where the college is located are referred to as the crime rate. Higher crime rates increase the risk of international students becoming victims of crime or witnessing crime incidents that can damage their physical and psychological health.

Safest Universities in USA for International Students
Police car

You can use online tools like neighborhood Scout or Crime reviews, which provide region-primarily based crime statistics and maps, to determine a neighborhood’s crime rate. You can also check the university’s website or contact its admissions office to ask about its crime rate and how it compares to other areas or universities.

Some examples of universities that have low crime rates in their nearby areas are:

  1. University of Southern California
  2. Brigham Young University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Campus Safety Measures and Security Protocols:

The effectiveness of a university’s measures to protect its campus from potential threats, such as intruders, vandalism, fire, or terrorism. Additionally, the university’s emergency response and victim support capabilities play a crucial role in ensuring safety.

  • Availability of Emergency Services:

The ease and swiftness with which international students can access medical care, police assistance, or legal aid during emergencies. Being well-informed and prepared for emergencies is also essential for international students’ safety.

  • Diversity and Inclusion within the University:

The degree to which the college population welcomes and values individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, religions, races, genders, sexual orientations, and competencies.

  • Cultural Sensitivity of the University:

The university’s awareness and respect for the cultural differences and needs of international students. Providing opportunities for intercultural learning and exchange contributes to a culturally sensitive environment, aiding international students’ adjustment and enriching their cross-cultural competence.

Safest Universities in USA for International Students
Stats of Sexual Crime

List of Safest Universities in the USA for International Students:

Using these criteria, we have listed a selection of the most secure universities in the USA for international students. These institutions have low crime rates in their vicinity, strong campus safety measures and security protocols, readily accessible emergency services, inclusive and diverse university communities, and universities that prioritize cultural sensitivity.

Based on these factors, here is a list of some of the safest universities in the USA for international students:

  1. University of Southern California
  2. Brigham Young University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. New York University
  5. University of California, San Diego
  6. California State University, Long Beach
  7. Purdue University
  8. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  9. University of Iowa
  10. University of Rhode Island

Crime Report Table Chart of Each University Incident Per Thousand Student

University Total Incident Average Incident Per 1000 Students
University of Southern California



Brigham Young University



Massachusetts Institute of Technology



New York University



University of California, San Diego



Purdue University



University of Massachusetts, Amherst



University of Iowa



University of Rhode Island



Note: This data is from 2019 to 2020 reported incident.

University of Southern California:

The University of Southern California (USC) holds a prominent position as a renowned private research institution situated in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, California. With a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1880, USC has continuously strived for academic excellence and innovation across various disciplines.

According to the latest available data in 2019, the University of Southern California documented a total of 374 safety-related incidents involving students either on campus, nearby, or at other affiliated properties. Given the student population of 48,321 during that year. It accommodates a large and diverse student body of over 48,321 students from more than 150 nations. USC offers a broad range of academic programs across 23 schools and colleges.

USC has implemented a strong campus security system, including 24/7 patrols by trained police officers and security guards, emergency blue light phones, surveillance cameras, and alert systems. They also offer essential services such as medical clinics, counseling centers, and legal clinics to support their students.

Furthermore, USC prioritizes encouraging an inclusive and diverse community that recognizes and appreciates the similarities and differences among its members. They actively promote diversity and inclusion through initiatives like the USC Race and Equity Center and the USC Student Equity and Inclusion Programs.

  1. Brigham Young University:  

According to the latest available data in 2019, there were a total of 90 crime and safety incidents involving students at or near the Brigham Young University – Provo campus or affiliated properties.

This equates to an average of 2.62 incidents per 1,000 students, taking into account the student population of 34,318.

The police department at Brigham Young University operates under the authority of the State of Utah and holds official certification. As per legal regulations, BYU Police has the power to prevent, investigate, and detect crimes, as well as enforce traffic laws, criminal statutes, and local ordinances. The department’s police officers are sworn peace officers, duly certified by the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training, and possess the same authority as officers from other Utah law enforcement agencies, including the ability to make arrests.

To ensure the safety of the campus community, BYU Police maintains close collaboration with municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The physical location of the BYU Police Department is at 2120 Jesse Knight Building (JKB).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):

According to the latest available data in 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recorded a total of 146 crime and safety incidents involving students. These incidents occurred on or near the campus or affiliated properties. Considering the student population of 11,520 during that year, the rate stands at 12.67 incidents per 1,000 students.

The reported count of criminal offenses on the MIT campus, non-campus locations, and public property nearby experienced a decline from 89 incidents in 2018 to 54 incidents in 2019 and further decreased to 17 incidents in 2020. It’s worth noting that the reduced campus density resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in this decrease.

The MIT Police Department operates under the authority of the Executive Vice President of MIT. Their team consists of sworn patrol officers and supervisors who are available round-the-clock, every day of the year, to provide police and emergency medical services to the MIT community. Alongside the police officers, the department also employs civilian personnel who contribute to administrative support services and serve as dispatchers in the communications center.

All police officers at MIT possess warrants granted under Chapter 22C, Section 63 of the Massachusetts General Laws. As special state police officers, they are fully authorized to make arrests for crimes committed on MIT premises. Moreover, these officers are sworn in as deputy sheriffs in Middlesex and Suffolk counties. Equipped with firearms and pepper spray, they undergo annual firearms training and qualifications in accordance with state regulations. The department maintains a written “Use of Force” policy, which is reviewed annually with the officers.

New York University:

New York University (NYU) is a prestigious private university located in the vibrant city of New York, New York. In the year 2019, NYU recorded a total of 1,173 incidents related to crime and safety involving students on or near the campus or other properties associated with the university. With a student population of 52,885, this equates to an average of 22.18 incidents per 1,000 students.

NYU ensures the safety of its campus through a comprehensive security system, which encompasses a specialized police department, emergency phones, surveillance cameras, and alert systems. The university goes above and beyond to assist its international students by offering an extensive range of programs and resources. These include orientation sessions, academic advising, language support, healthcare services, counseling, legal assistance, career development, and culturally enriching events. NYU takes pride in its esteemed academic standing and consistently ranks among the leading national universities in the United States.

To support its international students NYU provides a wide array of programs and resources ranging from orientation sessions to academic advising to language support healthcare services counseling legal assistance career development opportunities engaging cultural events Additionally NYU enjoys an excellent academic reputation and consistently ranks among top national universities United States

University of California San Diego:

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is a public land-grant research university in La Jolla, California. Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the southernmost of the ten campuses of the University of California, and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling 33,096 undergraduate and 9,872 graduate students.

In 2019, the University of California – San Diego disclosed a total of 918 incidents pertaining to crime and safety, affecting students on or in the vicinity of the campus or other affiliated properties. With a student population of 38,736, this corresponds to an average of 23.70 incidents per 1,000 students.

The UC San Diego Police Department is a diverse institution committed to delivering top-notch police services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Each one of the 23 campuses within the California State University system operates its own police department. The peace officers serving in these departments are sworn and certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). These police and public safety departments have the responsibility of ensuring a secure campus environment by upholding federal and state laws, and CSU regulations, and implementing programs aimed at deterring and preventing crime.

The California State University, Long Beach:

It is common for institutions to state that they had no incidents in certain categories. Although seeing no reported crimes might seem positive, it doesn’t automatically indicate a safer school environment, as it could be a result of inadequate reporting. Similarly, a higher number of incidents doesn’t necessarily mean the school is less safe; it might simply indicate stricter enforcement and reporting of laws.

The Police Department at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of excellence. Through the utilization of innovative technologies, they aim to encourage a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. The personnel of the CSULB Police Department endeavors to conduct themselves with professionalism, and sincerity, and as exemplary role models for other law enforcement agencies to emulate.

Purdue University:

In 2019, Purdue UniversityMain Campus recorded a total of 1,277 incidents concerning crime and safety. These incidents involved students and occurred either on campus, in nearby areas, or on affiliated properties. Considering the student population of 45,500 during that year, this translates to an average of 28.07 incidents per 1,000 students.

Upon reviewing government data, Purdue University has been identified as a location with a notably high level of risk and potential danger. Notably, American School Search has assigned a concerning safety grade of “D-” to this institution.

This assessment takes into account various factors and metrics pertaining to campus safety, such as crime rates, incidents of violence, and the effectiveness of security measures implemented by the university. Consequently, the analysis indicates that Purdue University presents a significant safety challenge for both its students and staff.

It is crucial to approach these findings with prudence, considering the need for additional information and alternative perspectives to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the safety situation at Purdue University.

University of Massachusetts Amherst:

In 2019, the University of Massachusetts Amherst recorded a total of 457 incidents concerning crime and safety. These incidents involved students and occurred either on campus, in nearby areas, or on affiliated properties. Considering the student population of 31,350 during that year, this translates to an average of 14.58 incidents per 1,000 students.

The University of Massachusetts Police Department operates as a comprehensive police department, employing a total of 62 sworn officers, police dispatchers, dedicated non-sworn professional staff, and over 200 student security employees. The officers undergo training at a municipal police academy and possess full authority to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. Over the years, they have established a good reputation for effective crime prevention, managing traffic, and engaging in community outreach efforts.

To prioritize the safety of its students, community members, and visitors, the University has made significant investments in crime prevention initiatives, advanced technology, and emergency notification systems. These measures aim to ensure a secure environment within our campus.

University of Iowa:

In 2019, the University of Iowa documented a total of 1,052 incidents pertaining to crime and safety, which directly involved students and occurred either on campus, in nearby areas, or on affiliated properties. Considering the student population of 31,240 during that year, this corresponds to an average of 33.67 incidents per 1,000 students.

The Department of Public Safety at the University of Iowa holds the primary responsibility for emergency response on the university campus. Its largest division, known as the Police Division, comprises a team of 45 state-certified police officers who ensure round-the-clock patrols on campus, operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

In addition to fulfilling the training requirements mandated by the state, including the completion of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, officers within the UI Department of Public Safety undergo a range of supplementary training programs. These additional training initiatives aim to enhance their skills, knowledge, and preparedness in dealing with various situations that may arise within the campus environment.

University of Rhode Island:

In 2019, the University of Rhode Island documented a total of 647 incidents related to safety, specifically involving students on or near campus or at other affiliated properties. With a student population of 17,465 during that year, this translates to an average of 37.05 incidents per 1,000 students.

The Department as a whole remains consistently prepared to promptly address service calls and takes proactive measures to uphold the safety of individuals and property. The divisions dedicated to safeguarding students, faculty, staff, and visitors collaborate closely to provide protection against various risks, such as injuries, fires, and other potential threats. This concerted effort ensures that the University can pursue its mission within a secure environment.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) has received esteemed recognition for its commitment to safety and security, as it has been honored with a prestigious position among the top 10 safest campuses. This accolade highlights URI’s dedication to encouraging a secure environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.


  1. Summary of main points:

This article examined the significance of safety for international students studying in the USA the factors influencing university safety and a compilation of some of the safest universities in the nation It highlighted the considerable impact of safety on international students’ academic performance mental well-being social integration and overall satisfaction with their study abroad experience

Additionally it outlined indicators of a secure university environment including low crime rates robust campus security systems readily available emergency services diverse and inclusive communities and culturally sensitive institutions

  1. Implications for international students:

Safety is a vital factor for international students who want to study in the USA By considering the crime rate campus security emergency services diversity and inclusion and cultural sensitivity of each university international students can make well-informed decisions and choose a safe and suitable university that meets their academic and personal needs Studying in the USA can be a rewarding and enriching experience for international students as long as they take the necessary precautions and seek the available support If you’re an international student who wants to study in the USA we hope this article has helped you learn how to choose a safe university If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below We’d love to hear from you


Q: Is it safe for international students to pursue their studies in the USA?

The safety of international students studying in the USA can vary depending on factors such as the location of the campus and individual experiences. Generally, the USA is considered a safe country for international students provided they adhere to basic safety precautions some recommended tips include:

  • Researching the crime rates and safety measures of the intended study area and campus
  • Registering with the embassy or consulate of their home country in the USA
  • Securing valid passports and visas in a safe place
  • Avoid walking alone at night or in unfamiliar areas
  • Ensuring doors and windows are locked and valuables are kept secure
  • Staying aware of their surroundings and promptly reporting any suspicious activities or incidents
  • Contact campus security police or emergency services when necessary
  • Respecting the laws customs and culture of the USA and avoiding illegal or risky behavior

Q: Which university is considered the safest in the USA?

Identifying the safest university in the USA is not definitive as different universities have varying safety standards and statistics However certain factors can indicate a safe university environment such as:

  • Low crime rates in the surrounding area
  • Strong campus safety systems and security protocols
  • Access to emergency services
  • Diverse and inclusive university communities
  • Culturally sensitive universities

Based on these factors some universities often regarded as safe for international students in the USA are:

  1. Brigham Young University
  2. University of Southern California
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. What is the most common crime on college campuses?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics forcible sex offenses were the most prevalent crime on college campuses in the USA accounting for 43% of all criminal incidents. Other reported crimes included:

  • Burglaries (33% of crimes)
  • Motor vehicle thefts (11% of crimes)
  • Aggravated assaults (8% of crimes)
  • Robberies (3% of crimes)

However, it’s important to note that these figures may not accurately represent the true extent of crime on college campuses, as many incidents may go unreported or underreported. Reporting rates can be influenced by various factors such as the availability and accessibility of campus security services, the level of awareness and education regarding crime prevention and reporting among students and staff, the cooperation between campus authorities and local law enforcement agencies, and the overall perception and fear of crime within the campus community.

About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an experienced technical writer with an ACCA qualification. I have written on various topics including finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I am skilled in using infographics and diagrams.

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