The University of New Hampshire's main campus in Durham has been ranked third in the 2021 College Free Speech Rankings.

The rankings were created by using over 37,000 currently enrolled students at 159 colleges. They are designed to help parents and prospective students choose the right school.

This was the largest national survey of college students about free speech on their campuses ever and was conducted from Feb. 15 to May 30, according to the website for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

FIRE partnered with RealClearEducation for the project and commissioned College Pulse to conduct the survey.

UNH scored 67.16 out of 100 and is the top-ranked public college.

UNH had 250 respondents for the rankings. Highlights of what the students said include:

  • 37% of students say it is never acceptable to shout down a speaker on campus.
  • 75% of students say it is never acceptable to use violent protest to stop a speech on campus.
  • 70% of students think it is likely that the administration will defend the speaker’s rights in a free speech controversy.
  • Students are most uncomfortable expressing an unpopular opinion to their fellow students on a social media account tied to one’s name.
  • Racial inequality is the topic most frequently identified by students as difficult to have an open and honest conversation about on campus.


UNH President James Dean announced the recognition on social media Wednesday.

Dean said they are proud of their commitment to free speech on Twitter.

Claremont McKenna College, a private liberal arts college in California, had the highest-ranking score on the 2021 Free Speech Rankings.

They earned a score of 72.27 out of 100.

The University of Chicago, Emory University and Florida State University also ranked highly.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at 

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