Minnesota has 20% of the top nerd colleges

Here's a recent ranking by college Web site Unigo in which two Minnesota institutions -- Carleton College (#2) and Macalester College (#5) -- placed in its Top 10 Most Intellectual Colleges.

Like other Unigo Top 10 lists, it was based on votes by 30,000 college students across the country. So consider that when you're looking at the list.

And I have to chuckle at those students in love with the word "intellectual," and who describe their pursuits as such. Seems like a bit of an affectation. Still, it's a fun read.

Below I've included the summary compiled by the Unigo site, but click on each school's link to see the detailed reviews written by students.

#2 Carleton College

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.

At Carleton College, many joke that the five-story Gould Library is the centerpiece of the social scene.

“Intellectualism isn’t about being in class here -– it is your way of life,” one student attests. “Students study constantly both because they want to and because the work never stops. Even if you aren’t studying, you’re probably talking about something intellectual. You will very frequently run into students hanging out outside debating politics, religion or the theory of relativity,” another adds.

This outside-of-class philosophizing only enhances in-class work, and students rave about the breadth and depth of classes available.

They also praise the fantastic faculty.

“Professors here are incredibly wonderful and down-to -earth -- they have high expectations, but encourage and help students to meet them. As students we're welcomed into their offices and even their homes, usually with a plate of brownies to satiate us.”

#5: Macalester College

Macalester College’s 2,000 undergrads are known for their quirky intellectualism and liberal politics.

Students thrive in the small, discussion-based classes which ground the school's challenging academic programs, and professors go the extra mile to ensure students get the most out of their education.

“Professors here make you think harder, write better, speak better, make connections you never would have made and even laugh (that’s important too!)” said one freshman studying art.

Another adds: “Students are extremely passionate about the classes they take, and this leads to endless intellectual discussions in the dorms at night. Endless. We never get to sleep!” A sophomore says: “I probably learn as much outside of class as I do inside of it, thanks to other students. It is simply understood that students at Macalester are passionate, intelligent, and honestly enjoy learning.”