Finding the right college in Delaware can feel like a challenge. Fortunately, rankings like this one can help you find the school that best matches your budget, schedule, and long-term goals. Use the following ranking to learn about each top school's location, degree offerings, and admissions process. Note that the schools below each hold regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
According to October 2019 data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates in Delaware can anticipate a stable job market and an unemployment rate of 3.7%. The cost of living in Delaware's largest city of Wilmington is 8% above the national average; however, this is much lower than many nearby East Coast cities. The industries employing the most workers include education and health services and trade, transportation, and utilities. More than 15% of Delaware job-holders work in healthcare, and healthcare jobs with the highest projected long-term growth include registered nurses, nursing and medical assistants, and EMTs and paramedics.
Best Colleges in Delaware
- Goldey-Beacom College - Wilmington, DE
- University of Delaware - Newark, DE
- Delaware State University - Dover, DE
- Wilmington University - New Castle, DE
- Wesley College - Dover, DE
Known as the home to many banks, insurance companies, and the chemical giant DuPont, Delaware offers college graduates with a business degree in-demand jobs, such as accountants, financial analysts, market research analysts, and management analysts. More than 8% of Delaware's workforce earns a paycheck in finance or insurance. Computer science graduates can also expect plentiful job openings, especially as software developers and computer systems analysts.
Ranking Accredited Colleges in Delaware
|Wilmington, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Goldey-Beacom College was originally founded as Wilmington Commercial College in 1886 with five students. Today, this private college serves about 2,000 full-time and part-time students from its 24-acre campus east of Wilmington. GBC offers 41 career-focused associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in fields such as accounting, communication, and taxation.
The college's business major includes 11 possible concentrations, including healthcare management and information technology. GBC also offers a three-year doctor of business administration, which includes a series of eight-week courses focused on advanced business theory and investigation. The college also provides non-degree career training in business by offering undergraduate and graduate certificates.
All applicants must complete GBC's online application, although requirements vary for first-year, transfer, and international students. First-year students must submit ACT or SAT scores. GBC's business programs are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
University of Delaware
|Newark, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
As the largest university in the state and one of the oldest public schools in the U.S., the University of Delaware enrolls about 23,000 students annually. The school operates a main campus in Newark as well as locations around the state in Dover, Wilmington, Georgetown, and the coastal community of Lewes.
UD's eight colleges offer undergraduate majors and minors, graduate degrees, and certificates in areas like agriculture, arts and sciences, business, environmental studies, education, engineering, and health sciences. Degree offerings include honors degrees and accelerated 4+1 bachelor's-master's degrees. UD also offers more than 200 courses online.
Delaware residents may apply as early action students for free by completing the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Applicants self-report their academic record and test scores. The application requires a counselor/school recommendation but not additional teacher recommendations.
Delaware State University
|Dover, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Established in 1891, Delaware State University is one of the nation's top historically black universities. The university serves a student body of more than 4,800 learners from its 356-acre Dover campus. The school's four academic colleges offer 42 undergraduate degrees, 16 graduate degrees, and more than 60 online programs.
DSU students enrolled in the school's College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology may select agriculture majors such as agri-business, agri-science education, horticulture, and equine business management. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied chemistry. Business degrees offered at DSU include aviation management, finance, and casino operations.
DSU applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 and SAT scores of at least 800 or ACT scores of at least 17. Students may complete their application online.
|New Castle, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
A private school that serves more than 20,000 students, Wilmington University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through flexible day, evening, weekend, and hybrid classes. In addition to its main campus near Wilmington, WilmU also operates several additional sites, including locations in Dover and on the Dover Air Force Base. The school serves mainly commuter students and does not provide housing.
WilmU's colleges of arts and sciences, business, education, and health professions offer associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees, as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates. WilmU also offers more than 125 online degrees and certificates. Online students pay in-state tuition rates and may access the same campus resources as on-campus students.
The university operates an open-admission policy and uses six start dates per year. Students may transfer in up to 90 college credits. WilmU may also award transfer credits based on previous life experiences, training, and testing.
|Dover, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 17%||
Founded in 1873, Wesley College is Delaware's oldest private college. Located on a 50-acre campus in Dover, this liberal arts school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Wesley boasts more than 30 areas of study, student-centered learning, and a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Wesley undergraduates must fulfill core requirements and may select from 25 programs. Wesley's graduate programs include master's degrees in business, education, environmental science, nursing, and occupational therapy, as well as online degrees in sport leadership and criminal justice. For students seeking advanced training but not a degree, Wesley provides undergraduate and graduate certificates in fields such as nursing, coaching, and education.
Interested students can fill out a free online application. First-year applicants must submit test scores, although the application does not require letters of recommendation or essays. Transfer students may transfer in courses completed with a "C" or higher.
Ranking the Best Community Colleges in Delaware
Delaware is home to four community colleges, consisting of three campuses of the Delaware Technical and Community College, as well as the Delaware College of Art and Design. Degrees and certificates in these technical and artistic specialties directly prepare students for employment: 79% of students who completed programs at Delaware Tech in 2014 have already found a job in their chosen field. The Delaware STEM Council also prioritizes STEM-based programs and initiatives. These support local college graduates in their pursuit of a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Delaware College of Art and Design
|Wilmington, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
Delaware College of Art and Design, formerly Pratt Institute and the Corcoran College of Art and Design, is located in Wilmington. The school provides visual arts education at the mid-Atlantic’s only two-year professional college of art and design, distinguishing itself from other online schools in Delaware. Incoming DCAD students enroll in foundation year, a core curriculum that develops visual literacy and basic studio techniques. Coursework in drawing, two-dimensional design, art history, and color theory give students a solid foundation in the visual arts.
DCAD students can specialize in a number of art and design fields, including animation, graphic design, photography, and illustration. Graduates who earn an associate degree in fine arts from DCAD complete between 67 and 70 credits, with up to 46 credits in studio courses and 24 credits in art history and the liberal arts. The degree program can be completed in two years, and DCAD prepares graduates to transfer into bachelor of fine arts degree programs or to pursue careers in the arts.
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry
|Dover, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 13%||
Of the four Delaware Technical Community College campuses, the "northern" Terry campus, located in Dover, is the one for visual communication majors, being the only northern campus to offer AAS degrees in advertising design, multimedia, or photo imaging. Among general education and core requirements, each 62-unit visual communication program track includes a portfolio workshop course and the possibility for internships. Terry is also the only Delaware Tech campus to offer a program in biomedical electronics engineering technology, a unique career option involving the maintenance and repair of medical research equipment. For students who crave athletics along with academics, the northern Terry campus is one of the best two-year colleges in Delaware for satisfying sports needs. The campus includes multiple basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, along with multi-purpose athletic fields. Sports teams include cross country teams, men's lacrosse, and a women's volleyball team that is known to be frequent regional champions.