Best Colleges and Universities in Your State
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Location is an important factor when considering your college options. In this ranking, we highlight the top-ranked college in each state, providing information about enrollment, school location, and top programs and degrees offered near you.Use the following guide to learn more about the best college in your state.
What Are the Best Colleges and Universities in Each State?
The Best Colleges and Universities in Each State
University of Alabama,
Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama is one of the oldest and largest public universities in the state. The school enrolls over 38,000 students and offers nearly 200 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
UA students have access to a variety of support services, including academic coaching sessions, career center services, and one of the largest libraries in the state.
University of Alaska Fairbanks,
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a leading research university, serving about 9,000 students. It is the flagship campus of the UA system and one of the few land-, sea-, and space-grant institutions in the country.UAF offers 179 degrees and programs, including research studies in areas like arctic biology, engineering, native studies, and geophysics.
Arizona State University,
Currently enrolling over 70,000 students, Arizona State University is one of the largest universities in the country. The downtown Phoenix campus spans 17 schools, with academic disciplines like health sciences, human services, and arts and sciences.Courses take place in classrooms and research labs across the campus' historic buildings. Students have access to recreational facilities, performing art centers, and sporting events.
University of Arkansas,
Based in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas ranks among the top 3% of universities in the country in research activity, according to the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.U of A encompasses 10 schools and provides more than 200 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university promotes individualized attention and enhanced mentoring by maintaining a low 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Stanford University is a worldwide leader of higher education and boasts top-tier academics and research institutions.Spanning seven schools, students at Stanford can pursue programs in medicine, law, engineering, and business. The university provides a variety of student resources, including community centers, research labs, and over 20 libraries.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado College is a private liberal arts school that currently enrolls over 2,000 undergraduates. The university emphasizes diversity as a core value to its academic mission. For the seventh consecutive year, over a quarter of the enrollment class identified as students of color. Admission is highly competitive with an acceptance rate of about 15%.
Yale University, located in New Haven, is an Ivy League school and one of the most respected universities in the world. Undergraduates at Yale explore a broad curriculum of liberal arts and sciences, and they have access to extensive collections and resources. At the graduate level, Yale offers top programs in business, law, medicine, and environmental studies.
Located in Pine Creek Valley, Goldey-Beacom College serves about 1,800 students and offers 41 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.Undergraduates can pursue BS and BA degrees in psychology, English, and most areas of business. The private college boasts an impressive job placement rate, with over 90% of alumni reporting employment status within months of graduation.
University of Florida,
The University of Florida is a leading research university housing 15 colleges and more than 200 research facilities. UF is one of the few institutions in the country that claims the trifecta of land-, sea-, and space-grant status.
Undergraduates can pursue over 100 majors and take advantage of the school's Innovation Academy program. This program allows students to pursue an innovation minor that combines over 30 majors across eight colleges.
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Located in Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a research university serving more than 25,000 students. Georgia Tech undergraduates cover a wide variety of fields, integrating technologically focused foundations into each course of study.This tech institute comprises six colleges and 28 schools, offering nationally recognized programs in engineering, computer science, business, and design.
Brigham Young University-Hawaii,
Located in Laie, Brigham Young University-Hawaii is a private university owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The university currently serves about 2,500 students from over 70 different countries. Beyond traditional learning and career preparation, a full BYU-Hawaii education also entails moral, ethical, and spiritual enrichment.
Brigham Young University-Idaho,
Founded in 1888, Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private university affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previously a junior school known as Ricks College, the institution transitioned to a four-year university in 2001.BYU-Idaho spans six colleges and offers programs like engineering, business, performing arts, education, and health sciences.
Northwestern University, located in Evanston, is a leading private research university that serves about 21,000 students. The university comprises 12 colleges and schools with campuses in three locations: Evanston; Chicago; and Doha, Qatar. NU offers popular graduate programs in management, law, medicine, and engineering, many of which can be taken fully online.
University of Notre Dame,
Located just outside of South Bend, the University of Notre Dame ranks among the country's top higher education institutions. Admission is highly competitive with an acceptance rate of about 6.3%.Students can pursue undergraduate programs in areas like business, science, engineering, architecture, and global affairs.
Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college that serves over 1,500 students.Grinnell is nationally recognized as one of the best colleges for undergraduate teaching, innovation, and liberal arts education. The school also features leading science labs and athletics facilities.
Kansas State University,
Kansas State University, the first public institution in the state, serves roughly 21,000 students and offers over 400 degrees and programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university boasts a 97% placement rate for its BA and MA graduates.In recent years, the university has spent close to $200 million annually to build up resources for its 90-plus research centers.
Founded in 1855, Berea College was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. The private liberal arts college is distinct in that it does not charge tuition.Berea requires each student to work 10-15 hours per week; in turn, the college provides its pupils with a scholarship worth $100,000 over four years. Students can choose from over 100 on- and off-campus programs to fulfill work requirements.
Based in New Orleans, Tulane University is a private research university serving over 14,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Spanning 89 buildings across 100 acres, Tulane features 12 libraries, four campuses, and an extensive research center with several facilities. Undergraduate students can choose from 75 majors in areas like architecture, business, liberal arts, science and engineering, and public health.
Founded in 1794, Bowdoin College is the oldest institution of higher education in Maine and older than the state itself. Celebrating its history, the private liberal arts college hosts a campus-wide party each year, paying homage to an ivy plant that was planted in 1865.Bowdoin boasts a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and reports top majors in government and legal studies, economics, and mathematics.
Johns Hopkins University,
Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University was established as America's first research university and continues to rank as one of the top higher education institutions in the world. The private university — located in Baltimore, Maryland — serves over 24,000 part- and full-time students across four campuses, including locations in China and Italy. Johns Hopkins comprises nine schools and offers programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, and nursing.
Founded in 1636, Harvard University stands as the oldest and one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. This Ivy league university lies on a 210-acre campus in Cambridge.Harvard oversees 12 schools and offers a variety of facilities, including world class museums, the largest academic library in the world, and several recreational centers.
University of Michigan,
Based in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan is the oldest public university in the state and boasts one of the largest alumni bases in the world.
The flagship school ranks as one of the best undergraduate public universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. U-M provides free tuition for qualifying individuals from Michigan families earning less than$65,000 a year and tuition support for households earning up to $180,000.
St. Olaf College,
Founded by a group of Norwegian-American immigrants in 1878, St. Olaf College sits on a sprawling 325-acre campus in Northfield. This private liberal arts college serves over 3,000 students and offers majors in areas like arts and sciences, music education, and political science. SOC reports that over 96% of its graduates have full-time employment.
Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the second-oldest Baptist college in the country and the largest private university in the state. This Christian institution provides its students with a foundation in liberal arts and sciences, while also integrating faith throughout the educational experience.MC offers over 80 undergraduate programs, more than 50 graduate areas of study, and Mississippi's sole physician assistant program.
College of the Ozarks,
College of the Ozarks — located in Point Lookout — is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The institution does not charge student tuition; instead, it requires students to work on campus. C of O enrolls about 1,500 learners and offers over 30 majors in BA and BS programs. The university maintains a low faculty-to-student ratio of 15-to-1, helping facilitate its character-driven education mission.
The University of Montana-Western,
Founded as a training center for teachers, the University of Montana-Western is a public university located in a small town called Dillon. Undergraduate students can pursue an array of subjects, including biology, education, English, and mathematics.
Montana Western's students only take one course at a time for 18 days. Each semester comprises four courses or "blocks" and delivers the same number of credits per term as traditional systems.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
The state's oldest and largest university, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public research institution spanning nine colleges and schools.
The university serves over 25,000 students and employs 1,900 full-time faculty, maintaining a 21-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. UNL offers bachelor's and master's programs in fields like arts and sciences, business, education, and engineering.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
Located in Paradise, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a public land-grant research university stretching across a 332-acre campus. The school recently attained the top "very high research activity" classification from the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education — a status only 130 institutions can claim nationwide.UNLV allows students to explore over 300 majors across 16 schools in fields such as business, dental medicine, education, and engineering.
Dartmouth College, established in 1769, stands as the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the country. The Ivy League research university features extensive academic programs, research facilities, and library collections. Dartmouth enrolls over 6,000 students and offers many rigorous undergraduate programs, including those related to arts and sciences, engineering, and medicine.
Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, Princeton University offers studies in many fields, including social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and the humanities. This Ivy League research institution consistently ranks among top universities for value, research, and undergraduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Princeton serves over 8,000 students and boasts an incredibly low 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
University of New Mexico,
Based in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico is a public research university providing bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. UNM spans eight schools and colleges across its massive 800-acre campus, with additional locations in Gallup, Rio Rancho, and Los Alamos.This flagship university features a unique campus environment with Pueblo Revival building themes and a nationally recognized arboretum.
Established in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher education in the state and the fifth-oldest in the world. Featuring over 200 research centers and laboratories, this New York City-based Ivy League university spends over $1 billion each year in sponsored research projects.Columbia enrolls over 33,000 students and offers leading graduate programs in engineering, arts and sciences, business, and public health.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
Established in 1795, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the nation's first public university. One of only a handful of "Public Ivies", the university is nationally recognized for its innovative teaching and research.
This flagship university comprises 14 schools and offers 74 bachelor's tracks and 104 master's programs. Over 75% of students at UNC-Chapel Hill pursue at least one major from the college of arts and sciences.
University of North Dakota,
The state's largest and oldest university, the University of North Dakota is a public research institution enrolling over 13,000 part- and full-time students. UND delivers undergraduate and graduate programs in many areas, including arts and sciences, engineering, medicine, and aviation.The university offers over 250 degrees and ranks as one of the best academic and research institutions in the United States, according to the National Science Foundation.
The Ohio State University,
Based in Columbus, The Ohio State University is a public research university offering over 200 undergraduate degrees. As one of the largest public universities in the nation, OSU oversees five campuses and serves over 68,000 students.
Known for its academic rigor, the university ranks among the best in engineering, business, logistics, and operations management, according to U.S. News & World Report.
University of Tulsa,
The University of Tulsa is a private research university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. TU students can choose from more than 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in areas like business, engineering, health sciences, and law.Enrolling nearly 5,000 students, the university maintains a low 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, enhancing student engagement and individualized attention throughout the education process.
Founded in 1908, Reed College is a private liberal arts and sciences college located in Portland.Undergraduate students can choose from over 40 majors related to topics like the arts, history and social sciences, and literature and languages. The curriculum for each program features a two-semester humanities course, broad general education requirements, and a senior thesis.
Swarthmore College — a private liberal arts institution — was one of the first coeducational colleges in the country. Home to almost 1,700 students, Swarthmore College offers more than 40 courses of study in fields like anthropology, engineering, environmental studies, and theater. The college rests on a 425-acre campus where students can explore hills, creeks, hiking trails, and the Scott Arboretum.
Located in Providence, Brown University is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the country. This Ivy League university may be best known for its rigorous open curriculum and research. Rather than completing a set curriculum, undergraduate students develop their own course of study, allowing them to align coursework with their personal interests.
Boasting the second-largest student population in the state, Clemson University serves over 25,000 students. This public research university offers over 80 undergraduate and 120 graduate programs across seven colleges.The university invests heavily in research and maintains dozens of facilities across the state. For the first time in school history, Clemson's research expenditures topped $100 million in 2019.
Located in Sioux Falls, Augustana University is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Lutheran Church. AU offers more than 100 majors in a variety of fields, including psychology, English, biology, and business administration.
Serving more than 2,100 students, the university boasts an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, creating a personal environment that facilitates open discussion and mentoring opportunities.
Based in Nashville, Vanderbilt University is a private research university that offers a variety of undergraduate degrees, including English, secondary education, and biomedical engineering.Vanderbilt enrolls more than 6,000 graduate students and oversees six internationally recognized graduate schools in law, education, business, medicine, nursing, and divinity.
The University of Texas at Austin,
Founded in 1883, The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest schools in the country and the flagship campus of the UT System. UT Austin ranks among the best public universities in the world and features over 40 nationally recognized graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. This research university serves over 50,000 students and offers popular undergraduate programs in business, education, engineering, and liberal arts.
Brigham Young University,
Located in Provo, Brigham Young University is a private university owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university comprises 12 colleges, including law, engineering, education, and humanities.BYU provides a variety of student facilities and services, such as wellness centers, arts and museums, church broadcasts, and career centers.
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in the Champlain Valley. The college serves roughly 2,500 students and provides an interdisciplinary undergraduate education with an emphasis on writing and requirements in seven academic categories.Middlebury is nationally recognized as a top liberal arts college, according to U.S. News & World Reportfacilities.
University of Virginia,
Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia remains an iconic institution of higher education; U.S. News & World Report ranks the school among the top public universities in the nation.This research university enrolls nearly 25,000 students and encompasses 12 schools. UVA students can explore many programs, including law, business, and hospital specialties.
University of Washington,
Based in Seattle, the University of Washington is a public research university that oversees more than 500 buildings, with additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Students can choose from over 180 majors, including those related to sciences, business, education, and engineering.
UW provides students with a variety of facilities and resources, including museums, research facilities, and one of the largest library systems in the world.
West Virginia University,
West Virginia University, located in Morgantown, is a public research university serving nearly 30,000 students.
The university offers over 380 majors across 14 colleges and schools. Popular programs at the school include petroleum engineering, pharmacy, medicine, and rehabilitation counseling.
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. The public university spends roughly $1.2 billion in research expenditures annually.Undergraduate students can choose from over 200 majors across 13 colleges, including schools of arts, business, education, music, and environmental studies.
University of Wyoming,
Located in Laramie, the University of Wyoming is a public research university enrolling over 14,000 students from about 90 different countries. UW encompasses seven colleges and provides more than 200 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university maintains a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, facilitating student engagement and mentoring.