Best Colleges in Indiana
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With more than 60 colleges and universities spread throughout the state, Indiana students enjoy an array of educational options. Despite the selection, the state typically falls below average in regards to college-level educational attainment among adults. In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education set a goal to increase the number of college-educated adults in Indiana to 60% of the state's population by 2025.
Since then, Indiana has seen strong results, increasing educational attainment among adults by over 10 percentage points since 2008. To continue the growth, the state commission has emphasized additional student support and increased funding.
Read on to learn more about the state's higher education system through our ranking of the best colleges in Indiana.
Top 10 Colleges in Indiana
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|#1||University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN|
|#2||Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN|
|#3||Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN|
|#4||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Terre Haute, IN|
|#5||Goshen College Goshen, IN|
|#6||DePauw University Greencastle, IN|
|#7||Earlham College Richmond, IN|
|#8||Ball State University Muncie, IN|
|#9||Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN|
|#10||Butler University Indianapolis, IN|
How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
Best Accredited Colleges in Indiana
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Best Colleges in Indiana
University of Notre DameLocation
Notre Dame, INTuition
A major Catholic college located just outside of South Bend, the University of Notre Dame ranks among the country's top colleges. The school offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in fields such as architecture, arts and letters, business, engineering, and science. Graduate students can select from multiple law degrees and several interdisciplinary doctoral programs in peace studies, which combine the field with related subjects such as history, anthropology, and political science.
ND boasts one of the largest endowments in the country, and students benefit from a generous selection of campus services. The college's Hesburgh Library Network encompasses general collections as well as many specialized libraries in subjects like architecture, chemistry and physics, mathematics, and medieval studies. ND also hosts cutting-edge research in many fields, including analytical sciences and computer engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, global health, and nuclear physics.
Purdue University-Main CampusLocation
West Lafayette, INTuition
A major public college based in West Lafayette, Purdue University ranks among the largest colleges in Indiana with more than 43,000 students enrolled each year. Known for cutting-edge research activity, the school stands at the forefront of key fields such as agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare. Purdue also features some of the country's top programs in engineering, aeronautical engineering, aviation technology, and spaceflight technology. The school counts more than 20 astronauts among alumni, including Neil Armstrong.
Purdue's English department boasts a national reputation for its Online Writing Lab (OWL), which launched in 1994. With resources for all types of academic writing, the Purdue OWL is a model for many schools' online writing resources. Purdue also delivers a major distance education program with degrees at all academic levels. The school offers several additional master's programs exclusively online, including options in aviation management and construction management.
Another of the largest colleges in the state, Indiana University Bloomington enrolls more than 43,000 students annually, ranking among the top public colleges in the country. IU's size, academic prestige, and high research activity draw students and faculty from around the country. Additionally, the school boasts relationships with nine Nobel laureates, five MacArthur fellows, and several Pulitzer Prize winners. Home to 16 colleges and schools, IU offers more than 550 academic programs in total.
Undergraduates at IU choose from more than 200 majors, and students can also create their own individualized majors and minors under close faculty supervision. At the graduate level, IU delivers several of the country's top programs in fields including nonprofit management, public health, analytical chemistry, environmental policy and management, and social psychology. The school also offers more than 125 distance education programs at all levels, from certificates and associate degrees to doctoral programs.
Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyLocation
Terre Haute, INTuition
A small private college based in Terre Haute, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology specializes in mathematics, science, and engineering. The school primarily offers an undergraduate education, with more than two dozen majors available such as biology, civil engineering, computer science, economics, data science, and software engineering. RHIT consistently ranks among the country's top undergraduate colleges for engineering and other STEM fields, and the school maintains a highly selective admissions policy.
RHIT also offers a small selection of graduate programs, including chemistry, engineering management, biomedical engineering, and optical engineering. Many of the school's graduate degrees feature online components to accommodate working students. All RHIT students benefit from top-tier learning and research facilities, including cutting-edge labs and project space. The RHIT campus is home to several notable facilities, including the Oakley Observatory and the JRSI Laboratory, which focuses on medical technology research.
A private, Mennonite-affiliated liberal arts college in northern Indiana, Goshen College enrolls just under 1,000 students annually. The school offers undergraduate programs and a small number of graduate degrees. While the college is rooted in the Mennonite tradition, GC admits students of all faiths. Undergraduates can choose from dozens of majors, including exercise science, film production, social work, and global economics. The school also offers graduate programs in fields such as nursing and business administration.
GC emphasizes intercultural education, and all undergraduates must complete a one-semester study-service term, typically in a foreign country. Participants choose from a rotating selection of countries, with past and present options including China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Tasmania. Students typically spent half their time in the country's capital city and the other half performing service work in a rural area. Most students complete their study service abroad, though GC also offers programs in the U.S.
A private liberal arts college based in Greencastle, DePauw University serves around 2,000 students and offers only undergraduate education. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, DePauw hosts arts and science majors in a variety of fields, including classical studies, computer science, modern languages, physics and astronomy, and religious studies. Students can also create their own unique major or choose from pre-professional programs in medicine, law, and engineering.
DePauw's size creates a distinct, individualized academic experience for students, who can participate in research alongside professors in a capacity often unavailable to undergraduates at smaller schools. All students also participate in at least two specialized learning experiences, such as internships, study abroad, independent study, or service learning. All first-year students take a seminar that introduces the school's liberal arts philosophy, while seniors complete a capstone project that synthesizes their educational experiences.
arlham College offers a liberal arts education rooted in Quaker values and serves approximately 1,000 students from its campus in Richmond. Primarily enrolling undergraduates, Earlham also offers a master of arts in teaching, a master of education, and nonsecular degrees in divinity, ministry, religion, and theopoetics. Undergraduates can choose from several majors in the arts and sciences, such as ancient and classical studies, environmental sustainability, German language and literature, and peace and global studies.
All undergraduates benefit from the Earlham Program for an Integrated Curriculum (EPIC), an experience-based education model that informs most aspects of the academic journey. The EPIC program combines an academic major with relevant learning experiences, such as internships, research, study abroad opportunities, scholarship programs, and leadership development activities. Earlham provides financial support for many of these activities -- including study abroad experiences -- through its EPIC Advantage funding initiative.
Ball State UniversityLocation
A major public college based in Muncie, Ball State University enrolls more than 22,000 students annually through on-campus and online programs. Known for rigorous research activity, the school features nearly 200 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduate programs and specialist degrees. BSU also offers a wide selection of fully online degrees at all academic levels, with options including applied behavior analysis, logistics and supply chain management, athletic coaching education, interior design, and journalism.
BSU students can take advantage of several unique educational opportunities, including the school's immersive learning program. These interdisciplinary learning experiences bring students together in interdisciplinary teams to work with community organizations, businesses, and government agencies. Under expert faculty and professional mentorship, learners gain hands-on experience and draw impactful connections between education and professional practice. Students work with advisors to identity immersive learning activities.
A private men's college located in Crawfordsville, Wabash College ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. The school offers undergraduate degrees across 39 majors and minors, including subjects such as Asian studies, electronic music, financial economics, gender studies, and modern languages. Wabash also offers dual bachelor's/master's programs in accounting and engineering, which prepare students to complete their master's at partner schools such as Purdue or Columbia University.
Wabash offers several cocurriculum programs through its WabashX program, expanding students' education beyond the classroom and providing specialized training for either graduate study or career preparation. Learners can pursue programs focusing on democracy and public discourse, global health, innovation and business, and digital arts. These programs provide unique professional and community opportunities; for example, global health students work with local clinics and community agencies to understand healthcare disparities.
A private college based in Indianapolis, Butler University enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs through six schools and colleges. Learners can pursue more than 65 undergraduate majors in fields such as the arts, education, business, and pharmacy and health sciences. The school draws many applicants for its strong internships, service-learning opportunities, and study abroad programs, as well as its support services and 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Butler maintains an international focus and encourages students to recognize the value of cross-cultural communication in all academic fields. Undergraduates complete at least two courses in global and historical studies, with options including frontiers in Latin America, South Asian civilizations, and modern Middle East and North Africa. The college also offers several academic programs with a global focus, including peace and conflict studies, anthropology, Asian studies, international studies, and international business.
University of EvansvilleLocation
Serving approximately 2,500 students annually, the University of Evansville offers a liberal arts education primarily at the undergraduate level, though the school hosts a small number of graduate programs. This private college offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and minors in topics such as art history, British studies, ethics and social change, and religion. Graduate students can pursue degrees including public health, athletic training, and public service administration, along with two doctorates in physical therapy and nursing practice.
UE operates a global education center at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England. UE also offers a variety of additional study abroad experiences through membership in the International Student Exchange program, enabling students to travel to Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America.
An interdenominational Christian college based in Upland, Taylor University ranks among the oldest evangelical schools in the country, with a history that dates to 1846. Enrolling approximately 2,100 students from around the country and the world, TU delivers more than 60 undergraduate majors and minors in areas including art and film; communication, language, and writing; health sciences; and history, global, and political studies. The school also offers two graduate programs in ministry and higher education.
As a prominent evangelical college, TU emphasizes principles of servant leadership, most distinctly through a focus on missionary trips and local ministries. The school's World Outreach program offers varied opportunities for students to participate in service learning, including community outreach, study abroad, and spring mission trips. TU provides many opportunities to serve locally through several ministry partners, including tutoring programs, clubs, student-led groups, and community centers.
Saint Mary's CollegeLocation
Notre Dame, INTuition
A Catholic women's college based in Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College delivers a liberal arts undergraduate education to around 1,500 students. Saint Mary's offers dozens of majors and minors in both secular and nonsecular subjects, including applied arts and design, justice studies, women's history, religious studies, and English writing. Undergraduates can also design their own interdisciplinary major. The school's size creates an intimate educational experience, with an average class size of just 15 students.
Saint Mary's students benefit from several campus resources. The Center for Academic Innovation provides funding for student and faculty research, including the Student Independent Study and Research Grant. The Center for Spirituality supports students' faith-based practices, offering community events and workshops. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership emphasizes social justice and diversity, empowering learners in their academic and professional lives.
Indiana Wesleyan University-MarionLocation
A Christian college affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion ranks as the largest private college in Indiana, serving more than 13,000 students annually. IWU operates a main campus in Marion along with several regional education centers throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, offering degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Though associated with the Protestant Wesleyan Church, IWU enrolls students of all Christian backgrounds, with more than 80 denominations represented.
IWU undergraduates can choose from more than 80 majors, including both secular and nonsecular options such as applied music, Christian education, exercise science, social work, and worship arts. The Marion campus primarily serves undergraduates, though IWU does offer a selection of graduate programs in fields including criminal justice, education, health sciences, nursing, and religious and theological studies. For added flexibility, learners can typically combine on-campus courses with online learning.
A regional member of the Indiana University System, IU Kokomo serves around 3,000 students from its campus in north central Indiana. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as allied health sciences, business, education, hospitality and tourism, and nursing. Learners can also select from several pre-professional programs in healthcare fields including chiropractic, dentistry, and medicine. IU Kokomo hosts two accelerated bachelor's programs in general studies or applied science.
IU Kokomo provides experiential education for all undergraduate students through its Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program, which connects participants to unique activities depending on their area of interest. Students choose from an assortment of study abroad programs, service-learning trips, field experiences, art retreats, and other learning opportunities to build both academic and professional experience. Some KEY experiences tie to specific courses, while others cater to certain majors.
Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisLocation
Formed in 1969 through the merger of multiple extension programs from both Indiana University and Purdue University, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis now ranks among the largest public colleges in the state and enrolls around 30,000 students each year. The school hosts more than 450 academic and professional programs at all levels. IUPUI is home to 17 academic schools and colleges, including art and design, informatics and computing, liberal arts, public health, and social work.
IUPUI's size offers a variety of opportunities for learners, including the RISE initiative, which encourages professional and intellectual growth activities. Involving research, international travel, service-learning, and experiential learning opportunities, these unique personal and academic experiences deepen student learning and encourage personal development. Students might assist faculty with research, spend a semester studying in China, work alongside a community organization, or participate in an internship related to their major.
Based in Richmond, Indiana University-East enrolls around 3,500 students annually through on-campus and online programs. The school hosts more than 60 degrees at the bachelor's and master's levels, with options including business and economics, education, humanities and social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, and social work. IUE also offers several online bachelor's completion programs, which enable students to complete the second half of a bachelor's degree online. Some degree options include psychology, nursing, and English.
As a regional campus of the Indiana University System, IUE combines the intimate educational experience of a small school with the resources of a major state college system. For instance, students can select from study abroad programs offered through IUE as well as the Office of Overseas Study on the main Bloomington campus. IUE features a wide variety of study abroad options in countries including Belize, Italy, India, and the Dominican Republic.
A private Catholic college based in Indianapolis, Marian University serves around 3,500 students annually. Home to one of only two medical schools in Indiana, Marian also offers academic programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Undergraduates can choose from more than 40 major options, including art education, business analytics, graphic design, and pastoral leadership. The school's master's programs include education, nursing, and counseling, while doctoral programs focus on healthcare.
Marian also hosts several accelerated online degrees designed for working students. With 12 start dates each year, these highly flexible associate and bachelor's programs enable candidates to complete a degree while remaining at their current job. Courses feature accelerated five- or eight-week schedules and use a primarily asynchronous format with few required login times. Marian offers online programs in fields including business administration, health and human services, nursing, and paralegal studies.
An evangelical Christian college affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University offers faith-based liberal arts education to around 1,300 students annually. Despite its size, HU offers an extensive selection of undergraduate and graduate degrees, with options in both secular and nonsecular fields. Some of HU's traditional undergraduate programs include biology, criminal justice, and digital media arts, while religious programs include Bible studies, youth ministries, and worship leadership.
For working students, HU offers a smaller selection of bachelor's degree programs that focus primarily on professional fields like business, human resource management, and marketing. These fully online, mainly asynchronous programs enable learners to complete a degree on their own schedule with no required campus visits. For advanced students, HU also offers several online and hybrid graduate programs, including options in counseling, occupational therapy pastoral leadership, business administration, and education.
Another regional member of the Indiana University System, IU Northwest enrolls more than 6,000 students annually from its campus in Gary. The college primarily serves undergraduates, offering bachelor's degrees through six academic divisions including arts and sciences, business and economics, education, health and human services, and library and information science. IU Northwest also hosts a selection of master's programs, including family nursing, clinical counseling, business administration, and education.
IU Northwest students benefit from extensive campus resources, including academic advising, tutoring, supplemental instruction, and career services. The Student Support office assists new learners with the transition to higher education, with a particular focus on first-generation college students. Tutoring services in math and writing offer varied support for most assignments, while weekly supplemental sessions offer added help for specific courses. Career services connect students to jobs, internships, and other resources.
Indiana University-South BendLocation
South Bend, INTuition
Serving more than 5,000 students each year, IU South Bend is the third-largest member of the Indiana University System. Primarily an undergraduate institution, IU South Bend offers more than 100 academic degrees through seven schools and colleges, including business and economics, education, health sciences, and social work. Students can also choose from several fully online bachelor's and master's degrees, including programs in applied science, English, labor studies, medical imaging technology, and nursing.
IU South Bend hosts a branch of Purdue University's Polytechnic Institute, which offers several bachelor's degrees and certificates in various engineering fields, including electrical, industrial, mechanical, robotics, and general engineering. Candidates complete courses on the IU South Bend campus but earn a degree from Purdue, which confers the quality of a Purdue education with the convenience of a regional college. Engineering programs emphasize hands-on learning through extensive lab work and professional capstones.
Indiana Wesleyan University-National and GlobalLocation
As the distance education branch of Indiana Wesleyan University, the IWU National and Global Campus serves over 8,000 students across the world and offers more than 90 fully online degrees and certificate programs. Distance learners can pursue associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in most professional and academic fields, including business, computer science, health sciences, liberal arts, and social sciences. Online students also benefit from flexible credit-transfer policies and tuition discounts.
IWU offers comprehensive support for online learners, including dedicated advising services and library resources. The school assigns each online student a personal academic advisor, who assists with degree planning, course selections, and communications with individual academic departments. IWU's Off Campus Library Services offer extensive research support and access to digital collections. Catering to students interested in combining online learning with on-campus courses, IWU hosts regional education sites throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeLocation
Saint Mary of the Woods, INTuition
Founded in 1840 near Terre Haute, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is the oldest Catholic college in Indiana. Originally a school for women, the school became coeducational in 2015 and now serves around 1,700 students annually. SMWC offers more than 30 undergraduate majors including media art, graphic design, health and wellness, professional writing, and psychology. The school also hosts five master's programs, including art therapy, leadership development, music therapy, and nursing.
SMWC holds a reputation as one of the top colleges for equine studies. The Mari Hulman George School of Equine Studies offers some of the country's only bachelor's and associate degrees in equine studies and equine training and instruction. These professionally focused programs prepare graduates for positions at animal hospitals, veterinary organizations, equine centers, and similar environments. Students in the equine studies program also receive extensive professional training, including industry internships.
North Manchester, INTuition
A Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, Manchester University operates a main campus in North Manchester and an auxiliary campus in Fort Wayne, enrolling about 1,400 students annually. MU offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, with more than 70 areas of study available. Though the school is associated with the Anabaptist Church of the Brethren, only about 6% of students identify with the denomination, and MU admits Christian students of all backgrounds.
For undergraduates who wish to complete their degree as quickly as possible, MU offers an accelerated plan that enables students to graduate in just three years of full-time study. Participants complete the same number of credits but do so through a more intensive course load that includes summer sessions and some online courses. MU offers this accelerated track to students of all majors, and participants can save up to $25,000 on tuition and room and board.
Oakland City UniversityLocation
Oakland City, INTuition
A private Christian college located in southeastern Indiana, Oakland City University is the only college in the country affiliated with the General Baptist Church. The college serves around 2,300 students from its main campus in Oakland City and at extension centers in Bedford, Evansville, Plainfield, and Rockport. Learners can pursue academic programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, with several fully online degrees available in topics such as Christian studies, operations management, and criminal justice.
While OCU maintains a strong Baptist tradition, the college admits students of all Christian denominations. The general undergraduate curriculum includes Bible courses as part of all majors, and students who identify as Baptist can also complete a Baptist heritage course. Students benefit from a strong faith-based campus environment that includes weekly chapel services, Bible study groups, and on-staff ministers. OCU also provides academic services including counseling, advising, and career resources.