Best Colleges in Indiana

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Updated on October 3, 2023
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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

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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

  1. University of Notre Dame

    Notre Dame, IN



    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.

  2. Purdue University-Main Campus

    West Lafayette, IN



    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.

  3. Indiana University-Bloomington

    Bloomington, IN



    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.

  4. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Terre Haute, IN



    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.

  5. Goshen College

    Goshen, IN



    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.

  6. DePauw University

    Greencastle, IN



    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.

  7. Earlham College

    Richmond, IN



    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.

  8. Ball State University

    Muncie, IN



    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.

  9. Wabash College

    Crawfordsville, IN



    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.

  10. Butler University

    Indianapolis, IN



    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.