100 Best State University Graduate Schools in America

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Updated: March 11, 2024, Reading time: 81 minutes

Best US State University Grad Schools - featured image

Did you know that there are 1,625 public two-year, and four-year colleges, and universities in the United States?

Quick audio summary:

Among state universities, the effects of the pandemic on state funding have been different. Some states have yet to manifest a direct, and significant relationship; some have already proposed or implemented budget cuts; some have decided to wait for a federal stimulus package. In the University of Maine system, for example, budget reductions have been in effect since 2020. In contrast, the Alabama Legislature increased funding for its state universities. 

Despite these challenges, state universities are still among the most popular educational institutions because of their high quality of instruction, and reasonable tuition. Such a perfect balance is rare to find in private colleges, and universities, particularly among for-profit institutions. 

What exactly are state universities in the first place?

These are higher learning institutions funded by the state government, and these may or may not be part of a larger state university system. In state university systems, there are designated flagship campuses, usually the largest, and most prestigious campuses. Examples include Indiana University Bloomington, University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville. 

Most only receive partial, if substantive, funding from the state government, said funding indicated in the annual budget. Furthermore, these schools earn income from various sources. These include tuition, and fees, revenues from royalties, endowments, and donations. 

Some of these institutions receive direct funding from the U.S. federal government, and, thus, are also governed accordingly. These institutions include: 

Under the law, every state must have at least one designated state university. Some states have more than one state university, thus making higher education more accessible to the population. 

Best US State University Grad Schools fact 4
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The 100 state-funded institutions featured in this list offer graduate, and post-graduate degrees in their graduate schools. These degrees cover a wide range of areas, from accounting to zoology, which different departments, colleges, or schools typically offer. These institutions were chosen based on the following criteria. 

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The first school listed is our winner and the second school in each state is the runner-up!


Auburn University

Auburn University

Auburn University, AL

Auburn University is a haven for graduate students because of its status as a land, sea, and space grant institution. Graduate students benefit from the sizable federal funding for numerous research projects, including nuclear waste storage facilities, and wireless engineering. Indeed, it’s known for its positive impact on the state, and country! 

Of its hundreds of graduate programs, the most popular ones are in the engineering departments. These include master’s, and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer science, and software engineering. Here, students learn the up-to-date trends and technologies that allow them to make contributions of their own. 

Other departments in its graduate school include: 

The wide variety of graduate degrees that candidates can choose ranges from accounting, to business, and economics, to wildlife sciences. 

University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

Bama, the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System, is also the oldest, and largest in the state, and for that reason, it’s known as The Capstone. Graduate students choose from more than 150 programs, including master’s, doctoral, and educational specialist programs. 

Considered among the top 60 public universities, it’s also respected for its research on transportation, life research, cybersecurity, and water/energy. Such is its prestige that it claims its recent job placements include Apple, Intel, and Disney! 

The most notable programs in its graduate school are: 

Many of these programs are offered through distance learning methods. These include marketing analytics, global business management, and journalism. 


University of Alaska Anchorage

University of Alaska

 Anchorage, AK

UAA’s Graduate School offers nine graduate certificate programs, 23 master’s programs, and six doctoral degree programs in numerous fields of study. The university itself is Alaska’s largest campus in the University of Alaska System, and, by extension, the largest university in the state. UAA has five units, including the College of Arts, and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Business, and Public Policy. 

Ph.D. students can earn their degrees through cooperative programs with Idaho State University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, East Carolina University, University of Washington Medical School, and Creighton University. The 600-strong student body comes from all 50 states plus US territories, and foreign countries. 

Among the dozens of graduate degrees are: 

For individuals interested in non-degree graduate certificates that will lead to high-paying, skills-based jobs, UAA offers several fast-track programs in these areas: 

Students in these certificate programs are eligible for financial support. 

University of Alaska Southeast

University of Alaska Southeast

Juneau, AK

Founded in 1983, UAS continues to make its mark in higher education, particularly through its Graduate Studies Program. The program’s objectives include providing students with vital tools in the development of their intellectual capacity. The school offers specialized training for aspiring educators, teachers, and professionals involved in public policy, and administration. 

The MA in Teaching program is intended for aspiring teachers who want to teach at the K-12 level. The concentrations include Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. 

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is for busy working professionals whose career goals include enhanced credentials and an increased chance for promotions. 

On-campus and online learning options are available. 


University of Arizona

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

UA, Arizona’s flagship institution, is widely recognized for its academic excellence in over a hundred areas of study. Academic excellence is made possible through its roster of first-rate educators, and administrators, and a strong commitment to innovative research. Students become empowered as thought leaders, and action enablers through intensive coursework, and an ethics-based curriculum. 

Indeed, UA provides outstanding student support services from admission to graduation! Every graduate student will feel that their success is the university’s success, too. 

Among the most popular graduate programs are in the College of Engineering, where innovation isn’t just a buzzword but a way of life. The stars are: 

Other options include nuclear engineering, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and biomedical engineering. Check out the programs in Agricultural Education, Anthropology, and Applied Intercultural Arts Research, too.

Arizona State University – Tempe

Arizona State University Tempe

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State has a large student body that contributes to its dynamic atmosphere. Graduate students thrive in a positive learning environment that also fosters academic excellence. 

The graduate programs are offered in the following schools: 

There are more than 450 graduate programs in several fields of study offered in these schools. Examples include Architecture, and Construction, Business, Communication, and Media, Education, and Teaching, and Engineering, and Technology. 

Even more impressive: 91% of its graduate students find employment within three months after their graduation! 


University of Arkansas – Fayetteville

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

The flagship school or campus of the University of Arkansas System, aside from being the largest university in the state, isn’t surprising that UArk Fayetteville has several graduate schools. There are 130 graduate programs offered in the following divisions: 

Students can rely on their professors’ strong advocacy for their academic success, primarily through the development of competitive competencies. Every graduate program also has a robust interdisciplinary approach that encourages students to seek answers from different angles. Students are also encouraged to become leaders for change, to ask difficult questions, and break barriers. 

Check out the master’s, and doctoral degree programs in: 

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR

Students at ATU’s Graduate College aren’t just academic nerds, although they are among the best! Instead, they have been chosen for admission into selective programs for their experience, skills, and stories. Their test scores, and GPA matter, too, but these aren’t the entire picture of their capabilities as graduate students. 

The Graduate College’s Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering is proof of the bigger picture approach. Students are provided with research opportunities that will develop their solid foundation in electrical engineering. Other hands-on learning opportunities include coursework-related projects and lab assistant work. 

Other notable programs are: 


University of California – Los Angeles

University of California UCLA

Los Angeles, CA

As a Public Ivy school, UCLA delivers academic excellence for which Ivy League schools are known at a more affordable cost. This is true for its graduate programs covering various disciplines, from aerospace engineering to world cultures. These programs include master’s, doctoral, master’s on the path to doctorate and certificate programs. 

Did you know that UCLA is the most applied to university in the country? For Fall 2021, it received 168,000 applications! But it’s also among the most selective schools, with the graduate school’s acceptance rate estimated at 14%. Candidates are assessed based on their overall performance during the admission process. 

Graduate programs are offered in the following units: 

Of these programs, the Executive MBA program stands out for its impressive graduate outcome. Students gain mastery of general management principles, and practices while also gaining competence in its specialties. 

University of California Berkeley

University of California Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

UC Berkeley has nationally recognized doctoral programs that include interdisciplinary doctoral and concurrent graduate programs and exchange programs. Students choose from more than a hundred of these programs, and none of these are in partnership with other colleges. 

The areas of study offered include but aren’t limited to: 

Most programs require GRE scores, personal statements, and letters of recommendation to be considered for admission. 


University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder

 Boulder, CO

CU Boulder is a Tier 1 research institution, and, as such, it’s a center for academic excellence, world-class research, and trailblazing innovation. These characteristics are present in its 124 graduate degree programs across wide-ranging disciplines including arts, and science, law, education, and business. 

Overachievers will find the perfect fit in its Bachelor’s-Accelerated Master’s (BAM) programs, where students earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees faster. These programs are available in business, engineering, languages, and science, to name a few, which are among the fastest-growing fields today. As a result, students anticipate getting high returns on their investments.  

Check out the Accounting, and Taxation BAM program where students earn their degrees in five years. This is available for current Leeds School of Business undergraduate students. 

The Leeds School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Education also offer other exciting programs. Choose from: 

CU Boulder has also been called a Public Ivy, yet another reason to call it your soon-to-be-alma mater! 

Colorado State University – Fort Collins

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO

The Graduate School at CSU is the breeding ground for leaders in the fields of arts, and sciences! Its mission is to provide academic excellence while also encouraging optimum personal, and professional growth among students. In this line, students have access to innovative mentoring, and professional development programs. 

Students choose from 114 graduate degree programs consisting of 64 master’s, and 50 doctoral programs, as well as 21 professional master’s degree programs. There are also more than 40 graduate certificates. 

Fields of study include: 

On-campus and online programs are available. 


University of Connecticut 

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

UConn is also considered a Public Ivy institution for its world-class quality of instruction, research programs, and facilities. In addition, it’s renowned as an international body of students from more than 80 countries in its graduate programs! 

Its graduate school offers over 150 fields of study through these academic divisions: 

Of the hundreds of degree programs, the MBA, Executive MBA, and Ph.D. in Business Administration stand out. These are designed for working professionals who want the credentials for career advancement and professional development. The curricula for these programs are regularly updated to reflect the fast-changing business industry. 

UConn also offers dual degree programs that allow sharing of credits between two different degree programs. Examples include Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)/Biomedical Science (Ph.D.); Juris Doctor (J.D.)/Business Administration (M.B.A.);, and Business Administration (M.B.A.)/International Studies (M.A.).

Eastern Connecticut State University 

Eastern Connecticut State University

Willimantic, CT

ECSU is a liberal arts university, and part of the Connecticut State University System. Its graduate programs are known for their expert faculty, flexible scheduling, and state-of-the-art facilities. Students thrive due to the personalized instruction, small class sizes, and active learning approach. 

Many of the programs can also be taken in an accelerated format, and, thus, may be completed in under 12 months. The notable programs include: 

Admission into the programs is fairly competitive. 


University of Delaware 

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

UD, the alma mater of three of the signatories to the founding documents, offers 145 master’s, and 60 doctoral degree programs. These are further classified as 20 online, 16 dual degrees, and 14 interdisciplinary. There are also 4+1 accelerated bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs, as well as 35 certificate programs. The cherry on top: There are over 80 research centers where students have the opportunity to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. 

Recognized for its leadership in research, UD upholds the traditions of innovation, knowledge, and community contributions. Its renowned faculty members ensure that students also uphold these values as well as find solutions for current pressing societal issues. Students, in turn, thrive in the diverse and dynamic environment where people from different backgrounds, and persuasions can speak their minds. 

The M.S. in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (AMBB) program is among the popular programs for these reasons. Individuals who want to gain competitive skills to thrive in the biomedical sciences sector will find the degree beneficial to their goals. Students also prepare for the American Society for Clinical Pathology – Technologist in Molecular Biology national certification exam. 

Delaware State University

Delaware State University

Dover, DE

DSU, a premier HBCU, prides itself on its academic excellence in teaching, service, and research through its graduate programs. Students choose from 18 master’s and five doctoral degree programs offered in its seven colleges. The Graduate College functions as a coordinating body, including administrative oversight over operations. 

Students in graduate programs benefit from the credentialed faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and hands-on learning including research, and internship opportunities. Check out the graduate nursing program with concentrations in Nursing Education, and Global Leadership. 


University of Florida  

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

UF Graduate School is recognized for its strong commitment to academic integrity, and excellence, community service, and direct student support. Graduate students work with the faculty members, and administrative staff in ensuring these goals, as well as in fostering productive relationships. With partnerships across academic divisions, its interdisciplinary approach strengthens the well-rounded education of its students. 

There are several graduate programs to choose from, most of which are available on its campus, while others are online programs. Students choose from more than 120 master’s degrees and over 70 doctoral degrees across disciplines, including business administration, law, and engineering. 

The academic divisions where these are offered are: 

Check out the programs offered by the Management Department because these have a high return on investment. These include the Ph.D. in Business Administration, MBA, MS in Management, and Master of International Business. 

Florida State University

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

FSU boasts of faculty members, and graduate students whose contributions to research have resulted in a better quality of life for communities. Their contributions span several disciplines, too, including business, science, government, and culture. With more than 120 master’s, and 78 doctoral degree programs, as well as 24 specialist degree programs, there’s always a choice at FSU! Take the Communication Science and Disorders programs, they are among the best in Florida. Students learn more about the subject here than in any other institution. 


Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

 Atlanta, GA

Georgia Tech has a selective admission process to its graduate programs for good reasons! The best, and brightest have a shot at admission into its world-famous business analytics, engineering, and computer science degree programs. Indeed, its engineering programs are among the best in the world, and these include the fields of biomedical/bioengineering, aerospace, and nuclear engineering. 

Graduate programs are offered by its 28 schools and six colleges and the programs are now more than a hundred. There are also several certificate and interdisciplinary programs that add more variety to an already impressive lineup. 

The six colleges are: 

These colleges have schools that offer specific specializations for their category. For interdisciplinary programs, two or more colleges or schools work together. Take the Robotics program, for example, a collaboration between the College of Sciences, College of Computing, and College of Engineering.

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

 Athens, GA

UGA, the flagship campus of the University System of Georgia and a Public Ivy offers graduate programs administered by its Graduate School. The program offerings include MA, MS, and Ph.D. degrees and professional master’s degrees in music, public health, and education. 

Students learn not just through rigorous coursework but also research projects, professional development programs, and travels. Professors can also work with students in the design of individualized programs of study.  

Other notable programs are: 


University of Hawaii – Mānoa

University of Hawaii - Mānoa

Honolulu, HI

UH at Manoa is the UH System’s flagship campus. It is also the alma mater of nearly half of Hawaii’s members of Congress and senators. Such academic prestige comes from the university’s aspiration to become an international leader through graduate programs that promote innovation, creativity, and knowledge. 

There are 17 schools, and colleges within UH at Manoa, and these offer graduate studies in more than a hundred fields from American Studies to Zoology. To add more variety, the university also offers graduate certificates.

The more well-known of these schools are: 

Students develop mastery of knowledge, and skills relevant to their chosen specialization, as well as become proficient in research methods. 

University of Hawaii – Hilo

University of Hawaii - Hilo

Hilo, HI

UH, Hilo has a more limited number of graduate degree programs. However, what it lacks in a variety of choices, it more than makes up for in quality of instruction! 

In the College of Arts and Sciences, pick from the numerous degree programs that include MA in Counseling Psychology. In the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is highly recommended, as is the MSN to DNP and BSN to DNP Curriculum Plan. Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani program’s MA in Indigenous Language and Culture Education, and Ph.D. in Hawaiian, and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization are vital to Hawaiian society. 


University of Idaho

University of Idaho

Moscow, ID

The College of Graduate Studies (COGS) is UIdaho’s graduate degree-granting college, and it’s a successful college with more than $100 million in annual funds. With more than 600 faculty members engaged in teaching, and research, it’s also an excellent college for top-caliber research assistants and fellows. 

Every single one of its graduate degree programs is characterized by rigorous coursework, exciting research opportunities, and top-notch academic resources. Students choose from three specialist degrees in education, 88 master’s degrees, and 32 doctoral degrees. Every student is expected to make contributions through positive change, innovative thinking, and scholarly work. 

One of its outstanding programs is the M.S. in Neuroscience program, where students can work on top-caliber research projects and present their work in and out of the school. Other options include Adult Organizational Learning, Leadership, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Computer Engineering. 

Boise State University

Boise State University

Boise, ID

Boise State’s Graduate College is the oversight division for all the university’s graduate programs. More than 900 graduate certificates and degrees are awarded yearly, a testament to the program’s robust quality. There are currently 36 certificates, 71 master’s degrees, and 13 doctoral degrees offered, and all of them are updated for relevance. 

These programs span several disciplines, from business to engineering, but they are designed to produce future leaders. Students must then live up to high academic expectations. 


University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

UIUC’s Graduate College is in tune with the ever-changing environment that permeates the higher education sectors. Therefore, it strives to maintain an intellectual environment where students can create new knowledge and challenge old ideas. Indeed, its international community of students and faculty has a global impact with such a status quo-shaking mindset! 

Students also benefit from the partnerships that UIUC has established, many of which are in the promotion of innovative research in art, and sciences. These include partnerships with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the National Science Foundation. 

Areas of study include accountancy, business administration, and health administration. The MS in Molecular and Cellular Biology is a standout for its rigorous curriculum sans the thesis component. 

Illinois State University

Illinois State University

 Normal, Il

ISU, the state’s oldest public university, is widely respected for being among the largest producers of the best teachers in the country. Such is its emphasis on teaching excellence and most of its graduate programs are in education. 

The Master of Science (MS) in Education in Reading or M.S. Ed. in Reading is a top-notch program that attracts the cream of the crop. This is a 36-hour competitive and intensive program with an emphasis on literacy instruction. Students learn the best practices in creating reading, writing curricula, and professional development programs. 


Purdue University West Lafayette

Purdue University West Lafayette

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue’s graduate students aren’t just working hard to earn their degrees but are also working smart to change the world. Becoming change agents demands an interdisciplinary approach, and it’s exactly the approach adopted in graduate programs. 

Students choose from more than 160 graduate programs, including master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. These programs are offered on campus and online to have more flexibility and freedom in their choices. Part-time options are also offered along with full-time enrollment. 

Students interested in several programs on different campuses can do so! The university allows applications for up to three majors and campuses, but candidates only file a single application and pay a one-time fee. 

These programs are highly recommended: 

Indiana University – Bloomington 

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, IN

IU Bloomington, the flagship, and largest campus of the Indian University system is heaven for research-oriented graduate students. This is due to its amply-funded interdisciplinary research projects, extensive library collections, and groundbreaking technology.

The Graduate School offers more than 190 graduate degree programs, including graduate certificates. While students can choose the traditional route, many of the programs are offered in an accelerated format. For example, you can earn a Ph.D. in Social Sciences with a year to spare compared to similar programs in other universities. 

The best programs are business, science, engineering, technology, health, and wellness. 


University of Iowa

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

UIowa has 12 colleges that offer graduate degrees in more than 200 areas of study, from business to engineering. Of these areas of study, the fine arts, law, and healthcare programs are the best, with national recognition to boot. 

Take, for example, its lineup of healthcare-related programs that equip students to be leaders in their professions. The programs include Master in Health Administration (MHA), Master in Public Health (MPH), and Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA). The next step is a Ph.D. in Health Services Research and Policy. 

Other popular areas of study offered to include: 

With its reputation for academic excellence, UIowa’s admission process is selective and competitive. Candidates are typically required to submit GRE scores, personal statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. 

Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

Iowa State lives up to its reputation as the state’s largest university with its broad range of graduate academic offerings. The graduate college offers more than a hundred master’s degrees, and 80 doctoral degree programs, as well as professional degree programs.  

Every student’s success is the mission of the faculty, and staff of the graduate college. Academic integrity and excellence are the driving forces in the coursework, whether it’s in accounting or biomedical sciences. Graduate students are also provided with professional development programs. 

Areas of study include: 

Check out the master’s degree in Energy Systems Engineering program, which is also offered online. 


Kansas State University

Kansas State University

 Manhattan, KS

KSU is an old hand at higher education – established in 1863, it’s the first higher education institution in the state – but it remains relevant, and reliable in modern times. Its graduate programs provide students with specific skill sets that will be instrumental in their professional success. These skillsets include transferable skills including communication, organization, and leadership, as well as skills specific to your chosen discipline. 

Students have the luxury of choice since KSU’s graduate programs consist of 43 graduate certificates, 73 master’s programs, four educational doctoral programs, and 39 doctoral programs. With such a comprehensive selection, there’s always something exciting around the corner! 

These programs are offered in the Manhattan, Olathe, and global campuses, too. The coursework, and curriculum, however, tend to be the same for on-campus, and online programs. The best programs are in: 

Special mention must be made of the MS in Food Science program that focuses on food microbiology, food analysis, and quality assurance. 

University of Kansas

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS

KU’s reputation for being a hive of research activity is among the reasons for the popularity of its graduate programs. Its School of Business is a consistent presence in lists of the best business schools in the Midwest, and its AACSB accreditation is proof of it. Its School of Engineering is also nationally recognized, thanks to its breakthrough curricula. 

Other notable programs are in the areas of social welfare, and marketing communications. All programs are housed in contemporary facilities with top-notch facilities, and amenities. Of course, only the best faculty members led the class in learning. 


University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky 

Lexington, KY

UKY’s Graduate School is on a mission to advance academic excellence in all its programs. In support thereof, students, faculty, and staff are provided with encouragement and support in creating, transforming, and disseminating knowledge. Interdisciplinary collaboration and diversity are also its hallmarks. 

The result: UKY is among the top producers of leaders in applied science, education, and public service as well as the arts in Kentucky. Among its well-respected programs is the professional MBA, an evening program also available in an online format. Students and alumni agree that it’s a flexible program that delivers personalized, interactive, and collaborative learning. 

Other graduate programs are in accounting, agricultural economics, biology, engineering, and veterinary science, to name a few of the choices. 

University of Louisville

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY

UofL is part of the Kentucky state university system, and it’s a popular school in the state and all 50 US states and several countries worldwide. With its R1 designation, it’s a magnet for graduate students who want to make a significant difference in humanity. 

And what a difference its people have made! Among their accomplishments are the first completely self-contained heart transplantation, the first hand transplant surgery, the first civilian ambulance, and the first emergency department. 

Do you want to be part of such trailblazing innovations? Then, consider enrolling in one of UofL’s graduate programs in these areas: 

These are only a few examples, and you will find plenty of other areas of study where you can make a life-changing difference. 


Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge

Louisiana State University LSU

Baton Rouge, LA

LSU is the flagship campus of both the Pelican State, and the LSU System, as well as a public land, sea, and space university. Such is its crucial role in graduate education, and research that it attracts students, and faculty from across the country, and the world! LSU has several international partnerships that make it among the nation’s top discoverers and innovators. 

The Graduate School also maintains partnerships with the ten colleges and other academic units, including the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Agriculture Center. The current roster of programs includes more than 70 master’s and 50 doctoral degree programs, led by renowned professors. There are also interdisciplinary programs, graduate certificates, joint degree programs, and 4+1 bachelor’s/master’s programs. 

All programs are offered completely online, meaning zero residency requirements, although graduate students are encouraged to visit the beautiful campus. Areas of study range from accounting, business administration, and economics to biological sciences, engineering, oceanography, and coastal sciences. 

Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, LA

Part of the UL System, NSU may have a fairly small endowment, but its can-do spirit makes it among the best schools for graduate students who thrive in a community-like environment. Students are encouraged to create possibilities as part of the university’s motto.  

There’s a respectable range of graduate programs, too, where 600+ students enjoy a life of academics and research. The business administration program, for example, is offered in the traditional and executive format. The notable programs also include: 

Every program has a rigorous curriculum that ensures students are, indeed, creating possibilities in and out of the classroom. 


The University of Maine Orono  

University of Maine Orono

Orono, ME

Yet another university creating possibilities is UMaine Orono, the flagship campus of the Umaine System, and a land, sea, and space-grant university. Students who want to gain, and create knowledge find that its research-centric approach to graduate education fits in perfectly with their own goals. Umaine Orono also takes pride in its role as a preeminent economic driver, and its students are encouraged to be part of it. 

Students choose from 140 programs, including graduate certificates, master’s, doctoral degrees, CAS, and EDs degrees. These are housed in 15 research centers and institutes aside from the colleges and schools within the university itself. Graduate funding opportunities also abound, so higher education becomes more accessible even to those with modest means. 

The credit load and time commitment vary between graduate programs. In general, a master’s degree consists of 30+ credits and involves a 2-year commitment while a doctoral degree is double the numbers, 60+ credits and four years. Graduate certificates require the shortest completion time at one year with 12-15 credits. 

Check out the MS, and Ph.D. programs in civil engineering since these are among the best at UMaine. 

Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME

MMA candidates don’t have to secure a congressional recommendation to be considered for admission. Students also aren’t required to enter the military or go to sea since it isn’t a federal service academy. Graduate students, however, will find that their MMA-acquired skillsets make them more competitive in shore-based jobs! 

The Loeb-Sullivan School, MMA’s graduate school, offers two Master’s degree programs. First, the MS in International Logistics Management (ILM), an online program, prepares students for careers in global supply management. 

Second, the Master, and Commander program combines a bachelor’s degree in Small Vessel Operations and the MS in ILM. This is available in on-campus, and online formats. Students prepare to sit for the U.S. Coast Guard Mate Less Than 200 Gross Tons, Inland or Near Coastal license. 


University of Maryland College Park

University of Maryland

College Park, MD

UMD College Park, the flagship, and largest campus in the University System of Maryland has several university-federal government research partnerships. These include support including funding from NASA, FDA, and the Department of Homeland Security, and it’s an aspect of graduate life that students love. Labeled as a Public Ivy, UMD is just as prestigious in terms of academic excellence, selective admission, and top-notch facilities as its private counterparts. 

The 200+ graduate programs offered at UMD’s are an impressive selection since nearly every field of study has a corresponding program.  Furthermore, UMD has maintained its top-ranked position among the public and private institutions in the country, such as its #14 rank among public universities, according to Forbes. Other recognitions come from the National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates, The Business Journal, and Glassdoor.com. 

In line with its thrust toward diversity, UMD is also among the best in terms of the number of Ph.D., and doctoral degrees awarded to African-American students among AAU members. 

Of its graduate programs, the engineering, and criminology programs stand out as the best of the best. Check out the reliability engineering, and mechanical engineering programs for their academic excellence, and innovative ideas. Degree choices are in the master’s, and doctoral levels. 

University of Maryland Baltimore County

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Baltimore, MD

UMBC students agree that the graduate programs are a venue for the best graduate education, and research opportunities in the state. While it’s a fairly young university, its youth works in its favor through a dynamic environment, and relevant programs. State-of-the-art facilities, the finest professors, and rigorous coursework further cement its growing reputation as a university for innovators and leaders. 

The Graduate School offers 31 certificate programs, 43 master’s degree programs, and 24 doctoral programs. The areas of study covered include engineering, natural, and social sciences, arts, and humanities, and public policy. 

The MS in Emergency Health Services is highly recommended for its relevance in the job marketplace. Tracks available are: 


University of Massachusetts – Amherst 

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA

UMass system’s largest, and flagship campus, UMass Amherst is an expert at graduate programs with the first program offered in 1896. Nowadays, it offers 126 master’s, and doctoral programs in nine schools and colleges. With its R1: Doctoral Universities status, many of the nation’s best graduate students/researchers are in its programs. 

Don’t be fooled by its 6,500-strong enrollment because it has a selective admission process. Candidates must demonstrate their intellectual, and emotional capacity to thrive in academically competitive programs. Students are provided with the appropriate tools, resources, and support for excellence in academics, exploration of new subjects, and acquisition of new skills. 

Inclusion and diversity are programs’ hallmarks, too, with mentoring, fellowship, and professional development opportunities in abundance. These values are incorporated in a broad range of areas of study including:

Both traditional and accelerated programs are available. 

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of Massachusetts

Lowell, MA

UMass Lowell’s graduate programs are developed, taught, and updated for relevance by full-time faculty with terminal degrees from prestigious universities. Students are expected to keep up, if not succeed beyond expectations, with the demanding coursework including interactive discussions and intensive research projects. Aside from individual coursework, students must also participate in group work, and sessions, as well as enhance their learning through field-based work. 

There’s a rolling admissions policy in place. Choices in programs include: 

These online programs are highly recommended for their flexibility, academic excellence, and convenience, particularly for working professionals. 


University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

The Rackham Education Memorial Building is home to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the graduate school of U-M Ann Arbor. More than 8,300 students call it their second home, too, where a comprehensive selection of master’s, and doctoral degrees are offered. There are also more than 7,000 students in professional and graduate degree programs run by individual colleges and schools at U-M. 

With so many academic divisions, individuals interested in higher education have a wealth of options to choose from. The more popular are in the areas of: 

Check out the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program, too, for its interdisciplinary approach to a relevant area of study. Finally, the 9-month Master of Public Affairs program is just as worthy of your attention. 

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

MSU’s Graduate School provides ample student support services to ensure every student’s success in and out of campus. These services include academic assistance, including advice on program and university degree requirements, financial assistance, relevant information, and dissertation assistance.  

The program offerings cover numerous areas of study that graduate students will be interested in. Many of these are interdisciplinary programs, too. 

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program are offered in three colleges, with each program providing students with a unique perspective. These are the College of Human Medicine, College of Natural Science, and College of Osteopathic Medicine. 


University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

U of M Twin Cities Graduate School has an impressive array of student support services, too. Students are provided with easy access to the resources crucial for their success, from skills development to knowledge expansion. Indeed, graduates are as prepared as can be for the professional challenges that lie ahead! 

There are over 130 graduate programs in diverse fields like engineering, science, art, humanities, and medicine, as well as interdisciplinary programs. Each of these programs is founded on real-world research that students will have the opportunity to test in, and out of the classroom. 

The best professors inspire the best students, and it’s exactly what U of M professors strive to be. Aside from their awe-inspiring academic credentials, they are also well-recognized experts in their fields. No wonder alumni become thought leaders and innovators in their fields, too! 

Of the graduate programs, the engineering, and computer science programs have been consistently recognized for their outstanding qualities. Students agree that the chemistry, mathematics, and physics components are uncommonly rigorous but rewarding. 

The programs are offered in several colleges, and schools including: 

Programs are offered in on-campus, online, and hybrid formats. 

Minnesota State University – Mankato 

Minnesota State University

Mankato, MN

MSU Mankato offers over 100 graduate degree programs, including certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Many of these programs are offered in online and hybrid formats, making for accessible education for working professionals.

Each program has its merits, too, and your choice will depend on your unique professional goals and personal circumstances. The graduate certificate programs are the fastest route toward skills enhancement and career advancement. The professional science master’s programs are the best for professionals with aspirations for leadership and management positions. 

The master’s degree programs combine the excitement of graduate studies with the golden opportunities for career advancement. The doctoral degree and specialist programs demand demonstrations of advanced skills.  

Notable programs include: 


University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi

University, MS

Ole Miss offers graduate programs that have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Graduate Schools rankings. While these recognitions are welcome and appreciated, the proof of the pudding is in the learning and graduate students unanimously agree that Ole Miss does it best! 

There are 14 programs included in the U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 list, namely: 

The MBA program deserves its spotlight as Bloomberg Newsweek also recognizes it as challenging, comprehensive, and flexible. The 36-credit hour program can be completed in 12 months, provided you will enroll on a full-time basis. For part-time students, the completion time on average is two years. 

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

Mississippi State’s Graduate School is a beloved institution among students and alumni because of its commitment to student success. Students have access to student support services, including academic advising, financial assistance information, and assistance for the thesis phase. Of course, students must apply themselves to the program if they want to live up to the high education standards. 

The university has its Thrive in Five, a 4+1 accelerated degree program where students can earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years. Examples include: 

There are also several standalone degree programs in accounting, agribusiness management, aerospace engineering, and management. Its online MBA program is also in the Top 25 ranking of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online MBA rankings. 


University of Missouri – Columbia

University of Missouri

 Columbia, MO

Mizzou’s reputation for academic excellence is widely known, and it’s a significant reason for the consistent popularity of its graduate programs. As the flagship campus for the University of Missouri System, it’s also a respected member of the Association of American Universities. Its R1: Doctoral Universities designation attracts the best and brightest to its research programs, too. 

The current program offerings include five educational specialist programs, 74 graduate certificate programs, 86 master’s degree programs, and 58 doctoral degree programs. That’s 223 programs in total if you’re counting. Many of these are online programs with little to no residency requirements. 

Mizzou’s graduate programs rest on the pillars of academic integrity and inclusive excellence. Every program is designed to promote academic excellence, quality, and equity while empowering students to address the opportunities for change.

Of the programs, those offered at the College of Education are standouts for their exceptional quality. Check out the student counseling and personal services program, a top 3 graduate program in the nation. 

The programs in veterinary medicine, healthcare management, psychology, library information studies, physical therapy, and clinical psychology are in the top 50. 

University of Missouri – St. Louis

University of Missouri St Louis

St. Louis, MO

If you’re looking for an outstanding graduate criminology program, look no further than UM St. Louis! This is a top-ranked program that has produced the best professionals in the field. Be sure to look into the nursing, pharmacy, and engineering programs because these are in the top 100 rankings of national universities. 

UM, St. Louis offers 30 graduate certificate programs, 30 master’s degree programs, two education specialist programs, and 13 doctoral degree programs. 


Montana State University – Bozeman 

Montana State University - Bozeman

Bozeman, MT

MSU Bozeman is a nationally-ranked university known for its exceptional academic quality, student excellence, and faculty resources. With its focus on excellence in learning, original, and breakthrough research, and outreach services, its graduate students are assured of an immersive, and collaborative experience. As the state’s largest university, you will also find plenty of opportunities to form lifelong friendships and useful networks. 

Alumni of its graduate programs are also among the most employable professionals in the state – 96% of its master’s, and doctoral graduates are in gainful employment. With more than $120 million in funding, graduate students have the best possible support for their pioneering research. There are over 300 on-campus labs that are supported by more than 50 research centers across the campus. 

Students don’t spend their days cooped up indoors, however! With Montana’s spectacular landscape, students can make discoveries outdoors, too. 

MSU is best known for its engineering programs, including:  

Other areas of graduate study are accounting, addiction counseling, neuroscience, and community health. 

University of Montana

University of Montana

Missoula, MT

UM’s stunning landscape is a conducive background for graduate studies for top-tier students looking for an educated, dynamic, and diverse community.  Students choose from 11 graduate certificates, 71 master’s degrees, and 32 doctoral degrees in a broad range of subjects. 

Many of these programs are unique to MSU, too. 

These programs are underlined by the university’s values of innovation, intellect, and imagination. Students are encouraged to contribute new knowledge that will benefit society and the global community.  


University of Nebraska Lincoln

University of Nebraska Lincoln

 Lincoln, NE

Warren Buffett and Johnny Carson are the best-known alumni of UNL, but the flagship university of the University of Nebraska system also offers the best graduate programs. These are housed in different departments, including the College of Business Administration, the College of Law, the College of Education and Human Sciences, and the College of Engineering. 

These colleges, however, are under the administration of The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). Therefore, every graduate program coordinates with OGS to ensure student success in all stages. The support includes the development of curricula, training, and financial support packages. 

UNL has a selective admission process, with most graduate programs requiring GRE scores, minimum GPA, and letters of recommendation. Candidates must possess the ability to contribute to the university’s lofty academic standards in programs that include: 

Many programs are offered in master’s, and doctoral formats, as well as in on-campus, hybrid, and online delivery methods. 

University of Nebraska Omaha

University of Nebraska Omaha

Omaha, NE

UNO takes pride in being Nebraska’s metropolitan university, where students have an abundance of opportunities to make a real impact. Students are encouraged to identify and address societal issues while also being provided with relevant, exceptional, and rigorous learning opportunities. Indeed, its wide range of graduate degree programs is imbued with a practical thrust. 

Areas of study cover the crucial topics that affect society, including air transportation administration, public administration, and urban studies. 


University of Nevada Reno

University of Nevada Reno

Reno, NV

UNR is a trailblazing university with Nevada’s first medical school on its campus and the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism with its six Pulitzer Prize winners as alumni. Add its R1 designation, and it’s a magnet for graduate students who want to contribute new knowledge and explore new ideas. 

The College of Engineering is among the busiest, with its large-scale structures lab being home to innovative research in civil engineering, particularly in the testing and modeling aspects. Graduate students get hands-on experience in the Nevada Terawatt Facility, too, and it’s as exciting as it sounds for engineering professionals. 

UNR is also a fantastic university for more than 80 disciplines, including: 

Selective admission is a hallmark of UNR, and, thus, candidates have the burden of proof, so to speak, for the privilege of admission into the graduate programs. 

University of Nevada Las Vegas

University of Nevada Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

UNLV isn’t taking any chances with its graduate programs, a committed approach that has resulted in its graduate programs being among the best in the state. Innovative research that adds to the existing body of knowledge is also among its hallmarks. 

Academic excellence is also a must for students, but theirs isn’t an all-work, no-play experience. UNLV provides students with professional development opportunities and creative activities that combine learning and pleasure. Currently, there are 130 graduate certificates, specialist degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degree programs offered.  

The Lee Business School is the premiere school for graduate students, and its part-time MBA program is among the best. Be sure to look into the English department’s offerings, too, particularly its fine arts program. Other areas of study include aerospace engineering, applied music, and biological sciences, to name a few. 

New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire

 Durham, NH

UNH may be the flagship university of the University System of New Hampshire, but it has the vibe of a tight-knit school. This is true for its graduate programs offered across three campuses as well as online platforms. Students pursue academic excellence not only for their professional advancement but also for community involvement. 

There are plenty of research opportunities for students interested in cutting-edge scholarship, too. These are supported by state-of-the-art facilities and resources as well as credentialed faculty known for their expertise. The graduate programs are offered in different units including: 

The selective admission process is designed to ensure only the candidates with the potential and drive for academic excellence are admitted. 

Keene State College

Keene State College

Keene, NH

Keene is known for its liberal arts-centric approach to its graduate programs, but these are also imbued with the best principles and practices of the area of study. The largest academic programs are in: 

Many of these programs, such as the MS in Public Health Nutrition, are 100% online programs. Due to the small class sizes, students benefit from individualized mentoring and other student support services. Beyond the classroom, students also engage in business collaborations and extensive community activities. 

The Master of Education is a notable program with four concentrations, including Special Education and Educational Leadership. The Master’s in Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences prepares its students for positive change and leadership roles. 

New Jersey

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ

The School of Graduate Studies ensures that students have the best tools and resources for their academic and professional success. Students, however, must comply with the rigorous academic standards that Rutgers is known for, as well as engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with fellow students and faculty. Professional development opportunities are offered alongside research projects both of which are designed for new knowledge generation and networking. 

Students are enrolled in over 150 dual degrees, master’s, and doctoral programs, and the diversity of the student body is among the best in New Jersey. Rutgers has strong partnerships with institutions from France, Brazil, and South Korea, among others. 

The comprehensive range of programs include: 

Graduate students can apply for on-campus housing accommodations at Marvin Apartments, Johnson Apartments, and Nichols Apartments.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology

University Heights, Newark, NJ

Graduate candidates looking for the best campus in upward economic mobility should look into NJIT’s programs. The school also offers more than 70 master’s and doctoral programs in numerous areas of study. These are offered through six professional colleges and schools, each one of which has state-of-the-art facilities and world-class faculty. 

The most attractive areas of study are in: 

Yet another reason for choosing NJIT: It ranks 8th in national surveys for alumni earning potential. 

New Mexico

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM

UNM graduate students enjoy access to the best faculty members and student support services in New Mexico. As the state’s flagship university, its people have a strong commitment to academic quality, cutting-edge research, and professional development opportunities. Students also benefit from access to health, and counseling services, and membership in student support organizations. 

The professional development opportunities include Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color (PNMGC), and Professional, and Academic Workshop series (PAW). The annual Shared Knowledge Conference is also a must-attend event for students. 

There are more than 215 graduate certificate and degree programs offered in UNM’s different colleges, and schools including: 

The top-rated Anderson School of Management offers these programs: 

Each of these programs has multiple concentrations, a sign of the highly specialized society we live in. 

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM

NMSU’s mission reflects its commitment to contribute to the greater good. Students are provided with an environment that will enrich their academic experiences and enable them with the capacity for change. Diversity, inclusivity, and transformation are also the driving values behind NMSU’s graduate programs. 

The current roster of programs includes 58 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral degree programs as well as numerous graduate certificates. The areas of study include:  

Many of these programs are offered in online and hybrid formats. Whatever the delivery method, these are characterized by academic rigor. 

New York

State University of New York – Binghamton University

State University of New York - Binghamton University

Binghamton, NY

SUNY Binghamton comes from humble beginnings but it has grown to be an R1 research university with more than 80 graduate programs. These are prestigious programs known for their academic rigor, research-intensive curricula, and creative exploration emphasis. Students engage in academic calisthenics and get great opportunities for hands-on experiences through internships, teaching sessions, and leadership programs. 

The areas of study available include: 

Students choose from certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs, many of which are offered online, and in hybrid formats. There are also interdisciplinary programs in data analytics, materials science, and engineering, and sustainable community. The genocide and mass atrocity prevention program is a unique offering. 

Look into the MS in System Science program available in thesis and non-thesis options. Students learn and research data analysis, fuzzy logic, and intelligent control, and robotics. Other notable programs are the MS in Industrial, and Systems Engineering, and the Master in Engineering with a choice in systems engineering or industrial engineering. 

State University of New York: Stony Brook University

State University of New York: Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

SUNY Stony Brook offers advanced studies in 48 disciplines including engineering, arts, sciences, journalism, business, fine arts, medicine, and health. Partnerships with the likes of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory contribute to its national status as the best of elite public universities. 

Academic quality combined with personalized mentoring attention is a guarantee and it’s among the reasons for its popularity among graduate students. There’s also a comprehensive variety of programs, including anatomical sciences, business, accounting, and engineering. 

 North Carolina

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

 Chapel Hill, NC

UNC-Chapel Hill is the University of North Carolina system’s flagship campus and a Public Ivy, a distinction that puts it in the league of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Numerous publications have also placed it in the top universities of the country, such as the third best public university by the Wall Street Journal. 

The national recognitions are well-deserved, considering UNC-Chapel Hill’s academic excellence, affordable tuition, and high alumni employability. Graduate students complete their degrees with the assurance that not only did they acquire a world-class education, but they also aren’t buried in debt. Scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities are aplenty and the staff members are helpful in this regard. 

The areas of study covered in the graduate programs are just as impressive with nearly everything in the arts and sciences covered. Examples include: 

The STEM-designated MBA programs are the standout programs here. There are four formats to choose from, but they are characterized by academic rigor, student success, and relevant curriculum. 

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

NCSU’s large, diverse, and dynamic student body is part of its attraction. The Graduate School adds to its appeal by offering world-class programs in engineering, natural resources, life sciences, management design, and veterinary medicine. Students are also enrolled in nationally recognized programs in humanities, and social sciences, education, and textiles. 

The graduate programs are underlined by NCSU’s drive for the highest quality education possible and it’s achieved through a holistic approach. Students thrive in their academic coursework combined with cutting-edge research projects and professional development programs. 

North Dakota

University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota

 Grand Forks, ND

UND’s blend of a liberal arts foundation and a science-based curriculum design makes its graduate programs outstanding venues for a well-rounded education. Plus, students interested in law, and medicine agree that it’s the best university for these disciplines. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences attracts the best and brightest in the state. 

With research being at the forefront of graduate education, UND being the host for many national research institutions is a plus. These include the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, and the Energy, and Environmental Research Center. Affordable tuition combined with a rigorous curriculum, easy access to faculty, and small class sizes also make UND a top graduate destination. 

UIND has more than 140 certificates and graduate degree programs in areas of study like: 

Beyond academics, students also develop their career potential through numerous career planning and professional development workshops. These include Accelerate to Industry (A2i), a workforce readiness program, and GRAD, a celebration in honor of students. 

North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND

NDSU’s beginnings as a land-grant university with agriculture and applied sciences as its focus continue to serve it well in the 21st century. Today, the graduate programs include more than 20 graduate certificates, 85 master’s degrees, and 50 doctoral degree programs. While every program has its superior merits, NDSU is best known for its agriculture-related programs supported by several agricultural research extension centers. 

The MS and Ph.D. degrees offered in the Department of Agricultural, and Biosystems Engineering are popular for their rigorous yet rewarding coursework. Students become instrumental in solving agricultural production issues using engineering principles, and practices, among other crucial work. 

Other programs include animal sciences, biochemistry, soil science, statistics, and transportation, and logistics. 


Ohio State University Columbus

Ohio State University Columbus

Columbus, OH

Ohio State, the flagship campus of the University System of Ohio, is among the country’s best public universities, and the Buckeyes agree! Its designation as a Public Ivy is the cherry on top, as well as well-deserved considering that its faculty and facilities are the best in the state. 

The admission process reflects the academic excellence for which OSU is known. Most students are in the highest percentile on standardized testing, and such selectivity applies to graduate program admissions. The current roster includes nearly 200 master’s and doctoral degree programs, and many more new programs are added every year. 

Aside from the sheer number of academic choices, OSU also offers students numerous possibilities for research projects and interdisciplinary collaborations. The latter involves both faculty-student projects and peer-to-peer collaborations, as well as projects with external organizations. 

The MBA program is among OSU’s jewels in its crown. Offered at the Fisher College of Business, it’s cited by The Wall Street Journal as a program that gives among the best returns on investment. The 18-month program accepts top-performing candidates with professional experience who are willing to learn from the best faculty. 

Miami University-Oxford 

Miami University-Oxford

Oxford, OH

Known as Miami of Ohio, Miami University’s liberal arts education is cited as one of the best in Ohio. It was among the first universities considered as a Public Ivy! Today, it’s in the top 50 public universities globally, and its graduate programs are comparable to those at Harvard. 

Students are immersed in the aptly named Miami Experience, where scholarly activities and research projects are at the heart of graduate life. There are 20 graduate certificates, 1 specialist degree, 68 master’s, and 13 doctoral degree programs where the incomparable experience can be enjoyed. Students find a conducive platform for innovation, creativity, and collaboration here, too. 

Of special note is the Graduate Program in Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology (CMSB), a program characterized by its multidisciplinary nature. Consider the MS in Chemical, and Biomedical Engineering as well as the combined BS, and MS in Chemical, and Biomedical Engineering. 


University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

 Norman, OK

Graduate students at OU work with the Graduate College, which has oversight functions, and the college administers their respective degree programs. This is essential to ensure a productive graduate experience focusing on academics, research, extracurricular activities, admission, and other issues. 

Students are then provided with ample assistance every step of the way, from admission and academic milestones to thesis/dissertation. Academic counselors are assigned to students for these purposes, and both faculty members and staff are available to ensure positive experiences. The services can include mediation, mentoring, inclusivity, and organizing activities for professional development. 

There are 75 doctorates and 160 master’s degree programs currently available. These are offered by different colleges with the fields of study including: 

The economics program is popular for its relevance and rigor. Students choose from BA/MA Accelerated Program in Managerial Economics with Data Emphasis, MA in Managerial Economics with Data Emphasis, and MA in Applied Economics. There’s also a Ph.D. in Economics program. 

Graduate students find a haven in the GSL Center where they can work, and relax, as well as find networking opportunities. 

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

OSU is big on homecoming and, in fact, it’s the best place to be for the biggest homecoming celebration in the US with more than 110,000 people in attendance. Of course, graduate students are welcome to participate and it’s a great reason to be part of the Graduate College. 

OSU’s Graduate College aims to develop every student to their fullest potential during their studies. There are more than 200 graduate certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs available. These are offered on three campuses including the Center for Health Sciences and on an online platform. 

Students learn in an environment equipped with top-notch facilities and led by expert faculty. The notable programs include: 


University of Oregon

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

UO attracts innovative researchers to its 19 research institutes, and centers, thus, its R1 designation. With four colleges offering graduate programs, it’s a hub of activity with classes, research, and projects professional development activities. These colleges are: 

There are also several professional schools, including Law, Accounting, Journalism, and Communication, and Architecture, and Environment. Every school under the Graduate School promotes academic excellence, inclusiveness, and innovation, the university’s core values. 

The popular programs include: 

Other programs are in Global Studies, Physics, and Musicology. Every program’s curriculum emphasizes academic rigor supplemented by hands-on experience. With a selective admission process, candidates are well-advised to present persuasive evidence of their suitability. 

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State’s Graduate School performs crucial roles in the coordination of graduate programs in its different colleges. Students also find an advocate for their success and well-being during their graduate studies. These programs are designed with optimal knowledge creation, innovation, and education in mind. 

There are more than a hundred graduate programs in its colleges, including: 

The Graduate School also offers several interdisciplinary programs. These include Comparative Health Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and College, and University Teaching. 


University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Pitt’s urban campus is home to its graduate schools, and colleges that offer a comprehensive array of degree, and non-degree programs. These schools include: 

These schools have specific admission requirements and processes that ensure only the prepared and capable can be admitted. The knowledge-based approach adopted by these schools is also instrumental in their overall success as relevant and competitive institutions. 

Students aren’t all work, and no play, thanks to the range of extracurricular programs included in the University-wide Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC). There are also free certification programs, learning workshops, and public education mentorship programs. 


Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA

Penn State University Park is a Public Ivy institution that provides a comparable graduate school experience as the Ivy League schools. This is also a multi-awarded institution recognized for its academic quality, reasonable tuition, world-class facilities, and its spectacular campus.

Its most cited programs are in: 

Candidates undergo a stringent admission process that includes a review of their academic credentials. 

 Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island 

University of Rhode Island

Kingston, RI

URI prides itself on producing graduates with an international mindset, and a real-world sensibility, a combination that contributes to an impactful career. Students can choose between being on part-time, and full-time status, but all of them benefit from small class sizes, academic rigor, and support services. 

There are 86 graduate programs divided into 11 professional degrees, 16 certificate programs, 37 master’s degrees, and 22 doctoral degree programs. There are more than 275 specializations within these programs, and small class sizes characterize these. Many classes have fewer than 20 students, so personalized mentoring is possible. 

These programs are offered in different schools, including: 

Master’s degree students must complete their academic requirements within five calendar years, and take a minimum of four-fifths of the required credits at URI. 

Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College

Providence, RI

RIC’s 1,400-strong graduate student population may be fairly small, but they are a powerhouse in academics and research! The 30 graduate programs are offered by five colleges: 

Many programs have programmatic accreditation, too, such as from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The programs prepare students for successful and impactful careers in their chosen fields. 

The M.A. in Youth Development is notable because it’s the first in New England. Students learn about the effective design of youth development programs with a social justice emphasis. 

 South Carolina

Clemson University 

Clemson University

Clemson, SC

Aspiring inventors flock to Clemson University because of its excellent support for innovative ideas. Proof: In the 2006-2016 period, 40% of the inventors named on patents issued to the university were graduate students. Indeed, invention and innovation are strongly encouraged among students! 

There are at least 30 graduate programs offered in the following colleges: 

There are also 15 interdepartmental programs where students engage in interdisciplinary studies. All programs are designed with the betterment of the community in mind. The range of research projects reflects the diversity of the offerings, from the design of irrigation systems and business plans to the reduction of youth bullying.  

While these programs are offered in different schools, the Graduate School oversees all graduate programs. Students also turn to the Graduate School for assistantship and fellowship opportunities. 

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

USC offers more than 250 graduate degree programs in 13 different schools, and colleges. These programs cover combination degrees, online learning, accelerated degrees, certificates, and graduate degrees. 

The university has earned several accolades, such as #1 in Faculty Research Productivity in South Carolina and #1 in Hospitality, Retail, Sport Management, Business, and Public Health programs in the US. Plus, it’s cited as a university with the best value in education by Forbes and Kiplinger. With the recognition from Carnegie Foundation for its active community engagement and high research activity, students from around the country are flocking to it! 

Take a look at its exceptional programs, including: 

South Dakota

University of South Dakota 

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD

USD, South Dakota’s largest, and flagship university, is proud of its track record as the best university in the state. The underlying values that drive its existence are quality, affordability, and flexibility, and these are the same traits that make its graduate programs soar high. 

Education, business, health sciences, and liberal arts are its foremost thrusts because of their significant contributions to society. Students are provided with extraordinary opportunities to gain, and create new knowledge, conduct innovative research, and get hands-on experiences. Internships and clinical experiences are a must for many of its programs. 

Of the 70 graduate programs, the MBA program offered by the Beacom School of Business stands out for its exceptional academic quality. Students train to become thought and action leaders in the global economy with their formidable technical and soft skills. In addition, critical thinking, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills are fine-tuned in every class. 

There are a few specializations within the MBA program, namely: 

A BBA/MBA joint program and a joint MBA/JD program are also offered. 

Outstanding programs can also be found in several colleges, including the College of Arts, and Sciences, College of Fine Arts, Sanford School of Medicine, and School of Education. The Graduate School offers an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Technology Development and Entrepreneurship certificate. 

South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD

SDSU offers the most comprehensive range of graduate programs in the state, but it’s best known for its programs in engineering, agriculture, nursing, and pharmacy. There are 53 graduate programs offered by its seven colleges and all of them have affordable tuition and high academic quality. Graduate assistantships not only ease the financial costs but also beef up the students’ resumes. 

Check out these excellent programs: 

Online degree programs are run alongside on-campus, and off-campus programs. 


University of Tennessee 

University of Tennessee

 Knoxville, TN

UT Knoxville features 11 graduate colleges with programs that put the University of Tennessee system’s flagship campus on the map. It has maintained its Top 100 position in the list of the best public universities in The Volunteer State. 

Of its programs, nuclear engineering, supply chain management, and printmaking programs are cited as among the top 10 programs among public universities. The College of Law, Haslam College of Business, and Tickle College of Engineering are also cited for their outstanding graduate degree programs. 

The full-time MBA program at Haslam, for example, is a consistent placer in The Economist’s list of the country’s best. These programs are also notable for their academic rigor and prestige: 

The Graduate School coordinates the academic aspects, and related services for these programs that span several colleges, and schools.

University of Memphis

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

UofM has several schools and centers that are nationally recognized for their superior academic quality, and rigor. These include The Herff College of Engineering, Loewenberg College of Nursing, and The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. 

There are more than 60 master’s degree and 25 doctoral degree programs with more than 120 concentrations. With a 4,000-strong student population, the urban university has a vibrant atmosphere. The class sizes are kept small, however, to ensure academic excellence and student support. 

The popular programs are: 


University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin

 Austin, TX

The Graduate School at UTAustin has a 10,000-strong student body that enjoys the university’s stunning campus, and exemplary academic programs. There are more than a hundred fields of study and the Graduate School awards 3,000 master’s degrees and 900 doctoral degrees annually. 

Fun fact: UTAustin is a top producer of doctoral degrees in the country! But it isn’t a diploma mill, far from it, with students, alumni, and faculty attesting to the academic rigor.  

Aside from the master’s, and doctoral degree programs, the university also has these graduate options: 

These programs are offered by accredited, and respected colleges including: 

The MBA program is the gold standard for MBA programs in the state, too, with its robust, and relevant curriculum. Students not only learn advanced management principles and practices. You will also experience a professional and personal transformation in the two years spent in the program! 

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

Students in TAMU’s Graduate and Professional School use the power of intellect in the pursuit of knowledge. The university, in turn, provides students with exceptional support underlined by the commitment to academic excellence. Indeed, the Graduate and Professional School is the #1 advocate for its students! 

Such commitment is evident in the programs offered in its colleges, and schools including: 


University of Utah

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

The U, the Utah System of Higher Education’s flagship institution, has a Graduate School that oversees the diverse graduate programs offered by the colleges. Graduate education is the best here because of its effective leadership, and services. The latter includes services related to admission, financial assistance, fellowship opportunities, and professional development. 

Each of the colleges and schools that offer graduate programs provide extensive information about admission and degree requirements. Their programs are designed based on the principles of quality, integrity, and diversity that, in turn, are instrumental in building a collaborative community. 

Among these colleges are: 

The newest addition is the School for Cultural and Social Transformation which proves that The U strives to be relevant in the ever-changing landscape of education. 

Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in their coursework for retention in their programs. Less than a 3.0 GPA isn’t accepted toward a master’s degree. 

Utah State University

Utah State University

Logan UT

Utah State attracts more out-of-state students than any other public university in the Beehive State. Such diversity contributes to the dynamic interactions between students and faculty members in its graduate programs. 

Liberal arts, economics, business, engineering, and natural resources sciences are the strongest areas of study. But students are also enrolled in large numbers in the education programs. The master’s, and doctoral degree programs in STEM areas, social sciences, and humanities are also important contributors to research. 


University of Vermont

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

UVM, an R1 public land grant research university, is among the first eight Public Ivies, and it continues the tradition of academic excellence today! Its Graduate College offers more than 50 master’s degree programs and over 20 doctoral degree programs in diverse areas of study. 

Many of these programs have an interdisciplinary nature in that students study multiple areas in earning their respective degrees. Examples include degrees in environmental and ecological studies as well as biological, and biomedical sciences. 

The colleges, and examples of their degree programs: 

Admission is on a selective basis since the programs have challenging coursework that combines academics and research. 

Vermont Technical College

Vermont Technical College

Randolph Center, VT

Candidates for VTC’s graduate programs should be ambitious learners whose academic skills, and career vision are a cut above the rest. Admission requirements include official transcripts, and GRE scores, personal essays, and letters of recommendation, which are evaluated on their own merits. 

There are more than 45 hands-on programs, including: 


University of Virginia 

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Few other state universities have as a prestigious history as UVA! Founded by Thomas Jefferson, and with Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison as the first governing Board of Visitors, it’s as historical as can be. But it doesn’t rest on its laurels and, indeed, is highly respected for its breakthrough innovations in contemporary times. 

Fun fact: UVA faculty members were credited by Science, an industry publication, with two scientific breakthroughs in 2015. To say that students learn from the experts at UVA is an understatement. 

Graduate programs include 69 master’s degrees, and 55 doctoral degree programs, as well as several first-professional degrees, and educational specialist degrees. There are nearly 8,000 students in these programs, proof that UVA is as relevant today as it was two centuries ago. 

UVA is also unique among the most public and private institutions in that it doesn’t confer honorary degrees! Every degree is an earned degree, and, thus, a point of pride for its holder. The pride partly stems from the academic rigor, standards of ethics, and high research expectations that characterize every degree program. 

The most popular programs are: 

UVA may be a larger university, but it endeavors to provide a personalized graduate experience. 

College of William and Mary

College of William, and Mary

Williamsburg, VA

World-class facilities, mentoring relationships between students and faculty, and small class sizes are the reasons for the enduring popularity of graduate programs at William and Mary. Students thrive in an environment that supports them academically while challenging their intellect. 

Every college has its specific vision, and mission, as well as program offerings. The Arts, and Sciences College, for example, features original research designed for positive impact outside of the classroom. Students get ample support for their research partly through partnerships with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History, and Culture, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 

MS in Business Analytics (MSBA), Master of Accounting, and MBA programs are offered in the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. The MBA programs include Executive MBA, online MBA, and MSBA, and Flex MBA. 


University of Washington

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

Research in engineering, medicine, and science is the foundation of UW’s success as a public university. Indeed, such excellence in research that Bill Gates and Paul G. Allen learned the ropes at UW computer labs before launching Microsoft! Graduate students benefit from UW’s strong ties with Amazon, Nintendo, and Boeing, among others. 

UW itself is a highly-ranked university and recognized for its exceptional standards in academics, and research. The likes of The U.S. News & World Report, SCImago Institutions Rankings, and Leiden Ranking places it in the top 10 among universities worldwide. 

The graduate programs live up to the expectation, too! Students are considered the university’s most valuable assets, and, thus, are provided with a range of professional, and personal development opportunities.  

The Graduate School offers 11 degree programs aside from the programs offered in the different colleges and schools. Among these programs are: 

Washington State University

Washington State University

Pullman, WA

Wazzu’s Graduate School offers programs in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and engineering as well as business, education, and communication. The current roster includes more than 140 professional, and graduate degrees offered on-campus and online, while its research and extension centers provide academic support.

 West Virginia

West Virginia University

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

WVU offers 245 professional, certificate, and graduate programs known for their societal relevance, academic rigor, and reasonable tuition. Of these programs, 20 have been cited as among the top 100 graduate programs by the U.S. News & World Report. The university also maintains affiliations with the Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

These programs are offered in the following colleges: 

Other areas of study include creative arts, education, and human services, medicine, and public health. Of these programs, the Forensics, and Investigative Science program is the most cited for its affiliation with the FBI, and its American Academy of Forensic Sciences accreditation. Concentrations are in Biology, Examiner, and Chemistry. 

Marshall University

Marshall University

Huntington, WV

Marshall University has three graduate colleges – the Graduate College, the  Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and the School of Pharmacy. Degree programs include EdD in Educational Leadership, EdD in Curriculum and Instruction, and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and doctorates in physical therapy, psychology, psychology, and nurse anesthesia. 

The Forensic Science Graduate Program is a top-ranked program accredited by FEPAC. Students spend two years learning the latest in forensic science in the classroom and laboratory and off-site internships. Thesis and non-thesis options are available, and there are four concentrations – Crime Scene Investigation, DNA Analysis, Digital Forensics, and Forensic Chemistry.


University of Wisconsin Madison

University of Wisconsin Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

UW-Madison has many breakthrough discoveries under its belt that may well rest on its laurels! But it doesn’t, and its graduate students and researchers continue to add to the existing body of knowledge. 

If you want to make contributions, consider being part of one of its graduate programs. There are more than 160 graduate programs to choose from in its graduate and professional schools. The areas of study covered include a library, information studies, environmental studies, public affairs, public health, law, and veterinary medicine.

The Graduate School acts as the overseer of the academic programs offered at the graduate level. Excellence in graduate education is its main objective. 

University of Wisconsin La Crosse

University of Wisconsin La Crosse

La Crosse, WI

UW-La Crosse offers a comprehensive range of graduate degree programs designed to foster advanced knowledge and leadership, collaboration, and innovation skills. Students are encouraged to find viable solutions for current issues as part of their research activities. 

Students and faculty benefit from their close professional interactions, and these benefits include enhanced teaching and service. Graduates become even more productive citizens whose passion lies in making an impactful difference. 

Physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and physician assistant programs are among the most popular. The MS in Occupational Therapy is a two-year program with on-campus coursework and a six-month fieldwork phase. 

UW-La Crosse also has dual degree programs, including:


University of Wyoming 

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY

UW is the only state university in the Equality State and it’s the best educational institution. Such is its importance in Wyoming’s existence that its location is actually stated on its state constitution! 

There are seven colleges in the university, namely: 

These colleges offer 90 graduate programs in diverse areas, from renewable energy to obesity. Students learn from classroom lectures, laboratory activities, and outdoor opportunities. 


What are the benefits of attending a state university? 

If you’re looking for the most affordable path to quality graduate education, then enrolling in a state university is your best bet! Even when you’re paying at full cost, the tuition, fees, and other compulsory charges are still within your budget. The average cost of tuition for in-state students is approximately 72% less than in private colleges. 

Since state universities get federal aid, their students are also qualified to apply for FAFSA. Many of them also offer a wide variety of financial assistance, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Students can also apply for external financial aid options that further decrease the overall cost of graduate education. 

With their diverse student bodies, state universities have a dynamic, vibrant, and exciting atmosphere! Social opportunities in extracurricular activities, sports tournaments, and Greek letter organizations provide the full college experience. This is true even for graduate students who benefit not just from the social opportunities but, more importantly, from the networking opportunities. 

Graduate students also have employment opportunities, such as fellowships, and research assistant positions. These jobs are crucial for learning advanced topics, beefing up the resume, and getting more opportunities after graduation. 

Of course, there are other non-financial benefits, too! These include exceptional quality of instruction, meaningful interactions between students, and faculty, and the opportunities to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. Most graduate programs, after all, emphasize original research work through thesis, dissertations, and capstone projects. 

Best US State University Grad Schools fact 1

 What are the types of graduate degrees? 

There are three main types of graduate degrees: 

How many years will it take to earn a graduate degree?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The average time to earn a master’s degree is two to three years, while a doctorate can take between five and seven years to complete. The average number of years for a doctorate completion also varies depending on whether it’s a Ph.D. (eight years) or a professional doctorate (six years).  

There are, however, accelerated programs that allow for shorter completion times. You can earn a master’s degree between 12, and 18 months. You may also combine your bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in a 4+1 accelerated program where the last year – fifth, to be exact – is devoted to graduate studies. 

What can you expect from a graduate program?

Every graduate program has its unique characteristics and demands. But there are also several similarities, including: 

But if you can survive, perhaps even thrive, in such a pressure cooker environment, then you will love the rewards! 

In the following section, the best graduate schools in each of the 50 states’ state universities are briefly described along with one or two of their best graduate programs. The first school is considered the best, while the second school is the runner-up. Many of these schools belong to the same state university system but are considered independent to a certain degree. 

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.