Best Colleges in Arizona 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Arizona ranked by the influence of faculty and alumni, respective to the schools size. In other words, most influential schools per capita, which we call “concentrated influence.”

Best Colleges in Arizona 2022

Colleges and Universities in Arizona

Students hoping to attend college in Arizona can choose from associate to doctoral degree programs spanning across the state. The state’s largest university, the University of Arizona located in Tucson, offers a competitive tuition rate, at $12,000, for its 39,000 students. However, Arizona’s most affordable schools, such as the tribally-owned Diné College, offer tuition as low as $1,000. Private schools make up about one third of the higher education institutes in Arizona; and offer a comprehensive range of degrees from fine arts to naturopathic medicine. Arizona’s public universities and colleges, such as Northern Arizona University located in Flagstaff, offer students a variety of study concentrations, including mathematics, education, political science, and psychology.If flexibility is what you need, Arizona has 14 colleges and universities offering online degrees.

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Additionally, Arizona is home to three religiously affiliated schools: Arizona Christian University, Phoenix Seminary, and International Baptist College. While tuition varies greatly among these three schools, each school provides unique degree programs, such as music ministry at International Baptist College, for students interested in combining their faith and education.

Year-round sunshine, the Grand Canyon, award-winning restaurants, and several professional sports teams — what more could a student ask for? With more than 30 colleges and universities to choose from, Arizona allows students to get their degrees while cashing in on some of life’s greatest pleasures.

Whether students are interested in obtaining an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Arizona offers plenty of colleges and universities for students to choose from.


What are Arizona’s Colleges & Universities?

Arizona’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Arizona's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 7 colleges and universities in Arizona that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in Arizona below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Arizona.

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Best Colleges in Arizona 2022

  1. #2

    Arizona State University

    Tempe , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    What is Arizona State University known for?

    Arizona State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #3

    Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    What is Northern Arizona University known for?

    Northern Arizona University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Grand Canyon University

    Phoenix , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    88K

    What is Grand Canyon University known for?

    Grand Canyon University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #6

    Arizona Christian University

    Glendale , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    What is Arizona Christian University known for?

    Arizona Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott known for?

    Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
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Arizona’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

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2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Arizona
  2. Arizona State University
  3. Prescott College
  4. Northern Arizona University
  5. Grand Canyon University
  6. Arizona Christian University
  7. Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott