Arizona’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Arizona offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Arizona’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

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.

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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


We’ve identified 21 community colleges in Arizona. In order to be included in this list of the best community colleges, a school needs to satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a student body of at least 1,000 students.
  3. It must exclusively provide two-year, or associate, degree programs.
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How do we determine Arizona's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

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.

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

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

Arizona’s Best Community Colleges

  1. #1

    Diné College

    #5411 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    <1K

    Tsaile, AZ

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    What is Diné College known for?

    Diné College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
  2. #2

    Eastern Arizona College

    #2344 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Thatcher, AZ

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    What is Eastern Arizona College known for?

    Eastern Arizona College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Mesa Community College

    #4170 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    12K

    Mesa, AZ

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    What is Mesa Community College known for?

    Mesa Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Scottsdale Community College

    #7015 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    4K

    Scottsdale, AZ

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    What is Scottsdale Community College known for?

    Scottsdale Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Yavapai College

    #6470 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    4K

    Prescott, AZ

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    What is Yavapai College known for?

    Yavapai College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Phoenix College

    #3357 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    6K

    Phoenix, AZ

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    What is Phoenix College known for?

    Phoenix College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Pima Community College

    #4425 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    14K

    Tucson, AZ

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    What is Pima Community College known for?

    Pima Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Glendale Community College

    #3739 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    14%

    Student body

    10K

    Glendale, AZ

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    What is Glendale Community College known for?

    Glendale Community College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    South Mountain Community College

    #10668 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    2K

    Phoenix, AZ

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    What is South Mountain Community College known for?

    South Mountain Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Biology
  10. #10

    Central Arizona College

    #6685 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    4K

    Coolidge, AZ

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    What is Central Arizona College known for?

    Central Arizona College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Earth Sciences
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Northland Pioneer College

    #8740 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    9%

    Student body

    1K

    Holbrook, AZ

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    What is Northland Pioneer College known for?

    Northland Pioneer College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Medical
  12. #12

    Paradise Valley Community College

    #8868 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    4K

    Phoenix, AZ

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    What is Paradise Valley Community College known for?

    Paradise Valley Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Literature
  13. #13

    Rio Salado College

    #6126 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    4%

    Student body

    11K

    Tempe, AZ

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    What is Rio Salado College known for?

    Rio Salado College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    GateWay Community College

    #10105 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    3K

    Phoenix, AZ

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    What is GateWay Community College known for?

    GateWay Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Economics
  15. #15

    Cochise College

    #5192 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    Sierra Vista, AZ

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    What is Cochise College known for?

    Cochise College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Mohave Community College

    #7312 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    3K

    Kingman, AZ

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    What is Mohave Community College known for?

    Mohave Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
  17. #17

    Tohono Oʼodham Community College

    #13951 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    <1K

    Sells, AZ

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    What is Tohono Oʼodham Community College known for?

    Tohono Oʼodham Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Literature
  18. #18

    Estrella Mountain Community College

    #10820 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    6K

    Avondale, AZ

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    What is Estrella Mountain Community College known for?

    Estrella Mountain Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Literature
  19. #19

    Arizona Western College

    #7645 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    5K

    Yuma, AZ

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    What is Arizona Western College known for?

    Arizona Western College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Coconino County Community College

    #10586 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    2K

    Flagstaff, AZ

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    What is Coconino County Community College known for?

    Coconino County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
  21. #21

    Chandler–Gilbert Community College

    #16177 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    8K

    Chandler, AZ

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    What is Chandler–Gilbert Community College known for?

    Chandler–Gilbert Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

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