Arkansas’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Arkansas offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Arkansas’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Arkansas

Colleges and universities in Arkansas are uniquely affordable, with just under half providing tuition rates of $9,000 or less. Included in this list are the state’s two largest universities, the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. Though students can find some overlapping degree programs at the two schools, each has its specialties. For example, students hoping to pursue degrees in architecture, agriculture, or business may want to consider the University of Arkansas, while those interested in biology, nursing, or political science may want to attend Arkansas State University.

Additionally, about one third of the schools in Arkansas have a religious affiliation. Student populations at these schools range from just under 200 students up to 5,000, and allow students to pursue degrees merging religious studies with fields like chemistry and history. While tuition at each of the state’s 12 private schools varies greatly, costing anywhere between $9,000 and $46,000, many of these colleges boast high graduation rates and small class sizes.

While Arkansas is perhaps best-known and loved for countless lakes, Hot Springs National Park, and the United States’ only active diamond mine. The Natural State houses many higher education institutes where students can earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a full range of disciplines.

With so many affordable schools and competitive degree programs, students attending school in Arkansas have the luxury of combining their individual budget needs with their desired degree paths. For more information on attending school in Arkansas, check out some of the state’s top schools.

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The following list is composed of graduate schools, both private and public. We’ve identified 8 graduate schools in Arkansas that satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

How do we determine Arkansas's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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Best Grad Schools in Arkansas

  1. University of Arkansas
    #1

    University of Arkansas

    #458 institution's overall influence
    #1356 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/26

    Fayetteville, AR

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    What is University of Arkansas known for?

    University of Arkansas's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Arkansas State University
    #2

    Arkansas State University

    #1449 institution's overall influence
    #1472 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1113/24

    Jonesboro, AR

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    What is Arkansas State University known for?

    Arkansas State University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    #3

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

    #1770 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Student body

    1K

    Little Rock, AR

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    What is University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences known for?

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    #4

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock

    #1613 institution's overall influence
    #1043 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Little Rock, AR

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    What is University of Arkansas at Little Rock known for?

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. University of Central Arkansas
    #5

    University of Central Arkansas

    #2557 institution's overall influence
    #1029 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/24

    Conway, AR

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    What is University of Central Arkansas known for?

    University of Central Arkansas's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Harding University
    #6

    Harding University

    #2523 institution's overall influence
    #177 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    Searcy, AR

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    What is Harding University known for?

    Harding University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Arkansas Tech University
    #7

    Arkansas Tech University

    #9029 institution's overall influence
    #1227 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    9K

    Russellville, AR

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    What is Arkansas Tech University known for?

    Arkansas Tech University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
    #8

    University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

    #2288 institution's overall influence
    #1093 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    44%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/18

    Pine Bluff, AR

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    What is University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff known for?

    University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

Arkansas’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Anthropology

Biology

Business

Chemistry

Communications

Computer Science

Criminal Justice

Earth Sciences

Economics

Education

Engineering

History

Law

Literature

Mathematics

Medical

Nursing

Philosophy

Physics

Political Science

Psychology

Religious Studies

Social Work

Sociology

Resources for College Students

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