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.

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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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What are Arkansas’s Colleges & Universities?

Arkansas’s Best Overall


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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. #1

    University of Arkansas

    #306 institution's historical influence
    #1356 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Fayetteville, AR

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    What is University of Arkansas known for?

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

    • Business
    • Law
    • Education
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Arkansas State University

    #1174 institution's historical influence
    #1472 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1116/24

    Jonesboro, AR

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    What is Arkansas State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

    #1290 institution's historical 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
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
  4. #4

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock

    #1237 institution's historical influence
    #1043 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    7K

    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
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    University of Central Arkansas

    #1389 institution's historical influence
    #1029 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/24

    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:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Harding University

    #2151 institution's historical influence
    #177 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/25

    Searcy, AR

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    What is Harding University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

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  7. #7

    Arkansas Tech University

    #3339 institution's historical influence
    #1227 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    44%

    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:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

    #2861 institution's historical influence
    #1093 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/18

    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:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

Arkansas’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Photo By RebelAt at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0