Maryland’s Best Private Colleges and Universities of 2021

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Maryland.

Maryland’s Best Private Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Maryland

The Old Line State has 46 colleges and universities, 30 of which are public and 16 of which are private. The United States Naval Academy offers programs in physical sciences, aeronautical engineering, and naval architecture. The largest private institution, Johns Hopkins University, has just over 24,000 students and a tuition rate of $54,000. Located in Baltimore, this research university is known for its science and medical discoveries.

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The University of Maryland in College Park boasts over 35,000 students with a price tag of $11,000. The school has 15 campuses, and students can choose from areas of study like criminal justice, communications, physics, and sociology. The most affordable school in the state, Baltimore City Community College comes in at $3,000 and has 37 associate degree programs to choose from. Maryland also provides loan forgiveness programs for its residents, including those for dentists and public servants. Students can also check out the Maryland SmartBuy Home Buyer Assistance and Forgiveness Program, where eligible applicants can receive up to 15% of the home purchase price toward outstanding student loan, to be paid off as part of closing.

Maryland is a state bursting with history, from its numerous museums to its historic battlegrounds. Students who attend school in Maryland can explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Park and walk the same streets as many influential Marylanders, including Francis Scott Key, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, and Thurgood Marshall.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Maryland offers its students history, legacy, and numerous degree paths.


What are Maryland’s Colleges & Universities?

Maryland’s Best Overall

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 11 private universities in Maryland; 10 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best private universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a private, non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

How do we determine Maryland's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

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.

10 Best Private Colleges & Universities in Maryland

  1. #1

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    What is Johns Hopkins University known for?

    Johns Hopkins University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Goucher College

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

    What is Goucher College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Washington College

    Chestertown , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Washington College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Loyola University Maryland known for?

    Loyola University Maryland’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/21

    What is Mount St. Mary's University known for?

    Mount St. Mary's University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    McDaniel College

    Westminster , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    What is McDaniel College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Hood College

    Frederick , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Hood College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  8. Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/21

    What is Notre Dame of Maryland University known for?

    Notre Dame of Maryland University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  9. Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1320/29

    What is St. John's College, Annapolis campus known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Stevenson University

    Stevenson , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    What is Stevenson University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    REQUEST INFO

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