Best Public Colleges in North Dakota 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in North Dakota provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public Colleges in North Dakota 2022

Colleges and Universities in North Dakota

The majority of the higher learning institutes in North Dakota are public schools and almost all of the schools could be considered small schools, serving less than 5,000 students. The state’s two largest schools, however, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo, each have a student population around 12,000 students. Tuition at both of these schools comes in just below the national average at $9,000.

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At UND and NDSU, students can study fields such as engineering, chemistry, law, and education. Additionally, students can attend one of the state’s five private schools, three of which have religious affiliations. Students who attend these schools can pursue degrees in fields like nursing, religious studies, education, and earth sciences. North Dakota also offers a private tribal college, United Tribes Technical College, located in the state’s capital, Bismarck, where students can expect to pay around $4,000 in tuition fees.

As the country’s number one producer of honey and sunflowers, and home to part of the international Peace Garden, North Dakota’s landscape is a thing of natural beauty. This magnificent state also has its fair share of one-of-a-kind attractions, including the Badlands Dinosaur Museum, which features world-class minerals and fossils, and the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center, which gives an inside look at this Native American tribe’s unique culture and traditions. The state also boasts 19 colleges and universities for students hoping to earn a higher education degree.

Discover more about earning your degree in North Dakota by exploring some of the state’s top programs.


What are North Dakota’s Colleges & Universities?

North Dakota’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, 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 bachelor’s 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. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 7 public universities in North Dakota. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in North Dakota, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

How do we determine North Dakota's best public 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.

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Best Public Colleges in North Dakota 2022

  1. #1

    University of North Dakota

    Grand Forks , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    What is University of North Dakota known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1152/23

    What is North Dakota State University known for?

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

    • Economics
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Dickinson State University

    Dickinson , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/20

    What is Dickinson State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Physics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Valley City State University

    Valley City , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1019/21

    What is Valley City State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Bismarck State College

    Bismarck , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Bismarck State College known for?

    Bismarck State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    Mayville State University

    Mayville , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/20

    What is Mayville State University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

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North Dakota’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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 North Dakota
  2. North Dakota State University
  3. Minot State University
  4. Dickinson State University
  5. Valley City State University

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