North Dakota’s Best Small Colleges & Universities of 2021

Small colleges in North Dakota are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

North Dakota’s Best Small Colleges & Universities of 2021

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


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How do we determine North Dakota's best small 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.

The following list of the best small colleges and universities in North Dakota is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 6 small colleges in North Dakota, 5 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must have a student body of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 30%.

Best Small Colleges & Universities in North Dakota

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/20

    What is Minot State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #3

    University of Mary

    Bismarck , ND
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1164/23

    What is University of Mary known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  3. 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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. 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
    • Business
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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