Oklahoma’s Best Private Colleges & 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 Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s Best Private Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Oklahoma

Less than half of the schools in Oklahoma are private schools. However, students who attend one these schools can expect a more intimate college experience, as each has a student population smaller than 4,000 students. The largest private school, the University of Tulsa, offers degrees in fields like education, criminal justice, and literature, with tuition fees around $41,000. The public schools tend to be more cost-friendly, with tuition ranging from $4,000 to $9,000 per year.

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The University of Oklahoma, the state’s largest public school, costs about $9,000 and serves over 24,000 students. Here, students can partake in competitive on-campus programs in fields like communications and social work, or pursue one of the 30 graduate degrees and certificates online. Oklahoma is also home to several religiously affiliated schools, like Oral Roberts University and Bacone College. Students hoping to pursue a career as a physician, physician’s assistant, or dentist may also want to consider earning their degree here as the state offers several loan forgiveness programs to those who qualify.

The state of Oklahoma is serious about its food — so serious they even declared an official state meal, which consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie. Those hoping to feed both their bellies and their minds can attend one of Oklahoma’s more than 40 colleges and universities.

To learn more about earning your degree in Oklahoma, check out some of the state’s top programs.


What are Oklahoma’s Colleges & Universities?

Oklahoma’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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How do we determine Oklahoma'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.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 11 private universities in Oklahoma, 9 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best private universities in the state satisfies the following three 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.

Best Private Colleges & Universities in Oklahoma

  1. #1

    Oklahoma City University

    Oklahoma City , OK
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/25

    What is Oklahoma City University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/27

    What is University of Tulsa known for?

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

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    REQUEST INFO
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1114/21

    What is Oral Roberts University known for?

    Oral Roberts University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University

    Bartlesville , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Oklahoma Wesleyan University known for?

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    What is Oklahoma Christian University known for?

    Oklahoma Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    What is Oklahoma Baptist University known for?

    Oklahoma Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Southern Nazarene University known for?

    Southern Nazarene University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Mid-America Christian University known for?

    Mid-America Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  9. Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    992/18

    What is Southwestern Christian University known for?

    Southwestern Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO

Find Oklahoma’s best private school for your interest

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Photo By: Matthew Rutledge (rutlo)