Best Research Universities in Rhode Island 2024


Interested in attending a STEM school in Rhode Island? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Of the three public schools, the University of Rhode Island is the largest, having more than 15,000 students in attendance. The main campus is located in Kingston, and the tuition rate is $14,000. The most prestigious school in the state is Brown University, a private Ivy League institution located in Providence. Over 9,000 students study on this campus in fields like biophysics, ethnic studies, and public health. Tuition is more expensive at about $55,000, but the school boasts a 96% graduation rate.

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Of the eight private schools, two are religiously affiliated. Both Salve Regina University and Providence College have under 5,000 students, though the tuition fees are more expensive at $40,000 and $51,000, respectively. Whether you seek an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Rhode Island also offers a unique opportunity for graduates. As a financial incentive to pursue a career or start a business in Rhode Island in the technology, engineering, design, or other sectors, the Wavemaker Fellowship program defrays student loan payments for up to four years.

Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state, but it has more than 400 miles of coastline, giving it the nickname The Ocean State. With sandy beaches and colonial towns, this state offers relaxation and history. Rhode Island also has 11 public and private higher education institutions with an average tuition of just over $12,000.

Meet your academic goals at one of the higher learning centers in Rhode Island. Check out the top programs to see which school fits your needs.

What are Rhode Island’s Colleges & Universities?

Rhode Island’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. We’ve identified 2 research universities in Rhode Island. To be included in our ranking, schools must be a fully accredited universities and must must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

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Best Research Universities in Rhode Island 2023

  1. #1

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at Brown University

    Cost of Degree: $65,046
    Expenses: $18,540
    Starting Salary: $89,100
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at University of Rhode Island

    Cost of Degree: $15,880
    Expenses: $17,270
    Starting Salary: $58,400
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    University of Rhode Island’s Online Degrees

    BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Find the Best Research Universities in Rhode Island for Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2024 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2023. That’s because we took a fundamentally different approach. For 2024 we utilized 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. Brown University
  2. University of Rhode Island

Check out our directory of research universities throughout the U.S. for a look at the top research institutions in every state.

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