Utah’s Best Research Universities of 2021

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

Utah’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Utah

Students hoping to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in Utah can choose from among 18 different colleges and universities. Ten of these schools are private, including a fully online school — Western Governors University — which serves almost 80,000 students. Brigham Young University in Provo, one of Utah’s two religiously affiliated schools, has some of the state’s top programs in religious studies, history, and business.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

While tuition at private schools can be costly, fees at these two schools fall below the national average, ranging between $6,000 and $7,000. Utah’s public universities are also on the cost-friendly side. Utah Valley University, the state’s largest public school, serves over 28,000 students and has a sticker price of about $6,000. The University of Utah, another affordable option, is close behind, with a student population of just under 28,000 students. Here, students can earn degrees in fields such as computer science, chemistry, engineering, and anthropology.

If you’re someone who lives life to the extreme, Utah may be just the place for you. Careening down the hills at its world-class ski resorts, braving the rapids on white-water rafting trips, hiking through national parks, and speeding across mountain bike trails are just some of the ways visitors and residents of The Beehive State can get their thrills. Another selling point for Utah? Average tuition for this state’s colleges and universities falls thousands of dollars below the national average.

Learn more about Utah’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s many affordable colleges and universities.


What are Utah’s Colleges & Universities?

Utah’s Best Overall

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How do we determine Utah's best 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.

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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. There are 3 research universities in Utah, all of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 40%.

Best Research Universities in Utah for Undergraduates

  1. #1

    University of Utah

    Salt Lake City , UT
    #83 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1235 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1261/25

    What is University of Utah known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #148 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #102 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/28

    What is Brigham Young University known for?

    Brigham Young University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #440 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #447 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/24

    What is Utah State University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Economics
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Research Universities in Utah for your Major

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: UofUHealthCare at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

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