Online and On-Campus Colleges in NEVADA

If you're looking for the right place to earn your bachelor's degree in Nevada, you probably have a lot of questions about how your options stack up to one another. What degree programs are the most popular with Nevada students? What kind of financial aid is available for in-state residents? How can you focus your education in such a way that you're prepared for the career market once you graduate?

Students at Nevada's community colleges may have some advantages when it comes to transferring credits to the top four-year institutions in the state. Remember to check with a transfer advisor at your two-year school if you're hoping to move into a university program after earning your associate degree.

Best 4-Year Colleges in Nevada

What makes a school one of the best colleges in Nevada? We think it has to do with degree availability, affordable tuition and student success. To determine which Nevada schools offer these things we used a methodology that considered factors such as graduation rates and whether online degrees are offered. Based on that analysis, these are the top universities in Nevada. For additional insight into education in the state, check out the top community colleges in Nevada, too. 

1University of Nevada-Reno+
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The Reno campus of the University of Nevada makes the list thanks, in part, to its strong graduation and retention rates. A large catalog of degree programs and affordable tuition also contribute to its being among the best universities in Nevada.

The University of Nevada, Reno was founded in 1874 in Elko. However, by 1885, the public school was approved to move to the more populated city of Reno. Over the years, the historic institution has gained attention not only from students, but from Hollywood producers who decided the university provided the perfect backdrop for filming movies.

Today, the University of Nevada, Reno is known as a comprehensive institution of learning. It offers more than 145 degree programs through its 11 colleges and schools. Online courses and degrees are also available for distance learners.

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2University of Nevada-Las Vegas+
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Just like the city it calls home, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is different, daring and diverse. Not only is it one of the top schools in Nevada, but it is also the largest. However, its 30,000+ students won't necessarily have to worry about big tuition bills. UNLV is one of the more affordable Nevada colleges.

The school offers hundreds of majors, minors and concentrations through its 15 colleges and schools. Its diverse student body can choose from everything from liberal arts majors to specialized programs in fields such as dental medicine, fine arts, medicine, law and urban affairs.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas opened its doors in 1957. While originally a branch of the University of Nevada, Reno, the school became an independent institution in 1968.

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3Great Basin College+
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When it comes to affordable education, another of the best schools in Nevada is Great Basin College. Thanks to its low tuition rate, students may be able to avoid the student loan debt that can plague graduates of most expensive institutions.

GBC started as a technical college in 1967. Since then, it has expanded its academic programs and now offers both associate degrees and bachelor's degrees as well as certificates of achievement and skills certificates. Great Basin College was also one of the early adopters of online degrees and has a robust catalog of fully online programs.

The main campus for GBC is in Elko. However, there are also four learning centers and a dozen satellite facilities across the college's service area.

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4Nevada State College+
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Students are invited to be bold at Nevada State College. The institution makes it easy to say yes to that invitation too, given its affordable tuition rate. What's more, generous financial aid packages -- totaling $20 million a year -- can lower the price even further.

In addition to being one of the best Nevada schools, Nevada State College says it's one of the fastest growing public colleges in the nation. More than 4,000 students are enrolled in the college's schools of liberal arts and sciences, nursing and education. There is an emphasis on hands-on learning, and internships are encouraged.

Nevada State College is one of the youngest Nevada colleges. It was first envisioned in 1999, and its doors opened in 2002. The school's campus is in Henderson.

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Most Popular Degree Orograms in Nevada

Maybe you still need some inspiration in picking your major, and maybe you've already decided and just want to know what your fellow students are choosing most often. Here's a list of the top bachelor's programs by enrollment in Nevada.

In-Demand Careers in Nevada

The career market can be unpredictable sometimes, but knowing which way the employment projections expect it to move can help you plan your approach to the job search after graduation. Check out this list of high-demand careers in Nevada.

Career TitleProjected Job GrowthTotal EmploymentAnnual Salary
Etchers and Engravers179.6%40$29,380
Mechanical Drafters133.8%260$53,260
Mechanical Engineers109.2%1,210$91,070
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment108%420$75,700
Electrical Engineers91.5%640$87,470
Industrial Engineers86.3%910$91,220
Commercial and Industrial Designers79.1%70$69,010
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers65.7%5,390$98,120
Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians51%60$57,310
Sales Engineers49.4%-$106,010
Technical Writers49.4%220$70,480
Architectural and Engineering Managers49.2%990$136,450
Industrial Production Managers48%840$105,090
Operations Research Analysts47.7%170$76,400
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists45.2%3,360$60,440
Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse44.7%560$29,380
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary42.2%1,250$110,300
Home Health and Personal Care Aides42.1%14,760$25,050
Drafters, All Other41.7%200$54,210
Respiratory Therapists41.6%1,410$77,760
Procurement Clerks41.4%500$39,490
Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers40.2%140$54,880
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary39.9%560$72,580
Physician Assistants39.8%700$121,540
Nurse Practitioners39.7%-$115,970
Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters39.1%470$28,620
Information Security Analysts38.6%500$102,770
Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Programmers38.3%180$45,380
Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity38.3%2,620$38,230
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Financial Aid and Scholarships in Nevada

Here are a few financial aid programs available specifically to Nevada students. The Nevada Water Resources Association awards one $1,000 scholarship annually to an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in the water resources field. Additionally, The Nevada Women's Fund awards scholarships between $500 and $5,000 to female students in Nevada, with preference given to those attending schools in the northern part of the state.

Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship Program
Applicants must graduate from a Nevada public or private high school with a GPA of 3.25 or higher, pass all areas of the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam and have been a resident of Nevada for at least two years in high school.







Ann Horvath Memorial Scholarship
Applicant must be an entering or current student who is a Nevada resident majoring in elementary education. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.







Nevada Women's Fund Scholarship
Applicant must be a woman and a resident of northern Nevada. Preference is given to female students at the University of Nevada & Community College System in Northern Nevada.







Nevada Women's Fund Scholarships
Northern Nevada residents and those attending northern Nevada schools receive preference. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited two or four year degree or certifying program, will take a minimum of 6 to 8 credits per semester and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.







Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2024 by CollegeXpress.

Additional Resources

Article Sources

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,383 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the following data points and the weights specified. In order to be included in the ranking, schools had to report data for each of the following data points:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2015-16
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered on campus, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2016
  • Full-time student retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2016
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
  • Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan

Note:Tuition prices are based on data for the 2016-17 academic year reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.
All of the National Center for Education Statistics data came from IPEDS:
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics,
Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2015-16, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education,

Article Sources
  • History, Stats & Highlights, University of Nevada, Reno, Accessed April 2018,
  • About UNLV, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Accessed April 2018,
  • GBC Overview, Great Basin College, Accessed April 2018,
  • About Nevada State College, Nevada State College, Accessed April 2018,
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics,
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education,
  • Silver State Matching Grant, SSGA Upromise 529, accessed May 12, 2017,
  • Scholarships, Nevada Water Resources Association, accessed May 12, 2017,
  • Apply for a NWF Scholarship, Nevada Women's Fund, accessed May 12, 2017,
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