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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You won't find an abundance of online degree programs at The Art Institute of Las Vegas, but you will find a range of academic programs that may not be available at other Nevada colleges. The non-profit offers instruction in eight different areas including fashion, culinary arts, animation and gaming.
As an accredited school, The Art Institute of Las Vegas is focused on providing a practical education that students can use to pursue a career after graduation. It hosts programs for high school juniors and seniors as well.
The Art Institute of Las Vegas is part of a national network of schools. It gets a spot next to the top Nevada universities thanks to its solid graduation and retention rates as well as an affordable net price.
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 Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Etchers and Engravers||179.6%||40||$29,380|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||108%||420||$75,700|
|Commercial and Industrial Designers||79.1%||70||$69,010|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||65.7%||5,390||$98,120|
|Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians||51%||60||$57,310|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||49.2%||990||$136,450|
|Industrial Production Managers||48%||840||$105,090|
|Operations Research Analysts||47.7%||170||$76,400|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||45.2%||3,360||$60,440|
|Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse||44.7%||560||$29,380|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||42.2%||1,250||$110,300|
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides||42.1%||14,760||$25,050|
|Drafters, All Other||41.7%||200||$54,210|
|Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers||40.2%||140||$54,880|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary||39.9%||560||$72,580|
|Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||39.1%||470||$28,620|
|Information Security Analysts||38.6%||500||$102,770|
|Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Programmers||38.3%||180||$45,380|
|Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity||38.3%||2,620||$38,230|
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.
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
- Nevada System of Higher Education
- SSGA Upromise 529 College Savings Plan
- Nevada State GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)
- Nevada College Savings Plans
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, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2015-16, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- History, Stats & Highlights, University of Nevada, Reno, Accessed April 2018, https://www.unr.edu/about/university-history
- About UNLV, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Accessed April 2018, https://www.unlv.edu/about
- GBC Overview, Great Basin College, Accessed April 2018, http://www.gbcnv.edu/about/overview.html
- About Nevada State College, Nevada State College, Accessed April 2018, https://nsc.edu/about/
- Academics, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, Accessed April 2018, https://www.artinstitutes.edu/las-vegas/academics
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- Silver State Matching Grant, SSGA Upromise 529, accessed May 12, 2017, https://www.ssga.upromise529.com/home/nevada-benefits/silver-state-matching-grant.html
- Scholarships, Nevada Water Resources Association, accessed May 12, 2017, http://www.nvwra.org/scholarships/
- Apply for a NWF Scholarship, Nevada Women's Fund, accessed May 12, 2017, http://nevadawomensfund.org/nwf-scholarship/