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Online and On-Campus Colleges in UTAH

Despite being a largely rural western state, Utah is home to several powerhouse schools. The top universities in Utah include public and private institutions as well as online colleges that serve students in the state and beyond.

The Utah System of Higher Education includes six public universities, one public college and one community college. Articulation agreements allow credits to easily transfer between schools within the system. That can be particularly beneficial for students who want to start their education at a less expensive community college and then move to a university to earn their bachelor's degree.

More than 150,000 students were enrolled in Utah's public colleges and universities in 2019, and the system has conferred nearly 270,000 degrees and certificates since 2011. These include associate, bachelor's and graduates awards.

In addition to public schools, Utah is home to a strong line-up of private colleges and universities. Brigham Young University is one of the best-known institutions in the state. The state is also the base for Western Governors University, a major source for online degrees in Utah and across the nation.

Best 4-Year Colleges in Utah

Utah colleges consist of a mix of institution types, from online colleges and public universities to private institutions and more. To find the best schools in Utah for four-year degrees, we used a methodology that considered factors such as graduation rate, tuition and program prominence. According to that criteria, these are the best colleges in Utah for four-year degrees. For an idea of the top Utah schools for two-year degrees, check out the best community colleges in Utah when you're through here.

Methodology
1University of Utah (Salt Lake City)+
Admission Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
69.5%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$9,222
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$7,505
Number of Online Programs
15

Originally founded as the University of Deseret in 1850, the University of Utah serves today as the flagship school of the Utah System of Higher Education. The faculty at its campus in Salt Lake City includes a Nobel laureate as well as dozens of honorees from distinguished organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The Salt Lake City school has 17 colleges and almost 100 departments offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. The degree catalog at The U, as the school is often called, is one of the largest among Utah colleges and includes more than 80 bachelor's degree plans. These include a highly respected Bachelor of Fine Arts in ballet and a unique dark sky studies minor.

Students here also tend to follow through with their academic commitments. The retention rate at the University of Utah is nearly 90 percent and 70 percent of students graduate within six years.

Additional Info
2Brigham Young University - Provo+
Admission Rate
64%
Graduation Rate
86.44%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$5,620
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$6,997
Number of Online Programs
0

Founded and supported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Provo campus of Brigham Young University was the institution's first brick-and-mortar location and serves as its flagship. Satellite campuses of BYU are located in Idaho and Hawaii.

As one of the top Utah Schools, BYU is internationally known and draws students from all 50 states as well as more than 100 countries. The university's more than 33,000 undergraduates have more than 180 majors to choose from. Meanwhile, 120 master's and doctoral programs are available for advanced students, including an MBA and a Master of Arts in teacher education.

As an official member of the LDS Church Educational System, BYU expects its students to adhere to a strict system of values during their time in college. Known as the Honor Code, the system enforces standards of dress and grooming and forbids alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, dishonesty, swearing and pre-marital relations.

Additional Info
3Utah State University (Logan)+
Admission Rate
89%
Graduation Rate
49.59%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$8,138
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$7,522
Number of Online Programs
21

Founded in 1888, Utah State University is the only land-grant institution in the state. Utah State University maintains more than 25 regional locations throughout the Beehive State, including residential campuses in Price and Blanding.

The main USU campus is located in Logan, a city of around 50,000 residents in the mountains of northern Utah. Logan has been named a top college town for its unique mix of arts, culture and outdoor activities, including two federally designated wilderness areas and ten major ski resorts within a two hour drive of campus.

Approximately 165 undergraduate majors and nearly 140 graduate degrees are offered on campus at USU. The school's most popular declared majors are communicative disorders and deaf education, economics and psychology. USU also one of the best colleges and universities in Utah for online degrees and online courses, offering close to 30 distance education programs for undergraduates and grad students.

Additional Info
4Southern Utah University (Cedar City)+
Admission Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
49.26%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$6,770
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$7,162
Number of Online Programs
17

Southern Utah University likes to say it has the world's best backyard. Located in Cedar City and in close proximity to national parks and monuments, its campus is both historic and beautiful. The school was founded in 1897 and today is a regional university serving approximately 10,000 students.

Those nearby national parks serve as more than just scenery for students at SUU. The institution has an educational partnership with the National Park Service that allows it to offer its Semester in the Parks initiative, a 16-credit field experience program that features courses in outdoor recreation, geology, biology, library science and communication taught on-site in Bryce Canyon.

Top-notch student athletes flock to the Cedar City campus, as well. The SUU Thunderbirds compete in the Big Sky Conference and have fielded championship teams in football, basketball, softball and cross country.

Additional Info
5Weber State University (Ogden)+
Admission Rate
Open
Graduation Rate
33.71%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$5,859
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$4,829
Number of Online Programs
17

Weber State University is another of larger public institutions among the best universities in Utah. More than 28,000 students attend classes here, and the school offers more than 240 programs that lead to degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Located in Ogden, Weber State University is an integral part of the local community. It hosts sports camps and coordinates Science in the Parks and Arts in the Parks days to be run in conjunction with the Ogden City School District's free lunch program. The school has other locations in five communities including Roy, Clearfield and Morgan.

More than half of WSU students are enrolled on a part-time basis. Night and weekend classes can help adult learners be successful, and its 10+ study plans in the virtual classroom rank it among Utah's more diverse online colleges. Fully online degrees include an associate degree in early childhood, bachelor's degree in health information management and master's degree in criminal justice.

Additional Info
6Westminster College (Salt Lake City)+
Admission Rate
93%
Graduation Rate
60.55%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$34,000
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$19,022
Number of Online Programs
5

Westminster College was established in 1875 and operates four academic schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, the School of Education and the School of Nursing and Health Services. All four confer undergraduate and graduate degrees.

This private, comprehensive university located in the eclectic Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City is one of the best schools in Utah for a close-knit learning environment. The average class size at Westminster College is just 15 undergraduate students, and the ratio of eight students per faculty member is significantly better than the national average.

More than 2,200 learners comprise the student body here, with the majority of them pursuing bachelor's degrees. Online degree programs are available at the graduate level in business, communication and nursing, with one online Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) plan available for undergraduates.

Additional Info
7Utah Valley University (Orem)+
Admission Rate
Open
Graduation Rate
34.6%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$5,726
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$6,025
Number of Online Programs
11

Utah Valley University features open admission, meaning that all applicants are accepted regardless of their test scores or academic performance. Thanks in part to its inclusive enrollment policy, it boasts the largest student body in the state. More than 38,000 students were enrolled in the fall of 2019.

The school's campus in Orem is located near the scenic Wasatch Mountains and has a reputation for being one of the safest in the nation. Students who live outside of Orem can also attend UVU classes, at satellite campuses in Heber City, Spanish Fork, Lehi and Provo Municipal Airport.

There are nearly 250 programs to choose from at UVU, including more than 90 four-year bachelor's degrees. A selection of master's degrees is available as well, in disciplines like business administration, education, nursing, social work and public service. As one of the best schools in Utah for distance learners, there are online degrees in three dozen fields including aviation management and dental hygiene.

Additional Info
8Eagle Gate College - Layton+
Admission Rate
Open
Graduation Rate
74.6%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$13,605
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$4,263
Number of Online Programs
9

Unlike other top Utah schools that teach a variety of subjects, Eagle Gate College focuses exclusively on health care education. Its accelerated programs are designed for working adults and non-traditional students and feature online learning for those who need a flexible schedule.

At Eagle Gate's Layton location, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It's a hybrid program that has three start dates throughout the year. Students complete the first year's work entirely online, and then spend one or two days on campus each week after that to learn hands-on skills. Classes are small and typically have only 20-25 students.

Eagle Gate maintains five campuses in total. In addition to its Layton location, there are two other schools in Utah as well as two in Idaho.

Additional Info
9Snow College (Ephraim)+
Admission Rate
Open
Graduation Rate
45.09%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$3,742
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$4,792
Number of Online Programs
1

Although now a public institution, Snow College was founded by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1888. At that time, it was known as Sanpete Stake Academy. By 1931, the school had changed its name to Snow College and became state-supported.

Today, Snow College is one of the best schools in Utah and was ranked number one in the nation for student success by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It has an 85-percent success rate and is one of the top 150 schools named nationwide for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

As primarily a two-year school, most Snow College programs result in diplomas, certificates or associate degrees. However, it does have two bachelor's degree programs: one in music with an emphasis on commercial music and the other in software engineering.

Additional Info
10Eagle Gate College - Murray+
Admission Rate
Open
Graduation Rate
74.55%
Tuition & Fees
?In-State Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
$10,975
Avg. Amount of Aid Per Student
$4,878
Number of Online Programs
10

The Murray campus is one of three Eagle Gate College locations in Utah. The school has a specialized focus in preparing students for careers in the fast-growing health care field. In addition to Utah, the college has campuses in Idaho.

At Eagle Gate College - Murray, students can select from three nursing degrees or a diploma in medical assisting. The nursing degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing and an entry master's program for students without a nursing background.

The programs at Eagle Gate run on an accelerated schedule and many have convenient, online classes designed for working adults and non-traditional students. A diploma can be earned in ten months while a bachelor's degree program may be completed in only three years.

Additional Info
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Most Popular Degree Programs in Utah

While some majors are popular nationwide, others reflect the interests and economy of a particular state. Here's a look at which degrees are top choices in Utah.

Costs, Financial Aid and Scholarships in Utah

You won't have to pay a lot to go to many of the best universities in Utah, particularly if you are a state resident. Even private schools in the state have lower than average tuition rates, thanks in part to deep discounts offered to LDS members by church-affiliated institutions such as Brigham Young University.

The following is a look at the average published rates for Utah colleges and universities in 2017-2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • Public 2-Year Schools (in-state): $3,781
  • Public 2-Year Schools (out-of-state): $12,020
  • Public 4-Year Schools (in-state): $6,557
  • Public 4-Year Schools (out-of-state): $20,168
  • Private 4-Year Schools: $7,548

Financial aid may be available to qualified applicants to pay for both on-campus and online Utah degree programs.

To apply for government assistance, students first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. The Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority then administers approved federal student loans through its CornerStone Education Loan Services program. Aid may also available through private loans, grants and scholarships, many of which require completion of the FAFSA.

For more information on how to cover the cost of top colleges in Utah, see our guide on How to Pay for College.

 
Utah Centennial Opportunity Program for Education (UCOPE)
Applicant must be attending an UHEAA school. Selection is based upon financial need. FAFSA is required.
More

MAX. AWARD AMOUNT

$5,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

 

 

 
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
Applicant must be attending a public or private non-profit institution or post-secondary vocational school in Utah which has a participating agreement with the organization. Selection is based upon financial need. FAFSA is required.
More

MAX. AWARD AMOUNT

$2,500

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

 

 

 
Youthlinc Young Humanitarian Award
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, legal residents or have DACA status and be either Utah high school juniors or seniors or be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited college or university in Utah.
More

MAX. AWARD AMOUNT

$5,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

March 1

 

 

 
Garage Door Repair Scholarship
Applicants must be graduating from a Utah-based high school with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and plan on enrolling in any trade or vocational training program in Utah.
More

MAX. AWARD AMOUNT

$500

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 30

 

 

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

Careers in Utah

If you're not sure what to study, consider taking a career quiz to narrow your interests. Students hoping to work in Utah after their graduation may also want to look for a degree program that meets the state's employment needs. Here are some recent facts about Utah careers:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported Utah has the 5th greatest worker shortage in the nation, as of January 2020, meaning there may be good job opportunities across multiple industries.
  • There were 24,241 housing permits issued in Utah in 2018, making it a national leader in homebuilding. However, the construction industry has had difficulty finding enough qualified workers in recent years.
  • Utah's technology sector accounted for one in seven state jobs in 2018 and continues to fuel demand for skilled workers who can fill high-paying jobs.
Career TitleProjected Job GrowthTotal EmploymentAnnual Salary
Statisticians87%550$71,320
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers71.3%18,480$101,380
Roustabouts, Oil and Gas69.4%320$46,600
Private Detectives and Investigators64.2%130$64,440
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary64%2,360$144,740
Operations Research Analysts60.3%1,690$74,830
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists59.5%8,370$57,730
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary59.2%340$82,790
Management Analysts57.4%4,330$76,560
Hydrologists57.1%70$83,020
Credit Counselors56.5%670$41,850
Physical Therapist Assistants56.2%800$55,130
Medical Appliance Technicians56.1%450$38,080
Service Unit Operators, Oil and Gas55.8%360$60,560
Dental Laboratory Technicians55.3%890$47,870
Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic55.2%1,080$35,800
Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other55%140$74,040
Physician Assistants54.7%1,230$104,740
Film and Video Editors54%250$50,420
Respiratory Therapists53.9%1,070$62,210
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists53.5%1,350$70,910
Home Health and Personal Care Aides51.7%14,080$27,430
Information Security Analysts51.5%930$88,480
Animal Caretakers51.4%2,320$26,650
Nurse Practitioners51.2%1,640$105,240
Biochemists and Biophysicists51.2%150$59,740
Brickmasons and Blockmasons51.2%1,690$45,260
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters50.5%500$37,790
Physical Therapist Aides50.2%900$23,300
Structural Iron and Steel Workers50.2%1,230$46,960
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Additional Resources

Article Sources
Methodology

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

  1. The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018-19
  2. The average amount of aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
  3. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
  4. Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2017-18
  5. 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2016-17
  6. No. of degree and certificate programs offered on campus, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
  7. No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
  8. Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2018
  9. Full-time student retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2018
  10. Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
  11. Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  12. Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018-19
    1. Dual credit
    2. Credit for life experience
    3. Advanced Placement credit
    4. Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    5. Remedial services
    6. Academic and career counseling
    7. Job placement services for graduates
    8. Guaranteed tuition plan
    9. Tuition payment plan
    10. Any other alternative tuition plan

Note: Tuition prices are based on data for the 2018-19 academic year reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

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Article Sources
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed April 2020, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=GA&ic=1
  • Data, Utah System of Higher Education, accessed April 2020, https://ushe.edu/data/
  • Average undergraduate tuition and fees and room and board rates charged for full-time students in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control and level of institution and state or jurisdiction: 2016-17 and 2017-18, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed April 2020, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_330.20.asp?current=yes
  • Utah facing 5th greatest workforce shortage in America, U.S. Chamber study finds, January 14, 2020, Utah Policy, accessed April 2020, https://www.utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/22660-utah-facing-5th-greatest-workforce-shortage-in-america-u-s-chamber-study-finds
  • Utah Construction is Booming. But With High Demand And Not Enough Workers, Competition is Fierce, Jon Reed, November 14, 2019, KUER, accessed April 2020, https://www.kuer.org/post/utah-construction-booming-high-demand-and-not-enough-workers-competition-fierce#stream/0
  • Utah's tech sector accounted for 1 in 7 jobs in the state, bringing high wages and fast growth, Tony Semerad, July 31, 2019, The Salt Lake Tribune, accessed April 2020, https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/07/30/utahs-tech-sector/
  • Article Sources
  • School pages, accessed April 2020: About, The University of Utah, https://www.utah.edu/about/; Major Exploration Program, The University of Utah, https://advising.utah.edu/majors/quick-look/index.php; Fast Facts, The University of Utah, https://www.obia.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Fast-Facts-vDec2017.pdf; About, Utah State University, https://www.usu.edu/about/; USU Eastern Blanding Campus Housing, Utah State University, https://usueastern.edu/blanding/housing/index; Price Campus, Utah State University, https://usueastern.edu/about/price; Find a Degree, Utah State University, http://www.usu.edu/degrees/index.cfm?browse; Online Degree Programs, Utah State University, https://online.usu.edu/degrees/; Location, Utah State University, https://www.usu.edu/location/; Southern Utah University, https://www.suu.edu/; University of the Parks, Southern Utah University, https://www.suu.edu/news/2016/02/university-of-the-parks.html; Southern Utah Thunderbirds, Southern Utah University, http://www.suutbirds.com/; About, Brigham Young University, https://www.byu.edu/about; Facts and Figures, Brigham Young University, http://news.byu.edu/byu-numbers; Church Educational System Honor Code, Brigham Young University, https://policy.byu.edu/view/index.php?p=26; About Us, Westminster College, https://www.westminstercollege.edu/about; Undergraduate Life at Westminster, Westminster College, https://www.westminstercollege.edu/undergraduate/life-at-westminster; Online Programs, Westminster College, https://www.westminstercollege.edu/online/programs; About WSU, Weber State University, https://www.weber.edu/AboutWSU/; 125 Facts in Honor of the University's 125th Anniversary, Weber State University, https://www.weber.edu/WSUToday/125Facts.html; Flexible Degree Options, Weber State University, http://departments.weber.edu/ce/options/flexible/default.asp; WSU Online, Weber State University, https://continue.weber.edu/wsuonline/; Why UVU, Utah Valley University, https://www.uvu.edu/whyuvu/; Degrees and Programs, Utah Valley University, https://www.uvu.edu/catalog/current/departments/degrees-programs.html#graduate; Visiting Campus, Utah Valley University, https://www.uvu.edu/visitors/visitingcampus.html; Layton Campus, Eagle Gate College, https://www.eaglegatecollege.edu/locations/layton/; About Snow, Snow College, , https://www.snow.edu/pr/quickfacts.html; Murray Campus, Eagle Gate College, https://www.eaglegatecollege.edu/locations/murray/; The Beginnings of the University of Utah, Utah History to Go, http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/pioneers_and_cowboys/thebeginningsoftheuniversityofutah.html
  • Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time, Trends in Higher Education, The College Board, accessed April 2020, https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-and-board-over-time
  • QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau : Logan, Utah, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/logancityutah/PST045216; St. George, Utah, https://www.census.gov/About Us, UHEAA Accessed April 2020, https://www.uheaa.org/about
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2017-18, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/

Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2020 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved

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