The state of Delaware might be small, but don't count it out of your college decision.
It has a thriving economy, which could come as a huge benefit once you graduate and are looking for a job. In fact, Delaware ranks in the top 10 for most millionaires per capita. So if you're looking to make it big, this might be the place.
Related: Best Online Colleges in Delaware
Delaware has also had its place in history, laying claim to the title of "The First State," because it was the first to ratify the Constitution. It also played a role in the historic court case Brown v. Board of Education, because it was the origin of one of the four cases that were combined into that case.
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What are the best colleges in Delaware?
Hopefully, by now you're interested in the possibility of going to college in Delaware. If so, then you've come to the perfect place. In order to help you in your college search, we've put together this list of the best schools in the state, using our own methodology for assessing institutional excellence, return on investment, and satisfaction of students. Each of these three factors is assessed using data from publicly available databases: IPEDS, U.S. News & World Report, Payscale, and sites where students rank their college experience. We've done the hard work of combing through the data, and now you get to see what we've found!
See our rankings methodology page.
The University of Delaware was founded in 1743 in Newark, Delaware by the Presbytery of Lews. Some of the first students were Thomas McKean, George Read, and James Smith – signers of the Declaration of Independence. Today, the University of Delaware is a land grant, sea grant, space grant and urban grant state-supported research institution. The main campus is in Newark on 2,011 acres – about 45 miles from Philadelphia and 55-miles from Baltimore. The University of Delaware has satellite locations in Dover, Wilmington, Lews, and Georgetown.
University of Delaware 140 degree programs to over 18,00 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 16-to-1. Nearly 32% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, students have access to over 300 student organizations – including 45 Greek Chapters. The University of Delaware participates in NCAA Division I sports conference. Top majors include:
- Social Sciences
- Health Professions
University of Delaware’s study abroad program started in 1923. Today, 30% of students study abroad each year in over 100 study abroad programs in over 40 countries.
Wilmington University was founded in 1968 in New Castle, Delaware. The main campus is in New Castle; however, they have over 14 regional locations throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and online. A large portion of the students take classes online and live off campus. However, on campus, you will find a robust student community and strong connections with the staff and faculty.
Wilmington University offers over 61 majors for over 8,800 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 17-to-1. Nearly 80% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, students have access to over 40 student organizations. Wilmington University participates in NCAA Division II sports conference. Top majors include:
- Behavioral Sciences
- Organizational Behavior
- Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Administration
The university is known for their soccer teams. These events attract large numbers of students and the community. All the sports teams have done well in the past. Students who are not playing sports at the intercollegiate level have a wide variety of intramural sports with their peers.
Delaware State University
Delaware State University was founded in 1891 in Dover, Delaware as a Historically Back College and University. The main campus has 356 acres located 90 minutes from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Today, the university includes four outdoor athletic fields, two farm properties and a fleet of planes. It is known as a top ranking HBCU institution within the United States.
Delaware State University offers 42 majors for 3,900 undergraduate students. Over 80% of first-year students live on campus. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 15-to-1. Nearly 50% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, students have access to over 100 student organizations. Delaware State University participates in NCAA Division I sports conference. Top majors include:
- Business & Accounting
- Parks, Recreation, Leisure & Fitness Studies
- Criminal Justice
- Health Programs
Delaware State University is known for their marching bands. The band plays for all DSU events and competes with other bands in the region.
Wesley College was founded in 1873 in Dover, Delaware, by the United Method Church as a preparatory school. Today, Wesley College is Delaware’s oldest private institution. The main campus has 50 acres within a 2 to 3-hour drive from New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C.
Wesley College offers 30 majors for 1,500 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 13-to-1. Outside the classroom, students have access to over 32 student organizations. Wesley College participates in NCAA Division III sports conference. Top majors include:
- Kinesiology & Exercise Science
The city of Dover is home to the Dover Air Force Base, Dover Downs International Speedway, and pre-Revolutionary War buildings. Dover Downs hosts two NASCAR races annually. The city is also known for many fine restaurants – many serve fresh seafood from the Delaware Bay, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.