25 Best Colleges in Ohio

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Best Colleges in Ohio Badge

Home to the first university in the Northwest Territory (chartered before it was even a state), Ohio can lay claim to a rich heritage of learning and education.

To this day, while it’s the seventh most populous state, Ohio places in the top five nationally for largest state university system, which serves over 400,000 students.

Of course, the public universities aren’t the only options for prospective college students. Ohio also has dozens of private universities and colleges, with some of the best liberal arts schools anywhere. So it should come as no surprise that Ohio’s public library system has been ranked the best in the country. This is a state of readers and lifelong learners.

Its fantastic educational system isn’t the only reason to consider going to college in Ohio, however. Economically, The Buckeye State remains a great place to be when looking for a job, that slightly scary post-graduation moment that you should still keep in mind, not only when deciding what to major in, but also where to go for college. Ohio consistently ranks very highly in a number of business-related rankings.

mini icon
Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Top 10 Best Colleges in Ohio

Rank School Location
1 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
2 Kenyon College Gambier, OH
3 The Ohio State University Columbus, OH
4 Oberlin College Oberlin, OH
5 The College of Wooster Wooster, OH
6 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
7 Miami University-Oxford Oxford, OH
8 University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, OH
9 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH
10 Denison University Granville, OH

Related: Top Online Colleges in Ohio.

There’s plenty of cultural richness to be enjoyed in Ohio as well. The Cleveland Indians are coming off a World Series appearance, and the Cavaliers won the NBA Finals last year. The state is also home to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Crew, and even the Ohio Machine, a Major League Lacrosse team. Ohio’s cities are home to world-class museums, and the craft beer scene is really taking off. There’s definitely something for everyone in the state.

What are the best colleges in Ohio?

So whatever draws you to Ohio, take some time to peruse our list of the state’s best colleges. We’ve put together this list to aid you in assessing not only which schools are relevant to your interests, but also which ones are feasible financially for you and your family. We want you to learn a lot, thrive on campus, and succeed once you’re done. To that end, we’ve examined data on academic reputation, student body diversity, and return on investment – how much you’ll pay versus how much you can expect to earn after the fact. Our data all comes from IPEDS, a data set courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Case Western Reserve University
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Although lots of people claim that Cleveland, OH is boring, the city is home to Case Western Reserve University, a school that is as far from boring as a person can get. This private, co-educational university has it all leading-edge research, arts, athletics, student organizations, and exciting events. Almost 12,000 students attend CWRU and slightly more than half are graduate students. The student/faculty ratio is 11:1. Founded in 1826, CWRU has a history that includes being the first college to ever exist in northern Ohio.

    Features

    Advanced, state-of-the-art research is the top priority at Case Western Reserve University. More than 1,400 research projects were funded by $360 million in annual funding. Students can conduct research across 95 undergraduate and 135 graduate programs. The most popular degrees are:

    Biomedical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Nursing Computer Science Biology

    Notables

    In the nation, Case Western Reserve University is ranked #37, and in Ohio, CWRU is ranked #1, according to U.S. News World Report. CWRU has also developed a strong reputation in several niche categories, including Biomedical Engineering, Health Law, International Law, and Nurse Midwifery. In all these categories, CWRU is rated in the top 15 nationwide by U.S. News World Report.

  2. Kenyon College
    Location

    Gambier, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With an average class size of 15 and a very low 10:1 student/faculty ratio, Kenyon College promises students that its outstanding faculty will get to know each one of them as an individual. This private, liberal arts school has 1,600 students in attendance at its Gambier, OH campus. Kenyon was founded in 1824, making it the first private college in the state of Ohio.

    Features

    Teaching and academic excellence are the trademarks of a Kenyon College education. Theres a strong sense of academic community, open-mindedness, and exploration. Kenyon offers 33 undergraduate majors, with the flexibility to allow students to find their own path. The most popular degrees include:

    English Language and Literature Economics International and Global Studies Molecular Biology Political Science

    Notables

    Because Kenyon puts a strong emphasis on learning, all classes are taught by faculty members. Not a single class is taught by a teaching assistant. Nationwide Kenyon is ranked at #27 of all liberal arts colleges and is considered #42 for best value, according to U.S. News World Report. Interestingly, there are no cable hookups within the freshman dorms, and lastly, the English program at Kenyon is world-renowned.

  3. The Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Ohio State University was established as a land-grant university in 1870 and since then has awarded over 730,400 degrees. With more than 45,000 students at its main campus, and almost 64,000 students in total, Ohio State is one of the biggest schools in the country. The student/faculty ratio is 19:1, and nearly 80% of students are from Ohio. The main campus of this public, co-educational university is located in Columbus, OH.

    Features

    The large size of The Ohio State University affords students an unparalleled array of opportunities. Ohio State has more than 200 majors and over 1,000 student organizations. From advanced research to community service activities to Division I athletics, Ohio State has something for everyone. Their most popular majors among students are:

    Psychology Finance Biology Marketing Management

    Notables

    Of all the public institutions in Ohio, The Ohio State University is ranked #1. Across the nation, Ohio State is named #16 among public universities by U.S. News World Report. Complementing Ohio States top-rated College of Medicine is the universitys Wexner Medical Center, which is comprised of 20 institutes and 6 hospitals, is a leader in medical research, and is the only academic medical center in central Ohio.

  4. Oberlin College
    Location

    Oberlin, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    What sets Oberlin College apart from other private, liberal arts schools is its world-class conservatory of music which is fully integrated into student life at Oberlin. Founded in 1833, Oberlins history includes being the first school in the U.S. to enroll African American students. Today, around 2,900 students attend Oberlin. Located in Oberlin, OH, this university has an 11:1 student/faculty ratio in the college and 6:1 in the conservatory.

    Features

    Oberlin College has always held the pursuit of social justice, environmental advocacy, and big dreams in high regard. Renowned throughout the world for its musical curriculum, Oberlin offers a dual degree program leading to a Bachelors of Arts and a Bachelors of Music. There are 55 majors that can be studied. The most popular ones are:

    Visual and Performing Arts Education Economics English Language and Literature

    Notables

    Oberlin Colleges Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the country that has operated continuously since its inception in 1865. Oberlin hosts almost 550 events related to art and music every year, including 2 operas. Nationally, Oberlin is placed as #24 among liberal arts colleges and #4 in most innovative schools by U.S. News World Report. Oberlin also ranks #13 for best teaching in undergraduate programs.

  5. The College of Wooster
    Location

    Wooster, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH considers itself as the leading college for mentored undergraduate research with 15 years of recognition as one of the best schools for undergraduate research and capstone projects by U.S. News World Report. Wooster enrolls almost 2,100 students and 99% of attendees live on campus. With a student/faculty ratio of 11:1, this private liberal arts college was founded in 1866 by a reverend who was inspired by the area surrounding Wooster.

    Features

    The College of Wooster requires every student to complete an original research project with a faculty mentor. This one-on-one mentorship promotes independent thinking, critical analysis, project organization, and presentation skills. Wooster offers around 40 undergraduate majors for students. The most popular majors include:

    Social Sciences Biomedical Sciences Philosophy and Religion History Physical Sciences

    Notables

    An impressive 92% of graduates from the College of Wooster either go on to graduate school or are employed within a year after graduation. Graduates credit their success to the critical thinking and complex research skills they learned while attending Wooster. U.S News World Report ranked Wooster as #62 out of all liberal arts colleges in the country and as #22 for best undergraduate teaching.

  6. University of Dayton
    Location

    Dayton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    As the largest private university in Ohio, the University of Dayton enrolls almost 10,000 students with a 16:1 student/faculty ratio. Located only a couple miles outside of Dayton, OH, this Catholic university was founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary. Today, UD is the top Catholic institution for sponsored engineering in the country.

    Features

    The University of Dayton follows a traditional Marianist education that addresses the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and conveys the importance of becoming servant leaders. Teaching the principles of justice, peace, and service are key elements of UDs mission. UD provides students with a choice of more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs. The most popular majors include:

    Business Management Engineering Education Health Studies

    Notables

    For 11 years running, Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have named the University of Daytons entrepreneurship program as a top 20 program in the U.S. Also, Princeton Review, Kiplingers, and Money magazine all ranked UD as a best value. To foster a sense of community and service, UD owns hundreds of houses with front porches in surrounding neighborhoods that it uses for student housing. Lastly, UDs undergraduate program in human rights studies was the first of its kind in the country.

  7. Miami University-Oxford
    Location

    Oxford, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    More than 19,000 students study at the Oxford, OH campus of Miami University. Named for the Miami Valley region in Ohio and the Native Americans who once lived there, Miami was founded in 1809. The school opened its doors to its first students in 1824. Miami is a public, co-educational university with a student/faculty ratio of 17:1.

    Features

    Miami University, Oxford builds its core education upon liberal arts and student engagement. The school prides itself on extending a personalized, academic experience and the attention typically found at a private institution to all its students but with the opportunities of a big university setting. Miami has more than 120 undergraduate majors and 73 graduate and doctoral programs. The most popular majors include:

    Business Management Education Social Sciences Recreation Fitness Studies

    Notables

    Miami University, Oxford is the #1 public school across the country for Best Undergraduate Teaching, according to U.S. News World Report. Echoing that sentiment, Fiske described the faculty as committed to student success at a public institution with the true look and feel of a private. Named a best value of public universities by Kiplingers, Miami students are involved in more than 500 organizations, including a strong tradition of Greek fraternities and sororities.

  8. University of Cincinnati
    Location

    Blue Ash, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819. Today this public, co-educational university has around 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The student/faculty ratio is 17:1. Located in Cincinnati, OH, the school provides a first-class education through experience-based learning. Scholarship and research go hand-in-hand as UC focuses on meeting the needs of its city, state, country, and world.

    Features

    In 1906, the University of Cincinnati invented the concept of co-op education, and UCs current curriculum is still underpinned by real-world learning more than 100 years later. Every UC student engages in some type of hands-on experience during their academic study. UC undergraduates can pick from over 250 undergraduate programs that lead to a degree. The most popular majors include:

    Business Management Health Programs Engineering Visual Performing Arts

    Notables

    The University of Cincinnati is the largest employer within the region and claims a $4 billion impact upon the city of Cincinnati. Additionally, the National Science Foundation ranked UC among the top 25 public research universities. U.S. News World Report named UC as a top tier public university within the country. And Forbes magazine recognized UCs campus as one of the most beautiful in the world.

  9. Ohio Northern University
    Location

    Ada, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Ohio Northern University is a small, private university located in Ada, OH, about 80 from Columbus. Originally established in 1871 by Henry S. Lehr, ONU has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1899. With almost 3,300 students currently enrolled, ONU has an 11:1 student/faculty ratio and small class sizes throughout its 5 colleges.

    Features

    Offering more than 70 areas of study, Ohio Northern University guides its students to find truth, beauty, and goodness in everything they do. Continuous growth is the overarching goal of an ONU education. Preparing students for life after ONU has resulted in 95% of students being employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. ONUs popular majors are:

    Business Management Engineering Health Studies Biology Visual Performing Arts

    Notables

    Ohio Northern University has received multiple accolades, including being named #6 of the best regional colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News World Report. The Wall Street Journal placed ONU in the top 10 of best small colleges in the Midwest. As a best value for the money, ONU ranked #1 in Ohio and #2 in the country by College Factual. Even though the university is small, there are more than 150 clubs available for student participation.

  10. Denison University
    Location

    Granville, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Denison University has an ultra-low 9:1 student/faculty ratio which ensures that its students will become active learners and collaborate closely with top-notch professors. At its Granville, OH campus, Denison enrolls approximately 2,200 students. Initially established in 1831, Denison was one of the first colleges in the original Northwest Territory in the U.S. This private, liberal arts institution is only a half hour from Columbus.

    Features

    Denison University encourages its students to become independent thinkers that can lead with integrity. Advanced reasoning and academic scholarship are some of the values that Denison emphasizes as part of its educational foundation. Denison offers around 50 areas of study and 11 pre-professional programs. New coursework was recently added in data analytics, global commerce, and narrative nonfiction writing. Denisons popular majors are:

    Social Sciences Biology Psychology Visual Performing Arts

    Notables

    The Wall Street Journal ranked Denison University among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in the country, and Kiplingers named Denison as a best value. In addition, Forbes listed Denison among top entrepreneurial colleges. Five years after graduation, 99% of alumni are either employed or pursuing graduate education and 93% of those are doing what they love.

mini icon

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online Law School Students

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online Law School Students

November 6, 2020   |   Staff Writers

Earning a law degree opens professional doors. However, law school graduates owe an average of over . Scholarships and other forms of financial aid can help law school students obtain...

College Preparation Checklist

College Preparation Checklist

October 19, 2020   |   Staff Writers

Preparing for college before the first day sets up new students for success. Beginning college can be overwhelming, even for learners who have taken college-level classes in the past. Knowing...

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.