24 Best Colleges in Oklahoma

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For Oklahoma residents there are many reasons to stay in state to attend college, university, or trade/technical school.

Reasons include state-proffered financial assistance to a diverse choice of research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and career universities. Additionally, Oklahoma has invested in its students through a structure called The Education Pipeline, a system that was designed to ensure students pass successfully from high school to college, and then onwards into fruitful employment. There are also great online options: check out our Best Online Schools in Oklahoma.

Top 10 Best Colleges in Oklahoma


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Qualified Oklahoma students are also able to receive college funding help from a program called OKPromise. Students must be an Oklahoma resident, enroll during the 8-10th grades, and be a part of a family earning under $50,000 annually. For those most qualified, they can earn a scholarship that fully covers tuition at public institutions (fees not included) or a portion at private schools.

Add to this the fact that while tuition rates are skyrocketing around the country, Oklahoma’s state system of higher education as only increased its rates 4.5 percent during the same time. In fact, the average cost of an Oklahoma four-year public institution is third-lowest in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Finally, lest the advantages all seem monetary, the objectives put forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education are notably student-centered: increase college graduates, enhance access to education, improve the quality of education, and fully prepare students to face the challenges of a global economy.

Best Colleges in Oklahoma Badge

What are the Best Colleges and Universities in Oklahoma?

At College Choice we’ve collated diverse data sets from colleges and universities across the state of Oklahoma, looking into their academic reputations, research contributions, retention rates, tuition costs, return on investment, and student formation opportunities. By gathering information that gauges pedagogical standards as well as student satisfaction, that reflects affordability as well as opportunity, we’ve honed in on a definitive list of Oklahoma’s best colleges and universities. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, OkHigherEd, OKcollegestart, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

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  1. University of Tulsa
    Location

    Tulsa, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Tulsa was founded in 1882 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by the Presbyterian Church. Today, it is a private, doctoral degree granting, accredited, coeducational institution. The university is #4 of 344 Best Christian Colleges in America (Niche); #1 in 2014 among Oklahoma universities for average starting salary and salary potential; and among the top 50 private universities.

    Features

    University of Tulsa offers over 40 majors for 3,406 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1. Average class size is 22 students.. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 160 student organizations and 15 chapters of Greek Life. The University of Tulsa participates in NCAA Division I athletics. Top majors include:

    • Petroleum Engineering
    • Finance
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Accounting

    Notables

    University of Tulsa has several time-honored traditions. Members of the John Mabee Hall organize a Toilet Bowl Flag Football game every spring – even crowning a queen and a fantastic party after the game. Graduating seniors ring the Cupola Bell after completing their last exam at TU. Several even ring the bell during Commencement activities.

  2. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
    Location

    Norman, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Oklahoma was founded in 1890 in Norman, OK by George Steele, the first governor of the Oklahoma Territory. The Norman campus was part of a 3-campus solution for the Oklahoma territory – a agricultural and mechanical college, normal school and a university. Today, the 4,190-acre Norman campus is located 20 minutes south of Oklahoma City.

    Features

    University of Oklahoma offers 170 majors for 21,844 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 17-to-1. Nearly 44% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 400 student organizations. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus participates in NCAA Division I athletics. Top majors include:

    • Health Professions and Related Programs
    • Business
    • Management
    • Marketing and Related Support Services
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Notables

    The University of Oklahoma is known for their innovative spirit that anything can grow if you have the drive to make it happen. The college town of Norman includes the best of small town experiences as well the large bustling city enterprises. It might look just like a flat prairie. But, it is an international area including bakeries, restaurants, shopping and entertainment – plenty of places to explore!

  3. Oklahoma State University-Stillwater
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oklahoma State University was founded in 1890 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, under the Morrill Act and George Steele. The Stillwater campus was part of a 3-campus solution for the Oklahoma territory – a agricultural and mechanical college, normal school and a university. Oklahoma State University is a Land-grant, sun-grant institution. The city of Stillwater is located in north central Oklahoma’s Tornado Ally where US-177 and State Highway 51 meet.

    Features

    Oklahoma State University-Main Campus offers majors for 21,046 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 18-to-1. Nearly 55% of the classes have less than 30 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 500 student organizations with fraternities and sororities. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus participates in NCAA Division I athletics. Top majors include:

    • Business Administration and Management, General
    • Accounting
    • Marketing/Marketing Management, General
    • Animal Sciences, General
    • Psychology, General

    Notables

    The legend of Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton is a tale that is ingrained into every OSU student. The story is so important to the campus community that they named the university mascot after him. This famed gunslinger from the old West is now a source of pride to the students and alums.

  4. Oklahoma City University
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oklahoma City University was founded in 1904 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Anton Classen and the United Methodist Church. The main campus has 104 park-like acres in the uptown district of Oklahoma City. The only Oklahoma institution listed in the top tier of the regional, master’s-level university category by U.S. News and World Report, Oklahoma City University is also listed in Forbes’ “Best Christian Colleges” & “100 Best College Buys.”

    Features

    Oklahoma City University offers 70 majors for 1,800 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1. The average Class size is 17 students. Nearly 75% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 80 student organizations. Oklahoma City University participates in NAIA athletics. Top majors include:

    • Nursing
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Dance
    • Acting
    • Music Teacher Education

    Notables

    Since 2010, the Oklahoma City University has made intentional strides to connect with the community to meet the economic and cultural needs of local citizens. As a response, the college has required community service as part of the curriculum and added several additions to the campus: the Meinders School of Business, The Wanda Bass School of Music, and the development of the Oklahoma River: complete with a top rowing program, boat house and beautification project.

  5. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
    Location

    Chickasha, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) was founded in 1908 in Chickasha, Oklahoma, by the persistent work of Annie Wade O’Neill, Oklahoma’s first legislature and the donations of the community including as a donation from cattleman, James B. Sparks. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma was started as preparatory school for girls. as a women’s institution. Today, USAO is co-ed on 75 acres located 43 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

    Features

    The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma offers over 22 majors for 888 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 14-to-1. Nearly 72% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 30 student organizations. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma participates in NAIA athletics. Top majors include:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies
    • Psychology
    • Social Sciences

    Notables

    The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is a the only public liberal arts college in the state. It is also the only Oklahoma college to be named a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Finally, USAO is one of the oldest original mission of any state college or university in Oklahoma.

  6. Oklahoma Christian University
    Location

    Edmond, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oklahoma Christian University was founded in 1950 in Edmond, Oklahoma, as a two-year college by the Churches of Christ. Today, it is a comprehensive Christian university. The main campus has 200 acres in a northern suburb of Oklahoma City – just 10 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City with access to jobs and internships, cultural events, and the big-city entertainment arenas like the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Features

    Oklahoma Christian University offers 60 majors for 2,002 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 13-to-1. Nearly 84% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 60 student organizations – over 1,000 students compete in 16 intramural sports. Oklahoma Christian University participates in NCAA Division II athletics. Top majors include:

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Sport and Fitness Management
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Nursing
    • Accounting

    Notables

    In August 2001, Oklahoma Christian University was one of the few college campuses in the nation to offer a campus-wide Wi-Fi access and a personal computer to all full-time students. The university is one of just two members of the 120-school Council for Christian Colleges and Universities with ABET national accreditation for three engineering programs.

  7. Northeastern State University
    Location

    Tahlequah, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern State University was founded in 1851 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as the original Cherokee national female seminary. After Oklahoma’s Statehood in 1909, the state wanted to add teaching preparation to the seminary. They purchased the property from the Cherokee Tribal government. In 1921, the name was changed as it expanded into a 4-year curriculum. Today, they have campuses in Tahlequah, Muskogee and Broken arrow. Tahlequah.

    Features

    Northeastern State University offers 54 majors for 5,001 undergraduate students. All freshmen are required to live on campus. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 26-to-1. Nearly 84% of the classes have less than 30 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 80 student organizations. Northeastern State University participates in NCAA Division II athletics. Top majors include:

    • Elementary Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

    Notables

    Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma – located within a half hour of Tulsa Oklahoma. 25% of the student population at NSU identify as Native American Indian. The university offers many courses on Native American linguistics as well as a Cherokee language education major. The area of Tahlequah offers many festivals and cultural events for the community to enjoy. When you explore the area, be sure to check out the Iguana Café and Flo’s Café.

  8. Oklahoma Baptist University
    Location

    Shawnee, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) was founded in 1906 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The main campus has 200 acres – 35 miles east of Oklahoma City, 90 miles from Tulsa, and 200 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth.

    Features

    Oklahoma Baptist University offers 87 majors for 1808 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 20-to-1. Nearly 68% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 110 student organizations. Oklahoma Baptist University is currently in year 3 of the NCAA Division II athletics application process. They also participate in NCCAA championships. Top majors include:

    • Physical Therapy
    • Nursing
    • Theological and Ministerial Studies
    • Elementary Education
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities

    Notables

    Oklahoma Baptist University has been consistently rated as one of the top institutions in the regional area. It is a top 10 regional college in the West and Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college by U.S. News and World Report. The Princeton Review calls it the one of the top 121 “Best in the West” institutions. OBU is a “American’s Best Colleges” by Forbes.

  9. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
    Location

    Bartlesville, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) was originally founded 1910 by the Wesleyan Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After a series of mergers with several other bible schools, the campus relocated to Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1959. In 2001, the school rebranded to its current name. Today, OKWU is a private, co-ed liberal arts and sciences institution on 35 acres located about 45 minutes from Tulsa and five hours from Dallas. The Bartlesville area is home to the Phillips Petroleum Company.

    Features

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University offers over 50 majors for 1,168 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 15-to-1. Nearly 86% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 30 student organizations. Oklahoma Wesleyan University participates in NAIA Division II, KCAC, NCCAA athletic conferences. Top majors include:

    • Nursing
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Business Support Services
    • Business Administration and Management
    • Theological and Ministerial Studies

    Notables

    The university’s Bartlesville, Oklahoma campus features a Spanish-style architecture of the historic La Quinta Mansion and the Josh McDowell Institute for Christian Apologetics. The university is known as a school for with the best professors and outstanding performance by CBS Money Watch and the only Christian college in Oklahoma to be named a Christian College of Distinction.

  10. Oral Roberts University
    Location

    Tulsa, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Oral Roberts University was founded in 1965 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by evangelist Oral Roberts. Today it is an interdenominational, comprehensive liberal arts university. The main campus has 236 acres and just minutes from all the downtown Tulsa experiences.

    Features

    Oral Roberts University offers 76 majors for 3,288 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 16-to-1. Nearly 63% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student have access to over 30 student organizations. Oral Roberts University participates in NCAA Division I athletics. Top majors include:

    • Ministry and Leadership
    • Business Administration
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Biology

    Notables

    Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the state’s 2nd largest city. It is a bustling metropolis with plenty of professional and cultural opportunities. For example, it is home to four major museums and various music and dance companies. Some points of interest include: the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, which houses the world’s largest collection of Thomas Moran’s work, and the internationally known Tulsa Opera and the Tulsa Ballet.

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