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Connecticut Universities Ranked: The Best Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

Gloriane Mangindin - June 28, 2022

Connecticut is a great place to study, with Connecticut universities ranked among the best in the US thanks to strong academic programs, competitive sports teams, and the idyllic New England scenery. The best universities in Connecticut blend vibrant learning environments with meaningful campus life, offering opportunities for full-time and part-time students alike.

What are the best colleges in Connecticut? This article ranks the top 10 universities in Connecticut, taking into account both public and private schools. With details about each school’s graduation and acceptance rates, academic reputations, financial aid, and student services, you’ll have everything you need to find the best Connecticut college for you.

What Are the Best Universities in Connecticut?

The best universities in Connecticut are Yale University, Wesleyan University, University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, and Quinnipiac University. These universities are considered the best in Connecticut because they have strong academic reputations and are invested in student success, as evidenced by their high graduation rates.

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How Many Universities Are in Connecticut?

There are 40 universities and colleges in Connecticut, 22 of which are public schools. The best universities in Connecticut offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, and some offer online courses as well as their on-campus programs.

What Are the Biggest Universities in Connecticut?

The biggest universities in Connecticut by enrollment are University of Connecticut, Post University, Yale University, Central Connecticut State University, and Quinnipiac University. Below is a list of these five schools including their student populations.

Largest Connecticut Universities by Enrollment

  1. University of Connecticut | 27,215
  2. Post University | 13,844
  3. Yale University | 12,060
  4. Central Connecticut State University | 10,652
  5. Quinnipiac University | 9,746

Connecticut University Rankings: What Are the Top 10 Universities in Connecticut?

Ranking School City Graduation Rate
1 Yale University New Haven 97%
2 Wesleyan University Middletown 91%
3 Fairfield University Fairfield 84%
4 University of Connecticut Storrs 83%
5 Quinnipiac University Hamden 80%
6 Sacred Heart University Fairfield 73%
7 Eastern Connecticut State University Willimantic 57%
8 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford 56%
9 Central Connecticut State University New Britain 55%
10 Southern Connecticut State University New Haven 52%

How We Defined Connecticut University Rankings

Our ranking of the 10 best Connecticut universities is based on the graduation rates of top schools in the state, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In coming up with our list of 10 Connecticut universities, we also consulted rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education, which you can reference in the expanded list below.

The Best Colleges and Universities in Connecticut, Explained

Our list of the top 10 universities in Connecticut includes the best programs to study at each school, post-graduation salaries, and statistics like national rankings and graduation rates. Information about specific academic programs has been sourced from each university’s official website.


Yale University

Grad Rate: 97%

Yale University is a private research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale is part of the Ivy League and is consistently ranked among the top universities in the US. This school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, non-degree programs, and online courses. Yale students benefit from a stellar four-to-one student-faculty ratio.

Yale University Overview

  • Campus Location: New Haven
  • Student Population: 12,060
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $88,655
  • US News National Ranking: #5
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #9

Best Yale University Programs

  • BS in Electrical Engineering. This program is the most challenging of Yale’s four-year degrees in electrical engineering. The curriculum includes topics like neural networks, stochastic processing, and photovoltaic energy. Students must complete a senior-year design project in order to graduate.
  • BS in Computer Science. The computer science bachelor’s can be combined with a double major in electrical engineering, economics, math, or psychology. Students learn programming, data structures, and computer architecture. Seniors complete a capstone project, designing and completing original research with the help of a faculty advisor.
  • BS in Environmental Engineering. This interdisciplinary program allows students to choose a focus on environmental engineering technology, sustainability, global health, economics, or energy and climate change. Graduates will be prepared to work in industry or government agencies, or pursue master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • Master’s in Public Education Management. This is a tuition-free, 14-month graduate program that helps K-12 educational professionals gain essential leadership skills . This is a selective program with strict admission criteria. It can be completed while working full time.
  • Master of Health Science. The Yale School of Medicine offers this two-year master’s degree program, which can focus on medical fields like genetics, anaesthesiology, and psychiatry. The MHS can also be completed in an MHS/MD dual-degree program.


Wesleyan University

Grad Rate: 91%

Wesleyan University is a small, private institution and one of the most well-known liberal arts colleges in the US. Wesleyan University's famous alumni include singer Santigold and Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick. Students can choose between 45 different majors, participate in 275 student clubs, and take advantage of their world-class arts center.

Wesleyan University Overview

  • Campus Location: Middletown
  • Student Population: 3,053
  • Acceptance Rate: 21%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $68,102
  • US News National Ranking: #17
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #43

Best Wesleyan University Programs

  • BA in Computer Science. In this program, you will learn different high-level programming languages, algorithms, and data structures. A capstone project is not required, but students receive honors in the major by participating in a research project or writing a senior thesis.
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS). This is a unique opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree without living on campus, ideal for adult learners. The 32-credit program can be taken part time, and students can choose concentrations in the arts and humanities, social and behavioral Sciences, or natural sciences and mathematics.
  • PhD in Chemistry. Chemistry PhD students complete the core courses, qualifying examinations, electives in their concentration area, and dissertation showcasing original research. They also work as teaching assistants for at least two semesters. The two concentration areas offered are chemical physics and molecular biophysics.
  • PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science. This is a rigorous doctoral program, requiring coursework, a dissertation, and knowledge of either French, German, or Russian. Students can choose between many specializations, including computational logic, non-Euclidian geometry, and number theory.
  • MA in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students in this master’s program are expected to complete original research in geology, volcanology, ocean sciences, planetary science, or environmental science. Students received a full-tuition waiver and a living stipend as part of a work-study arrangement with the department.


Fairfield University

Grad Rate: 84%

Fairfield University is a private institution located in Fairfield, Connecticut, a suburb one hour north of New York City. The school has dedicated schools for the arts and sciences, business, engineering, nursing, and education. Fairfield’s athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I, and life on campus is enriched by student clubs, an art museum, and a spiritual center.

Fairfield University Overview

  • Campus Location: Fairfield
  • Student Population: 5,513
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $86,060
  • US News National Ranking: #3
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #190

Best Fairfield University Programs

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. This clinically-focused doctoral program teaches nursing students how to treat patients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders. Students will be prepared for the ANCC exam for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.
  • MA in School Psychology. This 33-credit graduate program includes core courses like behavioral statistics, psychopathology, and multicultural issues in counseling. Students must pass a comprehensive examination to graduate. Students have opportunities to apply their skillset in school and clinical settings while studying.
  • BA in Digital Journalism. The English Department at Fairfield University offers this journalism program. Coursework includes news writing, big data storytelling, and ethics of communications. Students can benefit from internships with media outlets in Fairfield or in New York City.
  • BS in Computer Science. This undergraduate degree includes 127 credits, distributed across core courses in programming and computing, advanced math courses, and computer science electives. Students can specialize in software engineering or computer engineering.
  • BA in Communication. Communication students take foundation classes, like human communication theories, along with advanced electives, such as intercultural communication and critical media studies. Fairfield also allows students to pursue an accelerated BA/MA track.


University of Connecticut

Grad Rate: 83%

The University of Connecticut is a public institution that offers a wide range of programs in academic fields like environmental science, cognitive science, engineering physics, ecology, and geography. This school has more than 80 research centers and facilities. UConn is a NCAA Division I school, so cheering on the athletic teams is a big part of life on campus.

University of Connecticut Overview

  • Campus Locations: Storrs, Groton, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, and Farmington
  • Student Population: 27,215
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $72,460
  • US News National Ranking: #63
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #401-500

Best University of Connecticut Programs

  • BS in Computer Engineering. This program combines computer science and electrical engineering in its curriculum. It requires students to complete six credits of design laboratory courses, three credits of electives, and nine credits of professional requirements. Students can also specialize in naval science and technology.
  • BS in Marketing. Students in this program learn about distribution channels, pricing, branding, and communication. Concentrations include digital marketing and analytics, professional sales leadership, and social responsibility and impact in business. The Marketing Department offers internship opportunities for hands-on learning.
  • BS in Management Information Systems. Graduates of this program can build and use business information systems. The curriculum is focused on core business concepts such as accounting, finance, and management. Students have the option to complete an internship organized by the Operations and Information Management Department.
  • BA in Communication. This program teaches how communication is used in different settings and common communication styles and disciplines, including intercultural, nonverbal, and interpersonal communication. The program blends core courses, writing courses, electives, internships, and research.
  • BA in Mathematics. The Bachelor’s in Mathematics requires students to complete 27 credits of core math coursework, plus 12 credits of electives like applied mathematical logic and elements of topology. This program teaches undergraduate students a broad curriculum of contemporary mathematics without concentrated specializations.


Quinnipiac University

Grad Rate: 80%

Quinnipiac University is a private institution offering 140 programs across its nine schools. Quinnipiac’s undergraduate engineering program is ranked #75 in the nation by the US News & World Report. The school emphasizes student life, with NCAA Division I athletic teams, more than 140 student organizations, and cultural events for students.

Quinnipiac University Overview

  • Campus Locations: Hamden, North Haven
  • Student Population: 9,746
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $75,575
  • US News National Ranking: #148
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #242

Best Quinnipiac University Programs

  • BS in Civil Engineering. This is an on-campus program that cultivates hands-on knowledge of engineering through the school’s workshops and labs, including a fully functional wind tunnel. One-hundred percent of 2021 program graduates were employed within six months of graduation.
  • MS in Nursing. This program is for working professionals who want to expand their skillsets. Students choose between the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner tracks. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering. Students in this program get hands-on experience in Quinnipiac’s laboratories and facilities, like the 3D printing room and circuits lab. The curriculum blends engineering concepts, math, biology, chemistry, and social sciences to create an interdisciplinary learning experience.
  • BS in Applied Business. Quinnipiac’s business school is ranked in the top five percent of schools worldwide. This 122-credit bachelor’s degree includes foundational business courses, social sciences and humanities classes, and advanced electives in business and management. Graduates from this program will be well prepared for MBA programs.
  • Master of Laws in Health Law. This is a supplemental master’s program for students who have already completed their JD degree programs and want to build a specialized foundation in health law. The curriculum covers topics like bioethics, food and drug law, and worker’s compensation. The program can be completed part-time.


Sacred Heart University

Grad Rate: 73%

Sacred Heart University is a private institution with multiple locations across Connecticut. The Catholic university has six schools, including dedicated schools to social work, health professions, and the arts. Sacred Heart students participate on NCAA Division I sports teams, enjoy a robust performing arts program, and can study at the school’s international campuses in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Sacred Heart University Overview

  • Campus Locations: Fairfield, Bridgeport, Griswold, and Stamford
  • Student Population: 9,313
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $72,191
  • US News National Ranking: #202
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #401-500

Best Sacred Heart University Programs

  • MS in Business Analytics. This program teaches students to work with data using methodological approaches and statistical analysis. Concentrations include business analytics, business data science, financial applications, healthcare analytics, and marketing analytics. The 30-credit program includes hands-on learning via internships.
  • MS in Cyber Security. Sacred Heart is the only Connecticut college with an NSA-endorsed cyber security master’s program . The program accommodates part-time graduate students, with most earning the degree in 12 to 18 months, and students can choose to write a thesis or complete a non-thesis degree track.
  • BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology. This program blends coursework with experiential learning via internships, supervised research, and elective labs. Students choose between five areas of specialization, which include molecular and cellular biology, developmental and evolutionary biology, microbiology, pharmacology and toxicology, and genetics.
  • BS in Sport Management. Students in this program can blend their passion for athletics with practical business skills. Those who earn this degree can work in venue and event management, sports merchandising, sports marketing, sport tourism, sport media, and sport law.
  • BS in Nursing. This BSN program provides students with hands-on practice in clinical settings. Junior and senior students also have the unique opportunity to complete their required clinical hours by joining international nursing teams in Jamaica and Guatemala.


Eastern Connecticut State University

Grad Rate: 57%

Eastern Connecticut State University is a public institution that offers 41 different academic programs, including biology, education, technology, sciences, and arts. Student life is a priority at Eastern Connecticut State, with varsity and intramural sports teams, 90 student organizations, and 2,500 cultural events for students planned each year.

Eastern Connecticut State University Overview

  • Campus Location: Willimantic
  • Student Population: 4,644
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $49,907
  • US News National Ranking: #85
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #501-600

Best Eastern Connecticut State University Programs

  • MS in Educational Technology. This master’s degree is designed for current educators looking to expand their skillset in the classroom. Online courses allow students to earn their degree while teaching full-time. This program requires 30 credits of core courses, electives, and culminating experience courses.
  • MS in Organizational Management. This program is designed to help working professionals develop their leadership and management skills in an interactive environment. Suitable for those working in private and public sector jobs alike, students complete coursework, a capstone seminar, and a thesis project.
  • BS in Computer Science. This program provides hands-on learning for students through computer science internships and research projects in bioinformatics, mobile apps, computer hardware, and data mining. Computer science degrees are in high demand, so graduates can work for prestigious companies like IBM and Pfizer or a major research institution like UC Berkeley.
  • BA in Political Science. Political science students study laws, governmental structures, and public policy. They work in fields like foreign service, activism, and politics. Organizations on campus like the pre-law society and Campus Democrats are a great complement to political science coursework and internships.
  • BA in Music. Music students choose between concentrations in performance, musicology, and the music industry. Graduates can pursue careers in performance, arts administration, music production, education, and composition. Music students benefit from the school’s many performance ensembles and extracurricular activities in the arts.


University of Saint Joseph

Grad Rate: 56%

University of Saint Joseph is a private institution in West Hartford with dedicated schools for pharmacy and health sciences. The University has medical research facilities that offer students experiential learning in a workplace setting. Undergraduate students get individualized attention, thanks to the small student body and eight-to-one student-faculty ratio.

University of Saint Joseph Overview

  • Campus Location: West Hartford
  • Student Population: 2,305
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $46,100
  • US News National Ranking: #187
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #240

Best University of Saint Joseph Programs

  • BS in Biochemistry. Accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), this biochemistry program teaches essential knowledge needed for the ASBMB certification exam. Students can move on to grad school or start careers as chemists, data scientists, forensic scientists, or food techs.
  • BA in Digital Media & Communication. Undergraduate students in this program choose between concentration areas in sports communication and media, mass media and communication, and Spanish communication and media. With modern facilities like radio spaces and digital media labs, students get to work hands-on with media.
  • BS in Public Health. This program focuses on diseases, improving public health, and solving public health issues. After earning the bachelor’s degree, students can move on to graduate schools, fellowships with organizations like the CDC, or service programs like the Peace Corps.
  • Master of Social Work. The MSW at University of Saint John can be earned in one to three years by studying full or part-time. After completing the program, students will be well-prepared for the social work licensing exam, allowing them to work as licensed clinical social workers.
  • Master of Public Health. Learners can take this program online, making it ideal for both full-time graduate students and professionals who need to study part-time while they work. Students complete an in-person practicum near them rather than on campus, and must complete a capstone research or thesis project.


Central Connecticut State University

Grad Rate: 55%

Central Connecticut State University is a public institution, part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. This school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a variety of fields across its four schools. The university is known for its community involvement and affordable degrees.

Central Connecticut State University Overview

  • Campus Location: New Britain
  • Student Population: 10,652
  • Acceptance Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $52,515
  • US News National Ranking: #97
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #401-500

Best Central Connecticut State University Programs

  • MS in Computer Information Technology. This 33-credit master's degree offers specializations in computer science or networking technology. Students can take advanced electives like cyber security and artificial intelligence, and they can choose between a capstone project or a comprehensive exam to complete the degree.
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). This degree offers two program options. The entry-level DNAP is for critical care registered nurses who have bachelor’s degrees and consists of 80 to 86 credits. The advanced DNAP is 30 to 38 credits and is for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) who have master’s degrees.
  • BA in Sociology. Sociology students learn the foundational skills needed to work in community agencies, governments, and public and private organizations. The program consists of 33 credits of coursework, including core courses in sociology, advanced electives, and a capstone research project.
  • BS in Electrical Engineering. This degree program teaches the basics and best practices of electrical engineering, including coursework in circuits, computer systems, and motors. Students must also complete core engineering coursework in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering. Mechanical engineering students can choose between a general track or a specialization in aerospace or manufacturing. They complete capstone projects in their senior years as well as internships. CCSU also offers a five-year accelerated BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering program.


Southern Connecticut State University

Grad Rate: 52%

Southern Connecticut State University is a public institution in New Haven, Connecticut. They offer affordable undergraduate and graduate degrees in 225 subjects. The most popular programs with first-year students are healthcare, psychology, business administration, nursing, and the exploratory option which lets students pursue a general liberal arts education.

Southern Connecticut State University Overview

  • Campus Location: New Haven
  • Student Population: 9,331
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $51,551
  • US News National Ranking: #103
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #501-600

Best Southern Connecticut State University Programs

  • Master of Business Administration. The MBA at SCSU is offered in three different formats. The traditional MBA is offered on campus, and students can study full-time or part-time depending on their schedules. The accelerated MBA is a full-time program that takes 15 months to complete. The online MBA is a fully online program.
  • BA in Anthropology. This program builds anthropological knowledge through classroom participation, collaborative research, fieldwork, and mentoring. Anthropology coursework includes theory, fieldwork methods, archaeology, languages, and human evolution.
  • BA in Earth Science. BA in Earth Science focuses on fundamental aspects of the natural sciences, including geology, meteorology, mineralogy, oceanography, and paleontology. Students complete fieldwork and lab work to earn the degree.
  • BS in Public Health. The public health discipline is concerned with human health, environmental health, and epidemiology. Students in this program combine classroom learning with internships in hospitals or at community agencies. Coursework includes health promotion strategies and public health communication.
  • BS in Art Education. Graduates from the art education bachelor’s program are qualified to teach art at the K-12 level. The coursework for this degree is a combination of art history, fine arts classes like drawing and ceramics, and an education curriculum. Degree candidates must complete two semesters of student teaching in order to graduate.

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Connecticut University Admission Requirements

The admission requirements to attend a Connecticut college or university include a high school diploma or GED, transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. The required GPA depends on the academic rigor of each university. These are general requirements that most universities share, but you should double-check each university’s admission criteria.

Admission Requirements for Universities in Connecticut

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Recommendation letters
  • School transcripts
  • Test scores such as SAT and ACT
  • Essays

How to Apply to Connecticut Universities

The typical admission process for Connecticut universities includes filling out an online application, paying the application fee, sending all of the required documents, and applying for financial aid. You should be mindful of the application deadlines at each school you are applying to.

Connecticut Universities Admissions Process

  1. Complete your online application.
  2. Pay for the application fee.
  3. Submit all the required documents.
  4. Wait for the notifications from the school about the admission decision.
  5. File your FAFSA and apply for available financial aid options.

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Why Study in Connecticut?

You should study in Connecticut because the state has prestigious and competitive universities that offer degrees in a wide range of academic fields. Beyond academics, the state of Connecticut and cities like New Haven and Hartford are cultural hubs, and students benefit from this exposure to art and history. Students in Connecticut can find internships and job opportunities in the state or in nearby New York.

Arts and Culture

Connecticut is rich in art and culture, with famous institutions like the Mark Twain House & Museum, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Connecticut’s many public and private schools also offer arts programs and cultural events for students on campus. Many schools also have exciting sports cultures thanks to NCAA Division I athletic teams.

Healthcare Accessibility

You want to make sure you are studying in a safe environment, and that includes access to healthcare. Connecticut is considered the third-best state in the US for healthcare access, according to US News & World Report. The state’s many healthcare facilities also offer great internship opportunities for those pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in health sciences.

Economic Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Connecticut has a low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent as of May 2022. Major Connecticut cities like New Haven and Hartford are business hubs, and the state has many jobs in growing industries like aerospace, bioscience, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and entertainment.

More Connecticut University Rankings: What Other Universities Are the Best in Connecticut?

With so many schools in Connecticut, it might be tough to choose the best education institution for you. To help you in your school search, we’ve broken down schools by category below, including the best state universities, public schools, and private schools. Keep reading to find the perfect Connecticut college for your career goals.


Best Connecticut State Universities

  1. Eastern Connecticut State University. US News & World Report ranked ECSU the best public regional university in New England in 2021. Students here benefit from hands-on learning via internships and study abroad, as well as an exciting campus life with sports, student organizations, and clubs.
  2. Central Connecticut State University. Central Connecticut State University is a community-oriented public institution. The school partners with local businesses and organizations to provide students with volunteering and community service opportunities, which allow them to apply their learnings to real-world challenges.
  3. Western Connecticut State University. Western Connecticut State University maintains career communities in different fields of study, which help students grow their networks and find relevant job and internship opportunities.


Best Public Universities in Connecticut

  1. University of Connecticut. This school is known for its top-tier research facilities where you can participate in collaborative research, its academic reputation, and its NCAA Division I sports teams. UConn is the biggest university in the state, with a large and active student body.
  2. Southern Connecticut State University. SCSU is also known for providing hands-on research opportunities. It is a great school for those who want to pursue healthcare studies, psychology, or business. The school is suitable for those looking for a professional school, as well as those seeking a liberal arts education.
  3. Western Connecticut State University. Located in Danbury, WCSU students can choose between the school of business, the school of professional studies, the school of arts and sciences, or the school of visual and performing arts. Arts students benefit from the school’s performance art center, as well as the campus’ proximity to New York City.


Best Private Universities in Connecticut

  1. Fairfield University. Fairfield University offers 80 international study programs, and first-year students meet with school faculty and advisors to chart their plans of study and career paths.
  2. Yale University. Yale University is famous worldwide for academic excellence and is one of the best schools in Connecticut. The academic rigor is complemented by a rich student life, including NCAA Division I sports, student organizations, and performing arts. Graduates of the Yale School of Drama include Meryl Streep and Angela Bassett.
  3. Quinnipiac University. This school has small class sizes, allowing professors to effectively teach students. Campus life is a big part of the Quinnipiac experience, with beautiful, wide-open spaces where students study and socialize together.


Best Online Universities in Connecticut

  1. University of Saint Joseph. The University of Saint Joseph offers professional development online certificate programs. These include programs in agile project management, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, and human resource management.
  2. Sacred Heart University. US News & World Report ranks Sacred Heart University number 55 in their list of best online bachelor’s programs . The school offers part-time and full-time study plans for bachelor’s, graduate, and certificate programs.
  3. Post University. Post University is a private institution with many online bachelor’s and master’s programs ranked among the best by US News & World Report. These include programs in business, psychology, and education.


Best Universities in Connecticut for International Students

  1. Yale University. Students from university partners around the world can study at Yale through the Yale Visiting International Student Program. They can apply to study for one semester or a full academic year at Yale and experience the school’s excellent liberal arts curriculum and other programs.
  2. University of Connecticut. International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at UConn helps exchange and international students fulfill their academic goals. The school knows that social life is just as important as academic success, and holds programs for ISSS students such as workshops, outings, and student support groups.
  3. University of Hartford. This school has a diverse community with 500 international students from 50 countries. The International Pathway Program (IPP) at Hartford provides an excellent academic experience for international students enrolled at the school.

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Top Connecticut Universities by Major

To help you choose the top Connecticut universities for your professional goals, we’ve provided lists of the best schools in the state based on major. We’ve chosen to focus on computer science, nursing, engineering, and business, but these schools all offer excellent programs in liberal arts, social sciences, and fine arts as well.


Best Computer Science Universities in Connecticut

  1. University of New Haven. University of New Haven computer science programs have received the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) award from the National Security Agency. Undergraduate students in the computer science program are eligible for the Scholarship for Service full-tuition scholarship.
  2. Wesleyan University. The computer science curriculum at Wesleyan is supported by  student organizations like the Wesleyan CS Club, where students can enhance their coding skills and join regional hackathons. Digital Wesleyan is an alumni group that conducts free seven-week workshops for students.
  3. University of Connecticut. UConn provides laboratories where students can conduct intensive research, like the Bioinformatics Lab and the Laboratory of Machine Learning and Health Informatics. They also have a high-performance computing facility that lets students conduct advanced simulation and modeling research.


Best Nursing Universities in Connecticut

  1. Fairfield University. The Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies maintains educational partnerships with different agencies and organizations, allowing students to train in nursing practices and conduct health-promotion activities. The school also provides international internship opportunities in 40 countries.
  2. Quinnipiac University. Quinnipiac students have a 91 percent pass rate for the NCLEX-RN registered nurse licensing examination. Nearly 98 percent of nursing graduates from this school found employment or enrolled in a graduate program six months after graduation.
  3. Sacred Heart University. The nursing programs at this school are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The CT State Board of Examiners for Nursing also approved the BSN program, as it provides effective training in preparation for the registered nurse licensure examination.


Best Engineering Universities in Connecticut

  1. Yale University. US News & World Report ranks Yale in the top 50 undergraduate engineering programs in the United States. Yale is also known for its top-notch research programs. The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science offers research concentrations in biomedical imaging, nanomaterials research, and interfacial phenomena.
  2. University of Bridgeport. The University of Bridgeport is a private institution that offers several engineering degree programs, including an accelerated BS/MS program and doctoral degrees . The school provides intensive curricula and research opportunities for engineering students.
  3. United States Coast Guard Academy. This school’s engineering program is ranked number 13 in the nation by US News & World Report. One of many US military service academies across the country, students here are called cadets and must complete five years of service in the Coast Guard after graduation.


Best Business Universities in Connecticut

  1. Central Connecticut State University. CCSU business programs are interdisciplinary, with undergraduate students building strong foundations in liberal arts as well as business. The master's degree programs are flexible and suitable for working professionals who want to advance their careers.
  2. University of Hartford. The Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford offers different degree options, including undergraduate degrees and graduate certificate programs. The school maintains business partnerships to help students in developing their knowledge in hands-on settings.
  3. United States Coast Guard Academy. The Department of Management at this military service academy offers high-quality business programs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Best Graduate Universities in Connecticut

  1. Yale University. This school offers advanced degree programs in arts and sciences, architecture, law, business, engineering, applied sciences, nursing, and medicine. You can also earn joint degrees at Yale, such as the dual MBA/Master of Public Health.
  2. Central Connecticut State University. This public institution offers master’s degree programs in different fields of study, including many education degrees designed for working teachers. Students can qualify for the school’s graduate assistantships.
  3. Southern Connecticut State University. As a public institution, SCSU offers affordable graduate programs that are popular options for teachers in the state of Connecticut. It offers specialized MA in Teaching programs, like earth sciences and bilingual education.

Tuition Costs for Connecticut Universities

Tuition costs vary between public and private schools in Connecticut. The average annual tuition at public universities is $12,959 for in-state students and $35,197 for out-of-state students, according to NCES. The average cost of tuition at a private university is $41,858 per year.

Most Affordable Universities in Connecticut

  1. United States Coast Guard Academy | Tuition: Free. Since the United States Coast Guard Academy is a military service academy, the tuition is paid for by the government. In exchange, students are required to complete five years of service in the Coast Guard after graduation.
  2. Eastern Connecticut State University | Tuition: $6,470/year (in state); $9,706/year (out of state). For in-state on-campus students, the total estimated yearly costs are $26,738. ECSU is also a commuter school, with off-campus students paying $12,910 per year. Out-of-state students living on campus pay the most, with costs totaling $31,300 per year.
  3. Western Connecticut State University | Tuition: $3,235/semester (in state); $9,679/semester (out of state). Tuition costs are low at this public institution. With the required additional fees, the total semester cost is $6,199.50 for in-state students and $12,643.50 for out-of-state students.
  4. Southern Connecticut State University | Tuition: $3,235/semester (in state); $9,679/semester (out of state). Accounting for additional fees, this public institution has a total in-state cost $6,207 per semester. Out-of-state students pay $12,651 in total per semester.
  5. University of Connecticut | Tuition: $15,672/year (in-state); $38,340/year (out-of-state). UConn is the largest public institution in Connecticut and costs more than other Connecticut public schools. In-state students pay a maximum of $36,012 per year, and out-of-state students pay a maximum of $58,680 per year.

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Financial Aid Options for the Best Universities in Connecticut

The best universities in Connecticut offer financial aid options to help students for their school expenses, with entire financial aid offices dedicated to helping students find ways to pay for school. Some options available to students include federal student grants via FAFSA, state student grants, work-study opportunities, and student loans.

Financial Aid for Connecticut Universities: A Summary

  • FAFSA. Students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be qualified for the federal government’s financial aid. FAFSA is a need-based aid program.
  • Connecticut Grants. Grants are financial aid given to students based on their financial need. Some of the available grants in Connecticut are the Connecticut Aid to Public College Students Grant Program and the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant Program.
  • Work-study Jobs. This financial aid option allows students to work and pay for their educational expenses. Several universities in Connecticut offer work-study programs. Southern Connecticut State University, for instance, has a federal work-study program and Central Connecticut State University offers a work-study and employment program.
  • Loans. Student loans are available through both the federal government and private firms. The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) helps college students in Connecticut navigate low-cost and fixed-rate student loan plans to find the right solution for them.

Connecticut University Eligibility Requirements: Who Qualifies for Financial Aid at Connecticut Universities?

  • Good academic standing
  • Must complete FAFSA application
  • Must have a GED or equivalent
  • Must be a US citizen or a resident in the United States
  • Must be enrolled in part-time or full-time programs

Private Connecticut Universities With Good Financial Aid

  1. Yale University. Yale provides financial aid to students based on financial need. It also offers Yale Scholarships, and undergraduate students can apply for grants and merit-based scholarships from other organizations affiliated with Yale University.
  2. Fairfield University. The school offers need-based grants, athletic scholarships, and other aid programs. Full-time undergraduate students can also apply to the university’s federal work-study program.
  3. Sacred Heart University. This school provides merit-based university scholarships for undergraduate students, ranging from $6,000 to $18,000. You can also apply for activity-based grants and need-based aid programs.

Universities in Connecticut That Provide Financial Aid to Out-of-State Students

  1. Yale University. Yale University provides financial aid to undocumented students residing in the United States, US citizens living in other countries, and international students. Many of its scholarships do not have in-state residency requirements.
  2. Wesleyan University. Out-of-state students can apply for federal direct loans and federal parent plus loans at Wesleyan University. They can also apply to the school’s work-study program and take on-campus jobs.
  3. Quinnipiac University. This school offers academic scholarships for both local and international undergraduate students. You can also qualify for student grants at Quinnipiac, such as Quinnipiac University Grant and the Multiple-Sibling Award.

How to Apply For Financial Aid and Scholarships for Connecticut State Universities

  1. Check the eligibility criteria of the financial aid program you want to apply for.
  2. Complete and submit your FAFSA application online.
  3. Prepare all required documents, which could include transcripts and essays.
  4. Submit your requirements and wait for further instructions and notifications from the school.
  5. Renew your FAFSA every year.

Demographics of Universities in Connecticut

Below is some information about the ethnic demographics of universities in Connecticut, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). More than half of the student population in Connecticut is white, and nearly 14 percent of students are black. Universities in Connecticut promote diversity and equality among their students and faculties.

Diversity Statistics for Universities in Connecticut

  • White: 58.3%
  • Black: 13.8%
  • Hispanic: 17.3%
  • Asian: 6.2%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • American Indian: 0.3%
  • Two or More Races: 4.1%

Connecticut Employment Outlook for University Students

Job opportunities are widely available in Connecticut, with most fields showing growth. Thanks to large cities like Hartford, Danbury, and Stamford, there are opportunities in a wide range of fields, like software development, finance, business management, healthcare, and medicine.

Fourteen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Connecticut, and many businesses and organizations maintain university partnerships. A degree from a Connecticut school can get you a job at prestigious companies like Bridgewater Associates, Xerox, Cigna, and Charter Communications.

5 In-Demand Connecticut Jobs

This list of five in-demand jobs in Connecticut includes details like average salaries and rates of growth in each field. Enrolling in one of the best universities in Connecticut will help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to qualify for a job as a software developer, financial manager, registered nurse, operations manager, or accountant.


Software Developer

Average Salary: $110,140

Software developers design, develop, and maintain software applications using programming languages like Python, C#, and Java. To succeed in this role, you should have programming skills, SDLC knowledge, analytical skills, and excellent communication skills. When comparing computer science programs in your college search, choose a school that offers hands-on learning through labs and internships.

  • Average Salary in Connecticut: $113,530
  • Employment in Connecticut: 14,480
  • Overall Job Growth: 22%
  • Best Connecticut University Program: BS in Computer Science at Central Connecticut State University


Financial Manager

Average Salary: $131,710

Financial managers create financial and investment plans. They make financial forecasts and prepare financial reports. Undergraduate students in finance or business administration programs in Connecticut learn the technical skills needed for financial managers and benefit from proximity to business hubs like Hartford and New York City.

  • Average Salary in Connecticut: $162,270
  • Employment in Connecticut: 19,340
  • Overall Job Growth: 17%
  • Best Connecticut University Program: BS in Finance at Quinnipiac University


Registered Nurse

Average Salary: $77,600

Registered nurses are responsible for keeping patient records and reports, assisting and monitoring patients, and providing medications. Nursing programs in Connecticut provide intensive internships, volunteer and service opportunities, and opportunities for community engagement that help nursing students gain real-world experience.

  • Average Salary in Connecticut: $88,530
  • Employment in Connecticut: 34,320
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Connecticut University Program: BS in Nursing at Fairfield University


Operations Manager

Average Salary: $98,980

Operational managers ensure that the operational policies and standard procedures are implemented in organizations. They supervise and train employees and may assist HR with recruiting. Management programs in Connecticut help students learn to create effective plans, manage people, and delegate tasks.

  • Average Salary in Connecticut: $141,330
  • Employment in Connecticut: 36,620
  • Overall Job Growth: 8%
  • Best Connecticut University Program: BS in Management at University of Connecticut



Average Salary: $77,250

Accountants conduct financial analysis, audits, and risk analysis. They also prepare and keep financial records and financial statements. Accounting and business programs in Connecticut help students learn how to use accounting tools like Microsoft Excel, SQL, and business intelligence software.

  • Average Salary in Connecticut: $83,940
  • Employment in Connecticut: 15,160
  • Overall Job Growth: 7%
  • Best Connecticut University Program: BS in Accounting at Sacred Heart University

Is a University in Connecticut Right for You?

Enrolling at one of the best universities in Connecticut is right for you if you want excellent academic choices on exciting campuses. College life in Connecticut is characterized by historic campuses, passionate student organizations, varsity sports on campus, and challenging academic programs. A degree from a Connecticut school is a great way to start your career.

If you’re looking to get credentials more quickly, there are alternatives to four-year schools that take less time. Enrolling in one of the best coding bootcamps is a fast and affordable way to get your career started in tech. Bootcamps teach essential skills through intensive, practical training and hands-on learning.

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Best Universities in Connecticut FAQ

What is Connecticut known for?

Connecticut is known for its culture, arts, and history. It is one of the best places to study arts, sciences, healthcare, and medicine. Many of the famous attractions in Connecticut are historical and cultural sites, such as the Mystic Seaport Museum, Yale University Museums, Gillette Castle State Park, and The Mark Twain House and Museum.

What is the largest city in Connecticut?

The largest city in Connecticut by population is Bridgeport, with 143,280 residents. Other big cities in Connecticut are New Haven, Stamford, Hartford, and Waterbury. More than three million people live in Connecticut overall.

What is the average wage in Connecticut?

The average weekly wage in Connecticut is $1,401 , according to BLS. Fairfield has the highest average weekly wage of $1,680, followed by Hartford with a $1,381 average weekly wage and New Haven with an average weekly wage of 1,257.

What is the most famous university in Connecticut?

The most famous university in Connecticut is Yale University. A member of the Ivy League, this  university is known for its liberal arts, sciences, fine arts, engineering, and mathematics programs. There are also popular art galleries and museums in this university, including the Yale University Art Gallery, Sterling Memorial Library, and Peabody Museum of Natural History.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Gloriane Mangindin

About the author: Gloriane is a content writer who has previously worked as a systems analyst, college instructor, and SHS Teacher. Her professional interests include software engineering, cyber security, technical writing, and embedded systems. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering as well as Computer Hardware Servicing NC II and Technical Drafting NC II qualifications.

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