Top Colleges & Universities in Maryland

Despite being a relatively small state, Maryland is home to various geographical features. It has beaches, rivers, lakes, farmlands, mountains, and cities to name a few. It's the reason why many refer to it as the America In Miniature.

Besides its natural landscapes, Maryland proves it is worthy of its nickname due to the many colleges and universities it houses. You can find different institutions for liberal arts, medical and research universities, as well as private colleges near Maryland. The United States Naval Academy, one of the country's military academies, is found in Annapolis, Maryland's capital.

The list of universities in Maryland is a long one. Apparently, there are numerous higher education institutions located in the small state. But what are the best schools in Maryland? Here are the top picks in 2019. Please note that the list contains the best universities in Maryland, but they are in random order.

Loyola University Maryland

One of the universities in Baltimore, the Loyola University of Maryland is a private, Roman Catholic university that has existed since 1852. It is a mid-sized school with a population of more than 5,700 students. It offers undergraduate and graduate studies/programs with tuition fees around $49,000 a year. Its academic programs come in three schools: the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Sellinger School of Business and Management.

There are over 30 majors that undergraduates can choose from, but they must complete the school's core curriculum first. Every year, Loyola admits around 50 freshmen into the Honors Program that has a more intensive curriculum but with many benefits. It also has sponsored programs, which give 60 percent of its students the opportunity to study abroad. In the recent edition of the Regional Universities North rankings, Loyola takes the fifth spot and 12th spot with the best undergraduate teaching programs.

Johns Hopkins University

Another top school on this list is Johns Hopkins University. It is also a private school that was built in 1876. With more than 6,100 undergraduates, this institution has an urban setting with a 140-acre campus. It follows a semestrial academic calendar, and the tuition fee is around $54,000.

The university has nine schools with five of them serving the undergraduate and graduate students. The graduate programs are the Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Education, School of Medicine, Peabody Institute for dance and music, and the Whiting School of Engineering, which are all notable in their respective fields of interests.

Johns Hopkins University has four campuses within Baltimore, and the main campus for undergraduate students is the Homewood Campus. It requires freshmen and sophomore to live on campus. Additional, it has other campuses for the School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, Nanjing, China, and Washington, D.C.

This school has a reputation for being an excellent school. In fact, it has taken the 12th place in the latest top universities in the US and 21st on the global ranking. This shows how competitive this school is. The admission process is also strict, making it difficult for interested students to get accepted. In fall of 2016, only 3,251 out of 27,094 applicants got in. Aside from that, Johns Hopkins Hospital is a highly reputable hospital with top-ranked specialties all over the world.

University of Maryland College Park

Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland College Park is one of the public universities in Maryland. It is a big school with a 1,335-acre campus and a total student population of more than 29,800. Just like Johns Hopkins University, the instructors of the University of Maryland apply semestrial academic calendar.

The University of Maryland ranking in the recent top universities in the US is 35 while the global ranking is 126. Although it's a public school, there is still an in-state tuition fee of $10,595 and an out-of-state cost of $35,216.

The University of Maryland takes pride in its high-ranking graduate education program, prestigious Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the notable A. James Clark School of Engineering. The U of Maryland has an acceptance rate of 44 percent, but you have to make sure you've got good grades on either the SAT or ACT to get into the University of Maryland.

Aside from its reputable school programs and impressive national academic rankings, the Univ of Maryland has earned recognition for its environmental advocacies. It has received accolades for its initiatives on clean and sustainable energy, like composting of dining hall wastes and becoming a carbon-neutral campus by 2050.

The Univ of MD has also produced famous alumni in different professional fields. Some of them include two-time Academy Award-winning actress Dianne Weist, NASA astronaut Richard Arnold, and CNN anchors Connie Chung and Heidi Collins, just to name a few.

University of Baltimore

A public institution that was established in 1925, the University of Baltimore is of the best public colleges in Maryland. It's a relatively small school with a student population of 2,949 and a 47-acre, urban-setting campus. Its academic calendar is based on semesters, offering degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Compared to the other colleges in Maryland on this list, this school is less selective and has an 81-percent acceptance rate. Perhaps, it's also one of the colleges in Baltimore with less expensive tuition fees. The combined in-state cost is around $9,090 while the out-of-state fees are $21,208.

The most popular courses that students take are in line with Animation, Business or Commerce, Criminal Justice or Police Science, General, Health Services Administration, Interactive Technology, Psychology, and Video Graphics and Special Effects. Some of the University of Baltimore graduate programs include Forensic Science, Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship, and Public Administration. It has a retention rate of 73 percent, which means that students continue their studies and are satisfied with their school life.

St. John's College

Included in this list of colleges in Maryland is St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. It is an old, private institution that is still standing since its foundation in 1696. It is a small college MD with a 36-acre campus for its student population of less than 600. It uses a semestrial academic calendar and offers undergrad and graduate degree programs.

With an acceptance rate of 55 percent, St. John's College is relatively selective when it comes to student admissions. However, it has a higher acceptance rate of 67.4 percent for early admissions. Because it is a highly private school, considering the number of students it has, the total cost to study here is over $53,000, which is not surprising. But it also grants scholarships to deserving students, covering almost the entire school costs.

The school definitely guarantees a high quality of education as each faculty only holds seven students. Most of the classes have more than seven students, but they will never go beyond 20 undergraduates. The most favored majors or degree programs are in Liberal Studies or Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a matter of fact, St. John's College takes the 61st spot in the National Liberal Arts Colleges.

University of Maryland University College

Located in Adelphi, Maryland, the University of Maryland University College is another public university that focuses on online education. It was established in 1947. But starting on July 1, 2019, this institution will be called the University of Maryland Global Campus. Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland, approved the bill to change the name on April 18, 2019.

It is a big university with a suburban-setting and an undergraduate population of 45,600. But having one of the world's largest distance-learning schools, this University of MD serves more than 90,000 students from different parts of the world. It has satellite campuses in the metropolitan area of Baltimore-Washington, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The academic calendar at the University of Maryland College is per semester. It offers a wide range of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate schools. It has one of the best IT schools in MD, as well as in Business Management, Legal Studies, and Social Sciences. Furthermore, students from the community colleges can continue their studies at UMUC through the school’s undergraduate program.

The Maryland University College opens its doors to all the applicants, having an acceptance rate of 100 percent for the undergraduate school. Since it is a public school, the University of Maryland University College tuition for the in-state is around $7,300, while the out-of-state fees are more than $12,400.

The University of Maryland University College ranking is currently available. But in 2015, the UMUC ranking in The Military Times' best for veterans schools was the top spot (first). To support the military personnel, this school deploys faculty and staff members to military bases in Afghanistan and Djibouti, Africa.

University of Maryland Baltimore

One of the top colleges in Baltimore Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore or UMB is a public university with a total student population of 929. It has been operating since its establishment in 1807. It houses some of the oldest professional schools in the United States, including the coveted University of Maryland School of Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law, and Social Work. It is relatively a mid-sized school with a 61-acre campus. The combined in-state cost is around $11,000, while the out-of-state fee is around $39,267.

The University of Maryland Nursing is a legacy of its founder, Florence Nightingale, the Mother of Nursing. She founded the institution in 1889 and is one of the country's oldest and largest nursing schools. In 2015, UMB's nursing school ranked sixth nationally in the U.S. News & World Report. It offers various types of degree programs including Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s Level Entry-Into-Nursing, Post-Master's Option, and Doctor of Philosophy, just to name a few.

Aside from its nationally competitive professional schools, UMB has also produced notable people in different fields of interests such as politics, law, and sports. Some of this famous alumni include former governor Martin O'Malley, former and current senators Charles Mathias, Jr., Barbara Mikulski, and Ben Cardin, as well as the former league baseball player Archibald "Moonlight" Graham.

Goucher College

Situated in Towson, Maryland, Goucher College is a private school that was established in 1885. From its founding year to 1910, the institution used its former name, Women's College of Baltimore. It changed to its current name after the school’s co-founder, John F. Goucher. It is a big school with a suburban setting and a campus area of 287 acres - big enough for its student population of over 2,200. Using a semestrial academic calendar, Goucher College has degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

Goucher College is fairly selective, having a 79-percent acceptance rate. Because it is a private institution, you should expect the tuition and fees are on the higher end of the scale. The total cost to study in this school is over $44,000. But just like St. John's College, it also awards scholarship grants to students who truly deserve financial support.

Every faculty caters to 10 students, and more than half of the classes have less than 20 students. The top degree choices are Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Psychology, Biological and Biomedical Studies, English Literature and Language. It takes the 12th spot in the recent Most Innovative Schools ranking and has gained the 67th spot in the High School Counselor List.

Community Colleges in Maryland

There are 16 community colleges in Maryland that are comprehensive institutions with open admissions and affordable tuition and fees. These community colleges in Maryland USA provide academic opportunities like degree transfers, lifelong learning, and training for work. Although there are not on the main list, these are still some of the best colleges in Maryland:

  • Allegany College of Maryland. Cumberland
  • Anne Arundel Community College. Arnold
  • Baltimore City Community College. Baltimore
  • Carroll Community College
  • Cecil College
  • Chesapeake College
  • College of Southern Maryland
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • Frederick Community College
  • Garrett College
  • Hagerstown Community College
  • Harford Community College
  • Howard Community College
  • Montgomery College
  • Prince George's Community College
  • Wor-Wic Community College