2023 Best Colleges and Universities in Iowa

Colleges in the rural state of Iowa are best known for their agricultural programs, but there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. In fact, Iowa universities offer some highly competitive programs. Here are the top ten colleges and universities in Iowa in 2022.

  1. Grinnell College. Though somewhat removed from the buzz of civilization, there are plenty of opportunities at this “Little School on the Prairie.” With a vibrant array of social and cultural events and a focus on activism, there’s no shortage of things for students to do.
  2. Drake University. With 94% of graduates employed within two years of graduation, this small university is a sure bet for future success. Parties and Greek life are a large component of social life.
  3. Dordt College is a private Christian school in rural Sioux Center. Although the focus is on ministry-related majors like worship art, the school does provide some excellent secular programs, too.
  4. University of Northern Iowa. This school ranks highly for its liberal arts programs and access to internships and study abroad opportunities. The most popular majors are Business, Management, Education, and Communications.
  5. Loras College. This small Catholic college stands out for its welcoming, supportive atmosphere. School spirit runs strong here, and professors are dedicated and helpful. It is also noted for maximum affordability and an excellent business program .
  6. Iowa State University. This large flagship university boasts eight different colleges and 100 bachelor’s degree programs, including animal ecology and aerospace engineering. It is also the scene of the invention of the first electronic computer.
  7. University of Iowa has one of the top programs in the nation for leadership with its unique Leadership Development Series. A smoke-free campus means a healthy environment for future leaders.
  8. Luther College. Rated as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation, Luther is known for a beautiful campus with dorms catering to specific interests. It’s an ideal setting for students who love the outdoors.
  9. Central College is a private Christian college which emphasizes environmental studies and international programs. Students can choose from a wide variety of study abroad programs all over the world.
  10. Northwestern College rates high among the top colleges in the Midwest. Some of its best features include a Peer Learning Center and a strong sports program. A diverse student population and competitive financial aid make this Christian college a great choice.

Whether you seek a large university or a smaller, more personalized college experience, this rural Midwestern state has something for you.

Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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