Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 14 public universities, 18 private non-profit colleges, and one private for-profit institution.


    For the 2021-22 school year, the average tuition in Maryland was $10,240.


    According to College Board, the national average of financial aid received per full-time undergraduate student was $14,800.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Maryland. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in Maryland

Best Colleges In Maryland
Intelligent Pick
Johns Hopkins University
Best Public Institution
University of Maryland
Best Public Policy Program
University of Maryland at Baltimore County
Best Internships
Towson University
Best Engineering Program
United States Naval Academy
Best Dual-Degree Programs
Washington College
Most Rigorous Curriculum
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Best Liberal Arts Program
St. John's College
Best Business Program
Loyola University Maryland
Best for Study Abroad
Goucher College

Salisbury University

McDaniel College

Hood College

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Bowie State University

Frostburg State University

University of Baltimore


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Maryland

As you consider attending school in Maryland, it can help to understand which industries are most prominent in the state. As of October 2021, the top five industries in Maryland are government; professional and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and goods-producing.

Additionally, to get some inspiration on how you’ll put your degree to use after graduation, it can be beneficial to know which careers are growing the fastest in Maryland. According to CareerOneStop, Maryland’s top five fastest-growing occupations for individuals with a bachelor’s degree are information security analysts, data scientists, education and childcare administrators, financial examiners, and medical and health services managers.

Lastly, you may want to get an idea of the major employers in Maryland. Some notable employers to know include the U.S. Social Security Administration, the University of MD Medical Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Clean Harbors Inc, and Byk Gardner Inc.

What’s Next?

The next step is to understand how you’ll pay for schooling. The average student relies on some form of financial aid to help them pay for their education. To get started, here are three crucial resources:

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission. The MHEC provides students with resources for attending school within the state of Maryland. Some of the most useful links include their financial resources page and the student guide for higher education and financial aid in Maryland.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you plan to apply for federal student loans, you’ll have to do so through Federal Student Aid. Your first step will be to determine if you’re eligible. Next, you’ll want to start the FAFSA application process.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop is a single resource for students who wish to find out more information about state-specific scholarships, grants, and loans. This website lets visitors search by state and degree type. You’ll find important information about application deadlines, specific qualifications required, and contact information.