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Public University Rankings

Looking at the best public university rankings can help you to prepare for your future learning opportunities.

With a unique funding source, these schools offer an incredibly diverse selection of courses for students to consider. You’ll find they are significantly more diverse than private schools with an assortment of students from all over the country.

With the impressive number of students applying annually, you’ll need to ensure your transcripts are outstanding. Otherwise, you’ll find it challenging to get into some of their top-rated degree programs.

In this guide, we’ll explore ten of the top-ranked public universities sorted by three specific types of criteria:

  • Average annual costs of no more than $20,000
  • A median starting salary no less than $70,000
  • Accredited and authorized programs for all degrees

We’ve also ranked each university by average annual costs (lowest to highest), making finding the right school for your budget easier. With information sourced from the US Department of Education and university-specific websites, you can easily make the right decision for your schooling.

Top 10 Best Public Universities

1. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

4 Year; Houston, TX

Average Annual Cost: $5,658

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is an impressive public university with various degree programs. Attendees have the opportunity to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in science. Also, they have an assortment of continuing education opportunities, including reviews, workshops, and conferences.

With undergraduate study, you can work towards degrees in histotechnology, cytotechnology, medical sonography, radiation therapy, clinical laboratory science, and more. Their graduate degree programs focus on radiologic sciences as well as diagnostic genomics and genetics. Overall, their offerings revolve primarily around human sciences and biology.

Each study program is unique in that it offers both academic and hands-on processes to help you earn your degree. Also, a few of the undergraduate programs are available in flexible study options, including part-time and full-time courses. Uniquely, the radiation therapy undergraduate program is available in distance education for select locations.

For a specialty public university, the number of annual graduates is quite impressive at 89%. There’s no doubt their numerous in-depth programs are designed to help you acquire the career of your dreams.

2. United States Merchant Marine Academy

4 Year; Kings Point, NY

Average Annual Cost: $6,433

The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a public university that offers unique learning opportunities for Midshipmen. Their unique course offerings contain specialty training in numerous avenues, including marine engineering, marine logistics and security, and even shipyard management.

This academy is a fantastic solution for exemplary students looking for a school for commissioned officers in the Armed Forces.

As mentioned, there are several great courses designed to help you better adapt to regimental life. This school only offers five major programs ranging from marine logistics and transportation to engineering design. It’s also a relatively small school with approximately 950 enrollees on an annual basis.

There’s no doubt the curriculum offered by the United States Merchant Marine Academy meets all expectations for mariner’s professions. The program is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, giving you an adequate education to put to good use. Upon graduation, you will have the necessary foundation for a Bachelor of Science with specialized merchant marine training.

The majority of enrollees consider these degree programs to help them further their merchant marine careers. With your degree in hand, you’ll find acquiring a promotion to Officer will be significantly simpler. Also, you’ll have the added academic knowledge to help you be a more well-rounded contribution to the United States Armed Forces.

3. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

4 Year; San Antonio, TX

Average Annual Cost: $7,068

All of the courses offered by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio focus on health care professionals. Within the school, you’ll find approximately 70-degree specialties paired with pre and post-baccalaureate certificate programs. Whether you intend to study and work in South Texas or worldwide, the options are endless.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio organizes its courses by school and specialty. Undergraduate students will be able to find majors within the School of Nursing or School of Dentistry. There is also an assortment of medical degrees available through the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

In each field of study, you’ll have access to innovative teaching practices to help you enhance community health and awareness. Students will also acquire an emphasis on compassionate care, medical research, and clinical research. Each of your compulsory and elective courses will revolve around biomedical science from top-tier researchers and educators from across the country.

If you’re interested in a graduate degree program, there are two additional options. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences also contains undergraduate research programs for you to take advantage of. You can study laboratory sciences, physical therapy, respiratory care, and four other majors with the School of Health Professionals.

With a 90% graduation rate, most students continue with their studies straight through to graduation. Only six percent of students transfer to alternative schools to diversify their learning opportunities, making it a well-rounded educational institution.

4. SUNY Downstate Medical Center

4 Year; Brooklyn, NY

Average Annual Cost: $7,274

The SUNY Downstate Medical Center boasts an exceptionally well-rounded assortment of health sciences courses. With their top-tier colleges, you’ll be able to explore avenues ranging from public health to medicine. Some of the most popular departments include Health Professions, Public Health, Nursing, Healthcare Simulation, and Medicine.

Students interested in acquiring a graduate degree will also have several options open to them. SUNY Downstate Medical Center features an Office of Graduate Medical Education and a School of Graduate Studies. With these programs, you can acquire specialty training for science and academic physician careers.

Another unique aspect of this school is that it offers continuing studies to help you stay up-to-date with the latest innovations in medicine. With the help of the Office of Continuing Medical Education, you can acquire modern skills in medical research, teaching, and healthcare delivery. Overall, their undergraduate and graduate programs help to prepare you for a current and future-proof career.

There’s no doubt SUNY Downstate Medical Center has a variety of unique fellowship and residency programs. Students can explore radiology, surgery, pediatrics, family medicine, and psychiatry, along with several other options. To help you find the ideal area of study, be sure to consult their complete program list.

The school has an impressive total of 93% of graduates using full and part-time courses offered from the public university. Average salaries vary depending on discipline, but most enrollees can earn up to $95,348 annually after graduation. You’ll find it’s an exceptional school to consider for a career in health sciences.

5. Upstate Medical University

4 Year; Syracuse, NY

Average Annual Cost: $7,525

The Upstate Medical University is a fantastic public university with small classes and an assortment of four-year programs. It’s also a public university that focuses primarily on health sciences and community medicine. With a graduation rate of 88%, you can guarantee their course offerings are bound to assist you in your future career.

When looking at their available courses, students can browse through undergraduate and graduate programs. There are also various residency and fellowship programs to take to further your medical training for exceptional careers. Within the undergraduate programs, you can study radiation therapy, clinical laboratory science, medical imaging, nursing, and respiratory therapy.

The graduate programs help you develop more in-depth experience with your preferred specialty. You’ll find graduate programs for medicine, nursing, clinical perfusion, biomedical sciences, behavior analysis studies, public health, and many more. When approaching the last step of your training, you’ll need to consider residency and fellowship programs.

Within the residency programs, you’ll find even more in-depth specialties to help you take advantage of prominent careers. Students will explore the worlds of pediatrics, psychiatry, general surgery, neurosurgery, and other fabulous specialties. There’s no doubt there’s an impressive number of learning opportunities for every inquiring student.

6. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

4 Year; Houston, TX

Average Annual Cost: $10,087

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston features a 92% graduation rate with its unique degree programs. It’s an elevated school to consider if you’re looking for a public university focusing on health and health sciences. With their undergraduate and graduate degree programs, there are many specialties to explore.

Students have the opportunity to attend the Cizik School of Nursing to obtain a BSN, MSN, DNP, or Ph.D. Alternatively, you can attend the McGovern Medical School to acquire an MS in Clinical Research or an MD. Those interested in a career in dentistry will enroll in the School of Dentistry to earn degrees including DDS, MSD, and BS in Dental Hygiene.

When it comes to graduate and continuing education programs, there are multiple options to consider as well. Graduate students can attend the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Alternatively, you can sign up for dual degree programs ranging from MD/MPHs to Ph.D./MPHs.

7. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport

4 Year; Shreveport, LA

Average Annual Cost: $10,443

The three primary tenets of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport are to “Teach, Heal, and Discover.” By taking advantage of their unique course offerings, you’ll have the foundation to assist with health sciences within Louisiana and beyond. There’s no doubt there are many amazing courses at this school that you’ll love having under your belt.

LSU Health comprises the School of Allied Health Professions, School of Medicine, Clinical Skills Center, Surgical Skills Lab, and more. You’ll also have access to the Graduate Medical Education and School of Graduate Studies. Overall, the school offers many areas of study depending on the preferred discipline.

Students can explore many unique topics, including occupational and physical therapy, microbiology and immunology, and pharmacology. There’s no doubt that regardless of the area of study you’re most interested in, this school has an exceptional number of courses available. You also have the added benefit of graduate degree programs to further your studies.

With a bachelor’s degree in hand, the average annual salary for most graduates is $54,418, though this varies per discipline. Also, it’s crucial to note Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport has a graduation rate of 91%.

8. University of Maryland, Baltimore

4 Year; Baltimore, MD

Average Annual Cost: $10,607

University of Maryland, Baltimore is another fantastic option for a public university focusing primarily on health sciences. However, it differs from other schools because it also offers fantastic options for social work and law. Upon enrollment, you’ll be able to choose from a diverse collection of schools and programs.

Students can consider the School of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, or Pharmacy for health science majors. Alternatively, there are several course options within the School of Social Work and the Carey School of Law. Undoubtedly, their programs are ranked as some of the highest in the United States for numerous careers.

Within each specialty, you’ll explore foundational and unique tenets of every area of specialty. For example, the School of Dentistry allows students to explore pathology, maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, and more. There’s no doubt that regardless of your specialty, you’ll acquire the academic and hands-on experience required to contribute positively to the public and private health sectors.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is a very high-performing school compared to other public universities. On average, 91% of their students graduate, and depending on your specialty, your starting salary could range between $63,005 and $69,338.

9. Medical University of South Carolina

4 Year; Charleston, SC

Average Annual Cost: $16,822

The Medical University of South Carolina is rich in history, with its founding in 1824. The school strives for educational excellence as well as renowned research and patient care. Home to approximately 3000 students and 800 students, it’s a phenomenal academic health sciences center to consider.

Within the Medical University of South Carolina, you’ll find six separate colleges designated to different specialties. Students can attend Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Medicine. There’s no doubt that if you want a career in health sciences, many course selections are open to you.

Students will be able to navigate through patient care, future-proof medical practices, and research ethics. You’ll also gain exceptional knowledge in pharmaceutical techniques, scientific methods, and health sciences communication. Upon graduation, you can consider the College of Graduate Studies to further your academic and hands-on experience.

On average, 93% of the student body graduates with their desired degree in health sciences. Also, depending on specialty, you can expect to earn an average median salary of $57,033 upon graduation.

10. Oregon Health & Science University

4 Year; Portland, OR

Average Annual Cost: $19,602

Oregon Health & Science University boasts one of the more impressive starting salaries for most degree holders at an average of $79,081. Also, with a 93% graduation rate, you’ll find their programs are intuitively designed to benefit students. Like many of the other public universities on this list, this school focuses primarily on health sciences.

You’ll find an assortment of schools and programs specifically designed for several specialty programs. Students can participate in clinical psychology, biomedical sciences, human nutrition, epidemiology, and public health, just to name a few. The vast majority of programs will grant you a Bachelor of Science, but other degree options include MBA, MCR, MN, Ph.D., MPH, and MD.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in residencies and fellowships through Oregon Health & Science University. If you’re ready to showcase your exceptional training, you can unlock new learning environments to balance your professional experience. The residencies and fellowships are in numerous specialties, surgery, anesthesiology, family medicine, and many others.