2023 Top Colleges in Oklahoma

Published: September 1, 2022

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Oklahoma Baptist University | Oklahoma Christian University | Southern Nazarene University | University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma | University of Tulsa | Frequently Asked Questions

Colleges of Distinction has hand-picked a selection of top schools that are well equipped to provide a personalized education catered to students’ interests. Through a rigorous vetting and interview process for the 2022-2023 academic year, we have refreshed and reaffirmed that these institutions strive for excellence in line with the four overarching distinctions—Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.

These schools vary in size, cost, location, academic offerings, and more, but they are all distinguished by their commitment to the undergraduate experience. The diversity of the college list is intentional, giving students and parents a variety of public and private universities to consider. No matter what, they all exhibit the foundational qualities of a fulfilling undergraduate education.

Oklahoma Baptist University

Shawnee, OK ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Oklahoma Baptist University is a highly ranked Christian liberal arts university in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Founded in 1910, OBU seeks to transform lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.

OBU is a distinctively Christian university, focusing on the spiritual growth of its students. With chapel speakers, small groups, and Bible studies, the community is full of opportunities for personal growth and connection with others. The University also offers abundant opportunities for international travel and service through its numerous GO Trips each year, with students traveling all around the world through school-sponsored trips.

Acceptance rate 58%       •       Net price $24,277       •       SAT Range 1000-1210       •       Students submitting SAT scores 27%
Total Undergrad Population 1,763       •       Setting Town       •       Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 55%       •       Retention rate 73%       •       Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

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Oklahoma Christian University. The world awaits your story.

Oklahoma Christian University

Edmond, OK ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Oklahoma Christian University features a close-knit community where students, faculty, and staff go the extra mile for each other. Its expert professors teach from a Christian worldview and are fiercely dedicated to high standards of scholarship. But their commitment to students goes beyond the classroom—their office doors are open, and they spend time side by side with students in the cafeteria, at games against the University’s NCAA rivals, and in real-world ministry as part of the Ethos spiritual life program.

Oklahoma Christian opens its doors to faith-infused learning both at home and abroad. OC’s location, just 10 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City, provides access to jobs and internships as well as big-city entertainment like the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. The university’s global reach includes 20 study abroad and off-campus learning options, plus service opportunities that take students around the world to help people in need.

At OC, students can collaborate with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to gain valuable information from a professional’s perspective. Long-time entrepreneur Russ Maguire mentors individual students, teaming up to help ideas come to life. Students from OC have garnered awards at the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup, a competition for student teams from colleges and universities across the state of Oklahoma. 

Acceptance rate 61%       •       Net price $20,761       •       SAT Range 1020-1250       •       Students submitting SAT scores 27%
Total Undergrad Population 2,055       •       Setting City: Large       •       Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 60%       •       Retention rate 78%       •       Student-to-faculty ratio 15:1

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southern nazarene logo

Southern Nazarene University

Bethany, OK ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian liberal arts university with a mission to make Christlike disciples through higher education. Located on a 44-acre campus in the heart of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to training people for service to God and to one another. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and around the world.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium provides an opportunity for SNU undergrads to showcase the hard work they’ve put forth researching various topics in an array of disciplines. 

SNU’s McNair Scholars program is a federally funded TRiO program that provides research and scholarly activities for first-generation, income-eligible, and otherwise underserved students. Students conduct at least one funded independent research project and have access to funds to present at state, regional, and national conferences.

Net price $20,673       •       Total Undergrad Population 2,208       •       Setting Suburb       •       Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 47%       •       Retention rate 68%       •       Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

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University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Chickasha, OK ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is Oklahoma’s only public liberal arts college. Science & Arts was founded in 1908 as a women’s institution, Oklahoma College for Women (OCW), the first college created by Oklahoma’s first legislature. Science & Arts is one of only seven state institutions with similar missions ever created in the United States, and it is the only Oklahoma college to be named a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

The world is complex, and so many complex challenges face this generation. The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s interdisciplinary core curriculum is not just a bundle of general education requirements with a fancy name. The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) core curriculum differs from other general education programs in several key ways: the breadth and structure of the program, its emphasis on interdisciplinarity, and its use of team teaching. Students commit 50 credit hours to the IDS program over the course of their college careers. This commitment fosters connections between faculty and students who, unable to completely withdraw into one academic department, interact with a wide range of people, ideas, and viewpoints on a daily basis.

Acceptance rate 36%       •       Net price $8,000       •       SAT Range 600-1200       •       Students submitting SAT scores 16%
Total Undergrad Population 733       •       Setting Town       •       Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 41%       •       Retention rate 64%       •       Student-to-faculty ratio 16:1

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University of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

A Better Fit for a Better Tomorrow: The University of Tulsa offers students a rare combination—the resources and opportunities of a large university with the personal attention and mentoring typically found at a much smaller college. A warm classroom environment and state-of-the-art facilities give students an engaging college experience. The University of Tulsa is a private, doctoral-degree granting, accredited, coeducational institution founded in 1894.

Students admitted to the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge program (TURC) have the opportunity to combine research and community service. TURC students take advanced classes, conduct research with top TU professors, and develop and lead service projects both in Tulsa and abroad, making valuable use of their skills and talents.

Acceptance rate 69%       •       Net price $25,333       •       SAT Range 1080-1330       •       Students submitting SAT scores 39%
Total Undergrad Population 3,960       •       Setting City: Large       •       Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 73%       •       Retention rate 84%       •       Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

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What it’s like to attend schools in Oklahoma and other FAQ:

What are average tuition costs in Oklahoma?

The average undergraduate tuition & fees for colleges in Oklahoma is $9,000 for in-state students at public institutions, $23,000 for out-of-state students at public institutions, and $25,000 for students at private institutions.

Cheapest degree program in Oklahoma

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has an average net price of $8,000, making it the least expensive school in Oklahoma that made our list.

Easiest degree program to get into in Oklahoma

University of Tulsa has an acceptance rate of 69%, with an SAT range of 1080-1330, making it the least exclusive college in Oklahoma on our list.

Degree program with lowest student debt in Oklahoma

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has a median total debt after graduation of $20,825. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

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