Overview of Arkansas Colleges & Schools
The state of Arkansas is home to two public university systems, a handful of public institutions and multiple private colleges and universities. The state is bordered by Louisiana and Texas to the south, Oklahoma to the west, Missouri to the north, and Tennessee and Mississippi to the east. Little Rock is both the state’s capitol and the largest city in the state.
The University of Arkansas System is comprised of six campuses and has over 42,000 enrolled students. The flagship campus in Fayetteville was founded in 1871. Over the years schools have merged or returned to the system with the formal adoption of the name University of Arkansas System in 1975.
Schools in the University of Arkansas System include:
- University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (Fayetteville)
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock)
- University of Arkansas at Monticello (Monticello)
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Little Rock)
The Arkansas State University System is comprised of main and satellite campuses across central and northeast Arkansas. The system is a mixture of two and four year institutions with the primary campus being located in Jonesboro, which was founded in 1909. The system began in 1955 when Arkansas State University, Jonesboro was given control of the Arkansas State University, Beebe campus. Over the years other schools merged with the system, resulting in large growth over the last two decades.
Schools in the Arkansas State University System include:
- Arkansas State University, Jonesboro (Jonesboro)
- Arkansas State University, Beebe (Beebe)
- Arkansas State University, Mountain Home (Mountain Home)
- Arkansas State University, Newport (Newport)
Additionally, some public institutions do not operate under any system, but rather have independent administrations yet still receive public funding.
Private institutions in the state of Arkansas are predominantly liberal arts colleges providing comprehensive educations and skills for their students. Private institutions are typically more expensive than their public school counterparts, and generally have smaller class sizes resulting in low student to teacher ratios. Private schools also tend to have a higher number of educational opportunities, such as research positions and study abroad programs. Some of the institutions were founded by Christian denominations and may or may not continue in their traditions.
Some Private Institutions in Arkansas:
- Harding University (Searcy)
- Arkansas Baptist College (Little Rock)
- Hendrix College (Conway)
- Lyon College (Batesville)
- Philander Smith College (Little Rock)
Arkansas is also home to private career colleges and community and technical colleges. Private career colleges provide career training for high demand fields, offering short term programs that prepare students for immediate entry in the field upon completion. Community and technical colleges provide career and vocational educations alongside transfer opportunities to four year institutions, offering the freshman and sophomore years of education.
The most populous city in Arkansas is Little Rock, followed by Fort Smith and Fayetteville. While the most populous county in Arkansas is Pulaski County with Benton County and Washington County close to one another. If you are interested in visiting the state of Arkansas, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
College Degree Breakdown for the State of ArkansasSource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online
|Doctoral or professional degree||25,200||2.1|
|Postsecondary nondegree award||95,870||8.0|
|Some college, no degree||27,340||2.3|
|High school diploma or equivalent||441,090||37.0|
|No formal educational credential||343,960||28.9|
Public Universities & Colleges
There are ten public 4-year state universities and colleges in Arkansas. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Arkansas.
Private Universities & Colleges
In Arkansas there are ten accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Arkansas.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Arkansas" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Arkansas.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately thirteen such colleges in Arkansas located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Arkansas along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in Arkansas
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Pharmacy Schools in Arkansas (Pharm. D.) (2 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in Arkansas (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (67 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in Arkansas (J.D.) (2 Schools)