Overview of Alaska Colleges & Schools

If you are considering pursuing your post secondary education in Alaska here is some general information about the state.

The state of Alaska is the largest by size in the United States of America. Located in the northwestern corner of the North American Continent; the state borders Canada to the east and is the 47th least populated state in the union. Alaska is perpetually cold due to its northern climate and proximity to the North Pole, and is home tundra and taiga forests. Due to the low population and the weather, Alaska is home to few colleges and universities.

Alaska is home to five community colleges. These schools provide educational opportunities to residents of various counties and cities throughout the state of Alaska. Community colleges typically offer associate degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, and their purpose is generally two fold, providing career training for some and transfer to a 4 year institution for others.

Alaska’s community colleges:

  • Ilisagvik College (Barrow)
  • Prince William Sound Community College (Valdez)
  • Kodiak College (Kodiak)
  • Kenai Peninsula College (Soldotna, Homer, Seward)
  • Matanuska-Susitna College (Palmer)

Alaska also operates the University of Alaska System, comprised of three universities located in Alaska’s most populous cities. These schools also offer 2 year degrees to residents of the community, operating as community colleges alongside their university offerings. The system’s first school, located in Fairbanks, was established in 1917. The schools serve nearly 33,000 students through their main and satellite campuses. The system is responsible for several research projects and facilities including the Geophysical Institute.

University of Alaska System Schools:

Alaska is also home to a small number of private institutions. Due to the low population and weather, Alaska is not considered an ideal location for most potential students, and as such private schools are limited in their representation in the state. Regardless, some schools do operate and, two of which are faith based institutions, and the third which is a faith based graduate institution.

Alaskan private schools:

  • Alaska Pacific University (Anchorage)
  • Alaska Bible College (Glennallen)
  • Saint Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Kodiak)

Though Alaska’s post secondary offerings are limited, the school’s themselves are proud of the quality of their education offered. Due to the small population in Alaska, class sizes are typically smaller and teachers are generally more attentive of their students’ needs. Alaska is also home to a small number of for profit schools that provide career guidance and education allowing for immediate hire after graduation.

The most populous city in Alaska is Anchorage, followed by Fairbanks and Juneau.  While the most populous county in Alaska is Anchorage County with Fairbanks North Star Borough close behind.   If you are interested in visiting the state of Alaska, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of Alaska

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree6,2901.9
Master's degree6,7602.1
Bachelor's degree68,88021.3
Associate's degree8,4602.6
Postsecondary nondegree award17,8505.5
Some college, no degree10,5003.2
High school diploma or equivalent115,78035.8
No formal educational credential88,98027.5

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are three public 4-year state universities and colleges in Alaska. 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 Alaska.