Top Connecticut Colleges

Learn about 9 of the Top Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

Connecticut's top colleges and universities range from a large public university to a small, private liberal arts college. Despite the state's small size, Connecticut has great options for a wide range of applicants. My list includes two Catholic universities, an Ivy League school, and a federal military academy. I've listed the top Connecticut colleges alphabetically to avoid the arbitrary distinctions often used to distinguish #1 from #2, and because of the impossibility of comparing such different types of schools. These top colleges were chosen based on factors such as first-year retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, academic strengths, value, financial aid and student engagement.

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Coast Guard Academy

USS Seawolf sails past the U.S. Coast Guard Academy
USS Seawolf sails past the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Marion Doss / Flickr
  • Location: New London, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 1,071 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: federal military academy
  • Distinctions: 7 to 1 student / faculty ratio; no college costs; five year service requirement after graduation; 80% of graduates go on to graduate school
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Coast Guard Academy profile

Connecticut College

Fanning Hall at Connecticut College
Fanning Hall at Connecticut College.

Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 

  • Location: New London, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 1,844 (all undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 18; member of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences;  test-optional admissions
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Connecticut College profile

Fairfield University

Fairfield University
Fairfield University. Allen Grove
  • Location: Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 5,273 (4,177 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic university
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; one of the top Catholic colleges and universities; strong business school; member of the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Fairfield University profile

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University Library and Clock Tower
Quinnipiac University Library and Clock Tower.

 Wasted Time R / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Location: Hamden, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 10,207 (7,425 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university
  • Distinctions: home to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute; 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 25; strengths in business, health, and media fields; member of the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Quinnipiac University profile

Sacred Heart University

The main quad at Sacred Heart University
The main quad at Sacred Heart University.

Vikkitori85 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 

  • Location: Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 8,958 (5,974 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic university
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 22; good graduation rate in relation to student profile; member of the NCAA Division I Northeast Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Sacred Heart University profile

Trinity College

Trinity College
Trinity College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
  • Location: Hartford, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 2,235 (2,182 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio; high levels of participation in study abroad, community service and internships; students from 45 states and 47 countries
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Trinity College profile

University of Connecticut (UConn)

Starr Hall at the University of Connecticut School of Law
Starr Hall at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

 Smaley / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Location: Storrs, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 27,412 (19,133 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; state's flagship institution of higher learning; broad academic offerings through 10 schools and colleges; member of the NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Connecticut profile

Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University Library
Wesleyan University Library. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
  • Location: Middletown, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 3,217 (3,009 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country; 8 to 1 student / faculty ratio; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; over 200 student clubs and organizations
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Wesleyan University profile

Yale University

The Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University
Andriy Prokopenko / Getty Images
  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 13,433 (5,964 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university
  • Distinctions: one of the eight Ivy League schools; one of the nation's top universities; member of the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; 6 to 1 student / faculty ratio; library holdings of near 13 million volumes; excellent grant aid and few loans
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Yale University profile

25 Top New England Colleges and Universities

Dartmouth Hall at Dartmouth College
Dartmouth Hall at Dartmouth College. Allen Grove

If you want to expand your search to the states near Connecticut, be sure to check out these 25 top New England colleges and universities.