Best Colleges in Nevada

The higher education experts at have reviewed the top 4-year colleges in the state of Nevada. Use this resource to start planning for your future today.
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Updated on July 6, 2023
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College graduates in Nevada enjoy an advantage when competing in a state job market with above-average unemployment (4% in November 2019) and below-average annual wages of $46,170. Additionally, consider the above-average cost of living in major cities such as Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno.

With Las Vegas casinos drawing tourists to the state, leisure and hospitality remains a leading industry in Nevada. Other top industries include professional and business services, government, and education and health services. Healthcare professionals in the Las Vegas-Henderson area can command above-average wages.

Top 5 Colleges in Nevada

  1. University of Nevada - Las Vegas, NV
  2. University of Nevada - Reno, NV
  3. Great Basin College - Elko, NV
  4. Sierra Nevada College - Incline Village, NV
  5. Nevada State College - Henderson, NV

According to a 2017 state report, college graduates with training in information technology, business, engineering, and nursing can qualify for some of the state’s most coveted jobs. High-demand jobs in Nevada include software developers, managers, engineers, nurses, and accountants.

Best Accredited Colleges in Nevada

Best Colleges in Nevada

  1. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

    Las Vegas, NV



    What began as a small college in 1957 now enrolls 30,000 students. As an R1 research institution, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas provides research opportunities and more than 300 majors to undergraduates and graduate students from the main campus in Las Vegas and online.

    UNLV’s 16 colleges and schools educate students in topics such as business, law, liberal arts, fine arts, engineering, education, and medicine. These schools offer a wide variety of programs, including 130 graduate degree, specialist, and certificate programs.

    Students can prepare for careers in fields such as public health, criminal justice, journalism, and hotel administration. UNLV also offers more than 200 courses and nearly 20 programs online, including six doctoral degrees in nursing.

    Freshmen applicants with at least a 3.0 GPA in core subjects, an ACT score of 22, an SAT score of 1120, or a Nevada advanced diploma may apply using the Common Application or UNLV’s online application. All other students may apply online, including transfer students with a minimum 2.5 GPA in 24 transferable credits.

  2. University of Nevada-Reno

    Reno, NV



    Founded in 1874 as Nevada’s first university, the University of Nevada, Reno now serves nearly 22,000 students. An R1 research institution, the university boasts state-of-the-art laboratories and more than 60 research centers. Comprised of 12 colleges and schools, the university offers more than 145 majors and hundreds of degrees and certificates.

    At UNR, students can major in liberal arts or sciences or prepare for careers in business or education. Those interested in a career in healthcare can take advantage of programs in the schools of nursing, community health services, or medicine. The university also offers interdisciplinary degree programs, graduate degrees, and 10 online programs, including master’s degrees in social work, education, and public health.

    The university admits freshmen with a minimum weighted 3.0 GPA in academic core subjects, a combined SAT score of 1120, an ACT composite score of 22, or a Nevada advanced diploma. Transfer students with 24 transferable credits and a GPA of at least 2.5 may apply.

  3. Great Basin College

    Elko, NV



    Great Basin College serves more than 3,500 students in 10 Nevada counties. With a residential main campus in Elko, the college also reaches students through centers and satellite locations across its service area. GBC offers career and technical education in addition to undergraduate degrees.

    GBC offers job training certificate programs lasting one year or less, two-year associate degrees, and four-year bachelor’s degrees. The college’s associate degrees typically prepare students to transfer to a four-year school or enter the workforce. Bachelor’s programs at GBC include degrees in social work and nursing.

    GBC offers many of its programs online at the same price for residents and nonresidents, including seven bachelor’s programs, 11 associate degrees, and three certificates. Employees of MGM Resorts may qualify to enroll in the college’s programs at no cost. GBC offers open enrollment. Interested students may apply online.

  4. Sierra Nevada College

    Incline Village, NV



    Located in the mountain ski resort community of Incline Village one mile from Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada College enrolls about 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. SNC’s teacher education campuses in Las Vegas and Reno offer flexible bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and professional development courses designed for working professionals.

    SNC offers 30 undergraduate majors and concentrations in business, humanities, social sciences, fine arts, science, and technology. The school also delivers interdisciplinary programs such as outdoor adventure leadership and sustainability. Business programs include ski area management and global business management.

    SNC also offers master’s degrees in education, interdisciplinary studies, and creative writing. Additionally, the college provides continuing education, summer arts programs, and four online degrees.

    SNC uses a rolling online admissions process and considers incoming freshmen with a minimum 2.6 GPA and SAT math and reading scores above 400 or ACT scores above 19.

  5. Nevada State College

    Henderson, NV



    Located in Henderson, Nevada’s second-largest city, Nevada State College currently serves approximately 4,200 students through schools of education, liberal arts and sciences, and nursing. The only four-year, comprehensive public institution in the state, NSC also offers online classes.

    Education majors at NSC may train to become elementary or secondary teachers or speech-language pathologists. Students enrolled in the school of liberal arts and sciences may select from 22 majors and 24 minors, including options in deaf studies, environmental and resources studies, and visual media. Learners planning for a career in nursing may select from full-time, part-time, and online programs.

    To gain admission, first-year students must possess an unweighted GPA of at least 2.5 and submit ACT or SAT scores. NSC offers a four-year support program for first-generation college students.