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The Best New Hampshire Colleges

New Hampshire, a state in the New England area, has some of the nation's best colleges and universities, which collectively offer a large variety of online and on-campus degrees.

This best colleges in New Hampshire list includes public and private universities and colleges, an Ivy League school, and a variety of community colleges.

But what are the New Hampshire colleges that are available? In this guide made for students, we research the education options in New Hampshire, looking at top colleges and their undergraduate and graduate studies, and community college options.

Colleges in New Hampshire offer many higher education options, including the University of New Hampshire - Durham, which has the most on-campus students, and Southern New Hampshire University, which has the most online students.

We give descriptions of colleges in New Hampshire, which include Dartmouth College, Saint Anselm College, and Plymouth State University, and others, along with three community colleges within the community college system.

The Best New Hampshire Colleges

New Hampshire has many diverse disciplines available across public and private schools, offering a variety of degree options.

The primary industries of the Granite State's economy include tourism, manufacturing, technology, and healthcare. As a consequence, New Hampshire colleges provide a broad range of traditional on campus and online degree programs suitable to educate the state's workforce.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is an Ivy League private institution.

It offers a variety of outdoor activities, expeditions, gear rentals, and courses. With over 300 student organizations available, there's no shortage of opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities that align with their interests and passions.

The Outing Club at Dartmouth College is the oldest and largest collegiate club of its kind in the nation.

Applicants interested in Dartmouth College must provide documents with their admission application. These can include two teacher evaluations, a counselor evaluation, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a writing supplement, and an application fee or waiver request.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private institution known for its wide range of career-focused programs, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees online and on-campus. There are currently over 80,000 distance learners, making it the largest distance learning college in New Hampshire, and one of the largest online colleges in the nation.

Their tuition is the same since 2012, and is one of the lowest for online college in the U.S.

SNHU has some unique distance learning degrees, such as the online Associate's in Data Analytics, and the online MBA in Music Business, which is a collaboration with the renowned Berklee College of Music.

SNHU offers fast online and on-campus undergraduate degrees. Through their Sophia Learning program, students can earn a bachelor's degree in as short as 18 months.

University System of New Hampshire (USNH)

USNH teaches the most post secondary students in the state. USNH offers many undergraduate and graduate education choices through their six schools. These colleges and universities have a strong commitment to research, experiential learning, and community engagement. Students have access to facilities that are state-of-the-art, faculty, and student services at their campus locations.

USNH is made up of six schools, providing students with many academic programs from which to choose. These schools are:

  • University of New Hampshire (UNH has three campuses)
  • Plymouth State University
  • Keene State College
  • Granite State College

University of New Hampshire (UNH) - 3 Campuses:

UNH is a public institution with three campuses:

  1. University of New Hampshire - Durham
  2. University of New Hampshire at Manchester
  3. UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

1. University of New Hampshire - Durham, HN

University of New Hampshire Durham

The UNH Durham public institution was founded in 1866, and is the main campus location, offering over 200 degree programs. There are currently over 11,500 undergraduate students attending this school.

Eighty eight percent of first time undergrad students who attend full time get financial aid. UNH has a 94% undergraduate success rate. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs.

2. University of New Hampshire at Manchester, City Campus - Manchester, NH

University of New Hampshire at Manchester, City Campus - Manchester, NH

The University of New Hampshire at Manchester City Campus in Manchester was established in 1985 and has over 1,000 undergrad and graduate students, and offers over 50 areas of study, and includes bachelor's and graduate degrees. City Campus has a 10:1 student t0 faculty ratio, which are small classes.

3. UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law - Concord, NH

UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law - Concord, NH

The UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law is located in the state capital of Concord, NH. The New Hampshire School of Law, a public law school is accredited by the American Bar Association. The school offers a Juris Doctor (JD) program, LLM programs in Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology, and International Criminal Law and Justice, as well as a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program.

Applicants to the Franklin Pierce School of Law must submit an application, official transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume to be considered for admission. The law school has a faculty of over 50 full-time professors and a student body of over 500 students.

Plymouth State University, Plymouth and Holderness, NH

Plymouth State University

Plymouth state university, founded in 1871, is a public institution with over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. These include Art, Science, Music, Theater and Dance, Mathematics, and Tourism. They have a scenic 170 acre campus, with an over 7,000 large student body. The student to faculty ratio is 16:1. They offer student services, including academic and career advising. Students learn skills for employment through real world experiences.

Keene State College, Keene, NH

Keene State College

Keene State College, founded in 1909, is a liberal arts public institution, offering a distance learning master's in Safety and Occupational Health and Applied Sciences, and over 40 other liberal arts oriented undergraduate and graduate programs combined, which are taken on campus. Keene State College has designed the The Integrative Studies Program (ISP), which teaches learners how to connect and integrate different subjects together. Keene State College has an Honors Program, and offers academic support and advising.

Granite State College - UNH College of Professional Studies

UNH College of Professional Studies

Granite State College is a public institution, and offers 100% online courses and degrees. The College merged with the University of New Hampshire in 2023, and is now called UNH College of Professional Studies. UNH College of Professional Studies offers a range of degree programs, including associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees, post-baccalaureate programs for teachers, credit for prior learning, and transfer programs.

The college also offers transfer programs such as the New Hampshire Transfer Program, the New England Regional Student Program, and the New Hampshire Community College System Transfer Program.

Saint Anselm College, Goffstown, NH

UNH College of Professional Studies (Granite State College) provides programs for leaders, such as the Master of Science in Leadership and the Master of Science in Instruction and Leadership. The college's commitment to providing accessible, quality education makes it a good option for those seeking a well-rounded college for distance learning.

Saint Anselm College

Saint Anselm College, a private Catholic liberal arts college, was established in 1889, and is the third oldest Catholic college in New England. The Order of Saint Benedict was the founder.

The college offers over 100 majors and minors, which include a range of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. These degree subjects include Biological Sciences, Criminal Justice, Education, English, History, Philosophy and Theology.

In addition to its undergraduate programs, Saint Anselm College also provides master's programs in Criminal Justice and Special Education.

The college's commitment to academic excellence, combined with its history and Catholic identity, make it a good option for students searching for a faith-based education.

Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH

Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College, founded in 1837, is a liberal arts private institution, and one of the oldest colleges in New Hampshire. The college offers a range of undergraduate degree programs, including art, business, health sciences, social sciences, science, and nursing. Additionally, they offer graduate programs in nursing, business, and health sciences.

Colby-Sawyer College offers a good campus experience through student organizations and activities. The college has a range of extracurricular activities. These include student clubs, intramural sports, and cultural events. The education and vibrant campus life makes Colby-Sawyer College a good choice for students seeking a rewarding college education and college experience.

New England College, Henniker, NH

New England College

New England College, established in 1946, is a non-profit, private institution that focuses on a liberal arts education. New England College offers on campus and online programs.

Their online offerings include associate's degree options through an online doctorate program.

Online programs: There are 9 associate's, 15 bachelor's, and 16 master's degrees available.

Rivier University, Nashua, NH

Rivier University, Nashua, NH

Rivier University, founded in 1933, is a four year Catholic private institution. Located on a 68 acre campus, Rivier University offers on campus, hybrid, and online undergraduate and graduate programs.

These include online bachelor's degrees, online master's degree options, and online doctoral degrees in a variety of disciplines, including Business, Human services, and Nursing.

Antioch University New England, Keene, NH

Antioch University New England

Antioch University New England, founded in 1852, is part of the Antioch University system, and is a non-profit, private institution, in Keene, NH. The university offers graduate degree programs and Certificates.

These include Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Psychology degrees.

Popular programs include Environmental Science, Clinical Psychology, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as well as Master of Education degrees in Early Childhood.

The school has a range of student services, such as career counseling, academic advising, and tutoring. The university also offers a variety of student clubs and organizations, creating a campus life that encourages students to interact with their peers.

Community Colleges in New Hampshire

There are several community colleges in New Hampshire that offer quality education at more affordable costs compared to private or public universities, allowing students to save money. These public New Hampshire school options give students the opportunity to earn associate's degrees and certificates in various subjects.

In this section are two prominent community colleges in New Hampshire: Lakes Region Community College and White Mountains Community College. These schools provide affordable and accessible education for student success.

Lakes Region Community College, Laconia, NH

Lakes Region Community College, located in Laconia, NH, is a two-year public institution that provides over 40 associate degrees, training courses, and certificates in different disciplines. The community college offers degree programs in accounting, liberal arts, education, and graphic design.

White Mountains Community College, Berlin, NH

The White Mountains Community College offers associate and certificate programs in a large number of subjects. These include accounting, automotive technology, business administration, criminal justice, and early childhood education, and culinary arts to name a few.

NHTI - Concord's Community College, Concord, NH

Concord's Community College, a public institution, was originally named the New Hampshire Technical Institute until 2007, when it changed names to reflect its broader education base to include general education that was not just technical. They offer over 80 degrees and certificates in six area:

  • Arts, Humanities, Communications, and Design
  • Business 
  • Health Sciences and Services
  • Hospitality
  • Social, Educational, and Behavioral Sciences
  • STEM and Advanced Manufacturing

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ivy League schools are in NH?

Dartmouth College is the only Ivy League school located in New Hampshire. Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a private university located in Hannover and is known for its academic excellence. With its attractive campus and rich history, Dartmouth remains one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the nation.

May 19, 2024 marks the 255th anniversary of Dartmouth's founding. To commemorate this milestone, the college is planning a series of events and activities to celebrate the occasion.

What is the big college in NH?

With a campus student population of over 14,000, the University of New Hampshire Main Campus is the biggest college in New Hampshire. Dartmouth College is the next biggest school with 6,761 students. Southern New Hampshire University has the most online students, with over 80,000.

What types of colleges are available in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire offers a range of higher education opportunities for its residents, including six public colleges and universities through the University System of New Hampshire, as well as 12 private, including faith-affiliated 4-year institutions. With this variety, students can likely find a college to meet their individual needs.

What degree programs are offered at New Hampshire colleges?

New Hampshire colleges offer a wide range of degree programs designed to meet the needs of the state's primary industries. These include traditional and online programs in areas such as healthcare, engineering, education, business, computer science and more.