2021 Best Colleges in Rhode Island by Salary Score™
We ranked colleges in Rhode Island based on our Salary Score for each school. A high Salary Score means that alumni at a particular school may earn higher salaries than graduates of other schools within the same major. To calculate a school's bachelor's degree Salary Score, we took median alumni salaries in the first year after graduation for each program and compared them to salary data for the same programs at other colleges and universities. Seven of the schools below have a higher Salary Score than the median for all U.S. colleges, and Rhode Island is ranked #3 in our Top Five States for Bachelor’s Degree Salaries list. While future salary may not be the primary factor in every student's college decision, Salary Score is one meaningful metric that students can use alongside other considerations that matter to them.
To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. This list includes all eligible schools in Rhode Island. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.
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2021 Best Colleges in Rhode Island Highlights
More than half of the bachelor’s programs at Bryant University have a Salary Score above 80. The communication and media studies field tops the list with a score of 100. Alumni from this program also earn the highest median salary at $70,180. Degrees in business and related fields also rank high; the business administration, management, and operations program scores a 93, while the fields of accounting, international business, and marketing all score a 92.
Bryant University is a small, private, non-profit school located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, a suburban town about fifteen minutes from the capital of Providence. First-year students will take part in the university’s 13-credit Gateway program, which aims to teach them the skills they'll need to succeed in college and beyond. During the Gateway experience, they'll participate in the week-long Innovation Design Experience for All ((IDEA) program, where they'll work in groups to practice entrepreneurial skills. Students at Bryant receive an interdisciplinary education as they are required to complete a major and a minor, with one in the business field and the other in the humanities.
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Four bachelor’s fields at Brown University have a Salary School of 100: applied mathematics, computer science, entrepreneurial and small business operations, and psychology. Graduates of the computer science program report a median salary of $135,280, the highest of any of the programs at Brown. Other bachelor's programs that rank high are economics (94), engineering (93), and history (93).
Brown University is a medium-sized, private, not-for-profit university located in Providence, Rhode Island. The school is fully committed to meeting the demonstrated need of its students through its Brown Promise initiative. Through this program, accepted students will have all of their financial needs met through grants and scholarships. They will not have to take on any loans. The university utilizes an Open Curriculum, which allows students to create their own plan of study from the start, rather than following a predetermined set of required courses.
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The Salary Score at Providence College are, on average, higher than those at colleges with similar programs. Of the twenty undergraduate programs offered, over half have a score of 80 or above, and only three programs score below 60. High-scoring programs include liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities (98), psychology (95), accounting and related services (96), and biology (94). The computer science program has the highest median annual salary at $73,770. Accounting students report the second-highest median salary, at $62,710.
Providence College is a small, private, Catholic school located in Providence, Rhode Island. Most of the faculty and student body identify themselves as Catholic, though students of every faith are welcome. All students are required to take classes in philosophy and theology, and mass is held every Sunday at the university chapel. Providence offers a few different merit and need-based scholarships. Its Multicultural Scholarship program provides awards to students from diverse backgrounds. These scholars receive financial assistance as well as access to various services designed to help them through their college experience.