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The Best Small Colleges and Universities in Nebraska

Hastings College: Pioneer in Personalized Study

For all of the opportunities for getting a higher education in Nebraska, students who choose to go to small colleges and universities in the state might get the most personalized attention. From the low student to teacher ratios at a school like the College of St. Mary to the intensity of both undergraduate and graduate programs at Creighton University, small colleges and universities in Nebraska are in many ways the best choice for someone who wants to maintain focus throughout an academic career. As in the case of even the smaller liberal arts schools, athletics are involved so students can get an idea of what being a well-rounded person really means. There are many options out there, but these are the best small colleges and universities in the state of Nebraska.

Hastings College: Pioneer in Personalized Study

The tradition of Hastings College extends all the way back to 1882, when the school was founded at its rural location of Hastings. A commitment to keeping the enrollment low has allowed the college to keep its focus over the years, with around 1,500 students now attending Hastings on an annual basis. It has worked, as Hastings is continually being ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the area and one that delivers excellent value for the tuition.

Students can decide between the Liberal Arts Program and the Personalized Program (an Interdisciplinary Program of Study), which allows students to shape their own education with the assistance of advisors. The Liberal Arts Program has the following goals: to teach students to be aware of the importance of different subject matters; to present a variety of disciplines; to open students’ eyes to the cultural diversity of the country; and to teach them the importance of mental and physical health.

Creighton University: Jesuit Education at its Finest

Creighton’s history dates all the way back to the 1870’s, when Nebraska pioneer Edward Creighton left $100,000 in his will to go toward creating a school of higher education. In 1878, it was decided that the school would be run by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the College of Arts and Sciences opened. The school has evolved in many ways since then and has grown substantially, with several thousand students enrolling annually at this point in time. The Allied Health Programs were a major addition to the university in the 1980’s, while the new Morrison Soccer stadium was another symbol of the school’s expansion.

Since Creighton University is a Jesuit institution, it will always come back to the strong academic programs, beginning with the Classics and Logic and continuing on with the College of Business, the School of Dentistry, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions (the oldest of the healthcare schools) and more Graduate Programs. The College of Arts and Science features a quality Fine and Performing Arts department, along with the departments of Atmospheric Science, Military Science and Theology.

College of St. Mary: A Women’s College for the Future

One of the few women’s colleges in the area around Nebraska, the College of St. Mary was established in 1923 in Omaha by the Sisters of Mercy. Though much has changed since its founding, the focus on quality education and small class size remains the same. The founder believed that a dynamic liberal arts education was what all students needed, and the school was a noted training ground for teachers in its earliest days.

Since then, it has become just as noted for its Nursing program, as well as the paralegal training which is a four-year program. The nursing program is unique because it trains nurses to be bilingual as well as delivering the rest of the Practical Nursing curriculum. The Master’s of Leadership degree is designed to help women advance roles in society, something which has remained a goal for the College of St. Mary.

Doane College

Doane College, the oldest 4-year college in Nebraska, is located in Crete and serves a little over 1,000 students in the undergraduate program annually. This small student body insures personalized attention at every step of the way as students try and reach their goals in a college continually being ranked as one of the top schools in the Midwest. There are forty majors and twenty-four minors available for students to study at Doane, with some highlights being the Public Administration, Art, English, Mathematics, Natural Science and Theatre programs.

The Pre-Professional programs at Doane are continuing to draw a lot of interest, with Pre-Engineering, Pre-Environmental Studies/Forestry, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Ministry and Pre-veterinary programs all among the regional leaders in their fields. Meanwhile, the school’s graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Management, the Master of Arts in Counseling and the Master of Education. Doane College has two other campuses besides the center in Crete, plus opportunities in traveling abroad while getting an education. Finally, Doane’s athletic programs include eight men’s sports and nine sports for women.

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