The Most Innovative Public Universities

When looking for the right colleges, there are many different parameters to consider. One of the most important aspects of an institution of higher learning is the ability to innovate. This quality is becoming more and more important as the needs of the job market require employees with ability to adapt to an ever faster market environment.

Any institution that is worthy of the label of innovative isn’t just innovative in one area, but instead shows innovation in multiple areas across the spectrum of education. This spectrum includes innovation in curriculum, faculty, student life, research, and facilities.

It is imperative that those who are looking for the right college for their circumstances find the college or university that has the right balance of cost, programs, and focus for the student applying.

Here is a list of different colleges who have ranked high their ability to innovate in various areas. This list has been compiled in no particular order.


University of Washington

University of Washington logoThe University of Washington is a research-based institution and receives a grant from the state to continue in that goal. They currently enroll around 45,000 students in total, 29,000 of whom are specifically undergraduates.

A student at the University of Washington can look forward to an excellent education. The school is very focused on maintaining a green environment. Students are encouraged to recycle and “live green.” UW is also a commuter school and as such students are not required to live on campus, nor is housing guaranteed to attendees.

Tuition, fees, and living expenses for a student coming from out of state will be around $53,535 for the 2015/16 academic year. Tuition for in-state students for the same year will be around $31,321.



Arizona State University

Arizona State University logoWith two new nobel prize winners recently added to the faculty, Arizona State prides itself on providing educators who are true experts in their field. The school has an enrollment that hovers around 48,702. Their undergraduate population is 38,730 and is one of the largest undergraduate populations in the country.

Students who enroll at Arizona State can look forward to a great education experience. Students have over 300 undergraduate programs to choose from as well as a number of options for post graduate programs. Freshmen are required to live on campus at ASU though there are several exceptions like living at home with parents or other factors.

Tuition and fees required from students for this school is $38,977 for out of state students and 10,157 for those who live in state.

University of Maryland—Baltimore County

University of Maryland Baltimore County logoThe University of Maryland at Baltimore County is a public research university. They pride themselves on being a leading innovator for education in the undergraduate programs. The school emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services, and public policy. This school boasts an enrollment of 13,839. This enrollment includes an undergraduate enrollment of 11,243. UMBC students will not be required to live on campus.

Students who enroll in the University of Maryland at Baltimore County receive an education from an institution that prides itself on innovation. They provide 40 undergraduate programs and 30 graduate programs. The school bills itself as an honors university and provides several options for students pursuing research.

Tuition and fees includes include $11,006 for in-state attendees and $23,770 for attendees who come from out of state.


Georgia State University

Georgia State University logoGeorgia State University is a public university based in Atlanta, Georgia. They tout not only their academic programs, but also their focus on ethnic diversity. They are also nationally recognized for their innovative approach to getting students who are struggling back on track and on the road to graduation. They have a population of more than 30,000 with around 25,315 undergraduates.

Enrollment in this university provides a student with not only a diverse population to interact with but also over 250 undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from. The university encourages research at every level and provides opportunities for students to present their research and the Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.

Students are not required to live on campus, however, the school does provide special groups called freshman learning communities to help ease the transition to college life. Tuition and fees for this school currently stand at $10,686 for those coming from in state and $28,896 for those coming from out of state.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech logoGeorgia Institute of Technology is well known for its focus on research and developing revolutionary cutting edge technology. They also are included as one of the top ten best public institutions in the United States. The school has a student population of over 14,682.

Students who go to school at Georgia Tech get a great education from a respected institution. Georgia Tech is among the top 25 public universities whose undergraduates make 6 figures without a graduate degree. The school also pushes innovation in technology and research. They offer 35 undergraduate degrees and 55 minors. Students who attend are not required to live on campus. Tuition and fees for the 2015 to 2016 calendar year are 12,204 for in state students and 32,386 for students from out of state.


University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida logoUniversity of Central Florida is proud of the diversity of their student population and their status as an innovator. It is a research university that actively encourages its students to participate in research projects. Their student enrollment stands at 52,532. It is suggested that students apply early if they want to live on campus as available housing is limited.

Students in Florida can expect a great deal of accessibility since the University of Central Florida has 10 campuses spread out over the central area of the state. They also have a small but active Greek presence, with several active fraternity and sorority societies. They offer 210 different degrees. The tuition and fees for this school are around $6,368 for those who are from in state and $22,468 for people who are from out of state.


University of Florida

University of Florida logoThe University of Florida has a proud history since its founding in 1853. They are very focused on working actively to help their students improve the local community even after graduation. They are proud of the fact that they invest research funds at five times the national average. They currently have 33,720 students in undergraduate programs. Tuition and fees for those from in state are $6,313. Tuition for those from out of state run around $28,591.

Their education system is focused on preparing students to bring the “gator good” to the world after graduation. They provide many different degrees for undergraduates. Florida State University offers students a vibrant campus life. During football season their school sponsored pep rallies are some of the biggest in the world. Though it is not required over 80% of students live on campus.

University of California—Berkeley

University of California Berkeley logoThe University of California—Berkeley, also known as Cal, is the number one public university in the country. This is a position they have held for over 17 years. The school has a focus on providing a forum where students are allowed to freely think and present ideas. Their current enrollment of undergraduates is 27,126. Tuition runs around $13,432 for in state and $38,140 for out of state.

The University of California—Berkeley is a research university. They are proud of the quality of education they bring their students. They provide 170 degrees and academic programs for undergraduates. Campus life is very important at University of California—Berkeley. Around 95% of all students live on campus. They also have a strong history of campus related traditions for students to participate in.


University of California—San Diego

University of California San Diego logoThe University of California—San Diego or UC San Diego is one of the top research universities in the country. They also promote public service and awareness for their students. UC San Diego heavily focuses on providing a research and service based education to their students. They are constantly trying to innovate with what their students learn and how they interact with the world around them. With this focus they have achieved breakthroughs in many different fields. The school provides over 100 different undergraduate programs.

The current enrollment in the university stands at 24,810 undergraduate students. They do not require their students to live on campus; however, the school provides guaranteed housing for freshmen. Tuition for UC San Diego is $14,042 for those from in state and $38,066 for students who are from out of state.


University of Maryland—College Park

University of Maryland logoThe University of Maryland is research University that is very focused on cultivating innovation in every aspect of education from research to design. Their goal is to create an atmosphere that will foster innovation beyond the campus for each student. Currently, their enrollment hovers around 27,056 undergraduate students.

This university is considered one of the best public universities in nation and they are focused on getting better. They are also focused on new research and creating innovative new solutions for today’s problems. They provide more than 90 undergraduate programs. The University of Maryland is a commuter campus, and as such, does not require students to live on campus. Tution for this school runs at 9,996 for in state and 31,144 for out of state.


University of Southern California

University of Southern California logoThe University of Southern California is a school that focuses on making sure students have the ability to receive an education that crosses boundaries. They pride themselves on providing a strong integration between liberal and professional education. They currently enroll 18,740 undergraduates. However, the school has more graduate students than undergraduates.

The school encourages student collaboration with researchers to ensure that the education they provides allows for innovative thought. They provide a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs for students to choose from. Students are not required to live on campus, however the school provides a wide range of opportunities for those who choose to do so. Tuition runs at $50,210.



Innovation has an integral effect on the world at large. From building public works to creating a product that will be sold for years to come innovation has a hand in all of it. With this in mind, there are many different choices for a student who wants to focus on innovation in education. The real difference is where that innovation will be localized. Each school listed here has a specific style of innovation which will affect the course of a college student’s education. It is imperative that each prospective student know what they want. Good perspective students should make sure to do their research to know what school is the best fit for them, and then send in their applications.