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Best Universities in Kentucky – Ranking, Fees & Requirements

Updated on 08 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Kentucky is one of the most relevant regions in the USA. It is known for several American legends including the Corvette and Chevrolet cars, Bourbon biggies like Jim Beam, icons like Muhammad Ali and Abraham Lincoln, and the ever-popular KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). 

The best universities in Kentucky offer high academic standards and infrastructure for students. The State also offers decent employment opportunities for students along with attractions like the Mammoth Cave National Park and Red River Gorge.

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Listing with University Rankings 

Here are some of the top universities in Kentucky USA: 

University Rank (U.S. News)UniversityTuition FeeTop Courses

127 (Among the National Universities)

650-700 (World University Ranking)

University of Kentucky $31,608 (out of state) Psychology, Management, Business, Marketing, Engineering, Communication, etc. 
187 (Among the National Universities)University of Louisville $28,508 (out of state)Engineering, Kinesiology, Fitness, Engineering, etc. 
202 (Among the National Universities)Bellarmine University $44,250Psychology, Exercise Science and Kinesiology, Business Administration and Management, etc. 
30 (Among the National Liberal Arts Colleges)Berea College$45,092Biology, Mass Communication, Computer and Information Science 
59 (Among the National Liberal Arts Colleges)Centre College$46,000Economics, Behavioral Neuroscience, Mathematics, etc. 


Universities In and Around the City 

Here is a list of universities in Kentucky for your perusal: 

The University of Kentucky

Being the most reputed of Kentucky Universities, is highly ranked on several global lists and is the torchbearer for top public universities in Kentucky, with its 120+ majors at the UG level and 16 colleges. It has international students hailing from 100 global nations. It is based out of Lexington. 

Western Kentucky University 

It is one of the best universities in Kentucky for master’s and undergraduate courses alike. It is known for its global outlook and 20,000+ students throughout multiple campuses. It offers several reputed courses in education, journalism, broadcasting, business, and engineering. 

Berea College

It is one of the leading Kentucky colleges; this institution does not charge any fees for tuition and has several financial aid options for students. Students are required to work on campus for a minimum period, and several organizations are available. There is available accommodation along with excellent infrastructure for students as well. 

Centre College 

It is situated in Danville in Kentucky and offers several programs for students. There are several activities and clubs available on the campus as well. Students will also appreciate the plethora of academic and experience-based opportunities available at the institution. 

University of Louisville 

It was established in 1798. It has a massive campus sprawling over 287 acres in total. It is a highly-ranked global university. 

Basic Admission Requirements for UG/Masters

UG Program Requirements: 

  1. 2.5 GPA at least in high school. 
  2. Official academic transcripts. 
  3. ACT/SAT scores (optional). 
  4. Scores in English language proficiency tests. 

PG Program Requirements: 

  1. Academic transcripts
  2. CV/Resume
  3. Scores in standardized tests
  4. Personal essay
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Scores in English language proficiency tests

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Cost of Living 

The tuition fees vary across institutions. For example, the University of Kentucky charges $31,608 per year for out-of-state students. Rent usually takes $741 per month on an average. It varies between $580-1100, depending on the type of property. Transportation costs are usually around $1,300 for car insurance and $938 for gas in a year. Food costs hover around $2,932 per year. 


Housing costs vary across universities when it comes to on-campus accommodation. For instance, the University of Kentucky had $3,340 as on-campus accommodation fees for 2020. Off-campus rent may hover around $580-1100 on average. 

Job Opportunities

Kentucky offers several job opportunities for skilled graduates. Some of the top recruiters in the area include Texas Roadhouse, ResCare, Houchens Industries, Humana, Western Kentucky University, Med Center Health, the Warren County Public School, and UPS. 

Leading industrial and economic sectors in the region include healthcare, education, food and beverages, retail, trading, automobiles, aerospace, metals, distribution and logistics, rubber and plastics, chemicals, and more. The State is known for its thriving economy. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best universities in Kentucky?

The USA is a hub of some of the top universities in the world. Among the top universities in Kentucky region, the University of Kentucky ranks higher and is ranked 650-700 in world university rankings.

What are the requirements for admissions to top universities in Kentucky, USA?

The admission process to top universities in the USA including the University of Kentucky is almost the same which involves submission of SOP, letter of recommendation by professor or employer, academic transcript, English proficiency scores IELTS or TOEFL, and stellar academic records.

What is the package after graduating from the universities in Kentucky, USA?

After graduating from thet universities in Kentucky, USA, the average median salary earned by the candidate is around $54,000 per annum. The graduates are placed in some of the top companies such as  Bank of America, Amazon, ADP, Dell, and JP Morgan Chase.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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