Best Public Universities by Salary Potential

Want a great education without the high costs of a private university? Learn more about the top public schools with the highest-earning graduates.

Read more

Bachelor's Only
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
26Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,100$113,60044%21%

26College of William and Mary
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,100
Mid-Career Pay$113,600
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees21%
27Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$60,900$112,80048%42%

27Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$60,900
Mid-Career Pay$112,800
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees42%
28For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$61,300$112,40054%28%

28San Jose State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$61,300
Mid-Career Pay$112,400
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees28%
29Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$59,900$111,80052%34%

29University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$59,900
Mid-Career Pay$111,800
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees34%
30Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,800$111,60042%28%

30Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,800
Mid-Career Pay$111,600
% High Meaning42%
% STEM Degrees28%
30State SchoolBachelorsPublic$56,000$111,60050%30%

30California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$56,000
Mid-Career Pay$111,600
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees30%
32Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,600$111,50048%36%

32University of Colorado Boulder
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,600
Mid-Career Pay$111,500
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees36%
33Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$59,100$111,40048%27%

33The University of Texas at Austin
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$59,100
Mid-Career Pay$111,400
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees27%
34Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$58,900$111,20044%34%

34Binghamton University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$58,900
Mid-Career Pay$111,200
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees34%
35Engineering, Sober School, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$66,400$110,90071%69%

35United States Coast Guard Academy
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$66,400
Mid-Career Pay$110,900
% High Meaning71%
% STEM Degrees69%
36Engineering, Research University, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$64,600$110,20048%80%

36Michigan Technological University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$64,600
Mid-Career Pay$110,200
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees80%
37Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,000$110,00049%35%

37Stony Brook University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,000
Mid-Career Pay$110,000
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees35%
38Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$60,000$109,70051%33%

38University of Maryland-College Park
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$60,000
Mid-Career Pay$109,700
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees33%
39Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,000$109,30047%31%

39University of California-Riverside
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,000
Mid-Career Pay$109,300
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees31%
40Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,400$108,10046%22%

40Miami University-Oxford
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,400
Mid-Career Pay$108,100
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees22%
41Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$62,000$107,90045%38%

41University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$62,000
Mid-Career Pay$107,900
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees38%
42Business, Sober School, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,100$107,60036%8%

42CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,100
Mid-Career Pay$107,600
% High Meaning36%
% STEM Degrees8%
43Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,400$107,30053%35%

43University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,400
Mid-Career Pay$107,300
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees35%
44For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$58,800$107,20063%19%

44Citadel Military College of South Carolina
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$58,800
Mid-Career Pay$107,200
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees19%
44Engineering, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$61,900$107,20061%61%

44Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$61,900
Mid-Career Pay$107,200
% High Meaning61%
% STEM Degrees61%
46Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,200$106,20048%23%

46George Mason University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,200
Mid-Career Pay$106,200
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees23%
47Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$60,200$105,80048%38%

47Purdue University-Main Campus
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$60,200
Mid-Career Pay$105,800
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees38%
48Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$56,700$105,70042%22%

48University of Delaware
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$56,700
Mid-Career Pay$105,700
% High Meaning42%
% STEM Degrees22%
49Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,800$104,70052%47%

49North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,800
Mid-Career Pay$104,700
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees47%
49Research University, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$56,100$104,70045%38%

49University of California-Santa Cruz
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$56,100
Mid-Career Pay$104,700
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees38%
Find your worth

What are you worth?

Take our free salary survey to find out

Get your free report

When students are looking for a college education that won’t break the bank, they often think first of public universities. PayScale has ranked hundreds of public colleges by alumni salaries so that you can research how successful alumni of public colleges and universities are and how much they earn, and apply at the top public colleges with the highest-paid alumni.

Home to roughly 1,500 students, SUNY Maritime is the perfect recipe for high alumni salaries because it has both strong business and engineering programs. As a result, SUNY Maritime graduates enjoy some of the highest median salaries in both the early career salary and mid-career salary categories when we include alumni who only earn a bachelor’s degree.

Military schools top the list for schools with the highest-earning grads in the civilian workforce; the United States Naval Academy (USMA) at Annapolis and United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. If military grads need another thing to be proud of, they should definitely take pride in their earning potential.

Other military colleges that produce high earners are the United States Air Force Academy and the Virginia Military Academy. It is important to note that we do not include salary data for alumni serving actively in the military, as that is standardized. Students at military colleges get valuable experience as active military members, so it makes sense that they then enter the workforce at higher salary grades than civilian grads.

There are many public colleges and universities with strong engineering programs that rank highly on PayScale’s College Salary Report. The Georgia Institute of Technology is recognized nationally for its excellent engineering programs, and as a result often ranks in the top 10. The University of California at Berkeley produces high earners too, even though it does not focus exclusively on engineering.

Public schools that graduate a large percentage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors tend to have alumni with high earning potential, especially for early career salaries, because graduates with those skills are immediately in high demand in our current economy.


Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of