Hungry for knowledge? Gain a solid foundation for professional success with a liberal arts degree from a top-ranked college.

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In a world increasingly governed by technology, a liberal arts education may seem irrelevant. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

The complexity and diversity of our globalized world makes a liberal arts education more relevant than ever.

Liberal arts colleges challenge students to think broadly—to explore their interests and to take academic risks. And there are amazing opportunities for faculty-mentored research and independent scholarship.

No matter what profession you see yourself working in—from education to engineering—you’ll need to be able to think critically and communicate clearly. And you’ll need to be able to see the world from another perspective. This is the vital training a liberal arts education offers.

What kind of Liberal Arts degree should you get?

Once you start perusing the websites of liberal arts colleges, you’ll notice they have a lot in common. The focus is on undergraduates—and the traditional liberal arts curriculum is both rigorous and based in the humanities.  

But pay attention to the details. There are liberal arts colleges that focus on politics and government, some that offer STEM-focussed programs, and some specialize in the social sciences or even the performing arts.

And while there are obvious benefits to studying in a residential, campus-based setting—don’t despair if that isn’t a possibility for you. Top colleges have developed outstanding online liberal arts programs.  

For more information, check out our ranking for the Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges.

How much money do people make with a Liberal Arts degree?

A liberal arts education is more than a training for a profession—it’s a training for life. That said, it also happens to be pretty useful professionally as well.  

You’ll gain skills in research, analysis, critical thinking, and communication. These are broadly applicable skills that employers place a premium on.

And the data is clear. More education leads to higher earnings and better prospects for employment. Recent research shows that college graduates earn, on average, about $20,000 a year more than those who finished their educations at high school. And according to the Bureau of Labor Services, starting salaries are on the rise for those with a liberal arts education.

What can you do with a degree in the Liberal Arts?

What can’t you do? A liberal arts education gives you a broad, multidisciplinary foundation that you can use in any profession you land in. You’ll also gain the academic background you need for graduate work, which is becoming increasingly necessary for higher-level professions.

Interestingly, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that most hiring managers care more about a job candidate’s skills than they do about what they actually studied while in college.

On the other hand, finding what you are passionate about is the key to thriving at college. Here are some majors you might not have thought of:

  • Art and Art History
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • International Development
  • Food, Agriculture, and Society

What are the requirements for a degree in Liberal Arts?

The colleges on our ranking are some of the most selective in the country. So you’ll have to show them that you have a lot to offer their college community. Part of that is your grades:

  • To have a good chance of getting into these schools you should be in the top 10% of your high school class and/or have a GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Most schools will want to see high SAT and ACT scores as well, though some top colleges have stopped looking at those—or made them optional.

That’s not the only thing top colleges are interested in, though.

They want to see that you have leadership skills and that you’re interested in the world outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities—like clubs, jobs, and community service are all important—and say a lot about you. And showing them who you are is what the application process is all about.

What are the best Liberal Arts degrees?

If you’ve started your search for a liberal arts college that suits you, you’ll have discovered that there’s a lot to choose from. And wading through hundreds of college websites isn’t really a great use of your time.

At College Choice, we’ve made the job a lot easier. Our ranking lists the 50 best liberal arts colleges in the country—and we’ve given each school a score that reflects academic excellence and return on investment.

That score is based on a lot of numbers. We look at statistics from the  Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), national reputation scores, tuition costs, and early career incomes—as well as first-year retention rates and student satisfaction reviews.

We wish you the best in your search for a great college!

1

Williams College

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $18,167

School Website

Overview

Seated at the foot of Mount Greylock in the Massachusetts Berkshires, Williams College offers the quintessential private liberal arts college experience. Williams College, which was founded in the 18th century, stresses excellence in teaching and academic mentorship—while giving great freedom to students to carve out their own academic path. For several years, Williams College has ranked as the top national liberal arts college in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

All Williams College, small class sizes are the norm. With a student to faculty ratio of 7:1, you can be sure that your professors will know you by name. There are no required courses that students must take, just guidelines to ensure breadth and depth. And students can choose experiential education classes, off-campus study, study abroad, or one of the immersive Special Academic Programs. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Biology
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

To understand the possibilities of a Williams College education, take a look at one of their hallmark academic encounters—the tutorial. Over a semester, two students take turns to develop an independent work, then sit down weekly with a professor to discuss and sharpen their arguments. This kind of academic mentorship, combined with one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, is what makes a Williams College education so valuable.

2

Pomona College

College Choice Score: 98.48

Average Net Price: $18,140

School Website

Overview

Located near L.A. in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Pomona College is a member of the prestigious Claremont College consortium. Combining an innovative approach to learning with the traditional liberal arts disciplines, Pomona College’s diverse student body benefits from a wide range of educational and social opportunities. And Pomona College ranks among the top ten national liberal arts colleges in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

At Pomona College, students encounter a curriculum rooted in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences—in the context of a close knit residential community. The school has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, and most classes are taught as seminars—with an average class size of 15. Students also have rich opportunities to study across disciplines. Popular majors at Pomona College include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences

Notables

Pomona students have a great deal of freedom to carve out their own educational path. And that’s not limited to what Pomona College itself offers. Students can also take classes at the other six colleges in the Claremont Colleges consortium. Pomona College features state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities—and nearly half of all Pomona students study abroad through one of their 59 programs.

3

Harvey Mudd College

College Choice Score: 97.84

Average Net Price: $35,460

School Website

Overview

If you’re looking for a college that combines the best of the liberal arts tradition with premier engineering, science, and mathematics programs—Harvey Mudd College is your school. Located in Claremont, CA (just outside of L.A.), Harvey Mudd College is a member of the elite Claremont College consortium and ranks among the top national liberal arts colleges in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Harvey Mudd College goes to great lengths to merge the greatest strengths of the arts and the sciences. Each of Mudd’s nine engineering, science, and mathematics-based majors is firmly grounded in a core curriculum which embraces the humanities and social sciences. Students can blend a passion for physics with their love for music or literature—resulting in graduates who are well-rounded and ready to lead. Popular majors include:

  • Engineering
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Physical Sciences

Notables

With opportunities to conduct high-level research in cutting-edge laboratories, students at Harvey Mudd College engage in hands-on learning from the beginning. The Clinic Program is an example of this—the program allows students to collaborate to solve real-life problems for real companies (like Microsoft and Boeing). And the school has a generous financial aid policy. They are committed to providing 100 percent of every students’ demonstrated need.

4

Bowdoin College

College Choice Score: 97.82

Average Net Price: $24,888

School Website

Overview

Situated in the picturesque coastal New England town of Brunswick, Maine, Bowdoin College is a historic private liberal arts college that ranks among the top national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. (U.S. News and World Report). Bowdoin College invests deeply in academic mentorship  strong faculty-student relationships, collaborative learning, and encourages academic risk-taking.

Program Features

At the heart of the Bowdoin College experience lie formative relationships—between students of different backgrounds and dedicated, world-class faculty. Bowdoin College students have freedom to construct an educational plan within breadth and distribution requirements. And they engage with one other in the classroom as well as in state-of-the-art laboratories, field stations, museums, libraries, theaters, art and dance studios, and recital hall. Popular majors include:

  • Political Science and Government
  • Economics
  • Biology

Notables

Beyond the classroom, Bowdoin College students have opportunities to take part in research, internships, and community-based service programs. Many Bowdoin students also expand their horizons through off-campus study, which take place around the world. And Bowdoin College is committed to their students regardless of financial status—all Bowdoin College students have their demonstrated financial needs met without taking out loans.

5

Claremont McKenna College

College Choice Score: 97.76

Average Net Price: $30,527

School Website

Overview

Located in the liberal arts mecca of Claremont, California, Claremont McKenna College is one of the Claremont College consortium and one of the nation’s top private liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report). Claremont McKenna College features a stellar liberal arts curriculum with a real-world emphasis and special expertise in economics and government.

Program Features

If your interests lie in the world of business and government, Claremont McKenna College’s unique curriculum will be of interest to you. CMC students experience the best of the small residential college atmosphere—with a student to faculty ratio of 9:1. And the College’s real-world emphasis means that nearly 90% of students take part in internships that prepare them for life after college. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Political Science and Government
  • International Relations and Affairs

Notables

Like other colleges in the Claremont College consortium, students have access to courses in any of the other six colleges of the consortium.  And with eleven world-class research institutes and centers, Claremont McKenna College has an exceptionally high number of undergraduate students taking part in high-level research with faculty—with whom they develop strong relationships.

6

Amherst College

College Choice Score: 97.74

Average Net Price: $19,055

School Website

Overview

Set on a gorgeous and historic New England campus in Amherst, Massachusetts, Amherst College is a top-ranking, private liberal arts college with a reputation for both innovation and academic excellence (U.S. News and World Report). Amherst students can complete their Bachelor of Arts in 38 fields of study—all of which bring them into close contact with renowned faculty.

Program Features

A definitive feature of the Amherst College liberal arts experience is their open curriculum. With few required courses outside the students’ chosen major, students encounter an exceptional amount of freedom to experiment with other academic interests. Each student works closely with an academic advisor to construct a program of study that allows them to explore intellectual and creative interests, preparing them for a life of active learning. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • English language and Literature

Notables

As a member of the Five College Consortium, Amherst College offers the best that a small liberal arts college offers (including a faculty-student ratio of 8:1) combined with the course choice of a much larger university setting. And Amherst encourages a global perspective—with students from more than 50 countries globally and more than 40% of Amherst students taking part in their extensive study-abroad program.

7

Swarthmore College

College Choice Score: 97.10

Average Net Price: $19,641

School Website

Overview

Situated on an idyllic, 425-acre arboretum campus in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college with a commitment to independent learning. Swarthmore sits near the top of rankings in multiple categories, including National Liberal Arts Colleges, Best Undergraduate Teaching, and Best Value Schools (U.S. News and World Report), and offers students a rigorous, engaged education in a variety of fields. 

Program Features

At Swarthmore College, intellectually passionate students from diverse backgrounds come together to collaborate rather than compete. Swarthmore’s mission centers around a rigorous and broad education for the common good—to that end they offer more than 600 undergraduate courses and research opportunities. And a student to faculty ratio of 8:1 means that students have close relationships with their professors. Top majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Education

Notables

Attending a member-college of the Tri-College Consortium means that Swarthmore students can also take courses at both Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College. And they can also take classes at the University of Pennsylvania through the Quaker Consortium. And Swarthmore’s mission to extend a liberal arts education to all worthy candidates means that students have all of their demonstrated financial needs met.

8

Middlebury College

College Choice Score: 95.41

Average Net Price: $21,437

School Website

Overview

A private liberal arts college located in Vermont’s Champlain Valley (between the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains) Middlebury College offers a comprehensive liberal arts education in an idyllic setting. The College ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the country (U.S. News and World Report), and their majors, whether they be scientific or the humanities—all reflect Middlebury’s historic commitment to immersive learning.

Program Features

At Middlebury College, a liberal arts education is meant to be transformative. Middlebury’s curriculum provides both depth through a chosen major and breadth through a set of distribution requirements. And Middlebury has created the Education in Action program to ensure that each undergraduate has at least one experiential opportunity—these include internships, community service opportunities, and self-directed projects. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Neuroscience
  • Environmental Studies

Notables

Middlebury is notable among traditional liberal arts colleges in their diversity of programs. These include graduate degrees as well as specialized programs (like the Middlebury Language Schools) around the globe. And the College’s natural environment has lead to their taking a leading role in sustainability efforts in the region—Middlebury College recently met its goal of achieving carbon neutrality as an institution.

9

Washington and Lee University

College Choice Score: 94.44

Average Net Price: $23,867

School Website

Overview

Established in the colonial period in Lexington, VA, Washington and Lee University is a historic private liberal arts college which ranks among the best in the country (U.S. News and World Report). Situated just a few hours southwest of Washington, D.C., W&I’s curriculum combines traditional liberal arts and sciences with distinctive pre-professional programs in business, journalism, and law.

Program Features

Washington and Lee University is home to two undergraduate divisions—the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, and the College, which represents the liberal arts core of the University. The College is home to 21 departments, from the fine arts and humanities to the social and natural sciences. Students are mentored by stellar faculty and can earn either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. Popular majors include:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • Accounting and Business/Management
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

At W&I, faculty encourage independent scholarly work and offer opportunities for collaborative and independent research over the summer. As part of W&I’s distinctive 12-12-4 academic calendar, the four-week Spring Term makes room for students to focus on a single course. You can also take that time to be part of innovative, intensive learning experiences, including off-campus and international travel.

10

Davidson College

College Choice Score: 92.76

Average Net Price: $27,897

School Website

Overview

Located in the lakeside college town of Davidson, NC, Davidson College is a private liberal arts college that ranks among the best in the nation (U.S. News and World Report).  The school is known for rigorous academics and excellent teaching. But at the heart of Davidson College lies their distinctive honor code—this trains students to govern their own behavior and creates a spirit of trust between students, faculty, and staff.

Program Features

Davidson College’s world-class faculty mentor students through a curriculum which provides in-depth study in one area (a chosen major) as well as breadth of experience across many fields and disciplines. And Davidson is a leader in undergraduate research and creative work. As a student, you’ll engage in extensive exploration of original work through the academic year and during the summer. Popular majors include:

  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

A major part of the Davidson College undergraduate experience is travel abroad. In fact, more than 80% of Davidson students study, travel, or perform service abroad. You may even qualify for a travel grant to perform research abroad. And Davidson has pioneered affordable education. They were the first liberal arts college to replace loans with grants, ensuring that students graduate free from debt.

11

Colgate University

College Choice Score: 92.40

Average Net Price: $22,463

School Website

Overview

Located in Madison County, New York, Colgate University is a private liberal arts college with a national reputation (U.S. News and World Report). At Colgate, students experience the small classes and community spirit of a residential college, with the course selection of a larger university. And the University’s celebrated liberal arts core curriculum helps students become thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders.

Program Features

At Colgate University, faculty-student interaction is the norm—both in and outside the classroom. And with a focus on interdisciplinary knowledge, the core curriculum provides links between majors, providing a shared intellectual foundation for the entire school. To foster breadth of learning, students take six courses from disciplines which range from the humanities to the natural sciences. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Political Science and Government
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

To help ease the transition to college life and create a sense of community, all first-year and sophomore students at Colgate University live in the school’s Residential Commons. And many students choose to travel abroad as undergraduates. Colgate provides more than 130 off-campus study opportunities in 50 countries (including the USA), including semester-long faculty-led programs, approved programs at other institutions, and three-week extended study courses.

12

Haverford College

College Choice Score: 92.37

Average Net Price: $21,144

School Website

Overview

Located just 10 miles from Philadelphia in Haverford, Pennsylvania, Haverford College is a small, private liberal arts college which imbues a sense of high principle in its students. Ranking among the top liberal arts colleges for undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report), Haverford places strong emphasis on undergraduate involvement in faculty research, a training that culminates in a senior thesis.

Program Features

Haverford College was originally founded by Quakers, and though the school no longer retains the affiliation, the school’s deep commitment to social justice continues to be a deep influence on its core curriculum. Students can choose to complete either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in 31 majors across the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

Academic Centers at Haverford College take students out of the classroom, providing funding and support for students to conduct original scholarship as undergraduates. And with over 145 student clubs and organizations to choose from—from cultural interests to STEM and sustainability—Haverford students don’t have much time to miss the lack of fraternities or sororities on campus.

13

Wesleyan University

College Choice Score: 92.17

Average Net Price: $20,490

School Website

Overview

Located in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University is highly-ranked private liberal arts college with a distinctive culture that values putting ideals into practice. Though focussing primarily on undergraduate education, Wesleyan does offer master’s and Ph.d. degree programs as well. And the school ranks among the most veteran-friendly of the national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

With a faculty of over 400 teacher-scholars, Wesleyan maintains a student to faculty ratio of 8:1. For students, this means small class sizes and the ability to build relationships with professors. Wesleyan offers 45 majors, 17 minors, and 12 certificates—and students, with the guidance of academic advisors, develop their own unique programs of study, which reflect their interests. Top majors include:

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

A major part of being a Wesleyan student is exploring interests outside academics. There’s a multitude of options for involvement—whether your passions lie in the arts, sports, languages, the outdoors, or internships. You’ll probably find a niche at Wesleyan.  And if travel is important to you, nearly 50 percent of student study abroad through 150 programs located in 50 countries worldwide.

14

Bates College

College Choice Score: 90.20

Average Net Price: $24,055

School Website

Overview

Located in Lewiston, the second largest city in Maine, Bates College is a small, private liberal arts college which has the distinction of being the first coeducational college in New England. Their liberal arts curriculum places a strong emphasis on independent scholarship at the undergraduate level. And the ethos of the College teaches students to lead in a deeply thoughtful and intentionally ethical way.

Program Features

At Bates College, intellectual interests lead to intellectual passions. For this reason, students are encouraged to choose courses widely, even as they focus their interests on one of 35 major areas. Bates College encourages students to cross disciplines in their effort to explore broadly and deeply—and all students write a thesis prior to graduation, giving them a taste of the joys and rigors of original scholarship.

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology

Notables

At Bates, students experience a web of support. The professor who teaches a student’s first-year seminar becomes their academic advisor and works with them to ensure that they understand the general education requirements and are working towards fulfilling them. And the Student Affairs Office also provides a support advisor for each student to help with the many extra and co-curricular activities available to them.

15

Carleton College

College Choice Score: 89.42

Average Net Price: $28,587

School Website

Overview

Situated just south of the Twin Cities in Northfield, Minnesota, Carleton College is a private liberal arts college that ranks among the best in the country.  The school’s arboretum campus sets the stage for the school’s stellar academics, exemplified by their ranking as the top liberal arts college in the country for undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Carleton College has earned national acclaim for their innovative programs, which are undeniably rigorous, but in a highly supportive environment. Students are encouraged to collaborate, rather than compete—and with an average class size of 18, close connections between students and faculty are the norm. And professors welcome student involvement in their research. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

A distinctive feature of the Carleton College school year is their unique trimester system. This schedule propels students through three (rather than four) classes at a time in ten-week terms. This allows students to delve deeply into fewer topics at a time, while having more opportunity to select different classes throughout the year. And at Carleton, extra-curricular activities and off-campus study opportunities abound.

16

Wellesley College

College Choice Score: 88.98

Average Net Price: $20,013

School Website

Overview

A ranking of the best liberal arts colleges would not be complete without mentioning the renowned Wellesley College, a private liberal arts college for women. Located in Wellesley, Maine, the College is known as one of the most academically challenging of the national liberal arts college, but their undergraduate-only focus means that all support resources—teaching, academic, and research—are all focussed on undergraduate students.

Program Features

At Wellesley College, students enjoy state-of-the-art labs, studios, instructional technology, athletic facilities, and a nationally-known museum. And the school offers both breadth and depth in its academic programs—including interdisciplinary majors—as well as research opportunities and international study. There are also special programs like the Writing Program or the Sustainability Program. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology

Notables

Beyond academics, Wellesley’s Center for Work and Service offers exceptional career guidance and internship programs and consequently, about three-quarters of students engage in at least one internship. And the College’s generous financial aid policies have eliminated loans for students with the greatest need, resulting in one of the most socioeconomically diverse colleges in the country. In fact, Wellesley awards financial aid to over 50 percent of its students.

17

Vassar College

College Choice Score: 87.01

Average Net Price: $21,933

School Website

Overview

Located on a beautiful, sprawling campus in Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College was originally an elite women’s college but has, since 1969, been coeducational—offering its top-ranked programs to highly qualified men and women. The school ranks as one of the most highly innovative liberal arts colleges in the country and as the #1 liberal arts college for veterans in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Unlike most liberal arts colleges, Vassar does not have a core curriculum, opting instead to emphasize flexibility and breadth of education. Students can choose (usually by the end of their sophomore year) a concentration in a department, an interdepartmental program, a multidisciplinary program, or an independent program (tailored to the students’ interests). Popular majors at Vassar include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

At Vassar, they say that students are the architects of campus life. Whether that involves starting new organizations, publications, or performing groups—even dealing with institutional problems and sitting in on policy committees with faculty and administrators—students are empowered to help shape what Vassar looks like as a school.  And with over 100 student organizations, there is no lack of opportunity to get involved.

18

Barnard College

College Choice Score: 86.85

Average Net Price: $22,815

School Website

Overview

Another renowned women’s college, and one of the elite “Seven Sisters”, Barnard College is a private liberal arts college located in the Morningside Heights neighbourhood of New York City. Barnard College offers students the advantages of a small, residential liberal arts college combined with the benefits of large Ivy League university—thanks to its historic partnership with nearby Columbia University.

Program Features

The liberal arts education Barnard College offers is steeped in the tradition of close relationships, both among students and between students and faculty. Barnard students are encouraged to take academic risks and explore their interests. And they have a lot to choose from—traditional majors, interdisciplinary programs, internships, laboratory research, international travel, field research, and more. Popular majors at Barnard include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

Being set in New York City, it goes without saying that Barnard students find much to keep them busy and engaged outside the classroom. In fact, both students and faculty use the city as an extension of the classroom, making use of its endless opportunities for research, studio visits, and field trips. And Barnard’s own 80 student organizations provide ready-made opportunities for involvement as well.

19

Hamilton College

College Choice Score: 86.79

Average Net Price: $24,397

School Website

Overview

One of the oldest colleges in New York state, Hamilton College is a private liberal arts college that ranks as one of the most innovative in the country (U.S. News and World Report). The College is located near the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, and their historic campus reflects the combination of traditional and progressive values that fuel the College ethos.

Program Features

One of the defining features of Hamilton College’s liberal arts curriculum is an emphasis on communication—the ability to both speak and write clearly and effectively. As a student, you’ll also be challenged to get your hands dirty (so to speak) as you learn, through experiential learning opportunities like research and community outreach. All students complete a Bachelor of Arts, with the choice of 56 areas of study, including 43 majors. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

Going to college in a rural area doesn’t mean that you’ll be bored. Hamilton College offers myriad opportunities for involvement through their many student organizations which revolve around cultural, social, and sports interests, among many others.  And, in order to create as diverse a campus as possible, Hamilton College practices need-blind admission, meeting the demonstrated financial need of all accepted students.

20

United States Military Academy

College Choice Score: 86.66

Average Net Price: $0

School Website

Overview

One of the few public institutions on our ranking, the United States Military Academy—more commonly known as “West Point”—is located about 50 miles north of the New York City in West Point, New York. West Point ranks at #12 among national liberal colleges and as the top public national liberal arts college in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

The mission of the United States Military Academy at West Point is to educate, train, and inspire students for a career of professional service as officers in the United States Army. Leadership development is a core focus in all of the thirteen academic departments which comprise West Point’s Bachelor of Science program. These programs range from Civil and Mechanical Engineering to English and Philosophy. Popular majors at West Point include:

  • Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Business, Management, Marketing

Notables

The entire campus of the United States Military Academy is a national landmark, including the campus’s granite buildings and the many historic sites. To be admitted, students need to both apply directly to the academy and be nominated, usually by a member of Congress. As a student, you’ll be able to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities which range from varsity sports to musical and cultural clubs.

21

Bucknell University

College Choice Score: 86.63

Average Net Price: $34,339

School Website

Overview

Situated along the West Branch Susquehanna River in the town of Lewisburg, PA, Bucknell University is a renowned private liberal arts college. Home to a College of Arts & Science that is one of the largest and most diverse of the top liberal arts colleges, Bucknell University confers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as a limited number of graduate programs.

Program Features

Though Bucknell’s undergraduate curriculum is centered around their liberal arts core, the University is divided into three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the College of Management. For their B.S. or B.A. degrees, students can choose from more than 50 majors including professional programs in education, music, engineering, and management. Popular majors include:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Economics

Notables

With an impressive array of Global Education programs, 45 percent of students at Bucknell travel while they are students. And Bucknell’s athletic facilities are pretty impressive too—you can work out in a state-of-the-art fitness center, swim in an Olympic-sized pool, or golf on their 18-hole golf course. And your education will pay off. According to Payscale.com, Bucknell ranks third among liberal arts colleges for alumni median lifetime earnings.

22

United States Naval Academy

College Choice Score: 85.95

Average Net Price: $0

School Website

Overview

Located just 33 miles east of Washington, D.C. in Annapolis, Maryland, United States Naval Academy is a public institution that ranks at #2 among public national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report). As the second oldest of the five federal service academies, the Naval Academy has a long tradition of academic excellence and service.

Program Features

In order to meet the current and future technical needs of the Navy, students at the Naval Academy (referred to as midshipmen), encounter a mostly STEM-focussed curriculum. All students earn a Bachelor of Science in one of 25 majors, which they choose in conversation with academic and military advisors. Graduates from the Naval Academy are proficient in scientific inquiry, logical reasoning, and problem solving. Popular majors include:

  • Political Science and Government
  • Economics
  • Systems Engineering

Notables

Students at the United States Naval Academy are part of a residential college community, with student organizations, athletics, activities, and special events. Unlike other colleges, students at the Naval Academy are considered officers in training, and their tuition—including all expenses like medical and dental—will be entirely covered by the U.S. Navy. In exchange, you commit to five years of active duty service upon graduation.

23

Lafayette College

College Choice Score: 85.38

Average Net Price: $26,208

School Website

Overview

Located in the city of Easton, PA, Lafayette College is a private liberal arts college. Lafayette College is renowned for its rare combination of degree programs in liberal arts and an engineering program which ranks at #12 nationally according to U.S. News and World Report. This interdisciplinary emphasis is one of Lafayette’s longstanding traditions and core strengths.

Program Features

With over 50 majors to choose from, students at Lafayette College encounter an interdisciplinary curriculum that transcends academic boundaries and gives students the breadth and freedom to take academic risks. Academic opportunities include working closely with faculty through independent studies, honors theses, paid research assistant positions, or even co-authoring a paper. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

At Lafayette, learning goes beyond the classroom walls. Apart from athletics and other student organizations, Lafayette students make a difference locally and globally through community-based teams and service-learning programs. You can also study abroad—for a few weeks or up to a whole academic year—or gain new experiences through internships and externships in a variety of professions.

24

Colby College

College Choice Score: 84.77

Average Net Price: $21,032

School Website

Overview

A small, private liberal arts college, Colby College is located in the picturesque college town of Waterville, Maine. Colby College ranks at #12 among national liberal arts colleges and also as as a Best Value College (U.S. News and World Report).  Colby College offers excellent teaching, close student-faculty relationships, and learning that is enhanced by real-world research.

Program Features

Students at Colby College choose from 58 majors and 35 minors. Among the array of programs, students can register in a premed program or even create their own major with the help of a faculty advisor. And if you want an Engineering degree without losing all that a liberal arts college has to offer, Colby has dual-degree programs in Engineering with Dartmouth College and Columbia University. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Natural Resources and Conservation

Notables

A distinctive feature of Colby’s academic year is the  4-1-4 academic calendar. This structure allows for the celebrated Jan Plan—a four-week exploratory term which gives students a structured time to pursue different academic opportunities. These experiences can include independent study, conducting research, or gaining real-world experience in an internship. Students are required to complete three Jan Plans, but most choose to do four.

25

Scripps College

College Choice Score: 82.53

Average Net Price: $37,860

School Website

Overview

The only women’s college in the elite Claremont Colleges consortium, Scripps College is a small, private liberal arts college located in Claremont, California. Known for their interdisciplinary core curriculum, Scripps College invests heavily in undergraduate teaching. This takes place in distinctive seminar-style classes, fostering close relationships between students and faculty.

Program Features

At the heart of a Scripps liberal arts education lies the Core—a three semester interdisciplinary humanities program that provides a foundational academic experience for all students. Beyond that, students have 50 majors to choose from on the Scripps campus as well all that the other Claremont Colleges have to offer. And all Scripps students get to create original scholarship through a senior thesis.

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

Students at Scripps experience the advantages of a small residential community with the benefits that the larger academic community of the Claremont College consortium can offer. The school’s location also gives access to beaches (in L.A.), skiing (in the San Gabriel Mountains), and the cities of Southern California. You’ll also be studying on a campus that is nationally renowned for its beauty.

26

Smith College

College Choice Score: 82.44

Average Net Price: $24,258

School Website

Overview

Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, Smith College is a renowned private liberal arts college for women that ranks at #12 nationally among national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report). The largest college of the historic “Seven Sisters”, Smith College is also a member of the Five Colleges consortium which greatly expands course offerings for its students.

Program Features

A Smith College education is both highly rigorous as well as experimental. As a student, you’ll be challenged to delve deeply into an area of study, taking advantage of opportunities for research and individual scholarship. But you’ll also be pushed to take risks and branch out into new areas. And with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, you’ll never just be a face in the crowd. Popular majors at Smith include:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Political Science and Government
  • Economics

Notables

Campus life at Smith College offers rich opportunities for students. From athletics and recreation to dance, music, visual arts, and student government, there is a niche for everyone. And residential life at Smith has its own particular flavor as well. Unlike many colleges, Smith students do not live in dorms, but in 35 distinctive houses that range greatly in size, each with its own unique style.

27

College of the Holy Cross

College Choice Score: 82.10

Average Net Price: $26,965

School Website

Overview

Located in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, College of the Holy Cross is a private, Catholic (Jesuit) liberal arts college. Ranking at #33 among national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report), Holy Cross is the only Jesuit institution in the country with a focussed commitment to undergraduates.

Program Features

At College of the Holy Cross, academic exploration is fueled by a sense of intellectual adventure. And in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition, the liberal arts at Holy Cross embrace the whole person: intellectual, spiritual, and personal. Students engage in dialogue with each other and faculty in small classes which range from the arts and sciences to pre-professional programs in Education, Law, Business, Health Professions, or Engineering. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, Linguistics

Notables

The majority of students at College of the Holy Cross identify as Roman Catholic, but the school embraces students of all (or no) religious backgrounds. At Holy Cross, there is much to explore outside the classroom as well—the school boasts state-of-the-art facilities, which include a fitness center, athletic facilities, and exceptional arts spaces. And the coed residential halls are comfortable and conducive to community building.

28

Bryn Mawr College

College Choice Score: 81.67

Average Net Price: $31,900

School Website

Overview

Located in the Philadelphia suburb of Bryn Mawr (which means “great hill” in Welsh), Bryn Mawr College is a celebrated private liberal arts college for women and one of the elite “Seven Sisters”. The school ranks highly among national liberal arts colleges and is also known for its innovative curriculum and excellent undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Apart from the traditional liberal arts programs, students at Bryn Mawr take part in innovative educational programs which include distinctive Bryn Mawr experiences like 360°. This is an interdisciplinary cluster of courses which connect students and faculty around a common focus. And Praxis courses offer experiential, community-based learning programs that engage students in fieldwork in their area of study. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Notables

Though Bryn Mawr no longer maintains its affiliation with the Quaker denomination, its historic connection with the Quaker Consortium continues to the present day. These close geographical, academic, and social ties to Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania dramatically increase Bryn Mawr’s social community—as well as program offerings.

29

Grinnell College

College Choice Score: 80.58

Average Net Price: $30,010

School Website

Overview

Located in the small Iowa town of Grinnell, Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college that ranks among the top 20 national liberal arts colleges in the country—and 4th for undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report). This midwestern school also offers a truly innovative curriculum, which offers students the chance to construct their own educational path.

Program Features

The hallmarks of Grinnell College’s liberal arts curriculum are freedom and responsibility. Grinnell’s distinctive individually-advised curriculum gives students an exceptional amount of choice when it comes to their program of study. There is only one required course, the first-year tutorial, outside the requirements of the major. Grinnell offers 26 majors and 12 concentrations, and a multitude of opportunities for off-campus research and study.  Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences;
  • English Language and Literature/Letters

Notables

For a relatively small college, Grinnell has a lot to offer students. With over 100 student organizations and an extensive study abroad program, students are engaged in and out of the classroom. Also, though the town of Grinnell is small, it is nicknamed “The Jewel of the Prairie” for a good reason. It often ranks among the best college towns in the country and offers countless events and festivals throughout the year.

30

University of Richmond

College Choice Score: 80.26

Average Net Price: $22,400

School Website

Overview

Located in the Virginia state capital of Richmond, the University of Richmond is a private liberal arts college. With a student population of just over 3000, this is one of the larger national liberal arts colleges, and as such, has much to offer in the way of academic programs. The University ranks at #23 among national liberal arts colleges and as a Best Value School (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

The University of Richmond attracts academically and intellectually ambitious students with a thirst for knowledge. The school is centered around a liberal arts core integrated with programs from their Schools of Business, Leadership Studies, Law, and Professional and Continuing Studies. Class sizes are small—and there’s guaranteed funding for summer research or internship for every undergraduate student.

  • Business, Management, Marketing
  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Notables

Greek life is a prominent feature of social life at the University of Richmond, with over one-third of the student body involved in sororities and fraternities. But for those who aren’t interested in the Greek system, the school has a plethora of student organizations, 170 to be exact, that offer many ways to engage in cultural, social, academic, and artistic endeavours. And the city of Richmond has plenty to offer as well.

31

Pitzer College

College Choice Score: 79.68

Average Net Price: $25,521

School Website

Overview

Another member of the renowned Claremont Colleges consortium, Pitzer College is a small liberal arts college that ranks at #33 among national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report). With a strong commitment to the liberal arts tradition of intellectual debate, Pitzer graduates are ready to lead in a world that requires a diverse range of skills, languages, and perspectives.

Program Features

Pitzer College’s unique liberal arts curriculum blends tradition with innovation. Students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in one (or two) of 40 majors, or they can design a special major with help from an academic advisor. With a student to faculty ratio of 11:1, class sizes are small at Pitzer, and there are opportunities for research, independent study, and study abroad. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Natural Resources and Conservation

Notables

Like many liberal arts colleges, Pitzer College eschews the Greek system, opting instead to promote social activities through their many student organizations. But with the other four Claremont Colleges within walking distance, the lack of Greek life isn’t a social drawback. And for students who would like a seamless transition to a Master’s program, Pitzer offers a BA/MA program in conjunction with Claremont Graduate University.

32

Oberlin College

College Choice Score: 78.77

Average Net Price: $42,105

School Website

Overview

Located in the college town of Oberlin, Ohio, Oberlin College is a high-ranking, private liberal arts college with a long-standing tradition of inclusion and social justice. By 1837, Oberlin was the first college in America to include both women and people of color. And Oberlin’s commitment to social justice is matched by their excellence in teaching, currently ranking among the best in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Oberlin’s College of Arts & Sciences offers more than 50 majors and 42 minors and concentrations for students to choose from. And students explore academic subjects in small, collaborative classes lead by dedicated faculty. The other main component of Oberlin College is their historic Conservatory of Music which is the only major music school in the country dedicated to undergraduate education. Popular majors at Oberlin include:

  • Music
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

A distinctive feature of Oberlin College’s academic year is their 4-1-4 academic calendar. This unique schedule provides a four-week Winter Term in which students devise and pursue programs of independent study or research. The emphasis of the winter term is on experimentation and creativity, and students take part in individual and group projects that the traditional academic year has a hard time accommodating.

33

Colorado College

College Choice Score: 78.24

Average Net Price: $23,812

School Website

Overview

Colorado College is a pioneering private liberal arts college located near the foot of the Rocky Mountains. With an outstanding academic reputation, the College ranks at #23 among national liberal arts colleges and as the most innovative liberal arts college in the country (U.S. News and World Report). From unique classes to their distinctive academic calendar, CC is in a league of its own.

Program Features

Academics at Colorado College are defined by rigor, innovation, and breadth. The College offers 42 majors and 33 minors and has a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. This means that students are mentored by faculty who know their students well and can help them negotiate the academic freedom that Colorado College offers. Popular majors at Colorado College include:

  • Economics
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of a Colorado College education is their Block Plan. Instead of taking multiple classes at a time, students study one course at a time for three-and-a-half weeks. This propels students through courses in eight blocks per academic year, allowing students to delve deeply into a single area of study at a time. The system also encourages academic risk-taking, since a course only lasts for a short time.

34

Macalester College

College Choice Score: 77.85

Average Net Price: $28,528

School Website

Overview

Located in the beautiful Minnesota state capital of St. Paul, and a short drive from its more energetic sister city of Minneapolis, Macalester College is a private liberal arts college with a stellar reputation. The school ranks at #16 in the country for Best Undergraduate Teaching (U.S. News and World Report), a key feature of their intentionally dynamic academic program.

Program Features

Macalester students choose from 38 majors and 63 areas of study, including pre-professional programs in Engineering, Law, and Medicine. With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, the average class size is just 17, allowing for plenty of interaction between peers and faculty. And Macalester’s international focus means that 60 percent of the student body studies abroad for at least 12 weeks. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Foreign Languages,

Notables

Macalester College’s location in Minnesota’s Twin Cities affords students access to myriad opportunities for internships and research. And the Twin Cities is an arts and culture hub for a good part of the Midwest—so opportunities abound for exploration outside the classroom. Macalester students can also take courses from the other four private colleges in the Twin Cities, dramatically increasing academic choice.

35

Franklin and Marshall College

College Choice Score: 76.09

Average Net Price: $23,182

School Website

Overview

A historic private liberal arts college located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Franklin and Marshall College was originally founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1787. The College ranks at #39 among national liberal arts colleges, with their distinctive approach to a liberal arts education earning a ranking among the top 15 Most Innovative Schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

If you have an interest in the natural sciences, then Franklin and Marshall College might be your school. F&M’s liberal arts curriculum provides the framework for cutting-edge programs in many fields of study.  And with a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, undergraduate research at F&M is not a rare experience for the privileged few, but rather a central experience for many students. Areas of study include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Health

Notables

Students at Franklin and Marshall College don’t live in dorms. Rather, all first-year students are assigned to one of five distinctive, coed College Houses, each of which serves as a hub of intellectual, extracurricular, and social activity. And the 140 student clubs and organizations at F&M offer opportunities for students to explore their interests—and discover new ones—outside the classroom.

36

Kenyon College

College Choice Score: 75.64

Average Net Price: $28,192

School Website

Overview

Located in the central Ohio college town of Gambier, Kenyon College is a top-ranked, private liberal arts college with a strong on emphasis on English literature, the sciences, and drama. With a reputation for excellence in undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report), the curriculum is rooted in the traditional liberal arts and sciences and enriched by interdisciplinary programs.

Program Features

If you are curious, creative, and intellectually ambitious, Kenyon College speaks your language. Home to the internationally known Kenyon Review, and known as the writer’s school, the College is known for its distinguished literary tradition. But with 33 majors, as well as majors or concentrations within 13 interdisciplinary programs, students have a lot to choose from. Popular majors include:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Economics
  • Political Science and Government

Notables

Kenyon College’s reputation doesn’t end with academic excellence. The College is also renowned for the beauty and quality of its campus and facilities. With a $32-million science center, a $70-million fitness, recreation, and athletic center, a new art gallery, and studio art building, Kenyon College continues to build (literally) on this tradition.

37

Mount Holyoke College

College Choice Score: 74.68

Average Net Price: $27,234

School Website

Overview

The founding member of the elite Seven Sisters colleges for women, Mount Holyoke College is a historic—and pioneering—private liberal arts college. Located in South Hadley, Maine, the College ranks at #16 for Best Undergraduate Teaching (U.S. News and World Report) and is one of the most diverse research liberal arts colleges in the country.

Program Features

Students at Mount Holyoke College encounter the best of a liberal arts education—critical reading, creative thinking, and articulate expression—combined with innovative embedded career experiences. And the school’s commitment to diversity means that students hail from from 47 states and 68 countries. With 50 majors to choose from, a Mount Holyoke education is collaborative, forward-thinking, and altruistic. Popular majors include:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Psychology, General
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

Mount Holyoke’s residential college campus is situated on 800 acres of the scenic Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, and it is consistently named one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. And as part of the region’s Five College Consortium, students have easy access to the resources, including courses and social events, of each of these outstanding nearby institutions.

38

Denison University

College Choice Score: 73.02

Average Net Price: $32,023

School Website

Overview

Located in the picturesque college town of Granville, Ohio, Denison University is a private liberal arts college 25 miles from the state capital of Columbus. Denison University has an outstanding academic reputation and a solid internship program—but what sets it apart are the close relationships between faculty and students.

Program Features

With the ambitious goal of creating autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens, Denison University is renowned for its culture of mentorship. This key indicator of student success at college is made possible by a 9:1 faculty to student ratio. Denison students can complete a Bachelor of Arts, Science, or Fine Arts in 53 academic majors and five pre-professional programs. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Communication, Journalism

Notables

Starting with Denison’s First Look program in the first year, and continuing throughout the academic journey, Denison’s Center for Career Exploration provides internships that help prepare students for life after college. And for those who (with 80 percent of Denison students) want to combine study with travel, Denison provides ample off-campus study opportunities that complement a liberal arts education.

39

United States Air Force Academy

College Choice Score: 72.98

Average Net Price: $0

School Website

Overview

Located just north of Colorado Springs, CO, the United States Air Force Academy—more commonly known as the Academy—is a national military service academy. The Academy ranks at #26 among national liberal arts colleges, and its combined focus on military training and scholarship makes it a unique place to study.

Program Features

The rigorous core curriculum at the United States Air Force Academy is one that balances STEM subjects with the arts and humanities. All students (or cadets) earn a Bachelor of Science degree in one of 27 majors (with four minors) combined with physical education classes, competitive athletics, and airmanship. On graduation, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. Popular Majors include:

  • Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Business, Management, Marketing

Notables

As as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, you’ll be kept busy with a packed schedule of classes, athletics, and military training. There are student organizations and clubs, though, and if you’re into sports, then you’ll be aware of the deep rivalry that exists between the Academy and its fellow service academies Army and Navy. The Fighting Falcons, Air Force’s athletic teams, compete in NCAA’s Division I.

40

Occidental College

College Choice Score: 72.65

Average Net Price: $31,990

School Website

Overview

Occidental College is a private liberal arts college set in the hills of Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock community. Notable for outstanding academics and unique learning opportunities, the College ranks among the top 50 liberal arts colleges nationally (U.S. News and World Report). Occidental College is also notable for the diversity of its student body—and for being the alma mater of President Barack Obama.

Program Features

A tight-knit community of students and professors, Occidental College offers 34 majors across 40 departments and programs. Students can double major, pursue a minor, or create their own program of study. These programs bring with them myriad opportunities for independent research and experiential learning. And with a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, professors are able to mentor students through their program of study. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Diplomacy and World Affairs

Notables

Situated on a 120-acre campus in the heart of Los Angeles, Occidental College offers all the benefits of a residential liberal arts college—with the city acting as an extension of the classroom. Students live on campus for the first three years, but they can also pursue internships and take advantage of L.A.’s cultural offerings. And with over 100 student clubs and organizations, there’s a lot going on on campus as well.

41

Union College

College Choice Score: 71.33

Average Net Price: $38,621

School Website

Overview

Located in the city of Schenectady, New York, Union College is a historic private liberal arts college that is known as one of the “Little Ivies”. The school currently ranks among the top 40 national liberal arts colleges (U.S. News and World Report)—but is also notable for being one of the few elite liberal arts colleges to offer an ABET-accredited Engineering program.

Program Features

For more than two centuries, Union College has been pioneering new ways to combine the humanities with other programs of study. Today, the College seamlessly integrates the liberal arts with a top-ranked engineering program. Students are encouraged to engage in cross-disciplinary study, and opportunities abound for research and independent scholarship. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Psychology

Notables

Academic studies at Union College are just the beginning. The school provides a wealth of athletic, cultural, and social activities which include opportunities to combine study with travel through Union’s extensive study abroad program. And Union’s Minerva House system (in which all students and faculty are assigned to one of seven houses) is the nexus for academic, social, and residential life.

42

Gettysburg College

College Choice Score: 71.28

Average Net Price: $34,636

School Website

Overview

Located in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (yes, that Gettysburg), Gettysburg College is a private liberal arts college that ranks among the top 50 nationally (U.S. News and World Report). Located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College offers a solid liberal arts core that emphasizes citizenship and leadership.

Program Features

With a deep commitment to the traditional liberal arts, Gettysburg College offers 68 academic programs in the arts and sciences. With a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, class sizes average just 17 students. And the College seriously encourages student engagement through experiential learning opportunities, undergraduate research, and co-curricular, service, and off-campus study activities.  Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Business/Commerce

Notables

At some liberal arts colleges, career preparation may seem to sit uneasily with a traditional liberal arts education.  Not at Gettysburg College. Gettysburg’s Center for Career Development is a model of career development, working with students from their first through senior years. To ensure job-readiness, students experience internships, externships, job shadowing, career immersion trips, and networking trips both locally and across the country.

43

Skidmore College

College Choice Score: 71.11

Average Net Price: $23,941

School Website

Overview

Situated on a gorgeous, 1000-acre campus in Saratoga Springs, NY, Skidmore College ranks among the top 50 national liberal arts colleges in the country. The College offers rigorous academic programs to its diverse student body (students hail from 44 states and 60 countries). And the curriculum includes immersive educational experiences and faculty-student collaborative research.

Program Features

At the heart of a Skidmore College education is the belief that creative thought matters. With an interdisciplinary approach to learning, Skidmore offers 43 majors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The College also offers programs in career-specific fields such as business, education, exercise science, and social work. And with a rare student to faculty ratio of 8:1, students enjoy close relationships with their professors. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Business, Management, Marketing
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

At Skidmore College, first-year students are immediately integrated into college life through the First Year Experience Program. This program integrates academic and cocurricular aspects of students’ first year, and pairs freshmen up with peer mentors for support. And if your undergraduate goals include study abroad, Skidmore College has an extensive program, with over 60% of students participating.

44

Whitman College

College Choice Score: 70.89

Average Net Price: $34,272

School Website

Overview

Situated in the southeastern Washington city of Walla Walla, Whitman College is a private liberal arts college that ranks at #41 nationally (U.S. News and World Report). The College is notable for its outstanding commitment to undergraduate teaching (currently ranking at #20 nationally) which takes place in a collaborative classroom environment.

Program Features

At Whitman College, students can expect to attain a strong and broad foundation of knowledge. And regardless of major (of which Whitman offers 46 in diverse areas), students are encouraged to ask difficult questions, take intellectual risks, and gain strong communication skills. And all first-year students enroll in First-year Encounters, a two-semester class that provides a common foundation for all students. Popular majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Economics

Notables

Located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, Whitman College is set in a region with much to explore. The city of Walla Walla is noted for being one of the friendliest places to live, and the mild climate means outdoor exploration takes place year-round. And if you want to escape to another part of the world, Whitman College has an extensive study-abroad program which has Whitties traveling to far-off places on the globe.

45

Reed College

College Choice Score: 70.54

Average Net Price: $27,805

School Website

Overview

Located just outside downtown Portland, Oregon, Reed College is a private liberal arts college with a reputation for stellar undergraduate teaching (U.S. News and World Report). The heart of Reed’s academic culture is their rigorous liberal arts and sciences program—while their ethos is exemplified by a non-codified honor principal which calls students to create a culture of mutual respect and thoughtfulness.

Program Features

Students at Reed College earn a bachelor of arts degree in 40 majors and programs. These include 25 single majors, 13 interdisciplinary majors, and professional programs like Premed. The hallmarks of Reed’s curriculum include a yearlong humanities course, broad distribution requirements, and a senior thesis. And small seminar-style classes mean faculty members can truly mentor students and engage with them in individual discussions. Majors include:

  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science

Notables

Residential life at Reed is varied and includes multi-year, multi-gender dorms, a series of language houses (staffed with a visiting language scholar), and a variety of theme communities. There are also two Co-ops in which returning students create intentional community revolving around collective meals. And for those wanting a seamless transition to graduate school, Reed offers an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Liberal Studies.

46

Trinity College

College Choice Score: 68.84

Average Net Price: $23,414

School Website

Overview

Located in Connecticut’s state capital, Trinity College is a private liberal arts college situated on a beautiful, 100-acre campus in the heart of Hartford. Trinity College’s liberal arts curriculum encourages cross-disciplinary exploration, and is one of very few liberal arts colleges with an ABET-accredited Engineering program (and one that ranks highly in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking).

Program Features

At Trinity College, students receive a liberal arts education for the real world. Trinity’s distinctive offerings include an interdisciplinary program in neuroscience, an ABET-accredited engineering major, a pioneering human rights program, and a groundbreaking Center for Urban and Global Studies. And there are extensive opportunities for experiential learning, community service, and for-credit internships. Popular majors include:

  • Political Science and Government
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

For those who want to combine study with travel, Trinity College offers plenty of opportunities—including nine semester or year-long study away programs in cities around the world. And for students who want to take some time off before starting college, Trinity College just introduced J-Start—an innovative program that matriculates students in January, rather than September.

47

Connecticut College

College Choice Score: 68.12

Average Net Price: $27,790

School Website

Overview

Located in the coastal city of New London, CT, Connecticut College is a private liberal arts college that ranks at #46 nationally (U.S. News and World Report). The College is known is known for its innovative curriculum and commitment to social justice. Located on a 750-acre arboretum campus with easy access to New York, Boston, and Providence, students have the best of rural and urban life.

Program Features

Connecticut College puts students in the driver’s seat with their innovative Connections curriculum. This approach to the liberal arts has few course requirements, allowing students to integrate their interests in an interdisciplinary plan of study. Working with a team of advisors, students create their own degree program, which sets the course for their own personal and professional lives. Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Biology/Biological Sciences

Notables

To prepare students for post-college life, Connecticut College offers Career Informed Learning—a project-based approach to education in which alumni bring real problems into the classroom for students to research, analyze, and offer solutions. This also includes internships, provided through accomplished alumni around the globe. And around half of the Conn College student body studies abroad for at at least a semester, integrating travel into their studies.

48

St. Olaf College

College Choice Score: 67.60

Average Net Price: $27,284

School Website

Overview

Located in Northfield, Minnesota, just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities, St. Olaf College is a private liberal arts college which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The school ranks at #57 nationally (U.S. News and World Report), and is renowned for their commitment to undergraduate teaching (currently ranked at  #20 nationally).

Program Features

The goals of St. Olaf’s liberal arts curriculum are to sharpen minds in an engaged learning environment, to create a global perspective, and to nurture the faith of students. There are 58 areas of study—including, as an homage to the College’s founders, Nordic Studies and Norwegian—as well as a variety of interdisciplinary majors and concentrations. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

Students at St. Olaf College live on a gorgeous, sprawling campus with 350 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands, and native tallgrass prairie. And while (like at many liberal arts colleges) there is no Greek system on campus, St. Olaf is home to over 250 students clubs and organizations. And the unique 4-1-4 academic calendar creates a January Interim where students can delve deeply into a single area of study.

49

Soka University of America

College Choice Score: 67.18

Average Net Price: $12,686

School Website

Overview

Located in the Southern California city of Aliso Viejo, Soka University of America is a small, private liberal arts college. With a larger and older sister institution in Japan, Soka University of America is founded on the Buddhist values of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life. The College ranks among the top 50 liberal arts colleges nationally and as one of the top ten best value liberal arts colleges in the country (U.S. News and World Report).

Program Features

Soka University of America’s tiny student body (around 450) and 8:1 student to faculty ratio creates a tight-knit community of learners. Classes are seminar-style, with an average size of 12 students. This is a remarkably diverse university, with about half of the student body coming from 45 other countries, all of whom complete a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in:

  • Environmental Studies
  • Humanities
  • International Studies
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Notables

As part of their mission to create global citizens, Soka University of America includes a study abroad experience in the tuition cost—ensuring that every undergraduate student will spend a semester living in another culture. The University is located on a gorgeous campus just a few miles from the ocean, and there are 35 clubs to be involved in. SUA also offers a master’s program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change.

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DePauw University

College Choice Score: 67.18

Average Net Price: $30,863

School Website

Overview

Located in historic Greencastle, Indiana, DePauw University is a private liberal arts college that ranks at #53 nationally (U.S. News and World Report). Situated on a huge, 695-acre campus which includes a 520-acre nature park, students engage their whole persons in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures the qualities of leadership and social engagement.

Program Features

For close to two centuries, DePauw University has been setting a high standard for liberal arts studies. And with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, close student/faculty relationships lie at the heart of DePauw’s transformational approach to education. The school offers 27 majors which include unique interdisciplinary programs like Peace and Conflict Studies, Global Health, and Africana Studies. Popular majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Communication, Journalism
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • English Language and Literature

Notables

DePauw University is divided into the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Music, which brings a unique performing-arts orientation to the school. For those who want to travel while they study, DePauw offers an array of study abroad programs in over 45 countries. And their distinctive  4-1-4 academic calendar creates a Winter term for short internships, trips abroad, or intensive coursework.

Degree Finder

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