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Best Liberal Arts Schools
U.S. News Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings

Liberal arts colleges, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as National Liberal Arts Colleges, confer only undergraduate degrees. At least half of the degrees awarded at these institutions are in a liberal arts field. Search below to find the top-ranked liberal arts colleges and universities in the nation. To locate bachelor degree programs or online master's degrees in liberal arts be sure to search our listings of accredited degree programs.

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National Liberal Arts Colleges Tier 1   |   Tier 2   |   Unranked


#146

Wartburg College

Waverly, IA

Wartburg College is located in Waverly, IA, and is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. From its rural 118-acre campus, Wartburg emphasizes intellectual growth while fostering service, personal beliefs, community and convictions.

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Westminster College

Fulton, MO

Westminster College is a private liberal arts institution that was founded in 1851. It is located in Fulton, Missouri on 86 rural acres just east of the University of Missouri Ashland Wildlife Research Area. Westminster College is known for valuing the traditions it was founded on: integrity, respect, fairness and responsibility.

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William Jewell College

Liberty, MO

Located in Liberty, Missouri, William Jewell College is a private liberal arts institution. The school was founded in 1849 and resides on 200 suburban acres just west of Martha Lafite Thompson National Sanctuary. William Jewell College is dedicated to enhancing students’ ability to apply learning to complex ethical, scientific and cultural problems.

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#154

Simpson College

Indianola, IA

Simpson College, located in Indianola, Iowa, is a private institution founded in 1860. It is a liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Its location – 12 miles from Des Moines – places students within minutes of excellent internships and first-class entertainment. Simpson blends the beauty of its historic tree-lined campus with modern amenities like a new campus center.

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University of Minnesota- Morris

Morris, MN

The University of Minnesota- Morris is a public institution founded in 1959 and located in Morris, MN. The school provides a liberal arts experience, broadening global knowledge and encouraging students to expand lifelong critical thinking skills.

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#156

Doane College

Crete, NE

Doane College promotes a family-oriented approach to living and learning on its rural 300-acre campus in Crete, NE. Along with a quality education and the opportunity to study abroad, the college guarantees students will graduate in four years and also promises job placement for its teaching majors.

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#156

Hiram College

Hiram, OH

Hiram College, located in Hiram, Ohio, is a private institution founded in 1850. Hiram is a small liberal arts school with distinctive programs. About half of Hiram’s students study abroad at some point during their four years. Because students receive credits for the courses taught by Hiram faculty on these trips, studying abroad will not impede progress in their majors or delay graduation.

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#156

Illinois College

Jacksonville, IL

Illinois College, located in Jacksonville, Illinois, is a private institution founded in 1829. It is a community committed to the highest standards of scholarship and integrity in the liberal arts. The College develops qualities of mind and character needed for fulfilling lives of leadership and service. The faculty expects excellence and provides the personal attention to help students succeed.

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Purchase College- SUNY

Purchase, NY

Located in Purchase, New York, Purchase College – SUNY is a public liberal arts institution. The school was founded in 1967 and resides on 550 suburban acres about 25 miles north of Manhattan. Purchase College – SUNY claims excellent programs in the School of the Arts, the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education.

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Salem College

Winston-Salem, NC

The oldest school in the nation dedicated to the education of women, Salem College opened its doors in 1772. The school, which sets on 57 acres in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has since welcomed men as well, in accordance with the evolution of their mission. Students attending Salem College will experience rigorous academic work while preparing for leadership positions.

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#161

Hartwick College

Oneonta, NY

Hartwick College, located in Oneonta, New York, is a private institution founded in 1797. As a small liberal arts college, it focuses on fostering student-faculty relationships – Hartwick’s faculty bring the latest insights from the world into the classroom to deepen student learning. Hartwick offers a Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree that dramatically reduces the cost of a private college education.

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Lycoming College

Williamsport, PA

Lycoming College, located in Williamsport, Penn., is a private institution founded in 1812. The College has established a teaching effectiveness program to focus on new strategies for the classroom, including those involving cutting-edge technology. Students will have the opportunity to bring their academic work together in some sort of major research or artistic presentation.

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Wesleyan College

Macon, GA

Located in Macon, Georgia, Wesleyan College is a private, women’s liberal arts institution. The school was founded in 1836 and resides on 200 suburban acres not far from the city’s downtown area. Wesleyan College was the first college for women in the world, and to this day stands by its four cornerstones: academics, women, faith and community.

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Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA

Founded in 1915, Xavier University of Louisiana is a private institution occupying 27 acres campus in urban New Orleans, La. Xavier University of Louisiana is Catholic and historically Black. The university is part of the NAIA athletic conference and offers a wide array of clubs, organizations and teams to suit the needs and interests of the student body.

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#165

Monmouth College

Monmouth, IL

Monmouth College, located in Monmouth Illinois, is a private institution founded in 1853. It has earned respect among its peers for the impressive percentage of graduates who attend top graduate and professional schools, and form successful careers in science, education, business and the arts. The campus is acclaimed for its beauty and for facilities that surpass those of comparable schools.

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Oglethorpe University

Atlanta, GA

Oglethorpe University is a private liberal arts institution that was founded in 1835. It is located in Atlanta, Georgia on 100 suburban acres in the city’s Brookhaven area. Oglethorpe University is dedicated to teaching students how to become community leaders who are distinctive in their ability to think, communicate and contribute.

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#167

American Jewish University

Bel-Air, CA

American Jewish University was founded in 1947 as a private institution in Bel-Air, California. The school's 22 acre campus is classified as an urban setting. The most popular majors at AJU include Business, Management, Marketing, Pschology, Communication, Journalism and Health Professions.

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#167

Carthage College

Kenosha, WI

Carthage College is a private liberal arts institution that was founded in 1847. It is located in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 95 suburban acres near the shore of Lake Michigan. Carthage College is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is known for hiring faculty from the top graduate schools in their disciplines.

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Centenary College of Louisiana

Shreveport, LA

Centenary College of Louisiana is a private liberal arts institution founded in 1825. Located in Shreveport, LA, and affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Centenary College aims to cultivate moral and compassionate leadership while broadening students’ world views.

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#167

College of Idaho

Caldwell, ID

College of Idaho, a private institution founded in 1891, is affiliated with the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities. Its distinct PEAK curriculum (Professional, Ethical, Articulate and Knowledgeable) lets students design personal major and minor programs across four areas.

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#167

Lyon College

Batesville, AR

Lyon College, located in Batesville, Ark., is a private institution founded in 1872. One of the country’s best liberal arts colleges, Lyon is a residential, undergraduate school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The oldest institution in Arkansas, it’s distinguished by the quality of its faculty, the beauty of its campus, and its endowed international studies program.

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Warren Wilson College

Asheville, NC

Warren Wilson, located in Asheville, NC, is one of six work colleges in the United States. The school's holistic approach to education allows students to focus on service-learning, work and community service, enhancing their cultural experiences and preparing them to make a difference in the world.

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#173

Emory and Henry College

Emory, VA

Emory and Henry College, located on a rural setting in Emory, Virginia, is a private institution founded in 1836. Many of its professors have been named Virginia Professor of the Year of the Carnegie Foundation. Each year, Emory & Henry features close to 100 concerts, theater and dance performances, films, exhibits and poetry readings to complement its students’ academic experience.

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Guilford College

Greensboro, NC

Guilford College, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a private institution founded in 1837. Guilford draws on Quaker and liberal arts traditions to produce lifelong learners and agents of change in the world. Because of its scheduling flexibility – classes are held Monday through Saturday, from early morning to 10 at night, Guilford attracts both traditional residential students and adults.

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Ouachita Baptist University

Arkadelphia, AR

A private liberal arts institution founded in 1886, Ouachita Baptist University is located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It is situated on 85 rural acres and is affiliated with the Arkansas State Baptist Convention. The sports teams of Ouachita Baptist University – known as the Tigers – compete in the NCAA Division II conference.

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