The Top Four-Year College and the Top University in Each State
What are the best colleges and universities in America considered geographically by state? In this ranking we present the best four-year liberal arts college and the best full-fledged university in each of America’s 50 states.
Most rankings of colleges and universities are top-heavy with schools from the East Coast (the Ivy League, MIT, etc.), California (Stanford, Cal Berkeley, etc.), and a few schools scattered throughout the rest of the country (University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, etc.).
In this ranking, we make geographical diversity our main focus, looking alas for the best education offered in each state, from Alabama to Wyoming.
Our criteria for putting a school on this list include the reputation of the school and its faculty, its dedication to a broad liberal arts education, its accreditation, and its overall academic caliber compared to other institutions of the same type within the same state.
Some states have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to institutions of higher learning (such as Massachusetts and California). In those cases, our job was not easy. Where two institutions were dominant—one primarily oriented towards the liberal arts and the other towards science and engineering—we went with the liberal arts school as offering a broader range of excellence across the curriculum (hence Harvard over MIT).
The result is a unique list of schools, two from each state, one a full-fledged research university, the other a college focused on undergraduate education. We believe this list identifies the very best that higher education has to offer across the length and breadth of this great land.
Note: For each state, we list the university first, and the liberal arts college second, regardless of alphabetical order. Bear in mind that names can be misleading: Several of the institutions on our list that are essentially four-year liberal arts colleges use the word “university” in their name. By the same token, one of our nation’s top research universities calls itself a “college” (see if you can spot it). We close this ranking with a brief reflection on the Gorgeous Mosaic of American Higher Education—State by State.
Articles of related interest:
The Best Online College in Each State
The 50 Best Colleges in the United States
The 50 Best Community Colleges in the United States.
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Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
Established in 1856, Auburn University went through four names changes before settling on its current and longest-lasting title.
This public university sits on a sprawling 1,800-acre campus, complete with abundant student housing, dining, health services, counseling, and recreational facilities, among other amenities such as the 300 student-led organizations that meet on campus. Jordan-Hare Stadium, where the Auburn Tigers and mascot Aubie dominate the football field, is also located on campus.
While the school was originally focused on mainly agriculture and the arts, it now offers over 140 majors for students to choose from, 38 in the College of Liberal Arts alone. The university boasts a thriving student body of over 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members. These numbers make it one of the largest universities in the state of Alabama.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, auburn is considered one of the best, yet least-expensive, universities in the southeastern United States.
Spring Hill College (Mobile, AL)
Spring Hill College is one of the oldest Roman Catholic universities in the southeastern U.S. Founded by the Jesuit order and located in Mobile, Alabama, this small liberal arts college was established in 1830, making it the fifth-oldest Catholic college in the country.
Spring Hill College currently offers 49 majors spread out over several Schools. These Schools include Business, Communication Arts, English, Fine and Performing Arts, Foreign Languages, Interdivisional Studies, Nursing, Philosophy and Theology, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Teacher Education.
Situated on 400 acres in Mobile’s scenic Spring Hill neighborhood, the college has enough housing for all undergraduates to have a guaranteed room on campus for the entirety of their undergraduate career. The school currently employs 72 faculty members, who teach a student body comprising approximately 1,300 students. The college takes pride in its small class sizes—which average 16 students per class—and its 12-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
While the student body may be small, they are spirited and active in clubs and activities of all kinds. There are more than 50 affiliated student-led organizations, including but not limited to fraternities, sororities, academic clubs, ministries, and athletic clubs.
Like Auburn University, Spring Hill College is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Jesuit program brings university education to refugees
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University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, AK)
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is Alaska’s largest higher education institution and is appropriately located in the state’s largest city, Anchorage.
UAA opened in 1954 as a community college, and began offering some upper-division courses in 1969. In 1976, UAA made the leap to a full-fledged university, offering the complete gamut of lower and upper division courses.
Despite its humble beginnings, UAA is now home to over 17,000 students, who are divided among UAA’s six teaching units or colleges. These colleges include Education, Health and Social Welfare, Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Policy, Engineering and the Community, and a technical college.
The campus itself is situated among some of Alaska’s most beautiful backdrops, surrounded by lakes and integrated into an intricate city-wide system of trails while still remaining a part of the local urban landscape.
The University of Alaska at Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Alaska Pacific University (Anchorage, AK)
Established in 1960, just one year after Alaska officially joined the United States, Alaska Pacific University (APU) is a liberal arts school specializing in four-year degrees.
Located in the U-Med District of Anchorage, APU’s 174-acre campus is home to 550 students. The school boasts several different unconventional study programs, which allow students more freedom to choose how to approach their education.
APU focuses on small class sizes and an active, kinetic learning environment. This learning method teaches the skills needed to succeed both in the workplace and in life. The academic programs include the Schools of Education, Environment Science, Liberal Studies, Outdoor Studies, Psychology, and Human Services.
APU’s School of Liberal Studies offers concentrations in literature, philosophy, pre-law, pre-med, religious studies, and writing. The campus also contains the recently renovated Mosley Sports Center, and the world-renowned Nordic Ski Club.
Alaska Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
The University of Arizona (UA), which first opened its doors in 1885 (30 years before Arizona was even recognized as a state!), has evolved over the years into a first-class—indeed world-renowned—public research university.
The founders bravely decided to break ground on the 380-acre campus in what was essentially the middle of the desert. Today, the UA campus is a part of a flourishing urban city-center. The university now boasts a student body approaching 40,000 students and employs a faculty of 2,500 people.
UA currently offers 334 fields of study organized into 17 different colleges, including the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities, Medicine, Nursing, Optical Sciences, Pharmacy, Science, Social and Behavioral Studies, Letters, Art, and Sciences, Public Health,Law, and Management. The university also has an additional college of medicine, which is located at their Phoenix campus.
Campus life at UA is bursting with possibilities. With a breathtaking 718 active recognized clubs, from sports to the most arcane academic subjects, making friends with other students who share your interests is easy. In fact, the campus is practically a city in and of itself.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association.
Prescott College (Prescott, AZ)
Founded in 1966, Prescott College is a liberal arts college located in Prescott, between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The 200-acre campus is perched in Arizona’s central highlands surrounded by a variety of landscapes, including striking mountain ranges, flat desert plains, and abundant forests.
Prescott College is a non-profit organization with a mission statement encompassing liberal arts, the environment, and social justice. They strive to provide programs that are integral to the community of Prescott and allow students to act as participants in the city surrounding their college, while serving the ever-expanding global community. The school’s current student body is approximate;y 1,200 students, which translates into an impressive seven-to-one student-to-faculty ratio—a number that really sets Prescott College apart, even from most other small liberal arts colleges.
The college currently offers programs in arts, creative writing, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary arts and letters. First-year students are given the opportunity to live in the Village, a new sustainable, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) platinum-certified complex. Upper classmen live with other students in off-campus housing.
Prescott College is accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, all the programs offered are accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.
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University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
The University of Arkansas opened its doors in 1871, just years after the American Civil War left the South devastated, making it the first public university in the state. The 412-acre campus, located in the city of Fayetteville, is perched on a hill overlooking the iconic Ozark Mountains.
The university offers degrees in 214 areas of study and is considered one of the 50 best public universities in the US. The Fullbright College of Arts and Letters encompasses 19 different departments and upwards of 30 programs. It is the most diverse in its offerings of all the Colleges that comprise the university.
The University of Arkansas’s current enrollment is approximately 25,000 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-one, an impressive feat for a university of this size! Campus life is lively. Greek life is in full swing among the 41 fraternities and sororities.
The school’s athletic teams, the Razorbacks—often affectionately referred to as the Hogs—are major competitors in the college football and basketball scene on a regular basis. In fact, no other school in the Southeastern Conference of the NCCA has won more championships. The marching band is known for their intricate half-time routines.
The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Hendrix College (Conway, AR)
Hendrix College is a private liberal art college that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but teaches a secular curriculum. The four-year private college, which opened in 1876, is located in Conway, just 30 minutes from the state capital of Little Rock.
The current student body consists of 1,432 students and employs a faculty of 126 academic staff members. Despite the small size of the student body, diversity is an integral part of the campus dynamic. Students hail from 43 of the 50 states and represent 14 foreign counties.
The average class is comprised of only 17 students. Considered one of the best liberal art colleges in the country, admission is competitive. Incoming freshmen frequently have a grade point average (GPA) exceeding 4.0!
Hendrix College hosts a variety of sports teams, including uncommon options such as field hockey and lacrosse, but if you are looking to join a fraternity, this is not the college for you. The school has no established fraternities or sororities. Despite the lack of a Greek system, campus social life is robust—the school has 65 active clubs and student organizations.
Hendrix College is accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
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Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Stanford University, officially entitled Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in the Silicon Valley between San Francisco and San Jose. Founded in 1891, the university was established as a coeducational school with no denominational affiliations, which was rare at the time.
The rambling, 8,100-acre campus is located in suburban Stanford, and is a perfect mix of manicured lawns and unhampered vistas. Seeing that the current student body comprises 15,877 souls, each student theoretically has nearly half an acre all to him- or herself!
Speaking of the student body, unlike most of the colleges and universities on this list, Stanford is composed of more graduate students than undergraduates. This academic year’s enrollment included 8,897 of the former and only 6,980 of the latter. Stanford also boasts one of the most impressive faculty-to student-ratios in the county, with just five students to each faculty member.
The campus has over eighty different housing facilities to match the needs of the students. Last year 97 percent of undergraduates and 57 percent of graduate students lived on campus. There are also more than 650 student groups and 35 recognized religious groups to meet each student’s social and spiritual needs.
Stanford University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA)
Founded in 1955, Harvey Mudd College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college focusing on engineering, science, and mathematics.
Purposely small at only 44.5 acres in suburban Claremont (about halfway between Pasadena and San Bernardino), and with between 700 and 800 students enrolled at any given time, the school is very selective. As a result, those admitted will reap the benefits of a nine-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
Harvey Mudd College is a part of the Claremont University Consortium. This consortium is comprised of Harvey Mudd, four other colleges and two graduate institutions—respectively, Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University, and Keck Graduate Institute for Applied Life Science. These colleges and universities remain autonomous, but allow their students to reap the benefits of the varied classes and amenities available at the affiliated campuses.
Harvey Mudd College offers degrees in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. It also offers a number of joint or double major programs, for example pairing chemistry with biology, computer science with mathematics, and mathematics with biology.
Harvey Mudd College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
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University of Denver (Denver, CO)
Established in 1864, the University of Denver opened just a few short years after Denver officially became a city recognized by the state of Colorado. In fact, the University of Denver (abbreviated as DU) is the oldest private university is the Rocky Mountain region. Originally founded as a Methodist seminary and still legally operating under the name Colorado Seminary, the university no longer adheres to any religious affiliation or teaches a specifically religious curriculum.
DU is the learning home of approximately 11,500 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-one. The 125-acre campus is located in a residential area seven miles from downtown Denver, and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The university currently offers around 100 undergraduate programs and 120 graduate programs which are divided up across the eight colleges in the undergraduate program and twelve colleges in the graduate program.
The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)
Founded in 1874, Colorado College (CC) is a private liberal arts college located in Colorado Springs. The school currently offers 42 majors is fields such as anthropology, art, biology, Classics, education, and many others.
CC employs a highly unconventional way of teaching and learning. They call it the “block plan.” Instead of taking five or six classes simultaneously, as with most conventional learning plans, CC students take a single class for three weeks, complete it, and then move on to another class. Teachers only teach one class per block, so they can be fully committed to their students. This immersive environment promotes learning and long-term memory, rather than learning for the sake of testing.
The 90-acre campus is located in the heart of Colorado Springs, but is surrounded by unspoiled beauty. If you hope to travel during your undergraduate career, CC has one of the best and most varied study abroad programs in the country.
Colorado College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Yale University (New Haven, CT)
With roots planted as early as the 1640s, Yale University officially opened its doors in 1701. Originally named Collegiate School, and operating as Yale College before settling on Yale University in 1887, this university is world-renowned.
Part of the ultra-exclusive Ivy League, Yale is located in the old Long Island Sound port city of New Haven. The 837-acre campus (counting the on-campus golf course) is the centerpiece of the iconic town that is known for its greenery in the summer and its scenic snow scenes in the winter.
While contained on the same campus, Yale is split academically into three separate components:Yale College, which contains all the undergraduate programs; the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences; and the professional schools, including the medical and law schools.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Yale University is ranked #3 among the universities in the U.S. for 2014, and the Times of London ranks it at #11 globally.
Yale also has one of the most highly respected athletic programs in the country and currently maintains 35 varsity level teams. However, if you are hoping to get a break on tuition thanks to your skills on the court or the field, Yale may not be the school for you—it offers no athletic scholarships.
Yale University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
Connecticut College (New London, CT)
Established in 1911, Connecticut College is a liberal arts college located in the old seaport town of New London. Originally opened as Connecticut College for Women after Wesleyan University stopped admitting women, the college has since gone coed. Flanked on one side by the Thames River and Long Island Sound and on the other by an arboretum, the campus is immersed in the natural New England beauty.
Primarily a college for undergraduate studies, Connecticut College has fewer than 2,000 full-time students, which makes for an average class size of 18 and a student-to-teacher ratio of just nine-to-one. Despite its small size, the college currently offers 40 majors and a multitude of minors. It also offers interdisciplinary majors, which allow students to essentially custom-tailor their degree to match their individual goals and interests.
Connecticut College also offers excellent financial aid packages; nearly half the students receive some financial aid, and the average financial aid award package is around $35,000. The college’s dedication to educational excellence has not gone unnoticed: Forbes has listed the college #78 in the country among private colleges and #103 overall.
Connecticut College is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
Founded in 1743 as a small private college, the University of Delaware has since grown greatly in both size and stature. The main campus, located in the small town of Newark, is part of the greater University of Delaware system which includes campuses all over the state, including in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown.
The current student body comprises about 17,000 undergraduates and 3,600 graduate students. It is considered a medium-sized university. It is a rare mix of both public and private university: It receives government funding as if it were a state-supported research facility, but is also privately chartered.
Due to the quality of the education it provides and the hands-on research opportunities it offers, the University of Delaware is considered one of the “Public Ivies.” The university currently offers 147 bachelor’s programs, 119 master’s programs, 54 doctoral programs, a handful of associate’s programs, and 15 dual programs. These offerings are spread out among seven Colleges and 70+ research facilities.
If you hope to study overseas, the University of Delaware is an excellent choice, since it was the first university to offer a study abroad program and thus has the most experience of any college or university in the country in running such programs.
The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Wesley College (Dover, DE)
Wesley College was founded in 1873 as a college prep school named Wilmington Conference Academy. today, it is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is the oldest private college in the state. While the school remains a United Methodist institution, it strives to foster a values-based education that is available to students of all faiths.
The cozy 50-acre main campus is located in Delaware’s state capital, and is home to approximately 2,100 students. On average, 90 percent of those students receive financial aid in some form of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and on-campus employment. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 17-to-one.
Wesley College currently offers 30 areas of study across five different Departments: Arts and Sciences, Business, Health Sciences, Education, and Fine Arts. The majority of students pursue a degree in the Arts and Sciences program, which includes American Studies, English, History, International Studies, Mathematics, Media Arts, Music, Political Sciences, Psychology, and Professional Studies.
Wesley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
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University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
Established in 1853 and relocated in 1906 to its current location—where it is comfortably settled on a 2000-acre campus—the University of Florida at Gainesville (often shorted to UF) is a premier public research university.
UF is home to nearly 50,000 students, and the campus boasts over 900 buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings on campus include an art gallery, the Phillips Center for Performing Arts, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which seats 84,000 fans.
The university contains 16 academic Colleges and over 150 research centers. It currently administers more than 100 undergraduate majors, 123 master’s programs, and 76 doctoral programs.
The University of Florida is considered one of the Public Ivies, and admission is very competitive. The incoming freshman class for the 2013–2014 academic year had an average GPA of 4.3. The school was ranked the 14th best public university in the U.S., the 49th best university overall (public and private), and among the top 100 universities globally in 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL)
New College of Florida, located in sunny Sarasota, is a public liberal arts college founded in 1964. From its inception, the school has been open to people of all races, genders, and religious affiliations, which was very progressive for a southern college at the time. Originally established as a private institute, the school was eventually absorbed by the State University of Florida system, in which it is now included as an autonomous honors college.
The 144-acre campus is located on Sarasota’s north bay front, just a few miles from the city center, and is an amiable, eclectic mix of new structures and recognized historical buildings, adding to the college’s southern charm.
The New College of Florida is known for its dedication to students as individuals. The school strives to provide the best education for each student and to meet students’ intellectual needs by creating specialized education plans, providing narrative evaluations, and straying from the traditional grading scale—opting instead for a pass/fail system.
In order to successfully graduate, students must complete seven contracts with their faculty adviser. These contracts are made at the beginning of a grading period and are based on the individual student’s specific goals. There are currently 825 enrolled students and the average class size is 17 students. The college maintains a 10-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
Due to the university’s attention to detail and willingness to create student specific degrees, U.S. News & World Report ranked the New College of Florida #5 on their list of best public liberal art schools.
The New College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Founded in 1836 by local Methodists, Emory is a private research university. The 631-acre campus is located in the Druid Hills neighborhood of the greater Atlanta Metropolitan area.
The school is very selective, accepting fewer than 25 percent of applicants. Ninety percent of incoming freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their senior class in high school.
The 14,513 students who have passed the rigorous tests put in place by the college are required to live on campus for the first year. They are welcomed by tree-lined walkways, a wealth of study abroad opportunities, and a well-rounded education thanks to the university’s core curriculum.
The school is divided into nine academic Divisions: Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College (a high-intensity liberal arts program for freshmen and sophomores), Goizeta Business School, Laney Graduate School, School of Law, School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Candler School of Theology.
Spread out among these nine academic Divisions, Emory’s course offerings currently comprise 70 undergraduate programs and more than two dozen graduate and professional degrees. U.S. News & World Report ranks Emory as the 20th best college in the U.S.
Emory is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA)
Established in 1867, just two years after the Civil War left Atlanta and much of the south ravaged, Morehouse College is a private, all male, liberal arts college. The college was founded as a school for black students and maintains that tradition to this day. However, men of any race are welcome to apply for admission.
Morehouse is one of just three remaining men’s liberal arts colleges in the U.S. Despite being formerly named the Atlanta Baptist Seminary and Atlanta Baptist College, the school is no longer officially affiliated with the Baptist Church.
Located in Atlanta on a cozy 61 acres, Morehouse is the educational home to 2100 students, who have access to 78 recognized student organizations, including sports, clubs, and student publications. For the musically inclined, there is the world-famous marching band, known for their intricate performances that combine marching and dance.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the college is currently ranked #2 in the country among historically black colleges.
Morehouse College is accredited by the Commission and Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Hawaii Manoa (Honolulu, HI)
The University of Hawaii (UH), which traces its roots to a land grant college founded in 1907, is a public coed research university governed by the Hawaii state legislature. Operating as the flagship campus for the University of Hawaii system, UH Manoa (note that the accent is on the first syllable: Mahn’-oh-ah), is located in the Manoa valley, one of Honolulu’s nicest neighborhoods, on the island of Oahu.
The UH Manoa campus is populated by 13,952 undergraduates, 6,483 graduate students, and over 600 kinds of indigenous plants! Despite the large student body, the average class size is 20 students, and the current student-to-faculty ratio is 14-to-one.
According to U.S. News & World Report, UH Manoa is ranked #6 in the nation for ethnic diversity and #83 in the ranking of all public universities in the United States. The National Science Foundation ranks UH Manoa in the top 30 public universities for public funding in science and engineering.
UH Manoa sanctions over 200 student organizations. The campus itself is beautiful, with a panoramic view of local mountains. It is asos close to the Lyon Arboretum.
The University of Hawaii Manoa is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Hawaii Pacific University, Hawaii Loa Campus (Kaneohe, HI)
The Hawaii Loa Campus of Hawaii Pacific University was originally founded as Christian College of the Pacific in 1963. For many years, the school was known as Hawaii Loa College, a four-year, liberal arts college located in Kaneohe, on the windward side of the island of Oahu, on the other side of the Ko’olau mountain range from Honolulu.
In 1992, Hawaii Loa College was absorbed by Hawaii Pacific University, a private coeducational university, and is now often referred to simply as the “windward campus.” It is undergoing an expansion and being developed into a larger campus.
Hawaii Pacific University is divided into four academic Colleges, which include the Colleges of Business Administration, Humanities and Social Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Natural and Computational Sciences. Hawaii Loa Campus is currently being used for the majority of the science and nursing program needs. The school offers more than 50 undergraduate programs and 14 graduate programs. Its curriculum, regardless of major or emphasis, is based in a traditional liberal arts foundation.
Princeton Review named Hawaii Pacific University a Best Western College in their list of best colleges by region, and the Pay Scale College Salary Report showed it as one of the top West Coast schools for salary potential.
Hawaii Pacific University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Video Tour of Hawaii Pacific University
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University of Idaho (Moscow, ID)
The University of Idaho, that state’s premier research university, was founded in 1889, making it also the oldest public university in the state. The nearly 1600-acre campus is located 2600 feet above sea level in the rural community of Moscow, just north of Lewiston in the Idaho panhandle, on the Washington state border. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state, and contains a regulation-size, 18-hole golf course, an arboretum, a botanical garden, and 860 acres of farmland.
The current student body comprises approximately 12,000 students, while the student-to-faculty ratio is 18-to-one. Freshmen are required to live on campus. Students have access to 200+ student organizations, 16 NCAA Division I sports teams, 20 minority student groups, and several intramural sports clubs.
The university is divided into ten Colleges: Agriculture and Life Science, Arts and Architecture, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Law, Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, Natural Resources, and Science. Among those schools there are currently 130 bachelor’s degree programs, 88 master’s programs, and 32 doctoral programs available to students. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school is the 85th best public university in the country.
The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
College of Idaho (Caldwell, ID)
Founded in 1891 in conjunction with local Presbyterian Church leaders, the College of Idaho is a liberal arts college located in Caldwell, a suburb west of Boise. The 50-acre campus is home away from home to 1042 students.
The College of Idaho currently offers 26 majors, 57 minors, and 13 collaborative programs with other universities. The college’s PEAK curriculum separates it from other schools by providing an opportunity for students to gain educational literacy in four areas: the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and a professional field. Students pick a major and three minors, and work closely with a professor to create a specialized learning plan.
The average class size at the College of Idaho is 13 students, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 12-to-one. Despite the small student body, this close-knit campus is full of opportunities to find like-minded people and cheer on the College of Idaho coyotes. More than 50 recognized student clubs and organizations meet on campus.
The college is also home to three fraternities and four sororities, and currently has 10 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports teams. Their skiing program is particularly flourishing, with 48 individual and team national championship wins.
The College of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society, the University of Chicago is a private, nondenominational, coeducational research university. Current student enrollment is almost 15,000 students, made up primarily of graduate and professional studies students. In fact, the student body consists of almost twice as many graduate students as undergraduates.
The campus occupies 211 acres in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just seven miles south of “the Loop” (downtown). Academically, the university is split into five Divisions: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and the new Collegiate Division, which is responsible for interdisciplinary majors and any major that does not fit snugly into one of the other four schools.
Within those Divisions, the university currently offers 50 academic majors and 28 minors. Regardless of major, all students are required to complete an interdisciplinary core curriculum that consists of 15 classes and proficiency in a foreign language.
The University of Chicago is one of the United States’ most respected universities, which is obvious when one learns that it is currently ranked 5th in the nation and tied with Stanford on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best universities in the country. The university also boasts the largest publisher of academic books and journals in the country, the University of Chicago Press.
The University of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL)
Wheaton College is a coeducational, private, interdenominational Christian liberal arts college located in the small town of Wheaton, Illinois. The 80-acre campus is located just 25 miles west of downtown Chicago. Wheaton is deeply historical: It was a stop on the Underground Railroad thanks to the school’s very first president, Jonathan Blanchard, who was an active abolitionist.
The current student body is made up of approximately 3000 students who have access to 40 different majors. The vast majority of students, 88 percent, live on campus.
Wheaton College is home to an internationally recognized conservatory of music where 100 percent of the faculty have their doctorate in some musical field. Outside of music, the school also recognizes dozens of student organizations and has an active sports program.
The college’s current program encompasses 10 men’s and women’s sports. Both men and women can compete in basketball, cross county skiing, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and fields. There are also men’s football, baseball, and wrestling teams; women are welcome to compete in softball and volleyball. According to U.S. News & World Report, Wheaton is right in the middle of the top one hundred liberal arts schools in the country, holding the 56th spot on the list.
Wheaton College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
Founded in 1869, Purdue University is a public research university whose main campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, a small town in the northeastern corner of the state about halfway between Indianapolis and Gary. The school’s program breadth is wide, with over 200 undergraduate majors, 70 master’s degrees, and professional programs in both pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine.
The 2,606-acre main campus runs along the Wabash River, and hosts 39,256 students currently enrolled, as well as more than 850 student organizations. The university also owns approximately 15,000 acres of land for industrial and agricultural research. While most students live in the neighborhoods surrounding the college, there is no need to worry about getting to class on time. The public transportation system, Citybus, operates eight bus lines that integrate the campus into their routes. Purdue students, faculty, and staff all ride for free.
Purdue is the proud home of the Boilermakers, a Big Ten Conference contender. The school also participates wholeheartedly in many traditions. One of the most interesting is the fountain run. Students at Purdue run through a fountain on campus when they begin at the university, and again after they graduate.
The university is currently ranked as the 56th best university in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN)
Wabash College is a small, 60-acre, all-men’s private liberal arts college located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, just 45 miles northwest of the state capital of Indianapolis and not far from Purdue. Founded in 1832, the college is one of just three remaining all-men’s liberal art colleges.
The current enrollment is only 872 students and the school employs just 82 faculty members. Despite its small size, the school offers 22 majors and several minors. Academic programs are divided among three Divisions: Division One encompasses the natural sciences; Division Two the social sciences; and Division Three the humanities and arts.
The education received by those lucky enough to be accepted by Wabash College is both extensive and rigorous. In order to graduate, all students are required to take a series of tests, which include two written exams and an oral exam. The oral exam is one hour long and is presided over by three professors: one from the student’s major field, one from the minor field, and one chosen at random. Questions can come from any of the educational materials students have been presented with during their four-year stay at the college.
While Wabash men like to be taken seriously, they also like to have fun. The college hosts over 60 recognized clubs and has a healthy Greek system in which 60 percent of students participate.
Wabash College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
The University of Iowa at Iowa City is a public research university and the flagship campus of the University of Iowa System. Founded in 1847, the university came to life just 59 days after Iowa officially became a state. Now, it contains a student body of over 31,000 students and offers degrees in 200 plus areas of study.
The 1900-acre campus is centered along the banks of the Iowa River. It contains six museums and the University of Iowa hospital and affiliated clinics; the hospital is one of the best in the country and is one of the largest academic medical centers in the United States.
The University of Iowa has a long history of trend-setting. It was among the first colleges in the country to grant law degrees to women and African Americans, the first college to put an African American player on a varsity team, the first state university to recognize a LGBT allied union. In addition, the school originated the master’s degree in fine arts.
The University of Iowa recognizes over 500 student organizations, ranging from student government to ultimate Frisbee. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school is the 28th Best Public University in the US.
The University of Iowa is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)
Founded in 1846 and historically linked to the Methodist Church, Grinnell College is a private, secular, liberal arts college in the small town of Grinnell, Iowa. The 120-acre rural campus is located halfway between Des Moines and Iowa City. The school also owns 365 acres which are used as an environmental research center.
Grinnell has a student body of almost 1,700 students and offers 26 majors and ten interdisciplinary degrees. Regardless of major, all students are expected to take control and responsibility for their education. The curriculum places heavy emphasis on inquiry, critical analysis, and writing skills.
While most liberal arts colleges operate on an honor code system to some extent, Grinnell practices what they preach. Students self-regulate and self-govern, with very limited intervention from faculty or staff.
Grinnell College is considered a “Hidden Ivy,” and is ranked #17 among all liberal arts colleges in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Grinnell College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
The University of Kansas (often referred to as KU) is a public research library located in Lawrence, Kansas. Midway between Topeka and Kansas City, the 1,100-acre campus has gently nudged the encompassing city into becoming a bona fide college town. Established in 1866, the university is now the largest in the state, with an enrollment of nearly 28,000 students, most of whom attend school at the main campus in Lawrence.
In 2008, the university instituted what they call the Four-Year Tuition Compact, which fixes each student’s tuition at their incoming freshman rate for 48 months. This is a double-edged effort to curb student debt and encourage students to graduate in four years.
Besides its champion NCAA Division I team, the Jayhawks, the university is known for its flourishing debate program, which fields over 70 teams that compete at the national level—more than any other university in the country.
KU is ranked #47 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Public Universities in the United States.
The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Benedictine College (Atchison,KS)
Established in 1971 as a result of a merger between St. Benedict’s College for men (founded in 1850) and Mount St. Scholastica College for Women (founded in 1923), Benedictine College is a private, coeducational, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college. The college is located on the bluffs that overlook the Missouri River in the rural town of Atchison, Kansas.
The college is strongly rooted in the Roman Catholic faith. Mass is offered four times a day and there are five designated campus areas reserved for prayer.
Benedictine has 11 residence halls, separated by gender and class ranking, where the majority of the 1700 students live. The school currently offers over 40 majors and bases its curriculum on four fundamental values, which are its sturdy pillars: Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, and residential.
Benedictine College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public, coeducational, research university located in the rolling hills of Lexington. Originally founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky in 1865, the university has since widened the breadth of its academic offerings and grown into the largest university in the state.
With nearly 30,000 students currently enrolled, and physically spanning across 784 urban acres, the UK campus is impressive. Also impressive is the university’s library system, which contains 15 specialized libraries on campus.
UK is divided into 16 different specialized Colleges, which span the following areas of study: Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Communications and Information, Dentistry, Design, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Social Work. Across all 16 Colleges, there are 93 undergraduate programs, 33 master’s programs, and 66 doctoral programs.
The University of Kentucky is accredited by the accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Berea College (Berea, KY)
Berea College is a full-participation, work-study, liberal arts college located in the rural town of Berea, Kentucky, south of Lexington. Established in 1855, the college was the first school in the South to be coeducational and racially integrated.
Berea is known for its lack of tuition costs. Each student’s four-year education is covered by a full-ride scholarship, currently worth over $100,000. Admission is only granted to students who need financial aid. The need is established using the same parameters used by FAFSA. Students earn their keep by working a minimum of 10 hours per week. They are paid anywhere from $4.10–$6.55 per hour for their time, depending on the difficulty level of their job. It is one of only eight colleges in the U.S. with a mandated work-study program.
Admission from foreign countries is limited to one student per country, except for countries currently under distress such as those experiencing war or natural disaster. Fifty percent of students study abroad during their time at Berea.
The college is also known for its diverse student body. One in every three students represents a racial minority. U.S. News & World Report named it the #1 comprehensive college in the South. Washington Monthly ranks it as the #3 liberal arts college in the country.
Berea College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Established as a public medical college in 1834, converted to a comprehensive college in 1847, and finally privatized in 1884, Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian, research university located in uptown New Orleans. The 110-acre campus is all southern charm, from its oak-lined walkways to the historic buildings which have been so lovingly repaired and restored after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina.
The university currently hosts a few more than 13,000 students, spread across 10 Schools: Liberal Arts, Law, Medicine, Business, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Architecture, Continuing Studies, and Newcomb-Tulane, which is the undergraduate college.
Tulane has 13 residence halls to meet the housing needs of each and every freshman and sophomore. Lowerclassmen are required to live on campus.
Tulane is also the largest employer in New Orleans, with over 14,400 employees. It is ranked #51 among American universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport, LA)
Centenary College of Louisiana (CCL) is a private, four-year, arts and sciences college affiliated with the Methodist church. Founded in 1825, the college encompasses 116 urban acres just two miles south of Shreveport, the state’s second-largest city.
The CCL campus itself is the oldest in the state and contains an arboretum that is home to over 300 species of plants. The student body is made up of primarily undergraduates: There are 680 undergraduates, and only 107 graduate students. The current student-to-faculty ratio is nine-to-one.
In an effort to create an environment of camaraderie, CCL requires all undergraduate students, with the exception of graduating seniors, to live on campus. To further create bonds between students, the college has formed what it calls “living-learning communities.” These residential halls are specialized, grouping together students with similar educational and career goals.
There are currently four different living-learning communities on campus: “Le Quartier Français,” focusing on French language immersion; “Greenhouse,” which seeks new ways to implement sustainable living; “Santé,” focused on improving the health of disadvantaged or impoverished people through community service; and “Node,” which is centered on technology.
CCL also implements what they call a “Trek Curriculum.” The programs available at the college are all designed to nurture each and every student’s career, culture, and community.
Centenary College of Louisiana is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Maine (Orono, ME)
The University of Maine is a public research university and the flagship school for the statewide University of Maine System. Established in 1865, the campus—located north of Bangor on Marsh Island, between the Penobscot and Stillwater Rivers—comprises 660 acres of green, unspoiled, small-town beauty. With 11,000 students, the university is the largest school in the state, and its only research institution.
Unsurprisingly, the on-campus library is also the largest library in Maine. Despite its relatively large size, the university takes pride in offering a true liberal arts experience. It is also the campuswith the oldest LGBT advocacy and social organizations in the state, and one of the oldest in the country.
The University of Maine is divided into six Schools: Business, Policy and Health, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences, and Agriculture. Across these schools there are 90 undergraduate majors, 40 master’s programs, and 30 doctoral programs.
The University of Maine is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)
Founded in 1794, Bowdoin College is a historically prosperous, private, liberal arts college located in the coastal town of Brunswick, between Freeport and Portland. The college, which became coed in 1971, currently hosts a student body of 1,839 individuals.
The school is a no-loans institution: 100 percent of a student’s demonstrated financial need is covered by the college. Eighty-five percent of students receive financial aid.
Bowdoin currently supports 33 majors and four minors. The school has no fraternities or sororities on campus. Instead, students are assigned to a house upon acceptance. The house is correlated with their freshman dorm assignments. House affiliations remain, even when students move off campus or graduate.
U.S. News & World Report named Bowdoin the #4 Best Liberal Arts College in America. The college has also been rewarded with some less conventional plaudits: For example, Princeton Review named the on-campus dining service the best in the country!
Arguably one of the most culturally relevant campuses in the country, Bowdoin is where Harriet Beecher Stowe began writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin, while her husband was a professor there. Some famous alumni include author Nathaniel Hawthorne, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and U.S. President Franklin Pierce.
Bowdoin College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
Johns Hopkins University is a not-for-profit, private research university located in Baltimore. Founded in 1876, this university pioneered the idea of a modern research university in the United States, based on the German model. The campus is spread out all over the city of Baltimore, and the university also has satellite locations in Washington, D.C, Italy, Singapore, and China.
The current student body comprises 6,023 undergraduates and 14,848 post-graduates. The university has 10 libraries, which hold in excess of 3.6 million volumes.
Johns Hopkins is known for being a highly innovative university and teaching medical center. It is responsible for the creation of the very first implantable, rechargeable pacemaker, as well as the first effective successful treatment for sickle cell anemia. The university also led the way in authentication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Research done at Johns Hopkins is among the most-cited worldwide.
Beyond its innumerable contributions to science, Johns Hopkins is also a long-standing member in the fight for equal rights, and was one of the earliest supporters of the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD)
St. John’s College at Annapolis is a private liberal arts college well known for its ultra-rigorous, Great Books–only curriculum. The school was initially founded in 1696 as King William’s Preparatory School. The prep school eventually added a collegiate charter in 1784, making St. John’s is one of the oldest higher-education institutions in the nation. Since 1964, it has had a sister campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1937, St. John’s decided to implement the Great Books Program, a curriculum it follows to this day. The Great Books Program is a four-year course of study, which requires students to read the original texts that have made the greatest contribution to Western Civilization in such fields as philosophy, theology, history, mathematics, science, music, poetry, and literature.
Everyone at St. John’s takes four years of a foreign language, four years of math, four years of interdisciplinary study, three years of life science, and a year of music. Additionally, all students are required to attend a school-wide lecture on a weekly basis. Students are allowed only two electives, which cannot be taken until the winter semester of their junior year.
Class sizes at St. John’s College are not allowed to exceed 20 students, with an average class size of 14. There is currently an eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
St. John’s College (Annapolis) is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
Harvard University is a private, Ivy League, research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, north and west of the Charles River, which separates the town from Boston. Established in 1635 as a school for training Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
During the 18th century, the school made the transition to a secular school with a curriculum covering a wide number of topics. Today, Harvard offers 46 undergraduate majors, 134 graduate concentrations, and 32 professional degrees for its 21,000 students to choose from.
The university occupies three separate campuses. The main campus, comprising 210 acres and known as “Harvard Yard” and environs, is located three miles from downtown Boston, at the other end of Massachusetts Avenue from MIT. The Longwood Campus, located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood adjacent to Brookline, houses the Medical School. The Allston campus, which is located just south of the Charles River from Harvard Yard, hosts the Business School and the majority of the university’s athletic facilities, including Harvard Stadium.
Harvard’s Widener Library is the largest university library in the country. The university also has an impressive list of alumni, including eight United States Presidents, while 150 Nobel Laureates are associated with the school. Harvard, which currently boasts 42 varsity sports teams, has a historically fierce sports rivalry with Yale.
The university is ranked #1 overall, in the nation and the world, by the Academic Ranks of World Universities.
Harvard University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
Established in 1793, Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, a small town tucked into the far northwest corner of the state. Originally an all-men’s college, Williams embraced a coeducational model in 1970. The campus spans 450 acres among the Berkshire Mountains, known for their spring and summer greenery and brilliant fall colors.
Williams in the academic home of 2052 undergraduates—as well as a select 54 graduate students—ensuring a current student-to-faculty ratio of just seven-to-one. The college is divided into three academic Divisions: Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. Across those Divisions, there are 24 departments, 33 majors, and two master’s programs (one in art history, the other in developmental economics).
The college is a history buff’s dream: The library contains first editions of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United States Constitution, the Bills of Rights, and—perhaps the icing on the cake—George Washington’s own copy of the Federalist papers. Williams has no Greek system: The fraternities that were formerly recognized were phased out when the school began admitting women.
U.S. News & World Report has rated Williams College as the best liberal art college in the United States, while Forbes lists the school as #9 on their list of Best Colleges in America.
Williams College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
The University of Michigan (often referred to as U of M, or just Michigan) is one of the nation’s premier public research universities. The university was established in 1817 in nearby Detroit, a full two decades before the Michigan Territory even became a state . It moved to its current campus in 1837. Due to the caliber and breadth of education available at U of M, the university is considered one of a handful of “Public Ivies,” where students can obtain an education on a par with that offered by the Ivy League schools.
To call the Michigan campus “sprawling” does not do it justice: It comprises 20,965 acres, counting a 3,177-acre arboretum. This expansive university currently has an enrollment of 43,426 students. Those students have over 200 undergraduate majors, 90 master’s programs, and 100 doctoral degrees to choose from.
The school currently recognizes 1,438 student organizations, ranging from archery to political clubs. Despite the school’s size, the students at Michigan are bound to each other by a fierce loyalty to their school. The school’s 27 varsity sports teams, all known under the blanket name Wolverines, are part of the Big Ten Conference. The school has particularly strong rivalries with the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The University of Michigan is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI)
Hillsdale College is a liberal arts college located in the town of Hillsdale, in the south-central part of the state. The school was founded in 1844 by local Baptists but did not move to its current 200-acre rural campus until 1853. It no longer holds any religious affiliation.
Hillsdale is different from most other colleges in the country today, in that it proudly displays its conservative-to-libertarian philosophical orientation. The current student enrollment is 1,486 undergraduates, who have 32 majors, seven minors, eight interdisciplinary majors, and nine pre-professional programs to choose from. The college currently maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-one, with an average class size of only 15 students. This allows all students to receive as much one-on-one attention as they need.
Hillsdale, which maintains a K–12 liberal arts school called the Hillsdale Academy, has a long history of supporting civil rights. It was the first college in the country to prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, or religion in its official charter. The school has admitted African-American students since its inception, and was the second school in the country to offer four-year degrees to women. Forbes ranks Hillsdale College as the #33 Best College in the Midwest.
Hillsdale College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
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University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a premier public research university consisting of twin campuses located five miles apart in Minneapolis and St. Paul, whence its appellation. It is the oldest and largest university within the University of Minnesota system. Both campuses together comprise 2,730 urban acres.
The university is organized into 19 different schools, which offer 143 degree programs for undergraduates and 150 for graduate students. The current enrollment of both campuses amounts to 64,964 students. Despite such a large student body, the current student-to-faculty ratio is only 16-to-one.
It is very common for students to have classes at both campuses in a given semester; for this reason, the university provides a daily shuttle service that runs between the campuses once every five minutes. The campuses are located in what Forbes calls “the safest metropolitan area in the United States.”
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
Founded in 1886, Carleton College is a coeducational liberal arts college located in Northfield, just south of the Twin Cities. The college has a current enrollment of 2,055 undergraduates and offers 36 different majors. The 1,040-acre rural campus sits on a hill overlooking the Cannon River.
The average class size at Carleton is 18 students, with a current student-to-faculty ratio of nine-to-one. While the spacious campus provides plenty of room for exercise and contemplation, it is also bustling with activity and opportunity. The college officially recognizes over 220 student organizations, clubs, and activities. Among the most popular of these are three active theater groups, mock trial and debate teams, a radio station, and a very successful a capella group.
There are also 19 varsity sports teams, 23 club teams, dozens of intramural teams, Ultimate Frisbee, and women’s rugby. Despite the high level of on-campus sports activities, the school offers no athletic scholarships. Ninety percent of students live on campus.
Carleton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS)
Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (universally known as “Ole Miss”) is a public research university located in the small town of Oxford, in the north-west portion of the state. It is the oldest public higher-learning institution is the state, and was the only one for the first 73 years of its life. Originally, it was an all-men’s school, but it opened its doors to women in 1882.
Ole Miss has a rich history. During the Civil War, the entire student body enlisted in the Confederate Army and were placed into a single unit that suffered a near–100 percent casualty rate: Only one student returned when the campus reopened! It was also one of the first universities in the South to hire women as faculty members.
The Oxford campus is more than 2000 acres of small town, rural bliss. It is the main campus of the University of Mississippi system, with a current student enrollment of 17,142 individuals. The student-to-faculty ratio in 19-to-one. Forty-seven percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, giving Ole Miss a private liberal arts school feel, without the price tag.
The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Millsaps College (Jackson, MS)
Millsaps College is a private, liberal arts college situated on a 103-acre campus that is a quiet sanctuary within the urban bustle of Jackson, the state capital. Founded in 1890 by the United Methodist Church, the college is home to 985 students, 86 percent of whom live on campus.
Millsaps College still maintains its affiliation with the United Methodist church, but teaches a completely secular curriculum. Said curriculum is writing-intensive across the 33 majors—including an option to design a custom major—and 41 minors the college offers.
Millsaps students are required to compile a portfolio of written work by the end of their sophomore year, and graduation requires extensive written and oral exams. Currently, the school has an average class size of 15, and a student-to-faculty ratio of nine-to-one.
Millsaps College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is a private, research university located in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853 as simply Washington University (the phrase “in St. Louis” was added only in 1976), the university now hosts more than 14,000 students. Despite the relatively large student body, WUSTL currently maintains an impressive seven-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
The university is divided into nine Schools: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Law, Art, Medicine, Architecture, Business, Graduate Arts and Sciences, and Social Work. The school’s library system contains 14 separate libraries, and is the largest academic collection in the state.
The 2,313-acre campus is home to 19 varsity teams, more than 25 intramural teams (in which 75 percent of students participate), 37 club sports, 300+ student organizations, 10 fraternities, eight sororities, 12 a capella groups. The university also sustains four student media outlets, a student newspaper called Student Life, a student radio station, a closed-circuit television channel, and a monthly print magazine. Fifty percent of students live on campus. WUSTL is also well known for such deeply ingrained traditions such as “Bauhaus,” a huge Halloween costume party sponsored by the School of Architecture.
Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, MO)
Founded in 1906, College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian liberal arts college in the small town of Point Lookout, in the Ozark Mountains just south of Branson. The current student enrollment is approximately 1500 individuals; the college maintains a 13-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
Students at College of the Ozarks pay no tuition. Every student participates in a work-study program and is required to work 15 hours a week while school is in session, and two 40-hour weeks during each break. The college was specifically designed for students who have the merit but not the means to procure a higher education. In turn, the college has been nicknamed “Hard Work U,” a name and motto it has proudly embraced.
College of the Ozarks, which currently offers over 30 majors, has the reputation for being one of the most conservative campuses and having the most conservative student body in the country. The school was named the #1 Best Buy College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
The College of the Ozarks is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
We Are College of the Ozarks
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University of Montana (Missoula, MT)
The University of Montana is a public research university. Established in 1893, six years before Montana officially became a state, the university serves as the flagship school for the rest of the University of Montana System. The 220-acre main campus sits at the foot of Mount Sentinel, one of the most recognizable state landmarks—thanks to the huge M painted on the side of the mountain!
The campus is hosts nearly 15,000 students, and operates as a city within a city. It boasts its own restaurants, medical facilities, police station, postal services, banks, and postal code. The university is split up into five Colleges (Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Sciences, Forestry and Conservation, Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, and Technology and Visual and Performing Arts) and three professional Schools (Business Administration, Law, and Journalism).
Extracurricular activities on campus include seven fraternities and four sororities, as well as scores of student organizations. The university is also known for its extensive study abroad opportunities, which include over 40 countries and 90 affiliated universities.
The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Carroll College (Helena, MT)
Founded in 1909, Carroll College is a private, Catholic liberal arts college located in the state capital of Helena. The school is dedicated to freedom of inquiry and information through investigation, reflection, sound judgment, and understanding.
Originally an all-men’s school called Mt. St. Charles College, the college acquired its present name in 1932, and has since become a coeducational institution. Today, women make up 59 percent of the student population.
The 1502 students currently enrolled in Carroll College are divided among nine departments and five pre-professional programs (pre-seminary, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-med, and pre-veterinary). More than 60 majors are available in the fields of liberal arts, life sciences, education, engineering, computer science, nursing, ROTC, and theology.
The average financial package is $22,000, and covers everything for the academic year except room and board. U.S. New & World Report has rated Carroll College as the #1 Regional College in the West and the #3 Best Value School in the western region.
Carroll College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE)
The University of Nebraska is a public research university located in the state capital of Lincoln. Founded in 1869, it is the state’s oldest and largest university, and serves as the flagship school for the University of Nebraska system. The main campus comprises 612 acres, split into two separate campuses two miles apart. Statewide, the university owns over 45,000 acres.
Approximately 25,000 students are currently enrolled in the university, 48 percent of whom live on campus. The school is divided into 10 different Colleges: Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts, Graduate Studies, Journalism and Mass Communications, and Law. Across those divisions, 150 undergraduate majors, 20 pre-professional programs, and 100 graduate school options are available.
Students and alumni of the University of Nebraska are some of the most dedicated sports fans in the country. The university’s teams, known as the Cornhuskers, are perennial Big Ten Conference competitors. The school also recognizes over 400 student organizations, 30 fraternities, and 16 sororities.
The University of Nebraska is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln, NE)
Founded in 1887, Nebraska Wesleyan University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts institution associated with the United Methodist Church. Like the University of Nebraska, it is located in the state capital, Lincoln.
Nebraska Wesleyan currently has a student body of about 1,600 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is a respectable 13-to-one. The average class is 19 students.
Nebraska Wesleyan offers 106 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. The school also provides a rare, four-year graduation guarantee, meaning the university will make the classes needed for graduation available and guide you to an on-time graduation. While tuition to the Nebraska Wesleyan is steep, 98% of students receive financial aid.
The campus and the neighborhood and city surrounding the campus are known for being clean, safe, affordable, and with a lower-than-average unemployment rate. There is also an abundance of internships and jobs available with respectable companies, nonprofits, and state and local governmental organizations.
Nebraska Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Nevada Reno (Reno, NV)
Founded in 1874, the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) is a public teaching and research university located just 30 minutes north of stunningly beautiful Lake Tahoe. Although the Nevada System of Higher Education also includes the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the Reno campus remains the only land-grant, research university in the state.
UNR comprises 290 urban acres of elm-lined walkways overlooking Truckee Meadows and overshadowed by nearby mountain ranges. The current student body is just over 18,000 students strong.
The university is divided into eight different Schools: Biotechnologies and Natural Resources, Business Education, Engineering, Journalism, Liberal Arts, Medicine, Graduate School, and Health Sciences. The Schools currently offer over 140 majors for students to choose from.
The University of Nevada is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Sierra Nevada College (Incline Village, NV)
Founded in 1969, Sierra Nevada College is a private, liberal arts college located in the rural community of Incline Village, on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. The college stands by a teaching model that is true to the heart of liberal arts: They encourage students to learn how to apply their skills to real-life and workplace situations.
The school has a student body of 1,040 students, half of whom are in undergraduate programs. All full-time students are required to live in residence halls until they have completed at least 60 academic units.
Sierra Nevada College offers over 30 different fields of study, has an impressive 10-to-one student-to-faculty ratio, and an average class size of only 15 students. The college is particularly known for its powerful and successful skiing and snowboarding teams, which continually rank high in local and national competitions.
Sierra Nevada College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Established in 1769, Dartmouth is a private, research university located in the town of Hanover, northwest of Manchester on the Vermont state line. With only about 6,300 students currently enrolled and a campus of 269 rural acres, it is the smallest university in the Ivy League.
The school hosts approximately 4,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. The Undergraduate College offers 40 departments and programs, alongside the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Business.
Dartmouth’s academic schedule is called D-Plan. D-Plan is a scheduling system that allows students to personalize their academic career. Students have to be in residence at the campus for the fall, winter, and spring terms of their freshman and senior year,s in addition to the summer term of their sophomore year. All other terms can be used for more on-campus studies, or else for off-campus programs, internships, research programs, or vacation, as long as graduation requirements are maintained.
Outside of academics, Dartmouth recognizes over 200 on-campus student organizations. The school also meets 100 percent of every student’s demonstrated need through financial aid. Princeton Review rates Dartmouth #3 in the country for quality of student life.
Dartmouth College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, NH)
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is a private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts school located in Merrimack, New Hampshire (it should not be confused with the Thomas More College in Kentucky). Established in 1978, what this school lacks in longevity is makes up for with its Great Books core curriculum and guaranteed study abroad program.
The college has a current student enrollment of only 96 students, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-one. This makes for an average class size of 18 students (and a policy that no class can have more than 20).
All students receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in their major concentration. Regardless of major, all students participate in a core curriculum that covers the great works of Western literature, philosophy, and political science. In addition, all students are given practical education in music and art, and spend part of their sophomore year studying abroad in Rome.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
Princeton University, a private, research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the preeminent “Ivy League” schools in the United States. Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it is one of the nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. Many famous names are associated with the university, from Jonathan Edwards to Woodrow Wilson to Albert Einstein.
Princeton has a current enrollment of 8,010 students, and admits fewer than eight percent of students who apply. However, students who are admitted receive financial aid to cover 100 percent of their demonstrated need through grants and work study. Sixty-six percent of students receive financial aid, and students typically graduate with less than $5000 in debt.
The university currently offers undergraduate degrees in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Unlike other Ivy League schools, Princeton does not have medical, law, divinity, or business schools, but it does offer graduate degrees in public and international affairs, engineering and applied science, and architecture. Two other world-renowned institutions of higher learning are in close physical proximity, though administratively independent of, the university: Princeton Theological Seminary and the Institute for Advanced Study.
The 500-acre campus is one of Travel + Leisure’s Most Beautiful Campuses in the Country, so it is no wonder why 99 percent of the student body lives on campus. The campus is also home to the Princeton University Art Museum, whose collection contains pieces by Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Warhol. U.S. New & World Report has named Princeton the #1 school in the nation.
Princeton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Ramapo College of New Jersey (Mahwah, NJ)
Established in 1969, Ramapo College is a coeducational, public, liberal arts and professional studies institution located in Mahwah, in the northeast corner of the Garden State, not far from New York City. The 300-acres campus is nestled in the Ramapo Mountains and is currently home to some 6,000 students.
Educationally, the school is supported by four pillars: international, intercultural, interdisciplinary and experiential. Each of these pillars is interwoven into the required curriculum, which is further strengthened by a wealth of clubs, study abroad opportunities, and other extracurricular activities.
Ramapo is divided into five Schools: Humanities and Global Studies, Business, Contemporary Arts, Social Sciences and Human Services, and Theoretical and Applied Sciences. Across those five School, the school offers 40 majors. The average class size comprises 23 students, while the current student-to-faculty ratio is 18-to-one. Ramapo College is one of Kiplinger’s Best Value Public Colleges in the United States.
Ramapo College of New Jersey is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
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University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a public, research university, whose flagship campus is located in the state’s largest city, Albuquerque. It is the largest post-secondary institution in the state. Established in 1889, the university now has a student body of over 35,000 individuals. Situated on a 600-acre campus just one mile east of downtown, the university is home to four on-campus museums.
UNM offers 94 bachelor’s degree, 71 master’s degrees, 37 doctoral degrees, and a handful of professional degree programs. The university recognizes over 400 student organizations, including academic, athletic, ethnic, honorary, political, religious, and service clubs. Several fraternities and sororities are also a part of the school’s social scene.
UNM is known for its fierce rivalry with New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Every year, the school hosts the “Red Rally,” an annual bonfire that occurs the Thursday before the football game between UNM and NM State, culminating in the immolation of a giant effigy of “Pistol Pete,” the rival school’s mascot.
The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
St. John’s College Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM)
Founded in 1964, St. John’s College Santa Fe is the much-younger sister school to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland (see above). Like its older sibling, St. John’s Santa Fe maintains a highly rigorous, all–Great Books curriculum, a four year program that ensures all students will read the original texts of Western Civilization’s most important and influential contributors to the fields of philosophy, theology, mathematics, science, music, poetry, and literature.
All students take four years of a foreign language, four years of math, four years of interdisciplinary study, three years of life science, and a year of music. In addition, everyone is required to attend a school-wide lecture on a weekly basis. Students are allowed only two electives, which may not be taken until the winter semester of their junior year.
Class sizes at St. John’s College Santa Fe are capped at 20, with an average of 14 students. Currently, there is an eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. The campus comprises 250 acres in the heart of the state capital, which is also one of the nation’s most distinctive urban areas. The site of Santa Fe, which lies at 7,300 feet above sea level, has many buildings in the old adobe style in the downtown area, and has been continuously occupied for over a thousand years, was made the capital of a colonial Spanish province in 1610, making the town of some 70,000 souls the oldest capital city in the country.
St. John’s College Santa Fe has state approval by New Mexico Higher Education Department.
Graduate Institute at St. John’s College Santa Fe
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Columbia University (New York, NY)
Columbia University is a private, research university and a member of the famous “Ivy League.” Founded in 1754, it is the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state of New York, and the fifth-oldest in the country. It is also one of nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution began. In fact, the university was originally chartered by King George II.
The campus comprises 32 acres and takes up six city blocks on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The current student enrollment is nearly 30,000 students, most of whom are seeking a postgraduate degree. The student body is very culturally diverse, with 52 percent of students identifying as a person of color. Despite the large number of students, on-campus housing is guaranteed for four years.
The university is divided into 20 Schools, notably Columbia and Barnard Colleges (traditionally, the men’s and women’s undergraduate institutions, respectively, albeit coeducational today), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the renowned School of Journalism, the Law School, the Medical School, the Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Teacher’s College. Outside of academics, the university is also known for awarding the coveted Pulitzer Prize every year.
The acceptance rate at Columbia is less than seven percent, which makes it one of the most selective universities in the country.U.S. News & World Report ranks it #4 in the country.
Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Vassar College is a private, liberal, coeducational, liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson River about halfway between New York City and Albany. Founded in 1861 as a women’s college, and originally one of “Seven Sisters” (the all-women’s Ivy League), Vassar did not admit men until 1969.
Vassar is located on 1,250 acres full of architectural works of great distinction, as well as giant trees that transform the campus into a blaze of orange and red colors in the fall. The campus also contains two national historic landmarks and an arboretum with over 200 unique plant species.
Vassar offers 50 majors, including an independent studies major in which students design their own curriculum. All classes are taught by professors, instead of being delegated to graduate students or adjuncts.
The current student-to-faculty ratio is eight-to-one, and the average class size is 17 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks Vassar as the #13 Best Liberal Arts School in the country.
Vassar College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Duke University (Durham, NC)
Duke University is private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by a group of Quakers and Methodists in 1835, the university serves 14,000 student, 8,100 of whom are pursuing postgraduate degreea. The university, which no longer has any religious affiliation, went through five names changes before finally settling on Duke.
The campus consists of 8,470 acres of Gothic architecture, dropped into an urban landscape; it is sometimes referred to as the “Gothic wonderland.” The university has two undergraduate Schools—Arts and Sciences and Engineering—offering 46 arts and sciences majors, four engineering majors, and 49 minors.
The university also has a program entitled “Program II,” which allows students to design their own interdisciplinary major in the arts and sciences. IDEAS is essentially the same program for students enrolled in the engineering school.
The campus library system contains over six million volumes, and is one the 10 largest private university libraries in the United State. With all that and more to offer, it’s not surprising to learn that the university admits fewer than 12 percent of applicants.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings lists Duke University as the #17 Best College on the Globe, while U.S. News & World Report ranks it #7 in the U.S.
Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Davidson College (Davidson, NC)
Davidson College is a private, liberal arts college located on a 665-acre campus in Davidson, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. Opened in 1837 by local Presbyterians, the college’s goal, both then and now, has always been to teach openness and respect for all people and religions. Affirming high ethical principles, as well as high academic standards, the college has produced 23 Rhodes Scholars.
Originally an all-men’s college, Davidson switched to the coeducational model in 1973. The college currently maintains a 10-to-one student-to-faculty ratio, while 90 percent of classes have under 30 students enrolled. There are currently 25 majors available, but students are highly encouraged to design their own and personalize their education to their needs and interests.
All students are required to adhere to a strict honor code and any infraction is cause for expulsion. In 2007, Davidson became the first liberal arts college to meet the financial need of all its students through grants, student work-study, and parental contributions, allowing students to avoid any student loan debt.
Newsweek named Davidson the #3 Most Rigorous college in the United States and, based on the quality of the education provided, bestowed upon it the coveted title of “New Ivy.” U.S. News & World Report has continually given the college a spot on their list of the Top Ten Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the country.
Davidson College is by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)
The University of North Dakota (UND) is a public, research university whose flagship campus is located in Grand Forks, the third-largest city in the state with a population of about 53,000 souls, 15,000 of whom are students at the university.
The 550-acre urban campus was established in 1883, and is home to the only law and medical schools in the state. UND is one of fewer than 50 schools in the country that have both accredited law and medical schools.
Academically, the university is divided into 10 different academic Divisions: Aerospace Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Graduate School, Law, Medical and Heath Sciences, Nursing, and Continuing Education. Across those Divisions there are 224 fields of study, 90 undergraduate majors, 73 undergraduate minors, and 27 doctoral programs, as well as professional degrees in both law and medicine.
U.S. News & World Report lists the University of North Dakota among the top 100 Public Universities in America. Every university in the University of North Dakota System, including the Grand Forks campus, is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
University of Jamestown (Jamestown, ND)
The University of Jamestown is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1883. Located in the town of Jamestown, about 100 miles east of the state capital, Bismark, the school was known as Jamestown College until August 2013, when it adopted its present name.
Jamestown sits on a 110-acre urban campus; the enrollment currently stands at 967 souls. The college currently offers 40 fields of study, and all students are guaranteed to have the courses available that are necessary for them to graduate in four years. All students also receive an internship during their time at Jamestown.
The school adheres to a program they call “Journey to Success.” This fourfold program requires students to look inwardly, outwardly, beyond, and forward. Students look inwardly by examining their strengths, interests, and weaknesses. They look outwardly to see how they can use their talents to help others and reach goals. They look beyond to learn about other people and cultures. And they look forward to plan for life beyond college. These lessons are purposely woven into each major and all the core curriculum to prepare students to be part of a global community.
The University of Jamestown is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the North Central Association.
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Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
Ohio State University is a public, research university located in the state capital of Columbus. Established in 1870 and known as one of the “Public Ivies,” the university has a student body of nearly 58,000 individuals—the third-largest school in the nation. The campus, comprising 1,765 urban acres, is located less than three miles from the city center.
The university has an especially large number of Colleges and Schools (some 20), including not only Business, Education, Law, Medicine, and Social Work, as might be expected, but also the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, as well as Colleges of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Veterinary Medicine. The College of Arts and Sciences is home to some 70 different departments, centers, and institutes.
Ohio State, the official home of the Buckeyes, currently has 19 men’s varsity teams and 20 women’s varsity teams and is a Big Ten Conference competitor. The university is frequently recognized for its intense sports rivalry with the University of Michigan Wolverines. It is one of only 13 universities in the country with both Division I football and hockey teams. The Buckeyes marching band, which is world-famous for their intricate and entertaining halftime shows, is the largest all-brass and percussion band in the world.
In addition to sports, there are over 1000 active and recognized student organizations on campus to help student find like-minded individuals.
Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks Ohio State University as the 65th best university in the world. Ohio State is accredited by Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges.
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
Oberlin College is a private, liberal arts college located in the small town of Oberlin, about halfway between Cleveland and Sandusky. The college and the town were both founded a pair of Presbyterian ministers in 1833. The college was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to regularly admit women and black students, as ell as the first college to have coed dorms.
The 2,900 students enjoy a small town feel. The college currently offers 45 majors, minors, and concentrations. It also encourages students to take advantage of their five-year, double-major program. Oberlin College is the founding member of the Oberlin Consortium, a cooperative group of about 80 top-ranked liberal arts college libraries around the country.
Oberlin, which is also home to a renowned music conservatory, has a special winter term each year, in which student have no classes and must instead allocate that time to work on a winter project, either alone or in groups. These winter projects gives students ample time to pursue internships.
Oberlin College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public, research university located in a suburb south of the Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city in the state. The university was founded in 1890, 17 years before Oklahoma achieved statehood. The Norman campus is the flagship school for the University of Oklahoma System.
The school is the chosen academic home of approximately 30,000 students, the vast majority of whom are undergraduates.The school offers 152 bachelor’s degrees, 160 master’s programs, 75 doctoral programs, and 20 professional majors.
All freshman are required to live on campus, but most upperclassmen take advantage of the low cost of living in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. The NCAA football team, known as the Sooners, were the perpetual rivals of the University of Texas Longhorns during the heyday of the old Southwest Conference.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Oklahoma is among the Top 50 Public Universities in the United States. Princeton Review rated it as one of the 20 Most Wired universities in the country.
The University of Oklahoma System, including the Norman campus, is accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Chickasha, OK)
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) is a public, coeducational, liberal arts college located in Chickasha, a small town to the southwest of Oklahoma City. It is the only public college in the state with a liberal arts–focused curriculum. Founded in 1908 as a women’s school, the college has a current enrollment of approximately 1200 students, the vast majority of whom live on campus in one of the two residence halls.
In comparison to many private liberal arts colleges, the tuition at USAO is affordable. The school has a shining track record in regards to financial aid, with 87 percent of students receiving some form of assistance. The tight-knit community of students run more than 50 student activities, including leadership groups, student government, clubs, and volunteer opportunities.
According to U.S. News & World Report, USAO is one of the best public schools currently offering comprehensive bachelor’s degrees.
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
The University of Oregon is a public, research, university located in the college town of Eugene, small 65 miles south of the state capital in Salem. Founded in 1876, with nearly 21,000 undergraduates and 400 post-graduate students today, the Eugene campus is the flagship school for the entire University of Oregon System.
The 295-acre campus is an idyllic reflection of picturesque Oregon landscapes—500 different kinds of trees may be seen there! The university is divided into eight different Schools, including six professional Schools, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Honors College. Across all eight schools, the university offers a total of 269 different degree programs.
Oregon has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-one, and the average class size in just 20 students. The school also offers an overwhelming 190 study abroad programs. It is one of 108 universities with the Carnegie Foundation’s Tier I, Very High Research Activity badge of excellence.
Outside of the academic sphere, the university recognizes over 250 student groups and is home to multiple NCAA Division I teams known collectively as the Ducks.
The University of Oregon is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Reed College (Portland, OR)
Reed College is a private, independent, liberal arts school located in Portland, the major metropolitan area in the state. Founded in 1908, the school now has an enrollment of 1,442 undergraduate and 29 graduate students.
The college is divided into five Divisions: Arts; History and Social Sciences; Literature and Languages; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; and Philosophy, Religions, Psychology, and Linguistics. There is also a special Humanities Program, as well as several interdisciplinary programs and dual-degree programs allowing students to pursue more than one emphasis. Freshmen are also required to take Humanities 101, a comprehensive introduction to the Classics, which covers ancient Jewish, Greek, and Roman literature and history.
The current student-to-faculty ratio is 10-to-one. Most classes are taught conference style, where teachers guide the students in discussion, rather than lecture at them. The 116-acre campus is home to the country’s only nuclear reactor run entirely by undergraduate students. There are no fraternities or sororities on the Reed campus.
Reed College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
The University of Pennsylvania, universally known as “Penn,” is a private, research university located on the near West side of Philadelphia. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the 992-acre campus is a member of the Ivy League and one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution.
Visitors and residents are often impressed by the university’s Gothic buildings, which are modeled after those found at Cambridge and Oxford. The current student body totals a little over 21,000 students, and is divided about half and half between undergraduates and graduate students.
Penn is acclaimed for its series of firsts, including the first medical and business schools in North America. It was also one of the first universities in this country to adopt a multidisciplinary approach, which makes it popular among students looking for the resources of a university coupled with a more liberal arts teaching style and atmosphere. On a less solemn note, the Penn marching band was the first to be featured in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Penn’s undergraduate program accepts, on average, 12 percent of applicants, making it the sixth-most-selective university in the U.S., according to Princeton Review.
The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
Swarthmore College is a private, liberal arts college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, just eleven miles from downtown Philadelphia on the famous “Main Line.” The college was established in 1864 by local Quakers, and is considered one of the “Little Ivies.” In 1933, the school dropped its religious affiliation. Today, the college has a student enrollment of nearly 1600 individuals.
Swarthmore, which occupies a 399-acre campus, was organized by some of the most prominent names in the abolitionist movement, including Lucretia Mott. The school is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, along with Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, allowing students to register for classes at any of the three colleges. Swarthmore is also affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, which allows the college’s students to register for classes at Penn, as well.
Apart from the many liberal arts degrees available, Swarthmore has an engineering program, which is rare for a smaller liberal arts school. With all of these advantages, it is easy to understand why the college is highly selective, admitting only 14 percent of applicants. Students who are admitted will have 100 percent of their demonstrated need covered by financial aid. According to U.S. News & World Report, Swarthmore is the third-best liberal arts college in the country.
- Swarthmore ranks #2 among our 50 Best Colleges in the U.S.
- Swarthmore ranks #58 among Richest University in the World
Swarthmore College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
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Brown University (Providence, RI)
Brown University is a private, research university located in Providence, Rhode Island. Established in 1764, it is the seventh-oldest higher education institution in the United States, and boasts the oldest undergraduate engineering program in the country. It was also the first university to accept students regardless of religious affiliation.
The 143-acre urban campus, which makes this Ivy League university the largest landowner is the city of Providence, is educational home to 8,540 students. Brown accepts only eight percent of applicants, making it one of the hardest of all American universities to get into. Applications are read in a need-blind manner, which removes the possibility of acceptance or denial based on socioeconomic status. Brown has eliminated loans for all students who come from families with an annual income of less than $100,000, and any expected parental contributions from families with an annual income of less than $60,000.
Princeton Review recently named Brown America’s Happiest College, and U.S. News & World Report ranks it as the #15 Best University in the United States.
Brown University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Providence College (Providence, RI)
Established in 1917, Providence College is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic university located in the Rhode Island state capital. The college, which sits on 105 urban acres, specializes in liberal arts. The student body comprises nearly 3,900 undergraduates and 529 graduate students. It is the only college in the United States registered under the Dominican Order of Friars.
Overall, Providence College offers 49 majors and 34 minors, divided among four different Schools: Arts and Sciences, Business, Professional Studies, and Continuing Education. Every student, regardless of major and minor, is required to take part in the college’s Core Curriculum, which focused on the development of Western Civilization, mathematics, philosophy, theology, the natural sciences, English, the fine arts, and the social sciences.
In athletics, Providence College currently competes in Division I of the NCAA, and is a founding member of the Big East Conference. In 2012, the college announced that it would form a new league of its own, together with six other Catholic colleges.
Providence College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
Originally an all-male military college, today Clemson University is a public, land-grant and sea-grant, coeducational, research university located in Clemson, South Carolina, southwest of Greenville. The school was founded by the South Carolina legislature in 1889 with money left to the state for that purpose in the will of Thomas Green Clemson. Clemson’s fortune largely derived from his wife, Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson, who was the daughter of statesman, philosopher, and seventh Vice President of the United States, John C. Calhoun.
The university contains five Colleges: Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts, and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Sciences; Engineering and Science; and Health, Education, and Human Development. Collectively, the Colleges offer more than 80 undergraduate degrees, 75 minors, and 110 graduate degrees.
Clemson has a current undergraduate enrollment of almost 17,000 students, and a graduate enrollment of a little over 4,000. While the school has a fairly large number of students in attendance, it also has a large number of faculty members, thus assuring that professors have time to be available to their students. The university currently maintains a student-to-faculty ration of 16-to-one.
The 17,000-acre campus nestled in the foothills of the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect location for Clemson’s many interesting traditions. For example, Tigerama is an annual, student-led pep rally—the largest in the nation, with over 40,000 in attendance. U.S. News & World Report ranks Clemson #21 among National Public Universities.
Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tigerama 2011 – Through the Eyes of a Tiger
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Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC)
Wofford College is a private, liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina, northeast of Greenville. Founded in 1854 just before the onslaught of the Civil War, Wofford is one of the very few four-year colleges that remained open throughout the war and is still operating today.
The college has a current student population of nearly 1,600 undergraduates, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-one. Ninety-three percent of students live on campus. Wofford currently offers majors in 23 different fields, ranging from art to German to finance, as well as seven pre-professional degrees, including teacher education, dentistry, and law.
If you hope to study abroad, this college has 200 international programs in 59 different countries around the world. The largest and most popular extracurricular activities on campus are the fraternities and sororities, in which 44 percent of the college’s male, and 53 percent of its female, student population participate. Forbes considers Wofford the #58 Best College in America.
Wofford College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD)
The University of South Dakota (USD) is a public, research university located in the small town of Vermillion on dramatic bluffs overlooking the Missouri River not far upstream from Sioux City, Iowa, at the point where South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska all meet. Established in 1862 by the Dakota Territory legislature—37 years before South Dakota attained statehood—it is the oldest university in the state and the flagship school for the University of South Dakota system.
USD, which is situated on 321 acres, currently has an enrollment of nearly 11,000 students, and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-one. In the academic sector, the school is divided into seven Schools: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Law, and Medicine. Across the board, there are 132 undergraduate programs and 62 postgraduate majors for students to select from. The university is home to the only medical and law schools, as well as the only accredited business school, in the state.
Students who are concerned about the affordability of college should definitely check out USD. Seventy-two percent of undergraduate receive financial aid.
The University of South Dakota System is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD)
Augustana College, affectionately known as “Augie,” is a private, liberal arts college located in Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota. The 100-acre campus was founded in 1860 and is maintained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The primary goals of the school as an educator are outlined in their core values: Christianity, liberal arts, excellence, and community aid. The college, which should not be confused with the similarly named school in Illinois, is the largest private institution of higher learning in the state.
Augustana has approximately 1,850 students, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-one. The college currently offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with 50 different available majors and 34 minors, alongside 12 pre-professional degrees.
More than 100 recognized student clubs and 20 performing arts ensembles operate on campus. The choir and the concert band tour nationally and internationally, competing on national and international levels. If you are not musically inclined, but want to travel during your time in college, Augustana might be just the place for you: The college has an extensive study abroad program, in which 44 percent of students participate. The school is #3 on U.S. News & World Report‘s list of the Best Colleges in the Midwest.
Augustana College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is a private, research university in Nashville, Tennessee’s capital and second-largest city. The 330-acre campus is just a mile and a half from the heart of downtown, and constitutes a vital part of the local community and its atmosphere. In an effort to keep the school small and personal, the student body is restricted to around 12,000 students. The university maintains a surprising student-to-faculty ratio of just eight-to-one.
The undergraduate portion of the university is divided into four Schools: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Education and Development, and Music. The graduate and pre-professional programs are divided among six Schools: Law, Medicine, Nursing, Management, Divinity, and the Graduate School. Within those Schools, there are about 70 majors, along with the option to create a specialized program to meet a student’s specific needs and interests.
All Vanderbilt undergraduates are required to live on campus, where more than 400 student and 50 service organizations are recognized. With all the university has to offer, it comes as no surprise that competition for places at the school is stiff: Fewer than 12 percent of applicants are accepted. U.S. News & World Report ranks Vanderbilt #17 among all U.S. universities, while Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks it #49 in the world.
Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Rhodes College (Memphis, TN)
Rhodes College is a private, mostly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, the old Mississippi River port town that is now the largest city in the state of Tennessee. Established in 1848 by the Freemasons, the college moved to its current 100-acre campus in 1925. The campus is known for its Gothic architecture: 13 of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rhodes has a little under 2000 students, the vast majority of whom are undergraduates. The college places heavy emphasis on small class sizes, research, and writing. It currently boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-one.
Rhodes has fostered partnerships with many other institutions, and strongly encourages student off-campus activities, such as internships and hand-on work in the student’s intended field. Ninety-five percent of students are accepted by the law and business schools of their choice, while the acceptance rate for medical school is double the national average.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Rhodes #47 on their list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the country, while Forbes lists the school as #47 among their Best Colleges in the U.S.
Rhodes College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Texas (Austin, TX)
The University of Texas (UT) is a public, research university whose flagship campus is located in the state capital of Austin, in the central Texas “hill country.” Founded in 1883, the 423-acre campus is just one mile from the Capitol building, and has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment in the United States, with more than 50,000 students. Despite supporting a huge student population, the university maintains a 17-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.
The UT campus contains seven museums and 17 libraries, including the Harry Ransom Center—a major national literary archive—and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. There are also more than 1000 recognized student organizations that meet on campus.
The university is divided into 19 different Colleges, offering altogether more than 100 undergraduate degrees and 170 graduate degrees for students to choose from. Outside of MIT, the University of Texas conducts more federal research than any other university without a medical center. Due to the caliber of the education received and the number of resources available to its students, the University of Texas is often considered to be a “Public Ivy.” With many Nobel, Pulitzer, and other laureates on its faculties, UT is very strong academically in a number of fields, notably in physics.
Frequent past champions of the old Southwest Conference, the UT Longhorns now confront the arch-rival Sooners of the University of Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference. Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks UT as the #27 Best University in the Nation and the #35 Best University on the Globe.
The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Dallas (Irving, TX)
The University of Dallas (UD) is a private, Catholic university on 744 acres in Irving, a suburb just west of Dallas. The university closely resembles a liberal arts college in that it has established a Core Curriculum to insure that each of student is getting a strong interdisciplinary basis for his or her education. The Core Curriculum comprises 20 classes—about two years of study—in philosophy, theology, history, literature, politics, economics, mathematics, sciences, art, and foreign language. UD traces its roots back to Holy Trinity College, founded in Dallas by the Vincentian order in 1905. The college was reorganized, renamed, and relocated to its present site in 1956.
UD is divided into four academic units: liberal arts, business, graduate school of management, and ministry. Across all units, there are currently nearly 3,000 students, about half of whom are undergraduates. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 11-to-one and the average class size is seventeen students—figures which also compare well with those of traditional four-year colleges.
All students under the age of 21 who are not married or military veterans are required to live on campus. Eighty percent of UD students study abroad during their time at the college—the sixth-highest percentage of any institution of higher learning in the country. U.S. News & World Report lists the UD as the #14 Best College in the West.
The University of Dallas is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Dallas Flash Mob Video
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Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)
Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private university is Provo, Utah, south of Salt Lake City. Established in 1875, BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormons. With 34,000 students, the school is the largest religious university in the country, and the third-largest private university. BYU is named after the early Mormon leader, Brigham Young, who led his coreligionists on their westward trek in the 1840s, founding Salt Lake City and what is now the state of Utah.
BYU offers degrees in liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, management, and law. The university’s primary focus is on undergraduates, but it also operates 68 master’s and 25 doctoral programs. More than 98 percent of the student body is of the Mormon faith and the majority of them will take a two-year leave of absence during their time at BYU to complete a missionary trip.
Due to the religious nature of the campus and student body, students are required to adhere to an honor code that extends beyond academic integrity to matters of grooming and dressing and the strict observance of rules of moral behavior. BYU also prohibits drug use and the consumption of alcohol. U.S. News & World Report ranks BYU #75 on their list of Best Universities in the Country.
Brigham Young University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT)
Founded in 1875 by the United Church of Christ, Westminster College is a private, liberal arts college in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Westminster College—which should not be confused with several other similarly named institutions—is the only accredited liberal arts school in the state of Utah.
The 27-acre campus is notable for its natural beauty, elegant architecture, the serene creek that runs from one end of the campus to the other, and its view of the Rocky Mountains. The college offers a blend of liberal arts and professional programs, and is divided into four separate Schools: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing and Health. Overall, the 2,800 students have access to approximately 70 programs, including 34 undergraduate programs and 12 graduate degrees.
Westminster currently has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-one, to help students get the best education possible during their stay on campus.
Westminster College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)
The University of Vermont is a public, research university located on 451 acres in Burlington, which with a population of only about 43,000 is the largest city in the state. Founded in 1791, the same year Vermont attained statehood, this university is the fifth-oldest in the country. It was also the first to pledge not to give preferential admission to anyone based on religious affiliation.
Vermont now has a student body of 10,459 undergraduates and 1,540 postgraduates, including 450 medical students. Despite the size of its student body, the current student-to-faculty ratio is 17-to-one, and the average class size for undergraduate classes is 30 students.
The university is divided into seven undergraduate Schools, a Graduate College, and a College of Medicine. There are currently 100 undergraduate majors, 45 master’s programs, and 20 doctoral programs available to the students.
Socially, the University of Vermont is bursting at the seams with nine fraternities, six sororities, and more than 170 available student activities, including debate, the student newspaper, academic clubs, musical groups, and artists’ cooperatives.
The University of Vermont is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Bennington College (Bennington, VT)
Bennington College is a private, liberal arts college located in the village of Bennington, tucked into the southwest corner of the state. The school was founded in 1932 as all-women’s college, but made the switch to coed in 1969. Today, about 67 percent of the student body is female, while 33 percent is male.
There are currently 826 students who share the 440-acre rural campus, 94% percent of whom live there. The student-to-faculty ratio is nine-to-one, while the average class size is 14 students. Bennington students may major in some 50 different programs of study. They also operate an at-risk public school student mentoring program called Quantum Leap.
Outside of academics, Bennington is known for its many annual traditions, such as Pigstock, a spring party with live music and a pig roast. Other well-loved traditions include 24-hour plays—which the English and Drama departments write, produce, and act in together, all within a 24-hour span—and Roll-O-Rama, in which students are allowed to roller skate in one of the school’s auditoriums.
Bennington College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public, research university whose flagship campus is located in Charlottesville, a town northwest of Richmond not far from Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Established in 1819, the university was conceived and planned by Thomas Jefferson. The third President also designed and oversaw construction of several of the buildings on campus, notably the iconic Rotunda, which he modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, and which was one of the largest buildings in North America at the time. Jefferson also insisted that UVA not be affiliated with any particular religious group—something highly unusual for the times. The university is one of the eight original “Public Ivies,” and one of the very few Southern universities that remained open throughout the Civil War.
UVA is divided into 14 individual Schools and offers 51 bachelor’s degrees in 47 fields, 81 master’s degrees in 65 fields, and 57 doctoral degrees in 55 fields. The school accepts fewer than 30 percent of applicants. In solidarity with Jefferson’s principles, students at the University of Virginia do not “graduate”; instead they “take their degree.” This represents Jefferson’s belief that learning is a lifelong process with no end.
U.S. News & World Report considers UVA to be the #23 Best National University in the country.
The University of Virginia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Hampden-Sydney College (Hampden Sydney, VA)
Hampden-Sydney College is a private, liberal arts college for men, located in the small town of Hampden-Sydney, about halfway between Richmond and Lynchburg. Founded in 1775, it was the last college established before the American Revolution and is one of three remaining all-men’s liberal arts colleges in the U.S.
Hampden-Sydney’s 1,200-acre rural campus is home to 1106 undergraduates. Freshmen are required to live on campus, but nearly all students remain on campus until the graduate. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 10-to-one. There are more than 40 student-run clubs on campus, including political, sports, and religious clubs, a radio station, a band, and several fraternities.
The college is governed by a strict honor code. Major offenses, such as theft, lying, and cheating, are grounds for expulsion. If a student is accused of such an offense, he will stand trail and be judged by a group of his peers. Hampden-Sydney Students are expected to complete a rigorous core curriculum on top of their major specific course work. Forbes ranked Hampden-Sydney College as the #4 Best College in the South.
Hampden-Sydney College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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University of Washington (Seattle,WA)
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington (U of W) is a public, research university located in Seattle. It is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast, and is considered a “Public Ivy.” The Seattle campus serves as the flagship school for the University of Washington System. Nearly 43,000 students learn and grow on the striking 703-acre urban campus, which lies on the banks of two local bays between the Cascade Mountain Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west.
Educationally, U of W is divided into 140 Departments spread among the following 16 Colleges and Schools: Arts and Sciences, Built Environments, Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Environment, Graduate, Information, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Affairs, Public Health, and Social Work.
Since 1975, U of W has been among the top five public and private universities for amount of federal funds received for research and training, and currently occupies first place for public universities. The university also maintains an active social agenda. With hundreds of clubs and organizations available, students will not have a hard time making new friends or finding a place to volunteer. Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks U of W as the #14 Best University on the Globe.
The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA)
Whitman College is a private liberal arts college in town of Walla Walla, in the southeastern part of the State. It was originally established as a seminary in 1859, then became a four-year college in 1883, and a wholly secular institution in 1907. Today, it serves as the academic home of nearly 1,600 students, of whom approximately 42 percent are male and 58 percent female.
Whitman currently offers 45 majors and 46 minors in the field of liberal arts. Although it is primarily a liberal arts college, the science program is particularly strong and well respected. Students may design their own major, as well as participate in special projects, study abroad, and complete internships. The student-to-faculty ratio is nine-to-one.
All Whitman students are required to pass a set of comprehensive senior exams that test their knowledge on everything they have learned during the previous four years. This process is a combination of a senior thesis project, written test, and oral exam. Often, the written exam is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is required for acceptance into most PhD programs around the country. The college is ranked the #41 Best Liberal College in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Whitman College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
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West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
Founded in 1867, West Virginia University (WVU) is a public, research university located in Morgantown, nestled on the banks of the Monongahela River in the Appalachian Mountains, about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh. The 913-acre campus, which is home to nearly 30,000 students, consists of a cluster of three mini-campuses that are all within close proximity and are linked the Personal Rapid Transit system. This system was built for the sole purpose of eliminating student traffic on local highways.
WVU is made up of 15 Colleges: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; Creative Arts; Engineering and Mineral Resources; Human Resources and Education; Journalism; Law; Dentistry; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; Technology; and Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. Students may choose from 184 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs spread out among the 15 Colleges.
According to U.S. News & World Report, WVU is the #90 Best Public University in the country. Reader’s Digest has named the campus among the safest in the nation, due to its text message alert system and its excellent campus police force, which is the largest in the state.
West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
West Virginia Wesleyan College (Buckhannon, WV)
Founded in 1890 by the United Methodist Church, West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college located in small town of Buckhannon in the mountainous eastern part of the state. The college sits at 1432 feet above sea level. In any given academic year, the school has a student body of approximately 1,400 students, 90 percent of whom live on campus.
Undergraduates may take bachelor’s degrees in art, science, nursing, or music education. The college also fosters engineering partnerships with Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and West Virginia Tech. this partnership provides students pursuing engineering with an extensive network of resources.
West Virginia Wesleyan is dedicated to a personalized college experience; thus, the school has a current student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-one and an average class size of less than 20 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks West Virginia Wesleyan as #12 in the South, and #2 in the South for students looking for a great school at a great price.
West Virginia Wesleyan College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)
Founded in 1848, the same year Wisconsin entered the union, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public, research university whose flagship campus is located in the state capital of Madison, a quintessential “college town” beautifully situated on an isthmus between two lakes. It is the oldest and also the largest public university in the state, and is considered to be one of the “Public Ivies.”
Wisconsin-Madison’s 936-acre campus is home to a large student body of nearly 43,000 souls. The university is divided into 21 Colleges and Schools, including Agriculture and Life Sciences; Arts; Business; Education; Engineering; Environmental Studies; Journalism and Mass Communication; Law; Letters and Science; Library and Information Studies; Medicine and Public Health; Music; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Affairs; Social Work; and Veterinary Medicine.
Wisconsin-Madison offers 135 graduate programs, 151 master’s degrees, and 107 doctoral and professional programs, across the 21 Colleges and Schools. The campus also houses approximately 750 recognized student clubs and activities.
Times Higher Education named Wisconsin-Madison the #31 Best University in the world, while Washington Monthly named it the #17 Best University in the Country.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Beloit College (Beloit, WI)
Beloit College is a private, undergraduate, liberal arts college located in the town of Beloit, south of Janesville on the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. Established in 1846, the college is the oldest continuously operated institution of higher learning in the state. As Beloit was founded by pioneers, the college emphasizes those roots by promoting student sovereignty and agency, varied learning experiences occurring in and out of the classroom, and inner reflection
Beloit enrolls about 1,300 students, and has an academic staff of 105; thus, the college maintains an approximately 12-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. The average class size is about 15 students. The school has more than 50 majors and 30 minors; a dual-degree program is also available.
The 40-acre campus is known for its meadows, public art, and eclectic architectural styles. Unsurprisingly, given the college’s penchant for encouraging adventure among its students, 56 percent participate in a study abroad program while attending school there.
Forbes ranks Beloit as the #125 Best University in the Nation, while U.S. News & World Report considers this college to be a Best Value within the National Liberal Arts College category.
Beloit College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
The University of Wyoming (UW) is a public, research university located in the town of Laramie, in the southern part of the state between Casper and Fort Collins, Colorado. Established in 1886, four years before Wyoming achieved statehood, the university serves as the flagship school for the University of Wyoming system.
The UW campus sits on the Laramie Plains at an elevation of 7,200 feet. The university comprises seven Colleges: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Health Sciences, and Law. Across these Colleges, students may pursue nearly 200 different undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional degree programs. Princeton Review places UW in the top 15 percent of four-year universities in the country.
Socially, UW has dozens of clubs and activities, three sororities, seven fraternities, and several ongoing school-funded events, such as Friday Night Fever, a weekly event providing students with an alcohol-free option. The event changes, which usually involves live entertainment, changes weekly to appeal to a broad cross-section of students.
The University of Wyoming system as a whole, including the Laramie campus, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Wyoming Cowboy Joe Club Thank You Video
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Unlike the other four-year colleges on this list, the University of Wyoming-Casper College Center is actually a partnership between a university (the University of Wyoming—see the previous entry) and a two-year community college (Casper College). The classes fulfill a need for higher education options in central Wyoming for students who are not able to relocate to a four-year university.
Casper College Center classes take place on the campus of Casper College, under the auspices of the University of Wyoming. Most students enrolled in classes at the Center have obligations, such as jobs or children, which prevent them from relocating to the University of Wyoming’s main campus at Laramie. Founded in 1976, the Center is dedicated to small class sizes, which provide hands-on experience in the classroom and the field, as well as to community service and an impressive lecture series.
The Center has countless partnerships with local businesses and corporations, which provide students with a wealth of internship options and potential future employers. Thus, the Center helps students to realize their potential and to gain the work experience required to succeed. The University of Wyoming currently offers 17 undergraduate and 12 graduate degree programs at its Center on the campus of Casper College.
The University of Wyoming-Casper College Center is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
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The Gorgeous Mosaic of American Higher Education—State by State
Our nation is a union of individual political systems—the United States of America—50 of them strong, and each with its own unique system of universities and four-year, liberal arts colleges.
There are already plenty of lists of “best” colleges and universities out there. Certainly, they serve a useful purpose. But they can sometimes give a distorted picture of one of this country’s greatest strengths—its educational federalism. By that, we mean the vast and highly varied network of colleges and universities that has grown up over the years in every one of the 50 states.
Of course, these schools share many characteristics. We are one nation, after all—e pluribus, unum! And higher education today is not only a national, but an international affair.
Nevertheless, many schools strongly reflect the local character of the states where they are located. There is a huge difference between attending college in Hawaii or in Minnesota, for example, not just from the point of view of the weather, but from that of culture, as well.
In our opinion, this diversity is an enormous asset for higher education in our country. Often, the 50-state governments are referred to as 50 “laboratories of democracy.” That is indeed an excellent thing for our nation. But we believe the experimental character of American federalism is nowhere more visible and more fruitful than in the field of education. And higher education is no exception to that rule.
That is why we decided it was time to create this list of the very best liberal arts colleges and universities on a state-by-state basis, one of each for every state.
Of course, our list includes a fair number of the “usual suspects.” After all, Harvard is Harvard, and when you get to Massachusetts, there is really no getting around it! However, on our unique list you will find many hidden jewels—schools you may never have heard of, but which do things in their own distinctive way (and very well, too!), enriching American higher education immeasurably in the process.
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins used to speak of the “gorgeous mosaic” that is the Big Apple. We present you with the gorgeous mosaic of educational federalism in America today!