In this ranking, we focus on geographical diversity, listing the best educational institutions in each state. Our criteria considers the reputation and influence of the school and faculty, accreditation status, and overall academic caliber based on median SAT scores of accepted students compared to other institutions of the same type within the state, collected from the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Most states host several well-regarded schools with stellar reputations, innovative research, and rigorous academics. In these cases, we included the school with the broadest curriculum and most diverse program options.
The result is a list of the top 100 colleges in the U.S., two from each state. The first school is a full-fledged research university, while the other is a four-year liberal arts college focused on undergraduate education. We close the ranking with a brief reflection on the Gorgeous Mosaic of American Higher Education — State by State.
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 four-year liberal arts colleges on our list use the word "university" in their name.
Colleges Near Me
While completing a degree online affords students the luxury of studying from anywhere they choose, many still treat "colleges near me" as a top priority in their search for schools. Building a prospective list of colleges in one's local area can ease the process of finding convenient and affordable learning options.
Some students think, "Why consider universities near me? If they're online, why does it matter?" Attending a local online school often yields lower tuition rates and access to campus resources and professional connections that out-of-state students may not receive.
Online students attending a local college or university may qualify for in-state tuition rates, scholarships exclusive to distance learners, and location-specific grants or scholarships. Additionally, students completing programs in fields such as healthcare or education can take advantage of optional campus workshops and gain field experience with a local employer they hope to work for after graduation.
What are the Best Accredited Online Colleges?
Accreditation is among the primary indicators that a school meets high academic standards. Accreditation also expands employment, financial aid, and education opportunities. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.
Programs within a school may also receive programmatic accreditation, designating that a credentialing professional organization approves the program as meeting its field's standards for graduates entering the workplace. When searching for the best online colleges, students should also consider factors like course flexibility and technological and support services for online students.
The 100 Best U.S. Universities and Colleges by State for 2020
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Established in 1856, Auburn University consistently ranks among the best schools in the nation for veterans and best value schools, according to U.S. News and World Report. Auburn offers dozens of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in fields such as education, nursing, engineering, and agriculture.
Auburn offers hardware and software purchasing discounts for students, academic departments, and employees. The university serves approximately 30,000 students through more than 140 majors and remains the first land-grant institution in the South.
Auburn underwent several name changes before settling on its current moniker in 1960, reflecting its broad and diverse curricular offerings. Auburn's beloved Aubie the Tiger mascot boasts nine UCA National Mascot Champion titles. The university ranks as the oldest four-year, coeducational institution in Alabama and the second-oldest in the southeastern United States. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Auburn University as a top-tier R1 research university.
Auburn University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Spring Hill College
Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College offers a Jesuit Catholic education, encouraging holistic student growth academically and spiritually. SHC is the third-oldest Jesuit college in the nation and the oldest Catholic college in the southeastern United States.
SHC serves nearly 1,500 students each year. The school boasts several campus structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Students can participate in over 70 registered student organizations and enjoy a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. More than 90% of faculty hold terminal degrees in their area of expertise.
Each academic program at SHC includes foundational Jesuit liberal arts coursework. Students can choose from more than 46 majors and concentrations. SHC boasts especially high job placement rates for communications program graduates and 100% certification pass rates for teaching candidates.
SHC students collectively contribute an average of more than 25,000 hours of community service through the university's Albert S. Foley S.J. Community Service Center each year.
Spring Hill College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Established in 1917, UAF is the flagship institution and principal research center in the state's university system. The land-, sea-, and space-grant university comprises eight campuses, including an eCampus, and serves 8,336 students from all 50 states and 38 different countries.
UAF offers nearly 180 degrees and certificates on campus and online. Undergraduate students may choose from more than 100 fields of study across 10 academic schools, including unique programs, such as fisheries and ocean sciences. The most popular graduate majors include business administration, counseling, and fisheries.
Originally nicknamed the Polar Bears, UAF now cheers on its famed Nanooks at a variety of athletic competitions. The Nanooks participate in conferences including the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association. UAF boasts world-class men and women teams in sports like skiing, cross-country, and ice hockey.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the university among the nation's best biological science and earth science graduate programs and best online bachelor's programs.
University of Alaska Fairbanks is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Alaska Pacific University
Hosting its inaugural class in 1960, Alaska Pacific University continues to offer programs that uphold Native Alaskan and Methodist traditions. The university occupies a main campus set on 170 wooded acres near downtown Anchorage, as well as the Kellogg Spring Creek Farm Campus, home to APU's innovative outdoor and environmental education and project-based learning programs.
APU offers diverse associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees and certificates. The university also supports an early honors dual credit program for high school seniors and an Alaska Native executive leadership graduate certificate. Students can also complete a variety of professional and non-degree-seeking coursework on campus or online.
The university is one of few in the nation to offer region-specific programs like Alaska Native governance and Alaska rural management, along with unique majors in subjects including outdoor and environmental studies and marine and environmental sciences. Through the Promise Tuition Grant, some students who are eligible for the Pell Grant qualify to attend APU for little-to-no cost.
The university also offers a variety of financial aid tailored to undergraduate and professional studies students and Alaska foster youth. Students may also apply for APU's Alaska Tribal Health System Scholarship.
Alaska Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott
With an inaugural class consisting of just three students in 1895, UArizona now enrolls nearly 46,000 students across 21 academic colleges and specialty schools. UArizona offers two independently accredited medical schools and represents one of only 62 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
Undergraduate students can choose from more than 250 majors. Graduate programs span more than 150 areas of study and include doctoral degrees and graduate and postgraduate certificates. UArizona also hosts an Honors College for qualifying undergraduate freshmen and delivers more than 100 distance programs through Arizona Online.
Active military students can complete one of six bachelor's degrees online at a discounted rate through the Tuition Assistance program. UArizona also offers an online supportive education course to U.S. military veterans at no cost.
U.S. News and World Report ranks UArizona among the best national public universities and the top 30 online bachelor's programs.
University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Established in the 1960s, Prescott College emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, experiential learning, and ethical awareness throughout its programs. The small liberal arts college enrolls more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of programs focused on the arts, humanities, and environmental studies. Prescott features 14 undergraduate degrees, 13 graduate degrees, and 11 certificates, many of which are available online.
Each of Prescott's programs require students to complete an experiential component, such as a service-based community project or field experience. Prescott offers students a no-interest monthly tuition payment option and a variety of institutional scholarships. The college was the first private school in Arizona named a Veteran Supportive Campus and offers tuition discounts for veterans and active military through the GI Bill®.
Prescott leads environmental, ecological, and cultural health initiatives at a global campus location in Kenya and belongs to the EcoLeague and the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning. Prescott also occupies campuses in Tucson, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico.
Prescott College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Arkansas Global Campus
Founded in 1871, U of A counts J. William Fullbright, the namesake of one of the nation's most prestigious scholarships, among its alumni. Other alumni include journalists, TV network presidents, international corporate CEOs, and Olympic gold medalists.
U of A offers its more than 27,500 students more degrees than any other university in Arkansas, offering over 250 bachelor's, master's, doctoral, specialist, and professional programs. Students can choose from more than 70 bachelor's degrees and dozens of graduate programs through 10 academic schools and colleges, including a global campus and U of A Online.
The Carnegie Foundation awarded U of A R1 research classification, designated to only 3% of universities nationwide. U.S. News and World Report recently named U of A among the nation's best public schools and the best colleges for veterans.
Roughly 83% of U of A students secured employment or enrolled in graduate school by their graduation date in 2018. A hub for entrepreneurs and innovators, U of A ranks among the top 20 schools in the nation for female inventors and recorded more than 50 patents filed in 2019.
University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Set on 175 acres just 30 minutes from Little Rock, Hendrix College enrolls more than 1,100 students from 37 states and 10 countries. Established in 1876, Hendrix offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the tradition of the United Methodist Church.
The college requires a new student orientation experience for all first-year undergraduates and maintains over 70 clubs and organizations on campus. More than 400 students participate in 21 intercollegiate sports at Hendrix, competing in NCAA Division III athletics. Students can visit the on-campus Chaplain's office or Greene Chapel and participate in spiritual service-learning missions through the Miller Center.
Students may choose from more than 60 areas of study. All majors incorporate a foundational core first-year experience and a senior capstone or thesis. Hendrix maintains an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The school also features a signature Odyssey Experience, with an emphasis on engaged learning. Students may complete an Odyssey Experience of their own design, such as an internship, study abroad, or independent research project, and may receive funding through an Odyssey grant.
Hendrix College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Opened in 1891, Stanford University pioneered the establishment of Silicon Valley and boasts its own research and educational centers for medicine, bioengineering, and the visual arts. Stanford created leading-edge programs in energy acceleration and artificial intelligence as early as the 1960s. The university remains most recognized for its technology programs and famed alumni, including Elon Musk and Charles J. Schwab.
Stanford enrolls more than 16,000 students and offers hundreds of programs in areas like business; engineering; and earth, energy, and environmental sciences. Despite serving more than 7,000 undergraduates and nearly 9,500 graduate students, Stanford maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of just 5-to-1.
The Stanford campus spans more than 8,000 continuous acres and houses 97% of the undergraduate population. Students can also choose from dozens of online degrees and certificates through Stanford Online. Stanford offers several resources focused on student financial health, including CashCourse and a gateway for new graduate students. The university also maintains independent financial aid offices for its schools of graduate business, law, and medicine.
Stanford encourages students to take a diverse, interdisciplinary approach to learning. The university offers introductory seminars, summer intensives, and a variety of study-abroad and off-site programs, including programs for active military students.
Stanford University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Harvey Mudd College
Founded in 1955, Harvey Mudd sits 35 miles east of Los Angeles in Claremont, California. The college's prime location attracts students looking to reside on a campus close to the beach, the desert, and the mountains. Harvey Mudd belongs to the seven-member Claremont Colleges university system.
Harvey Mudd offers bachelor's degrees in computer science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. Students can also complete an independent study program or off-campus major. The college also features multiple dual-degree options.
Harvey Mudd enrolls nearly 900 students each year, equally divided between males and females, and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8-to-1. The college's reputation among the nation's top mathematics and engineering schools attracts esteemed faculty, with 98% holding a terminal degree in their field.
The school consistently receives high praise for its engineering programs, innovation, and ethnic and economic diversity from U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, Payscale, Kiplinger's, and Princeton Review recently recognized Harvey Mudd as a top-value school and for its high ROI of undergraduate programs.
Harvey Mudd College is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado School of Mines opened in 1873 under the guidance of the Episcopal Church. With its earliest programs focused on gold and silver, mining, and metallurgy, Mines built a reputation as one of the nation's premier higher learning institutions for environmental sustainability and space engineering programs. The school also boasts the world's first graduate program in space resources.
Undergraduate and graduate students can choose from more than 70 degrees, minors, and certificates. Mines features more than a dozen academic departments, emphasizing programs in areas like mining engineering, Colorado geological survey, and applied mathematics and statistics. The school also features unique interdisciplinary programs in subjects including science, engineering, and geochemistry.
Mines currently enrolls more than 6,200 students, with a reputation for being highly selective. The school reviews roughly 13,000 applications each year to fill 1,300 incoming student spaces. Mines boasts a 92% retention rate and 85% graduate employment rate.
The schools 18 athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), winning the RMAC All-Sports Competition Cup two years running, four in total. The college also hosts the largest collegiate gathering of members of the Society of Women Engineers in the nation.
Colorado School of Mines is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Located in scenic Colorado Springs, Colorado College enrolls more than 2,000 students eager to blend higher education with adventurous activities in the great outdoors. Founded before Colorado became a state in 1874, CC offers undergraduate students diverse liberal arts programs.
Students can choose from more than 80 majors, minors, and specialized academic programs. CC offers interesting departments in areas like comparative literature, southwest studies, and feminist and gender studies. Additionally, students can pursue a study-abroad project or field experience through CC's Center for Global Education and Field Study.
The college employs a signature block plan throughout all of its programs. Students complete a total of 32 blocks over four years, taking only one course at a time. The block plan enables students to become fully immersed in each intensive 3.5-week course.
During block breaks on the fourth week of every month, and during the summer in between semesters, CC encourages students to explore the canyons, mountains, and national parks surrounding the campus. The college also hosts more than 100 student clubs and organizations and 16 men's and women's athletic teams.
Colorado College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
New Haven, Connecticut
Founded in 1701, Yale University ranks among the nation's esteemed Ivy League schools as the third-oldest university in the United States. Yale occupies a sprawling 1,000-acre campus in the quaint college town of New Haven, Connecticut. The university enrolls nearly 13,500 students in popular programs, like business, law, and medicine.
Yale also hosts a West Campus location, along with its own art gallery, observatory, farm, and library dedicated to rare books and manuscripts. Nearly 2,700 international students from 123 countries study at Yale. The world-renowned research university claims library holdings of over 14 million articles.
Yale features dozens of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and certificates, with many options for non-degree-seekers, both on campus and online. Students may also complete a study-abroad experience or explore summer session options.
Yale strives to provide an education to all students regardless of their ability to pay, emphasizing non-loan sources of financial aid. Yale boasts a debt-free graduation rate of 86% as of 2018.
Yale University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Founded in 1823, Trinity College occupies a historic 100-acre campus in Hartford, serving more than 2,000 students. Rooted in the Episcopal tradition, Trinity ranks among the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in New England.
Undergraduate students can choose from over 40 majors, 28 interdisciplinary programs, and hundreds of individual courses. Trinity also features graduate programs in English, public policy, and American studies. Additionally, students can earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in an accelerated five-year program in American studies or neuroscience.
All Trinity students complete a first-year seminar to learn about college-level liberal arts studies and build basic research and communication skills. Trinity encourages students to explore a gateway program in their desired major to gain interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience. The college also offers a variety of study-abroad destinations.
Trinity supports more than 140 student clubs and organizations on campus. Student-athletes participate in 28 men's and women's NCAA Division III sports, including squash, lacrosse, and ice hockey. Students may also explore Hartford by joining the outdoor education program.
Trinity College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
University of Delaware
Founded in 1743, the University of Delaware's inaugural class included signers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Notable alumni include Nobel Prize winners, Tony Award winners, and a former U.S. vice president. UD occupies a main campus in Newark, with satellite locations statewide in Dover, Lewes, Wilmington, and Georgetown.
UD hosts more than 24,000 students at its prime Newark location, and is equidistant from Washington, D.C., and New York. Students can choose from more than 150 undergraduate majors and nearly a dozen graduate options in subjects like the arts, education, and the award-winning physical therapy program. In total, UD offers over 300 programs and courses across eight academic schools.
The university also delivers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs through UD Online. A traditional land-, sea-, and space-grant institution assisted by state funds, the college receives the highest R1 research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation. UD boasts a graduate employment rate of 95%.
U.S. News and World Report ranks UD among the nation's best colleges for its undergraduate, graduate, and online programs.
University of Delaware is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Delaware's oldest private college, Wesley College originated in 1873 under the auspices of the United Methodist Church in the state's capital city. Along with its 50-acre main campus in Dover, Wesley occupies an educational center at the local Air Force base. The college enrolls more than 1,500 students from 21 states and six countries.
Students can choose from more than 30 majors across five academic schools: business, education, arts and sciences, fine arts, and health sciences. Wesley offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and certificates. The college emphasizes community service and field experience through internships, cooperative education, and undergraduate research programs.
Through its membership in the International Student Exchange Program, Wesley offers students study-abroad opportunities at more than 300 locations in 50 countries. The school hosts more than 40 student clubs and organizations on campus. Over 60% of full-time students live on campus in residence halls and apartment-style housing.
Roughly 98% of Wesley students receive financial aid to fund their education. Wesley's beloved Wolverines, comprising student-athletes in 18 intercollegiate sports, compete as an NCAA Division III school in the Atlantic East Conference and the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Wesley College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
University of Florida
Established in 1858, the University of Florida occupies a 2,000-acre campus that includes the state's first LEED-certified building. Incoming freshmen hold an average 4.35 GPA and an average score of 1919 on the SAT. The university boasts a 96% freshman retention rate.
Students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate majors, graduate programs, and certificate options spanning 16 academic colleges. The university also hosts UF Online, delivering roughly 200 of the school's top programs online. U.S. News and World Report ranks UF's online MBA and online bachelor's programs among the nation's best. UF also ranks as the seventh-best public university in the nation.
The land-, sea-, and space-grant institution dedicates much of its research and programs to environmental health initiatives and sustainability, maintaining facilities to improve the local farming economies in all 67 counties in Florida. UF strives to become carbon neutral on its main campus by 2025.
The school hosts 36 national championship teams, competing in the South Eastern Conference. The university is affiliated with the statewide healthcare system and houses the Florida Museum of Natural History, a certified Audubon sanctuary, and an imminent Emerging Pathogens Institute.
University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
New College of Florida
Founded in 1960, New College holds the distinction of Florida's official honors college. The school enrolls more than 800 students from 40 states and 24 countries. New College is conveniently located near Florida's international airport, Tampa, and downtown Sarasota.
New College offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a master's degree in data science. The school maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8-to-1 and 99% of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
New College's unique course offerings include a sailing program delivered on Sarasota Bay. The school hosts multiple locations spanning 110 acres in northern Sarasota County. U.S. News and World Report ranks New College sixth in the nation among the best public schools. New College also ranks among the best value colleges in the nation, according to Forbes, Kiplinger's, and the Princeton Review.
New College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1836 by the United Methodist Church, Emory University enrolls roughly 15,451 students at its main campus in Atlanta. Affiliated with the statewide healthcare system, Emory University and Emory Healthcare employ more than 31,000 full-time workers in metro Atlanta's 20-county region. Atlanta Business Chronicle named Emory the largest employer in Atlanta.
Students can choose from seven undergraduate majors and dozens of graduate and professional programs across nine schools and colleges. Emory also offers seven online programs, including a doctor of ministry, an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing, and an executive master of public health. Students can also complete a variety of undergraduate and continuing education courses, certificates, and noncredit options online.
Emory ranks high among U.S. News and World Report's list of the best colleges in the nation. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report named Emory University Hospital No.1 in Georgia. Kiplinger's and The Princeton Review also ranked Emory among the country's best value schools.
More than 400 student-athletes compete in 19 varsity sports at Emory. The university's NCAA Division III teams recently added golf to their repertoire. Emory boasts numerous major athletic accolades, including 27 NCAA championships, 203 UAA titles, and 190 academic all-American scholars.
Emory University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Established in 1955, Covenant College provides a liberal arts education with a Christian worldview. Covenant's campus is on the border between Tennessee and Georgia and features views of the Smoky Mountains. The campus is 15 minutes from Chattanooga and two hours from Nashville.
Covenant offers dozens of undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. Top majors include English, biology, and education, which all focus on the intersection of academic and spiritual/service-learning pursuits. Covenant also maintains wholly Christ-centered programs rooted in the traditions of the Presbyterian Church.
The college enrolls more than 900 students and maintains a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Roughly 92% of Covenant faculty hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their area of expertise. More than half of all Covenant students hail from out of state.
At Covenant, 99% of students receive some form of financial aid. The college boasts an institutional retention rate of 90% and a graduation rate of 71%. Covenant hosts more than a dozen NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic teams.
Covenant College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Brigham Young University – Hawaiʻi
Set on 100 acres, BYU-Hawai'i occupies a main campus just north of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The university's picturesque locale boasts lush mountain scenery and an enviable shoreline, with an average temperature of 77 degrees year-round. BYU-Hawai'i enrolls more than 2,500 undergraduate students each year.
The university belongs to the LDS Church Educational System and the BYU university network, which includes BYU-Provo, BYU-Idaho, and LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. These organizations, developed under the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also maintain elementary and secondary schools in countries around the world.
The university offers multiple major, minor, and certificate options. The most popular majors include accounting, biological science, and business management. As of 2018, BYU-Hawai'i awarded the highest number of bachelor's degrees in biological sciences, business management, and computer and information science.
All academic programs follow the unique Holokai model, featuring core coursework in the arts and humanities, math and science, and professional studies. Students can customize their own "Holokai Pyramid" to fit their academic and career goals.
Brigham Young University-Hawai'i is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
University of Hawai'i Maui College opened in 1931 as Maui Vocational School. UHMC operated as a community college under the University of Hawai'i system until 2009, when its accrediting agency distinguished UHMC from other community colleges for granting bachelor's degrees. UHMC serves the three island territories that constitute Maui proper: Maui, Lanai, and Molokai.
UHMC offers associate degrees and certificates in more than 20 major areas of study, including healthcare, business administration, and education. Students can also complete bachelor's degrees in applied business and information technology, engineering technology, and sustainable science management. Additionally, the college offers online continuing education courses.
The university offers a variety of institutional and external scholarships and a tuition payment plan for qualifying students. Students gain access to support services and resources such as a technology help desk, career and placement services, and the MyUH web portal. UHMC maintains a rolling admissions policy.
UHMC encourages all incoming students to participate in the first-year experience. Students may take part in the introductory activities as part of UHMC's "Welcome Week," offered for students starting in the fall or spring. UHMC also offers an online orientation.
University of Hawai'i Maui College is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Idaho
With a main campus in Moscow, University of Idaho occupies additional learning centers in Boise, Idaho Falls, and Coeur D'Alene, along with research and extension centers in 42 counties across the state. U of I is home to multiple award-winning scholars, including recipients of the Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships.
U of I students can choose from more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees across 10 academic colleges. The university emphasizes interdisciplinary liberal arts programs, with its own STEM education division and law school. Students may also complete select dual-credit and extension courses online.
U of I hosts more than 200 student-led clubs and organizations on campus. The university offers diverse sources of financial aid, including scholarships for in-state and out-of-state students. The university enrolls nearly 12,000 students, many of whom are first-year freshmen who graduated in the top quarter of their high school class.
University of Idaho is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Lewis – Clark State College
Lewis-Clark State College sits at the intersection of the Clearwater and Snake rivers, the cities of Clarkston and Lewiston, and Idaho and Washington state. The school represents the partnership between the Nez Perce Native-American tribe and the explorers Lewis and Clark.
Founded in 1893, LCSC serves nearly 3,800 students. Students can choose from more than 130 degree and certificate programs across seven academic divisions, including departments focused solely on career and technical education. LCSC also offers hundreds of online courses and nine online degree programs.
The college boasts a graduate placement rate of 97% for academic programs and 92% for career programs. LCSC maintains a low 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio for academic and career programs. 87% of students receive some form of financial aid.
Students attending classes on campus at LCSC can participate in over 60 student clubs and organizations. The college hosts 12 teams competing in the Frontier Conference as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes division.
Lewis-Clark State College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Chicago
Founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, UChicago counts the American Baptist Education Society and Marshall Field among its earliest benefactors. The university boasts notable alumni like Susan Sontag and Bernie Sanders and bears its own coat of arms, depicting a phoenix rising from the flames.
The school hosts dozens of undergraduate majors and minors, four graduate divisions, seven professional schools, and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. UChicago was first to offer an executive MBA and graduate international affairs degree. The school also initiated the ecology and sociology sectors of higher education.
The University of Chicago Library houses more than 11 million volumes. Additionally, the school maintains its own University of Chicago Press, publishing roughly 250 books per year.
The university's historic 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park features a botanical garden and buildings designed by world-renowned architects. UChicago's alumni include more than 90 winners of the Nobel Prize, including six current faculty members. The university enrolls nearly 16,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year.
University of Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1860, Wheaton College is a private Christian liberal arts school. At Wheaton, students can choose from more than 40 undergraduate degrees and 18 graduate degrees. Wheaton enrolls 2,400 undergraduates and 500 graduate students from all 50 states and 43 countries. Located 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Wheaton offers a college town environment with close proximity to a major city.
The most popular majors at Wheaton include applied health science, biology, business, communication, English, and psychology. Students benefit from unique study-abroad programs, including an arts in London program and international internship opportunities. Wheaton also offers semester and summer study-abroad programs in Mexico, Europe, China, and the Holy Land.
Many Wheaton alumni pursue graduate degrees, with nearly three-quarters of the 2008 graduating class pursuing graduate-level study within 10 years of graduation. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wheaton College as the 58th best liberal arts college in the country.
Wheaton College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana
A leading private research institution, the University of Notre Dame is a Catholic university that dates back to 1842. ND blends teaching excellence with a strong research presence. For example, the university pioneered the formula for synthetic rubber and wireless transmission. Located near South Bend, ND's campus boasts a Golden Dome atop the Main Building and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a Gothic-inspired church filled with stained-glass windows.
The university offers 75 undergraduate majors through eight colleges and schools. Students can major in areas like philosophy and theology, a blended program incorporating both fields, medieval studies, or Greek and Roman civilization. ND's liberal studies program offers a seminar- and tutorial-based curriculum that blends art, history, literature, and theology. Undergraduates can also choose science majors with a focus on business, computing, or education.
U.S. News & World Report ranks ND as the 15th best university in the country and 11th for best undergraduate teaching.
The University of Notre Dame is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Earlham College hosts a residential campus with over 60 student organizations and offers 40 courses of study. Earlham prioritizes small class sizes centered on discussion, investigation, and discovery. All students complete a general education program to build their critical thinking and communication skills. Students also gain access to student-faculty collaborative research opportunities.
Earlham learners can complete a funded internship or research experience through the EPIC Advantage. During the program, students design a career-centered internship or community-based project to build their skills. 70% of Earlham students participate in off-campus study, including study-abroad programs. The 800-acre Richmond campus includes woods, streams, ponds, and prairie land, which Earlham uses for scientific research and recreation. For example, an old-growth forest and rock preserve provide research opportunities.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Earlham College No. 25 in best undergraduate teaching and No. 35 in most innovative schools.
Earlham College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Dating back to 1847, the University of Iowa was founded less than two months after Iowa became a state. Today, UI is one of the premier public research universities in the country, enrolling over 32,000 students from over 110 countries. From its campus along the Iowa River, UI hosts a top-ranked medical center and the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Students can choose from over 200 majors, minors, and certificate programs. Each year, UI offers over 5,000 courses, with majors in the arts and sciences, business, and healthcare. UI's University College also offers online bachelor's programs for distance learners.
Iowa City was voted one of the best places to live in the country by the American Institute for Economic Research and Outside Magazine. The city is also one of only two UNESCO Cities of Literature in the country. U.S. News & World Report rank UI as the 34th best public school in the country.
The University of Iowa is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded as a residential liberal arts and sciences college in 1846, Grinnell College enrolls around 1,700 students. At Grinnell, students benefit from a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, with most classes enrolling under 20 students. Grinnell lets students design their own course of study, with only a single class required for all students. Undergraduates can choose from 27 majors and over 3,000 domestic and international internship opportunities.
Located between Des Moines and Iowa City, Grinnell's 120-acre campus boasts gothic-style architecture that frequently earns the school a spot on most beautiful college campus lists. Grinnell also hosts the Conard Environmental Research Area, with 10 distinct ecosystems and over 110 bird species.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Grinnell No. 14 among liberal arts colleges and No. 3 for best undergraduate teaching.
Grinnell College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1933 as a private, Catholic institution, Newman University operated as a women's college for several decades before becoming a coeducational institution. Today, NU offers programs from its main campus in Wichita and outreach sites across Kansas and in Colorado Springs, Colorado. NU helps students identify their academic path through its Exploratory Program for undecided majors. Students in the program complete prerequisite courses in diverse disciplines to identify their academic interests.
In addition to classroom learning, many NU students participate in internships, co-ops, and mission trips. These experiences help students strengthen their skills by working with successful corporations and organizations. At NU, 99% of first-time students receive financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
NU also offers online degrees for students seeking a flexible learning format. Online undergraduates can major in areas like data analytics, organizational leadership, or business and strategic intelligence. In addition, NU provides online master's programs in theological studies, theology, business administration, and education.
Newman University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in the small town of McPherson in 1887, McPherson College is a private, four-year liberal arts college. The Christian institution, located 50 miles north of Wichita, hosts 800 students on its scenic 27-acre campus each year.
At MC, students can choose from 30 areas of study, including pre-professional programs. MC also offers a student-designed major that lets undergraduates customize a course of study around their personal and professional goals. During their first year, MC students complete the Academic Community Essentials program. The course builds critical-thinking and conflict-resolution skills while encouraging students to create a degree plan.
In addition to their coursework, MC students can complete study-abroad trips, with the option to focus on service-learning trips or year-long immersion experiences. Every student at MC receives some form of financial assistance to support their education. MC promotes a residential feel by requiring full-time students to live on campus.
McPherson College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Kentucky
Kentucky's flagship public institution, the University of Kentucky is a research university located in the heart of the Bluegrass State. With over 200 academic programs in 16 degree-granting colleges, UK offers diverse academic opportunities. The university also offers over 40 online degrees through UK Online. For example, online learners can earn a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, an individualized program that offers tracks in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences.
Students benefit from 15 libraries on the UK campus. The university offers an interdisciplinary honors program with seminar-style classrooms and dedicated faculty attention. UK also participates in Project Graduate, a statewide initiative that helps adult learners complete their first bachelor's degree. The program admits students with at least 80 prior credits.
Known around the world for its athletics department, UK hosts nearly 500 student-athletes, who maintain an average GPA of over 3.0. U.S. News & World Report ranks UK as No. 60 among top public schools.
The University of Kentucky is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A private liberal arts college, Centre College dates back to 1819. Named for its location in the geographic center of the state, Centre offers over 50 majors, minors, and other programs. Students can also design their own major to meet their personal and professional interests. The college's 1,450 students benefit from the Centre Commitment, which promises that all students can study abroad, complete an internship or research opportunity, and graduate in four years or they receive an additional tuition-free year of study.
At Centre, 90% of students receive some form of financial aid and 85% study abroad. The college prioritizes a residential environment, with 98% of students living on campus. Because of its central location, Centre students can easily travel to Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati. U.S. News & World Report ranks Centre College No. 53 for liberal arts colleges and No. 16 for best undergraduate teaching.
Centre College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Tulane University of Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Founded in 1834, Tulane University of Louisiana is a private university that enrolls just under 9,000 undergraduates with class sizes averaging 21 students. Tulane offers over 70 majors and 1,700 classes each year. After choosing a major, undergraduates join one of Tulane's five undergraduate schools. The university encourages double majors, with one in three Tulane undergraduates choosing to double major.
Tulane incorporates community service into the curriculum. In a single year, Tulane undergraduates logged over 780,000 civic service hours in New Orleans. The school operates from its 110-acre uptown campus, surrounded by the verdant landscape of Audubon Park. The university also operates a downtown health sciences campus in the heart of New Orleans.
Notable Tulane alumni include state governors, the president of Costa Rica, a Supreme Court chief justice, and U.S. senators. Tulane is the 40th best university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Tulane University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Centenary College of Louisiana
The oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River, Centenary College of Louisiana dates back to 1825. Students can choose from 22 majors in the arts and sciences. Undergraduates begin their journey with TREK, which incorporates the liberal arts with real-world knowledge and skills. Students explore community, career, and culture through experience-based coursework. TREK also encourages civic involvement, graduate school preparation, and intercultural engagement.
Located in northwest Louisiana, close to the Texas and Arkansas borders in Shreveport-Bossier City, Centenary benefits from its links to Cajun and Texan heritage. Students can attend jazz and blues festivals, a Mardi Gras parade, and other cultural events. On Centenary's 65-acre campus, two miles south of downtown Shreveport, students can stroll the Dr. Ed Leuck Academic Arboretum, home to over 300 plant species.
Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Centenary encourages fellowship, worship, and mission work through its student organizations and college programs.
Centenary College of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Maine at Augusta
A top university in New England, the University of Maine dates back to 1865. The land-, sea-, and space-grant institution operates the flagship campus of the state's public university system. At UMaine, students can choose from over 100 degree-granting programs, with a low 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The university enrolls 9,400 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students, maintaining a small feel for a flagship public institution. The National Science Foundation ranks UMaine among the top 100 public universities for research.
Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the UMaine campus, which sits on Marsh Island between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. In 2003, the campus earned designation as an arboretum. The campus boasts over 15 miles of running, biking, and cross-country skiing trails. UMaine's student population slightly exceeds the number of residents in Orono Town, creating a college town environment.
Notable UMaine alumni include state governors, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and author Stephen King.
The University of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Founded in 1794, Bowdoin College began operating 26 years before Maine became a state. Today, Bowdoin enrolls 1,800 undergraduate students, offering a liberal arts education that encourages critical thinking, activism, and passion.
Bowdoin offers Career Exploration and Development to support students in exploring their career options from their first year on campus. Students identify their skills, values, and interests, working with career advisors to build experience through summer internships, graduate study, or full-time employment. Within one year of graduation, 15% of Bowdoin students enroll in a graduate program.
Located less than 30 minutes from Portland, Maine, Bowdoin students can easily visit Maine's beaches and forests. Bowdoin is just a five-minute walk from downtown Brunswick's bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants. Notable graduates include poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and President Franklin Pierce. U.S. News & World Report ranks Bowdoin College No. 6 among liberal arts colleges and No. 5 in best undergraduate teaching.
Bowdoin College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Johns Hopkins University
Founded in 1876 and named after entrepreneur and philanthropist Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins University is one of the top research institutions in the world. Since 1979, Johns Hopkins has been the leader in federal research and development funding every year.
The institution hosts nine academic divisions and offers over 260 programs in the arts, business, engineering, and health. Many undergraduates study on the Homewood campus, located in North Baltimore. The 140-acre campus houses research labs, two libraries, and numerous red-brick buildings in an urban setting. The tree-lined paths at Johns Hopkins offer a wooded, park-like escape from the city.
Within six months of graduation, 54% of 2018 Johns Hopkins graduates secured employment and 35% gained entry to graduate or professional school. Notable alumni include Woodrow Wilson, Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, and Michael Bloomberg. Johns Hopkins ranks No. 10 among national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
St. John’s College–Annapolis
One of the oldest colleges in the country, St. John's College offers a liberal arts curriculum that builds creative-thinking and critical-reasoning skills. Originally founded as the King William's School in 1696, Maryland chartered St. John's College in 1784, with four Declaration of Independence signers among the college's founders. Today, SCJ operates as a private liberal arts institution.
SCJ students attend small classes with a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Rather than selecting a major, SJC students earn a bachelor of arts in liberal arts. The seminar-style curriculum focuses on classical studies, history, literature, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Undergraduates learn through reading seminal works in Western civilization, with coursework in laboratory science, language, and philosophy.
After graduation, nearly 70% of alumni pursue advanced degrees. SJC's historic Annapolis campus, located just one block from the Maryland State Capitol, boasts Colonial-era architecture like McDowell Hall, built in 1742.
St. John's College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Established in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the country and one of the top-ranked higher education institutions in the world. Harvard enrolls 6,700 undergraduates and 20,000 graduate students as well as Harvard Extension School students. Students can choose from 50 undergraduate majors that span the arts and humanities, engineering and applied sciences, sciences, and social sciences. About half of undergraduates pursue an honors track, which incorporates a senior thesis or research project.
Harvard sits across the Charles River from Boston. Harvard Yard offers a historic, tree-lined haven for students. The Harvard Library is the largest academic library in the world, with over 20 million volumes and around 400 million manuscript items. Off campus, Harvard students can visit Boston's museums, historic sights, and cultural attractions. Students typically live with peers and faculty members, bringing a supportive environment to the intellectual community.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Harvard No. 2 among the best universities in the country and No. 2 for best value.
Harvard University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
A top-ranked liberal arts college, Williams College dates back to 1793. The private, residential institution enrolls around 2,000 students, with a low student-to-faculty ratio of 7-to-1. Over half of undergraduates receive financial aid from Williams. Students can choose from 36 majors divided into three academic divisions: languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics.
Williams promotes close collaboration with faculty members. In tutorials, for example, two students meet weekly with one professor to complete independent work. The most popular majors at Williams include economics, English, mathematics, history, biology, and political science. About 40% of Williams students pursue a double major.
Williams is the No. 1 liberal arts college in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Williams College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michigan's flagship public university, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor dates back to 1817 when Detroit hosted the institution. Since 1841, U-M has operated in Ann Arbor, ranking as one of the top public institutions in the country. U-M students can choose from 275 areas of study, learning from prestigious faculty members including Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, and National Academy of Science members.
Incoming undergraduates apply to one of U-M's 14 undergraduate schools and colleges. At U-M, undergraduates take classes on the historic central campus, divided from north campus by the Huron River. Ann Arbor offers a college town feel and a bike-friendly community. Students can study abroad through the M-Compass program, which lets learners study, research, volunteer, and complete internships in international locations.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor No. 3 among top public schools in the country.
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Grand Rapids, Michigan
A private, Christian institution, Calvin College dates back to 1876. Students pursue a liberal arts education focused on Christian principles. The 3,700 students choose from majors in business, education, health sciences, and the humanities. 85% of Calvin students complete an internship to gain hands-on experience. Within one year of graduation, 99.5% of 2018 graduates found employment or attended graduate school.
During their first year of study, Calvin students complete a core curriculum that emphasizes a Christian mindset. Learners study rhetoric, language, and other core competencies. Many students choose to study abroad, with programs designed around a students' field of study. Learners can study in places like Britain, Peru, China, Ghana, and Hungary. Slightly more than half of Calvin students come from Michigan.
The tree-covered, 400-acre Calvin campus offers miles of biking, running, and walking paths. Calvin also hosts a 100-acre ecosystem preserve and native gardens.
Calvin College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
From its location on the banks of the Mississippi River, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities enrolls over 31,000 undergraduate students. Learners study in an environment that promotes community engagement and research opportunities. 90% of first-year students live on campus in residence halls and Living Learning Communities. Students can choose from 150 majors and minors at UMN.
The Twin Cities blend a metropolitan feel with agricultural roots. The campus is home to over 10,000 trees and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, bringing nature into the learning environment. The river flows through campus, with buildings on both banks. The East Bank houses most undergraduate programs, while the UMN law school and the Carlson School of Management sit on the West Bank.
The University of Minnesota Online provides degrees and certificates through a flexible learning format. Students can choose fully online bachelor's programs in fields like psychology, management, English, accounting, and information technology management. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities No. 27 among top public schools in the country.
The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1866, Carleton College offers a liberal arts education focused on curiosity and exploration. With around 2,000 students, Carleton offers small, focused classes, with an average class size of 16 students. At Carleton, 97% of students come from the top 20% of their high school class. The school emphasizes writing, research, and quantitative reasoning, which benefit students of any major.
All students complete a senior comprehensive project at the conclusion of their degree. During "comps," seniors complete a research paper, produce a short film, or create another testament to their educational journey. Carleton ranks as the 7th best liberal arts college and the best for undergraduate teaching, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Carleton students benefit from a small-town atmosphere close to a major city. On Division Street, the main street in Northfield, Carleton students can visit locally owned businesses, restaurants, and coffee shops. During their education, nearly three-quarters of Carleton students study abroad for a semester or longer.
Carleton College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Mississippi
Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi is the state's flagship university and a major research institution. Ole Miss enrolls over 24,000 students in 15 academic divisions, including an honors college that emphasizes academic rigor and experiential learning. The liberal arts college at the core of Ole Miss offers nearly 40 majors.
The 1,200-acre campus sits near Oxford, a small college town. Known for its architecture, Ole Miss boasts the Lyceum, which was built in 1848 and housed wounded soldiers during the Civil War. The Ionic Greek Revival-style building hosts the oldest college bell in the country.
Students can enroll in online classes through Ole Miss Online. The school grants online graduate degrees in education and business. On-campus students can choose an online minor like entrepreneurship, economics, professional writing, or journalism to complement their major. Ole Miss ranks as No. 76 for top public schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A private liberal arts college affiliated with the Methodist Church, Millsaps College dates back to 1890. Millsaps enrolls around 1,000 students, with most undergraduates coming from outside Mississippi. Undergraduates choose from 33 majors and 47 minors, with the option to customize the major around their interests.
Millsaps promotes the Compass Curriculum, which provides foundational liberal arts training and emphasizes business knowledge, fine arts, languages, STEM experience, and understanding of the natural and social world. All students must complete a portfolio of their written work and pass oral and written exams in their major. In addition to undergraduate education, Millsaps offers adult programs, welcoming teachers, continuing education learners, and other professionals to campus for lectures, classes, and workshops.
The Millsaps Bowl, located in the center of the 100-acre campus, welcomes students for events like the commencement ceremony and homecoming activities. The Millsaps "potted oak" grows at the center of the Bowl. During construction on the campus, builders saved the oak by creating a protected brick and cement pot.
Millsaps College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis, Missouri
Founded in 1853, Washington University in St. Louis enrolls around 15,000 students from over 100 countries and all 50 states, with 90% of undergraduates attending from out of state. A private institution, Washington University promotes interdisciplinary learning, with many undergraduates pursuing combined studies.
Washington University boasts a strong research agenda, with focus areas in medical research, environmental and energy research, innovation and entrepreneurial research, and plant science research. St. Louis is a national hub for research, with Washington University playing a central role in the area's research and business development.
The 169-acre Danforth Campus, located on the west side of St. Louis, sits next to Forest Park, home to the 1904 World's Fair. One of the largest urban parks in the country, Forest Park hosts the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, and the state's history museum and science center. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school No. 19 among national universities.
Washington University in St. Louis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, Missouri
Founded in 1906 by a Presbyterian minister, the College of the Ozarks offers a Christian education in a no-tuition environment. Full-time students complete an on-campus work program for 15 hours each week plus two 40-hour weeks each school year. This program helps guarantee that graduates leave without tuition debt. C of O offers work opportunities at over 80 sites, providing on-the-job experience for students. Scholarship and grants cover any remaining tuition costs.
A liberal arts institution outside Branson, C of O offers majors in accounting, agriculture, criminal justice, history, and business. Students can also choose a biblical and theological studies major to further their Christian education. Many C of O students also choose a minor or second major.
In addition to its academic goals, C of O promotes vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. The college promotes patriotic education through visits to historic battle sites. C of O also offers room-and-board for Army National Guard students.
The College of the Ozarks is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Montana
The University of Montana occupies a flagship campus in Missoula, along with UM Western in Dillon, Montana Tech of UM in Butte, and Helena College of UM in Helena. The university's main campus at the base of Mount Sentinel spans more than 56 acres. UM enrolls more than 10,000 students in a variety of liberal arts programs.
The university boasts its own 25,200-seat football stadium for fans to cheer on the beloved Grizzlies. UM hosts 15 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports teams competing in the Big Sky Conference. Students can also participate in intramural sports, along with nearly 200 student groups and organizations on campus.
UM offers dozens of degrees and certificates across seven major academic areas of study, including many online options available through the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning. UM also features a graduate school and an honors program.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked UM among the best in the nation and the No.1 university in Montana.
University of Montana is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Founded in 1909, Carroll College offers a liberal arts education rooted in the Catholic tradition. Carroll's picturesque campus promotes a variety of outdoor activities, with close proximity to natural hot springs, ski trails, and the Continental Divide. The college enrolls more than 1,300 students on its 63-acre campus near downtown Helena.
Carroll offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs across seven academic schools, with on-campus and online study options. Students can also explore Carroll's global learning, study-abroad, and summer programs. The college boasts the highest graduation rate within a five-state area.
For 29 consecutive years, the Carroll College Talking Saints debate team has won or shared the Northwest Conference Championship. The Carroll College football team won six of the last 14 national championships.
U.S. News & World Report has named Carroll the No.1 regional college in the nation every year since 2012. Carroll also ranks No.1 in the nation for veterans, undergraduate teaching, and freshman retention rates.
Carroll College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
As one of the nation's first colleges west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees, the University of Nebraska Lincoln belongs to an exclusive community of national colleges that hold R1 doctoral research activity status from the Carnegie Foundation. Founded in 1869, UNL established the first undergraduate psychology lab in the world, pioneered the academic field of ecology, and amassed a world-renowned 20th-century art collection.
Undergraduate students can choose from more than 150 majors across 10 academic colleges, including arts and sciences, journalism and mass communications, and fine and performing arts. UNL also offers more than 170 master's and doctoral degrees and graduate certificates. Many undergraduate and graduate programs are available online.
The university enrolls more than 25,500 students from all 50 states and 136 countries. The U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard gives UNL top marks for low costs and high graduation rates.
U.S. News and World Report ranks UNL among the nation's best for its online bachelor's, MBA, and graduate programs in education and engineering. UNL also ranks among the nation's best value schools, according to Fiske Guide to Colleges and Kiplinger's.
University of Nebraska Lincoln is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
College of Saint Mary
Founded in 1923 by the Sisters of Mercy, the College of Saint Mary offers women a liberal arts education from a traditional Catholic worldview. CSM enrolls nearly 1,200 students, most of whom are Nebraska residents. Students living on campus enjoy access to unique benefits, including a campus ministry, the Single Parent Success program, and more than 20 student-led activities and organizations.
Students can choose from over 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. More than 50% of CSM students enroll in health profession programs. Popular undergraduate majors include nursing, occupational therapy, and education.
100% of CSM students receive some form of financial aid. CSM's "flames" athletic teams span more than 10 sports. They are affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Many CSM programs receive specialized programmatic accreditation, including the university's nursing, occupational therapy, and teaching programs. CSM students and faculty recently contributed over 13,000 hours of community service hours.
College of Saint Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Nevada – Reno
Founded in 1874, University of Nevada - Reno was the state's first higher learning institution. UNR's 290-acre campus includes 180 buildings, 60 research centers, and 12 art galleries and museums. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students while maintaining a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
As a pioneering land-grant university, UNR built its reputation as a provider of agriculture, mechanic arts, and mining programs. Today, students can choose from more than 460 degree, certificate, and licensing programs. UNR hosts eight academic schools and colleges spanning areas like business, engineering, and health sciences.
Students can also select from a variety of interdisciplinary, online, and continuing education programs. UNR attracts students who enjoy the outdoors, located close to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. Students can attend drop-in fitness classes on campus and participate in a variety of intramural sports.
UNR facilitates multiple financial aid options, including scholarships and DACA program assistance. Nevada residents may qualify for financial aid benefits, including the Nevada Advantage Scholarship and WUE Scholarship, administered through the Western Undergraduate Exchange.
University of Nevada - Reno is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Sierra Nevada College
Incline Village, Nevada
Located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada College opened in 1969 to an inaugural class of 23 students. Today, SNC enrolls nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of interdisciplinary liberal arts programs.
SNC offers 30 undergraduate majors across five academic departments: interdisciplinary studies, fine arts, business, science and technology, and humanities and social sciences.
The college also features continuing education coursework and a renowned summer arts workshop.
Students can tailor SNC's online undergraduate degree program to their desired major or complete a graduate degree in education online. On campus, the student government association oversees 15 clubs and organizations. SNC hosts 13 men's and women's athletic teams. All of SNC's beloved "Eagles" teams belong to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Sierra Nevada College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Hanover, New Hampshire
A distinguished member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth College originated in 1769. The Carnegie Foundation awarded Dartmouth R1 status for its high level of doctoral research activity. Dartmouth ranks among the nation's best colleges for its traditional liberal arts programs.
Dartmouth offers more than 50 arts and sciences programs for undergraduates. The most popular majors include economics, government, and engineering sciences. Graduate students can pursue degrees in Dartmouth's nationally ranked Geisel School of Medicine, as well as in the arts and sciences, business, and engineering schools.
The college also features off-campus and study-abroad programs and a variety of online courses and programs. Dartmouth employs roughly 943 esteemed faculty members, most of whom are tenured or on the tenure track. The college enrolls more than 6,500 students each year. Roughly 25% of Dartmouth students play intercollegiate sports on campus. Dartmouth hosts 35 club sports and 35 varsity sports teams.
Dartmouth College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Saint Anselm College
Manchester, New Hampshire
Founded in 1889, Saint Anselm originated under the auspices of the Order of Saint Benedict. The college occupies a campus in Manchester, the largest city in the greater New England area. Saint Anselm is an hour away from Boston as well as seaside and mountain destinations.
Students can choose from more than 100 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs. All first-year students must complete Saint Anselm's signature core humanities curriculum sequence, Conversatio. Saint Anselm also features online, honors, summer, and study-abroad options, including an immersive program in Orvieto, Italy.
Saint Anselm hosts more than 50 student-led clubs and organizations on campus. The college also boasts its own campus ministry and abbey, supporting a Benedictine mass and prayer schedule. Additionally, the campus hosts an intercultural center, the Chapel Arts Center for visual arts, and the Dana Center for musical and theatrical performances.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Anselm among the nation's 100 best liberal arts colleges. The Princeton Review, Forbes, and Kiplinger's recently ranked Saint Anselm among the top colleges in the U.S. for best value and affordability.
Saint Anselm College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Princeton, New Jersey
Established in 1746, Princeton University represents the country's fourth-oldest university, transitioning from the colonial era to the modern age. The university enrolls more than 8,000 students while maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio of just 5-to-1. Princeton boasts 76% tenured doctoral faculty.
Students can choose from more than 50 undergraduate programs, 18 master's degrees, and 40 doctoral degrees. Princeton hosts 36 academic departments, including engineering, computer science, and health and health policy programs. The university also offers study-abroad and continuing education programs.
Princeton hosts more than 300 student-led organizations and clubs on campus. The school also offers 37 varsity teams and more than 35 recreational sports clubs. Princeton's undergraduate population is equally divided between men and women.
The university counts among its many accolades a long list of nationally and internationally recognized faculty, students, and alumni, including Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners. Princeton recently reinstated its transfer policy, welcoming applicants with low-income status and/or prior military training or community college experience.
Princeton University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
College of New Jersey
Ewing, New Jersey
Located in the suburb of Ewing, The College of New Jersey occupies a 289-acre campus. Near the state capital of Princeton, TCNJ sits equidistant from New York and Philadelphia. The college enrolls nearly 6,600 undergraduate students and boasts a 93% freshman retention rate.
Students can choose from more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs across seven academic schools: business; education; engineering; science; arts and communication; humanities and social sciences; and nursing, health, and exercise science. TCNJ also offers more than 20 graduate degrees and certificates, along with study-abroad and honors programs.
95% of TCNJ freshmen reside on campus. The college guarantees two years of campus housing accommodations for new, first-year students studying full time. Both undergraduate and graduate students live among the 14 residence halls located on the sprawling TCNJ campus.
U.S. News and World Report ranks TCNJ as the No.1 best regional public university in the North and awarded high marks for freshman retention and graduation rates and veteran-friendly programs.
The College of New Jersey is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, New Mexico
Founded in 1889, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology occupies a scenic main campus in Socorro, bathed in sunshine for more than 300 days per year, on average. Nestled in the Rio Grande Valley, NMT sits close to Albuquerque and Walter Canyon. 99% of full-time faculty at NMT hold doctoral degrees.
NMT offers dozens of associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Upon enrollment, every student automatically becomes a member of the student government association. All students complete a series of math, physics, and chemistry prerequisites and conclude their degree with a capstone course.
Online students can choose from 11 graduate degrees and three certificates through NMT's distance education program. With a focus on global research and partners, including Yates Petroleum, General Electric, and NASA, NMT encourages tenured and tenure-track professors to involve students in high-level academic research initiatives.
U.S. News and World Report ranks NMT among the nation's best public colleges in the West. Additionally, Forbes and Kiplinger's rank NMT highly among comparable national universities for its value.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
St. John’s College–Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Established in 1696 as King's William's School in Annapolis, Maryland, St. John's College opened its second location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1964. Founded under the same guiding principles, each SJC location receives separate accreditation and delivers its own unique academic programs.
SJC hosts roughly 371 students, primarily undergraduates, on its rural, private campus in Santa Fe. The college offers an undergraduate liberal arts program and master's degrees in liberal arts and Eastern classics. The college maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of just 7-to-1.
Roughly 13% of undergraduate freshmen at SJC are first-generation college students. Students hail from 42 states and 14 countries. More than 92% of students receive some form of financial aid.
U.S. News and World Report named SJC among the best colleges in the nation for undergraduate teaching, innovation, international student population, and value. Additionally, the Princeton Review awarded high marks to SJC for attributes including high classroom interaction, best classroom experience, and best professors.
St. John's College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
New York City, New York
Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University is New York's oldest higher learning institution and the fifth-oldest university in the United States. Columbia moved its campus several times before settling into its current location in Morningside Heights in Manhattan, which boasts Roman Classical-style architecture listed on the New York City Register of Historic Places.
The private, Ivy League university enrolls more than 31,000 students, including the fourth-largest international student population in the United States. Columbia hosts more than 500 student clubs and organizations on campus. Esteemed alumni include 45 Olympians, nine Supreme Court justices, and five Founding Fathers of the United States.
Columbia offers hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, with a variety of degrees, certificates, and individual courses available through Columbia Online. The university also hosts Columbia College and more than 15 academic schools and colleges, including the world's first academic medical center.
U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Columbia among the nation's best hospitals and the best graduate schools of education.
Columbia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
New York, New York
One of the nation's oldest women's colleges, Barnard College originated in 1889 in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. The college occupies a four-acre campus and enrolls nearly 2,700 students. Barnard has a 96% undergraduate freshman retention rate.
Barnard maintains a partnership with Columbia University, enabling students to cross-register in courses at both institutions and access dual library and campus facilities. Students can choose from more than 50 fields of study, including interdisciplinary programs in the natural sciences, arts, social sciences, and humanities.
The college also offers study-abroad programs in more than 50 international locales. Students may also participate in international research opportunities and internships. Barnard hosts more than 80 student-led clubs and organizations on campus.
Barnard ranks among the nation's top producers of Fulbright scholars by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The school also recently ranked among national colleges with the highest yield of accepted students, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Barnard College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Durham, North Carolina
Established in 1924, Duke University represents the legacy of the Duke family, creators of a worldwide tobacco empire and early electricity production in the Carolinas. The university enrolls nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Duke maintains an affiliation with the United Methodist Church.
The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across 10 academic schools and colleges, the oldest being the college of arts and sciences, followed by the school of law. The most popular undergraduate majors include computer science, economics, public policy, biology, and psychology.
Most of Duke's more than 1,000 full-time faculty members hold tenure or tenure-track status. Duke maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 8-to-1. The university has a 97% retention rate among first-time freshmen.
Duke hosts 27 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams, winning national championships in sports, including women's golf and men's basketball. The university hosts one of the nation's top 10 private research libraries and Duke University Press, publishing more than 120 titles per year.
Duke University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Davidson, North Carolina
Founded in 1837 in the Presbyterian tradition, Davidson College occupies a main campus near Charlotte and a waterfront location on Lake Norman. Through the Davidson Trust, the liberal arts college was the first of its kind to abolish loans from its financial aid packages.
The college enrolls nearly 1,900 students from 48 states and 47 countries. Roughly 97% of Davidson faculty hold terminal degrees, and the school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1.
Students can choose from 29 majors, 40 minors, and five pre-professional programs. Davidson offers traditional liberal arts degrees in fields including English, art, philosophy, and theater, along with renowned pre-law and pre-medicine programs. More than 80% of Davidson students participate in study-abroad and international service-learning programs. Roughly 85% of students pursue community service projects.
Davidson College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Founded in 1883, the establishment of the University of North Dakota pre-dates North Dakota's statehood. UND is renowned for its innovative medicine, energy, and aviation programs. The university hosts more than 13,500 students on its 550-acre campus.
UND offers more than 225 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Students can also pursue a variety of dual degrees, specialist diplomas, and pre-professional programs. Additionally, UND offers dozens of online programs and courses.
UND hosts more than 250 student-led clubs and organizations on campus and facilitates study-abroad programs in more than 40 countries. Student-athletes participate in 17 NCAA Division I athletic teams.
The university boasts a graduate employment rate of 85%. The National Science Foundation ranks UND among the best research and academic institutions in the United States.
University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Jamestown
Jamestown, North Dakota
Established in 1883, the University of Jamestown emphasizes dual programs in liberal arts and professional training. UJ occupies a 110-acre campus, equidistant from Fargo and Bismarck, the state's largest cities.
UJ offers undergraduate, graduate, and online programs in more than 40 academic areas. With an emphasis on professional experience, all UJ programs guarantee an internship as part of the degree-completion process. Nearly 100% of students receive some form of financial aid.
Most faculty members hold terminal degrees. Popular majors include nursing, clinical counseling, education, and leadership. The university enrolls roughly 1,000 students from 37 states and 17 countries.
U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks UJ among the nation's best regional colleges. UJ also recently ranked among the best Midwestern colleges in the U.S., according to the Princeton Review.
University of Jamestown is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Case Western Reserve University
Established in 1826, Case Western Reserve University occupies a prime spot in Cleveland's University Circle. CWRU represents the only independent research university in the Midwestern region, located between Pittsburgh, Rochester, Nashville, and Chicago. The Carnegie Foundation awarded CWRU its highest level of R1 doctoral research activity status.
CWRU hosts nearly 12,000 students on its 2,670-acre campus. The university also occupies a 400-acre farm campus in Hunting Valley, Ohio. CWRU hosts eight academic schools and colleges. Students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, and dual degree and professional programs.
Students can also complete online courses and programs in fields including engineering, social sciences, and management. CWRU's library holdings include more than 4 million volumes. The school belongs to the exclusive Association of American Universities.
U.S. News and World Report ranks CWRU among the nation's best universities, especially for innovation and value. CWRU is also listed on Reuter's 2019 list of the world's most innovative universities.
Case Western Reserve University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1833, Oberlin College was first in the nation to initiate policies to admit black students and award bachelor's degrees to women in a coeducational environment. Oberlin hosts world-renowned liberal arts programs through its College of Arts and Sciences as well as its esteemed music conservatory.
With 2,300 students, the College of Arts and Sciences offers 47 majors, including more than 60 community-based service-learning courses and over 50 courses in sustainability. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Oberlin Conservatory of Music enrolls 580 students in more than 40 areas of study. Conservatory students perform in more than 500 concerts each year.
The college occupies a 440-acre campus that hosts more than 175 student-led clubs and organizations. Oberlin boasts 12 recipients of the MacArthur fellowship grant. As a promoter of environmental awareness in higher education and beyond, roughly 12% of the electricity used on campus comes from solar panels.
U.S. News and World Report named Oberlin one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation and recognized the school for its dedication to undergraduate teaching in 2019. Forbes ranks Oberlin among the top five colleges in the Midwest.
Oberlin College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Tulsa
Established in 1894, the University of Tulsa is currently the "greenest" college in Oklahoma, with its tennis center powered entirely by solar paneling. TU enrolls more than 4,400 graduate and undergraduate students on its 200-acre campus, which features a library and legal center housing more than 4 million volumes.
TU offers 67 undergraduate, 47 graduate, and 16 doctoral programs. Students can choose from degrees and certificates across five major academic colleges in arts and sciences, business, engineering and natural sciences, law, and health sciences. TU also hosts a global education center and an honors program for high school students.
The university has an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Roughly 94% of students receive some form of financial aid. TU is home to more than 270 presidential scholars and more national scholarship winners than all other colleges in Oklahoma combined.
U.S. News and World Report ranked TU among the best universities in Oklahoma and the best petroleum engineering graduate schools nationwide. Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity also named TU among America's top colleges.
University of Tulsa is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
The only public liberal arts university in Oklahoma, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is the first higher learning institution founded under Oklahoma's original legislature. The university pioneered the team-teaching model in higher education, placing two professors trained in separate areas of expertise in the same classroom to teach together.
USAO offers dozens of programs in the arts and humanities, education and speech-language pathology, science and physical education, and social sciences and business. Students can also build their own interdisciplinary program or pursue a special program, such as pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, or pre-nursing.
At USAO, professors, rather than teaching assistants, always lead classes, and 90% of faculty hold terminal degrees. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. USAO is the only Oklahoma university named on the National Registry of Historic Places.
U.S. News and World Report ranked USAO a "best buy" for 10 consecutive years and ranked the university among the top national liberal arts colleges. Additionally, USAO tops Kiplinger's list of the most affordable public colleges in the United States.
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon ranks among the top public colleges in the state. UO is one of only two schools in the Pacific Northwest to join the Association of American Universities. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UO as a top-tier research university.
UO hosts nine schools and colleges, spanning the arts and sciences, business, education, communications, law, and design. Students can choose from more than 300 undergraduate and 80 graduate programs. UO also offers more than 170 online courses.
The university enrolls nearly 28,000 students, with more than 3,000 enrolled in online coursework. A leader in environmentally conscious programming, U.S. News and World Report ranks UO highly for its Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. It's also the fourth-best "green MBA" in the nation, according to the Princeton Review.
Additionally, U.S. News and World Report gave UO high marks for its graduate programs in education and ranked the university among the country's best schools of law.
University of Oregon is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Founded in 1908, Reed College occupies a residential campus in southeastern Portland. The college enrolls 1,400 students in a variety of liberal arts programs, with a focus on maintaining the school's reputation as one of the most intellectual institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Reed offers bachelor's degrees in more than 40 areas of study. All programs include a year-long signature humanities course and additional core coursework, culminating in a senior thesis. Reed also offers a master of arts in liberal studies, as well as several dual degrees and special programs.
The college hosts more than 90 student clubs and organizations on campus. For example, Reed students run a cafe on campus, manage a radio station, and publish Reed magazine. Other unique organizations include a bicycle co-op, an association for gamers, and a fire dance troupe.
Reed reports an 88% student retention rate and an 80% six-year graduation rate. Reed meets 100% of its students' demonstrable financial need.
Reed College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania was among the few private Ivy League schools to originate before the Declaration of Independence. Penn enrolls nearly 26,000 graduate and undergraduate students.
Students can choose from more than 90 undergraduate majors across 12 schools, as well as hundreds of graduate and professional programs. Penn also offers degrees, certificates, and individual courses online. The Penn system encompasses 189 research centers and institutes, including its own healthcare facility.
Penn boasts a six-year graduation rate of 96% for undergraduates. As of fall 2018, 96% of admitted Penn freshmen ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. The Institute of International Education recently ranked Penn first in the Ivy League and 14th in the nation for student enrollment in study-abroad programs.
Penn regularly tops U.S. News and World Report's list of the top national universities. The school was awarded high marks in 2019 for its graduate schools of education, especially for education administration and educational psychology.
University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
A top-ranked liberal arts college, Swarthmore College dates back to 1864. Swarthmore's 1,600 students can choose from over 40 courses of study, with the option to design their own major. During the first two years of study, students take general education courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Swarthmore's first-year seminars build college learning skills in a small class environment.
Swarthmore also offers an Honors Program which uses small seminar classes to encourage critical thinking and independent learning. Many students study abroad at international universities, and the Tri-Co Consortium connects Swarthmore with Bryn Mawr and Haverford College, letting students further expand their academic opportunities.
The 425-acre Swarthmore campus, home to Scott Arboretum, offers a pastoral environment with a creek, hiking trails, wooded hills, and gardens featuring over 4,000 plant varieties. Just 11 miles outside of Philadelphia, Swarthmore provides an idyllic, nature-filled escape from the city. U.S. News & World Report ranks Swarthmore as the No. 3 liberal arts college in the country.
Swarthmore College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Providence, Rhode Island
Founded in 1764, Brown University offers a classic New England college experience at a top research university. Brown encourages curiosity and rigorous scholarship through its Open Curriculum. Instead of set general education courses, undergraduates create their own personalized course of study, choosing from over 80 concentrations. Students typically live on campus until their senior year.
Brown sits atop College Hill in the capital of Rhode Island. The brick quads and scenic architecture on campus provide an escape from the city. At the center of campus, the Van Wickle Gates welcome new students. As the third-oldest college in New England, Brown blends history with an innovative research environment.
Brown's semester-abroad program takes students to countries like Argentina, France, and Cuba, while global independent study projects let students conduct research internationally. U.S. News & World Report ranks Brown No. 14 among the nation's top universities.
Brown University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence College dates back to 1917, when the Dominican Friars founded the institution. Today, PC remains the only college in the country run by Dominican Friars. A Roman Catholic liberal arts college, PC grants undergraduate and graduate degrees from its 105-acre campus. With just under 5,000 students, PC offers popular majors like finance, biology, management, psychology, and education. PC prioritizes small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1 and an average class size of 20.
PC offers nearly 50 majors, giving students many options to focus their studies. During their first two years, students complete a Western Civilization-focused core curriculum. Incoming students at PC live on campus, where shared traditions enhance student life. The college creates a close-knit feel through events and activities. The Slavin Center hosts concerts and lectures, and students can participate in over 100 PC clubs and organizations.
Providence College holds the No. 1 spot for regional universities in the north, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Auburn University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson University is among the top public research universities in the country. Founded in 1889, Clemson blends teaching, research, and service. Clemson hosts seven colleges, which offer over 80 majors and 120 graduate programs.
Clemson promotes student engagement through its cooperative education program that places students with local employers to gain experience. Many students also enhance their education by studying abroad. Students can participate in internship opportunities or conduct research through the Creative Inquiry program, which brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.
Clemson's sprawling campus sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lake Hartwell and a wooded forest bring natural beauty to the campus. U.S. News & World Report ranks Clemson No. 27 among the best public schools in the United States.
Clemson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Established in 1854, Wofford College is an independent liberal arts college. Undergraduates can choose from 27 majors. Wofford also offers a variety of minors, concentrations, and emphases that let students customize their studies. Students can pursue interdisciplinary programs that combine disciplines to build investigative, analytical, and communication skills.
Located on a tree-filled campus, Wofford has been a National Historic District since 1974. The 180-acre campus boasts thousands of trees, earning it a designation as an arboretum. Wofford's Sandor Teszler Library honors a Holocaust survivor and South Carolina textile executive while offering students three stories of library and reference materials. Undergraduates can participate in fraternity and sorority life, with 12 Greek-letter organizations on campus.
Wofford reports that 99% of the 2017 graduating class found employment or attended a graduate program after earning their degree. The college runs a program that encourages students to begin focusing on professional development during their first year at Wofford.
Wofford College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
A private university associated with the Lutheran Church, Augustana University dates back to 1860. Today, Augustana enrolls 2,100 students and offers over 100 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs. Students can participate in internship, study abroad, and undergraduate research opportunities through Augustana. The university also offers an honors program that challenges students through a focused, academically rigorous experience.
Augustana boasts a tree-lined, 100-acre campus in a residential part of Sioux Falls. The city is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the Midwest and the largest city in the state. Augustana's location offers access to outdoor activities, internship opportunities with major employers, and cultural events.
While Augustana follows the Lutheran tradition, the university welcomes all faiths, blending questions of faith and values into the curriculum. The university incorporates traditions like Viking Days, Christmas Vespers, and student activities on the Green to build a welcoming community. U.S. News & World Report ranks Augustana No. 9 among the best regional universities in the midwest.
Augustana University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Mount Marty College
Yankton, South Dakota
A Catholic liberal arts college located in a historic city, Mount Marty College promotes Benedictine values through its curriculum and campus life. The college prioritizes small classes and one-on-one attention from faculty to build mentoring relationships. Students build critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills.
Mount Marty blends community service into the college experience. For example, accounting students volunteer at the Mount Marty tax clinic. Incoming students work with a freshman advisor to identify their educational path. Mount Marty includes internships and clinical experiences throughout four-year undergraduate degrees to provide real-world experience and hands-on learning.
Outside of class, students can visit the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area and Lake Yankton for outdoor activities. The nearby Missouri River offers a natural escape in a national park environment. On the 80-acre hilltop campus, Mount Marty students stroll between historic buildings, with hiking and biking trails connecting campus to Yankton and the lake.
Mount Marty College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1873 by Cornelius Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University is among the top research universities in the country. Vanderbilt's park-like campus offers an escape from the city. The nearly 7,000 undergraduate students at Vanderbilt experience an immersive living-learning experience. The university offers programs in the liberal arts, engineering, and education, with top-ranked graduate schools in law, business, and medicine.
Outside of the classroom, students can participate in intentional communities based on the Oxford-Cambridge model. Vanderbilt operates residential colleges to foster unity among students, with all undergraduates living on campus. Around 40% of Vanderbilt students participate in Greek organizations.
Within walking distance of downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt's 340-acre campus was designated as an arboretum in 1988. The campus features historic architecture, with buildings dating back to before the Civil War. The Peabody College area holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. U.S. News & World Report ranks Vanderbilt No. 15 among the best universities in the country.
Vanderbilt University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A private residential college, Rhodes College offers a liberal arts education dedicated to intellectual engagement, service, and honor. Students attend small classes with an average class size of 14. Rhodes offers over 50 majors and minors, blending classroom education with real-world learning opportunities. Many students participate in internship, research, or service opportunities on campus or internationally.
With slightly more than 2,000 students, Rhodes encourages hands-on learning; 80% of students complete an internship and 75% study abroad or at off-campus locations in the United States. In the classroom, students work closely with professors. Rhodes offers 18 academic departments and lets students design interdisciplinary majors to meet their goals and interests.
The 123-acre campus boasts Collegiate Gothic architecture. Students can cross from the tree-lined quads into Memphis, bringing the college experience into a major city. U.S. News & World Report ranks Rhodes No. 35 among the best liberal arts colleges in the country for undergraduate teaching.
Rhodes College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A top-ranked private research university founded in 1917, Rice University grants undergraduate and graduate degrees from its 300-acre Houston campus. Incoming students join one of 11 residential colleges. Each residential college offers dorms, dining halls, and public rooms for members, bringing together students with diverse backgrounds and academic interests. Undergraduates can choose from over 50 majors in six divisions of study, including engineering, humanities, and music.
Rice promotes strong campus traditions to create a high quality of life for students. In addition to Rice's on-campus offerings, Rice Online Learning offers online undergraduate courses for credit and online master's programs in computer science and business administration.
Located in Houston's museum district, Rice blends culture, community, and research. Rice ranks No. 17 among the best universities in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report.
Rice University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1849, Austin College enrolls nearly 1,300 students on its 100-acre campus in North Texas. AC students can choose from over 55 areas of study based on the liberal arts model. Students follow the compass curriculum, which features an interdisciplinary approach to learning. After exploring the curriculum, learners select a major and minor to structure their studies.
All students at AC complete an applied learning experience to enhance their classroom studies. Applied learning experiences include internships, research projects, study abroad opportunities, and integrated learning projects. For example, the Global Outreach Fellows program offers internships at nonprofits located around the world. Nearly 90% of AC students complete a professional internship during their studies.
The college's mascot, the kangaroo, comes from a tradition started in the 1850s when AC upperclassmen created mock trials for freshmen, dubbed "Kangaroo Kourts." The kangaroo became the school's mascot in the 20th century.
Austin College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Brigham Young University – Provo
Founded by the Mormon church, Brigham Young University - Provo enrolls over 30,000 undergraduate students, who can choose from over 185 majors. The university also grants over 100 master's and doctoral degrees. BYU promotes an environment of intensive learning guided by the Mormon mission. BYU students must follow a strict honor code.
BYU hosts over 300 clubs and promotes community service through its student volunteer coalition. The 557-acre campus sits in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, which offers outdoor activities in every season.
In addition to on-campus programs, BYU offers online learning through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Students can choose from 37 online certificates and degrees, with pathway courses that meet general education requirements. PathwayConnect, a reduced-cost online program promotes foundational academic skills and spiritual confidence, helping students meet graduation requirements for a bachelor's degree. U.S. News & World Report ranks BYU No. 77 among the best national universities.
Brigham Young University - Provo is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Salt Lake City, Utah
A private college, Westminster College enrolls over 1,700 undergraduate students. Students pursue a liberal arts education that incorporates professional programs and civic engagement. Learners benefit from a LEED-certified science center, art and performance spaces, and a library. Students can choose from over 50 undergraduate programs divided into five schools. Westminster reports that 98% of first-year students receive financial aid.
The 32-acre urban Sugar House campus sits just minutes from the Rocky Mountains. Students can visit the downtown business district and six mountain resorts that are within a 30-minute drive from campus. Westminster offers a Campus Concierge to inform students about local concerts, guest speakers, art exhibits, and athletic events.
Westminster also offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees through Westminster Online. Online students can complete real-world projects and earn degrees in business, strategic communication, and nursing. Westminster operates competency-based programs, letting students build the skills and expertise necessary for their careers in a flexible format. U.S. News & World Report ranks Westminster No. 12 among the best regional universities in the west.
Westminster College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Vermont
The oldest public university in New England, the University of Vermont dates back to 1791. Today, UVM offers over 100 majors through seven undergraduate schools and colleges. The university also grants master's and doctoral degrees. At UVM, 92% of seniors engage in research, an internship, or another experiential learning program during their degree.
One in four of UVM's 10,000 undergraduate students studies abroad, choosing from nearly 500 study-abroad options in over 70 countries. Burlington, located between Boston and Montreal, offers a nature-rich environment. The 460-acre campus sits on Lake Champlain and offers easy access to ski resorts and specialized facilities, like 10 natural areas and four research farms.
UVM ranks as No. 55 among the top public schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Vermont is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
A top-ranked liberal arts institution, Middlebury College dates back to 1800. Today, Middlebury enrolls around 2,500 undergraduate students. The Green Mountains and the Adirondacks create a scenic environment for the liberal arts college, which offers a small 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can choose from over 40 majors. First-year students complete discussion-oriented seminars to build their writing and critical thinking skills.
The liberal arts curriculum at Middlebury emphasizes intellectual and personal growth. Students gain knowledge from many disciplines before pursuing in-depth study in their major. Throughout the curriculum, Middlebury emphasizes writing, critical thinking, and expression. Seniors often complete a thesis or independent project to culminate the degree.
Middlebury invites students to visit the Bread Loaf Mountain campus, 12 miles from its Middlebury location, which offers classes on 30,000 acres of forested land. During the winter, the campus operates as a ski touring center. U.S. News & World Report ranks Middlebury No. 7 among the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
Auburn University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
University of Virginia
Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is one of the best public universities in the country. UVA blends rigorous academics with cutting-edge research, and has 12 schools on its Charlottesville campus. Located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville combines natural beauty and history. Nearby Monticello welcomes UVA students interested in learning more about Jefferson.
Undergraduates can pursue majors in areas like human biology, global studies, American studies, and mathematics. Online Learning @ UVA offers online programs in business, engineering, data science, and the humanities.
In keeping with Jefferson's vision, UVA's financial aid model covers 100% of financial need to limit student debt. UVA ranks No. 4 among the top public schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Virginia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
College of William and Mary
A public research institution, William and Mary dates back to 1693, making it the second-oldest institution of higher learning in the country. Named for its founders, King William III and Queen Mary II of England, W&M became a public institution in the 20th century. Today, W&M blends history with cutting-edge research on its Williamsburg campus, located near Colonial Williamsburg. The 1,200-acre campus boasts College Woods and Lake Matoaka and the historic Sir Christopher Wren building, built in 1700.
At W&M, undergraduates can choose from over 40 majors. The college also offers over 40 graduate and professional programs, including a law school, a school of education, and a business school. Three in four students live on campus.
The college offers a modern, collegiate environment surrounded by American history, with Jamestown, Yorktown, and Colonial Williamsburg comprising the Historic Triangle. U.S. News & World Report ranks W&M No. 12 among the top public schools in the country.
The College of William and Mary is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Washington
The University of Washington dates back to 1861. Today, the university enrolls 32,000 undergraduates on its 634-acre, urban campus. A top research institution, UW offers over 1,800 undergraduate classes each quarter and grants over 12,000 degrees annually. Students can pursue majors in 38 departments, including the Jackson School of International Studies, a world leader in international and area studies.
Undergraduates can also complete their degree through the UW Honors Program, which offers tracks for interdisciplinary, departmental, and college honors. Honors students pursue a rigorous multidisciplinary curriculum that fosters innovative thinking and intellectual risks. The university also grants graduate degrees through its business school, school of medicine, and college of engineering.
From its campus on the Montlake cut, UW students can stroll through the quad's blooming cherry trees during summer or catch views of Mount Rainier on clear days. With Seattle's growing tech presence, major corporations, like Amazon and Microsoft, often recruit UW graduates. U.S. News & World Report ranks UW No. 22 among the best public schools in the country.
The University of Washington is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Walla Walla, Washington
Whitman College offers a liberal arts education rooted in critical thought and academic rigor. The residential campus features an arboretum and an outdoor art museum. Students choose from nearly 50 majors, with the option to create a custom interdisciplinary degree. Whitman prioritizes small classroom settings and opportunities to conduct research and pursue internships.
Home to Washington's best vineyards, Walla Walla sits at the base of the Blue Mountains. Historic Main Street, within walking distance from campus, offers boutique stores and gourmet restaurants, and the nearby Columbia and Snake rivers provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Whitman's intramural sports draw around 70% of students, while a third of students join a sorority or fraternity. The college offers credit for courses in kayaking, wilderness skills, and glacier mountaineering, connecting its academic mission with the natural environment. Whitman ranks as No. 46 among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Whitman College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Potomac State College of West Virginia University
Keyser, West Virginia
Founded by the state legislature in 1867, West Virginia University began as an agricultural college. Today, WVU offers hundreds of majors through 14 colleges and schools. WVU draws students from all 50 states and over 115 countries. The university enrolls nearly 27,000 students and hosts about 500 student organizations, club sports, and intramural programs.
WVU sits within driving distance of Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, giving students opportunities to explore major cities outside of West Virginia. Students can also enroll in distance programs through WVU Online, which offers more than 600 courses and over 30 degrees.
WVU's Morgantown campus features the 91-acre Core Arboretum, set aside in 1948 for the study of biology and botany. Today, the Department of Biology manages the arboretum, which includes old-growth forests, walking trails, and several natural habitats.
West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Buckhannon, West Virginia
A private liberal arts college, West Virginia Wesleyan College was founded in 1890 by the United Methodist Church. Wesleyan enrolls 1,400 students, prioritizing personal attention through small class sizes and a supportive learning environment. Students can choose from 56 undergraduate majors and 38 minors. The college challenges students through its Honors Program and the Summer Gifted Program.
Wesleyan's residential campus extends learning beyond the classroom. Students can join social, academic, and interest organizations. Around one in three Wesleyan students joins a fraternity or sorority. Wesleyan's Greek life emphasizes philanthropy and community service, logging over 10,000 volunteer hours each year.
Buckhannon offers a small-town environment for Wesleyan students, with a population of around 5,600. The area welcomes visitors every spring to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
West Virginia Wesleyan College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin - Madison is the flagship campus of the state's public university system. UW offers over 9,000 classes and more than 200 undergraduate majors and certificates. The university upholds the Wisconsin Idea, or the notion that the university should improve people's lives outside the classroom.
On its 936-acre campus, sitting on the shores of Lake Mendota, UW hosts 900 student organizations, an active Greek system, and residential communities for undergraduates. In Madison, Badgers can visit farmers' markets, stroll Capitol Square, and listen to live music on Memorial Union Terrace. The UW South Madison Partnership offers humanities classes to adult students and a law clinic to advocate for low-income residents.
UW promotes four areas of intellectual and personal growth for students: empathy and humility, relentless curiosity, intellectual confidence, and purposeful action. UW ranks as No. 13 among the top public schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Wisconsin - Madison is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
A residential liberal arts college and conservatory of music, Lawrence College hosts approximately 1,500 students. Students learn in the classroom and through community and international programs, gaining problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills. At Lawrence, students benefit from small class sizes and a low 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio,
First-year students take a freshman studies course, which introduces students to a liberal arts education. The small, seminar format encourages in-depth discussion and builds academic writing skills. The curriculum prepares Lawrence students for advanced coursework.
In addition to its Appleton campus, Lawrence operates a London campus in Bloomsbury and a 441-acre estate in Door County on the shores of Lake Michigan. Lawrence ranks as No. 58 among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Lawrence College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Wyoming
Founded in 1886, before Wyoming became a state, the University of Wyoming sits among the Rocky Mountains. With over 13,500 students, UW offers programs in the arts and sciences, agriculture, and engineering. The Honors College fosters intellectual curiosity, bringing together students from all majors in small classes that offer an invigorating learning environment.
Students benefit from the largest study-abroad scholarship endowment offered by any four-year public land-grant university in the country. Learners can study at more than 400 domestic and international sites.
Recognized as one of the top outdoor schools in the country, UW boasts hundreds of miles of snowmobiling, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing trails. Nestled in 3 million acres of national forest, UW offers an intellectually stimulating environment surrounded by nature.
The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Wyoming - Casper College Center
A partnership between the University of Wyoming and Casper College, the University of Wyoming - Casper College Center appeals to students seeking a small-class environment. The college offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
UW-Casper enrolls under 500 students, who can choose from 18 undergraduate majors. Many students attend as adult learners, with 30 years old being the average student age. Founded in 1976, UW-Casper is the only branch campus of the University of Wyoming System. The college partners with community organizations, including the Natrona County School District and local medical and law enforcement agencies, to provide programs that serve the community.
The University of Wyoming - Casper College Center is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Gorgeous Mosaic of American Higher Education — State by State
There are already plenty of lists of "best" colleges and universities out there, but sometimes they give a distorted picture of one of this country's greatest strengths — the vast and highly varied network of colleges and universities in all 50 states.
Schools often reflect the local character of the states where they reside. There are major differences in geography, culture, and ethnicity across states. Schools usually offer programs oriented towards the industries and challenges unique to their location. In Hawaii, for example, universities offer many programs in Asian studies due to the state's location in the Pacific. In Alaska, schools offer oil and natural gas programs, two of the state's major industries.
This diversity is an enormous asset for students seeking higher education. That's why we created this list of the best liberal arts colleges and universities in every state. In addition to prominent institutions, like Harvard and Yale, our ranking also includes hidden jewels — schools you may never have heard of but hold high academic merit.
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins used to speak of the "gorgeous mosaic" that is the Big Apple. Like New York, the United States represents people of diverse cultures, religions, lifestyles, and occupations. Our universities and colleges reflect these unique features, creating a gorgeous mosaic of education.