In this ranking, we make geographical diversity our main focus, looking for the best education offered in each state. Our criteria include the reputation of the school and faculty, dedication to a broad liberal arts education, accreditation, and overall academic caliber compared to other institutions of the same type within the state.
Some 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. This list identifies the very best that higher education has to offer across the entire United States, without excluding any states or regions. We close this 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.
The 100 Best US Universities and Colleges by State for 2018
Find Colleges Near Me:
To jump directly to a given state, click on its abbreviation here:
Established in 1856, Auburn University consistently ranks as one of the best universities in the nation. Auburn’s students and faculty conduct cutting-edge research into topics such as nuclear science, world hunger, aerodynamics, early childhood education, and supercomputing.
This public university sits on a sprawling 1,800-acre campus, complete with abundant student housing, dining, health services, counseling, and recreational facilities. Over 300 student-led organizations meet on campus. Students can cheer on the famous Auburn Tigers football team at the Jordan-Hare Stadium.
While the school was originally focused on mainly agriculture and the arts, it now offers over 140 majors for students to choose from, with 38 in the College of Liberal Arts alone. The university boasts a thriving student body of over 28,000 students and 1,500 faculty members. Despite its large size, the school maintains a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Auburn University #46 among public schools in the country.
- Auburn University also ranks #4 among the best online colleges in Alabama.
Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College is one of the oldest Roman Catholic universities in the southeastern U.S. Founded by the Jesuit order, this small liberal arts college was established in 1830, making it the fifth-oldest Catholic college in the country.
SHC offers a wide range of majors, including programs in business, communication arts, English, fine and performing arts, foreign languages, interdivisional studies, nursing, philosophy and theology, sciences, social sciences, and teacher education.
Situated on 400 acres in Mobile’s scenic Spring Hill neighborhood, the college maintains enough housing for all undergraduates to have a guaranteed room on campus for the entirety of their undergraduate career. The college takes pride in its small class sizes — which average 17 students per class — and its 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
While the student population may be small, they are spirited and active in all kinds of clubs and activities. The school hosts more than 50 student-led organizations, including fraternities, sororities, academic clubs, ministries, and athletic teams.
Spring Hill College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage opened in 1954 as a community college, and began offering some upper-division courses in 1969. In 1976, UAA made the leap to a full-fledged university, offering a complete spectrum of lower and upper division courses.
Despite its humble beginnings, UAA is now home to over 16,000 students, making it Alaska’s largest institution of higher education. The university employs nearly 800 full-time faculty members and boasts a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
UAA provides quality programs aligned with Alaska’s core industries, including oil, gas, and aviation. The school also offers diverse programs in education, health and social welfare, arts, sciences, business, public policy, engineering, and technical skills.
The campus itself is surrounded by lakes and connects to an intricate city-wide system of trails. Despite its natural surroundings, the school remains a part of the local urban landscape, with museums, restaurants, stores, and businesses close by.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Alaska Anchorage #25 among the best public schools in the country.
- The University of Alaska Anchorage ranks #2 among the best online colleges in Alaska.
The University of Alaska Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Alaska Pacific University
Established just one year after Alaska officially joined the United States, Alaska Pacific University is a liberal arts school that emphasizes applied research and experiential learning.
Located in the U-Med District of Anchorage, APU’s 174-acre campus is home to a tiny community of around 550 students. The campus hosts the recently renovated Mosley Sports Center and the world-renowned Nordic Ski Club.
The school boasts unconventional study programs in areas such as Alaska native governance, outdoor studies, and sustainability studies. Students may also choose from more conventional programs in education, environmental science, liberal studies, psychology, and human services. APU’s School of Liberal Studies offers concentrations in literature, philosophy, pre-law, pre-med, religious studies, and writing.
APU focuses on small class sizes and an active, kinetic learning environment. Students can explore with Alaskan wilderness through kayaking, ice climbing, skiing, backpacking, and rock climbing.
Alaska Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona first opened its doors in 1885, 30 years before Arizona was even recognized as a state. The school has since evolved into a first-class, world-renowned public research university. Students may attend discussions hosted by famous faculty members such as Noam Chomsky, the founder of modern linguistics.
The 380-acre UA campus is the oldest continuously maintained “green space” in Arizona. The campus is home to several trees and plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the state. The university educates a student population of over 43,000, and employs over 2,600 full-time faculty. A 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures students can receive support from their professors and other staff. With over 700 active recognized clubs, students have hundreds of opportunities for campus engagement.
UA currently offers over 300 degrees through 17 different colleges, including agriculture and life sciences, education, fine arts, medicine, and architecture, planning, and landscape. The university also operates a Phoenix campus.
- The University of Arizona ranks #2 among the best online colleges in Arizona, and #9 among the 100 best online colleges in the U.S.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1966, Prescott College is a liberal arts college located between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The 200-acre campus sits among striking mountain ranges, flat desert plains, and abundant forests.
Prescott is a private school focused on liberal arts, the environment, and social justice. The school currently enrolls around 700 students and employs over 50 full-time faculty. With an incredibly low 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, all students receive individual support from their professors.
Prescott’s students can research sustainability and marine science at the Kino Bay Center in Mexico or promote indigenous rights and environmental justice at the Dopoi Center in Kenya. Aspiring teachers can learn how to integrate nature into education at the Center for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education.
The college currently offers programs in arts, creative writing, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary arts and letters. First-year students live in the Village, a new sustainable, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) platinum-certified complex. Upperclassmen live in off-campus housing.
Prescott College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas opened its doors in 1871, just years after the American Civil War left the South devastated. The 412-acre campus, located in the city of Fayetteville, overlooks the iconic Ozark Mountains.
The university offers degrees in over 200 areas of study, including agricultural business, retail, communication disorders, African and African American studies, kinesiology, and food science. The Sam M. Walton College of Business, named for the founder of Walmart, boasts corporate sponsors and industry connections. The Fulbright College of Arts and Letters encompasses 19 different departments and upwards of 30 programs.
UA’s current enrollment includes approximately 27,000 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1. The campus hosts 380 student organizations, 33 fraternities and sororities, and an active student government. Students can attend lectures from notable figures such as the Dalai Lama or concerts featuring acts such as the Foo Fighters.
The school’s athletic teams, the Razorbacks — affectionately referred to as the Hogs — are major competitors in the college football and basketball scene. In fact, no other school in the Southeastern Conference of the NCCA has won more championships. The marching band is known for their intricate half-time routines.
- The University of Arkansas ranks #23 among the 100 best online colleges, and #1 among the best online colleges in Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Although it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Hendrix College teaches a secular curriculum. The four-year college, which opened in 1876, is located just 30 minutes from the state capital.
Hendrix College hosts a variety of sports teams, including uncommon options such as field hockey and lacrosse. The school hosts more than 70 active clubs and student organizations, including the outdoor club, the culinary club, and the climbing coalition. Hendrix is also home to some unusual traditions, including a dance competition between residency halls.
Considered one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, Hendrix’s admission is competitive. Incoming freshmen frequently have a grade point average exceeding 4.0.
Hendrix enrolls around 1,300 students and employs over 100 full-time faculty. Despite the small size of the student body, diversity is an integral part of the campus dynamic. Students hail from all around the U.S. and represent 14 foreign countries. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1 and the average class is only 17 students.
Hendrix College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Stanford University, officially titled Leland Stanford Junior University, is one of the most famous and well-regarded colleges in the world. The private research university conducts more than 6,000 externally-funded research projects in areas such as recombinant DNA, disease management, digital music, economic policy, astrophysics, and world peace.
Google was founded by two Stanford graduate students in 1996. Other companies founded by alumni include Netflix, HP, eBay, Kiva, Odwalla, Trader Joe’s, and Tesla Motors.
The 8,100-acre campus is located in the Silicon Valley between San Francisco and San Jose. Founded in 1891, the university was established as a coeducational school with no denominational affiliations, which was rare at the time. Unlike most colleges and universities, Stanford educates more graduate students than undergraduate students. Despite its size and fame, Stanford boasts a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The campus maintains over eighty different housing facilities to meet the needs of the student body. Students may join more than 650 student groups and 35 recognized religious groups.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Stanford University #5 among the best national universities in the country and #1 among best colleges for veterans.
- Stanford University ranks #2 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Stanford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Harvey Mudd College
Founded in 1955, Harvey Mudd College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college focused on engineering, science, and mathematics. Purposely small at only 44.5 acres, the selective school only educates 800 students per year. Students benefit from an extraordinarily low 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Harvey Mudd College offers degrees in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. It also offers a number of joint or double major programs. Students can pair chemistry with biology, computer science with mathematics, or mathematics with biology.
Despite its technical focus, Harvey Mudd is still considered a liberal arts school because it provides students with a strong foundation in political science, art, history, and literature. The founder believed technical colleges focus too narrowly on trades and sciences. The school argues that a broad education creates better scientists, engineers, and doctors.
Harvey Mudd is part of the Claremont University Consortium, a group of local universities that allow students to take courses and use amenities at different campuses.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Harvey Mudd College #12 among the best national liberal arts colleges and #7 among most innovative schools.
Harvey Mudd College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Denver
Established in 1864, the University of Denver is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain region. Originally founded as a Methodist seminary, the university no longer adheres to any religious affiliation or a Methodist curriculum.
The university currently offers around 100 undergraduate programs and 120 graduate programs, including international human rights, bioengineering, materials science, literary studies, forensic psychology, and educational leadership.
DU enrolls over 11,000 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. Over 70% of undergraduates study abroad, with options in 55 countries around the world. Hundreds of students participate in DU’s distance learning programs and online courses.
The 125-acre campus is located seven miles from downtown Denver and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Denver #56 among best value schools and #49 among best colleges for veterans.
- The University ranks #16 among the 100 best online colleges and #1 among the best online colleges in Colorado.
The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Founded in 1874, Colorado College fosters close relationships between professors and students. The school encourages faculty members to invite learners to their homes and reimburses teachers for meals with their students. Class sizes are small to enable personalized education for each student.
Instead of taking five or six classes simultaneously, CC students take a single class every three weeks. Professors only teach one class per block, so they can be fully committed to their students. This format also grants greater flexibility to professors, since they can start and stop classes whenever is most appropriate. This immersive environment promotes learning and long-term memory, rather than learning for the sake of testing.
The school enrolls over 2,000 students and maintains a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. CC currently offers over 40 majors in fields such as anthropology, art, biology, classics, and education. For students who hope to travel during their undergraduate career, CC offers one of the best and most diverse study abroad programs in the country.
The 90-acre campus is located in the heart of Colorado Springs, but is surrounded by natural landscapes. Students can participate in unique extracurricular activities such as hiking through canyons, working on the school’s farm, and learning ballroom dancing.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Colorado College #1 among the most innovative schools and #23 among the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
Colorado College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
New Haven, Connecticut
Founded in 1701, world-renowned Yale University hosts some of the most challenging and prestigious academic programs in the nation. Part of the ultra-exclusive Ivy League, Yale has been at the forefront of medical advancements such as the first use of antibiotics in the U.S. and the first use of chemotherapy to treat cancer. The school also boasts well-regarded arts and theatre programs.
The 837-acre campus features an on-campus golf course, museums, and a collection of precious artifacts such as the pen used by Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.
Yale enrolls over 12,000 students. Despite its size and prestige, the school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, one of the lowest in the nation.
Yale is also home to 35 varsity teams and one of the most highly respected athletic programs in the country. However, if you are hoping to get a break on tuition thanks to your skills on the court or the field, Yale may not be the school for you — the school offers no athletic scholarships.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Yale University #3 among best universities in the U.S.
- Yale University ranks #11 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Yale University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
New London, Connecticut
Originally opened as Connecticut College for Women after Wesleyan University stopped admitting female students, Connecticut College now accepts students of all genders. The school boasts a high student success rate, with 96% of graduates either employed or pursuing graduate studies.
The liberal arts college resides in the old seaport town of New London. Flanked on one side by the Thames River and on the other by an arboretum, the campus is immersed in natural New England scenery.
Primarily a college for undergraduate studies, Connecticut College enrolls less than 2,000 full-time students. The school maintains an average class size of 18 and a student-to-teacher ratio of just 9-to-1. Despite its small size, the college currently offers 40 majors and a multitude of minors.
The college allows students to essentially custom-tailor their degree to match their individual goals and interests. During their second year, students develop a theme or meaningful question to answer over the course of their program.
- Connecticut College also offers excellent financial aid packages. Nearly half of students receive financial aid, and the average award package is $35,000. The college’s dedication to educational excellence has not gone unnoticed: Forbes ranks the college #84 in the country among private colleges and #105 overall.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Connecticut College #46 among the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
Connecticut College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
University of Delaware
Founded in 1743 as a small private college, the University of Delaware has since grown significantly in both size and stature. The greater University of Delaware system operates campuses all over the state, including in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown.
UD’s 75 research facilities are among the best in the nation. The school’s research vessel, the Hugh R. Sharp, sails the Atlantic Ocean to investigate marine mammals, fisheries, and ocean chemistry. UD also researches political communication, diversity, fuel cells, disaster response, financial analytics, corporate governance, and cardiovascular health.
The current student body includes about 23,000 students. The school blends aspects of both a public and private university; it receives government funding as if it were a state-supported research facility, but is privately governed.
Due to its high-quality education and research opportunities, UD is considered one of the Public Ivies. The university currently offers 143 bachelor’s programs, 143 master’s programs, 67 doctoral programs, a handful of associate programs, and 15 dual degree programs. UD was also the first university to offer a study abroad program.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Delaware #33 among top public schools and #81 among the best universities in the country.
- The University of Delaware ranks #2 among best online colleges in Delaware.
The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Wesley College was founded in 1873, making it the oldest private college in the state. While the school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it provides values-based education relevant to students of all faiths.
100% of the school’s 1,500 students receive financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and on-campus employment.
The cozy 50-acre main campus is located in Delaware’s state capital. Students often make road trips to nearby cities such as Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia. The city of Dover offers attractions such as pre-revolutionary buildings and Dover Downs International Speedway.
Wesley College currently offers 30 areas of study across five different departments: arts and sciences, business, health sciences, education, and fine arts. The majority of students pursue a degree in the arts and sciences, with options in American studies, English, history, international studies, mathematics, media arts, music, political science, psychology, and professional studies.
Wesley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
University of Florida
Established in 1853, the University of Florida is a premier public research university. Considered one of the Public Ivies, UF provides rigorous programs in engineering, medical science, law, and business.
UF maintains 16 colleges and over 150 research centers. The university currently administers more than 100 undergraduate majors, 123 master’s programs, and 76 doctoral programs. The school serves a massive student population of over 52,000.
The 2,000-acre campus includes more than 900 buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings on campus include an art gallery, the Phillips Center for Performing Arts, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which seats 84,000 fans.
The school boasts more than 10,000 active research projects. UF’s research and innovations include Gatorade, brain cancer research, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, diabetes research, and Sentricon termite control.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Florida #9 among top public schools and #42 among the best universities in the country.
- The University of Florida is ranks #2 among the 100 best online colleges, and #1 among the best online colleges in Florida.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
New College of Florida
New College of Florida is a public liberal arts college founded in 1964. From its inception, the school has been open to people of all races, genders, and religious affiliations, which was very progressive for a southern college at the time.
Originally established as a private institute, the school eventually transformed into an autonomous honors college in the State University of Florida system. Other schools in the system include the University of Florida and Florida International University.
The 144-acre campus is located on Sarasota’s north bay front, just a few miles from the city center. The campus hosts an amiable, eclectic mix of new structures and historical buildings.
New College of Florida is known for individualized education for each student. The school meets students’ intellectual needs by creating specialized education plans and providing narrative evaluations. Instead of the traditional grading scale, the school follows a pass/fail system.
In order to successfully graduate, students must complete seven contracts with their faculty adviser. These contracts are made at the beginning of a grading period and are based on the individual student’s goals.
There are currently fewer than 900 enrolled students and the average class size is 17. The college maintains a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks New College of Florida #6 among the top public schools in the country.
New College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Emory University is home to one of the world’s most famous law schools. The school has also achieved international fame for its business school and college of medicine. The private research university boasts famous faculty members, including author Salman Rushdie and President Jimmy Carter.
The 631-acre campus is located in the Druid Hills neighborhood in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. The school is very selective, accepting fewer than 25% of applicants. Approximately 90% of incoming freshmen graduated in the top 10% of their senior class in high school.
The school is divided into nine academic divisions: Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College (a high-intensity liberal arts program for freshmen and sophomores), Goizueta Business School, Laney Graduate School, Emory School of Law, Emory School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Candler School of Theology.
Students may choose from 70 undergraduate programs and more than two dozen graduate and professional degrees.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Emory University #21 among best colleges in the U.S. and #17 among best value schools.
Emory University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1897, Piedmont College features small class sizes, civic engagement, career-oriented programs, and ACBSP accreditation. True to its Christian roots, the college remains affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.
Of the school’s 2,200 students, 64% are women. Over 90% of students receive financial aid, and the standard financial aid package averages $15,294.
The college operates two campuses, one in Demorest and another in Athens. The rural Demorest campus rests on 186 acres close to the Appalachian Trail and the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Athens campus, which is more urban, sits near the Georgia Museum of Art, the Bear Hollow Zoo, and the Georgia Botanical Gardens.
Undergraduate students at Piedmont may choose from over 50 different programs in art, science, education, business, nursing, and health. The school also hosts several clubs, organizations, and NCAA Division III Athletic teams.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Piedmont College #68 among the best universities in the South and #28 among best value schools.
Piedmont College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii, which traces its roots to a land grant college founded in 1907, is a public research university governed by the Hawaii state legislature. Operating as the flagship campus for the University of Hawaii system, UH Manoa is located in the Manoa valley, one of Honolulu’s nicest neighborhoods.
Notable programs and research areas include tropical agriculture, oceanography, electrical engineering, volcanology, evolutionary biology, comparative philosophy, comparative religion, Hawaiian studies, and Asian studies.
UH Manoa serves 13,000 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students. Despite the large student body, the average class size is 20 students, and the current student-to-faculty ratio is 13-to-1.
UH Manoa hosts over 200 student organizations, including the aikido club, the society of women engineers, the geography club, the surfrider club, political groups, and late night theatre. Students can find over 600 kinds of indigenous plants on campus.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks UH Manoa #83 among all public universities in the United States.
- The University of Hawaii-Manoa ranks #1 among the best online colleges in Hawaii.
The University of Hawaii-Manoa is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Hawaii Pacific University
The Hawaii Loa Campus of Hawaii Pacific University was originally founded as Christian College of the Pacific in 1963. For many years, the school was known as Hawaii Loa College before it was absorbed by Hawaii Pacific University, a private coeducational college.
The picturesque campus is located on the windward side of Oahu, across the Koʻolau mountain range from Honolulu. The rural campus is surrounded by nature, mountains, and the ocean. Hawaii Loa is currently undergoing an expansion to accommodate more students and facilities.
Hawaii Pacific University focuses on four areas: business administration, humanities and social sciences, nursing and health sciences, and natural and computational sciences. The Hawaii Loa Campus primarily hosts science and nursing programs. The school offers more than 50 undergraduate programs and 14 graduate programs. Every curriculum, regardless of major or emphasis, is rooted in a traditional liberal arts foundation.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Hawaii Pacific University #59 among the best regional universities in the West and #29 among best colleges for veterans.
Hawaii Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Idaho
The University of Idaho was founded in 1889, making it the oldest public university in the state. As Idaho’s premier research university, UI studies volcanic activity in Yellowstone, Amazon catfish migrations, and advanced nuclear energy systems.
The nearly 1,600-acre campus is located 2,600 feet above sea level in the rural community of Moscow. UI is the largest institution of higher learning in the state, and contains an 18-hole golf course, an arboretum, a botanical garden, and 860 acres of farmland.
The current student body includes approximately 12,000 students and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16-to-1. The school requires freshmen to live on campus. Students may join more than 200 student organizations, 16 NCAA Division I sports teams, 20 minority student groups, and several intramural sports clubs.
The university is divided into ten colleges: agriculture and life science, arts and architecture, business and economics, education, engineering, graduate studies, law, natural resources, social sciences, and science. Through these schools, UI currently offers 130 bachelor’s programs, 88 master’s programs, and 32 doctoral programs.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Idaho #90 among best public universities in the country.
- The University of Idaho ranks #1 among the best online colleges in Idaho.
The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
College of Idaho
Founded in 1891 in collaboration with local Presbyterian Church leaders, the College of Idaho is a liberal arts college located just west of Boise. The school currently offers 30 majors, 56 minors, and 13 collaborative programs with other universities.
The college’s PEAK curriculum helps students gain educational literacy in four areas: the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and a professional field. Students pick a major and three minors, and work closely with a professor to create a specialized learning plan.
The 50-acre campus serves less than 1,000 students. The average class size is only 13, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 8-to-1. Despite the small student body, this close-knit campus presents several opportunities for students to socialize and remain active. Students can participate in rock climbing, kayaking, and fly fishing. More than 50 recognized student clubs and organizations meet on campus.
The college is also home to three fraternities and four sororities, and currently supports 10 men’s sports teams and 10 women’s sports teams. The skiing program is particularly notable, with 48 individual and team national championship wins.
College of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Chicago
Founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society, the University of Chicago is a private non-denominational research university. Current student enrollment is almost 16,000, made up primarily of graduate and professional studies students. In fact, the student body consists of almost twice as many graduate students as undergraduate students.
The campus occupies 211 acres in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, just seven miles south of the Loop. The university offers degrees through five schools: biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the collegiate division. The collegiate division is responsible for interdisciplinary majors and any programs that do not fit into one of the other four schools.
The university currently offers 50 undergraduate academic majors and 28 minors. Regardless of major, all undergraduate students complete an interdisciplinary core curriculum that consists of 15 classes and proficiency in a foreign language.
The University of Chicago Press is the largest publisher of academic books and journals in the country.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Chicago #3 among the best universities in the nation. The school is tied with Yale University.
- The University of Chicago ranks #9 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
The University of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Wheaton College is an interdenominational Christian liberal arts college located 25 miles west of downtown Chicago. Wheaton boasts a rich, forward-thinking history: the school was a stop on the Underground Railroad thanks to the school’s first president, Jonathan Blanchard, who was an active abolitionist.
Wheaton is home to an internationally recognized conservatory of music. 100% of music faculty members hold doctoral degrees, and many hold experience with groups such as the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Students may join ensembles in opera, percussion, jazz, choir, and symphony.
The current student body represents 3,000 students in 40 different majors. The vast majority of students live on campus. Both men and women can compete in basketball, cross country skiing, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and fields. There are also men’s football, baseball, and wrestling teams. Women are welcome to compete in softball and volleyball.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Wheaton College #63 among liberal arts colleges in the nation.
Wheaton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
West Lafayette, Indiana
Founded in 1869, Purdue University boasts some of the best engineering, business, and agricultural programs in the world. The school is the #1 destination for international students in STEM disciplines. Students may choose from over 200 undergraduate majors, 70 master’s degrees, and professional programs in pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine.
Purdue maintains campuses across the state. The university also serves all 92 counties in Indiana through its cooperative extension service. These extensions help local communities by providing key information and assistance in four areas: agriculture and natural resources, health and human sciences, economic and community development, and 4-H youth development.
The 2,606-acre main campus runs along the Wabash River and hosts over 41,000 students. More than 850 student organizations reside on campus. Despite its size, the university boasts a surprisingly low student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. The university also owns approximately 15,000 acres of land for industrial and agricultural research.
Most students live in the neighborhoods surrounding the college. The public transportation system, Citybus, operates eight bus lines that connect to Purdue. Purdue students, faculty, and staff ride for free.
Purdue is the home of the Boilermakers, a Big Ten Conference contender. The school also maintains several unusual traditions. For instance, students at Purdue run through a fountain on campus when they begin their first semester, and again after graduation.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Purdue University #56 among the best universities in the country, #12 among most innovative schools, #18 among best public schools.
- Purdue University ranks #60 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Although it is affiliated with the Mennonite Church, Goshen College welcomes students of all faiths. Initially founded as the Elkhart Institute of Science, Industry, and the Arts, Goshen sits on a 135-acre campus. The school also cares for the 1,150-acre Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center.
Only 900 students attend Goshen, making it one of the smallest schools on this list. Students may choose from nearly 40 undergraduate majors, dozens of minors, five graduate programs, and several adult education programs.
Goshen hosts 13 intercollegiate athletics teams, as well as numerous intramural teams and student organizations. With some exceptions, all full-time students at Goshen College must live on campus. 100% of students receive some form of financial aid.
The school conducts research into Latino education and ecological regeneration. Goshen also maintains a marine biology laboratory in the Florida Keys.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Goshen College #6 among Midwest colleges and #7 among best value schools.
Goshen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
The University of Northern Iowa focuses on excellent teaching from qualified professors. Faculty members have not only academic credentials, but also extensive work histories and research experience.
UNI boasts a high student success rate, with 95% of graduates employed or pursuing higher education. The school currently enrolls nearly 12,000 students.
The university sits on nearly 900 acres of land. Students may join more than 250 recognized student organizations, including Greek life. The university also features 17 intercollegiate sports teams.
Students may choose from over 90 undergraduate programs and over 50 graduate programs. The university consists of five colleges, including education, business administration, social and behavioral science, and the humanities, arts, and sciences.
Unlike at most other schools, the average student debt at UNI has actually decreased over the last seven years. Approximately 94% of first-year students receive some form of financial aid.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Northern Iowa #2 among top public schools in the U.S.
- The University of Northern Iowa ranks #4 among the best online colleges in Iowa.
The University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a private liberal arts school historically linked to the Methodist Church. The 120-acre rural campus is located halfway between Des Moines and Iowa City. The school also maintains a 365-acre environmental research center.
Students may choose from 27 majors and ten interdisciplinary degrees. The curriculum places heavy emphasis on inquiry, critical analysis, and writing skills. With no core requirements except a first-year tutorial, students can create an individualized learning plan that best suits their interests and career goals.
Often considered a Hidden Ivy, Grinnell expects students to take control of and responsibility for their education. Students self-regulate and self-govern, with very limited intervention from faculty or staff.
Grinnell has a student body of about 1,600 students. Students can take advantage of 3,000 internship opportunities, a library with one million books and documents, and more than 500 free events per year. The campus hosts 20 NCAA Division III varsity sports and 150 student groups. However, there are no Greek life organizations.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Grinnell #18 among all liberal arts colleges in the country and #4 among most innovative schools.
Grinnell College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas hosts some of the best specialized programs in the world, including in city management and special education. Forty-six of the school’s programs are ranked among the top 50 for their field in the nation.
The 1,100-acre campus is located midway between Topeka and Kansas City. With an enrollment of nearly 28,000 students, the university is now the largest in the state.
Students at KU may select from programs offered by 15 schools, including engineering, law, health professions, business, and liberal arts and sciences.
In 2008, the university instituted the Four-Year Tuition Compact, which fixes each student’s tuition at their incoming freshman rate for 48 months. This is a double-edged effort to curb student debt and encourage students to graduate in four years.
KU is well-known for its champion NCAA Division I men’s basketball team, the Jayhawks. The university also hosts a flourishing debate program and has qualified for National Debate Tournament for the last 51 consecutive years. The team has won six championships.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Kansas #53 among the best public universities in the United States.
- The University of Kansas ranks #4 among the best online colleges in Kansas.
The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
North Newton, Kansas
Affiliated with the Mennonite church, Bethel College is the oldest institution of higher learning of its kind in the U.S. The school opened after a large migration of Mennonites to Kansas in the 1870s. Today, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds, though it still educates a significant Mennonite population.
The small school enrolls under 500 undergraduate students. The rural 90-acre campus hosts more than 30 student clubs and organizations, as well as events, concerts, and student activities.
Students may choose from majors nearly 40 areas of study, including biology, business and economics, graphic design, history, human services, music, philosophy, physics, pre-law, pre-med, and sport management.
Bethel College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Kentucky
Originally founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky in 1865, the University of Kentucky has since grown into the largest university in the state. The nearby Coldstream Research Campus collaborates with dozens of businesses and organizations, including A&W, Summit Biosciences, BET Pharmacy, and the United States Equestrian Federation Drug Testing and Research Laboratory.
Nearly 30,000 students currently attend UK. The 784-acre main campus features 15 specialized libraries.
UK is divided into 16 different specialized colleges, which span the following areas of study: agriculture, food, and environment; arts and sciences; business and economics; communications and information; dentistry; design; education; engineering; fine arts; health sciences; law; medicine; nursing; pharmacy; public health; and social work. The school offers 93 undergraduate programs, 99 master’s programs, and 66 doctoral programs.
UK hosts many different student organizations and clubs, including bustling Greek life. The school is home to the Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Division I athletic teams, including the celebrated men’s basketball team.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Kentucky #63 among top public schools in the U.S. and #83 among the best colleges for veterans.
The University of Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Established in 1855, Berea College was the first coeducational, racially integrated school in the South. Each student’s four-year education is covered by a full-ride scholarship, currently worth over $100,000. Students earn their keep, plus modest wages, by working a minimum of 10 hours per week. Berea is one of only seven colleges in the U.S. with a mandated work-study program.
The school only admits students that demonstrate financial need. Admission from foreign countries is limited to one student per country, except for nations currently experiencing distress, war, or natural disaster. Approximately 50% of students study abroad during their time at Berea.
The college is also known for its diverse student body. Over a third of the school’s 1,600 undergraduate students are racial minorities.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Berea College #68 among best liberal arts colleges in the nation and #3 among most innovative colleges.
Berea College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Tulane University of Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Established as a public medical college in 1834, Tulane University is a private nonsectarian research university located in uptown New Orleans. The school emphasizes community service and civic engagement. Last year alone, students logged 780,000 hours of service in the local community.
The 110-acre campus features traditional southern landscapes, from oak-lined walkways to historic buildings that have been carefully repaired and restored after Hurricane Katrina. Tulane maintains 13 residence halls to meet the housing needs of each and every freshman and sophomore.
Students enjoy access to more than 200 student organizations and clubs, including 24 fraternities and sororities. Tulane also hosts 15 NCAA Division I athletic teams.
With more than 1,700 courses and 70 majors, the school provides a wide range of academic programs. Approximately one third of students add a double major. Options include science and engineering, architecture, business, liberal arts and public health
The university currently educates around 11,000 students. Class sizes average 21 students. Tulane is also the largest employer in New Orleans, with over 14,000 employees.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Tulane University #40 among the best universities in the U.S.
Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College of Louisiana is a private school affiliated with the United Methodist church. Founded in 1825, the college is located on 116 acres of land two miles south of the state’s second-largest city. The school maintains an arboretum that is home to over 300 species of plants.
With less than 600 students, CCL is one of the smallest schools in the region. The student body primarily includes undergraduates. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 8-to-1, ensuring each student receives personalized attention.
Undergraduate students may pursue majors in 22 areas, including accounting, mathematics, business administration, economics, and biology. Graduate students may pursue an EMBA or an MAT. Students may also choose from a variety of pre-professional programs.
In an effort to create an environment of camaraderie, CCL requires freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to live on campus. The college has formed “living-learning communities,” specialized residence halls that group together students with similar educational and career goals.
There are currently four different living-learning communities on campus: Le Quartier Français, focusing on French language immersion; Greenhouse, which seeks new ways to implement sustainable living; Santé, focused on improving the health of disadvantaged or impoverished people through community service; and Node, which is centered on technology.
Centenary College of Louisiana is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Maine
Established in 1865, the University of Maine is the flagship school for the statewide University of Maine System. The 660-acre campus rests near Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, and Mount Katahdin.
With over 11,000 students, the university is the largest school in the state and the only research institution in Maine. Consequently, the school is home to the largest library in the state.
UMaine proudly hosts the oldest LGBT advocacy and social organizations in the state, and some of the oldest pro-equality groups in the country. Students may participate in a wide array of organizations and clubs, including 30 sororities and fraternities. The university participates in NCAA Division I athletics. The Maine Black Bears are best known for their men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.
Students may choose from 90 undergraduate majors, 40 master’s programs, and 30 doctoral programs. UMaine is divided into five colleges, including the Maine Business School, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Maine #97 among the best public schools in the country.
- The University of Maine ranks as the #2 among best online colleges in Maine.
University of Maine is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Arguably one of the most culturally relevant schools in the country, Bowdoin College is where Harriet Beecher Stowe began writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin while her husband was a professor at the college. Famous alumni include author Nathaniel Hawthorne, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and U.S. President Franklin Pierce.
Founded in 1794, Bowdoin is a private school located on the coast between Freeport and Portland. The college currently hosts a student body of over 1,800 undergraduates. Bowdoin offers 32 majors and a variety of minors.
As of 2008, the school is a no loans institution. Bowdoin covers 100% of each student’s financial need, replacing loans with grants and scholarships.
The school has no fraternities or sororities on campus. Instead, students are assigned to a house upon acceptance. House affiliations remain, even when students move off campus or graduate.
The college has also been recognized in some less conventional areas. For example, Princeton Review named the on-campus dining service the best in the country.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Bowdoin College #3 among best liberal arts colleges in the nation and #13 among best value schools.
Bowdoin College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is a world-renowned private research school located in Baltimore. Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins pioneered the concept of the modern research university in the United States, based on the German model. The campus spreads throughout the city of Baltimore. The university also operates satellite locations in Washington, D.C., Italy, Singapore, and China.
The current student body consists of nearly 24,000 students, though only about 25% are undergraduates. Johns Hopkins is known for being exclusive; the school only admits 13% of applicants.
Students may select from more than 260 programs spread across nine schools, including the School of Advanced International Studies, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Carey Business School, the Whiting School of Engineering, and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Johns Hopkins is especially famous for its highly innovative medical center. The school is responsible for the creation of the very first implantable and rechargeable pacemaker, as well as the first successful treatment for sickle cell anemia. The university also led the way in authentication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Research completed at Johns Hopkins is among the most-cited worldwide. The university maintains 10 libraries which hold in excess of 3.6 million volumes.
Beyond its innumerable contributions to science, Johns Hopkins is also a long-standing member in the fight for equal rights. The school was one of the earliest supporters of the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks John Hopkins University #11 among best universities in the country.
- Johns Hopkins University ranks #17 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
St. John’s College
St. John’s College is a private liberal arts school well known for its ultra-rigorous Great Books curriculum. The school was initially founded in 1696 as King William’s Preparatory School. The school eventually added a collegiate charter in 1784, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the nation. Since 1964, the school has maintained a sister campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1937, St. John’s implemented the Great Books Program, a curriculum it follows to this day. The Great Books Program is a four-year course of study which requires students to read the original texts that have made the greatest contribution to Western civilization. Texts cover fields as philosophy, theology, history, mathematics, science, music, poetry, and literature.
Every student at St. John’s completes four years of a foreign language, four years of math, four years of interdisciplinary study, three years of life science, and a year of music. Additionally, all students must attend a school-wide lecture on a weekly basis. Students are allowed only two electives, which cannot be taken until the winter semester of their junior year.
Class sizes at St. John’s cap at 20 students, with an average class size of 14. There is currently a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The total student population numbers fewer than 500.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks St. John’s College #53 among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation and #34 among best value schools.
St. John’s College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Arguably the most famous university in the world, Harvard University is a private Ivy League college known for its law school and academic rigor. Established in 1635 as a school for training Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
During the 18th century, the school made the transition to a secular school with a curriculum covering a wide number of topics. Today, Harvard offers over 200 programs across 11 schools, including the Harvard Divinity Schools, the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Medical School, and the highly decorated Harvard Law School. Harvard enrolls nearly 30,000 students, with undergraduates making up about one third of the student population.
The university occupies three separate campuses. The main campus, known as Harvard Yard, occupies 210 acres three miles from downtown Boston. The school is located at the other end of Massachusetts Avenue from MIT. The Longwood Campus, located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, houses the Medical School. The Allston campus, which is located just south of the Charles River, hosts the Business School and the majority of the university’s athletic facilities, including Harvard Stadium.
Harvard’s Widener Library is the largest university library in the country. The university also boasts an impressive list of alumni, including eight U.S. presidents. 150 Nobel Laureates are associated with the school. Harvard has a historically fierce sports rivalry with Yale.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Harvard University #2 among the best universities in the country.
- Harvard University ranks #1 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Harvard University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Established in 1793, Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in the far northwest corner of the state. Originally an all-men’s college, Williams embraced a coeducational model in 1970. The campus spans 450 acres in the Berkshire Mountains, known for their spring greenery and brilliant fall colors.
The college hosts an impressive array of historical documents. The library contains first editions of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United States Constitution, the Bills of Rights, and George Washington’s own copy of the Federalist papers.
Williams enrolls around 2,100 students, nearly all undergraduates. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of just 6-to-1, one of the lowest in the nation.
The college is divided into three academic divisions: humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Across those divisions, there are 24 departments, 35 undergraduate majors, and two master’s programs.
Williams College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University of Michigan is one of the nation’s premier public research universities. The university was established in 1817, a full two decades before Michigan even became a state. U-M moved from Detroit to its current campus in 1837.
Due to the caliber and breadth of education available at U-M, the university is considered one of a handful of Public Ivies. Students can obtain an education on a par with Ivy League schools, usually for a far lower cost.
The U-M campus spans 20,965 acres, including a 3,177-acre arboretum. This expansive university currently has an enrollment of nearly 45,000 students. Students may choose from 200 undergraduate majors, 90 master’s programs, and 100 doctoral degrees.
The school currently recognizes 1,438 student organizations, ranging from archery to political clubs. The school’s 27 varsity sports teams, all known as the Wolverines, are part of the Big Ten Conference. U-M plays at the NCAA Division I level. The school has particularly strong rivalries with the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Michigan #28 among the best universities in the country, #4 among top public schools, and #8 among most innovative schools.
- The University of Michigan ranks #23 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
The University of Michigan is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Unlike most other liberal arts colleges, Hillsdale College proudly states its conservative-to-libertarian philosophical orientation. The school was founded in 1844 by local Baptists, but did not move to its current 200-acre rural campus until 1853.
The current student enrollment is just over 1,500, with the vast majority being undergraduates. Students can choose from 32 majors, seven minors, eight interdisciplinary majors, and nine pre-professional programs. The college currently maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1, with an average class size of only 15 students.
Students may participate in more than 100 clubs and organizations, including Greek life and intramural sports. Hillsdale is also home to 12 NCAA Division II athletic teams. The school also houses a K–12 liberal arts school called the Hillsdale Academy.
Hillsdale maintains a long history of supporting civil rights. It was the first college in the country to prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, or religion in its official charter. The school has admitted African-American students since its inception, and was the second school in the country to offer four-year degrees to women.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Hillsdale College #71 among the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
Hillsdale College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is the oldest and largest university within the University of Minnesota system. The school consists of two campuses located five miles apart in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Together, the campuses span 2,730 urban acres.
The university offers 143 undergraduate degrees through 19 different schools. Graduate students may choose from 150 options. Notable programs include urban studies, agricultural education, sustainable systems management, neuroscience, and technical writing.
The university currently enrolls nearly 52,000 students, with a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. UMTC educates more than 7,000 international students from 130 countries. Nearly 3,000 students study abroad each year.
It is common for students to have classes on both campuses. For this reason, the university provides a daily shuttle service that runs between the campuses every five minutes.
Students may choose to participate in more than 900 student organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine, the advertising club, the Bangladeshi student association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, crossfit, and the rugby club. There are also several fraternities and sororities. The university’s NCAA Division I athletic teams, the Golden Gophers, compete in numerous sports.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Minnesota as #69 among the best colleges in the U.S.
- The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities also ranks #1 among the best online colleges in Minnesota and #8 among the best online colleges for 2018.
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1886, Carleton College is a coeducational liberal arts college located just south of the Twin Cities. The college offers 33 different majors in areas such as African studies, classics, biology, chemistry, economics, public policy, psychology, and women’s and gender studies.
The 1,040-acre rural campus sits on a hill overlooking the Cannon River. The average class size at Carleton is 18 students, with a current student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1. The school has a total enrollment of nearly 2,100 undergraduates, and about 90% of students live on campus.
The college officially recognizes over 220 student organizations, clubs, and activities. Some of the most popular options are active theater groups, mock trial and debate teams, a radio station, and a successful a capella group. There are also 19 varsity sports teams, 23 club teams, and dozens of intramural teams. Students may compete in ultimate Frisbee. Despite the high level of on-campus sports activities, the school offers no athletic scholarships.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Carleton College #8 among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.
Carleton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Mississippi
Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Ole Miss as an R-1 doctoral university with highest research activity, an elite designation for only the most research-oriented schools.
Ole Miss boasts a rich history. Originally, the college was an all-men’s school, but it opened its doors to women in 1882. During the Civil War, the entire student body enlisted in the Confederate Army. They were all placed into a single unit that suffered a nearly 100% casualty rate. Only one student returned when the campus reopened. The school was also one of the first universities in the South to hire women as faculty members.
Ole Miss has a current student enrollment of over 24,000, including distance learners. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18-to-1. About 23% of students are minorities. Students may pursue degrees in areas such as business administration, engineering, liberal arts, law, medicine, and dentistry.
Ole Miss is home to the Ole Miss Rebels. Sixteen teams compete in NCAA Division I.
- The University of Mississippi ranks #5 among the best online colleges in Mississippi.
The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Millsaps College focuses on developing writing skills in all of its students, regardless of major. Founded in 1890 by the United Methodist Church, the school now follows a complete secular curriculum.
Millsaps requires its undergraduate students to compile a portfolio of written work by the end of their sophomore year. Students must also complete extensive written and oral exams before graduation. This focus on writing gives students a competitive advantage in professional settings such as business, academia, and public service.
The school is home to nearly 900 students, the majority of whom live on campus. Currently, the school maintains an average class size of 15 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1. Students may participate in over 80 different campus organizations, including five sororities and six fraternities.
Millsaps offers 35 undergraduate majors, 48 minors, two master’s programs, and four pre-professional programs. Students who cannot find a suitable program may design a custom major.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Millsaps College #87 among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.
Millsaps College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, Missouri
A private research university, Washington University in St. Louis has been at the forefront of innovations such as unmanned missions to Mars, the discovery of plutonium, and cardiovascular research. Twenty-four Nobel Laureates are affiliated with the university, including author T.S. Eliot.
Founded in 1853, the university now hosts more than 15,000 students. Despite its large student body, WUSTL maintains a low 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The university is divided into nine schools: arts and sciences, engineering, law, art, medicine, architecture, business, social work, and graduate arts and sciences. The university’s library system contains 14 separate libraries and hosts the largest academic collection in the state.
The 2,313-acre campus is home to 19 varsity teams, more than 25 intramural teams, 37 club sports, more than 300 student organizations, 10 fraternities, eight sororities, and 12 a capella groups. 75% of students participate in intramural sports. The university also sustains four student media outlets, a student newspaper called Student Life, a student radio station, a closed-circuit television channel, and a monthly print magazine. WUSTL is also well-known for deeply ingrained traditions such as Bauhaus, a huge Halloween costume party sponsored by the School of Architecture.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Washington University in St. Louis #18 among the best universities in the country.
- Washington University in St. Louis ranks #32 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, Missouri
Students at College of the Ozarks pay zero tuition. Every student participates in a work-study program to cover costs. The school requires students to work 15 hours a week while school is in session, and two 40-hour weeks during each break.
Founded in 1906, College of the Ozarks is a private Christian school. The college was specifically designed for students who have the merit, but not the means, to procure a higher education. The college has been nicknamed “Hard Work U,” a name and motto it has proudly embraced.
The current student enrollment consists of approximately 1,500 individuals, all undergraduate. The college maintains a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The college has a reputation for having one of the most conservative student bodies in the country.
College of the Ozarks currently offers over 26 majors in areas such as agriculture, chemistry, education, engineering, graphic arts, and psychology.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks College of the Ozarks as #1 among most innovative schools, #5 among best regional colleges in the Midwest, and #1 among best value schools.
College of the Ozarks is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Montana
Established six years before Montana officially became a state, the University of Montana serves as the flagship school for the University of Montana System. The 220-acre main campus sits at the foot of Mount Sentinel, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the state.
The campus boasts its own restaurants, medical facilities, police station, postal services, banks, and postal code. Student organizations include seven fraternities, four sororities, and nearly 200 clubs. Students may take fly fishing lessons, hike through the mountains, learn how to maintain a bicycle, and participate in Quidditch tournaments. Throughout the year, students can watch the Montana Grizzlies compete in 13 sports at the NCAA Division I level.
The university is split up into five colleges: arts and sciences, education and human sciences, forestry and conservation, health professions and biomedical sciences, and technology and visual and performing arts. The school also operates three professional schools: business administration, law, and journalism.
UM enrolls over 12,000 students. The university is known for its extensive study abroad opportunities, which include programs in over 40 countries and 90 affiliated universities.
- The University of Montana ranks #2 among the best online colleges in Montana.
The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Carroll College is a private liberal arts school dedicated to freedom of inquiry and information. The Catholic college was founded in 1909 as an all-men’s school. Today, women make up 59% of the student population.
Carroll offers more than 60 majors in fields such as liberal arts, life sciences, education, engineering, computer science, nursing, ROTC, and theology. Students may also choose from five pre-professional programs: pre-seminary, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-med, and pre-veterinary.
The school serves nearly 1,400 undergraduate students. Students enjoy access to 75 miles of hiking and biking trails, the Carroll Adventure Mountaineering Program, and the nearby Great Divide Ski Area. Hundreds of students attend Catholic mass each Sunday. The school also hosts several NCAA Division II athletic teams.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Carroll College #1 among regional colleges in the West and #2 among the best value schools.
Carroll College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is the state’s oldest and largest university. The college serves as the flagship school for the University of Nebraska system. UNL founded the discipline of ecology and established the world’s first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The school is also friendly to the arts, operating Prairie Schooner literary magazine, the University of Nebraska Press, and the Sheldon Museum of Art.
Statewide, the university owns over 45,000 acres. The Lincoln location spans 612 acres, split into two separate campuses two miles apart. True to its ecological roots, the school maintains botanical gardens and arboretums.
Approximately 26,000 students are currently enrolled in the university. UNL recognizes over 400 student organizations, 30 fraternities, and 16 sororities.
UNL offers programs through 10 different colleges: agricultural science and natural resources, architecture, arts and sciences, business administration, education and human sciences, engineering, fine and performing arts, graduate studies, journalism and mass communications, and law. Across these divisions, students may choose from 150 undergraduate degrees, 20 pre-professional programs, and 100 graduate programs.
Students and alumni of the University of Nebraska are commonly known as dedicated sports fans. The university’s 22 athletic teams, known as the Cornhuskers, are perennial Big Ten Conference competitors. Athletes play at the Division I level in sports such as football, basketball, and volleyball.
- The University of Nebraska–Lincoln ranks #4 among the best online colleges in Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Founded in 1887, Nebraska Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts institution associated with the United Methodist Church. Like the University of Nebraska, it is located in the state capital, Lincoln. The university enrolls over 2,000 students and maintains a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Nebraska Wesleyan offers over 100 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs in areas such as biology, chemistry, history, mathematics, education, social work, and nursing. The school also provides a rare four-year graduation guarantee, meaning the university will help you graduate on time make sure the classes you need are available.
99% of students receive some form of financial aid, making education more readily attainable.
Students may pursue an abundance of internships and jobs with respectable companies, nonprofits, and state and local government organizations. On campus, students may participate in over 40 student organizations and attend games with the Prairie Wolves athletic teams. The Prairie Wolves men’s basketball team won the 2018 NCAA Division III national championship.
- U.S. News and World Report ranks Nebraska Wesleyan University #16 among the best regional universities in the Midwest and #28 among best value schools.
Nebraska Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Nevada, Reno
The only land-grant research university in the state, the University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university located just 30 minutes north of Lake Tahoe. The school is famously affordable; students pay an average of 80% less than they would at other Tier one universities.
UNR is located on 290 acres of land near the Truckee Meadows and the Sierra Nevada mountains. The current student body is just over 21,000 students, primarily undergraduates. The campus hosts over 250 clubs and organizations.
UNR currently offers over 145 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university is divided into eight different schools: biotechnologies and natural resources, business education, engineering, journalism, liberal arts, medicine, health sciences, and the graduate school.
Doctoral-level professors welcome undergraduate students to attend their lectures, discuss further education, and conduct research. Several faculty members have received awards from the National Science Foundation for their research.
UNR’s intercollegiate athletic teams, known as the Wolf Pack, play at the NCAA Division I level.
The University of Nevada, Reno is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Sierra Nevada College
Incline Village, Nevada
Focused on a career-relevant liberal arts education, Sierra Nevada College encourages students to apply their skills to real-life situations and environments. The school emphasizes four core areas: sustainability, entrepreneurial thinking, liberal arts, and professional preparedness.
The school serves a student body of just over 1,000 students, with nearly half enrolled in undergraduate programs. SNC has a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 15 students. All full-time students must live in residence halls until they have completed at least 60 academic units.
SNC offers over 30 different fields of study in areas such as finance and economics, marketing, psychology, digital arts and business, sustainability, and earth science.
The college is particularly known for its powerful skiing and snowboarding teams, which regularly compete in local and national competitions.
Sierra Nevada College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Hanover, New Hampshire
The smallest Ivy League university, Dartmouth College emphasizes mentorship and interactive education. Despite its Ivy League status, Dartmouth still focuses on affordability: the school meets 100% of every student’s demonstrated financial need. Notable alumni include 12 Pulitzer Prize winners, three Nobel laureates, dozens of CEOs, and famous entertainers.
Undergraduate students may choose from more than 40 programs. At the graduate level, students may pursue degrees through the Geisel School of Medicine, the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, the Thayer School of Engineering, or the Tuck School of Business.
Around 6,500 students attend classes on the rural 269-acre campus. Dartmouth recognizes more than 200 student organizations, including the Dartmouth Formula Racing team, the collegiate newspaper, community service organizations, and several identity and ethnicity groups.
Dartmouth’s academic schedule is called D-Plan. D-Plan is a scheduling system that allows students to personalize their academic career with off-campus activities. Students have to be in residence during certain semesters, including fall and spring of their freshman and senior years. During the remaining semesters, learners can either complete additional on-campus study or pursue off-campus academics, internships, research, or study abroad.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Dartmouth #11 among the best universities in the country.
Dartmouth College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Merrimack, New Hampshire
A private Roman Catholic school, the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts sends every student to Rome for a semester abroad. The school is known for its Great Books core curriculum and focus on the Classics.
The smallest college on this list, Thomas More has a current student enrollment of only 92 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1. This makes for an average class size of 18, and the college maintains a policy that no class can have more than 20 students.
All students receive a bachelor of arts in liberal studies with an emphasis in their chosen major. Regardless of major, all students study the great works of Western literature, philosophy, and political science. In addition, all students receive an education in music and art.
On campus, students may participate in groups like the St. Joseph Woodworking Guild or the St. Luke Sacred Art Guild. The chapel conducts mass daily.
Potential students should take care not confuse the school with the Thomas More College in Kentucky.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton University is one of the preeminent Ivy League schools in the United States. Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it is one of only nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. Many famous names are associated with the university, including Jonathan Edwards, Woodrow Wilson, and Albert Einstein.
Princeton has a current enrollment of over 8,000 students, but admits fewer than 7% of applicants. Students receive financial aid to cover 100% of their demonstrated need. Approximately 61% of students receive financial aid and students typically graduate with less than $5,000 in debt.
The university currently offers undergraduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Unlike other Ivy League schools, Princeton does not have medical, law, divinity, or business schools. However, it does offer graduate degrees in public and international affairs, engineering and applied science, and architecture. The Princeton Theological Seminary and the Institute for Advanced Study are administratively independent from the main university.
The 500-acre campus is home to the Princeton University Art Museum, which contains pieces by Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Warhol. 99% of the student body lives on campus.
- U.S. New & World Report ranks Princeton University #1 among the best universities in the nation.
- Princeton University ranks #6 among the 100 best universities in the world today.
Princeton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Mahwah, New Jersey