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2021 Best Colleges for Area Studies

Approximately 6,583 area studies degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Area Studies ranking analyzed 47 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in area studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Area Studies students.

Choosing a Great Area Studies School

Best Colleges for Area Studies Your choice of area studies school matters. Important measures of a quality area studies program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 7% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 5%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 72 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

Area Studies graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average area studies bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $32,162, graduates of colleges on this list average $41,743.

Starting Salary  ( 33254 to 45145 )
$0
$52,000

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Area Studies students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other area studies students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized area studies related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Area Studies students.

Best Schools to Study Area Studies in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for area studies majors.

Top 10 Best Area Studies Colleges

#1

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Any student pursuing a degree in area studies has to check out Yale University. Yale is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New Haven. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Yale is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Yale also offers 2 different higher degree levels in area studies, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Area Studies graduates from Yale University receive an earnings boost of around $2,768 above the typical earnings of area studies graduates.

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#2

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Any student pursuing a degree in area studies needs to check out Dartmouth College. Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the remote town of Hanover. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There are roughly 33 area studies undergraduates studying this degree at Dartmouth. Students from the area studies major at Dartmouth College get $15,568 above the average college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#3

Brown University

Providence, RI

Every student who is interested in area studies has to look into Brown University. Located in the midsize city Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Brown is a great college overall.

There are about 121 area studies undergrads enrolled in this program at Brown. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career wages of $37,000.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is a great option for individuals pursuing a Area Studies major. Columbia is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This college ranks 32nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Columbia offers a Master's Degree in area studies. Area Studies majors from Columbia University in the City of New York receive an earnings boost of approximately $4,868 over the average earnings of area studies majors.

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Located in the medium-sized city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in area studies, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Graduates of the area studies program state that they receive average early career wages of $37,400.

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Located in the large city Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. This college ranks 115th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

For those interested in something more advanced, GWU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in area studies, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. George Washington University area studies majors receive $11,568 more than the standard area studies graduate.

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#7

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Brandeis is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Waltham. This school ranks 75th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are approximately 67 area studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Brandeis. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, area studies students generally make about $37,300 at the beginning of their careers.

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#8

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Atlanta. This college ranks 34th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There are approximately 50 area studies undergrads studying this degree at Emory. Emory University area studies graduates make $4,568 more than the typical area studies grad.

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#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

With 59 students enrolled, Cornell University is one of most popular colleges to study area studies in United States. Cornell University area studies students receive $4,368 more than the typical area studies grad.

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Located in the large city Los Angeles, UCLA is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 65th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 127 undergraduates, University of California - Los Angeles is one of most popular schools to study area studies in United States. Students who graduate from the area studies program make around $28,900 in their early career salary.

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Area Studies by Region

View the Best Colleges for Area Studies for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 1 majors within the Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies area of study, Area Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Area Studies

Related Major Annual Graduates
Ethnic Studies 9,432

View All Area Studies Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Karl Udo Gerth. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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