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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 choices it can be difficult finding the best fit for you. 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 schools 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 colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average area studies bachelors degree from U.S. schools 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 full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Area Studies students.

More Ways to Rank Area Studies Schools

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Area Studies Schools list, to help you choose the best school for you.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

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 who is interested in area studies has to take a look at Yale University. Located in the medium-sized city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

There were approximately 107 area studies students who graduated from this program at Yale in the most recent year we have data available. Area Studies students from Yale University earn a boost of around $2,768 above the average earnings of area studies majors.

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#2

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

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

There were roughly 33 area studies students who graduated from this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent year we have data available. Area Studies students from Dartmouth College get an earnings boost of around $15,568 above the typical earnings of area studies graduates.

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#3

Brown University

Providence, RI

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

There were about 121 area studies individuals who graduated from this degree at Brown in the most recent data year. Graduates of the area studies 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 choice for individuals interested in a Area Studies degree. Columbia is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of New York. This university ranks 32nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were about 119 area studies individuals who graduated from this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the area studies major at Columbia University in the City of New York earn $4,868 more than the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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Located in the midsize city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a very large student population. This university 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. Students who complete this degree report average early career earnings of $37,400.

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GWU is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Washington. This university ranks 115th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were roughly 30 area studies individuals who graduated from this program at GWU in the most recent year we have data available. George Washington University area studies majors receive $11,568 more than the standard area studies student.

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#7

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

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

For those interested in something more advanced, Brandeis also offers 2 different higher degree levels in area studies, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, area studies students generally make around $37,300 at the beginning of their careers.

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#8

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Located in the city of Atlanta, Emory is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 34th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There were approximately 50 area studies students who graduated from this program at Emory in the most recent year we have data available. Area Studies majors from Emory University earn a boost of around $4,568 over the average earnings of area studies majors.

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#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the small city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

Cornell University is one of the most popular universities to study area studies in the United States with approximately 59 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the area studies degree program at Cornell University make $4,368 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, UCLA also offers a Master's Degrees in area studies. Graduates of the area studies program earn about $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 6,958

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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