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2022 Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools

714 Colleges in the United States
262,184 Associate Degrees
Liberal Arts is of the hottest associate degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #1 most popular major in the country. So, there are lots of possibilities to explore when you're trying to determine where you want to get your degree.

College Factual reviewed 714 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for associate degree seekers in the field of liberal arts. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 262,184 associate degrees in liberal arts during the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Choosing a Great Liberal Arts School for Your Associate Degree

Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools Your choice of liberal arts for getting your associate degree school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Overall Quality Is a Must

The overall quality of a associate degree school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. 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 13 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Other Factors We Consider

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

  • Major Focus - How many resources a school devotes to liberal arts students as compared to other majors.
  • Major Demand - How many other liberal arts students want to attend this school to pursue a associate degree.
  • Educational Resources - The amount of money and other resources allocated to students while they are pursuing their degree. These resources include such things as number of students per instructor and education expenditures per student.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized liberal arts related body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for liberal arts students working on their associate degree.

One Size Does Not Fit All

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

Best Schools for Associate Students to Study Liberal Arts in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities for pursuing an associate degree in liberal arts. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools for an Associate in Liberal Studies

#1

Broward College

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In FL
5,077 Annual Graduates

It's hard to beat Broward College if you want to pursue an associate degree in liberal arts. BC is a very large public college located in the medium-sized city of Fort Lauderdale. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #13 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means BC is a great college overall.

There were roughly 5077 liberal arts students who graduated with this degree at BC in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Broward College

#2

Palm Beach State College

Lake Worth, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In FL
3,907 Annual Graduates

Palm Beach State College is one of the best schools in the United States for getting an associate degree in liberal arts. Located in the suburb of Lake Worth, Palm Beach State College is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #14 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means Palm Beach State College is a great college overall.

There were roughly 3907 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Palm Beach State College in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Palm Beach State College

#3

Pasadena City College

Pasadena, CA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA
1,615 Annual Graduates

It is difficult to beat Pasadena City College if you want to pursue an associate degree in liberal arts. Pasadena City College is a fairly large public college located in the medium-sized city of Pasadena. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #11 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means Pasadena City College is a great college overall.

There were about 1615 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Pasadena City College in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Pasadena City College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In FL
3,253 Annual Graduates

It is hard to beat Hillsborough Community College if you wish to pursue an associate degree in liberal arts. HCC is a fairly large public college located in the large city of Tampa. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #20 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means HCC is a great college overall.

There were approximately 3253 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at HCC in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Hillsborough Community College

#5

Bellevue College

Bellevue, WA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
1,350 Annual Graduates

BC is a fairly large public college located in the city of Bellevue. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #32 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means BC is a great college overall.

There were approximately 1350 liberal arts students who graduated with this degree at BC in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Bellevue College

#6

Valencia College

Orlando, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In FL
7,122 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Orlando, Valencia College is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #19 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means Valencia College is a great college overall.

There were roughly 7122 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Valencia College in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Valencia College

#7

Los Angeles Pierce College

Woodland Hills, CA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CA
1,400 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Woodland Hills, Pierce College is a public college with a large student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #31 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means Pierce College is a great college overall.

There were approximately 1400 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Pierce College in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Los Angeles Pierce College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
13th Most Popular In FL
2,004 Annual Graduates

FSW is a large public college located in the large suburb of Fort Myers. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #38 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means FSW is a great college overall.

With 2004 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, Florida SouthWestern State College is one of the most popular colleges to study liberal studies in the United States.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Florida SouthWestern State College

#9

Providence College

Providence, RI
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In RI
1 Annual Graduates

Located in the midsize city of Providence, Providence is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #30 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means Providence is a great college overall.

There were roughly 1 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Providence in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Providence College

#10

Bergen Community College

Paramus, NJ
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NJ
1,691 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Paramus, Bergen Community College is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #39 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means Bergen Community College is a great college overall.

There were about 1691 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Bergen Community College in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Bergen Community College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In TX
1,640 Annual Graduates

Collin County Community College District is a very large public college located in the suburb of McKinney. This college ranks 4th out of 75 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Texas.

There were about 1640 liberal arts students who graduated with this degree at Collin County Community College District in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Collin County Community College District

#12

Lone Star College System

The Woodlands, TX
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
5,833 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of The Woodlands, North Harris Montgomery is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 3rd out of 75 schools for overall associate degree quality in the state of Texas.

There were roughly 5833 liberal arts students who graduated with this degree at North Harris Montgomery in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Lone Star College System

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In FL
1,957 Annual Graduates

Located in the small city of Sanford, Seminole State is a public college with a large student population. This college ranks 10th out of 60 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Florida.

Seminole State College of Florida is a fairly popular college to study liberal studies in the United States with about 1957 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Seminole State College of Florida

#14

New York University

New York, NY
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
38th Most Popular In NY
14 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #1 out of 1,539 colleges nationwide means NYU is a great university overall.

With 14 students who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, New York University is one of the most popular universities to study liberal studies in the United States.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from New York University

#15

Nassau Community College

Garden City, NY
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
17th Most Popular In NY
75 Annual Graduates

Located in the large suburb of Garden City, Nassau Community College is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 7th out of 78 schools for overall associate degree quality in the state of New York.

Nassau Community College is one of the most popular colleges to study liberal studies in the United States with approximately 75 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Nassau Community College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
25th Most Popular In NY
44 Annual Graduates

Located in the large suburb of Selden, Suffolk County Community College is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 11th out of 78 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of New York.

Suffolk County Community College is a fairly popular college to study liberal studies in the United States with roughly 44 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Suffolk County Community College

#17

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
11th Most Popular In FL
2,554 Annual Graduates

Tallahassee Community College is a large public college located in the medium-sized city of Tallahassee. This college ranks 8th out of 60 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Florida.

Tallahassee Community College is one of the most popular colleges to study liberal studies in the United States with about 2554 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Tallahassee Community College

#18

Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
79th Most Popular In CA
32 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Los Angeles, MSMU is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. A Best Associate Degree Schools rank of #28 out of 1,539 schools nationwide means MSMU is a great university overall.

Mount Saint Mary's University is one of the most popular universities to study liberal studies in the United States with approximately 32 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Mount Saint Mary’s University

#19

National University

La Jolla, CA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
98th Most Popular In CA
4 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of La Jolla, National University is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 13th out of 114 schools for overall associate degree quality in the state of California.

With 4 students who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, National University is one of the most popular universities to study liberal studies in the United States.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from National University

#20

Highline College

Des Moines, WA
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
10th Most Popular In WA
618 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Des Moines, Highline is a public college with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 2nd out of 38 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Washington.

Highline College is one of the most popular colleges to study liberal studies in the United States with about 618 graduations in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Highline College

#21

Indian River State College

Fort Pierce, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
12th Most Popular In FL
2,032 Annual Graduates

Indian River State College is a fairly large public college located in the large suburb of Fort Pierce. This college ranks 15th out of 60 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Florida.

Indian River State College is a fairly popular college to study liberal studies in the United States with approximately 2032 graduations in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Indian River State College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
28th Most Popular In FL
371 Annual Graduates

UCF is a very large public university located in the suburb of Orlando. This university ranks 7th out of 60 schools for overall associate degree quality in the state of Florida.

With 371 individuals who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, University of Central Florida is one of the most popular universities to study liberal studies in the United States.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from University of Central Florida

#23

San Antonio College

San Antonio, TX
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In TX
216 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of San Antonio, San Antonio College is a public college with a large student population. This college ranks 10th out of 75 schools for overall associate degree quality in the state of Texas.

There were approximately 216 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at San Antonio College in the most recent data year.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from San Antonio College

#24

Santa Fe College

Gainesville, FL
Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
10th Most Popular In FL
2,160 Annual Graduates

Santa Fe College is a large public college located in the suburb of Gainesville. This college ranks 11th out of 60 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of Florida.

Santa Fe College is one of the most popular colleges to study liberal studies in the United States with roughly 2160 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Santa Fe College

Associate Degree Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NC
1,353 Annual Graduates

Central Piedmont Community College is a fairly large public college located in the large city of Charlotte. This college ranks 4th out of 67 colleges for overall associate degree quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were approximately 1353 liberal arts individuals who graduated with this degree at Central Piedmont Community College in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a associate in liberal arts from Central Piedmont Community College

Rest of the Top 50 Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools

#26

Excelsior College

Albany, NY
#27

Northwest Vista College

San Antonio, TX
#31

Golden West College

Huntington Beach, CA

#32

Montgomery College

Rockville, MD

#35

Shoreline Community College

Shoreline, WA
#36

Vincennes University

Vincennes, IN
#37

Portland Community College

Portland, OR
#39

El Camino College

Torrance, CA
#40

Miami Dade College

Miami, FL

#41

Polk State College

Winter Haven, FL

#42

Johnson County Community College

Overland Park, KS
#43

Riverside City College

Riverside, CA
#44

St Petersburg College

Clearwater, FL
#45

College of Lake County

Grayslake, IL
#46

Chabot College

Hayward, CA
#49

College of Southern Nevada

Las Vegas, NV

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 714 different United States liberal arts schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Normandale Community College Bloomington, MN
51 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC
52 Howard Community College Columbia, MD
53 Los Angeles Harbor College Wilmington, CA
54 Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, NY
55 Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY
56 Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland, OH
57 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL
58 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
59 Columbia College Columbia, MO
60 St. Francis College Brooklyn Heights, NY
61 Queensborough Community College Bayside, NY
62 Central Texas College Killeen, TX
63 Cascadia College Bothell, WA
64 Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI
65 Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom Lakewood, WA
66 Elgin Community College Elgin, IL
67 Middlesex County College Edison, NJ
68 Macomb Community College Warren, MI
69 South Texas College McAllen, TX
70 Albertus Magnus College New Haven, CT
71 College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL
72 Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids, MN
73 Lincoln Land Community College Springfield, IL
74 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
75 Columbia Basin College Pasco, WA
76 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
77 Rockland Community College Suffern, NY
78 Palomar College San Marcos, CA
79 City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College Chicago, IL
80 Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD
81 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
82 Moreno Valley College Moreno Valley, CA
83 McLennan Community College Waco, TX
84 Pima Community College Tucson, AZ
85 Maria College of Albany Albany, NY
86 State College of Florida - Manatee - Sarasota Bradenton, FL
87 Southwest Tennessee Community College Memphis, TN
88 Community College of Rhode Island Warwick, RI
89 Winona State University Winona, MN
90 Santa Ana College Santa Ana, CA
91 Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH
92 St Cloud Technical and Community College Saint Cloud, MN
93 Triton College River Grove, IL
94 Grossmont College El Cajon, CA
95 Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey, FL
96 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
97 South Seattle College Seattle, WA
98 Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City, OK
99 Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM
100 Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City Kansas City, MO
101 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
102 Norco College Norco, CA
103 Seattle Central College Seattle, WA
104 Joliet Junior College Joliet, IL
105 Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, CA
106 Century College White Bear Lake, MN
107 University of North Georgia Dahlonega, GA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
108 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
109 Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI
110 Motlow State Community College Tullahoma, TN
111 Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights, MN
112 Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
113 Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ
114 Front Range Community College Westminster, CO
115 Lake-Sumter State College Leesburg, FL
116 Florida Gateway College Lake City, FL
117 College of Southern Maryland La Plata, MD
118 Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI
119 Aims Community College Greeley, CO
120 Glendale Community College Glendale, AZ
121 Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills, IL
122 Georgia Highlands College Rome, GA
123 Tacoma Community College Tacoma, WA
124 City Colleges of Chicago - Wilbur Wright College Chicago, IL
125 Pensacola State College Pensacola, FL
126 Windward Community College Kaneohe, HI
127 North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park, MN
128 South Florida State College Avon Park, FL
129 Leeward Community College Pearl City, HI
130 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC
131 Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CA
132 Delta College University Center, MI
133 Community College of Aurora Aurora, CO
134 Illinois Central College East Peoria, IL
135 Estrella Mountain Community College Avondale, AZ
136 Chemeketa Community College Salem, OR
137 Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA
138 Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN
139 Massachusetts Bay Community College Wellesley Hills, MA
140 Kapiolani Community College Honolulu, HI
141 Rock Valley College Rockford, IL
142 Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls, MN

Liberal Arts by Region

View the Best Liberal Arts Associate Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

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

View All Rankings >

Liberal Arts is one of 3 different types of Liberal Arts General Studies programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Liberal Studies

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Studies 101,847
Humanities 21,210
Individualized Studies 18,124

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). More about our data sources and methodologies.

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