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2021 Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies

Approximately 458,511 liberal arts general studies degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies ranking analyzed 306 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in liberal arts general studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Liberal Arts General Studies students.

Choosing a Great Liberal Arts General Studies School

Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies The liberal arts program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality liberal arts 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 vast majority of the schools on this list are in at least the top 18% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 272 to 23 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A liberal arts general studies degree from schools on this list typically translates into higher than average wages after graduation. While the average liberal arts general studies bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $30,751, graduates of colleges on this list average $39,324.

Starting Salary  ( 29170 to 46029 )
$0
$57,600

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 Liberal Arts General Studies students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other liberal arts general studies students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized liberal arts general studies related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies students.

Best Schools to Study Liberal Arts General Studies in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study liberal arts general studies. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Liberal Arts Colleges

#1

Bentley University

Waltham, MA

Bentley University is a wonderful decision for individuals pursuing a Liberal Arts General Studies major. Located in the city Waltham, Bentley is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 63 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Bentley is a great college overall.

There are about 86 liberal arts general studies undergraduates studying this program at Bentley. Liberal Arts General Studies students from Bentley University get a earnings boost of around $18,076 over the typical earnings of liberal arts general studies graduates.

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#2

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

Every student pursuing a degree in liberal arts general studies has to check out DePaul University. DePaul is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago. This college ranks 270th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There are approximately 311 liberal arts general studies undergrads studying this program at DePaul. Liberal Arts General Studies graduates from DePaul University earn a boost of around $18,276 over the typical income of liberal arts general studies majors.

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Southern Methodist University is one of the best schools in the United States for liberal arts general studies. Located in the large suburb Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 114 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means SMU is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, SMU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in liberal arts general studies, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program make about $39,100 for their early career.

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Brigham Young University - Provo is a wonderful decision for individuals pursuing a Liberal Arts General Studies major. Located in the midsize city Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 109 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means BYU is a great school overall.

There are roughly 35 liberal arts general studies undergrads enrolled in this program at BYU. Students from the liberal arts general studies program at Brigham Young University - Provo earn $12,476 above the typical college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#5

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the large city New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 130 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means NYU is a great college overall.

NYU offers liberal arts general studies degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Master's. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn around $34,100 in their early career salary.

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Located in the large city Austin, UT Austin is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 91 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UT Austin is a great school overall.

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are approximately 214 individuals studying this program at UT Austin. Graduates of the liberal arts program report average early career wages of $37,600.

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Located in the midsize suburb Norman, University of Oklahoma is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 266th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Oklahoma.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, University of Oklahoma also offers a Master's Degree in liberal arts general studies. After graduation, liberal arts students generally make an average of $37,200 in the first five years of their career.

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SMC is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Moraga. This school ranks 261st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A favorite major for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are roughly 73 individuals studying this program at SMC. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn about $41,000 in the first couple years of their career.

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#9

St John's College

Annapolis, MD

St. John's Annapolis is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Annapolis. This college ranks 165th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, St. John's Annapolis offers a Master's Degree in liberal arts general studies. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, liberal arts students usually make an average of $22,300 at the beginning of their careers.

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#10

Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, CA

Located in the large suburb Aliso Viejo, Soka University is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 98 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Soka University is a great school overall.

With 118 undergrads, Soka University of America is one of most popular colleges to study liberal arts in United States. Graduates of the liberal arts program earn about $25,600 for their early career.

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#11

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Villanova. A Best Colleges rank of 78 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Villanova is a great school overall.

Villanova offers liberal arts general studies degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Master's. Graduates of the liberal arts program earn an average of $37,400 in the first couple years of working.

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#12

Thomas Aquinas College

Santa Paula, CA

Located in the rural area Santa Paula, TAC is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population. This school ranks 148th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A favorite choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 83 learners studying this program at TAC. After graduation, liberal arts students generally make about $27,100 in their early careers.

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#13

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

Located in the suburb Fairfax, GMU is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 271st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There are about 337 liberal arts general studies undergraduates studying this degree at GMU. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn about $34,900 in the first couple years of their career.

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#14

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

St. Joe's is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. This school ranks 225th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 24 learners studying this degree at St. Joe's. Graduates from the liberal arts general studies major at Saint Joseph's University make $6,276 above the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#15

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Located in the city Cincinnati, Xavier is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 313th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

For those interested in shorter degree, Xavier also offers a Associate's Degree in liberal arts general studies. Xavier University liberal arts general studies majors make $5,276 more than the average liberal arts graduate.

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Located in the town Geneva, The Colleges is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 116 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means The Colleges is a great college overall.

A favorite major for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are roughly 17 learners studying this degree at The Colleges. Graduates of the liberal arts program state that they receive average early career wages of $40,300.

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USF Tampa is a fairly large public school located in the city of Tampa. This college ranks 218th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

USF Tampa offers liberal arts general studies degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Master's. Graduates of the liberal arts program make about $37,400 for their early career.

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#18

Union College New York

Schenectady, NY

Located in the small city Schenectady, Union College Schenectady is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 43 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Union College Schenectady is a great college overall.

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergraduates, there are roughly 30 learners enrolled in this program at Union College Schenectady. Graduates of the liberal arts program make around $35,300 for their early career.

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#19

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Located in the city Philadelphia, Drexel is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 186th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are approximately 65 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Drexel. Drexel University liberal arts general studies students earn $2,076 more than the standard liberal arts grad.

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UCONN is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Storrs. A Best Colleges rank of 104 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UCONN is a great school overall.

There are approximately 136 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at UCONN. Soon after graduation, liberal arts students typically make an average of $36,800 in the first five years of their career.

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#21

Providence College

Providence, RI

Providence is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 145 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Providence is a great school overall.

For those interested in shorter degree, Providence also offers a Associate's Degree in liberal arts general studies. Graduates of the liberal arts program earn an average of $40,600 for their early career.

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#22

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Iowa is a very large public school located in the small city of Iowa City. This college ranks 190th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Iowa.

There are roughly 194 liberal arts general studies undergraduates studying this degree at Iowa. Grads of the liberal arts program state that they receive average early career earnings of $36,100.

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#23

Belmont University

Nashville, TN

Located in the city Nashville, Belmont is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 324th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

A preferred major for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 26 students studying this degree at Belmont. Belmont University liberal arts general studies students make $4,076 more than the average liberal arts graduate.

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#24

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Notre Dame is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Notre Dame. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Notre Dame is a great college overall.

There are roughly 39 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at Notre Dame. After getting their bachelor's degree, liberal arts students typically earn around $33,200 in the first five years of their career.

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ASU - Polytechnic is a moderately-sized public school located in the city of Mesa. This college ranks 616th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

There are approximately 98 liberal arts general studies undergrads studying this program at ASU - Polytechnic. Arizona State University - Polytechnic liberal arts general studies majors make $5,976 more than the average liberal arts student.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies

#26

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA
#29

The King's College

New York, NY
#30

William Jewell College

Liberty, MO
#31

Longwood University

Farmville, VA
#33

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
#35

St. John's College

Santa Fe, NM
#37

Union University

Jackson, TN
#38

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS
#40

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#42

Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ
#45

Sarah Lawrence College

Bronxville, NY

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 Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies award.

Rank College Location
46 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
47 Iowa State University Ames, IA
48 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
49 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
50 Simpson College Indianola, IA
51 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
52 University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City, MO
53 Oakland University Rochester Hills, MI
54 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
55 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
56 Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater, OK
57 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
58 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
59 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
60 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
61 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX

Liberal Arts General Studies by Region

View the Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General 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 0 majors within the Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities area of study, Liberal Arts General Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.

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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