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2021 Best Colleges for Liberal Arts General Studies

Approximately 458,511 liberal arts general studies degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. 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 25 colleges 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 colleges 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 colleges on this list typically translates into above 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 complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Liberal Arts General Studies students.

Best Schools to Study Liberal Arts General Studies in 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. Of the 306 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Liberal Arts Colleges

#1

Bentley University

Waltham, MA

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

There are approximately 86 liberal arts general studies undergrads studying this degree at Bentley. Liberal Arts General Studies students from Bentley University receive an earnings boost of around $18,076 over the average income of liberal arts general studies graduates.

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#2

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

Any student who is interested in liberal arts general studies has to take a look at DePaul University. DePaul is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Chicago. This college ranks 270th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There are roughly 311 liberal arts general studies undergrads enrolled in this program at DePaul. Liberal Arts General Studies majors from DePaul University get a earnings boost of about $18,276 above the typical earnings of liberal arts general studies graduates.

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Southern Methodist University is one of the finest schools in the country for liberal arts general studies. Located in the large suburb Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 114 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means SMU is a great college 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. Graduates of the liberal arts program make about $39,100 in the first couple years of their career.

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Brigham Young University - Provo is a great choice for individuals pursuing a Liberal Arts General Studies degree. Located in the medium-sized city Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly 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 undergraduates enrolled in this degree at BYU. Graduates from the liberal arts general studies major at Brigham Young University - Provo earn $12,476 above the average graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#5

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the city New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly 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. Graduates of the liberal arts program make an average of $34,100 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the large city Austin, UT Austin is a public school 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 preferred choice for liberal arts general studies undergraduates, there are roughly 214 individuals enrolled in this degree at UT Austin. Grads of the liberal arts program state that they receive average early career income 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 graduating, liberal arts students generally earn about $37,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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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 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 73 students enrolled in this degree at SMC. Graduates of the liberal arts program earn about $41,000 in their early career salary.

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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 suburb of Annapolis. This school 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 graduation, liberal arts students typically make around $22,300 in their early careers.

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#10

Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, CA

Located in the suburb Aliso Viejo, Soka University is a private not-for-profit college with a 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 undergraduates, Soka University of America is one of most popular colleges to study liberal arts in United States. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn around $25,600 in the first couple years of working.

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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 college 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 about $37,400 in their early career salary.

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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 small student population. This college ranks 148th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are approximately 83 learners studying this degree at TAC. After graduating, liberal arts students generally earn around $27,100 in their early careers.

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#13

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

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

There are about 337 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at GMU. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn an average of $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 large city of Philadelphia. This college ranks 225th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A favorite major for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 24 students enrolled in this degree at St. Joe's. Graduates from the liberal arts general studies major at Saint Joseph's University earn $6,276 more than the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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#15

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Located in the city Cincinnati, Xavier is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 313th out of 1,715 colleges 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 students make $5,276 more than the typical liberal arts graduate.

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Located in the distant 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 choice for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are about 17 learners enrolled in this program 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 colleges 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 earn about $37,400 in the first couple years of working.

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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 school 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 preferred major for liberal arts general studies undergrads, there are approximately 30 learners studying this degree at Union College Schenectady. Students who graduate from the liberal arts program earn an average of $35,300 in their early career salary.

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#19

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

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

There are about 65 liberal arts general studies undergraduates studying this degree at Drexel. Drexel University liberal arts general studies majors receive $2,076 more than the typical liberal arts graduate.

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

There are about 136 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UCONN. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, 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 medium-sized city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 145 out of 1,715 schools 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 about $40,600 in their early career salary.

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#22

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

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

There are approximately 194 liberal arts general studies undergraduates studying this program at Iowa. Grads of the liberal arts program report average early career earnings of $36,100.

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#23

Belmont University

Nashville, TN

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

A popular choice for liberal arts general studies undergraduates, there are about 26 students enrolled in this degree at Belmont. Belmont University liberal arts general studies graduates earn $4,076 more than the typical liberal arts grad.

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#24

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

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

There are about 39 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Notre Dame. Soon after graduating, liberal arts students typically earn around $33,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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

There are roughly 98 liberal arts general studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at ASU - Polytechnic. Arizona State University - Polytechnic liberal arts general studies graduates earn $5,976 more than the typical 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

Here are some additional great schools for Liberal Arts students that almost earned our 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
The 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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Jacques Sablet (Switzerland, Morges, 1749-1803). More about our data sources and methodologies.

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