Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities

2021 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

284 Colleges
45,514 Bachelor's Degrees
$33,000 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsLiberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities is the #14th most popular major in the country with 45,514 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

This year's Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking analyzed 284 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in liberal arts / sciences and humanities. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent liberal arts / sciences and humanities programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

To come up with these rankings, we looked at factors such as affordability, and overall quality of the liberal arts / sciences and humanities program at the school. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

One Size Does Not Fit All

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students list to help you make the college decision.

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.

2021 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students.

Top 25 Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

Excelsior College tops the 2021 list of our schools in the United States that are best for non-traditional liberal arts / sciences and humanities students. Located in the city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

About 4.3% of Excelsior College students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. All 30,008 students take classes exclusively online at Excelsior College. All students are part time. Excelsior College does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#2

Charter Oak State College

New Britain, CT

Our rankings recognize Charter Oak State College as the #2 school in this year's rankings. Charter Oak State College is a small public school located in the large suburb of New Britain.

About 7.5% of Charter Oak State College students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. All 1,641 students take classes exclusively online at Charter Oak State College. 1,338 of Charter Oak State College students are attending part time. Charter Oak State College does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#3

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

The #3 spot in this year's ranking belongs to DePaul University. Located in the large city of Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. DePaul did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

The student loan default rate at DePaul is lower than is typical, just 4.1% of students default in three years. Approximately 4,606 students take at least one class online at DePaul. About 4,252 of the students at DePaul are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at DePaul University Report

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Thomas Edison State University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Trenton, TESU is a public school with a large student population.

About 7.1% of TESU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 10,836 students at TESU are exclusively online. There are roughly 10,836 part time students in attendance at TESU. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large suburb of Teaneck, FDU is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, FDU also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities ranking.

About 7.6% of FDU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 948 students at FDU that take at least one class online. 5,069 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Report

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The Evergreen State College landed the #6 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. Evergreen is a small public school located in the medium-sized suburb of Olympia. Evergreen also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list. It's in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

354 of Evergreen students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Notre Dame of Maryland University landed the #7 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Baltimore, NDMU is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, NDMU is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.8%. There are approximately 381 students at NDMU that take at least one class online. About 1,418 of the students at NDMU are attending part time. NDMU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Notre Dame of Maryland University Report

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#8

Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX

The #8 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Wayland Baptist University. Located in the remote town of Plainview, Wayland Baptist University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

About 7.0% of Wayland Baptist University students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 1,400 of Wayland Baptist University students are exclusively distance learners. About 3,490 of the students at Wayland Baptist University are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#9

University of Bridgeport

Bridgeport, CT

University of Bridgeport landed the #9 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. UBridgeport is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Bridgeport.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 8.3%. There are approximately 1,016 students at UBridgeport that take at least one class online. About 2,081 of the students at UBridgeport are attending part time.

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#10

St. John's College

Santa Fe, NM

St. John's College earned the #10 spot in our 2021 rankings. St. John's is a small private not-for-profit school located in the rural area of Santa Fe. St. John's also took the #6 spot in our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities rankings.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.8%. There are roughly 21 part time students in attendance at St. John’s.

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University of Oklahoma Norman Campus landed the #11 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. University of Oklahoma is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Norman. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, University of Oklahoma is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

About 4.8% of University of Oklahoma students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 6,868 students take at least one class online at University of Oklahoma. 6,505 of University of Oklahoma students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Southern New Hampshire University comes in at #12 in this year's ranking. SNHU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized suburb of Manchester.

96,912 students at SNHU are exclusively online. 74,621 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#13

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University landed the #13 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. GMU is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Fairfax. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, GMU is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.1%. There are approximately 10,589 students at GMU that take at least one class online. About 11,606 of the students at GMU are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#14

The King's College

New York, NY

The #14 spot in this year's ranking belongs to The King's College. TKC is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York. TKC did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #8 on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

About 4.8% of TKC students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 56 students at TKC that take at least one class online. 19 of TKC students are attending part time.

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#15

Columbia College

Columbia, MO

The #15 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Columbia College. Located in the midsize city of Columbia, Columbia College Missouri is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

7,023 students at Columbia College Missouri are exclusively online. 7,512 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Fort Hays State University comes in at #16 in this year's ranking. Located in the town of Hays, FHSU is a public college with a large student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 6.5%. 11,012 of FHSU students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 9,065 part time students in attendance at FHSU. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#17

New York University

New York, NY

The #17 spot in this year's ranking belongs to New York University. Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. NYU also took the #9 spot in our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities rankings.

About 2.2% of NYU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 2,264 students take at least one class online at NYU. There are roughly 8,707 part time students in attendance at NYU.

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West Virginia University at Parkersburg landed the #18 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. West Virginia University at Parkersburg is a small public school located in the suburb of Parkersburg.

Approximately 786 students take at least one class online at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. About 996 of the students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#19

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Our rankings recognize Brandman University as the #19 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Irvine, Brandman is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

The student loan default rate at Brandman is lower than is typical, just 5.2% of students default in three years. 6,199 of Brandman students are exclusively distance learners. 5,521 of Brandman students are attending part time. Brandman does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #20 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Brigham Young University - Provo. Located in the midsize city of Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, BYU also did well on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list. It's in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.5%. Approximately 6,522 students take at least one class online at BYU. About 4,337 of the students at BYU are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The #21 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Saint Mary's College of California. Located in the suburb of Moraga, SMC is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, SMC is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.5%. 685 of SMC students are attending part time. SMC does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#22

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

The #22 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Saint Joseph's University. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, St. Joe's is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. St. Joe's excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

About 3.6% of St. Joe’s students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 2,074 of St. Joe’s students are exclusively distance learners. About 2,816 of the students at St. Joe’s are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Saint Joseph’s University Report

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#23

Longwood University

Farmville, VA

Longwood University earned the #23 spot in our 2021 rankings. Longwood is a small public school located in the town of Farmville. Longwood excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

About 4.2% of Longwood students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 303 students at Longwood are exclusively online. 982 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Texas Woman's University comes in at #24 in this year's ranking. TWU is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Denton.

About 6.6% of TWU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 5,206 students at TWU that take at least one class online. 6,517 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Texas Woman’s University Report

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Southern Methodist University landed the #25 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large suburb of Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. SMU excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities list.

About 2.7% of SMU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 603 students at SMU that take at least one class online. About 2,754 of the students at SMU are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Rest of the Top Schools for Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

#26

Neumann University

Aston, PA
#27

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH
#30

Goddard College

Plainfield, VT
#31

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
#32

Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ

#36

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA
#37

Bay Path University

Longmeadow, MA
#39

Westfield State University

Westfield, MA
#40

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for non-traditional students studying Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities that almost earned our Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
43 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX
44 Oakland University Rochester Hills, MI
45 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
46 University of North Texas Denton, TX
47 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus Portales, NM
48 Adams State University Alamosa, CO
49 Johnson State College Johnson, VT
50 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
51 Governors State University University Park, IL
52 University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City, MO
53 Belmont University Nashville, TN
54 Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN
55 California State University - Monterey Bay Seaside, CA
56 Florida International University Miami, FL

Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities schools in a specific region near you.

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

Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts General Studies 458,966

View All Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Visual & Performing Arts 133,923
English Language & Literature 55,609
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 31,173
Theology & Religious Vocations 29,245
Philosophy & Religious Studies 15,993

View All Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • 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).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • 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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