The 10 Liberal Arts Colleges In The US

Which are the top liberal arts colleges in the United States? Liberal Arts education is one of the most adored in the country. Every year, there is an increase in the number of students applying for these schools but what makes them so special? 

Liberal Arts schools are selective hence gaining admission to study there is easier said than done. As a result, these educational establishments also have a small student population hence there is more chance for resource access, scholarship opportunities, and strong faculty-to-student relationship, among others.

Even so, these schools have a low population of graduate students thus undergraduate students are given more and proper attention as they try to build up their foundations. 

Nevertheless, listed below are the 10 best liberal arts colleges in the U.S.

Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges

Williams CollegeWilliamstown, Massachusetts1
Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore, Pennsylvania2
Amherst CollegeAmherst, Massachusetts3
Claremont Colleges Claremont, California4*
Bowdoin CollegeBrunswick, Maine4*
Wellesley CollegeWellesley, Massasschusetts6*
Washington & LeeWashington6*
Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury6*
Carleton CollegeNorthfield, Minnesota9*
College of the Holy CrossHoly Cross9*

10. College of the Holy Cross

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts 

The first academic institution to feature on the list of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States is the College of the Holy Cross. This Catholic-affiliated school offers liberal arts education that is characterized by hands-on experience and the students are guided by experienced faculty members.

This New England-based school offers the Montserrat Program which is aimed at introducing undergraduate scholars to interdisciplinary learning through seminars and conversations. Students are also free to choose the seminars based on their choices and this would not affect their programs of study in any way.

Even so, the school is rated high when it comes to social life and the majority of its students participate in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a voluntary program that reaches out to the locals.

9. Carleton College

Location: Northfield, Minnesota 

Located in the growing city of Northfield, Minnesota Carleton College is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States.  It has one of the lowest acceptance rates on the list as only one-fourth of its applicants are accepted.

Also ranked among the best schools in the U.S., this prestigious academic institution has produced several successful alumni and is home to a good number of students with brains. Between 2000-2016, more than 300 of the school’s alumni have won top fellowships, especially Goldwater Scholars.

Usually, the norm is that many liberal arts colleges in the United States rarely offer postgraduate studies. However, Carleton college is home to several graduate programs hence can be an ideal choice for those who want to advance in their fields of study. 

8. Middlebury College

Location: Middlebury, Vermont 

Middlebury College offers one of the best liberal arts education in the United States. This prestigious educational establishment is known for being the first school to grant a bachelor’s degree to a black man and this happened in 1823. 

Even so, the liberal arts college has an acceptance rate of 16% hence its admission is tough and selective. The school is also home to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies which is a Centre for language learning among other international laws and systems.

Campus-wise, the academic institution might not be one of the largest but it is surely among the most beautiful in the country. Moreover, many alumni and students have demonstrated love through donations to the school. 

7. Washington & Lee

Location: Lexington City, Vancouver 

Located in the beautiful and cultural city of Lexington City, Vancouver, Washington & Lee is one of the best liberal arts education service providers in the United States. As a stellar college, the school is heavily funded hence can rightly be tagged as one of the richest of its kinds in the country.

Just like most other liberal arts colleges, the school offers mostly undergraduate programs. But, it also features a law graduate program that is highly regarded by many.  The prominent American educational establishment is also characterized by a small student population hence there is room for small-class learning. This goes a long way in fostering faculty-to-student relationships.

6. Wellesley College

Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts 

As the only women-exclusive liberal arts college on the list, Wellesley College is a top academic institution in the United States. The school is part of the 7 Sisters Colleges and has produced several successful women including Hillary Clinton and Diane Sawyer.

Even so, this liberal arts college houses Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) which is a center for education publication, mental health, scholarship opportunities, and other subject matters that can be of help to women in general.

This prestigious American Institution also allows its students to enroll in a program at other academic establishments in New England. It is the only school to offer such a unique program on the list and among the few in the entire country.

5. Bowdoin College

Location: Bowdoin, ME

Coming in next on the list, Bowdoin College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. The prestige academic service provider has graduated several alumni who have moved on to become successful. 

The performing school is also home to a strong faculty with members having garnered years of experience in the field. Even so, many sources do consider this school as part of the ivy league and this has played a positive part in the school’s remarkable development over the years.

Additionally, the academic institution is ranked high when it comes to social life – the outing club which is the biggest student-led organization in the country allows students to have recreation hence bridging the gap between study and fun.

4. Claremont Colleges 

Location: Claremont, California 

Coming in among the top four best liberal arts colleges in the United States, Claremont Colleges is one of the best school leagues in the country. As a consortium, these schools are individually made of Pitzer, Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pomona.

Interestingly, they all seem to offer the same quality of education. Coupled with a low acceptance rate, these schools are highly sought-after in the country. 

Additionally, Panoma is known for offering an excellent undergraduate education; Pitzer has the bragging rights when it comes to social sciences, while the trio of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Scripps combines to form a competitive athletic team.

3. Amherst College 

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts 

Coming in as third (3rd) on the list, Amherst College is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. Located in the beautiful and booming city of Amherst, Massachusetts the prestige education service provider has an acceptance rate of 14% hence is highly selective and competitive.

One of the outstanding features of the school is its no-loan policy which restricts beneficiaries of financial aid schemes from paying tuition fees. More so, the notorious educational establishment offers an assortment of academic programs with over 800 courses having an open curriculum. 

Moreover, more than 33% of scholars take on a dual major and the school has partnered with other academic establishments in the country to provide students with a wide range of learning opportunities.

2. Swarthmore College 

Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Located in the city of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Swarthmore College is the second-best liberal arts college in the United States. With an acceptance rate of 9.5%, the higher academic institution is one of the most competitive (admission-wise) of its kind in the country.

Even so, the notorious school has graduated many successful alumni who have won several awards including Nobel Prize winners and MacArthur Fellows. The institution is also dubbed as an ivy league class as it has ranked well in several sources including the US News and Niche. 

The school is also home to excellent undergraduate liberal arts programs hence it is obvious why a majority continue and complete their postgraduate studies.

1. Williams College

Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts 

Topping the list, Williams College is the best liberal arts college in the United States. Located in the growing and booming City of Williamstown, Massachusetts the prestigious American higher educational establishment is one of the oldest institutions on the list yet among one of the richest when it comes to state-of-the-art facilities.

The school is home to a Unified Science Center housing lab spaces, a Centre for Theatre and Dance, a Paresky center (services unit for scholars), and a loaded science library.  Moreover, the school also offers an opportunity for its students to increase their studying scopes through an affiliation with Oxford College in England in what is known as the Williams-Exeter program.

Here, a total of 26 scholars are chosen and allowed to study in Great Britain. Besides, the prominent academic establishment is one of the richest liberal arts colleges in the country. The school has received an endowment that is tilting towards $2.7 billion and this is coupled with a student population that is less than 3k. 

Additionally, the prestigious academic institution is home to a reputable faculty with members having garnered years of experience. This is one of the reasons why a majority of the school’s graduates go on to become successful in their respective fields of study.


This article deals with the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.

Choosing between a liberal arts college and a university is a personal decision that should be made after extensive thought and research. All of these top liberal arts colleges deliver high-quality, well-rounded education.

To determine if a liberal arts college is right for you, examine each college with your primary goals in mind. Think about the differences in environment and culture, location, and cost. If you can visit the college, you’ll get an even better feeling of campus life and culture.

While name and prestige are factors in choosing a college, it’s better to choose one based on your personal interests, goals, and expectations

Hope it helps?

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