dcsimg



Schools in the USA

Liberal Arts College Rankings

In the US, a whole industry has arisen focused on the ranking of universities and colleges, with the majority of these rankings focused on bachelor's and master's degree programs. There are two main types of rankings: rankings of institutions and of programs in particular fields.

National and international organizations such as US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, The Washington Monthly, BusinessWeek and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) based in Shanghai, China, regularly publish general rankings designed to identify the "best" graduate and undergraduate institutions, regardless of institution type, according to quality and value. In some cases, however, universities and colleges are also ranked according to their institution type: for example, US News & World Report has a separate ranking category for liberal arts colleges.

The other type of ranking--of programs--looks at and compares the individual programs of various colleges and universities. Given that liberal arts colleges offer a wide range of programs, these are also relevant to your search for liberal arts college rankings. The most commonly ranked programs are business and engineering, and these have rankings in additional publications, such as Forbes, Financial Times and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. But there are many more programs offered at liberal arts colleges for which you can also find rankings in the publications that rank institutions.

Another source of information for liberal arts college program ranking is professional associations: these organizations sometimes publish online reports of student surveys on various schools and programs, which provide still more school or program "rankings." These associations (for example the College Art Association, or CAA) often offer awards and honors for teaching excellence, and looking at who they have honored can also be used to supplement your 'ranking' of schools. As well, schools and programs are often specifically ranked each year by their respective industry-specific journals. Less "official" rankings can also be found in student-based resources like StudentsReview, and you may want to scan journals and websites specifically about liberal arts education in America (such as Collegenews.org) to see which schools are mentioned and what is said about them. This kind of news may not be ranking per se, but the information is yours to use and interpret.

Each of these sources, however, uses its own particular set of criteria for ranking schools and programs. In the case of the controversial Gourman Report (which looks at undergrad programs in all fields), the author specifically refuses to disclose his methodology. How then should all these rankings be interpreted?

First, the ranking reports often come with detailed data to support conclusions, and while data collection may be criticized, the editors of these reports usually make an effort to ensure that statistics are comparable. So the reports can be used by you to compare liberal arts colleges on the basis of the data provided.

Second, the statistics that come from the rankings can also suggest topics that need to be studied in more detail. For instance, if a school has a high acceptance rate, high tuition fees but a low graduation rate, you may want to ask why.

All US college rankings have one other thing in common: they are a list of institutions and schools. Scanning the list might suggest a school that you had not considered or perhaps even heard of. Used this way, the rankings can help expand your list of liberal arts colleges that can then be researched in more detail.

However, you should never judge based on rankings alone. Rankings are important, but there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Schools that are less prominent may have a program that suits your needs better than any nationally ranked schools. Lesser known regional colleges can also be a good choice if you wish to remain close to home during your studies. Often times, these schools have the strongest relationships with local industries and employers. Once you have accumulated this information, you can create your own liberal arts college rankings.
 



Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Grand Canyon University
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
Programs Offered:
  • B.A. in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design
  • B.A. in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Work
  • And more...

 
Ashford University

Technology changes everything®

You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you

Programs Offered:
  • BA/Journalism and Mass Communication
  • BA/Applied Linguistics
  • BA/Liberal Arts
  • And more...

 
California University of Pennsylvania

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

Programs Offered:
  • Liberal Studies (Bachelor of Arts) - Online
  • Science and Technology Multidisciplinary Studies (Bachelor of Science) - Online
  • Conflict Resolution (Master of Arts) - Online

 
Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts: Professional Writing
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
  • MA: Interdisciplinary Studies
  • And more...

 
Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Liberal Arts (BA)

 
Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

Programs Offered:
  • BS - Interdisciplinary Professional Studies
  • BS - Applied Social Sciences

 
George Mason University

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Programs Offered:
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.