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
Ashford University
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Programs Offered:
  • BA/Journalism and Mass Communication
  • BA/Applied Linguistics
  • BA/Liberal Arts
  • And more...

 
California University of Pennsylvania

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

Programs Offered:
  • Liberal Studies (Associate of Arts) - Online
  • Liberal Studies (Bachelor of Arts) - Online
  • Science and Technology Multidisciplinary Studies (Bachelor of Science) - Online
  • And more...

 
New England College

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

Programs Offered:
  • AA in Liberal Studies
  • BA in Humanities
  • BS in Social Sciences

 
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) (Online)

 
Norwich University - Online
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in History Online

 
Ohio Christian University
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • And more...

 
Liberty University

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs Offered:
  • MAR: Homiletics
  • MAR: Global studies
  • Doctor of Ministry: Homiletics
  • And more...

 
Baker College Online

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

Programs Offered:
  • General Studies - Bachelor

 
Keiser University

For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

 
Northwest University

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Bible and Theology

 
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 Oregon
University of OttawaYork 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 | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2016 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.