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2021 Best General Education Schools

336 Colleges
$47,138 Avg Salary
$29,674 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best General Education School for You

In 2018-2019, 23,737 general education students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #8 most popular in the country.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. You can choose a traditional brick and mortar school, or with the growth of online education, you can attend a school half-way across the country without even leaving your house. Also there are many trade schools that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

The Best General Education Schools ranking is one of many tools that Grad Degree Search has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 336 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best General Education Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for education majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Top Schools in Education

Our analysis found Claremont Graduate University to be the best school for general education students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the suburb of Claremont, Claremont Graduate University is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#2

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means Brandman University is a great place for general education students. Brandman is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Irvine.

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#3

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Out of the 336 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Stanford University landed the # 3 spot on the list. Located in the suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#4

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

The excellent programs at Johns Hopkins University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best general education schools in the United States. Located in the city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#5

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Harvard University is a great place for general education students. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge.

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University of Delaware came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. U of Delaware is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Newark.

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University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign landed the #7 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. UIUC is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Champaign.

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#8

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Tufts University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the suburb of Medford, Tufts is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#9

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

With a ranking of #9, University of San Diego did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students. U of San Diego is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of San Diego.

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Catholic University of America did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #10 on the list. CUA is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington.

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#11

Martin Luther College

New Ulm, MN

Martin Luther College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the town of New Ulm, MLC is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. Located in the large suburb of Kirkland, Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#13

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University Minnesota came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Saint Paul, Bethel University Minnesota is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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With a ranking of #14, California State University - Dominguez Hills did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students. California State University - Dominguez Hills is a fairly large public school located in the city of Carson.

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California State University - Bakersfield did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #15 on the list. Located in the large city of Bakersfield, California State University - Bakersfield is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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#16

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA

Messiah University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. Messiah is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Mechanicsburg.

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#17

National University

La Jolla, CA

National University ranked #17 on this year’s Best General Education Schools list. Located in the large city of La Jolla, National University is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#18

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, SD

Augustana University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #18 on the list. Located in the medium-sized city of Sioux Falls, Augustana Sioux Falls is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#19

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. Fairfield U is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Fairfield.

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With a ranking of #20, Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students. Located in the city of Boston, Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#21

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

With a ranking of #21, University of Chicago did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students. Located in the city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

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#22

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia.

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California State University - Long Beach landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. Located in the city of Long Beach, Cal State Long Beach is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#24

University of the Pacific

Stockton, CA

With a ranking of #24, University of the Pacific did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students. Located in the city of Stockton, Pacific is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

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California State University - Fresno ranked #25 on this year’s Best General Education Schools list. Located in the city of Fresno, Fresno State is a public school with a very large student population.

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Rest of the Top Best General Education Schools

#29

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
#30

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN
#31

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN
#34

Boston University

Boston, MA
#35

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA
#36

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, CT
#40

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY
#42

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA
#43

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#45

Mercer University

Macon, GA
#46

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best General Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
51 Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA
52 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
53 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
54 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
55 Washington State University Pullman, WA
56 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
57 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
58 Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall, MN
59 Elmhurst University Elmhurst, IL
60 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
61 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
62 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
63 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
63 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
65 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
66 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
67 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA

General Education by Region

View the Best General Education Schools for a specific region near you.

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

One of 14 majors within the area of study, general education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Education

Related Major Annual Graduates
Educational Administration 43,584
Teacher Education Grade Specific 29,615
Special Education 20,510
Teacher Education Subject Specific 20,147
Curriculum & Instruction 18,738

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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 KOKUYO.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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