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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.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one for you. 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. Factors related to overall quality of the school, post-graduation earnings, average student debt, and more accumulated were considered when coming up with this list.

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 2021 rankings named Claremont Graduate University the best school in the United States for general education students. Located in the large 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

Out of the 336 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Brandman University landed the # 2 spot on the list. Brandman is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

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#3

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Stanford University is a great place for general education students. Located in the suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#4

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Johns Hopkins University is a great place for general education students. Located in the large 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

The excellent programs at Harvard University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best general education schools in the United States. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Cambridge.

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University of Delaware landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. 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 came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. UIUC is a very large public school located in the city of Champaign.

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#8

Tufts University

Medford, MA

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

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#9

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

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

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Catholic University of America landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. CUA is a moderately-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 ranked #11 on this year’s Best General Education Schools list. Located in the town of New Ulm, MLC is a private not-for-profit school 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 suburb of Kirkland, Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#13

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University Minnesota ranked #13 on this year’s Best General Education Schools list. Located in the suburb of Saint Paul, Bethel University Minnesota is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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California State University - Dominguez Hills came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. California State University - Dominguez Hills is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Carson.

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California State University - Bakersfield came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Schools ranking. Located in the city of Bakersfield, California State University - Bakersfield is a public school with a large student population.

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#16

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA

Messiah University landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. 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 did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the 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

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

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#19

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for general education students. It came in at #19 on the list. 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 large city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#22

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania ranked #22 on this year’s Best General Education Schools list. UPenn is a fairly 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 large city of Long Beach, Cal State Long Beach is a public college with a very large student population.

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#24

University of the Pacific

Stockton, CA

University of the Pacific landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. Located in the large city of Stockton, Pacific is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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California State University - Fresno landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best general education programs. Located in the city of Fresno, Fresno State is a public college with a very large student population.

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#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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