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2021 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools

86 Colleges
$26,786 Avg Salary
$16,538 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Liberal Arts General Studies School for You

In 2018-2019, 2,436 people earned a degree or certificate in liberal arts general studies, making the major the #80 most popular in the United States.

With all the programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best 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.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 86 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students. To come up with a school's ranking, we analyzed numerous factors related to post-graduation wages, the quality of education offered by the school, average accumulated student debt, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools in the United States

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

Top 15% Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools

#1

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Our analysis found Georgetown University to be the best school for liberal arts general studies students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#2

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Stony Brook University. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. Located in the suburb of Stony Brook, SUNY Stony Brook is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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The excellent programs at American Public University System helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best liberal arts general studies schools in the United States. American Military University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the fringe town of Charles Town.

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#4

Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT

The excellent programs at Wesleyan University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best liberal arts general studies schools in the United States. Wesleyan U is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Middletown.

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Out of the 86 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Pennsylvania State University - World Campus landed the # 5 spot on the list. Penn State World Campus is a fairly small public school located in the rural area of University Park.

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#6

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

DePaul University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for liberal arts general studies students. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the large city of Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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Southern Methodist University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for liberal arts general studies students. It came in at #7 on the list. Located in the suburb of Dallas, SMU is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#8

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

Excelsior College landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best liberal arts general studies programs. Located in the small city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

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#9

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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The University of Texas at Austin landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best liberal arts general studies programs. Located in the large city of Austin, UT Austin is a public college with a very large student population.

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CUNY Graduate School and University Center ranked #11 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. Located in the large city of New York, The Graduate Center is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

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Saint Mary’s College of California did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for liberal arts general studies students. It came in at #12 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Moraga, SMC is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Rank College Location
13 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
14 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
15 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
16 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
17 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH

Liberal Arts General Studies by Region

View the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools for a specific region near you.

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

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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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