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May 27, 2016 07:35 AM EDT

Top 5 US National University Rankings 2016 ; Liberal Arts


Liberal arts education is a blanket term that pertains to various arts and other disciplines. This includes humanities, art history, music, philosophy, psychology and other branches of broad general knowledge. For those looking to pursue Liberal Arts in college, here is a list of high-ranking universities in the US.

Top 7 US National Universities for Liberal Arts

The ranking comes from US News & World Report, a website known for its best colleges ranking since the 1980s. Their methodology relies on research and the Carnegie classification, a method used by higher education investigators.

1. Williams College - Williamstown, Massachusetts

Williams College is a four-year liberal arts college that features 36 majors under humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. They have an average freshman retention rate of 97 percent with an enrollment of over 2,000 students.

2. Amherst College - Amherst, Massachusetts

Amherst College in Massachusetts takes pride in being one of the Five college consortium dedicated to liberal arts. This means their students can take various courses in other institutions including Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. They have 38 majors in various liberal arts disciplines including humanities and social sciences.

3. Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College is a private Pennsylvanian liberal arts college. What sets this college apart from other art schools is they offer an engineering degree program. Swarthmore is included in the Tri-College Consortium so students can freely enroll courses in Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College.

4. Bowdoin College - Brunswick, Maine

Bowdoin College in Maine is a nationally renowned liberal arts institution in the US. It is well-known for its Peucinian Society, a venerable organization dedicated to literature. Those who'd like an intimate classroom setting may find Bowdoin favorable as most of their classes make up less than 20 students.

5. Middlebury College - Middlebury, Vermont

Middlebury College in Vermont was founded in 1800 and it is one of the oldest liberal arts institutions in the US. Their academic curriculum is dedicated to various arts, environmental studies, international studies and more including science and math studies.

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