Top 10 Best Liberal Arts Colleges of 2017

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Liberal arts colleges have several distinguishing advantages:

  • Classes are small, usually up to 20 students. So each student gets more attention from the professor. Classes are not mostly lectures, like in larger universities, but involve an interaction of students with professors and with each other.
  • Classes are taught by professors, instead of teaching assistants, who are usually graduate students with no teaching experience.
  • The overall student body is smaller, which means more access to the faculty members, close-knit campus community, higher student engagement in on- and off-campus activities.
  • Flexible and broad academic curriculum allows to explore more areas of study. Studies are not narrowed to the specific courses and profession, so students have more career options after graduation.

So if you’ve decided to take advantage of liberal arts college benefits, we are here to help you choose and define the best ones among a diversity of existing institutions with our top 10 best liberal arts colleges.

Source: chickaferdy

1. Williams College

Academics

To gain a bachelor of arts degree Williams students choose a major in one area of study and concentrations - interdisciplinary courses examining specific subjects from the perspective of various disciplines combinations (like cognitive science, which combines knowledge of psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, math, or public health). Concentrations are substitutes for minors. The studies are quite flexible: students have an opportunity to take specific classes, develop majors and explore various fields they become interested in. They can also participate in experiential education, which includes various research projects, education outreach programs (tutoring and teaching) and alternative spring break trips with the running of service projects.

Students are suggested to take at least 3 courses in each of the following areas of study - arts and humanities, social sciences, science and mathematics, 2 writing-intensive courses, a course for analytical and critical thinking enhancement and a course on cultures and societies interactions.

Student services and activities

Students are encouraged to engage in residential communities’ life, take part in programs and get to know their residential leaders. There are lots of registered student organizations, and if students don’t find one that meets their interests best, they are encouraged to start their own. Various options for leadership and identity development exist, like Frosh Leadership Weekend, which includes workshops, overnights, group bonding, team building activities, service trip under the sophomores’ mentoring.

Williams Career Center provides advising, instructing and assisting in the career action plan creation, offers various programs and opportunities for jobs and internships.

2. Amherst College

Academics

Amherst provides 38 majors in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. Students can choose a double major. There is no fixed curriculum, so students choose courses that meet their interests, among 850+ available courses. Students also have an opportunity to create their own interdisciplinary major after faculty approval. 240 programs for studying abroad are available to Amherst students and an exchange program with Doshisha University in Japan.

Student services and activities

Amherst comprises 150 registered student organizations of various fields of interests from sport, social and political clubs to arts and performance ones. Students health services include health and counseling centers delivering direct patient care and brief psychotherapy. Loeb Center for Career exploration and planning helps students explore careers, find jobs, define their career fit and path and find internships.

3. Wellesley College

Academics

Wellesley College provides education in liberal arts for women, delivering over 54 majors with 32 credits required. Besides the main curriculum, there are lots of other study opportunities. Students can choose among 160 programs to study abroad for a semester or an academic year, collaborate with faculty professors to work on research projects, carry several majors or choose interdepartmental majors, participate in the cross-registration programs with other colleges, take part in community service projects, apply for fellowships and take paid internships.

Wellesley College https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/carousel_images/110506wellesley1022.jpg

Wellesley provides deeper engagement in specific fields through its academic centers - hubs, like Knapp Media and Technology Center or Science Center, and academic institutes, like Quantitative Analysis Institute or Jean Baker Miller Training Institute.

Student services and activities

Students are provided with robust academic advising and support. The Class deans provide individualized advising, support services offer tutoring and instruction to help students strengthen their academic skills, The Disability Services Office provides resources for students requiring specific learning accommodations. The Stone Center provides psychological aid and support, and the Department of Intercultural Education supports African, Asian, and Hispanic descent, LBGTQ+ students.

There are currently over 150 student clubs and organizations, including cultural centers, club sports, dance and vocal groups, etc.

4. Middlebury College

5. Bowdoin College

6. Carleton College

7. Pomona College

8. Claremont McKenna College

9. Davidson College

10. Washington & Lee University

Liberal arts colleges emphasize undergraduate education with a robust focus on critical thinking, writing, and participation. This prepares students better for the graduate school level. Students have more possibilities to take part in research work as undergraduate students - in larger universities research projects are mostly reserved for graduates.

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