Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Alabama 2022

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Alabama 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Alabama offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Colleges and Universities in Alabama

The 54 colleges and universities in Alabama allow students to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in many fields all over the state. Some of the most notable degree areas include law, nursing, biology, history, engineering, and religious studies. If flexibility is what you need, Alabama has over 20 colleges and universities offering online degree programs.

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Students hoping to obtain a four-year degree at a larger university can attend one of the two largest — as well as rivalry — schools, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Both schools’ tuition is about $11,000, though the University of Alabama’s student population, at nearly 36,000 students, is larger than Auburn’s. Students also have the option of attending one of Alabama’s 18 private higher education institutes, many of which have religious affiliations. Tuition costs and student populations range greatly among these schools, from $36,000 to $4,000 and nearly 15,000 students to less than 100, letting students factor in their budget with their class size demands.

Additionally, students who need more flexibility can take advantage of the satellite campuses, like at the University of North Alabama, or the 70 online degree programs offered at the University of Alabama, to easily obtain their degrees. For more information on higher education in Alabama, check out some of the state’s top programs and their corresponding career paths.

For die-hard football fans and lovers of sweet tea, obtaining a higher education degree in Alabama can seem like an obvious choice. The Yellowhammer State, however, is also home to a unique mixture of coastal, mountainous, and swamp environments, making it a great choice for students who love soaking up the outdoors.


What are Alabama’s Colleges & Universities?


Alabama’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Alabama's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 20 liberal arts colleges in Alabama. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Alabama, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Alabama 2022

  1. #2

    Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    What is Jacksonville State University known for?

    Jacksonville State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #3

    Troy University

    Troy , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    What is Troy University known for?

    Troy University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Alabama State University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    950/17

    What is Alabama State University known for?

    Alabama State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Faulkner University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    What is Faulkner University known for?

    Faulkner University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Auburn University at Montgomery

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    What is Auburn University at Montgomery known for?

    Auburn University at Montgomery’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    University of North Alabama

    Florence , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1097/23

    What is University of North Alabama known for?

    University of North Alabama’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • History
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #8

    Birmingham–Southern College

    Birmingham , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    What is Birmingham–Southern College known for?

    Birmingham–Southern College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Spring Hill College

    Mobile , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1112/22

    What is Spring Hill College known for?

    Spring Hill College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Miles College

    Fairfield , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Miles College known for?

    Miles College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Alabama A&M University

    Normal , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    925/17

    What is Alabama A&M University known for?

    Alabama A&M University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Oakwood University

    Huntsville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/19

    What is Oakwood University known for?

    Oakwood University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Huntingdon College

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1107/20

    What is Huntingdon College known for?

    Huntingdon College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    University of Montevallo

    Montevallo , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    What is University of Montevallo known for?

    University of Montevallo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Stillman College

    Tuscaloosa , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Stillman College known for?

    Stillman College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #16

    Talladega College

    Talladega , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Talladega College known for?

    Talladega College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    University of West Alabama

    Livingston , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/20

    What is University of West Alabama known for?

    University of West Alabama’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    University of Mobile

    Mobile , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/23

    What is University of Mobile known for?

    University of Mobile’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Athens State University

    Athens , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Student body

    2K

    What is Athens State University known for?

    Athens State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    Amridge University

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Amridge University known for?

    Amridge University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
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Washington’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Tuskegee University
  2. Birmingham–Southern College
  3. Spring Hill College
  4. Huntingdon College
  5. Oakwood University
  6. University of Montevallo
  7. University of North Alabama
  8. University of Mobile
  9. Troy University
  10. Judson College