Arizona’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities of 2021

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 Arizona offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Arizona’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Arizona

Students hoping to attend college in Arizona can choose from associate to doctoral degree programs spanning across the state. The state’s largest university, the University of Arizona located in Tucson, offers a competitive tuition rate, at $12,000, for its 39,000 students. However, Arizona’s most affordable schools, such as the tribally-owned Diné College, offer tuition as low as $1,000. Private schools make up about one third of the higher education institutes in Arizona; and offer a comprehensive range of degrees from fine arts to naturopathic medicine. Arizona’s public universities and colleges, such as Northern Arizona University located in Flagstaff, offer students a variety of study concentrations, including mathematics, education, political science, and psychology.

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Additionally, Arizona is home to three religiously affiliated schools: Arizona Christian University, Phoenix Seminary, and International Baptist College. While tuition varies greatly among these three schools, each school provides unique degree programs, such as music ministry at International Baptist College, for students interested in combining their faith and education.

Year-round sunshine, the Grand Canyon, award-winning restaurants, and several professional sports teams — what more could a student ask for? With more than 30 colleges and universities to choose from, Arizona allows students to get their degrees while cashing in on some of life’s greatest pleasures.

Whether students are interested in obtaining an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Arizona offers plenty of colleges and universities for students to choose from.

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What are Arizona’s Colleges & Universities?

Arizona’s Best Overall

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This list is composed entirely of liberal arts colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 3 liberal arts universities in Arizona that satisfies the following conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.

How do we determine Arizona's best liberal arts colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

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.

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

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Arizona’s Best Liberal Colleges & Universities

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.

  1. #1

    Prescott College

    #2487 institution's historical influence
    #493 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    <1K

    Prescott, AZ

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    What is Prescott College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Arizona Christian University

    #7253 institution's historical influence
    #225 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    Glendale, AZ

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    What is Arizona Christian University known for?

    Arizona Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott

    #12522 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Prescott, AZ

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    What is Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott known for?

    Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
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Photo By: Prescott College