Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Connecticut 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 Connecticut offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Connecticut 2022

Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

As the fourth oldest learning institute in the United States, Yale enrolls just over 15,000 students at its New Haven campus. Higher education in Connecticut includes both public and private institutions that offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. With 19 public schools and 20 private schools, students have a variety to choose from. Tuition for most of the state’s community colleges averages $4,000, while the cost for other public schools ranges from $8,000 to $16,000.

Students interested in psychology, economics, and communications can check out the University of Connecticut (UConn), which is home to the premier research institute for ecological psychology. Sacred Heart University, a Roman Catholic university, is known for its religious studies and business programs. And those looking for a smaller student population may want to check out Manchester Community College, which enrolls about 4000 students and offers affordable degrees in literature, biology, and social work.

Students in Connecticut can choose from a variety of higher education experiences fitting a full spectrum of budgets and career goals. Learn more and begin earning your degree from one of Connecticut’s top colleges or universities.


What are Connecticut’s Colleges & Universities?

Connecticut’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Connecticut's best liberal arts colleges ?

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 14 liberal arts colleges in Connecticut. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Connecticut, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Connecticut 2022

  1. #1

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Trinity College

    Hartford , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1374/30

    What is Trinity College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • History
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Fairfield University

    Fairfield , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    What is Fairfield University known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Connecticut College

    New London , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

    What is Connecticut College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/20

    What is Central Connecticut State University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    University of New Haven

    West Haven , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    What is University of New Haven known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    What is Southern Connecticut State University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • History
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    Post University

    Waterbury , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    10K

    What is Post University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/27

    What is United States Coast Guard Academy known for?

    United States Coast Guard Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Western Connecticut State University known for?

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

    • Earth Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Charter Oak State College

    New Britain , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Charter Oak State College known for?

    Charter Oak State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Mitchell College

    New London , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Mitchell College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Eastern Connecticut State University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Albertus Magnus College

    New Haven , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/19

    What is Albertus Magnus College known for?

    Albertus Magnus College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Connecticut’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. Wesleyan University
  2. Connecticut College
  3. Trinity College
  4. Fairfield University
  5. United States Coast Guard Academy
  6. Eastern Connecticut State University
  7. Albertus Magnus College
  8. University of New Haven
  9. Central Connecticut State University
  10. Southern Connecticut State University