DC’s Best Small Colleges & Universities of 2021

Small colleges in DC are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

DC’s Best Small Colleges & Universities of 2021

What are DC’s Colleges & Universities?

DC’s Best Overall


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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in DC is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 4 small colleges and universities in DC; all of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. Its student body must consist of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 30%.

How do we determine DC's best small colleges and universities?

Methodology

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.



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Best Small Colleges & Universities in DC

  1. #1

    The Catholic University of America

    #277 institution's historical influence
    #261 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    5K

    Washington, DC

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    What is The Catholic University of America known for?

    The Catholic University of America’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. #2

    Gallaudet University

    #1191 institution's historical influence
    #131 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    915/16

    Washington, DC

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    What is Gallaudet University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
  3. #3

    Trinity Washington University

    #2111 institution's historical influence
    #460 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    1K

    Washington, DC

    View profile

    What is Trinity Washington University known for?

    Trinity Washington University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    University of the District of Columbia

    #1136 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    Washington, DC

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    What is University of the District of Columbia known for?

    University of the District of Columbia’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Communications

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