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

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Indiana 2022

Colleges and Universities in Indiana

Among Indiana’s schools are some well-known colleges and universities, including the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and Butler University. While tuition and student population vary greatly among these schools, each boasts a high graduation rate. The state’s largest public university, Indiana University Bloomington, also notes a high graduation rate for its roughly 40,000 students and offers tuition just above the national average at $11,000.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Additionally, students hoping to attend a school with a religious affiliation have nearly 30 options to choose from. Students at these schools can study areas like engineering, business, philosophy, religious studies, and law. Indiana offers loan forgiveness programs for health care workers who work in areas with labor shortages as well as for lawyers providing public legal aid. Additionally, graduates of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law pursuing public interest law can apply for a special grant program that will help cover the cost of preparing and sitting for the bar exam.

With town names like Popcorn and Santa Claus, it is clear Indiana is no stranger to a good time. Along with these unique towns, Indiana also hosts the Indianapolis 500, a long-distance auto race; boasts a thriving art scene; and has been home to iconic celebrities, including Larry Bird, James Dean, and David Letterman. Students wanting to experience all Indiana has to offer while studying have the option of attending one of Indiana’s more than 50 higher education institutes.

Explore Indiana’s more than 50 colleges and universities to find a program and future career path that’s right for you.


What are Indiana’s Colleges & Universities?

Indiana’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Indiana'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 34 liberal arts colleges in Indiana. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Indiana, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Indiana 2022

  1. #1

    DePauw University

    Greencastle , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/26

    What is DePauw University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #3

    Butler University

    Indianapolis , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/27

    What is Butler University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    University of Evansville

    Evansville , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1189/26

    What is University of Evansville known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #5

    Wabash College

    Crawfordsville , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/26

    What is Wabash College known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Manchester University

    North Manchester , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Manchester University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    What is Indiana Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #8

    Purdue University Global

    West Lafayette , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    46K

    What is Purdue University Global known for?

    Purdue University Global’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Law
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
  8. #9

    Goshen College

    Goshen , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1108/25

    What is Goshen College known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Saint Mary's College

    Notre Dame , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    What is Saint Mary's College known for?

    Saint Mary's College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Taylor University

    Upland , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    What is Taylor University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Indiana University South Bend

    South Bend , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/20

    What is Indiana University South Bend known for?

    Indiana University South Bend’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Hanover College

    Hanover , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    What is Hanover College known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    Vincennes University

    Vincennes , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    8K

    What is Vincennes University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Indiana University East

    Richmond , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Indiana University East known for?

    Indiana University East’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #16

    Anderson University

    Anderson , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    What is Anderson University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • History
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Marian University

    Indianapolis , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    What is Marian University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Trine University

    Angola , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    What is Trine University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. #19

    University of Southern Indiana

    Evansville , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

    What is University of Southern Indiana known for?

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

    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    Indiana Institute of Technology

    Fort Wayne , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/21

    What is Indiana Institute of Technology known for?

    Indiana Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #21

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

    Saint Mary of the Woods , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/20

    What is Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College known for?

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #22

    Franklin College

    Franklin , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    What is Franklin College known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #23

    Huntington University

    Huntington , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1057/21

    What is Huntington University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #24

    Purdue University Northwest

    Hammond , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    30%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    What is Purdue University Northwest known for?

    Purdue University Northwest’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    REQUEST INFO
  24. #25

    Indiana University Southeast

    New Albany , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Indiana University Southeast known for?

    Indiana University Southeast’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • History
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #26

    Martin University

    Indianapolis , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    10%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Martin University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is Indiana University Northwest known for?

    Indiana University Northwest’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #28

    Indiana University Kokomo

    Kokomo , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is Indiana University Kokomo known for?

    Indiana University Kokomo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • History
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  28. #29

    Holy Cross College

    Notre Dame , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/29

    What is Holy Cross College known for?

    Holy Cross College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Business
  29. #30

    Grace College & Seminary

    Winona Lake , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Grace College & Seminary known for?

    Grace College & Seminary’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  30. #31

    Oakland City University

    Oakland City , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/18

    What is Oakland City University known for?

    Oakland City University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  31. #32

    University of Saint Francis

    Fort Wayne , IN

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1059/21

    What is University of Saint Francis known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  32. Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Calumet College of St. Joseph known for?

    Calumet College of St. Joseph’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  33. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    What is Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne known for?

    Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Social Work
    • Philosophy
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

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Indiana’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. DePauw University
  2. Earlham College
  3. Hanover College
  4. Goshen College
  5. Wabash College
  6. University of Evansville
  7. Butler University
  8. Indiana Wesleyan University
  9. Saint Mary's College
  10. Taylor University
  11. Manchester University
  12. Franklin College
  13. Grace College & Seminary
  14. Huntington University
  15. Trine University