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

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Maine 2022

Colleges and Universities in Maine

At $9,970, Maine is right on target with the national average, making the state an affordable choice for those looking to receive an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The 16 public colleges and universities range in tuition from $4,000 to $14,000. The 10 private schools tend to cost more, ranging from $27,000 to $55,000, though the class sizes are often much smaller. The largest private university is the University of New England, with just under 6,000 students, and a tuition of $38,000.

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The University of Maine (UMaine), with just under 10,000 students, is the largest public school, with a tuition rate of $11,000. Based in Orono, the public research university offers degrees in fields like literature, earth sciences, and physics. Stephen King and Bernard Lown are among the influential alumni who attended this school. The cost for higher education in Maine varies, but the state offers loan forgiveness programs for many professions, including dentists, lawyers, educators, health professionals, and veterinarians. The Alfond Leaders program forgives up to $60,000 for residents working in eligible science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.

The northernmost state in New England, Maine is known for its fishing, quaint coastal towns, and of course, lobster. Maine is also home to over 60 lighthouses. Students looking to earn their degree while living in a state that has both ocean beaches and lush forests can choose from 26 private and public higher education institutions.

Come see why Maine is an excellent option for earning your higher education degree and starting a career.


What are Maine’s Colleges & Universities?

Maine’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Maine 2022

  1. #1

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Bowdoin College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #4

    University of Southern Maine

    Portland , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/22

    What is University of Southern Maine known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #6

    Unity College

    Unity , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Unity College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    3K

    What is University of Maine at Augusta known for?

    University of Maine at Augusta’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #8

    Thomas College

    Waterville , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Thomas College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #9

    Maine Maritime Academy

    Castine , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/24

    What is Maine Maritime Academy known for?

    Maine Maritime Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    What is Saint Joseph's College of Maine known for?

    Saint Joseph's College of Maine’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #11

    University of Maine at Farmington

    Farmington , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Maine at Farmington known for?

    University of Maine at Farmington’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #12

    University of Maine at Presque Isle

    Presque Isle , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is University of Maine at Presque Isle known for?

    University of Maine at Presque Isle’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    975/18

    What is University of Maine at Fort Kent known for?

    University of Maine at Fort Kent’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is University of Maine at Machias known for?

    University of Maine at Machias’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Maine’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. Bowdoin College
  2. Bates College
  3. College of the Atlantic
  4. Colby College
  5. Unity College
  6. University of Maine at Farmington
  7. Maine Maritime Academy
  8. Saint Joseph's College of Maine
  9. Thomas College
  10. Andover College