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

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in New Hampshire 2022

Colleges and Universities in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is also home to 21 public and private higher learning institutions, including the Ivy League school Dartmouth. Dartmouth has a 97% graduation rate, a student population of about 6,000, and a tuition rate of $55,000. Students can major in fields like English, creative writing, engineering, physics, and neuroscience. Dinesh D’Souza, Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) are all noteworthy alumni of this school. The largest public institution, the University of New Hampshire, has its main campus in Durham.

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With a student body of almost 16,000, and a tuition rate of $18,000, UNH offers degrees in areas such as economics, biology, and social work. Those looking to earn an associate degree in fields such as early childhood education, cybersecurity networking, or aviation technology can choose from five community colleges that have tuition rates of $8,000. New Hampshire also offers three religiously affiliated colleges, ranging from $22,000 to $41,000 in tuition. Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States. With its open enrollment policy, over 138,000 students attend classes both online and in person.

If maple sundaes and cider donuts sound appetizing to you, New Hampshire may be a great destination for your higher education. Take the Mount Washington Cog Railway for a scenic ride up to the 6,288-foot summit, or check out Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, the state’s first settlement.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, New Hampshire has a variety of institutions to choose from. Check out the program that best fits you.


What are New Hampshire’s Colleges & Universities?

New Hampshire’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine New Hampshire'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 11 liberal arts colleges in New Hampshire. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in New Hampshire, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in New Hampshire 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    84K

    What is Southern New Hampshire University known for?

    Southern New Hampshire University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Saint Anselm College

    Manchester , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/26

    What is Saint Anselm College known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Keene State College

    Keene , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Keene State College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    New England College

    Henniker , NH

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    4K

    What is New England College known for?

    New England College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Plymouth State University

    Plymouth , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Plymouth State University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Franklin Pierce University known for?

    Franklin Pierce University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is University of New Hampshire at Manchester known for?

    University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Granite State College

    Concord , NH

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Granite State College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Psychology
  9. #10

    Rivier University

    Nashua , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Rivier University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Colby–Sawyer College

    New London , NH

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Colby–Sawyer College known for?

    Colby–Sawyer College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Education
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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New Hampshire’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. Saint Anselm College
  2. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
  3. University of New Hampshire at Manchester
  4. Colby–Sawyer College
  5. Rivier University
  6. Keene State College
  7. Plymouth State University
  8. Southern New Hampshire University