Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Oklahoma 2022

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

Colleges and Universities in Oklahoma

Less than half of the schools in Oklahoma are private schools. However, students who attend one these schools can expect a more intimate college experience, as each has a student population smaller than 4,000 students. The largest private school, the University of Tulsa, offers degrees in fields like education, criminal justice, and literature, with tuition fees around $41,000. The public schools tend to be more cost-friendly, with tuition ranging from $4,000 to $9,000 per year.

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The University of Oklahoma, the state’s largest public school, costs about $9,000 and serves over 24,000 students. Here, students can partake in competitive on-campus programs in fields like communications and social work, or pursue one of the 30 graduate degrees and certificates online. Oklahoma is also home to several religiously affiliated schools, like Oral Roberts University and Bacone College. Students hoping to pursue a career as a physician, physician’s assistant, or dentist may also want to consider earning their degree here as the state offers several loan forgiveness programs to those who qualify.

The state of Oklahoma is serious about its food — so serious they even declared an official state meal, which consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie. Those hoping to feed both their bellies and their minds can attend one of Oklahoma’s more than 40 colleges and universities.

To learn more about earning your degree in Oklahoma, check out some of the state’s top programs.


What are Oklahoma’s Colleges & Universities?

Oklahoma’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Oklahoma'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 22 liberal arts colleges in Oklahoma. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in Oklahoma, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Oklahoma 2022

  1. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    12K

    What is University of Central Oklahoma known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Law
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Oral Roberts University

    Tulsa , OK
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1114/21

    What is Oral Roberts University known for?

    Oral Roberts University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    What is Oklahoma Christian University known for?

    Oklahoma Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Business
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Northeastern State University

    Tahlequah , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    998/21

    What is Northeastern State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Law
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Southwestern Oklahoma State University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Langston University

    Langston , OK
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Langston University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is East Central University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Southeastern Oklahoma State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Oklahoma Baptist University

    Shawnee , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    What is Oklahoma Baptist University known for?

    Oklahoma Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Bacone College

    Muskogee , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    47%

    Graduation

    9%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    873/15

    What is Bacone College known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Cameron University

    Lawton , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Cameron University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • History
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/19

    What is Northwestern Oklahoma State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Education
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University

    Bartlesville , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Oklahoma Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Southern Nazarene University

    Bethany , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Southern Nazarene University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • History
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Rogers State University

    Claremore , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Rogers State University known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Oklahoma Panhandle State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    912/21

    What is University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma known for?

    University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Randall University

    Moore , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    900/21

    What is Randall University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Business
  19. Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    992/18

    What is Southwestern Christian University known for?

    Southwestern Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
  20. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology known for?

    Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
  21. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City known for?

    Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
  22. #22

    Mid-America Christian University

    Oklahoma City , OK

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Mid-America Christian University known for?

    Mid-America Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Education
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Oklahoma’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. Oral Roberts University
  2. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
  3. Oklahoma Christian University
  4. Oklahoma Baptist University
  5. Mid-America Christian University
  6. Oklahoma Panhandle State University