Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

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

Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

Prospective students hoping to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree have over 100 higher learning institutions to choose from. The largest public university is Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, with a tuition of $18,000, and a student population of over 95,000 across its campuses. As a private institution, the University of Pennsylvania, or simply Penn, is known for its medical, nursing, social work, and business fields. Tuition is $56,000, and the school boasts a 95% graduation rate.

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Students can also attend one of the more than 60 religiously affiliated schools, such as Villanova University or Lafayette College, each with a tuition of about $53,000. Some of the most affordable colleges in the state include the Curtis Institute of Music and the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, with tuitions set at $3,000 and $9,000, respectively. Though the average tuition for college in Pennsylvania comes in above the national average, those who practice medicine in underserved areas may qualify for up to $100,000 in loan forgiveness through the Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program.

As the nation’s second state, Pennsylvania’s history runs deep. It’s here where Betsy Ross made the first American flag and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Keystone State is also home to some culinary delights, including whoopie pies, soft pretzels, and the famous Philly cheesesteak. Students looking to earn their degree in Pennsylvania will undoubtedly enjoy what the state has to offer.

Check out the state’s top programs and learn more about earning your degree in Pennsylvania.


What are Pennsylvania’s Colleges & Universities?

Pennsylvania’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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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 80 liberal arts universities in Pennsylvania. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

  1. #1

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  2. #2

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  3. Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    3K

  4. #11

    Saint Joseph's University

    Philadelphia , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Saint Joseph's University’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Organization Development and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #15

    Elizabethtown College

    Elizabethtown , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

  6. #20

    Muhlenberg College

    Allentown , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/28

  7. #21

    Allegheny College

    Meadville , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/27

  8. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania’s Online Degrees

    BS Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Care Administration and Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Leadership Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #24

    Arcadia University

    Glenside , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

  10. #25

    DeSales University

    Center Valley , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

  11. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is University of Pittsburgh at Bradford known for?

    University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  12. #28

    Lycoming College

    Williamsport , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/21

  13. #29

    Albright College

    Reading , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Albright College’s Online Degrees

    BS in Applied Psychology
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #30

    Carlow University

    Pittsburgh , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1066/21

    What is Carlow University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #31

    Neumann University

    Aston , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/18

    What is Neumann University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Find the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Pennsylvania for Your Area of Interest

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. Swarthmore College
  2. Bryn Mawr College
  3. Haverford College
  4. Westminster College, Pennsylvania
  5. Bucknell University
  6. Dickinson College
  7. Franklin & Marshall College
  8. Saint Francis University
  9. Elizabethtown College
  10. Lafayette College
  11. Allegheny College
  12. Washington & Jefferson College
  13. Ursinus College
  14. Susquehanna University
  15. Gettysburg College
  16. University of Scranton
  17. La Salle University
  18. Grove City College
  19. Arcadia University
  20. Eastern University
  21. Saint Joseph's University
  22. Point Park University
  23. Muhlenberg College
  24. Lycoming College
  25. Albright College