Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Rhode Island 2024

Badge for BEST IN RHODE ISLAND LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES

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 Rhode Island offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Rhode Island

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  1. Providence College
  2. Bryant University
  3. Roger Williams University
  4. Rhode Island College
  5. Salve Regina University
  6. New England Institute of Technology
  1. Providence College
  2. Rhode Island College
  3. Bryant University
  4. Roger Williams University
  5. Salve Regina University
  6. New England Institute of Technology
  1. Roger Williams University 91%
  2. Rhode Island College 85%
  3. Bryant University 74%
  4. Salve Regina University 73%
  5. New England Institute of Technology 68%
  6. Providence College 58%
  1. Roger Williams University 15 to 1
  2. Rhode Island College 14 to 1
  3. Bryant University 13 to 1
  4. Salve Regina University 13 to 1
  5. Providence College 11 to 1
  6. New England Institute of Technology 10 to 1
  1. Providence College $55,988
  2. Bryant University $47,782
  3. Salve Regina University $44,200
  4. Roger Williams University $39,594
  5. New England Institute of Technology $32,807
  6. Rhode Island College $9,277
  1. Bryant University $46,220
  2. Roger Williams University $17,476
  3. New England Institute of Technology $14,250
  4. Salve Regina University $11,610
  5. Providence College $9,750
  6. Rhode Island College $8,730
  1. New England Institute of Technology
  2. Salve Regina University
  3. Rhode Island College
  4. Roger Williams University
  5. Bryant University
  6. Providence College
  1. New England Institute of Technology
  2. Salve Regina University
  3. Roger Williams University
  4. Bryant University
  5. Rhode Island College
  6. Providence College
  1. Providence College 58%
  2. New England Institute of Technology 68%
  3. Salve Regina University 73%
  4. Bryant University 74%
  5. Rhode Island College 85%
  6. Roger Williams University 91%
  1. New England Institute of Technology 10 to 1
  2. Providence College 11 to 1
  3. Bryant University 13 to 1
  4. Salve Regina University 13 to 1
  5. Rhode Island College 14 to 1
  6. Roger Williams University 15 to 1
  1. Rhode Island College $9,277
  2. New England Institute of Technology $32,807
  3. Roger Williams University $39,594
  4. Salve Regina University $44,200
  5. Bryant University $47,782
  6. Providence College $55,988
  1. Rhode Island College $8,730
  2. Providence College $9,750
  3. Salve Regina University $11,610
  4. New England Institute of Technology $14,250
  5. Roger Williams University $17,476
  6. Bryant University $46,220

Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Of the three public schools, the University of Rhode Island is the largest, having more than 15,000 students in attendance. The main campus is located in Kingston, and the tuition rate is $14,000. The most prestigious school in the state is Brown University, a private Ivy League institution located in Providence. Over 9,000 students study on this campus in fields like biophysics, ethnic studies, and public health. Tuition is more expensive at about $55,000, but the school boasts a 96% graduation rate.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Of the eight private schools, two are religiously affiliated. Both Salve Regina University and Providence College have under 5,000 students, though the tuition fees are more expensive at $40,000 and $51,000, respectively. Whether you seek an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Rhode Island also offers a unique opportunity for graduates. As a financial incentive to pursue a career or start a business in Rhode Island in the technology, engineering, design, or other sectors, the Wavemaker Fellowship program defrays student loan payments for up to four years.

Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state, but it has more than 400 miles of coastline, giving it the nickname The Ocean State. With sandy beaches and colonial towns, this state offers relaxation and history. Rhode Island also has 11 public and private higher education institutions with an average tuition of just over $12,000.

Meet your academic goals at one of the higher learning centers in Rhode Island. Check out the top programs to see which school fits your needs.


What are Rhode Island’s Colleges & Universities?

Rhode Island’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Rhode Island's Best Liberal Arts Colleges Badge
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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 6 liberal arts colleges in Rhode Island. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in Rhode Island, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Rhode Island 2023

  1. #1

    Providence College

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1285/29

    Career Outlook for degree at Providence College

    Cost of Degree: $55,988
    Expenses: $18,422
    Starting Salary: $48,490
    Salary after 4 years: $67,517
    Cost Recoup Time: 17 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    Providence College’s Online Degrees

    BS in Fire Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Leadership Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Theology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Bryant University

    Smithfield , RI

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/27

    Career Outlook for degree at Bryant University

    Cost of Degree: $47,782
    Expenses: $19,161
    Starting Salary: $64,644
    Salary after 4 years: $73,044
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    4K

    Career Outlook for degree at Roger Williams University

    Cost of Degree: $37,355
    Expenses: $20,262
    Starting Salary: $46,403
    Salary after 4 years: $60,901
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Roger Williams University known for?

    Roger Williams University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Roger Williams University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Cybersecurity And Networking
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Applied Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Rhode Island College

    Providence , RI

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/21

    Career Outlook for degree at Rhode Island College

    Cost of Degree: $10,702
    Expenses: $16,562
    Starting Salary: $41,712
    Salary after 4 years: $53,801
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    3K

    Career Outlook for degree at Salve Regina University

    Cost of Degree: $44,200
    Expenses: $20,940
    Starting Salary: $52,326
    Salary after 4 years: $62,471
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Salve Regina University known for?

    Salve Regina University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Salve Regina University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing: RN To BSN
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    2K

    Career Outlook for degree at New England Institute of Technology

    Cost of Degree: $32,807
    Expenses: $20,471
    Starting Salary: $49,149
    Salary after 4 years: $57,535
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is New England Institute of Technology known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Rhode Island’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in 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 utilized 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. Providence College
  2. Roger Williams University
  3. Bryant University
  4. Salve Regina University
  5. Rhode Island College

Check out our directory of liberal arts colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top liberal arts schools in every state.

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