Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Washington 2023

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Washington 2023

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

Colleges and Universities in Washington

Of the 40 public options, the University of Washington in Seattle is the largest. Roughly 40,000 students attend classes in fields like nursing, education, biology, and computer science. This public research institution is also affordable, charging about $11,000 for tuition. In fact, none of the public schools in Washington exceed $12,000 in price. This includes community colleges, technical colleges, and four-year universities, making Washington a uniquely affordable place to earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

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Washington also has 24 private institutions. Of those, nine are religious. The most widely known of these, Catholic university Gonzaga enrolls roughly 7,000 students, at a cost of $40,000, in areas such as religious studies, engineering, and law. Central Washington University (CWU) is a smaller public school, serving just over 12,000 students, and has a tuition of $8,000. With 15% of its population being Hispanic, CWU is now recognized as an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution. Washington health professions also have the opportunity to receive funding for loan repayment through Washington’s Health Professional Loan Repayment Program.

Set in the Pacific Northwest, Washington offers ocean beaches and lush forests. In fact, over half the state is covered in forests, earning Washington its nickname as The Evergreen State. Viewers atop the Space Needle in Seattle can take in the sights of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and both the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. In addition, prospective students can choose from over 60 higher education institutions in the state.

Check out the top higher education programs and find an affordable degree in Washington.


What are Washington’s Colleges & Universities?

Washington’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 42 liberal arts colleges in Washington. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Washington, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Washington 2022

  1. Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/28

    What is DigiPen Institute of Technology known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #11

    Bellevue College

    Bellevue , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    11K

    What is Bellevue College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/20

    What is University of Washington Tacoma known for?

    University of Washington Tacoma’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    What is University of Washington Bothell known for?

    University of Washington Bothell’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #17

    Peninsula College

    Port Angeles , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Peninsula College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Seattle Central College known for?

    Seattle Central College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #19

    Wenatchee Valley College

    Wenatchee , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Wenatchee Valley College known for?

    Wenatchee Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #20

    Highline College

    Des Moines , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Highline College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Spokane Community College known for?

    Spokane Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Lake Washington Institute of Technology known for?

    Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  11. Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Antioch University Seattle known for?

    Antioch University Seattle’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Spokane Falls Community College known for?

    Spokane Falls Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #26

    Skagit Valley College

    Mount Vernon , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Skagit Valley College known for?

    Skagit Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #27

    Olympic College

    Bremerton , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Olympic College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #28

    Charter College

    Vancouver , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Charter College known for?

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

  16. #29

    Centralia College

    Centralia , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Centralia College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #30

    Green River College

    Auburn , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Green River College known for?

    Green River College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #31

    Edmonds College

    Lynnwood , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Edmonds College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Washington’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. Whitman College
  2. Evergreen State College
  3. University of Puget Sound
  4. Saint Martin's University
  5. Pacific Lutheran University
  6. DigiPen Institute of Technology
  7. Western Washington University
  8. University of Washington Bothell
  9. University of Washington Tacoma
  10. Walla Walla University
  11. Whitworth University
  12. Eastern Washington University
  13. Northwest University
  14. Central Washington University

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