Best Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Humanities

Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in liberal arts and humanities degree programs to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields like marketing, business, public relations, and human resources.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Humanities

Frequently Asked Questions About Liberal Arts and Humanities Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and humanities gives you the chance to explore a wide range of subject areas while building a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge.

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This degree typically consists of about 120 credits and can be completed either online or on campus. Students typically earn their degree in about four years, during which they’ll explore topics like literature, philosophy, music, and history.

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Although this is designed to be a broad degree, students may have the option to choose a concentration, like global and multicultural issues, drama, or foreign language, allowing them to better align their education with their unique interests and career goals.

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This degree prepares graduates for careers in a variety of fields like marketing, business, public relations, and human resources.

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Learn more about how to major in history.

Best Online Bachelor's in Liberal Arts and Humanities Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online liberal arts and humanities bachelor's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Humanities Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Iowa

    #80 institution's historical influence
    #369 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Iowa City, IA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies

    Concentrations

    • Expression in Writing and Arts
    • Global Studies
    • Family
    • Community
    • and Social Support
    • Health and Human Studies
    • Justice and Ethics
    • Organizational Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  2. #2

    Syracuse University

    #77 institution's historical influence
    #1450 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Syracuse, NY

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
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  3. #3

    Washington University in St. Louis

    #65 institution's historical influence
    #20 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

    Saint Louis, MO

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Integrated Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
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  4. #4

    University of Kentucky

    #195 institution's historical influence
    #541 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Lexington, KY

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 2.5 years
    • Format: Online
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  5. #5

    University of South Carolina

    #281 institution's historical influence
    #1388 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/28

    Columbia, SC

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Iowa State University

    #173 institution's historical influence
    #1077 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    30K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/25

    Ames, IA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    University of Nebraska at Kearney

    #2715 institution's historical influence
    #545 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1079/23

    Kearney, NE

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    Online Degrees

    BGS in Humanities
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Oral Roberts University

    #1134 institution's historical influence
    #798 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1114/21

    Tulsa, OK

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
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  9. #9

    University of Memphis

    #558 institution's historical influence
    #787 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Memphis, TN

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    California State University, Northridge

    #544 institution's historical influence
    #1253 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/19

    Northridge, CA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Mercer University

    #698 institution's historical influence
    #1052 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Macon, GA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Humanities

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Organizational Communication - Communication
    • Public Relations - Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 48 months
    • Format: Online
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  12. #12

    Providence College

    #912 institution's historical influence
    #1192 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/29

    Providence, RI

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Portland State University

    #577 institution's historical influence
    #448 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/21

    Portland, OR

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Samford University

    #741 institution's historical influence
    #912 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/26

    Birmingham, AL

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  15. #15

    California State University, Fullerton

    #801 institution's historical influence
    #1441 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    34K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/21

    Fullerton, CA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 51
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Bob Jones University

    #892 institution's historical influence
    #209 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Greenville, SC

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Professional Studies

    Concentrations

    • Exercise And Sport Science
    • Liberal Arts
    • Marketing
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    California State University, Fresno

    #679 institution's historical influence
    #1148 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    21K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/19

    Fresno, CA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    University of Southern Mississippi

    #1126 institution's historical influence
    #825 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Hattiesburg, MS

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    Online Degrees

    BLS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 2-4 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    Montana State University

    #716 institution's historical influence
    #429 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/24

    Bozeman, MT

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies

    Concentrations

    • Quaternity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. #20

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    #944 institution's historical influence
    #1364 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    Greensboro, NC

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    Online Degrees

    BLS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 24-48 months
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    Northern Arizona University

    #1104 institution's historical influence
    #303 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Flagstaff, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Public Administration
    • Technology Management
    • University Studies
    • Emergency Management
    • Industrial Leadership
    • Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    California State University, Chico

    #1016 institution's historical influence
    #454 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/21

    Chico, CA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 17 courses
    • Completion time: 17 courses
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Morgan State University

    #1103 institution's historical influence
    #1063 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    705/18

    Baltimore, MD

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Applied Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    California Baptist University

    #2100 institution's historical influence
    #1289 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Riverside, CA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 49
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  25. #25

    Faulkner University

    #2877 institution's historical influence
    #1032 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    Montgomery, AL

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Humanities
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students