20  Leading Liberal Arts Colleges on East Coast

New York and Florida are some of the states on the East Coast, and you can find some of the leading liberal arts colleges on East Coast in some of these states.  Read through this article to find out more!

The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, the Atlantic Coast, and the Atlantic Seaboard, is the coastline where the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean. It is famous for its Appalachian Mountains, which stretch all the way up the coast to Maine.

The East Coast is also a good habitable land. There are 14 states on the East Coast according to Wikipedia. These states are humble abodes of good and prestigious places and schools.

There are good places you can go to study in New York City,  Florida has some of the best colleges with high acceptance rates, as well as affordable medical schools you can enroll in without breaking the bank.

States like Georgia and New Jersey have some of the best schools for student-athletes and dental hygienist schools respectively. Online colleges are not left out, as there are accredited online colleges in Washington state, that you can enroll into at the comfort of your home while juggling other life priorities.

All these have given us the understanding that the east coast states have a lot to offer. We are about to add to the list of the thing they offer with the addition of liberal art colleges.

A liberal art college is a four-year undergraduate institution that focuses on educating students on the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Instead of preparing students for a specific career, such as business or computer science, a liberal arts curriculum encourages them to develop an appreciation for many subjects and practice their critical thinking skills.

 As such, students can pursue many careers after graduating. With a liberal arts degree, you can develop a number of valuable workplace skills, like adaptability, communication, organization, time management, problem-solving, and teamwork.

Liberal art colleges on the east coast are so desirable due to the following;

  • Small class sizes
  • Discussion-based classes
  • Lots of individualized attention
  • Exposure to a variety of academic disciplines

Let’s go ahead and discuss these liberal art college found on the East Coast. Meanwhile, you can check out this article on most conservative colleges.

Liberal Arts Colleges on East Coast

 Liberal Arts Colleges on East Coast

There are about 200 liberal arts colleges in the United States. The majority of these are East Coast liberal arts schools, Emphasis will be made on their locations, undergraduate student population, acceptance rate, and U.S. News College Ranking. They are as follows;

  • Vassar College
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Trinity College
  • Lafayette College
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Gettysburg College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hampshire College
  • Haverford College
  • Connecticut College
  • Davidson College
  • Dickinson College
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Bucknell University

1.       Vassar College

This liberal art college on East Coast is the first on our list.  Founded in 1861, it is an independent, coeducational, residential liberal arts college, which fosters intellectual openness and lively exploration through its widely varied course offerings.

Students choose among 30 departments, 3 interdepartmental programs, 14 multidisciplinary programs, the interdisciplinary Independent Program, 50 majors, 2 Accelerated and Dual Degree programs, and over 1,000 courses.

Location – Poughkeepsie, New York,

Undergraduate student population – 2,435

Acceptance rate – 22.7%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 22nd among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

2.       Wellesley College

Founded in 1870, Wellesley College is a private, nonprofit liberal arts college for women accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. They offer Baccalaureate degrees in more than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors, 84 percent graduate within four years; 92 percent graduate within six years and an average class size of 17 to 20 students; 8:1 student-faculty ratio.

Location – Wellesley, Massachusetts

Undergraduate student population – 2,280

Acceptance rate – 20.4%

U.S. News College Ranking – 5th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

3.       Williams College

Established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams, the college is a private, residential, and liberal arts school, with graduate programs in the history of art and in development economics.

There are three academic divisions (languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics) that encompass 25 departments, 36 majors, and several concentrations and special programs.

Location – Williamstown, Massachusetts

Undergraduate student population – 1,962

Acceptance rate – 8.5%

U.S. News College Ranking – 1st among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

4.       Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand.

Wesleyan University is dedicated to providing a bold, rigorous education in the liberal arts that values putting ideas into practice. With 45 majors, 32 minors, and 3 certificate programs to choose from.

Students get the flexibility to explore their many academic interests and passions, take chances, question the status quo, and flourish in an academic culture that prizes collaboration over competition.

Location – Middletown, Connecticut,

Undergraduate student population – 2,852

Acceptance rate – 20.4%

U.S. News College Ranking – 17th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

5.       Skidmore College

Skidmore College is a four-year private, nonsectarian, coeducational school that invites 2,700 undergraduate students to engage in 44 majors, 19 varsity athletics teams, and more than 100 student clubs. They also benefit from award-winning dining and residential halls and lifelong connections with some of the smartest and most dedicated and most passionate faculty in the industry.

Equipping students with lessons from across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and other fields to contribute, communicate, and create, with confidence.

Location – Saratoga Springs, New York,

Undergraduate student population – 2,582

Acceptance rate – 26%

U.S. News College Ranking – 38th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

6.       Smith College

Founded in 1871, Smith College opened in 1875 with 14 students. Today, Smith is among the largest women’s colleges in the United States, with students from 48 states and 78 countries. As an independent, nondenominational college, Smith remains strongly committed to the education of women at the undergraduate level but admits both men and women as graduate students.

They are comprised of 295 professors in more than 50 academic departments and programs; student-faculty ratio of 9:1 in most years. They also offer about 1,000 courses in more than 50 areas of study. Smith’s six-year undergraduate graduation rate is 90 percent.

Location – Northampton, Massachusetts

Undergraduate student population – 21,83

Acceptance rate – 30.3%

U.S. News College Ranking – 17th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

7.       Swarthmore College

Since its founding in 1864 by the Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers), Swarthmore College has given students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to become leaders for the common good

With a curriculum unmatched among liberal arts colleges of its size, Swarthmore offers more than 600 courses and undergraduate research opportunities—from the humanities and performing arts to the social and natural sciences and engineering. They have an 8:1 Student-to-faculty ratio.

Location – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania,

Undergraduate student population – 1,437

Acceptance rate – 9.2%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 3rd among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

8.       Trinity College

This is the next on the list of liberal arts colleges on east coast. They offer 41 majors, 26 interdisciplinary minors, and more than 900 courses

With their 9:1 student-faculty ratio, professors know their students and take a personal interest in their success.

From independence to student-designed research projects to participation in clinical research projects at area medical centers, Trinity offers many opportunities for students to engage in research, both on and off campus.

Location – Hartford, Connecticut

Undergraduate student population – 2,200

Acceptance rate – 31.3%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 46th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

9.       Lafayette College

This is the next on the list of liberal arts colleges on east coast. At Lafayette College, they challenge their students to move beyond the familiar, the comfortable, the easy. They dare them to become thinkers and leaders themselves.

Lafayette offers 51 areas of study across four academic divisions: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Students also work with professors to create their own majors.

Location – Easton, Pennsylvania,

Undergraduate student population – 2,514

Acceptance rate – 31.5%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 38th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

10.   Middlebury College

Middlebury is an undergraduate college; a graduate school for international studies; a home for immersive language study; a graduate school for the study of literature, literacy, and pedagogy; a leader of schools abroad sites that span the globe; and a home for the oldest and most prestigious writers’ conference in the world,

The college offers students a rich array of areas to study. Students can choose either a major or minor in over 50 distinct areas

Location – Middlebury, Vermont,

Undergraduate student population – 2,580

Acceptance rate – 15%

U.S. News College Ranking – 9th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

11.   Mount Holyoke College

This is the next on the list of liberal arts colleges on east coast. Mount Holyoke College is a highly selective, nondenominational, residential, research liberal arts college for women that is gender diverse and welcomes applications from female, transgender, and non-binary students. Mount Holyoke is renowned for educating women leaders, from medical pioneers to Pulitzer Prize–winning playwrights.

Students across the globe are drawn to Mount Holyoke because of the powerful living and learning experience the College provides. This diversity provides a uniquely powerful context for global learning in residence halls, classes, and campus life. They offer different Departmental and interdepartmental majors, Interdisciplinary majors, and graduate and professional programs.

Location – South Hadley, Massachusetts,

Undergraduate student population – 1,915

Acceptance rate – 42.8%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 30th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

12.   Gettysburg College

Founded in 1832, the College upholds a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts in all their breadth and depth. Since its founding, Gettysburg has cultivated a reputation for academic excellence in the liberal arts.

They offer 40 majors and 40 minors, 120+ clubs and organizations, 1,000+ leadership opportunities

Location – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,

Undergraduate student population – 2,505

Acceptance rate – 43%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 54th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

13.   Hamilton College

This is the next on the list of liberal arts colleges on east coast. For more than 200 years, Hamilton has prepared students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship.

With a distinctive open curriculum and more than 50 areas of study, Hamilton provides you with the freedom, responsibility, and opportunity to create an individualized plan of study. Hamilton offers 45 majors (we call them concentrations) and 58 total areas of study.

Location – Clinton, New York,

Undergraduate student population – 1,900

Acceptance rate – 19%

U.S. News College Ranking – 13th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

14.   Hampshire College

This is the next on the list of liberal colleges on east coast. The school’s empowering approach to education is rooted in continual experimentation, discovery, and investigation. With an unconventional and supportive model of learning, they move beyond just the exchange of knowledge. Instead, they synthesize, integrate, and build lasting change.

At Hampshire, they believe that you learn best when you tackle questions through community and collaboration. They also know that urgent global challenges are best solved through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. They offer different programs and courses in different areas of study.

Location – Amherst, Massachusetts,

Undergraduate student population – 522

Acceptance rate – 63%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 141st among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

15.   Haverford College

Haverford is a leading liberal arts undergraduate college located outside Philadelphia that is known for its academic rigor, Honor Code, and beautiful arboretum campus. There is no place where students are more trusted, are more directly engaged with their education, and have more opportunity to shape their own

Their rigorous academic program focuses on individual growth, intellectual exploration, and pushing the boundaries of each discipline. Most classes are taught seminar style with an emphasis on discussion and debate

Location – Haverford, Pennsylvania,

Undergraduate student population – 1,307

Acceptance rate – 18.7%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 16th  among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

16.   Connecticut College

Founded in 1911, Connecticut College today is where liberal education is being redefined for the 21st century.

Their  Connections approach encourages students to ask personal and meaningful questions and explore answers by integrating courses from multiple disciplines, engaging in off-campus learning, and sharing what they have learned with the larger community.

Their graduates are prepared to be creative, adaptive thinkers ready to tackle the world’s most complex problems.

They offer more than 50 majors in different areas of study

Location – New London, Connecticut,

Undergraduate student population – 1,737

Acceptance rate – 37%

U.S. News College Ranking – 50th  among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

17.   Davidson College

Established in 1837 by Presbyterians of North Carolina, Davidson is a liberal arts college with a rich history and heritage

Davidson’s primary purpose is to help students develop humane instincts and disciplined, creative minds for lives of leadership and service in an interconnected and rapidly changing world

Davidson offers 31 majors and the opportunity for students to design their own major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, Davidson offers over 40 minors, including 15 interdisciplinary minors.

Location – Davidson, North Carolina

Undergraduate student population – 1,983

Acceptance rate – 16.8%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 13th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

18.   Dickinson College

Chartered in 1783 (the first college chartered in the newly recognized United States), Dickinson is a highly selective, private liberal arts college. Founded in Carlisle, Pa., by Benjamin Rush and named for John Dickinson, its mission is to offer students a useful education in the arts and sciences that will prepare them for lives as engaged citizens and leaders.

Dickinson College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and School

Dickinson’s distinctive liberal arts approach fosters skills that benefit graduates well beyond the limestone walls. Students leave Dickinson prepared to excel in fields including law, medicine, research, the arts, business, and finance, public service, education, community service, environmental studies, the military, and religion.

They offer different majors, minors, and degree program

Location – Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate student population – 1,932

Acceptance rate – 41.6%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 50th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

19.   Franklin and Marshall College

Franklin & Marshall College is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States. it is the next one on our list of liberal art colleges on east coast. Their roots go back to Franklin College, founded in 1787 with a generous financial contribution from Benjamin Franklin.

Today, with more than 2,300 students, Franklin & Marshall College proudly continues our dedication to intellectual freedom and critical learning as fundamental to a democratic society. As our mission statement affirms, this means that the College expects students to see connections, discover community, and understand the centrality of service to human endeavor.

With more than 60 undergraduate fields of study, F&M provides room to explore your favorite subjects while discovering new ones, too.

Location – Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate student population – 2,254

Acceptance rate – 30.9%.

U.S. News College Ranking – 42nd among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

20.   Bucknell University

This is a life-changing university in central Pennsylvania where liberal arts and professional programs complement each other through the intersection of our three nationally recognized colleges: Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the Freeman College of Management.

At Bucknell, you can choose from more than 60 majors and 70 minors, giving you the freedom to pursue your interests and combine fields.

Location – Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate student population – 3,757

Acceptance rate – 34.5%

U.S. News College Ranking – 30th among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.


These liberal art colleges I have talked about are all found on the east coast with other ones that are not mentioned here. You can enroll in any of them if you are a resident of any of the states on the east coast.