Best small colleges in pennsylvania

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

There are many reasons to attend a small college. Whether you want a close-knit environment, a small school with a certain religious affiliation, or a low student-to-faculty ratio, small colleges offer many advantages. They are often in a position to be more focused than large universities, and because of this, there is sometimes a higher concentration of students attending for the specific degree you may be interested in.

Smaller colleges make it easier to integrate into your campus community, participate in student government, and get access to your professors when you need it. They often (but not always) place less emphasis on research, which means that most of their professors will actually be teaching more than one or two token classes.

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on dickinson college, best small colleges in pennsylvania, small colleges in pennsylvania, small universities in pennsylvania and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best Small Colleges In Pennsylvania

#1. Swarthmore College


Score: 100

Swarthmore College is one of the nation’s top liberal arts universities, and it takes the top spot on our list of best small colleges in Pennsylvania. The school has a student population of just over 1,500 and an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Among its many programs, Swarthmore boasts an ABET-accredited engineering program, the highest level of accreditation for engineering. Swarthmore has partnerships with Haverford College and Bryn Mawr (both top five colleges in this ranking) and the University of Pennsylvania (a top ivy league school) that allow students to take courses at any of the partner institutions once enrolled.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #3
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $746,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $54,456
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 94%

#2. Haverford College


Score: 92.11

Haverford College has an undergraduate student population of just over 1,300 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1. Like its partner institution Swarthmore, Haverford was started by the Religious Society of Friends, but it has since dropped its religious affiliation. Haverford has the same partnership with the University of Pennsylvania that Swarthmore does. Among Haverford’s graduates are 4 Nobel Prize winners, 6 Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous Rhodes Scholars and Fulbright Scholars.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #15
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $628,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $59,162
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 94%

#3. Washington & Jefferson College


Score: 74.16

Washington & Jefferson College is a small liberal arts college with an undergraduate student population of just over 1,200 students with a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Washington & Jefferson College accepts roughly 38% of applicants and uses a traditional liberal arts curriculum. The school offers 33 majors and 34 minors in areas like accounting, biochemistry, computer science, engineering, and philosophy.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #96
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $330,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $50,169
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 96%

#4. Ursinus College


Score: 72.50

Ursinus College is a small liberal arts college located in the aptly named Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The school has a student population of just over 1,400 and a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Ursinus offers a variety of majors and minors including programs in anthropology, applied physics, art history, biology, economics, international relations, mathematics, physics, and sociology.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts Colleges #84
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $402,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $55,210
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 81%

#5. Bryn Mawr College


Score: 72.15

Bryn Mawr is a small liberal arts college located near Philadelphia, PA, and it ranks high on our list of the best small colleges in Pennsylvania. Like its two sister colleges, Haverford and Swarthmore, it was originally associated with the Religious Society of Friends but eventually dropped all religious affiliation. The student population is just over 1,700 with a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Bryn Mawr shares the same relationship with the University of Pennsylvania as the other two schools.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #28
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $274,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $54,440
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 84%

#6. Juniata College


Score: 70.02

Juniata College is located in central PA, in the town of Huntingdon. The school has a student population just over 1,400 and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Juniata College is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Instead of majors, Juniata College has programs of emphasis. These allow students to design their own undergraduate degree. While there are pre-set programs of emphasis to use as guides, students are free to alter any program to meet their needs and interests.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #84
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $371,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $49,175
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 78%

#7. Elizabethtown College


Score: 68.76

Elizabethtown College is another small liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Located in Elizabethtown, PA, the school has an undergraduate student population of 1,729 and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. If you’re interested in a more traditional academic structure that uses majors and minors then Elizabethtown College is a great choice. The school offers majors in areas like actuarial science, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, economics, digital media production, fine arts, and graphic design.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #113
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $384,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $32,960
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 69%

#8. Lycoming College


Score: 68.63

100% of Lycoming College’s 1,140 undergraduate students receive financial aid and scholarships. 98.3% of graduates in 2019 found employment within a year of graduation. Lycoming College is one of the first 50 colleges established in the United States and is still affiliated with the Methodist Church, which founded the school. Lycoming College is on an upward trend in the rankings, having climbed 37 spots in the U.S. News ranking to its current position. Lycoming College offers over 60 majors, and offers students an interdisciplinary program that allows them to design their own major if they wish.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #117
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $255,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $42,939
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 92%

#9. Saint Vincent College


Score: 68.15

Saint Vincent College is a small liberal arts college located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The school has just over 1,700 students and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Saint Vincent is a Roman Catholic college founded and operated by Benedictine monks who were part of the first Benedictine monastery in the United States. Saint Vincent offers many degrees, among them programs in data science, education, engineering, finance, information systems, liberal arts, mathematics, nursing, philosophy, and theology.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #140
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $262,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $37,604
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 93%

#10. Allegheny College


Score: 65.87

Allegheny College is one of the oldest colleges in the United States, founded in 1815. The school has an undergraduate student population of 1,775 and a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. While the school is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it doesn’t incorporate religion into the classes. Allegheny College offers 32 undergraduate majors and numerous interdisciplinary programs. The interdisciplinary programs include community & justice studies, classical studies, integrative informatics, international studies, journalism in the public interest, and environmental science & sustainability.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts #80
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $293,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $50,980
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 74%

#11. Misericordia University


Score: 65.36

Misericordia University is a Roman Catholic university established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924. It is located in northeastern Pennsylvania in the mountain town of Dallas. Misericordia offers 37 degree programs spread across three academic colleges. Majors include biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, healthcare analytics, healthcare management, health science, information technology, mathematics, medical imaging, and nursing. The school has 1,964 undergraduate students and a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National #206
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $317,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $35,940
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 94%

#12. Lebanon Valley College


Score: 64.91

Lebanon Valley College is a small, private college in Annville, Pennsylvania. The school has 1,729 undergraduate students and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Lebanon Valley College offers over 40 majors across six colleges. These programs include audio & music production, music business, digital communications, interaction design, music education, nursing, neuroscience, and political science.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #38
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $337,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $46,030
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 78%

#13. Geneva College


Score: 64.10

Geneva College is a small Presbyterian college located in Beaver Falls, PA. The school has almost 1,300 undergraduate students and an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Geneva has a variety of programs you don’t see everywhere, including programs in aviation business administration, aviation/missions, and aviation/independent. The school also offers programs in computer information systems, computer science, biblical studies, and communication, as well as allied health programs.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #93
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $268,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $29,040
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 89%

#14. Immaculata University


Score: 63.82

Immaculata University is a Roman Catholic university founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The approximately 300-acre campus is located in the small East Whitman Township in Chester County, PA. The school has just over 1,500 undergraduate students and a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Immaculata offers majors in art, business, education, emergency planning, communication, exercise science, fashion, global languages & cultures, history, music, nursing, and philosophy & theology, among many others.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National #241
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $366,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $27,750
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 91%

#15. Waynesburg University


Score: 63.78

Waynesburg University is a small, private university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The undergraduate student population at Waynesburg is almost 1,300, and the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Waynesburg offers a variety of programs both for people seeking an education for a career in Christian ministry, and for those seeking a degree for their secular career. You will find degrees in children & youth ministries, Christian mission, computer science, criminal justice administration, cybersecurity & forensics, digital design, data science, healthcare management, and information technology, among others.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #62
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $173,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $26,500
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 91%

#16. Eastern University


Score: 61.69

Eastern University is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, but the student population is interdenominational. The school has about 1,700 undergraduate students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1. Eastern University offers degrees at every degree level, from undergraduate certificate and associate’s degrees up to the post-graduate level. You will find programs in marketing, organizational leadership, music education, nursing, theological studies & ethics, history, political science, mathematics, and engineering, among many others.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #83
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $240,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $34,706
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 86%

#17. Westminster College


Score: 61.66

Westminster College is a small liberal arts college, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The school has an undergraduate student population of nearly 1,200 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 and an average class size of 17 students. Westminster College offers 42 majors and 13 pre-professional programs. 98% of students receive financial aid including merit and need-based scholarships.

  • U.S. News Ranking: National Liberal Arts Colleges #120
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $256,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $37,675
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 70%

#18. Marywood University


Score: 59.10

Marywood University is a Roman Catholic liberal arts university located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1915 and has just over 1800 undergraduate students and a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school offers over 50 majors, and 99% of the 2019 graduating class is employed or in graduate school. Some of the most unique undergraduate programs are art therapy, aviation, interior architecture, and music therapy.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #59
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $116,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $36,928
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 90%

#19. Delaware Valley University


Score: 58.56

Delaware Valley University is a small university with an undergraduate student population of just over 1,900 and a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Delaware Valley University offers a wide range of agriculture- and nature-focused programs in areas like agribusiness, animal science, conservation & wildlife management, crop science, dairy science, equine management, equine science, food science, horticulture, landscape architecture, and landscape design, to name a few.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #125
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $159,000
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $40,620
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 90%

#20. Seton Hill University

Website
Score: 58.44

Seton Hill University has an undergraduate student population of 1,728 and a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. It’s a private Roman Catholic university located in Greensburg, PA and was founded by the Sisters of Charity. Seton Hill offers a wide variety of STEM majors in areas like chemistry, biology, computer science, biochemistry, cybersecurity, data analytics, graphic & interactive design, and mathematics.

  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional #43
  • 20yr Net Return on Investment: $77,700
  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $37,946
  • Graduation/Transfer Rate: 91%

Dickinson college

Dickinson College | Traditional School

Now we journey through dickinson college, small colleges near philadelphia, small public colleges and best small liberal arts colleges in pennsylvania.

Dickinson College is a private liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1773 as Carlisle Grammar School, Dickinson was chartered September 9, 1783, six days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, making it the first college to be founded after the formation of the United States. Dickinson was founded by Benjamin Rush, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and named “John and Mary’s College” in honor of John Dickinson, a signer of the Constitution who was later the governor of Pennsylvania, and his wife Mary Norris Dickinson. They donated much of their extensive personal libraries to the new college.

In addition to offering either a bachelor of arts or Bachelor of Science degree in 22 disciplinary majors and 20 interdisciplinary majors, Dickinson offers an engineering option through its 3:2 program, which consists of three years at Dickinson and two years at an engineering school of Columbia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or Case Western Reserve University. Upon successful completion of both portions of the program, students receive the B.S. degree from Dickinson in their chosen field and the B.S. in engineering from the engineering school.

The Dickinson School of Law is located adjacent to the college campus and was founded in 1834 as its law department. It received an independent charter in 1890 and ended all affiliation with the college in 1917. In 2000, the law school merged with the Pennsylvania State University.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment