2017 Most Liberal Colleges in America

Explore the most liberal colleges ranking based on student reviews of the political leanings of the campus community. Compare colleges with the most liberal students.
See how this ranking was calculated
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Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    University of Vermont

    • Burlington, VT
    • 1,560 reviews
    Alum:My experience at the University of Vermont was amazing! Academically I felt like I was pushed to learn and growth. I felt supported by the academic staff. One star off for diversity and price tag. Student life and community in Burlington, Vermont is a big plus. The city of Burlington and the access to the lake, woods, and surrounding green spaces is incomparable.
    More about University of Vermont
  2. 2

    Carleton College

    • Northfield, MN
    • 466 reviews
    Freshman:The school has an incredibly open community; cliques are fluid and almost anyone is welcome and can feel comfortable sitting with any group. Dining hall food is great, although there are few good restaurants in the area. Classes are fantastic and the trimester system works very well for people who live far away (winter break extends from before thanksgiving to after new years). In addition, the trimester system allows students to fit three academic terms into one year while focusing more intensely on less during those terms, all the while still leaving room for a long winter break.
    The biggest downside for me is that students seem less individual and more self-effacing than some other similar liberal arts colleges.
    More about Carleton College
  3. 3

    Oberlin College

    • Oberlin, OH
    • 577 reviews
    Freshman:It's gone pretty well so far. Oberlin is a complicated place with a lot of politics underlining the community. I love the academics here but socially I feel that Oberlin is difficult in a number of ways. In the context of being a POC, the community is small so it can feel difficult to really have some distance from others when needed. I will say that overall most people are well meaning though usually people are very self serving/ selfish though not in a mean way. This something that can be understood when spending time on campus. The campus is alright, it's pretty flat. The winters are typically harsh though this year was very lax. Even though I've said many things that are negative, I love Oberlin because the people here are very smart and are willing to engage about almost anything.
    More about Oberlin College
  4. 4

    Pratt Institute

    • Brooklyn, NY
    • 730 reviews
    Niche User:I went for a campus tour, and the experience was great! The reception was very nice, got us on a tour very fast. Two tour guides (students studying at Pratt) took us on a 2-hour tour, answering our questions while giving great information about the institution. The campus is beautiful, definitely a calm getaway from the busyness of New York city, with inspiring sculptures around a very green area. The studios looked very professional, and the security system is very fast and trustworthy.
    More about Pratt Institute
  5. 5

    Mount Holyoke College

    • South Hadley, MA
    • 782 reviews
    College Freshman:I love Mount Holyoke so far! I'm enjoying it so much more than High School! I'm loving being on the rowing team, and reading and learning new and interesting things and having great, interesting, thought-provoking discussions both in class and out. The vegan food options are great and plentiful and my dorm (Safford) is really nice (except its really hot and has really squeaky floors). I think M&Cs and mountain day make the school unique. I would definitely choose Moho again even though it doesn't have quite as good financial aid as Smith.
    More about Mount Holyoke College
  6. 6

    Brown University

    • Providence, RI
    • 917 reviews
    College Freshman:Professors, even in large lecture classes, are always approachable and friendly. They are open to extensions when asked and even small talk. However, with the amount of time you have with each professor (this also depends on the size of the class) it's unlikely for you to become very friendly with any teachers throughout college unless you take initiative.

    Classes can range from 7 people to 200. There are a variety of options, usually intro classes are big while seminars, language classes, and specific topic classes are smaller. With large classes there is an immense amount of TAs that are always available to help. They also run review/discussion sections to allow students to ask specific questions and get advice from experts who already aced the class.

    Most classes, in the humanities, make you do a lot of reading, have a smaller discussion section, and then 2-4 big assignments like midterms, finals, essays, take home exams, etc.

    The variety of courses speaks for itself. There are too many choices and they are all interesting!
    More about Brown University
  7. 7

    Clark University

    • Worcester, MA
    • 676 reviews
    Junior:Clark University is a located in Worcester, MA. Though campus is safe, the area surrounding campus can be sketchy at times; but, like all universities, the safety of students is a top priority. It is a very interesting and diverse community of students and professors. Most professors, faculty, and staff are kind and have their doors open to students when ever possible. One thing Clark is really focusing on these days is the job availability to students within the campus community so as to have students gain experience within their fields of study, or within other fields that may not pertain to their field of study.
    More about Clark University
  8. 8

    University of California - Santa Cruz

    • Santa Cruz, CA
    • 3,451 reviews
    Freshman:Nestled between the head bending Red Wood tree's UC Santa Cruz owns outstanding beauty. She is home to curious creatures, deer, raccoons, possums but even more interesting are yes, you guessed it. Banana Slugs! This awesome yellow gastropod as seen on John Travolta's in Pulp Fiction and any of your quirksome friend's shirt is the official mascot of UCSC. Pretty cool. However, it is sad to note that due to California's current drought the Banana Slug has been in decline. However, no fear Shakespeare, UCSC students excel in the science's ex. Marine Biology, Astronomy and Environmental Studies. They are sure to help find a solution to drought and save the Banana Slug. They are one od the world's leading research universities, therefore no fear.
    More about University of California - Santa Cruz
  9. 9

    Columbia College Chicago

    • Chicago, IL
    • 2,405 reviews
    Sophomore:This school is so much fun! They aren't kidding when they say they will prepare you for the real world and give you hands on experiences. The city is so fun to live in, it's not at all like your typical state school. Everyone is a weird artsy kid like you. First of all, make sure you have enough money to go here. They don't give out many scholarships past incoming freshmen. Second, meet with people and network. Don't come here undecided in your major, because there's really no room for error without wasting money because they focus on more career specific courses, even your gen eds will be related to your major.
    More about Columbia College Chicago
  10. 10
    Junior:Being a transfer student from Parsons Paris to SAIC I came with a very fresh outlook to how the school functioned and the overall feeling of the school. The ambiance of the school overall is very artistic, much less corporate than what Parsons was. Facilities are amazing. Teacher are great, though sometimes I miss that some professors are not fully invested in their work outside of school. I feel that SAIC is filled with authentic fine artists, less people that see school as a path to make money but as a way to ultimately learn and grow as artists. In a way, there is something very sensible that makes SAIC unique.
    More about School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  11. 11

    Savannah College of Art & Design

    • Savannah, GA
    • 2,790 reviews
    Alum:SCAD is a dynamic school in a beautiful and unique city. I valued my undergrad education there. It retained a small-school feel of community despite its growth during my time there (2005-2009). Make sure to take a close look at the curriculum for each selected program, and compare it to the curriculum of other schools. Some classmates felt the foundations requirements were too unrelated to their program of study. Pay attention to current rankings, as there have been some changes in recent years. Look at acceptance vs. retention rates for patterns in certain programs as well!
    More about Savannah College of Art & Design
  12. 12

    Wheaton College - Massachusetts

    • Norton, MA
    • 599 reviews
    Freshman:Wheaton is diverse in interests of students which adds to our collaborative community. Whether you're a poet, an athlete, a scientist, an artist or a philosopher, there's a niche for you here. Some aspects are definitely better than others -- such as, the food certainly isn't what draws you in. But the student body, the faculty, and the professors are! Overall, it's a happy places here where students hang out in hammocks in front of res halls and play frisbee in the Dimple when there's good weather. And when it's a typical day in the New England winter, you can find students indoors hanging out drinking wine.
    More about Wheaton College - Massachusetts
  13. 13

    Mills College

    • Oakland, CA
    • 647 reviews
    College Junior:I COULD NOT IMAGINE A BETTER PLACE TO BE! I by no means considered attending a women's college. It wasn't until I visited Mills campus and sat in on a couple classes, that I realized what a unique and empowering institution Mills is! The professors are exceptional; they have extensive published research, but are most passionate about teaching. Professors make themselves accessible by offering office hours throughout the week, responding immediately to emails and occasionally giving out their cell/home phone numbers. Professors want you to develop a relationship with them and hope you take the time to meet with them outside of class. Because the classes are typically 15 (or less) students, professors expect everyone to do the reading and participate in class. Mills students are passionate, articulate, outspoken and empowered. The Mills student body is much more racially and socioeconomically diverse than the other 22 colleges I extensively researched. When students with varied life experiences are expected to participate in class, discussions are dynamic, highly educational and exciting!

    I was fed up with the quality of education at my high school and was pleasantly surprised to find a college that teaches you about influential people and achievements OUTSIDE the white, masculinist, heteronormative, capitalist narrative. At Mills, I have learned about groundbreaking grassroots social justice movements in the Bay Area (and World) that were organized by queer people of color. Prior to Mills, I thought I was fairly educated on social justice movements, my white privilege, and politics. HOWEVER, I knew nothing compared to what I know now (two years later.) I have learned how to THINK CRITICALLY, recognize implicit bias and question all authors, politicians, policy makers and influential people to determine if they are perpetuating structures of oppression or challenging them. Overall, I LOVE MY CLASSES and LOVE MY SOCIAL LIFE AT MILLS EVEN MORE!
    More about Mills College
  14. 14

    University of Puget Sound

    • Tacoma, WA
    • 694 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:University of Puget Sound is the total experience. You'll find world-class professors in every department, who not only love their topics, but love teaching and are great at it! Even better - the academic atmosphere extends beyond the classroom. Puget Sound students love to learn, discuss what they are learning, and apply it. The campus also has a strong focus on diversity and offers numerous opportunities to actively engage in important social topics effecting our culture and the world today. I miss the Puget Sound community, with all of it's intellectualism and social justice minded individuals. I have yet to find such a stimulating community anywhere else.
    More about University of Puget Sound
  15. 15

    Tufts University

    • Medford, MA
    • 857 reviews
    Freshman:Tufts is an amazing school! The intellectual environment is extremely is stimulative. The Professors are very passionate about what they teach and are open to helping any of their students. The food is good too! Students are generally friendly depending on the crowd you hang out with. The political environment is one of liberalism. I love this school and would attend it again when given the chance. There is diversity in terms of the many people from different backgrounds and categories. The surrounding area is beautiful! The school is not called the "Light on the Hill" for no reason
    More about Tufts University
  16. 16

    Portland State University

    • Portland, OR
    • 2,132 reviews
    Junior:The campus is absolutely gorgeous and I have learned so much being from the classes I've taken here. It is more of a commuter school and most of the students are originally from Oregon. A high percentage of students are also a bit older than college students typically are (18-25) which makes the party scene a bit non-existent. However, if you are 21+ there are lots of bars in downtown that are worth your time. The biggest complaint I would have about Portland State is the location. I love Portland but downtown is not very safe in my opinion. There is a lot of scary people and a lot of crime that happens right around campus. If you wander too far from your dorm you may run into trouble. Also, I would recommend not taking night classes for safety reasons. We do have an easily accessible campus security who will escort you home if you're smart enough to take advantage!
    More about Portland State University
  17. 17

    Goucher College

    • Baltimore, MD
    • 808 reviews
    Sophomore:I am originally from Rwanda. I came to the United States for secondary and post- secondary education. For the past year and half, my daily experience at Goucher (in terms of Academics and social life) has been proof of how worth it was to leave home (my family and my culture) for the sake of knowledge. I am much more eloquent, critical, and knowledgable regarding various subject matters-- For instance the condition of the global economy (as an economics major) and the vitality of efficient political institutions ( as an International Relations minor). I am immensely grateful to have been chosen to be part of such an intellectual community. Another thing I like about Goucher-- in addition to its remarkable academic programs is its diversity rate-- people like me are welcomed and easily integrated into the community.
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  18. 18

    Smith College

    • Northampton, MA
    • 828 reviews
    College Freshman:The academics are great, workload hard but manageable. The access to the 5 College Consortium and PVTA lets you basically take any class you can think of. Career services is great if you're an Econ or STEM major, less helpful if you're in the other social sciences and humanities. There are ample opportunities and funding for internships and studying abroad. The social scene is what you make it. In the quad, there is a general social atmosphere that (to me) makes college less stressful. Also good parties on the weekends! Other areas of campus tend to be quieter and have more study-heavy atmospheres, especially Green Street.
    More about Smith College
  19. 19

    SUNY Purchase College

    • Purchase, NY
    • 1,003 reviews
    Niche User:I will be heading to SUNY Purchase in the fall, and can say that I've never been so excited to initiate a new chapter in my life, not that I've had many. My older brother went to Purchase and I've had a few good friends go there as well, so I have built a relationship with the place in a way where i feel confident in my decision to join the likes of many brilliant, creative mind in the fall. In October of 2016, I spent a beautiful night on campus with a good friend and had an amazing experience. Everyone I spoke with was so warm and welcoming. They shared their thoughts, stories, and advice with me in a way I wasn't expecting, being I was younger and a stranger. I felt like I was already a part of the community and cant wait to be a full time member in August!
    More about SUNY Purchase College
  20. 20

    Hampshire College

    • Amherst, MA
    • 379 reviews
    College Freshman:Hampshire College is a great school if you're honestly good at doing interdisciplinary work, that's how you'll best take advantage of the school. I love the clubs that form, depending on which ones you go to, you'll find friends. Financially, this school is a bit hard to afford, definitely recomend getting a job or scholarships! Beautiful setting, and great people.
    More about Hampshire College
  21. 21

    Columbia University

    • New York, NY
    • 1,083 reviews
    Graduate Student:I am currently enrolled in graduate school at the prestigious Columbia University. I am impressed with the level of diversity at Columbia. There is a majority minority. Most of my seminars are comprised of Asian, Indian students I myself am typically the only African American student. I believe that Columbia truly wants their students to thrive. They bring in some of the best professors from the corporate world. For instances in one of my courses I have three different professors. Each have a very different perspective and method of teaching. I will say that I am disappointed that there are not more scholarships available to graduate students; I am working a full-time job in addition to taking a full course load so that I can graduate in a two year span and pay for school. Mind you I have a 3.8 G.P.A I believe that their should be some source of funding other than loans for students in my situation.
    More about Columbia University
  22. 22

    Emerson College

    • Boston, MA
    • 1,005 reviews
    Alum:My four years at Emerson gave me great friends, helped shape my worldview, and greatly contributed to my career trajectory. The amount of opportunity there, both in and out of classes, is endless. The Emerson connections aren't a myth and the name is recognized outside the film/TV industry as well. I was a marketing communications major and I can't count how many times people in the marketing/advertising industry called out, recognized, and asked me about my school during internship interviews and networking events. After participating in an internship for credit at a Boston agency during my senior year, I received a job offer right before graduation, and I've been very happy there since!
    More about Emerson College
  23. 23

    Fashion Institute of Technology

    • New York, NY
    • 1,391 reviews
    Freshman:I just completed my first week. I am unable to give a full review, but so far the professors are kind and excellent at teaching hands on. I hear the work load for fashion students is crazy so I imagine the semester will only get more difficult. The campus is great. Its clean and spacious, especially for being in Manhattan. The location is perfect, as it is right next to the garment district and right in the middle of Manhattan. Everything is nearby. The dorms are excellent as well. Kaufman is especially great as the rooms are larger than the rooms in other halls. Overall, my experience is great so far!
    More about Fashion Institute of Technology
  24. 24

    Vassar College

    • Poughkeepsie, NY
    • 588 reviews
    Freshman:I have had an amazing experience during my first year at Vassar. The tuition is very high, but the school offers one of the best financial aid packages in the country. The classes are very interactive, and the professors are not only helpful, but also challenge students to think beyond their limits. The students are also very involved in on campus activities, and there are a wide variety of clubs that students can participate in. The only downside to the school would have to be the food, as the "deece", the all-student dining center, is infamous for having bad food.
    More about Vassar College
  25. 25

    American University

    • Washington, DC
    • 2,179 reviews
    Sophomore:So far, I am having a pretty good college experience. The atmosphere at American University is amazing. There are so many students who are dedicated and really passionate about their areas of interests. American also provides excellent resources in helping you to be the most prepared that you can be in order to succeed. However, I wish they had more on campus events to promote more school spirit. And like any school they could improve their food. But overall, I am having a great experience so far!
    More about American University