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Great Undergraduate Liberal Arts Colleges in the South

If you’re looking for that quaint Southern charm in your college search, look no further than this list of undergraduate liberal arts schools down South.

With so many liberal arts colleges and universities in the nation, it can feel next to impossible to find the right one for your needs and goals—because while there are a lot, they’re definitely not all the same. This list of liberal arts schools in the Southern US is a great place to start learning more about what makes them special. You can see some highlights about each school, click through to read more about them on their CollegeXpress profile, and even get connected directly using the green “Connect me” buttons to let them tell you more about themselves. Find that tight-knit liberal arts community you’re looking for today!

Agnes Scott College

Agnes Scott College logoAgnes Scott College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college for women in Decatur, Georgia—just six miles from downtown Atlanta. At Agnes Scott, more than 1,100 students choose from 30 undergraduate majors and minors, 150+ study abroad programs in 50+ countries, and over 60 clubs and organizations on campus. The College also offers a unique SUMMIT core curriculum that focuses on applying classroom learning to real-world experiences through hands-on opportunities.

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Asbury University

Asbury University logoAsbury University is a private Christian liberal arts university based in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and located in Wilmore, Kentucky—just 15 miles south of Lexington. Asbury’s 15 academic departments offer more than 150 areas of study and personalized online program options. Nearly 2,000 students come from 41 states and 35 countries to take advantage of the University’s nationally accredited Music Department, 16 intercollegiate athletic teams, cross-cultural mission trips, and more.

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Barry University

Barry University logoBarry University is a private Catholic liberal arts university in Miami Shores, Florida. Offering 150 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs through nine colleges and schools, the University enrolls more than 7,500 students from 80+ countries. Barry also has an active campus community with 60 organizations to choose from and 12 varsity athletic teams with 19 NCAA Division II championship titles.

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Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College logoBridgewater College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Bridgewater, Virginia—nearby Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, DC. Joining a student body of nearly 1,500, new Bridgewater students can choose from 55 undergraduate majors and minors as well as study abroad programs and May Term travel opportunities. It’s easy to get involved on campus with 60+ clubs, organizations, and honor societies to join as well as intramural sports teams and entertainment organized by the Campus Engagement and Activity Team.

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Catawba College

Catawba College logoCatawba College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Salisbury, North Carolina—50 miles from Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. Catawba offers students 70+ fields of study to choose from, an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, 23 Division II athletic teams, and 40 clubs and organizations. The College also supports undergraduates financially with 100% of students receiving financial aid.

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Centre College

Centre CollegeCentre College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college located in Danville, Kentucky—35 miles from Lexington. The College is home to a student body of 1,450 and a variety of majors, minors, and pre-professional programs for undergraduates as well as Army and Air Force ROTC through the University of Kentucky. With 98% of students living on campus and speakers, concerts, plays, and athletic competitions almost every day, a feeling of community is a highlight of the Centre experience.

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Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University logoCharleston Southern University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Charleston, South Carolina. With a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, the University offers more than 60 undergraduate programs to a student body of 2,700+. Student-athletes can compete on 16 Division I athletic teams, and vibrant campus ministries and student organizations provide opportunities to serve at the local, national, and global level.

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Christian Brothers University

Christian Brothers University logoChristian Brothers University is a private Catholic university just four miles from downtown Memphis, Tennessee. With an average class size of 16 and a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, the University offers more than 70 majors and minors to 1,700+ students. CBU’s curriculum allows students to work with expert professionals in their fields of interests to build knowledge and skills as well as a résumé.

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Coker University

Coker UniversityCoker University is a private liberal arts university in Hartsville, South Carolina—70 miles northeast of Columbia. Coker offers 1,100+ undergraduates 29 traditional majors and 23 minors as well as individualized, double-major, self-designed, specialization, and pre-professional programs. The AccessCoker initiative provides every first-year student an iPad® and Apple Pencil® as well as G Suite for Education, Blackboard discussion forums, campus social media channels, classroom apps, career resources, research platforms, and more for all students.

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Covenant College

Covenant College logoCovenant College is a Presbyterian liberal arts college on Lookout Mountain in Georgia—just across the state line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. With an enrollment just under 1,000 students, the College provides a rigorous and religiously integrated education through 27 majors and numerous minors, pre-professional programs, and certificates. Covenant also offers the Center for Calling and Career to help students incorporate faith into their career preparation.

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Eckerd College

Eckerd College logoEckerd College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts and sciences college on Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida—just 25 miles from Tampa. The College offers 42 majors and 52 minors as well as three different leadership and scholars program options to enhance each student’s learning. Many of Eckerd’s 2,000+ undergraduates travel with faculty leaders to nearly 40 countries for research and cultural learning, including a University-owned study center in London.

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Elon University

Elon University logoElon University is a selective independent liberal arts university in Elon, North Carolina—east of Greensboro and northwest of Raleigh/Durham. At Elon, more than 6,000 undergraduates are enrolled in over 70 academic programs and can get involved in 280+ campus clubs and organizations. Students can study away for a one-month Winter Term, a semester, a summer, or a whole academic year with 100+ study abroad and Study USA programs.

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Erskine College

Erskine CollegeErskine College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in Due West, South Carolina—45 miles from Greenville. With an 11:1 student-faculty and nearly all classes with 25 students or fewer, Erskine offers more than 700 undergraduates the ability to work with faculty to customize any of the College’s 30 major programs and create a personal course of study. Faith and learning are integrated into the classroom, making each student’s spiritual growth and development a top priority.

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Hendrix College

Hendrix College logoHendrix College is a private Methodist liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas—25 miles north of Little Rock. Hendrix offers more than 30 majors and 33 minors as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs to 1,100+ students. Distinctive opportunities include the Hendrix Odyssey Program for hands-on learning and project development, with $4 million in grants available for students to pursue their passions outside the classroom.

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Hollins University

Hollins University logoHollins University is a private liberal arts university for women in Roanoke, Virginia. Hollins offers 29 majors, 30 minors, and 17 concentrations to a small, diverse student body of more than 700 students from 46 states and 24 countries. The University’s study abroad program, guaranteed internship placements, and Batten Leadership Institute all serve to further prepare students to be leaders in their future professions.

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Lynn University

Lynn University logoLynn University is a private liberal arts university in Boca Raton, Florida—23 miles from Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach and 50 miles from Miami. At Lynn, more than 3,200 students come from 45 states and 101 countries to pursue 110 undergraduate and graduate programs. The University is nationally known for its Dialogues core curriculum and award-winning iPad®-powered learning program.

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McMurry University

McMurry University logoMcMurry University is a private Methodist liberal arts university in Abilene, Texas. With 1,100 students and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, the University offers more than 50 academic programs through eight divisions and schools. McMurray students perform over 24,000 hours of community service each year and also benefit from 40+ clubs and organizations, 21 athletic teams, and the McMurry Community Commitment, which covers 50% of tuition for students of essential workers. 

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Meredith College

Meredith College logoMeredith College is a private liberal arts college for women in Raleigh, North Carolina. The College offers over 90 majors, minors, and concentrations as well as the option to design your own major to more than 1,500 undergraduates. Those who want to pursue law, dentistry, medicine, and other medical fields can participate in Meredith’s pre-professional programs that combine foundational coursework with clinical experience and work-study programs.

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Methodist University

Methodist University logoMethodist University is a private Christian liberal arts college in Fayetteville, North Carolina—60 miles south of Raleigh. At MU, approximately 2,100 students have the advantage of small classes—averaging fewer than 20 students—in more than 80 majors, minors, and concentration programs. Outside of the classroom, students can get involved in almost 100 clubs and organizations, 20 NCAA Division III athletic teams, honor societies, recreational sports, and more.

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Oklahoma Baptist University

Oklahoma Baptist University logoOklahoma Baptist University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Shawnee, Oklahoma—35 miles east of Oklahoma City. The University offers more than 80 undergraduate programs of study as well as four master’s and graduate certificate programs to 1,400 students from 31 states and 12 countries. OBU keeps their education affordable with 100% of incoming first-year students receiving a guaranteed minimal $10,000 annual financial aid award. 

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Oral Roberts University

Oral Roberts University logoOral Roberts University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. More than 150 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs are offered at ORU to 4,700+ students from all 50 states and 120+ nations. The University is also home to 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams, more than 30 student-led clubs and organizations, and a multitude of leadership opportunities.

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Randolph College

Randolph College logoRandolph College is a private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Virginia. With more than 500 total students, the College offers around 30 majors, over 40 minors, and pre-professional programs in Engineering, Medicine, and Veterinary Studies. Students can get involved on campus with 40 organizations, eight men’s and 10 women’s athletic teams, and the competitive Davenport Leadership Program, which provides opportunities to build attributes and skills that make great leaders.

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Schreiner University

Schreiner University logoSchreiner University is a private Presbyterian liberal arts university in Kerrville, Texas—60 miles northwest of San Antonio. At Schreiner, over 1,100 students are enrolled in more than 40 academic programs featuring small class sizes and an average student-faculty ratio of 13:1. The University supports students and helps them graduate with less debt by offering four-year fixed tuition and freshman scholarships worth up to $100,000. 

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University logoSouthwestern Assemblies of God University is a private multipurpose religious university in Waxahachie, Texas—30 miles from downtown Dallas. SAGU’s foundation includes seven core values of Bible-based education, Pentecostal distinction, spiritual formation, academic excellence, mission mindedness, servant leadership, and community and personal wellness. More than 1,600 students pursue over 70 degree programs and have the opportunity to serve around the world, with 170+ countries. 

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Southwestern University

Southwestern University logoSouthwestern University is a private Methodist liberal arts and sciences university in Georgetown, Texas—28 miles north of Austin. At Southwestern, more than 1,500 students pursue 37 majors and seven pre-professional programs with an average class size of 18 and a student-faculty ratio of 12:1. The University also offers 100+ student organizations, 20 Division III athletic teams, club and intramural sports, and career services that are ranked first in the state.

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Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College logoSpring Hill College is a Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts college in Mobile, Alabama. The College enrolls more than 1,300 students from 31 states and 30 countries while offering more than 50 undergraduate majors and areas of concentration, a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, and an average class size of 13. Students can get involved through 70+ clubs and organizations, an 18-hole golf course and disc golf course on campus, and the Foley Center, through which an average of 24,000 hours are contributed to local community service each year.

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Texas Wesleyan University

Texas Wesleyan University logoTexas Wesleyan University is a private Methodist university in the liberal arts tradition located in Fort Worth, Texas—only four miles from downtown. The University offers more than 30 academic programs to an undergraduate enrollment of over 1,400. Students benefit from a small 75-acre campus, a variety of organizations and campus activities, and the Smarter U+ Scholarship program, which awards students additional scholarship money every year simply by participating in important admission processes like visiting campus and submitting the FAFSA. 

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Transylvania University

Transylvania University logoTransylvania University is a private liberal arts university in Lexington, Kentucky—just a few blocks from downtown. The University offers nearly 50 majors in fields ranging from Art History and Psychology to International Affairs and Neuroscience—as well as the option to create your own major—to over 900 students. With the 100 Doors to Success mentorship program, students have the opportunity to be mentored and network with Transylvania alumni from around the world.

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Trevecca Nazarene University

Trevecca Nazarene University logoTrevecca Nazarene University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Nashville, Tennessee. The University offers more than 90 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to nearly 4,000 total students. Trevecca also has 13 athletic programs, nine campus ministries, 47 chapel opportunities each semester, annual international mission trips, and extensive community service options as a part of its experiential learning model.

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Union University

Union University logoUnion University is a private Baptist university in Jackson, Tennessee—80 miles east of Memphis—with branch campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville. With a total enrollment of over 3,100 students and a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, Union offers more than 100 programs of study, with distinctive options in Cybersecurity and Zoology. Students can also engage with 90+ student organizations, NCAA Division II athletic teams, and a rich residence life experience. 

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University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word logoThe University of the Incarnate Word is a private Catholic liberal arts university in San Antonio, Texas. Designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, UIW is home to over 9,000 students from more than 60 countries pursuing 90+ undergraduate academic programs. Students can participate in Division I athletics and 100+ clubs and organizations, and any applicant graduating from a Catholic high school receives an additional scholarship to attend the University. 

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University of North Carolina Asheville

UNC AshevilleThe University of North Carolina Asheville is a public liberal arts institution located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Around 3,300 students pursue degrees in the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences with an average class size of 18 and a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. UNC Asheville is the headquarters of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, an organization of state-supported liberal arts colleges that recognize the importance of liberal arts and sciences education for success in a complex global society.

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University of North Georgia

University of North Georgia logoThe University of North Georgia is a public liberal arts university with campuses in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee, Georgia. UNG offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s, graduate, and doctorate degrees—including 60 undergraduate majors—to more than 20,000 students across all five campuses. The University also provides numerous opportunities to get involved outside the classroom with 300+ campus clubs and organizations, including spirit groups like cheer team, drumline, pep band, and Georgia’s oldest college marching band.

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West Virginia Wesleyan College

West Virginia Wesleyan College logoWest Virginia Wesleyan College is a private Methodist liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Wesleyan undergraduate students can choose from 50 majors and 33 minors that all offer a focus on personal development and hands-on experiences. With more than 1,000 students on campus, the College community is alive through 70+ on-campus clubs and organizations, including sororities and fraternities, cultural organizations, performance groups, leadership opportunities, and more. 

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