6. Boston College (Newton, MA)
Contrary to popular belief, Boston College is not located in Boston, but actually in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Although legally classified as a university, Boston College retains the name “college” as a reflection of its historic past as a small liberal arts college.
Notable alumni from Boston College include actor Leonard Nimoy, actress Amy Poehler, U.S. Senator John Kerry, and mutual fund manager Peter Lynch.
Boston College has long prided itself on its attention to the study philosophy and has made a point of integrating it into the university’s curriculum. In 2016, it was ranked #19 best philosophy program by Great Value Colleges, and in 2020, the undergraduate philosophy program was ranked #4 according to GradReports.
In a move towards diversity and inclusion, rather than use the word “minority,” Boston College uses the acronym AHANA to refer to persons of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. Since the term’s adoption in 1979, AHANA has spread to other campuses, although Boston College holds the trademark.
5. Davidson College (Davidson, NC)
Davidson, North Carolina is home to Davidson College. According to U.S. News & World Reports, Davidson is ranked 2nd in “Best Undergraduate Teaching.”
Additionally, The Princeton Review ranks it as #3 for both “Town-Gown Relations” and the “Easiest Campus to Get Around.”
Davidson College boasts an impressive 97% of full-time members holding PhDs and others having terminal degrees. Additionally, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars.
Culturally, Davidson College holds its students to the Honor Code. Students are expected to behave so honorably that final exams are unproctored and self-scheduled. Other exams are take-home, untimed, and/or open book. It’s not uncommon for a single exam to take multiple days to complete.
In 2007, Davidson College restructured their financial aid so that no student is required to take out a loan in order to graduate. Although students and parents are allowed to take out loans, no financial package offered from the university contains loans.
4. Macalester College (Saint Paul, MN)
Macalester College is tucked away in frosty, yet active and bustling Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Macalester College has a reputation for being highly LGBTQ+ friendly. Campus Pride gives Macalester College five out of five stars in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
Additionally, Macalester promotes sustainability on campus going so far as to begin campus composting in 2013 in conjunction with other projects such as an Urban Wind Turbine and Eco-House, a student residence with a wide range of eco-friendly adaptations.
U.S. News and World Reports ranks Macalester at #24 (tied) for “Most Innovative” and #31 (tied) for “Study Abroad.” Macalester has a strong culture of multiculturalism, from international student support to promoting multicultural events to encouraging their own students to study abroad. In fact, eleven majors (including non-language majors!) require a semester of studying abroad.