Accredited Online Liberal Arts Schools and Degree Programs

A liberal arts degree offers students the option to study a wide variety of subjects; music, literature, logic and anthropology are all potential areas to delve into. In a liberal arts program students can design their own specializations, which will prepare them for a career of their choosing post-graduation. This guide will assist you in finding an online liberal arts degree program and will detail notable schools and career options.

We have put together a school directory tool at the bottom of this page so you can quickly search for schools based on subject, state and degree type.

  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Career Options
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

Currently, there are no reputable accreditation agencies for liberal arts programs, however, there are several agencies that accredit higher learning institutions as a whole. Before applying to a school, check with its administration to find out if the school is accredited, and if so, by whom.

Career Options

Post graduation, a liberal arts student will have the option to choose from a variety of careers, including the positions listed in the following table. Employment statistics and wage information are listed, along with some of the fastest growing liberal arts careers, according to Open Education Database.

Archivist 29,300 $21.35 $44,410
Curators 29,300 $21.35 $44,410
Social Worker 607,300 $21.25 $44,200
Historian 3,800 $25.23 $52,480
Librarian 148,400 $26.62 $55,370

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Notable Schools

You will likely spend two-plus years in any given liberal arts degree program, which is why it is important to find a program that suits your individual needs and maintains strict standards for coursework, professors and student support services.


Online liberal arts programs offer students the option to get their degree while staying at home or tending to other responsibilities such as work. These programs are often flexible and are provided through universities known for having high standards.

Harvard Extension School

Cambridge, Massachusetts / Online

Harvard Extension School allows students to earn a degree part-time through a combination of on-campus and online courses. This college’s Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts program gives students the opportunity to focus their studies in one of 19 fields within biological sciences, social sciences and humanities. Harvard University is known for its notable faculty and rich course material, traits that carry over to the online extension programs as well.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts / Online

The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers an undergraduate degree in liberal arts. This degree can be applied to further coursework in a bachelor’s, graduate or professional certificate program, or it can be directly applied in the workforce. The liberal arts degree program is customizable and flexible, and it is a great choice for those seeking further education. This national research institute was ranked #10 for great value in 2013 by Forbes.

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire / Online

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, non-profit higher learning institution. This college is known for providing a great education at an affordable price; its innovative course offerings allow students to save money by finishing their coursework faster. At South New Hampshire University, students can earn an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, which they can then apply to a bachelor’s, graduate or certificate program in nearly any discipline.

Campus Only

Campus-only liberal arts degree programs offer students the benefit of an in-person education. Benefits include a more personal experience with teachers, access to a variety of student support services and more. The following notable schools offer on-campus liberal arts degrees:

Williams College

Williamstown, Massachusetts

Williams College was ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report for its liberal arts program. At Williams College, students have a lot of flexibility in their coursework; there are no required courses at this college. However, students must take three courses in each of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social sciences, and science and mathematics. Instead of earning a minor, Williams College students are able to focus their study in one of several concentrations, comprised of topics that pull from a variety of disciplines.

Amherst College (MA)

Amherst, Massachusetts

Amherst College, ranked #2 by U.S. News and World Report for its liberal arts program, offers 37 Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. This allows students to create their own major or program of study. With more than 115 student clubs and 60% of students receiving financial aid, Amherst is among the most student-centered colleges in the nation.

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College was ranked #3 by U.S. News and World Report for its liberal arts program. This private college has a solid foundation in liberal arts and engineering and accepts students regardless of financial need. Swarthmore College offers students support services, clubs, leadership opportunities and the ability to contribute their unique cultural history to campus.