Many schools across the country boast their political diversity, with some leaning more toward social, economical, and cultural conservatism. This conservative viewpoint often displays in the institution's course options and student conduct codes.
By focusing on the most important political issues for conservatives nationwide, we have identified the 10 most conservative colleges in the country. These schools tend to favor free-market economics, maintain traditional conservative views on moral and social issues, attract students with conservative political views, and value individual liberty and limited government. Some schools even refuse federal funding to remain independent and limit government interference. Others enforce strict student honor and conduct codes. Most conservative colleges and universities remain small, private, and rooted in Christian teachings.
Continue below to view our full list of the 10 most conservative U.S. colleges and universities.
Most Conservative Colleges
Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, boasts a strong reputation as a conservative campus. The Lynchburg, Virginia, school regularly hosts well-known conservative speakers, including businessman Steve Forbes, U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, and President Donald Trump.
The university delivers instruction based on a biblical worldview, with Jesus Christ placed at the center of human history, culture, and society. Liberty's mission to "Train Champions for Christ" gives students the education needed to make a positive difference in the world around them.
Through the Wilmington School of the Bible, Liberty offers programs and courses focused on biblical studies. However, the university also offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in business, education, and the sciences.
Liberty has also garnered attention for its respect of students' Second Amendment rights, allowing the concealed carry of firearms on campus grounds.
Brigham Young University
BYU, a school founded on the principles of the Mormon religion, offers one of the most conservative student bodies in the United States. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints access tuition at nearly half of what non-LDS members pay.
The university's strict honor code instructs all individuals to use clean language, live a virtuous life, and participate in regular church services. Students must also abstain from alcoholic beverages, caffeine, and illicit substances. Learners must meet these honor code standards to enroll in and continue their studies at BYU.
Additionally, all BYU students must take and pass 14 credit hours of Christian religion coursework prior to graduation. These classes cover subjects like the doctrine of the Book of Mormon, the importance of family, and the foundations of the LDS restoration. Most students engage in mission trips to serve others and spread the Mormon faith around the world.
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Located in eastern Ohio, Franciscan University of Steubenville boasts a campus of wholesome people dedicated to serving others through their faith. The school offers a regular talk show on the Christian television network EWTN, through which professors, staff, students, and guests cover a variety of faith-based topics.
Named one of just a few "faithfully Catholic universities" by the Cardinal Newman Society, Franciscan University of Steubenville focuses on teaching scripture, faith-based traditions, and Christian humanism to promote student growth.
Serving the less fortunate comprises the core of Franciscan's philosophy, with students encouraged to act humbly and evangelize in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. In addition to the school's offerings, the Christian Students for Free Enterprise combines the principles of free markets and the Christian faith to advance society through innovation and a strong sense of ethics and morality.
Once referred to as a "shining city on a hill" for conservative students, southern Michigan's Hillsdale College is in a class of its own. The campus features the Liberty Walk, which displays statutes of well-known conservative figures like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, along with Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington. Hillsdale students even invented a game called Thatcherball, which involves running a football through the quad and dropping it into the lap of the Margaret Thatcher statue. The late British prime minister reportedly knew of the game and approved of it.
Each freshman student signs the Hillsdale Honor Code, which speaks to the virtue of self-government and encourages individuals to seek moral and intellectual excellence and "humility before our Creator." This makes the private nonprofit college one of the few nationwide to combine a strong Christian tradition with the key principles of limited government and free markets.
Patrick Henry College
Located in Purcellville, Virginia, and founded in 2000, PHC serves just over 300 students. The school's motto is "Pro Christo et Libertate," which translates to "for Christ and for liberty" and focuses on educating students on the foundations of freedom that make America special. Many of PHC's general education courses emphasize the country's beginnings and the principles under which the founders operated.
The college's founder and chancellor, Dr. Michael Farris, a well-known conservative figure, has argued cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and written several books. PHC also hosts numerous experienced conservative scholars on staff, including leading minds on limited government, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and Western civilization.
Patriotism plays an important role in the PHC community. Each year, on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks, students place 2,997 small American flags around a flagpole to honor the fallen.
|La Mirada, CA||
Regularly ranked as one of the most conservative postsecondary institutions in the country, Biola University is first and foremost a Christian school. In fact, in 2012, the school took part of a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect religious freedom from federal overreach.
Biola's core mission remains to positively impact the world in the name of Jesus Christ. The university instills in its students a commitment of faith and service to others through personal and professional work while allowing them to seek truth in rigorous and intellectually sound ways.
Biola students regularly take part in chapel worship, with several services available on campus each week. All full-time students must attend at least 20 chapel and five conference services each semester to remain enrolled. Students receive the opportunity to lead many of these services and engage in Bible study and community service activities.
Houston Baptist University
HBU, a private Christian university, maintains a deep connection with the Baptist Church. The school instills learning that sparks students' spiritual, educational, and professional curiosities as part of its mission statement. Courses feature lessons and insights found in the Bible, and students take 80 credits of community life and worship as part of the school's general education requirements.
In addition to its Christian roots, HBU is a popular business school. The Archie W. Dunham College of Business offers five undergraduate and seven master's degree programs. The school focuses on building character in its students, while training the next generation of moral and ethical business professionals.
HBU's list student organizations also reflects its conservative culture. Some of the more popular groups on campus include the American Enterprise Institute, College Republicans, and Young Americans for Liberty.
Founded in 1960, the university currently serves more than 3,300 students, both on campus and through online programs.
Bob Jones University
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, Bob Jones University holds a reputation for its strong Christian roots, conservative on-campus culture, and the way in which it welcomes home-schooled students. BJU prepares students for both rewarding careers and a faith-driven life, starting with core courses that combine biblical teachings with subjects like history, science, and the arts.
The university maintains strict rules for students that encourage them to practice personal discipline through respect, integrity, and purity in all they do. Students must attend chapel Monday through Thursday and take part in Sunday church services. Most students also opt to participate in various faith-based and ministry-focused student groups.
In the spring semester, the entire Bob Jones campus takes a few days off from classes to attend a Bible Conference, featuring guest speakers, preachers, singing, and fellowship. Students also raise money for community service projects and missions.
Texas A&M University
|College Station, TX||
Texas A&M remains one of the most conservative public universities in the United States. While the university declines a specific Christian focus or worldview, attending students often hold much more conservative or libertarian political beliefs than what one might find at other colleges and universities across the country.
Texas A&M's conservative nature may be in part due to its robust engineering and business programs. This department attracts free-market thinkers who believe in the potential of business and the limits of government.
The university's numerous conservative student groups feature high levels of participation. These include the College Republicans, Aggie Libertarians, Young Americans for Freedom, Turning Point USA, Pro-Life Aggies, and the Free Speech Forum.
Texas A&M, founded in 1948, currently serves more than 68,000 undergraduate and graduate students, making it one of the largest postsecondary institutions in the United States.
Colorado Christian University
CCU takes great pride in being one of the top conservative universities in the country and demonstrates commitment to advancing traditional family values, service to the less fortunate, respecting the sanctity of life, and maximizing personal freedom. Students can grow in their faith with their peers and access a wide variety of activities, organizations, and ministries.
The private nonprofit university features the Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank that advocates for freedom, faith, and family values in U.S. public affairs. In recent years, the institute has hosted speakers, such as former Senator Rick Santorum and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
CCU, located in Lakewood and founded in 1914, also hosts the annual Western Conservative Summit, which includes numerous conservative leaders during the three-day annual event. This convention makes for a popular stop on the campaign trail during the Republican presidential primary race.