Small colleges provide a unique learning experience for students. Typically, when students attend a higher learning institution, they experience a large, sprawling campus that might make navigation difficult. College often comes with football games, Greek life, and a plethora of clubs and organizations. Larger universities also host a sizeable student population, resulting in high student-to-faculty ratios and a broad learning environment. Small colleges exist on the other end of the spectrum.

At small colleges, students enjoy smaller student-to-faculty ratios and a more individualized college experience. Additionally, they often must only navigate around a few different buildings due to the smaller campus size. Some small colleges allow students to join clubs and organizations. These groups provide a more intimate environment, allowing students to connect with peers and form lasting connections.

What Are The Smallest Colleges in America?

Rank School Location Description Toggle

Pacific States University

Los Angeles, CA

Founded in 1928, Pacific States University provides a comprehensive education in business and computer science. Located in Los Angeles, PSU offers both classroom and field-based learning opportunities to prepare students for their future careers. The student body comprises individuals from the U.S. and 40 other countries.

Students can take classes during the day, evening, and on Saturdays. Many students choose to accelerate their coursework by taking summer classes. Undergraduates can finish their programs in three years if they enroll in four quarters each year as a full-time student. Graduate students can complete their degree in two years as long as they have completed all prerequisites.


Paier College of Art

Hamden, CT

Established in 1946, Paier College of Art remains dedicated to applied arts study. Career-oriented students can enroll at Paier and study graphic design, interior design, fine arts, illustration, or photography. Faculty remain knowledgeable in the creative demands of their respective fields. Curricula focuses on art history, mathematics, physical science, social science, and art history.

Since 1982, Paier has stood out as an accredited four-year, degree-granting institution. The campus includes four buildings in Hamden, Connecticut, with a population of 57,000. Eight colleges, universities, and cultural centers are located near Paier, including the Yale Gallery and Peabody Museum. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, prior credits from an accredited institution, and all prerequisites finished. They must also complete at least 65 semester hours in a bachelor's program or 32 semester hours in an associate program.


St. Louis Christian College

Florissant, MO

A private, four-year undergraduate Bible college in Florissant, Missouri, St. Louis Christian College provides Bible-centered higher education to men and women who strive to impact the world as leaders. A four-person presidential transition team leads the college, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The college has been accredited since 1977 and has enjoyed good standing.

At St. Louis Christian College, graduates learn to rise as servant leaders in their chosen ministry area. Graduates possess the skills needed to relate to people of different backgrounds and serve them effectively. The college boasts a Christian worldview, promoting a broad base of academic knowledge at the center of Christianity. The curriculum integrates thought and life with academic topics. The college boasts a diverse community with an intimate campus life, allowing students to connect with their peers.


Kentucky Mountain Bible College

Jackson, KY

An evangelical Christian Holiness Bible college, Kentucky Mountain Bible College exists as a four-year accredited institution. Founded in 1931, the college aims to help men and women serve with a passion to prepare for His ministry; to know God; to live and teach the message of biblical holiness; and to evangelize and disciple the world for Christ. The college urges students to climb higher for God and focuses on spiritual character, traditional biblical values, a passion for holy living, and high academic standards.

KMBC balances class work and tests with projects and reading to provide students with a diverse, well-rounded program. Students complete a field ministry, which is a church ministry assignment that provides real-world experience. The college remains small with a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing for an individualized learning experience. Graduates go on to a variety of successful careers including international ministry positions and denominational leadership roles.


American Baptist College

Nashville, TN

American Baptist College exists as a predominantly African-American, small liberal arts college in Nashville, Tennessee. Curriculum helps students become critical thinkers, moral leaders, and servant leaders. ABC maintains a commitment to training students to become individuals of change in the world. ABC offers an associate of arts degree in general studies or music and arts; and bachelor of arts degrees in Bible and theology; behavior studies; theology; and entrepreneurial leadership.

ABC stands out as a historically black college that aims to educate, graduate, and prepare diverse students for Christian leadership, service, and social justice with an emphasis on liberal arts. ABC provides educational opportunities for gifted students with limited academic resources. The school prepares students to lead society through a Christ-centered education. ABC welcomes students regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, age, or class, and promotes a diverse environment.


Boise Bible College

Boise, ID

Equipped with students dedicated to becoming leaders of the Lord's church with integrity and a biblical worldview, Boise Bible College excels in preparing Christian leaders for different levels of church ministry. BBC remains an extension ministry of the local church and aims for students to remain debt-free so they can better serve the Lord. BBC boasts a sprawling campus on 16 acres in Boise, Idaho, even though the student population remains small. BBC aims to achieve a student population of at least 500.

The school opened in 1945 with only a few students as a ministry of the First Church of Christ in Boise. BBC served as a training school for ministers in the Pacific Northwest and still maintains the same mission. Not part of a denominational system, the college remains associated with independent congregations typically called Christian Churches or Churches of Christ.


Antioch College

Yellow Springs, OH

Priding itself on rising as a progressive and innovative institution and community, Antioch College remains dedicated to pursuing better and new ways of learning and living. Founded in 1850, Antioch remains centered around co-op and community as well as experiential education. The college's education opportunities exist beyond the traditional classroom. Learning also occurs throughout the campus community and world. Antioch encourages students to explore broad perspectives and innovative approaches to learning about critical issues.

The college strongly emphasizes community, allowing students, faculty, and staff to participate in institutional decision-making. Antioch encourages individuals to work together to develop cohesion and resilience. Situated in the middle of Miami Valley in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Appalachian Bible College

Mt. Hope, WV

Appalachian Bible College boasts an intimate learning environment for students with unique program options. Students can earn their bachelor's degree in Bible theology or ministry. Students can further specialize by choosing a focus area such as camping, interdisciplinary missions, pastoral, music, or elementary education. Additionally, students can pursue a one-year Bible foundation, master of arts in ministry, or a two-year associate of arts in biblical worldview.

ABC's motto is "Because Life is for Service." Curricula features quality biblical and theological classes to develop Christlike characteristics and guided Christian service, producing men and women who are trained to serve the Lord. ABC boasts a close-knit campus community and hosts a variety of on-campus events. Though the student body remains small, the campus covers a vast 150-acre span in West Virginia.


Hellenic College

Brookline, MA

Featuring undergraduate and graduate programs, Hellenic College exists as an educational, spiritual, and intellectual center of the Greek Orthodox church, dedicated to sustaining and developing ordained and lay vocations for service to societies based on faith and church. Hellenic College strives to cultivate students' moral, spiritual, and intellectual development so they can graduate ready to serve and contribute to the church and society. Hellenic fosters students' intellectual development by engaging them in liberal arts and professional curricula, demanding academic scholarship, and rigorous inquiry.

Hellenic promotes moral and spiritual development by incorporating students into the teachings, practices, and liturgical life of the Orthodox Christian community. The college also allows students to become aware of the universal cultural and intellectual values of the school's heritage. Hellenic encourages students to respond to their vocations by committing to service, faith, and education.


Arlington Baptist University

Arlington, TX

Arlington Baptist University features an open admissions policy, extending admission to anyone with a genuine desire to prepare themselves for service to the Lord. The university strives to prepare students for Christian ministries and life through general education, Bible studies, practical service, and church vacations. Curricula integrates faith and learning from a Christian worldview. The university emphasizes a thorough Bible preparation for all students.

Arlington Baptist University's academic programs provide students with the training they need to succeed in all aspects of church-related ministries and professional development programs. The university remains dedicated to promoting a positive campus experience that allows students to grow individually, spiritually as disciples of Jesus Christ, and academically. The university hosts many events to encourage students to maximize their college experience by not only learning, but networking and forming lasting friendships.


Johnson University Florida

Kissimmee, FL

Located in Kissimmee, Florida, Johnson University Florida provides students with an affordable and quality Christian education. The university sets high academic standards and maintains a close-knit, family-oriented environment in a culturally diverse community. JUFL's bachelor's programs feature a biblical, and arts and sciences core. Bachelor's programs include ministry leadership; teacher education; intercultural studies; music and worship; preaching; Bible and theology; business; and counseling.

Formerly known as Florida Christian College, JUFL exists as part of the Johnson University System. JUFL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and highlights programmatic accreditation by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. JUFL features associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, and reflects a mission to equip students for Christian ministries and ways to extend God's kingdom.


Trinity College of Florida

Trinity, FL

An evangelical, private, and interdenominational Bible college in New Port Richey, Florida, Trinity College of Florida features a 74% acceptance rate . Students can attend a free campus preview each year at Trinity to get a glimpse of campus life. They attend classes; experience the chapel; connect with students and professors; tour the campus; and learn how to maximize the financial aid process.

The college features several scholarship and financial aid opportunities to help students pay for their tuition and fees. Applicants must be committed to Jesus Christ and show a desire to study His word. Applicants need a minimum 2.2 GPA, a minimum 980 SAT score, and a minimum 18 ACT score. They must also attend church regularly and demonstrate a consistent Christian character.


Mid-Atlantic Christian University

Elizabeth City, NC

A private Christian university in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Mid-Atlantic Christian University remains supported by churches of Christ and Christian churches. A coeducational, four-year institution, MACU grants bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and certificates. For the past 60 years, MACU has earned distinction as the primary source of Church of Christ and Christian church preacher training in eastern North Carolina and Virginia.

The university boasts a student body of 218 with nine academic staff members and six administrative staff members. The campus features an east and west wing. The west campus houses faculty offices; an administration building; and a building with classrooms and a cafeteria. The east campus features a men's and women's dormitory, chapel, library, and gymnasium. An area considered north campus hosts a recreational area with a picnic spot and park.


Kuyper College

Grand Rapids, MI

A ministry-focused Christian leadership college, Kuyper College trains and educates Christian leaders to provide service and ministry. The college integrates a reformed worldview and an academic curriculum. Kuyper provides students who desire an academic and biblical college experience the chance to live through the filter of Scripture. Founded in 1939 as a reformed Bible institute, the college started with a three-year curriculum offering a track into domestic and foreign missions.

Today, Kuyper remains focused on Christian service no matter the vocation. The school offers ministry programs and a variety of other programs including information technology, education, communication, social work, and nursing. The student-to-faculty ratio at Kuyper stands at 15-to-1, allowing for an intimate and individualized learning setting. In 2015, Kuyper boasted 245 enrolled students.


Marlboro College

Marlboro, VT

Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont, exists as a private, small liberal arts college with an enrollment of 195 students. At Marlboro, students create an individualized course of study as they collaborate with faculty members and participate in a self-run community. In addition to coursework, students complete a self-designed, interdisciplinary thesis and a plan of concentration based on their academic interests.

The college spans 360 acres and hosts 41 full-time faculty members. The campus boasts unique facilities including a solar greenhouse, aviary, organic farm, and a nature forestland preserve. Students can access and enjoy all facilities. Marlboro also hosts town meetings to allow students and staff to vote for the college's bylaws. Brattleboro, which is about 20 minutes away, remains the closest major city to the campus. Marlboro facilities remain small due to the campus size. Most buildings are converted farm buildings that predate the college.


Emmaus Bible College

Dubuque, IA

A four-year private college in Dubuque, Iowa, Emmaus Bible College offers double majors in professional and biblical studies. Emmaus boasts a student body of 275 and remains affiliated with Open Brethren. Emmaus has been a member of the Evangelical Training Association since 1956 and is nationally accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

About half of Emmaus students hail from Brethren backgrounds. The other half come from evangelical backgrounds. The college offers associate degrees and bachelor's degrees in ministry-related and biblical fields as well as professional studies. Program areas include business administration; computer studies; Bible and theology; educational ministries; music; teacher education; psychology; and nursing. The college exists as a large facility despite a small student population. Emmaus also offers distance-learning programs for online students.


Criswell College

Dallas, TX

Criswell College exists as a liberal arts and divinity school located in Old East Dallas, Texas. The college provides professional and ministerial higher education for men and women as they prepare to serve as Christian leaders. Criswell maintains an institutional commitment to biblical inerrancy. The private school was established in 1970 as a Bible institute. The curriculum recently expanded to include undergraduate programs including education; politics and economics; psychology; and philosophy.

Criswell College is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention since 2001. The college offers associate of arts degrees, bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and master of divinity programs. Criswell College offers on-campus and online programs. Students can take two master's programs, Christian studies and Christian leadership, completely online. Students can take traditional programs 25% online as well.


Calvary University

Kansas City, MO

Formerly known as Calvary Bible College, Calvary University exists as a Christian university in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1932, the college provides students with several associate and bachelor's degree options as well as an adult degree completion program and some online programs. Students can earn master of science degrees in music and education or organization development; master of arts degrees; and a master of divinity degree. Enrollment is under 500 students, offering an intimate learning environment.

Calvary boasts a newly expanded campus with a new chapel auditorium, modern dormitories, a classroom building, and an administration building. The Liberty Chapel remains the main campus auditorium. Students can participate in daily chapel services and public events as well as theater productions, music department concerts, and the baccalaureate graduation ceremony. East Ed exists as the campus' main classroom building, offering several faculty offices.


Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar, VA

A liberal arts college for women established in 1901, Sweet Briar College offers bachelor's and master's degrees. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Sweet Briar boasts a student population of 300 in addition to 110 academic staff members.

Sweet Briar's campus sprawls 3,250 acres. In 2015, Sweet Briar announced it was closing due to financial issues, but college alumnae and friends formed a nonprofit called Saving Sweet Briar to revive the college. The school's intimate nature allows students to form long-lasting friendships with classmates, advisers, and instructors. As a result, the college enables students to network and build professional references.


Grace Bible College

Grand Rapid, MI

Grace Bible College remains a private, evangelical college that is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Grace awards associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. The college is affiliated with the Grace Gospel Fellowship and boasts 28 academic staff members and more than 900 students. Grace Bible College features men's and women's basketball, cross country, and soccer teams, and offers a women's volleyball intercollegiate competition. Grace is affiliated with the National Christian College Athletic Association and the Association of Christian College Athletics.

Grace features a tight-knit community and fosters relationships within the student body by hosting four weekly chapel events. Small groups meet within the dorms to open up interactions between faculty and students. Individuals who struggle with drug and alcohol behaviors can seek campus counseling to work toward living by the college's code of conduct.