According to the US News & World Report Liberal Arts Ranking, Vassar College is the highest ranked liberal arts college in the state, placed 11th nationally in 2009 (joint 11th position with Claremont McKenna College). United States Military Academy is the second best in the state (#14 nationally), followed by Colgate University (18th) and Hamilton College (20th).

Empire State College was ranked No. 1 in SUNY in more than 40 areas on the 2006 SUNY Student Opinion Survey.

Vassar College was named the Time Magazine/Princeton Review “College of the Year”. It was placed in the "most competitive" category for admissions by Barron's.

United States Military Academy (USMA) is the Best Public Liberal Arts College in the nation. It is also named as one of the 100 Best Value Colleges for 2009 by the Princeton Review.

Union College's engineering program is rated 21st among undergraduate institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (USNWR 2006).

Wells College has been named the Number One institution in the U.S. for alumnae support per student, according to the August 29, 1997, issue of the Almanac, published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Marymount Manhattan College was granted an absolute charter as an independent four-year college by the Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1961. The College Faculty have been the recipients of grants and awards and citations within and beyond the college.

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college in the US, placed 18th finest liberal arts college in 2009. It is also rated 13th for “Most Beautiful Campus” by the Princeton Review. The university is listed as one of America's 25 "new Ivies" by Newsweek magazine.

List of leading liberal arts colleges in New York (US):
  • The New School for General Studies
  • United States Military Academy
  • Nyack College
  • St. Bonaventure University
  • St. John Fisher College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Siena College
  • Skidmore College
  • State University of New York at Fredonia
  • State University of New York at Geneseo
  • State University of New York at Plattsburgh
  • Union College
  • Vassar College
  • Wagner College
  • Wells College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hartwick College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Houghton College
  • Hunter College
  • Ithaca College
  • Le Moyne College
  • Keuka College
  • Manhattan College
  • Manhattanville College
  • Marist College
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • Medaille College
  • Mercy College
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • Adelphi University, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Cazenovia College
  • Colgate University
  • Concordia College, Bronxville
  • C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Elmira College
  • Empire State College
  • Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
* Next: Top Liberal Arts Colleges in Pennsylvania
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World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek