Massachusetts has some of the very best liberal arts colleges, with Amherst and Williams consistently ranked among the Top two positions in the nation by US News & world Report rankings. In 2009, Amherst and Williams are ranked equal first nationally among all the liberal arts colleges. Wellesley is among the Top 3 in Massachusetts (#4 nationally), followed by Smith at 18th position.

Smith is a member of the Five Colleges consortium (formed by Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst). According to the Students' Guide to Colleges, Smith is listed among the “Top 10 Schools in Amazing Locations”.  Mount Holyoke is listed among the “Top 10 Sleep-Deprived Schools.”

Emerson College is ranked #1 in the “College theater is big” category, #2 in “Great college radio station”, #3 in “Town-gown relations are good” (Social Life) and #7 for its “Great food” (Quality of Life), according to the Princeton Review's 2002 edition of its annual guidebook to colleges, The Best 331 Colleges.

Stonehill is listed in the top 10% of institutions in providing "Enriching Educational Experiences" among institutions using the NSSE (2008). It is ranked in the top half of the competitive, national liberal arts colleges by US News & World Report, placed 115th in 2009.

Simmons College School of Management has been ranked 15th among the Top Socially Responsible MBA Programs in the world according to the Beyond Grey Pinstripes MBA Ranking.

Bridgewater State College is placed among Tier 3 Master's Universities (North) by US News 2010.

Curry College is officially recognized by the United States Department of Education and is listed in the Department's Higher Education Directory.

Eastern Nazarene College is known for its success in getting students into top graduate and medical schools.

Pine Manor College is ranked #5 overall this year with a #1 ranking in the category of actual vs. predicted graduation rates (Washington Monthly 2009 Liberal Arts College Rankings).

List of leading liberal arts colleges in the state of Massachusetts (US):
  • Amherst College
  • Hampshire College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • Assumption College
  • Bard College at Simon's Rock
  • Bridgewater State College
  • Curry College
  • Eastern Nazarene College
  • Elms College
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College, Boston
  • Gordon College (Massachusetts)
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Merrimack College
  • Mount Ida College
  • Pine Manor College
  • Regis College
  • Simmons College (Massachusetts)
  • Stonehill College
  • Wellesley College
  • Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
  • Williams College
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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