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Top 50 Liberal Arts Colleges

[beta version- posted to solicit corrections.

Heterodoxy scores will be calculated in December]

The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges rates the Top 50 Liberal Arts Schools in the United States and America’s top 150 universities according to their commitment to viewpoint diversity. Is it a place where you’ll encounter a variety of views on politically controversial topics? Or do school policies – or the students themselves– impose a rigid political orthodoxy that punishes dissenting opinions and creates a climate in which students are afraid to speak up, even in seminar classes?

Our guide to colleges helps you evaluate schools on this question by integrating these four sources of information:

  1. Endorsed Chicago: Whether the university has endorsed the Chicago Principles on free expression
  2. FIRE Rating: Whether the school’s speech codes foster or infringe upon free speech. As rated by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
  3. ISI Rating: Is the school a reasonably welcoming place for conservative and libertarian students? Obtained from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) guide to Choosing the Right College. (We presume that open-minded progressive students would prefer not to attend a school at which students who are not on the left feel unwelcome, and are less likely to speak up.)
  4. Relevant Events Since 2014: Events on campus that indicate a commitment by faculty, administration, and/or students to protect or restrict free inquiry and viewpoint diversity. We ignore events that involve just a few students or professors and focus on those indicating broader sentiment, norms, or policy.

NOTE: we will calculate heterodoxy scores once the information in the table below is complete.

SCHOOL

US News RANK

ENDORSED CHICAGO

FIRE RATING

ISI RATING

RELEVANT EVENTS SINCE 2014
(GREEN = POSITIVE, RED = NEGATIVE)

Williams College

Williamstown MA

1REDYELLOWStudent group rescinds speaking invitation to Suzanne Venker
Student newspaper advocates for administration to curtail free speech rights on campus
Administration cancels speech by John Derbyshire
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship of outside speakers
2016 Harvey Silverglate Muzzle Award for administration disinviting a controversial speaker
Amherst College

Amherst MA

2YELLOWREDTrustees remove all references to unofficial mascot, Lord Jefferey
2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
Swarthmore College

Swarthmore PA

3REDYELLOW
Bowdoin College

Brunsiwck ME

4YELLOWYELLOWStudents offered counseling and safe spaces after tequila-themed party
Two student government representatives face impeachment for tequila-themed party (see also The articles of impeachment)
Middlebury College

Middlebury VT

4REDUNRATED
Pomona College

Claremont CA

4YELLOWGREENFaculty votes to link tenure to support for and attentiveness to diversity
Wellesley College

Wellesley MA

4REDYELLOW
Carleton College

Northfield MN

8REDUNRATED2016 Spring term opens with convocation on threats to freedom of expression in academic environments
Claremont McKenna College

Claremont CA

9YELLOWGREEN
Davidson College

Davidson NC

9REDUNRATED
United States Naval Academy

Annapolis MD

9WARNINGGREEN
Haverford College

Haveford PA

12YELLOWGREEN
Vassar College

Poughkeepsie NY

12WARNINGRED
Hamilton College

Clinton NY

14YELLOWUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
Harvey Mudd College

Claremont CA

14YELLOWGREEN
Smith College

Northhampton MA

14REDRED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for efforts to limit press access on campus
Washington and Lee University

Lexington VA

14YELLOWGREEN
Wesleyan University

Middletown CT

14REDRED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship by students
2016 Harvey Silverglate Muzzle Award for students threatening to shut down the student newspaper
Colby College

Waterville ME

19REDYELLOW
Colgate University

Hamilton NY

19REDYELLOW
Grinnell College

Grinnell IA

19REDRED
United States Military Academy

West Point NY

22WARNINGGREEN
Macalester College

St. Paul MN

23REDUNRATED
Oberlin College

Oberlin OH

23YELLOWRED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship of outside speakers
Bates College

Lewiston ME

25REDYELLOW
Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr PA

25REDRED
Colorado College

Colorado Springs CO

25REDUNRATED2016 Jefferson Muzzle Award for censorship of students
Kenyon College

Gambier OH

25REDYELLOW
Barnard College

New York NY

29REDRED
Scripps College

Claremont CA

29YELLOWGREEN
United States Air Force Academy

USAF Academy CO

29UNRATEDGREEN
Bucknell University

Lewisburg PA

32YELLOWRED
College of the Holy Cross

Worcester MA

32REDRED
University of Richmond

Richmond VA

32REDUNRATED
Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley MA

35REDRED
Pitzer College

Claremont CA

36YELLOWGREEN
Lafayette College

Eaton PA

37REDUNRATED
Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs NY

38YELLOWUNRATED
Union College

Schenectady NY

38REDUNRATED
Dickinson College

Carlisle PA
40REDUNRATED
Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaser PA

40REDUNRATED
Whitman College

Walla Walla WA

40REDYELLOW
Occidental College

Los Angeles CA

43YELLOWUNRATED
Trinity College

Hartford CT

43YELLOWUNRATED
Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson NY

45YELLOWUNRATED
Centre College

Danville KY

45YELLOWYELLOW
Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo CA

45UNRATEDUNRATED
Connecticut College

New London CT

48REDUNRATED
Gettysburg College

Gettysburg PA

48REDUNRATED
Sewanee - The University of the South

Sewanee TN

48YELLOWUNRATED