Pay less and make more with one of the 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Education is essential—we can all agree on that much. Is it important enough, though, to go $50,000 or $100,000 in debt? Maybe not, right? What if we said that you can still get a high-quality liberal arts education without investing a lifetime of money?
What Is a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree?
The liberal arts and sciences focus on the intersection between human thought, experience, and expression. How do we interact with each other and the world? Why are morals important? What makes a culture unique? These are some of the critical questions that permeate the field.
Liberal arts programs aim to make their students dynamic, forward-thinking individuals. To do so, they concentrate on writing, reading, learning about various topics, and expressing thoughts in many ways.
Many liberal arts programs require their students to focus on one or two disciplines. They can be English, science, philosophy, anthropology, or a number of other studies.
How Much Can You Earn with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree?
The liberal arts don’t give you specific tools to do a single job; they give you a dynamic skill set to do many jobs. Thus, there is no single field for liberal arts majors. Liberal arts graduates have become everything from elementary school teachers and designers to news reporters and paralegals.
Here is the average base income per year for different professions, according to Glassdoor:
- Elementary school teachers make $43,520
- Designers earn $58,013
- News analysts make $38,023
- Paralegals earn $50,169
Don’t feel restricted by this list—liberal arts students can and have done anything and everything.
What Is Required for a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree?
Maybe most importantly, liberal arts students should be open minded. In this degree, one must connect different ideas from many places around the world and through time. Without focus, motivation, and the drive to learn, a liberal arts major won’t do much for you. If the coursework motivates you and excites you, though, your future can be boundless.
Most universities will ask you to provide the following:
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- SAT or ACT scores
- Admission essays
- Application fees, which range from $20 to $100
Ready to learn? Let’s get to it!
What Are the Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences Degrees?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
- Tuition: $6,601(in state) / $18,432(out of state)
- 66 credits in general electives
- 120 total credits
- 18 credits in your concentration
School WideStudent Satisfaction80%Admission Rate70%Programs offered online11
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,170Programs in Department1Popularity at School13.49%
While affordability is crucial to choosing an excellent online bachelor’s in liberal arts program, the quality of education matters just as much. At Indiana University East, you don’t need to make a compromise. The program is filled with high-quality courses offered at an affordable rate that’s almost too good to be true.
- Tuition: $6,601(in state) / $18,432(out of state)
- Degree is designed for nontraditional students
- Four-year degree program
- Flexible program for busy students
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate83%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,696Programs in Department1Popularity at School10.57%
On-campus university isn’t for everybody; some people don’t learn easily in a traditional learning environment. Thankfully, Indiana University Southeast had this exact type of student in mind when they were designing their online bachelor’s in liberal arts program. Their online program caters to busy students as well as students who don’t work well in ordinary academic contexts.
University of Alaska Southeast
- Tuition: $6,244(in state) / $20,608(out of state)
- Unique language offerings
- Four-year program
- 120 total credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction78%Admission Rate71%Programs offered online8
Program LevelMedian Debt$16,181Programs in Department2Popularity at School8.13%
The University of Alaska-Southeast has a fantastic online bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies that caters to your tastes. Between primary and secondary concentrations, students can choose from the Tlingit language, theater, creative writing, sociology, psychology, humanities, and much more. University of Alaska-Southeast’s unique course offerings and affordable prices make this program a fantastic choice for an online degree.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
- Tuition: $8,255(in state) / $28,727(out of state)
- 120 total credits
- $286.01 in-state tuition per credit
- Students can’t take more than 21 credit hours in a single area
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Admission Rate80%Programs offered online5
Program LevelMedian Debt$26,500Programs in Department1Popularity at School6.84%
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis is an excellent online program that stresses the diversity of your curriculum. As such, you are limited to five or fewer classes per discipline. If you’re ready to step outside of your comfort zone and become a more dynamic learner, this program is for you.
Missouri Southern State University
- Tuition: $5,501(in state) / $11,002(out of state)
- Customizable curriculum
- Students must meet a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate
- 39 upper-division hours required
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate95%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian Debt$24,275Programs in Department1Popularity at School10.05%
The Missouri Southern State University is a fantastic state school that’s accredited and recognized for its excellent liberal arts program. With 77 required elective credits, students are encouraged to diversify their curriculum and dive deep into various subjects. For an affordable, high-quality education, Missouri Southern State University is an excellent option.
University of Missouri-St Louis
- Tuition: $10,275(in state) / $27,327(out of state)
- 120 credit hours
- Five available emphasis areas
- Students must complete a capstone
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate76%Programs offered online7
Program LevelMedian Debt$28,733Programs in Department1Popularity at School5.66%
Students at the University of Missouri – Saint Louis can emphasize their studies in the fields of business, communications, health communications, psychology, or criminology and criminal justice. With over 450 faculty members, UMSL has an outstanding range of classes and perspectives. If you seek a robust and diverse online undergraduate experience, you can’t do any better than UMSL.
University of Maine at Augusta
- Tuition: $6,840(in state) / $16,530(out of state)
- Students gain a foundation in humanities, natural and social sciences
- Students develop skills for research and lifelong learning
- Vast selection of higher-level classes
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Programs offered online12
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,039Programs in Department1Popularity at School21.57%
The University of Maine at Augusta strives to make its students dynamic thinkers who can adjust to any real-world career or situation. As a student, you’ll concentrate on elective classes, of which there are plenty. As such, students can only choose a minor, but not a major.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne
- Tuition: $7,269(in state) / $18,944(out of state)
- Available scholarships
- Customized degree programs
- 120 credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate94%Programs offered online4
Program LevelMedian Debt$26,031Programs in Department1Popularity at School11.94%
In Purdue University – Fort Wayne’s online liberal arts program, students can study everything from business and organizational learning to psychology and sociology. As a PUFW student, you can customize your liberal arts degree to fit your unique focuses and goals. With 66 credits in elective courses, you’ll graduate from the program as a powerful thinker and an able doer.
Clayton State University
- Tuition: $3,965(in state) / $14,426(out of state)
- Students must complete a Liberal Studies Practicum/Internship
- A minimum of 42 hours in higher-level courses
- 60 hours in core curriculum
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate42%Programs offered online8
Program LevelMedian Debt$29,534Programs in Department1Popularity at School14.32%
Clayton State University emphasizes an education, sure, but more than that, they emphasize real-world learning. As such, students must take a Liberal Studies Practicum or Internship, where they apply their liberal arts skills in real-life situations. If you value real-world education, check out this school.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- Tuition: $4,422(in state) / $19,581(out of state)
- Seven-week or semester-long courses
- Year-round learning opportunities
- No set class times
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate78%Programs offered online7
Program LevelMedian Debt$19,360Programs in Department1Popularity at School4.09%
Do you seek a career in business, government, social service, education, or communication, but you also value a well-rounded educational experience? If so, UNC Greensboro’s online liberal arts program will suit you perfectly. Between ethics and writing courses to finance and political courses, this online liberal arts program offers a well-rounded curriculum for all students.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
- Tuition: $5,180(in state) / $15,968(out of state)
- 27 hours in upper-level electives
- Students receive a personal advisor
- Optional concentration area
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Admission Rate80%Programs offered online19
Program LevelMedian Debt$25,673Programs in Department2Popularity at School27.99%
At the Northwestern State University of Louisiana, liberal arts students can truly explore their interests, whatever they may be. The school offers a multitude of classes, including areas such as social work, psychology, pre-law, addiction studies, history, geography, and much more. If you’re still looking for your niche, find it online with NSUL.
University of Illinois at Springfield
- Tuition: $9,515(in state) / $16,117(out of state)
- Vast range of history courses
- Customized learning activities
- Self-directed learning
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Admission Rate52%Programs offered online11
Program LevelMedian Debt$19,952Programs in Department1Popularity at School3.81%
The University of Illinois at Springfield caters to students who want to enhance their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. From exploring black women in film to studying Shakespeare, you will gain extensive knowledge in this program. Whether your concentration is focused on stage or computer science, you can find what you need at UIS.
Columbus State University
- Tuition: $4,264(in state) / $15,050(out of state)
- Capstone portfolio
- Six areas of mandatory study
- 123 total credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction76%Admission Rate53%Programs offered online7
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School3.35%
Columbus State University requires students to enroll in programs that, at first, seem unrelated; this includes fields such as humanities and the fine arts but also science and technology. Columbus State believes that it is only by combining these programs that you’ll gain a robust, comprehensive perspective, and they have a point. Through these rigorous, diverse courses, you’ll gain the ability to work in any field.
Montana State University-Billings
- Tuition: $4,397(in state) / $17,162(out of state)
- Nine available concentrations
- Availability to customize your concentration
- 120 total credit hours
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedPrograms offered online7
Program LevelMedian Debt$17,887Programs in Department1Popularity at School9.89%
The Montana State University Billings is a fantastic school with top-of-the-line, interdisciplinary programs and concentrations. The liberal arts school offers applicable concentrations like Management and Organizational Communication, Management and Public Relations, and Organizational Communication and Human Resource Management. If you want real-world skills that easily translate into the professional world, consider MSUB’s excellent program.
University of Southern Maine
- Tuition: $7,336(in state) / $19,292(out of state)
- Graduate with distinction with a 3.5 GPA
- Two philosophy courses required
- Two english courses required
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate83%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian Debt$19,766Programs in Department1Popularity at School3.26%
The University of Southern Maine’s BA in Liberal Studies-Humanities emphasizes the focus of cultural, intellectual, artistic, and literary traditions. The program, which stresses global, historical, and ethical awareness among its students, will certainly make you a more capable global citizen. With fantastic classes and top-of-the-line faculty, USM offers excellent learning opportunities.
- Tuition: $11,619(in state) / $27,042(out of state)
- Students choose an individualized major
- Students can enroll in a graduate course their senior year
- Flexible program
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate69%Programs offered online8
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School4.43%
Whether you’ve finished community college and you want to gain a higher-level degree, or you seek an entire four-year experience, this program is a fantastic option. Students choose an individualized major that is structured to their tastes, aspirations, and challenges. While students consider this program challenging, they find it rewarding and worth the time and money.
Utah State University
- Tuition: $6,105(in state) / $19,657(out of state)
- 90 program credit hours
- 100% online curriculum
- Two yearly start dates
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate89%Programs offered online7
Program LevelMedian Debt$16,456Programs in Department1Popularity at School24.10%
Utah State University’s top-of-the-line liberal arts program seeks to develop strong communication and critical thinking skills in its students. Between classes about ancient civilizations and political systems to modern-day courses focused on forward-thinking structures, USU’s online liberal arts degree suits the intellectually curious. If you strive to reach your intellectual or professional goals, USU will fit you well.
University of Memphis
- Tuition: $7,680(in state) / $19,392(out of state)
- 120 total credit hours
- Students create individualized study plans
- Students choose two distinct academic areas
School WideStudent Satisfaction76%Admission Rate85%Programs offered online18
Program LevelMedian Debt$32,627Programs in Department2Popularity at School5.99%
The goal of an excellent online liberal arts program is to make you a multi-faceted, dynamic thinker, right? It makes sense, then, that the University of Memphis requires its students to select courses for their major from two distinct academic areas. In this program, you’ll certainly expand your mind and reach your professional goals.
University of Maryland Global Campus
- Tuition: $6936(in state) / $11,976(out of state)
- The program requires 33 credits of coursework in the major
- 46 credits of minor or elective coursework
- 41 credits of general education coursework
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Programs offered online31
Program LevelMedian Debt$25,483Programs in Department1Popularity at School19.99%
The University of Maryland offers classes like Contemporary Moral Issues, Music as Cultural Expression, and Myth in the World. These classes sound fascinating, right? If you’re ready to learn about religion, ethical issues, the foundations of theater, and many more topics, then give this excellent program a look.
Portland State University
- Tuition: $7,403(in state) / $24,750(out of state)
- 180 credits to graduate
- 81 upper-division credits required
- Develop creative problem-solving skills
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate92%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian Debt$25,758Programs in Department1Popularity at School5.87%
Portland State University’s innovative online liberal arts program combines arts and letters, sciences, and social sciences to create a balanced curriculum. Arts and letters classes include Applied Linguistics and Art History; sciences courses include Biology and Earth Sciences; social science classes include Geography and Sociology. For a comprehensive take on life, choose this program.
University of Southern Mississippi
- Tuition: $8,108(in state) / $8,108(out of state)
- Online students pay resident tuition
- Military friendly
- School has several available scholarships
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Admission Rate98%Programs offered online18
Program LevelMedian Debt$28,103Programs in Department1Popularity at School< 1%
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Online Liberal Studies BLS will teach you about everything from mathematics to aesthetic values. While these classes don’t necessarily mesh, they do combine to create intelligent, adaptable, forward-thinking students. Students will conclude their online liberal studies degree with a capstone project, which includes a research seminar and an experiential learning experience.
Wilmington University20-Year ROI$848,436
- Tuition: $10,890(in state) / $10,890(out of state)
- Customizable curriculum
- Completion program
- Transfer up to 90 credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction72%Programs offered online18
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,164Programs in Department2Popularity at School6.43%
Wilmington University’s online BS in Liberal Studies is a completion degree—the only eligible students for admittance are those who have already begun their studies. If you hit a speed bump while pursuing your degree or simply don’t feel at home at your current university, don’t worry. At Wilmington University, you can transfer up to 90 credits and get the degree you deserve.
Rogers State University
- Tuition: $4,170(in state) / $12,510(out of state)
- Military friendly
- Choose between two main study paths
- 120 total credit hours
School WideStudent Satisfaction72%Programs offered online4
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School3.68%
Liberal arts studies can lead students to the far reaches of their minds, challenging them as learners and strengthening them as individuals. Sometimes, though, students would prefer a narrower, if still complex, study path that focuses on a smaller sphere of thought. At Rogers State University, students can either choose the English option or the Global Humanities option, depending on their interests.
California State University-Chico
- Tuition: $5,742(in state) / $17,622(out of state)
- Excellent program for aspiring teachers
- Degree completion program
- No online teaching credential program
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate68%Programs offered online4
Program LevelMedian Debt$16,734Programs in Department1Popularity at School4.48%
California State University – Chico’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies offers a fantastic curriculum to help aspiring teachers complete a degree they’ve already begun. While the degree doesn’t serve as an online teaching credential, it will provide the background you need to effortlessly obtain your credential. If you want to teach our youth, choose this course.
Arizona State University
- Tuition: $8,597(in state) / $18,187(out of state)
- 7.5 weeks per class
- 40 classes
- 120 credit hours
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate63%Programs offered online45
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School8.48%
Arizona State University – Skysong offers an excellent program with compact classes that will keep even the most distracted students interested. As an undergraduate student, your class options will include Communication in the Electronic Age, Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States, and Global Awareness. If you want to excel in the modern age, check out this program.