The "A" List: Schools With The Most Well-Rounded Curricula

Soon after a new study showed that nearly half of college students learn a negligible amount while in school, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni released a report identifying schools that push students to obtain well-rounded educations.

The report (PDF) and correlating website, titled "What Will They Learn," evaluated 718 national colleges and universities according to their general education requirements.

Those schools that have requirements in six or seven of the seven subjects identified as essential by the Council -- composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and natural or physical sciences -- earned an "A," while those that required zero or one of them got a failing mark. To determine which schools' requirements fit the bill, the Council looked through core requirements and course descriptions available online and through catalogues.

The report addresses why some prominent schools, like Brown, Cornell and Yale, did poorly in the rankings:

Certainly, a student can get an excellent education at these schools if she chooses her classes wisely. What our study reveals, however, is that instead of holding these outstanding students to a high standard, the professional educators are letting students take obscure, esoteric and, and sometimes light-weight classes in place of a rigorous coherent liberal arts core. offers profiles of each school, and the report (PDF) shows how each state ranked and presents an index which explains why each school did or didn't make the cut.

Below, check out the 17 schools that made the "A" list.


Do you think these schools deserve to top the list? Let us know what you think in the comments section.