9 Best Small Colleges in Ohio | Expert List

9 Best Small Colleges in Ohio | Expert List

We have outlined a well-detailed guide to the best small colleges in Ohio, showcasing the diverse and exceptional educational opportunities available in the state.

Ohio, unlike larger states, boasts a rich array of small colleges that foster intimate communities and personalized learning experiences. These institutions, each with its own unique strengths, contribute to the vibrant educational landscape of Buckeye State.

Interestingly, North Dakota, another state in the U.S., shares a similar distinction, with nearly all its colleges embodying the charm of smaller campuses.

In this guide, we delve into the distinctive qualities of Ohio’s small colleges, emphasizing why they stand out as compelling choices for students seeking a transformative and enriching higher education experience.

However, if you did not find your choice school here, you can also scout for alternatives in our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US for small school options.

How long does it take to complete a course at any of the small schools in Ohio?

The duration to complete a degree at small schools in Ohio typically ranges from two to four years, depending on the level of the program and the specific requirements of the chosen field of study.

Associate degree programs often take around two years, providing students with a foundational education. Bachelor’s degree programs generally span four years, offering a more comprehensive and specialized curriculum.

The timeframe for completion may vary based on course load, program structure, and practical experiences.

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What is the average class size of small schools in Ohio?

The average class size at small schools in Ohio typically ranges from 15 to 25 students.

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This smaller class environment fosters more personalized interactions between students and faculty, allowing for meaningful discussions, individualized attention, and a collaborative learning atmosphere.

What are the best small colleges in Ohio?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in Ohio. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top Ohio small colleges:

1. Kenyon College

  • Phone: +1 740-427-5000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,868 (2020–21)
  • Address: 106 College Park Dr, Gambier, OH 43022, United States

Nestled in the charming town of Gambier, Kenyon College stands out as one of Ohio’s best small colleges and the oldest private institution of higher education in the state.

This private liberal arts institution boasts a picturesque campus and a commitment to intellectual exploration.

With its emphasis on a broad-based education, Kenyon College provides students with a strong foundation in critical thinking and creative expression, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a well-rounded academic experience.


2. Oberlin College

  • Phone: +1 440-775-8121
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,942 (2020–21)
  • Address: 173 W Lorain St, Oberlin, OH 44074, United States

In Oberlin, Oberlin College stands as a beacon of innovation and diversity. This private liberal arts college is celebrated for its commitment to social justice and its pioneering Conservatory of Music.

The college synergy inspires profound connections between intellectual and artistic exploration, theory and practice, and creative freedom.

Students at Oberlin benefit from a unique combination of academic rigor and artistic exploration, making it a top choice for those passionate about the arts and progressive values.

It is also important to note that Oberlin is the second-oldest continuously operating coeducational institute of higher learning in the world.


3. Denison University

  • Phone: +1 740-587-0810
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,312 (2020–21)
  • Address: 100 W College St, Granville, OH 43023, United States

Further east in Granville, Denison University offers a transformative education within a tight-knit community. The college is a leader among the nation’s liberal arts colleges, offering some 60 academic programs.

The college emphasizes hands-on learning experiences and a global perspective, preparing students for success in a rapidly changing world.

Denison’s commitment to personalized mentorship and a comprehensive education makes it an excellent option for those seeking a holistic college experience.


4. College of Wooster

  • Phone: +1 330-263-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,960 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, United States

Traveling to Wooster, the College of Wooster stands as a testament to excellence in undergraduate education. The College is a community of independent minds working together to prepare students to become leaders of character and influence

This private college is known for its commitment to independent research, where students work closely with faculty mentors on original projects.

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With a strong emphasis on experiential learning and a vibrant campus community, the College of Wooster provides students with a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment.


5. Ohio Northern University

  • Phone: +1 419-772-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,187 (2020–21)
  • Address: 525 S Main St, Ada, OH 45810, United States

In Ada, Ohio, Northern University offers a comprehensive education with a focus on professional preparation.

This private institution provides students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and professional programs, ensuring they are well-equipped for success in their chosen fields.

Ohio Northern University’s commitment to hands-on learning and a supportive community make it an excellent choice for those seeking a practical and career-oriented education.


6. Cedarville University

  • Phone: +1 937-766-7700
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,613 (2020–21)
  • Address: 251 N Main St, Cedarville, OH 45314, United States

Head to Cedarville, and Cedarville University shines as a private Baptist institution that blends academic rigor with a Christian worldview.

Known for its strong science, engineering, and arts programs, Cedarville University prepares students for success in their careers and their faith.

With a supportive community and a focus on integrating faith and learning, Cedarville is an excellent choice for those seeking a Christ-centered education.


7. John Carroll University

  • Phone: +1 216-397-1886
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,609 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights, OH 44118, United States

In University Heights, John Carroll University offers a transformative Jesuit education that emphasizes intellectual and ethical development.

This private institution provides students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and a commitment to social justice.

With a close-knit community and a global perspective, John Carroll University prepares students to make a positive impact in their communities and the world.


8. Walsh University

  • Phone: +1 330-490-7090
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,635 (2020–21)
  • Address: 2020 E Maple St, North Canton, OH 44720, United States

In North Canton, Walsh University stands as a private Catholic institution with a commitment to academic excellence and service.

Known for its strong programs in the sciences and humanities, Walsh University provides students with a values-based education.

Walsh University offers small class sizes, hands-on experiential learning opportunities, interdisciplinary institutes, internships, and global learning programs.

The university’s supportive community and emphasis on leadership development make it an excellent choice for those seeking a holistic education that prepares them for success in their careers and communities.


9. Baldwin Wallace University

  • Phone: +1 440-826-2900
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,808 (2020–21)
  • Address: 275 Eastland Rd., Berea, OH 44017, United States

Concluding our journey, Baldwin Wallace University in Berea offers a well-rounded education within a welcoming community.

This private institution is known for its strong programs in the arts, business, and health sciences. Baldwin Wallace University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates, and professional education programs.

With a commitment to personalized attention and a vibrant campus life, Baldwin Wallace University provides students with a dynamic and enriching college experience.

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Each of these Ohio colleges, with its unique strengths and characteristics, stands as a testament to the diverse and exceptional educational opportunities available in Buckeye State.


FAQs on best small colleges in Ohio

What sets small colleges in Ohio apart from larger institutions?

Small schools in Ohio distinguish themselves through intimate learning environments, fostering close connections between students and faculty. This personalized approach allows for tailored educational experiences, creating a supportive atmosphere that promotes academic excellence.

Are these colleges public or private institutions?

Ohio’s best small colleges include a mix of public and private institutions, each offering unique advantages. Public colleges often emphasize affordability and diverse programs, while private colleges may provide a more personalized and values-based education.

How do these colleges contribute to their local communities?

Many small schools in Ohio actively engage with their local communities through service initiatives, internships, and partnerships. This collaborative approach not only benefits students with practical experiences but also enhances the overall well-being of the communities surrounding these institutions.

Do these colleges have specific areas of expertise?

Yes, these small colleges in Ohio often have distinct areas of expertise, ranging from strong programs in the arts and humanities to cutting-edge offerings in science and technology. This diversity allows students to find institutions aligned with their academic and career aspirations.

How do these colleges balance academic rigor with a supportive environment?

Ohio’s small colleges strike a balance between academic rigor and a supportive community. With dedicated faculty, personalized attention, and a focus on holistic student development, these institutions create an environment where students can thrive academically and personally.


In exploring the best small colleges in Ohio, it is evident that these institutions offer a unique blend of personalized education, community engagement, and diverse specializations.

Whether public or private, each college contributes to the rich educational tapestry of the state, providing students with the tools they need for success in their chosen fields.

The emphasis on fostering close connections, community impact, and academic excellence makes these small colleges stand out as compelling choices for those seeking a transformative and enriching higher education experience in Ohio.

We hope you find your perfect school above.

Good luck!!!




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