Top 15+ Best Universities in the United States for Atheists and Agnostics
The number of Americans who attend church has recently dropped below the majority of Americans for the first time, and there has been a significant increase in agnostics and atheists, especially among younger members of Generation Z.
Faith-based institutions have historically contributed to the stabilization of civil society and have been crucial in developing moral standards and social ideals for generations, so these changes in these institutions are noteworthy.
On college campuses today, 38% of students identify as atheists, agnostics, or have no particular religious beliefs. These students significantly less favor free speech and open inquiry than their peers who identify as members of a particular faith.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) recently published the results of a study that analyzed nearly 45,000 voices from currently enrolled students at more than 200 colleges and universities across the country to examine attitudes toward speech and one’s religious leaning. The study measures religious identification and includes the significant number of students who do not identify as members of a traditional faith, even though it does not ask about religious practice or attitudes. Real cleavages show that faith is closely related to how students think about civility and discourse, even in the absence of in-depth data on religious outlook and practice.
Take into account the fact that there have been more recent attempts to stop or shut down the various speakers that universities regularly invite to campus. When asked whether shouting down a speaker to prevent them from speaking on campus could ever be justified, 57% of students who identify as members of a particular faith said that it could. The percentage of atheist students who share this sentiment is much higher at 71%. According to 34 percent of religious students, it is sometimes acceptable to prevent other students from attending a campus event, compared to 43 percent of non-religious students. These numbers are excessive, but it is obvious that even using very basic measures of faith, those who have no faith, are atheists, or are agnostics are much more likely to try to stifle expression.
Furthermore, because of the atmosphere they are in on campus, religious students feel under pressure to keep quiet.In contrast to those who claim no faith at all, only 59% of students who identify with a traditional faith report self-censoring occasionally or more frequently. These figures demonstrate how students who identify as religious have different experiences in higher education from those who do not. Contrary to their religiously identifying counterparts, those who do not identify with any religion are much more willing to express their opinions. However, they are also more likely to silence dissent and ideas that they may find objectionable.
While the majority of colleges and universities are accepting of different viewpoints, some stand out from the crowd by providing extra assistance to students whose beliefs don’t align with the majority. The schools listed below are deserving of your consideration if you’re looking for a place where you’ll not only be welcomed but embraced into a community of like-minded students and professors.
The following 15+ are among the top options for students who identify as atheists or agnostics, according to our research.
Net Price: $15,377
Because Cleveland State University is situated right in the middle of Cleveland, Ohio, there are lots of exciting opportunities for students to get involved in the community while also learning practical skills. The university collaborates with Texas Instruments, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Parker Hannifin Corporation, and other institutions as part of its distinctive Engaged Learning strategy. New students have flocked to the campus as a result of the classrooms’ expansion into the neighborhood, bringing with them fresh perspectives and ideas.
Net Price: $22,337
A highly active research institution, Howard University works to advance underrepresented groups in the United States and abroad. African-Americans who work in STEM fields, undergraduates who earn PhDs in STEM, and Peace Corps volunteers are all highly produced in this country. Its medical school is renowned around the world for producing female surgeons and doctors who treat underserved populations. The Howard University School of Law has not only worked to advance social justice but has also educated notable public figures, including the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Net Price: $13,580
Students at Central Michigan University are taught analytical and critical thinking skills that enable them to analyze and change the world. Students at CMU have access to opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere in the state. It is the only university in Michigan to provide a meteorology undergraduate degree with a recreation and event management concentration. The university runs one of only two island research stations in the Midwest. Numerous initiatives, groups, and occasions support diversity.
Net Price: $15,847
Although the Episcopal Church founded Boise State University, it offers a secular curriculum and welcomes nonreligious students. The vast majority of atheist and agnostic students did not assert that they had experienced any discrimination because they did not practice any religion, according to a campus climate survey. Students have lots of opportunities for internships and jobs after graduation thanks to its location in Boise, Idaho. Along with having the largest undergraduate nursing program in Idaho, Boise State also offers highly regarded business, engineering, and creative writing programs.
Geneseo, New York
Net Price: $15,850
The State University of New York at Geneseo, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, offers students a top-notch education through research and demanding coursework. A significant resource for scientific research is the university’s cutting-edge Integrated Science Center, which houses the only pelletron particle accelerator in western New York. More than 200 student-run organizations, including a vibrant Secular Student Alliance group, are available for students to join outside of the classroom.
Net Price: $19,049
One of the top public research universities in the United States, the University of Connecticut is dedicated to innovation and persity. A major can be created by a student or selected from more than 100 options. Additionally, students have the option of creating learning communities comprised of peers who have similar interests. For students who are interested in extracurricular activities, there are internships, research opportunities, honors classes, and educational opportunities abroad. Students can participate in a variety of free campus activities or join student-run organizations outside of the classroom.
Ewing, New Jersey
Net Price: $19,119
The College of New Jersey is well-known across the country. It has also won accolades from Money Magazine, U.S. News, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, in addition to the Princeton Review awards for environmental responsibility and affordable, high-quality education. Additionally, it ranks among the most difficult and competitive colleges in the country. Students gain expertise in their fields and acquire critical thinking abilities that they can use in any of the 50 liberal arts and professional programs offered by TCNJ.
Net Price: $25,883
At Juniata College, students receive individualized instruction along with community service to equip them with the skills they need to pursue the careers of their choice. At Juniata, students can create their own individualized study plans with the assistance of two advisors. This makes it simpler for students to find employment after graduation when combined with several practical opportunities. The university also takes pride in its diversity and inclusivity. Forbes, Washington Monthly, and other publications have given it high marks for both its value and curriculum.
Net Price: $12,191
Five campuses make up the research university Arizona State University, which is located near Phoenix, Arizona. These locations, the internet, or even overseas study are all options for students. The faculty is distinguished and well-qualified, and several of its members have received honors like the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes. Students can join more than 500 clubs and organizations, including the active Secular Student Alliance and Secular Free Thought Society groups.
Net Price: $13,580
The University of Minnesota advocates for social justice and respects the diversity of opinions. Students are taught about the world from a humanist and scientific perspective. Students who want to further their education have access to a range of special programs, including honors programs and research opportunities. Nearly 300 professional, political and social action, religious, Greek, recreational, and special interest groups are available to students looking to network with other students.
Net Price: $13,648
In addition to having a robust liberal arts and sciences curriculum, Southern Oregon University offers a wide range of specialized programs that advance students’ knowledge and sense of civic responsibility. Internships, military science, civic engagement, youth programs, and honors courses are a few of these initiatives. In order to apply what they have learned in the classroom, lab, and studio to real-world situations, students are expected to take part in these programs as well as others. Through a number of different resource centers, the university also advocates for inclusivity, diversity, and social justice.
Net Price: $15,109
At the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, extensive research and undergraduate education are given top priority. There are a number of unique initiatives that increase knowledge of science, technology, resource sustainability, and public policy among students and the community. As a land-grant institution, UNL strives to be a cultural and intellectual resource for the state of Nebraska. Additionally, for more than ten years running, it has consistently been ranked among the top 50 public universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of America’s Best Colleges.
Net Price: $16,326
Critical thinking, communication, and individuality are encouraged in education at Eastern Illinois University. More graduates from the university pursue doctoral degrees than from any other Illinois college and the majority of master’s institutions nationwide. To gain practical experience and gain a deeper understanding of their majors and career options, students can take part in creative activities and research opportunities. These opportunities cover a wide range of academic fields and subjects, including autism, history, sustainable energy, and poverty.
Net Price: $20,559
The faculty at Ripon College prepares students to enter the workforce as successful, morally upright individuals. Through one-on-one interactions with faculty members and a demanding liberal arts and sciences curriculum, students acquire these skills. Small classes that are on purpose promote discussion and solid academic ties. The ROTC program and the Department of Communication are just two of Ripon’s programs that have won accolades on a national scale. Over 90% of Ripon graduates either find employment in their field or enroll in professional school within six months of graduation.
La Verne, California
Net Price: $24,435
The University of La Verne works to elevate the state of humanity through instruction and competence. The liberal arts, critical and creative thinking, leadership and teamwork, social responsibility, and community involvement are all expected of students who graduate. Less than 25% of the students at the university identify as Caucasian, and they take pride in this ethnic diversity. Less than 19 students make up more than half of La Verne’s classes, encouraging in-class discussion and faculty interaction.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Net Price: $10,299
An institution that values diversity and emphasizes community service through research and outreach is New Mexico State University. It is the only higher education facility in New Mexico to provide courses in engineering technology, industrial engineering, surveying, aerospace engineering, professional golf management, engineering physics, and engineering technology. Although NMSU has received special recognition for its work with Hispanics, it also promotes diversity in areas other than race, such as sexual orientation and worldview.
Net Price: $10,759
The University of West Florida prioritizes cooperation, innovation, and diversity in the classroom. Numerous high rankings have been given to it, including No. 20 for the Most Affordable Online Colleges in Florida, No. 5 for the Top Online Engineering Colleges, No. 8 for the Top College in Florida for Teacher Education, and No. 1 for the Best Colleges for Sports in the 2015 Division II Category. Modern facilities are available on campus, and both on and off campus, there are many opportunities for hands-on learning.
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