US universities
Source: Knox College

Universities with small classes have long been regarded as the hallmark of an effective and transformative educational experience. These institutions recognise the immense value of fostering an intimate learning environment where students can thrive academically, personally, and professionally.

In small classes, educators can devote more time and attention to each student. They can identify students’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles, allowing for personalised instruction and support. They can even foster a sense of connection that encourages collaboration — the kind that enhances social skills, teamwork, and communication abilities, preparing budding professionals for real-world interactions.

Research conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that students in smaller classes reported higher levels of engagement, interaction with faculty and overall satisfaction with their educational experience. These students reported having more frequent and meaningful interactions with their professors. These interactions contributed to higher levels of academic motivation, engagement and a sense of belonging.

Recognising this, several universities in the US have begun prioritising personalised connections and tailored instruction to ensure student success. Among the list, these four stand out:

US universities

Midway University offers some of the most affordable tuition rates for a private university Source: Midway University

Midway University

For international students seeking a nurturing community, a secure atmosphere, and affordable academic programmes, Midway University emerges as the ideal choice. Nestled amidst the lush horse country of Kentucky, its scenic 200-acre campus never fails to captivate. It even doubles as a fully functional horse farm; just an hour’s drive from major metropolitan hubs like Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Hence why learners who choose MidwayU seamlessly blend the serenity of rural life with the vibrancy of urban experiences.

Renowned for its unique ability to offer the best of both worlds and its private liberal arts foundation, this institution presents over 20 career-focused majors that cater to the diverse interests and aspirations of students from across the United States and over 26 countries. An intimate learning environment sets the stage for personal growth and academic excellence. With a faculty-to-student ratio of 15 to 1 and an average class size of 17, students enjoy meaningful interactions with their professors and a close-knit setting that promotes collaboration. The best part? There’s a major for everyone at MidwayU.

Its business degrees offer flexibility, allowing students to augment their studies with minors or concentrations tailored to their interests, ranging from finance and entrepreneurship to human resource management and bourbon studies. Health Science and Biology programmes provide students with ample hands-on experience in cutting-edge laboratory facilities. Meanwhile, the Sport Management programme, one of the university’s largest, imparts comprehensive knowledge of the business aspects of the sports industry, covering essential areas such as marketing, finance, and event management. MidwayU also offers a dynamic MBA, which is one of the fastest and most affordable in the region.

All programmes are delivered with the industry in mind, reiterating MidwayU’s unwavering commitment to ensuring graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce or advance their careers with confidence. Sold? To discover the possibilities of a scholarship, click here.

US universities

Stetson University’s small classrooms allow students and professors to interact. Source: Stetson University

Stetson University

Since 1883, Stetson University’s vision has remained constant: to engage students with challenging academics and to instil values for life. Stetson has a rich history and is home to many Florida firsts – first private university, business school and college of law. Stetson is currently ranked fifth in the US News and World Report’s 2022 list of Best Regional Universities (South).

At the heart of the university is the College of Arts and Sciences. It offers a multitude of majors covering philosophy, political science, marine biology, and cybersecurity, just to name a few. Students are equipped with the skills they need to become leaders and to make a difference in the world — analysis, critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Stetson’s renowned School of Music offers programmes just as impactful. It is committed to teaching students how to become critical-thinking, proficient and effective leaders, as well as literate, competent musicians. Majors include composition, music theory, orchestral instrument and voice.

The School of Business Administration is where tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, leaders and CEOs are arming themselves with newly developing knowledge and innovations in the fast-changing field of business administration. After all, they’ll be at the right place — the school has experience in teaching business courses longer than any other Florida college. Majors offered here include accounting, entrepreneurship, human resource management, business systems and analytics and professional sales.

US universities

Knox College’s experiential learning efforts produce career-ready students. Source: Knox College

Knox College

A Knox College education is powerful. Located in Galesburg, Illinois, this is where you’ll receive a “human-powered education,” which translates to a community of good people doing hard work that powers the world. It is deeply, richly human, as well as strong, confident and purposeful.

A Knox education is also rooted in a singular intellectual community where you’ll be more than just a spectator. You’ll have a voice in a unique space—few liberal arts colleges in America have a community as diverse, welcoming, and compelling as Knox. After all, students come from 48 states and 51 countries–and nearly 20% come from outside the U.S.

At Knox, you’ll learn to apply theory to practice, engaging in real-world experiences such as internships, in-depth research and creative projects, study abroad, and community service. And you’ll receive a US$2,000 Power of Experience Grant to make these experiences possible.

You might also take advantage of Knox’s Immersion Experiences — focused, hands-on exploration of a single field of study over the course of an entire term. You might explore Japan’s cities, assemble an exhibition in studio art, conduct research at its Green Oaks biological field station, or even complete an internship at local agencies that provide psychological services, to name just a few.

You can choose from 42 majors and 57 minor fields of study, led by real professors (not graduate students!) in small classes averaging just 14 students. You’ll have a truly human-powered education to prepare you for great success and a rewarding life in the real world.

The result? Satisfied graduates. Knox College is on the Forbes magazine Grateful Grads index — a list of the top colleges where alumni feel they received the greatest return on their college investment. That’s also why Knox is recognised as one of America’s Colleges That Change Lives.

US universities

Oregon State University is a leading public university offering over 200 degree programmes. Source: Oregon State University

Oregon State University

To embark on a lifetime of learning and adapt to a rapidly changing world, head to the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University. Here, you’ll find comprehensive programmes — spanning 17 subject areas — that lead to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

At the postgraduate level, the College offers master’s degrees in Public Policy, Applied Ethics, Creative Writing, Applied Anthropology, English, Hispanic Studies and the History of Science, as well as PhDs in Applied Anthropology and the History of Science.

Whichever programme you choose, you will explore critical methods and crucial insights of the arts, humanities and social sciences. The goal here is to prepare learners to tackle the enduring and contemporary issues facing our world, as well as to thrive in challenging careers and forge a life of achievement, courage, contribution and meaning.

None of this would be possible without the College’s people. Its team of 336 expert faculty takes on the world’s biggest issues, from social justice to food insecurity. This dynamic community effortlessly conducts symphonies, designs in virtual reality and studies the past to forge solutions for the future.

Joining them means gaining unlimited access to a network of 4,478 students. However, expect nothing less than a personalised experience. Here, there’s one faculty member for every 15 undergraduate students.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International