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Why We're No.1

Top 5 Reasons Agnes Scott is the No. 1 Most Innovative Liberal Arts College in the Country


Transformative. Dynamic. Cutting-edge. Life-Changing - all descriptors of an Agnes Scott College experience, and now U.S News and World Report agrees! To celebrate this incredible achievement we've identified the top five reasons why Agnes Scott College is the No.1 most innovative liberal arts college in the country. 

Number One: Our SUMMIT Curriculum


In May, the class of 2019 will walk across the stage to accept their diplomas and head off into the world to influence history. Their departure will make history at Agnes Scott in another way—they will be the first SUMMIT graduating class. SUMMIT was designed to give all students hands-on experiences and academic preparation to become effective leaders in a global society.

To say that SUMMIT is living up to its purpose would be an understatement. Students have described SUMMIT’s leadership development and global learning components as “transformative,” “eye-opening” and “life-changing.”

With SUMMIT, Scotties have traveled across the United States and around the world to learn from other cultures. They have volunteered, interned, worked and “engaged the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” Each Scottie’s journey is supported by their own personal SUMMIT Board of Advisors, who offer students counsel on everything from the major they should choose to their future careers. This is SUMMIT—our cutting-edge approach to liberal arts learning.

Thanks in large part to SUMMIT, Agnes Scott has risen to the top of the U.S. News and World Report’s Most Innovative list—twice. SUMMIT has also contributed to our largest first-year class—the class of 2022—in the college’s history. And, for the first time ever, the college has more than 1,000 students enrolled.


Number Two: Our Faculty  

If our Scotties are the heart and soul of our campus, our faculty are the backbone. Without their passionate dedication to student learning, their academic expertise and their commitment to advancing the college, our accomplishments would not be possible.

To this end, U.S. News and World Report recently recognized Agnes Scott as No. 2 among national liberal arts colleges “Best Undergraduate Teaching” 2019.

Our faculty are scholars, research scientists, artists, environmentalists and social justice experts. One hundred percent of full-time faculty have a doctorate or other terminal degree, and they often co-author articles and scientific papers with their students. As part of SUMMIT, each Scottie works with a four-person Board of Advisors. This board includes a “Major Advisor,” a faculty member who guides and assists each student in making the most of a chosen discipline or field of study.

In the words of a recent graduate, “Agnes Scott’s faculty are open, available and intelligent.” And one of the best parts, we think? They’ll remember your name, recognize your contributions and challenge you to keep improving daily!

Number Three: Our Students 

Our fearless Scotties are growing, leading, learning and breaking barriers. They continue to amaze us with their talent, wit, compassion and perseverance. They are future politicians already serving in roles that encourage young women in politics. They are catalysts for social change, on the front lines of marches and rallies for equality throughout the nation. They are future lawyers, doctors, celebrities, business owners, teachers and world travelers, motivated to understand different cultures and bring people together to positively effect world change. They are Marshall, Fulbright and Goldwater scholars.

They are diverse, representing 46 states and 34 countries, and more than half students of color. And did you know that the Princeton Review named us the No. 4 LGBTQ-Friendly campus, based on “how strongly students agree that their fellow students treat all persons equally,” and the No. 16 campus with the Most Active Student Government (as part of the 2019 “Best 384 Colleges”)? Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranked Agnes Scott as the No. 1 national liberal arts among Colleges that Promote Social Mobility. Innovation at Agnes Scott would not be possible without our students and their drive to do, seek and be the best!


Number Four: Our Campus Life

Or, as we like to think of it, our Scottie community! First-time visitors to campus often talk about the strong sense of community they feel at Agnes Scott. Whether it is the beauty and comfort of the physical campus, current Scotties establishing immediate connections with our guests, or a personalized conversation with a faculty or staff member, our “vibrant living-learning community” is one of the defining characteristics that makes Agnes Scott magical. With more than 80 percent of Scotties living on campus, and over 60 clubs and organizations (such as our Bollywood Fusion dance group), beloved traditions (such as Black Cat) and leadership/service opportunities on and around campus (such as SUMMIT Legacy leadership building and volunteer events), our community offers multiple ways for students to experience a vibrant social life.

The Scottie community is also comprised of attentive faculty, dedicated staff and an active network of thousands of alumnae. All of this and more is why Princeton Review named us the No. 20 Best Quality of Life campus in the 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges.”


Number Five: Our Facilities and Resources  


Locations such as Campbell Hall, Rebekah Scott Hall, Bullock Science Center and our top-ranked Bradley Observatory, among others, provide Scotties the perfect infrastructure for living and learning. In addition, Campbell Hall and Rebekah Scott Hall are LEED-Gold certified, which supports part of the college’s mission of “living honorably” by being good stewards of the environment. With the opening of the new Kiss Welcome Center this fall, visitors to campus have a compelling, state-of-the-art location to visualize what life is like for a Scottie before embarking on their campus tour. Centers in these facilities, such as the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy and the Center for Writing and Speaking (CWS), provide Scotties with valuable student-focused resources. Did you know the CWS sees more than 70 percent of the student body each year through their tutoring services and other programs, and at least three other centers in the U.S. were modeled after Agnes Scott’s CWS?