Agnes Scott College Ranked No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Country for Third Consecutive Year by U.S. News & World Report


Decatur, GA, September 14, 2020—For the third year in a row, Agnes Scott College is ranked No. 1 Most Innovative School in the country among national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report in its 2021 edition of Best Colleges. The college placed No. 1 in the nation for First-Year Experience among all colleges and universities for the second consecutive year and ranked No. 2 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes institutions where faculty have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. Agnes Scott was also ranked No. 6 as a Social Mobility Top Performer. The college has been recognized for social mobility in prior years as well, a result of its focus on ensuring the academic success of all students—including the large number of first-generation and Pell-eligible students who attend. Agnes Scott was also recognized as a Best Value School among national liberal arts colleges.


The leadership at Agnes Scott attributes these repeat recognitions to SUMMIT, the college’s signature approach to a liberal arts education that provides each student with a course of study, beginning in the first year, that builds leadership capabilities and global competence while preparing students for a lifetime of professional success.


“I am pleased that we have been recognized yet again for our innovation, first-year experiences and top-notch teaching,” said Agnes Scott President Leocadia I. Zak. “At Agnes Scott, we are completely focused on our students and their post-graduate professional success. Our students are why we are here, and no one understands this more than Agnes Scott’s faculty, who are models of teaching excellence,” said Zak. “Our faculty care deeply about teaching and are invested in their role of shaping tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and game changers. Their passion, creativity and dedication foster the inspired and effective teaching happening in our classrooms. I also want to recognize our amazing staff, who work in partnership with the faculty to deliver our unique SUMMIT experience and ensure our students’ overall academic success.”


According to U.S. News & World Report, the Most Innovative Schools ranking identifies “schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses.” This ranking  is based on a peer assessment survey in which college presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admission nominate up to 15 colleges or universities “that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”


Agnes Scott was listed among the top academic programs in all eight categories. Please see the summary of all Agnes Scott College U.S. News rankings below:


Agnes Scott U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings

(2021 Edition)

National Liberal Arts Colleges

ASC Rank

Most Innovative Schools


Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching


Social Mobility


Best Value


Best National Liberal Arts College


Ranked Academic Programs


First-Year Experience


Learning Communities


Study Abroad


Senior Capstone




Writing in the Disciplines


Service Learning


Undergraduate Research



U.S. News publishes the Best Colleges guidebook annually. Agnes Scott’s rankings can be viewed here.





Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.