10 Of The Most Expensive College Degrees

The cost of a post high school education in our nation has skyrocketed in recent years along with nearly everything else in our economy. Prices have been raised for everything in relation to an education: tuition, boarding, food plans, student insurance, and books alike. Across the country these costs have continued to rise year after year. However, all educations do not have an equal cost. There are some particular fields of study that generally carry a higher total price tag in comparison to others. In addition, certain colleges and universities have a higher rate of tuition, room and board, and extra student activity fees than their counterparts.

Professional degrees and degrees in fine arts programs tend to have the highest costs of all. Medical and law degrees, perhaps not surprisingly, are near the top of the list of costly degrees. Other high priced programs include the studies of graphic design, film, and music. The following list is in no way entirely comprehensive, but when costly degrees are combined with some of the most expensive college tuitions in the United States, a list including some of the most expensive collegiate degrees can be compiled.

It is interesting to note some similarities among the colleges and universities included in this list. With the exception of one, all of the schools are located on the east coast and are in states that were among the thirteen original colonies, and many of them in the state of New York. Three of the schools were founded as colleges for women, and then in more recent years began accepting male students as well. Liberal arts schools with liberal political leanings and progressive teachings are descriptions that match the majority of these schools. Three of the schools were founded by church or religious organizations. The majority of the colleges were founded in the first half of the nineteenth century. These schools all have degree programs that are among some of the most expensive that can be found.


10 Wesleyan University, Film Studies: $218,370

Wesleyan University is located in Middletown, Conneticut, and should not be confused with Ohio Wesleyan University or Indiana Wesleyan University. It was founded in 1831 by the Methodist church. Wesleyan is a popular university of liberal arts. The students who attend Wesleyan are encouraged to perform humanitarian and volunteer services, and some of its graduates have gone on to become philanthropists. At Wesleyan, film studies is among the most expensive of the degrees conferred. The cost is $218,370 which is quite high for an undergraduate degree.

9 Bucknell University, Biochemistry: $219,330


Bucknell University was founded in 1846 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. There are 51 females for every 49 males at the school. Bucknell has the highest rate of graduating student athletes in the country. This university offers many more courses to choose from than typical liberal arts schools, and offers a choice of over fifty majors. The college of engineering is nationally ranked. With a cost of $219,330 a biochemistry degree is among one of the most expensive offered at this largest liberal arts school in the country.

8 Connecticut College, Music and Technology: $219,950

Connecticut College was founded in 1911 in New London, Connecticut. The school accepts only one third of all student applicants. It is a private liberal arts college. Until 1969, Connecticut College was for women only. Since the time that men were welcomed to campus, both men's and women's athletic teams have been represented by a camel mascot. While economics is the most popular major at this college, a music and technology degree is the most expensive, with an average cost of $219,950.

7 Vassar College, Media Studies: $223,525


Located in Poughkeepsie, New York on a one thousand acre campus, Vassar College was originally a school for women only. Vassar was founded in 1861 in the Hudson Valley of New York, and is currently recognized as one of the top schools in the nation. Forbes magazine ranks Vassar College as the number 25 school in the United States. This liberal arts school is quite selective, accepting only 23 percent of student applicants each year. At $223,525 a degree in media studies is one of the most expensive offered at Vassar College.

6 Bard College, Music: $271,375

Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, Bard College was founded by the Episcopalian Church in 1860. The original name of the school was St. Stephen's College. This school is known as one of the most liberal in the United States and has an acceptance rate of thirty-five percent. It was recently announced that the 2014 commencement speaker will be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Costing $271,375, a music degree from Bard can be obtained.

5 St. John's College, Master of Liberal Arts: $308,392


St. John's college is a private liberal arts school that was founded in 1696 in the urban setting of Annapolis, Maryland, which is perhaps best known as being the home of the United States Naval Academy. Located near the Chesapeake Bay, the school is very small, with a professor to student ratio of one to seven. Within this unusually small setting, for a cost of $308,392, a master of arts in liberal arts can be obtained. St. John's also has a second campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

4 Trinity College, Public Policy and Law: $308,490

Trinity College can be found in the city of Hartford, Connecticut. At the exclusion of Yale, it is the oldest post secondary school in Connecticut. In 1969 the college became coeducational when it welcomed women to campus. This liberal arts college has a ratio of one professor to every ten students. Nearly one third of all applicants are accepted at this school. The Connecticut campus is situated on one hundred acres, and Trinity College offers a campus in Rome for study abroad opportunities. A degree in public policy and law runs approximately $308,490.


3 Columbia University, MBA: $317,030


As the oldest university in New York, Columbia was founded in 1754. Columbia is a private university and places third in order of selectiveness of students. Three presidents have attended this Ivy League university, including both Roosevelts, who graduated with degrees in law, and Barack Obama. In addition, many Nobel laureates have been graduates of Columbia University. With a campus in New York City, Columbia has a highly recognized graduate school program. Costing a total of $317,030 a masters of business administration from Columbia is one of the priciest degrees in the nation.

2 Vanderbilt University, Law: $375,620

Vanderbilt is the sole university located on this list that is not located on the east coast. This Nashville school was founded in 1873 by the South Methodist Episcopal Church. By 1914, the school no longer had any ties to the church. Vanderbilt is one of the largest employers in Tennessee, and is well-known for its medical center. Only twelve percent of student applicants are accepted each year into this highly selective school. A law degree from Vanderbilt University will cost $375,620.

1 Sarah Lawrence College, History and Law: $402,962


Sarah Lawrence was founded in 1926 as a women's college. It was not until nearly half a century later, in 1968, that the school would become coeducational. The founder made his money in the real estate market and named this Bronxville, New York college after his wife. Sarah Lawrence has one of the highest amounts of total student fees, as well as a high rate of students (65%) who benefit from financial aid awards. This selective school offers a graduate degree program in history and law for $402,962.


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