10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses

 Annie Rose Stathes - September 2013


Without a doubt, the United States is a beautiful country. Thankfully, numerous colleges and universities throughout the country have harnessed its beauty and provided students with beautiful places to live and study. The following article lists (in no particular order) ten beautiful campuses in the United States.  

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is situated amidst the vibrant and dense greenery of Minnesota’s spring, the rich and woody colorfulness of Minnesota’s fall, and the brilliantly plentiful snow of Minnesota’s winter. It places an emphasis on arts and culture and is home to one of the largest art programs in the country. Students, faculty, and the community at large enjoy dance, music, and other festivities at the campus’ Weisman Art Museum, West Bank Arts Quarter, and Minnesota Centennial Showboat.

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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Thick green grass, bright red and pink flowers, big shady trees, architecturally-beautiful domes and steeples, and red-brick walkways are all staples of the UNC, Chapel Hill campus. Plus, the university itself prides itself on its cutting-edge research in fields such as war and peace in the Middle East and autism. Also, UNC, Chapel Hill is especially well-known for its NCAA, division one sports teams—especially women’s and men’s basketball.  

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University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - University of Virginia

Historical brick buildings with bright white trim and pillars are a staple on this college campus.  So too are gorgeous, giant trees with leaves that tell of the changing seasons through rich, mossy oranges, yellows, and browns in the fall and brilliant greens in the spring. The University of Virginia is also ranked by U.S. News and World Report Rankings as the #2 public school in the nation and has numerous programs, such as Management, Finance, Marketing, and Accounting, which were ranked within the top 25 of similar programs in the country.

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University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses Notre Dame

Notre Dame is a Catholic research university adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, and in proximity to Chicago, Illinois. It is a well-respected research institution that places an emphasis on academics (with especially vibrant graduate programs) and, perhaps more so, the importance of community and acting as community servants. The flavor of Notre Dame is a balance between sharp academia and dedicated service leadership. Its campus is also stunning—it has multiple lakes, lots of trees, and breathtaking scenery and architecture (especially the Basilica of the Sacred Heart!).    

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Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - Fort Lewis College

Located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Fort Lewis College offers students beautiful surroundings in which to work, study, and play. The campus sits atop a small mountain and is surrounded by bike paths, nature trails, and beautiful views. It also is frequented by numerous deer and the occasional bears. The school offers many wonderful liberal arts degrees and programs, but the Outdoor Education program, which prepares students for jobs working in the wilderness, is often a student favorite. 

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University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, UCLA provides students with a green oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The campus’ stretches of thick green grass are decorated with the school’s interesting architecture comprised primarily of the Romanesque Revival style and a more modern style of minimalism, both of which contribute to the campus’ eclectic environment of peace and rigor, history and style. And, not only does UCLA have an interesting campus, it also proudly boasts these stats: “12 Nobel Laureates, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 109 NCAA Titles, 250 Olympic medals, and more than 100 companies created based on technology developed at UCLA.”   

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - University  of Washington - Seattle

Not only is the University of Washington ranked 16th out of 500 of the world’s top universities by Academic Ranking of World Universities, it is also known for its successful student newspaper, “The Daily of the University of Washington”, or, “The Daily”, which is the second largest daily in all of Seattle. Plus, the University of Washington’s campus is amazing! It’s filled with gorgeous cherry blossoms and provides a safe haven for beautifully maintained historical, red-brick buildings. 

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Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA  10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - Wellesley College

If you love luscious trees with fall colors that leave you breathless, the Wellesley College campus is for you. The campus also has a lake, beautiful meadows, and evergreen trees. It is a place to go to breathe deep, enjoy beauty, and be happy. However, Wellesley is an original member of the Seven Sisters Colleges and is still an all-women school. So if you’re not a woman, you’ll have to enjoy the campus without the benefit of its high-quality and competitive academic programs.   

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Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - Swarthmore College

Fall colors, cobblestone buildings, cozy walkways and wooded-areas, and peaceful parks all make the Swarthmore College campus appealing, comfortable, and fun. Plus, the buildings on the campus have great architecture that takes a departure from more traditional campus styles and colors. The Swarthmore College campus is a perfect place for curling up with a book and apple cider in the fall and a book of poetry and lemonade in the spring. And, the college itself takes pride in its global community and eagerness to embrace world views, perspectives, identities, and histories. 


University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA10 of the Most Beautiful College Campuses - University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley is well known for its high-quality academic programs. In fact, the National Research Council concluded that UC Berkeley “has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country” and that “48 out of 52 Berkeley programs assessed ranked within the top ten nationally.” Berkeley is also well known for its history of activism. The university’s student body and faculty have made and continue to make numerous amazing contributions to social progress and justice. This combined with the school’s beautiful campus filled with eucalyptus trees, parks for resting, and places for sitting in the sunshine, make UC Berkeley a wonderful place to be.  

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About the Author: Annie Rose Stathes holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science, from the University of Colorado, Denver.  She is currently an instructor of writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado.

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