Remember those days during junior year of high school spent Googling every college from Maine to Maui in search of the top 5 most beautiful campuses in the US? There were dream schools, reach schools, match schools, and safety schools, and the list seemed to grow on a daily basis. Did the school have the right major? Was there a club team for the sport you played in high school? Was the tuition affordable? In choosing a place to call home for the next four years, only so many questions could be answered on the school’s website. But more than academics, Greek life, or student activities, one search criteria was more important than the rest when deciding where to apply: the campus tour. During this campus tour did you figure out if you are wanting to attend the top 5 most beaautiful campuses.
No matter how great a school looked on screen, nothing can change the fate of where you send the Common App more than the first time you visit the campus. NYU might have had the best department for your intended major, but New York City might not be the small college-town feel you imagined. You might be a big fan of Syracuse or Boston College sports teams, but can you survive a New England winter? We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, but it is much harder not to judge a college by its campus, especially when you are on the search for the most beautiful campuses.
There is obviously a lot more to college than the beauty of the campus, but it’s easy to fall in love with the most beautiful campuses that will make your high school friends jealous when you start posting photos on Instagram during orientation. No matter their school, many readers will surely be irked that their alma mater is not on this list (Full Disclosure: the only reason the University of Miami is not on this list is because I felt obligated to be unbiased). College campuses are some of the most beautiful collections of landscaping, architecture, and foliage in America, but the 5 most beautiful college campuses (according to College News) exceed expectations…
5. Dartmouth College
As a member of the Ivy League founded in 1769, Dartmouth’s New Hampshire campus offers a beautiful mix of history and nature. With American elms throughout the campus and picturesque backdrops of the Connecticut River’s Upper Valley, Dartmouth is not only an Ivy but also has one of the most beautiful campuses ever. Don’t take our word for it, check out their webcams.
4. Sewanee: The University of the South
Rather than the campus or the quad, Sewanee’s massive 13,000 acres of mountain property is officially referred to by students as the Domain, and the landscape views atop the Cumberland Plateau certainly give students a reason to love their campus.
3. University of Chicago
If urban settings are you’re idea of beauty, the University of Chicago’s architecturally grand campus will keep you motivated while studying at a top-ranked university. Casually walking past several buildings that are listed as National Historic Landmarks on the way to class only begins to describe the campus’ aesthetic appeal. If anything this definitely counts as the top most beautiful campus in Chicago.
2. Lewis and Clark College
Recently named America’s greenest college by the Princeton Review, Lewis and Clark College’s Portland campus is both sustainable and breathtaking. Nature lovers will not find a more fitting campus that immerses students in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
1. Pepperdine University
If you’re looking for the top 5 most beautiful campuses, it’s hard to beat Pepperdine’s Malibu location with sweeping Pacific views and palm trees aplenty. Imagine dorm rooms with ocean views and it’s easy to imagine why Pepperdine tops this list for having the most beautiful campus.