15 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the US

College life in a beautiful and relaxing environment can often contribute to an enhanced learning experience. Although not the most important factor, a university’s setting can be an important criteria for students to decide where they want to spend some of the most wonderful years of their lives. Top ranked universities often have stunning campuses that co-relate with their academic reputation, here’s a list of 15 most beautiful college campuses in the US you must check out :

1. University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

The famous Rotunda at the University of Virginia, a UNESCO World Heritage site Courtesy: University of Virginia Homepage

Named as the ‘proudest achievement of American architecture in the past 200 years’ by the American Institute of Architects, the making University of Virginia’s gorgeous campus goes back to 1819 when the school was setup by Thomas Jefferson, America’s 3rd President. The 1,832 acres university and its symbol, the famous Romanian architecture based Rotunda was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1976. Set amidst rolling landscapes and lush greenery, the University of Virginia’s beautiful architecture is certainly a match to its academic accomplishments.

2. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

The Rockefeller Chapel from Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago Courtesy: Wikipedia

Although the University of Chicago has an urban setting in the dynamic city of Chicago, you’ll be transported to a world of Gothic architecture once you enter its campus. With several of its buildings listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, the University of Chicago has several awe inspiring landmarks such as the Rockefeller Chapel and the grassy, tree-lined Midway Plaisance public park. With over 91 Nobel Laureates and numerous programs in top ten rankings, the University of Chicago’s beautiful campus is a prestigious place to study for sure.

3. Colgate University- Hamilton, New York

Colgate University Campus and the surrounding valley Courtesy: Google

With over 2,000 trees, a beautiful lake and abundance of greenery, the 572-acre Colgate University has a naturally aesthetic setting. The charming campus also has some eye catching buildings such as the Old Biology Hall and Pascal Hall and plenty of grassy meadows with spectacular views around. With such a gorgeous campus, we’re sure students at Colgate University must be having a beautiful learning experience.

4. University of Notre Dame - Notre Dame, Indiana

The Basilica of Sacred Heart and the Golden Dome atop the main building at the University of Notre Dame Courtesy : Wikipedia

The University of Notre Dame has a medieval Gothic stamp all over its campus. Established in 1842, the university’s landmark structures include the Golden Dome top the main building, a statue of Virgin Mary and the 218 feet high Basilica of Sacred Heart which also happens to be the tallest university chapel in the US. Situated between two lakes, this picturesque campus offers everything one wants for a great college experience!

5. Pepperdine University - Malibu, California

Pepperdine University coasting the Pacific Ocean Courtesy : Google

Students studying in Pepperdine University wake up to some splendid views of the Pacific Ocean and we don’t need another reason to feature Pepperdine among some of the most beautiful campuses in the US. The 830 acre campus gets a tropical touch with the palm trees that can be found everywhere on its campus and the university has some impressive Mediterranean architecture. The university’s landmark building, the Philip Theme Tower serves as a welcoming point for students to its exciting learning environment!

6. University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

The Quad at the University of Washington blooming with cherry blossom trees Courtesy : University of Washington homepage

The University of Washington at Seattle has some awe inspiring views of Mount Rainer, the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. Then the University of Washington also has blooming cherry trees on its campus. Ranked among the best universities in the world, even Forbes has said that University of Washington’s ‘Snow-capped mountain views in an urban setting is already a sweet deal!’ Undoubtedly, the 703 acre campus has beauty all over its site – and coupled with a great learning environment, this is surely the place to be.

7. University of Colorado, Boulder – Boulder, Colorado

The University of Colorado, Boulder and Rocky Mountains in the background Courtesy : Google

The University of Colorado has 5 Nobel Laureates and several of its programs ranking among the top 20 in the US, but nothing beholds the eye of the viewer than the mammoth Rocky Mountains in the backdrop of the campus. The University of Colorado is also the birthplace of the Tuscan Vernacular Revival (also known as the ‘University of Colorado Style) – sandstone walls and red-tile roofs set it apart and make the campus a vibrant place to study!

8. University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, California

San Francisco Bay Area overlooking the University of California, Berkeley Courtesy : Wikipedia

UC Berkeley does not need an introduction – 90 Nobel Prizes, 117 Olympic Medals, discovery of 16 chemical elements and so many more. What makes it more interesting is its remarkable campus that sits in the gorgeous San Francisco Bay Area. The university’s famous Sather Tower (the Campanile) offers stunning views of the city of San Francisco and areas around it and its historic campus is home to several building built in diverse architectural styles.

9. Sewanee: The University of South – Sewanee, Tennessee

Cumberland Plateau and Sewane : The University of South campus in Fall season Courtesy : Google

Frequently featured by numerous magazines as one of the most beautiful campuses in the US, Sewanee: The University of South has an interesting combination of classic gothic architecture and the American South’s charm. One of the most famous buildings of the university is the All Saints Chapel- the building features arched ceilings, rose windows and drawings from some of the world’s iconic churches such as Notre Dame De Paris. The massive 13,000 acres campus has neo-gothic buildings, amazing views of the neighbouring hills and valleys and a spectacular fall foliage which gives it an almost fairy tale like setting!

10. University of Montana – Missoula, Montana

University of Montana campus view from the surrounding hills Courtesy : Google

The University of Montana’s campus was dubbed as ‘The most scenic campus in America’ by Rolling Stone magazine. Montana is well known for its snow capped peaks, vast wilderness and abundance of interesting places. No wonder that the University of Montana’s campus, situated on the foothill of the 1,958 feet Mt. Sentinel has abundance of raw beauty. The campus also offers some interesting buildings to watch out for, most notably, the Renaissance revival style structures.

11. Elon University – Elon, North Carolina

Johnson Hall at the Elon University, North Carolina Courtesy : Wikipedia

Elon University’s campus makes you feel like you’ve entered a garden – lush green trees, blooming flowers and stunning diversity of plant life – the university’s campus is classified as a botanical garden for the right reason. The 535-acre campus is also home to some unique buildings such as the Johnson Hall – which has been included in the National Registrar of Historic Places as well as the impressive Fonville Fountain. Elon University definitely has the perfect combination of a beautiful campus and smart people!

12. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Sample gates at Indiana University, Bloomington Courtesy : Wikipedia

Located in the dynamic college town of Bloomington, Indiana University sits on a rich deposit of Indiana limestone and most of its buildings including the aesthetic Maxwell Hall have been built from locally quarried limestone. The iconic Sample Gates serve as a welcoming point for students and the campus has over 1,200 acres of forest and biking trails. Dubbed as a ‘modern forest’ by many, the university’s diverse architecture and its renowned academic experience surely provides a wonderful learning experience!

13. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The famous Old Well at the UNC Chapel Hill Campus Courtesy : UNC Homepage

Established in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is America’s oldest public university and its campus is a haven for admirers of nature and architecture. The 700 acres campus has some interesting buildings and traditions associated with them – the Morehead Patterson Bell Tower tolls every fifteen minutes and the famous Old Well is said to bestow good fortune on all those who sip water from its fountain. With a fanatic basketball following, a reputed academic setting and a stunning campus, the University of North Carolina certainly brings fortune to all those who decide to study there!

14. Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

Cornel University and Cayuga Lake Courtesy : Google

With so many buildings listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places, beautiful valleys touching a spectacular Cayuga Lake and an Ivy League tag, Cornell’s 4,800 acres campus is a dream place to study! The university’s notable landmarks include the Greek-styled constructed Bailey Hall auditorium and the 21-bell chimed McGraw Tower. The campus features buildings built in diverse architectural styles – Gothic, Victorian, Neoclassical and modernist and its numerous ‘green’ initiatives have received accolades from environmental experts. No wonder, getting into Cornell is an achievement of its own!

15. Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles, California

View from Loyola Marymount University at dusk Courtesy : Google

Situated on the top of Los Angeles’ Del Rey Hills, Loyola Marymount University offers stunning views of the surrounding areas as well as the Pacific Ocean. The campus itself is a visual treat – the gothic styled Sacred Heart Chapel and the Sculpture Gardens will leave you mesmerized. With so much to admire, this artsy campus certainly deserves a place in the list of most beautiful campuses in the US! 

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About Ashwed Patil

Ashwed is a prospective MS student with interests in Computer Science, Content Writing and Geography. He has secured 8 admissions out of 10 U.S. universities he has applied to. His experience with the arduous MS application process motivated him to guide fellow applicants through online articles and blogs. He has also been deeply involved in teaching underprivileged kids in his hometown, Nasik. An interesting fact about Ashwed – he likes to make imaginary countries out of someone’s personality traits!


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