15 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the US

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Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

It’s hard to dismiss the landscape when walking across Princeton’s 500-acre campus, as stunning-looking Gothic structures and immaculately tamed green expanses are everywhere in sight. And the jewel in the crown of the Ivy League institution, at least when it comes to architecture, is the stately Nassau Hall.

The hall has been standing in some form since 1756, ten years after the university’s foundation, and has managed to remain a constant feature as the campus has grown around it. Nassau has been no stranger to misfortune, however, as it has burnt down not once but twice in 1802 and 1855.

The building’s present Italian Renaissance-style incarnation is courtesy of Scottish-American architect John Notman, although it has undergone several renovations since its heyday.

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41 thoughts on “15 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the US”

  1. Hmm all Ivy League schools? Only two out west? Obviously never been to CU Boulder. One of the most beautiful campuses in the US. Maybe you should wander west of the Mississippi .

    1. Not all the Ivy League schools made the list – Cornell is noticeably missing… and there are more than two western schools listed!

      1. Your list lost credibility when you didn’t even include Pepperdine University anywhere on your list, which continually wins awards annually for its stunning vistas and architectural beauty. Situated high on a hill in Malibu, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it is undeniably one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.

    1. Amen! 20,000 acres of beautiful rural property. A wonderful waterwheel and gorgeous buildings funded by Henry Ford.

  2. Andrew Mesterhazy

    I was fortunate to spend my undergraduate years at two of the listed Universities, UVA and Sewanee. I remain extremely proud of both, and the care that the trustees and alumni have takeover the years to maintain the beauty of the campuses (known as “The Grounds” at UVA and “The Domain” at Sewanee). Perhaps the unique names attached to these make people more aware of their architectural and historical Legacies. In spite of massive expansion since I matriculated in the late 50s and early 60s, they remain true to this legacy. Thank you for this article.

  3. Not even close! Yes, these are colleges with some beautiful buildings, but certainly not as beautiful as almost any of the military academies., for instance. They combine beautiful architecture with beautiful locations. West Point sits high on the Hudson River with spectacular views north and south. The Rocky Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to what one might say is a bit too ’60s “contemporary ” architecture, but it works. The Naval Academy has the Chesapeake bay as its eastern boundary. They are also among the very best universities in the nation. Take a look.

    1. Obviously its a matter of opinion, but Oregon State University has been named the most beautiful campus on the west coast for years. Lewis & Clark surprised me being on the list. Try googling OSU and you’ll see what Trip Advisor,f or one, sees. Its stunning, especially in fall.

    2. Absolutely as a retired Army Veyeran I have seen all three academies West Point while on a training mission, The Aur Force Academy while stationed at Ft. Carson, CO and the Naval Academy from many miles driven around the area from duty stations and family living in the area.

  4. Ivy League……what about William & Mary? Miami University (Ohio)? They’re twins. I know….everyone has they’re favorites, but this seemed very slanted.

    1. THANK YOU. Ohio University in Athens is GREAT too….lovely in south-central Ohio. And Bethany College, Bethany, WV…gorgeous old-main gothic architecture. I was SURE it’d be on the list, also!~
      GTJ

  5. I think smaller-colleges are also underrepresented…Bethany College, oldest college in WV…Gothic Architecture…Ohio University, Athens, is also beautiful. Don’t worry…they missed a LOT of nice ones!
    G

  6. United States Military Academy is not high on this list, I have been to all the Ivy Leagues and they don’t even compare with the campus at West Point.

  7. I have been to 4 of these beautiful campuses and attended one. They are all beautiful. America is blessed with many – maybe even most – of the most beautiful university campuses in the world.

  8. Michael T. Graves

    With all of the Ivies you have included, you fail to mention Cornell. It easily surpasses most of the others you have included, and I have seen most of them. The setting alone, on the hills overlooking Cayuga Lake, sets it apart. I would like to see a full exposition of the standards you used.

  9. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio should have been in the top 10. Miami is a gorgeous place. I’m just a little biased- I’m a proud alum.

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