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15 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the US

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College Campuses

Our country’s most beautiful college campuses don’t just attract prospective students with their families. Tourists flock to these impressive institutions to admire their perfectly manicured lawns, gorgeous architecture, and significant landmarks. With their extensive collections of buildings, it’s no wonder that college campuses are architectural gems.

In the US, college campuses built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries feature beautiful, unified styles. Usually, the Collegiate Gothic movement drew from historical English buildings and the Federal, neoclassical, and Romanesque movements.

Campuses also have elegant landscape designs, whether perfectly manicured quads or natural woodlands. While most universities have included incredible modern builds by 20th-century architects in recent years, they’ve also worked hard to maintain their visual legacies.

We’ve searched throughout the country to find the 15 most beautiful college campuses in America, taking into consideration both architectural heritage and setting. Is your alma mater on our list? Read on to find out!

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

      1. Barbara jo Lindsey

        My great great great grandparents graduated from there before moving to La.
        The chapel there is beautiful.

    1. Not to include West Point Academy is travesty not only is it set in beautiful setting it has produced our country’s greatest leader’s maybe she go there and see and read the history of the men that graduated there,her list is irrelevant.

  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!

    2. CU should have been on the list. Almost all the buildings have matching beautiful stone, wonderful walkways, scenic pond,etc. The ones on the list sometimes have one or two great buildings but not a coordinated campus like CU.

      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!~

  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!

  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.

  10. There are other parts of the country besides the east coast. U of W Huskies aren’t even given a thought in this cavalcade of east coast universities.

  11. Christopher Cross

    If you are going to include dark and dingy Kenyon, you can’t exclude bright and beautiful Denison U. in Granville, Ohio.

  12. These are the architectural gems of the US. Although I went to Valparaiso University, (known as “THE POOR MAN’S HARVARD” FOR ITS ACADEMICS) I have been on ten of these campuses. They truly are some of the most beautiful. I’m surprised Cornell was listed.

  13. EDWARD Michael DOVER

    The U. of Wisconsin in Madison is beautiful. It sits on the shores of Lake Mendota. The school buildings line the slope of Bascom Hill–with views of the lake.
    You missed a beautiful campus.
    E.M. Dover

  14. Sharon Barnard

    You totally missed it..University of Colorado..sitting in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with most beautiful architecture. Also, the university of Indiana campus with their unbelievable landscape. You’re stuck with your contributors.

  15. Bob Greenberg

    You missed the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas
    It is a beautiful Campus. It is the only University that has all the Graduates names etched in Senior Walk.

  16. This is a joke and obviously voted on by an elitist group. I believe I counted 5 Ivy schools in the mix and Stanford as well as Duke and U VA. This wasn’t a poll about academics but about beauty. Having been around this entire country and almost all of the universities you cited as wel as many, many more, your list is clearly biased. Visit Pepperdine University and tell me that there is a prettier campus anywhere in the US as you gaze out on the Pacific. Or view the setting of the sun from the hills of UC Berkeley. Or look out at the snow-covered Rockies from your University of Colorado residence. To me, these surpass any of the staid institutions you mentioned.

  17. Most show just a small area. Many here look too over done. Now for example look at Delaware campus, there is beauty.

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