On a more pleasant note: A most beautiful college campus list

Ugly is what ugly is sometimes. What is more interesting is that every beautiful campus has a few not so lovely items lurking - this gem is hidden behind the centerpiece of Va Tech.

I found this pic of Western New Mexico University:

Looks like a pretty scenic place!

I didn’t think Carnegie Mellon was that ugly, although my memory of Pittsburgh was that it was very ugly. CMU had some great old buildings-there’s one that’s on a slope because it used to be a factory and the machines would roll slowly down the building, helped by gravity. That’s the kind of thing I’d never call ugly.

U-Mass Amherst struck me as oppressive, and I didn’t apply there because of the high rise prison-um, dorms. I did like getting to see the DaVinci papers there, though.

Pittsburgh, actually, is often considered one of the prettiest cities. I don’t know when Mother of Dragons visited, but a lot has changed over the past few decades and the stereotype of it being ugly has long since passed (although it may have been true at one time). Just google it. And Carnegie Mellon has a very nice campus, where you often don’t realize that you’re actually in a city although you are.

Yeah, Pittsburgh is certainly not ugly. Maybe another visit is in order.

When we first visited what would become my son’s college (Ohio University in Athens, OH), we were awestruck by the beauty of the campus. But with that beauty came something else… a good feeling about the place that later turned out to be spot on. Even my son’s body language that day was different than with the other campus visits we had made. I left the place smiling, knowing that he had found his home for the next four years.

“When we first visited what would become my son’s college (Ohio University in Athens, OH)” - if you like this, you may considering visiting Miami (Oxford, Ohio). Pretty campus was one of my D’s top criteria for choosing her college. Miami has worked very well for her, not only for the beautiful campus but also for the awesome opportunities that she found there, great memories for the rest of her life! Both Ohio and Miami are making this list.

To be fair I was at CMU 1988-89, so yes, it was a looong time ago. It was an incredibly polluted city, both for air and water quality. Everything had this rime of black gunk on it. The houses, the rivers. I did not love it.

Oh, MotherOfDragons, you should come back to visit! I think that you will be pleasantly surprised!

Agree, MomofM, I am originally from Pittsburgh and still get chills when I come back to visit and come out of the tunnel to see the beautiful skyline and stadiums. A lot has changed since the late 80’s. Pittsburgh frequently rates very highly in things like most livable cities and greenest cities. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/pittsburgh-health_n_4339476.html

We visited Southern Illinois University in Carbondale earlier this fall. I had no idea how beautiful and scenic the campus is. I really loved how much of the campus is not even landscaped, but left wooded and natural.

I also thought Ohio University and Athens Ohio was beautiful, but I really love old, old places and things, :). For a university built before the Civil War, though, and to have many of the original buildings, it seems nicely maintained and I love the brick streets in town (however jolting to drive over!) The surrounding area is beautiful as well.

One campus I found very attractive even in the winter, was Elmhurst College in Elmhurst IL, a suburb of Chicago. The entire campus is canopied by trees, yet it has a very traditional, formal, red-brick look. The quad is called the “mall” and is copied after the Mall in Washington D.C., but Elmhurst’s actually has grass still… The cafeteria’s outdoor patio overlooks the “mall”. And Elmhurst is a very nice residential suburb, with many houses built in the 20s and 30s…

Illinois Wesleyan’s campus is very nice, too, and reeks of wealth and privilege. Really. Their library just blew me away, a reading room on one floor is entirely paneled in wood, and there are glass displays of objets d’art and paintings everywhere… Just a very impressive place, the epitome of what a small university library should look like.

Too bad Bloomington is so dumpy - Normal, a few blocks away, and the town of Illinois State, is much nicer.

I agree about Pittsburgh being a terrific city. We spent a couple days downtown this summer, and we had an amazing time! :slight_smile: It’s beautiful, and there is a lot to do.

Grad School Hub named Cranbrook Academy of Art the #1 most beautiful place to go to graduate school (it’s located in Michigan).

Ahhhh, Saint Mary’s College of Maryland… What a jewel.

Miami’s campus is pretty, though every building looks the same, but Oxford doesn’t compare favorably to Athens at all.

Another vote for Pittsburgh as a surprisingly beautiful city. I went on business a few years ago not expecting much. It was in the spring, and I thought it was actually beautiful. D1 and her boyfriend are considering moving there – get out of the DC ratrace, but not be too far from his East Coast family. I hope they do it.

University of Alabama is a beautiful campus. Love the red brick and how everything coordinates. Reminds me of the campuses I remember seeing in movies and on tv when I was growing up.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has been on the ugliest campus list because all its different architectural styles, and on a beautiful campus list because of its different architectural styles. I like the contrast. The buildings there are very interesting.

I’m at UVA right now and it really shouldn’t even be on this list…it’s not all that beautiful and certainly not what I would call rural!

P.S. But if we’re going to say that UVA is rural, then I think Scripps College should count too - probably the most gorgeous campus I’ve ever seen.

I am from Virginia and I don’t consider UVA (or William and Mary) to be rural. Some on the list clearly are like Kenyon, Sweet Briar, Sewanee, but not those two, which are in smaller cities. While I’ve just argued they shouldn’t be on the list, I think William and Mary is definitely a prettier campus overall than UVA.

Two of my sons refused to get out of the car when we arrived to visit Stony Brook, my H’s alma mater, because it was “butt ugly” according to the younger one.

When we went through Albany on Amtrak on the way to visit my D at her upstate SUNY, the same two boys pronounced it the ugliest city they had ever seen (note, they are not particularly well traveled, unfortunately, but still, they seem to be on the right track).

One of S17’s top choices is Purchase and he didn’t think the campus was that bad. I sent him to visit with my D, so I have not yet seen the campus.

I am not one to care about landscaping or architecture and I certainly wouldn’t want to pay more money just because a campus is prettier. Clean, well maintained dorms, good food and a safe environment are things I would pay for but not a nice lawn.

University of British Columbia is absolutely stunning. five minute walk to the beach, you can see the ships rolling in everyday, the North Shore mountains, it’s inside a beautiful forest, and of course, the skyline of Vancouver is lovely.