The 50 Most Beautiful Colleges in America (and Guess Who is #1)

It’s the tail-end of the summer doldrums and so what if it’s one and a half years old - what better subject to liven up the discussion than Wesleyan’s eclectic, gingerbread blend of architectural styles?
Top 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America |


NYU at 43. Really?


Funny how the list changes year after year.

Bama is always on…top 20. Not on this list. I don’t see the beauty but my kid says stunning.

My other says College of Charleston gorgeous. I think old and rundown.

Obviously no one has been to all these schools but surprised to see my alma mater Syracuse on the list. It is gorgeous but never rates high.

Glad to see Va Tech, the nicest campus I visited on there. And Duke. But W&M. It’s nice but not that nice. Doesn’t hold a candle to Duke (imho)

Bummed to not see Washington & Lee…my favorite small campus but again I’ve not personally visited so many of these maybe the others like Colgate are nicer. Trinity looks really nice but it’s amazing how nice because people mention how sketchy it is right outside.

Love the lists and pictures. Thanks for sharing.


This is one curious list…JMU and VT higher than UVA?
Georgetown which is essentially a hodgepodge architecturally…
NYU listed at all…


Agreed except Va tech. Nicest campus in the country :).

JMU. Neither my daughter and I were floored. Yeah the quad is nice but there was a big power station on campus and interstate 81.

Let the debates begin :slight_smile:

This is like greatest baseball player or football player or best president or movie , etc. everyone had an opinion. There’s no factually correct answer.

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Whoever rated this must have picked up a little something in Washington Square Park before evaluating NYU.


This is great! Thanks for posting this.

Cool to see four of our public universities in Virginia on the list (although whoever wrote this list up seems to think UVA is private!)

I would rank them differently though- UVA, Virginia Tech, William & Mary, JMU. But, everyone will have different ideas of what they consider “beautiful.”


Tons of beautiful campuses listed, but also some questionable choices. NYU being the strangest pick IMO. And higher than UCLA and Princeton? Hmm :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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If I was choosing off of one picture, I would choose Lewis and Clark. Nature and beautiful manor type house…I’m sold.
As for the list, some of those pictures put me right off, and they didn’t include Wellesley or Boston College, which I think are both beautiful.


Google most beautiful colleges and you’re bound to see them on somebody else’s list! :smile:


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that …. But this list is very strange.


I would add a strong vote for Stanford—it’s an intellectual resort…

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NYU has a campus?

Wake, Furman and San Diego are on my list. Wife and kids liked Chicago and Loyola Chicago.

Not sure FSU is top 50 but it’s a pretty, walkable campus.

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Stanford certainly has an amazing campus, top 2 IMO along with Princeton. However, for this website to be called loses credibility when it identifies Stanford as an Ivy League (apparently, it didn’t do any “research”). Anyway, where is Yale? How NYU is on this list is beyond me. Flager College (never heard of it) appears to be a resort and looks incredible.


Lauinger Library should disqualify Georgetown from consideration.


They seem to like ignoring Middlebury which is not only stunning, but in an area with is beautiful 12 months a year. Colgate is very pretty, but it has a very similar aesthetic to Middlebury, which did not even make the list.

UChicago has some nice buildings, but also some pretty ugly ones, and can be dark and oppressive. NYU is not a campus my any means, so if you think that the area of Manhattan where it is happens to be nice, OK. After having seen the campus, I actually do agree that UVM is pretty, but U Montana, while nice enough, is not at the top 50 level. The scenery around, though, is stunning. RISD - another college which is nice enough, but hardly at the level of a top 50, and that can be said of at least half of the colleges on that list.

I will have to agree, though, with the inclusion of Salve Regina University - everything about that campus is stunning. It should be higher.


Makes me want to go back to college. Maybe that’s what I’ll do when I retire.


They seem to have a fondness for “different” or distinctive rather than generically pretty. TBH, when I just googled “50 Most Beautiful Colleges” I got a bunch of different rankings, including one from several years ago by Architectural Digest. My problem with some of the others is, how many times can you cite the same, basic, Gothic building over and over again before your eyes glaze over?


Architectural geeks are like any other geek. They can go over the same set of building long after you have heard “flying buttress” so many times that you are hallucinating about sitting in a British Airlines business class seat next to Lincoln Cathedral.

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