Small West Coast Colleges You Should Know About

city buildings and trees during golden hour

When most people think of west coast colleges, they think of the major public and private universities. However, these small west coast colleges you should know about all have a number of factors in common that make them both small and great. First, all of them have less than 4,000 students enrolled. 

This means that each college has a student to teacher ratio of 10 or less. All of these colleges also consistently make top rankings lists, especially small college lists. And of course, all of these colleges are in the west.

The Claremont Colleges

Technically five colleges, each college has its own unique offerings and rankings. The Claremont Colleges consist of Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer. Even though each one is unique with its own campus and faculty, students can take classes across the colleges.

Reed College

Located in Portland, OR, Reed College is known for its academic rigor and its creative lifestyle. Although they don’t have any varsity athletics or Greek life, they do have a wide variety of extracurricular activities. They also produce a noteworthy number of Ph.D. candidates.

Whitman College

Walla Walla, WA houses this small college modeled after New England colleges. It offers a number of environmental and geology majors amongst its 45 majors. No matter a student’s major though, all students are required to take a two semester course called “Encounters”. This course examines cultural interactions throughout history.

Colorado College

This Colorado Springs school does not run on a semester system like most colleges. Instead they take one class that lasts three and a half weeks, with four and a half day blocks in between courses for a break. The school also encourages volunteer activities and fostering faculty-student relationships outside of the classroom

Occidental College

Though lesser-known, this college resides in Los Angeles. The school prides itself upon a diverse undergraduate student body. Freshman must live on campus, but are also permitted cars. Furthermore, the campus features in a number of known films including Clueless and Jurassic Park III.

Soka University of America

Soka was originally founded on Buddhist principles, but it’s not religiously affiliated. Students at this Aliso Viejo, CA school must study a language and study abroad to a country that speaks that language. This program is included in the college tuition. Plus, 96% of classes have fewer than 20 students, making it a great option for those who want individualized attention.

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