Top 5 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the U.S.

These schools are more than just institutions of learning; they are the most beautiful college campuses in the entire U.S. and you are bound to fall in love with them.

It is often said that beauty lies in the perception of the observer. And who better to assess the aesthetic appeal of college campuses than the students themselves, who reside and study there? Nevertheless, a campus encompasses more than just its physical structures. The students are the lifeblood of a university, thus playing a crucial role in defining the campus’ allure.

For this reason, College Prowler conducts surveys among students, encompassing various aspects of university life. These aspects include the scenic beauty of their campuses and the perceived attractiveness of the student body. By combining these survey findings, we are able to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the most picturesque universities in the United States.

Here are the top five most beautiful college campuses in the U.S.:

5. University of Virginia

Sunset View of the Rotunda - most beautiful college campuses

Thomas Jefferson envisioned and orchestrated the establishment of the University of Virginia as a publicly funded institution with a distinct national character, a vision that endures to this day. The architectural design of the campus, centered around the iconic rotunda serving as the university’s library, set a precedent for other academic institutions to follow.

With its founding dating back to 1819, this esteemed university accommodates a student body of over 20,000 individuals. As rated by students themselves, their peers receive a remarkable average rating of 9.61 out of 10, highlighting the remarkable academic talent within the campus. Additionally, the captivating scenery of the campus itself garners a commendable rating of 9.63 out of 10, further enhancing the overall experience for students.

Finished in 1826, the library is one of the three structures in the United States designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As per the University of Virginia’s official website, the institution is recognized as one of Thomas Jefferson’s magnificent creations. Notably, in addition to its architectural grandeur, the university offers several attractions for visitors. For instance, one of the historic dormitories served as the residence of the esteemed writer Edgar Allan Poe during his time at the university in 1826.

4. University of Colorado, Boulder

Drone View of the University of Colorado - one of the most beautiful college campuses in the us

University of Colorado

The University of Colorado, Boulder is widely recognized for its stunning campus. Renowned as one of the most beautiful in the United States, it was designed by Charles Klauder from 1919-1923. The architectural style showcases 16 buildings in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style, characterized by sandstone walls, red-tile roofs, and limestone trim. The campus seamlessly blends with its picturesque Rocky Mountain surroundings. Founded in 1876, the campus holds a special place in history with its Old Main building, which once housed all classrooms. Unfortunately, the bell developed a crack in 1928, ceasing its use for signaling class changes. With an enrollment of approximately 30,000 students, the Boulder campus garners accolades for its aesthetic beauty and breathtaking mountain vistas, consistently earning high ratings.

3. Colgate University

The Beautiful View of Colgate University - Colgate is one of the most beautiful college campuses in America

Colgate University is touted as the most beautiful college campus in New York. The stunning architecture and hillside location add to its charm. Situated in Hamilton, New York, the campus boasts forests, hills, and a scenic lake that complement its traditional buildings. The Princeton Review recognized it as the most beautiful campus in America in 2014. Colgate spreads over 515 acres, featuring over 88 buildings. The oldest structure, West Hall, was built in the 19th century using stone from the school’s quarry. The campus has an estimated 2,300 trees primarily consisting of sugar maples and red oaks. It has exceptional ratings from students. Colgate University is a selective and prestigious private liberal arts university with under 3,000 students.

2. Miami University, Ohio

The Sundial & the Central Quad - most beautiful college campuses include Miami University

Odyssey Online

Miami in Oxford, Ohio, was bestowed with the honor of having “the most beautiful campus that ever there was” by renowned poet Robert Frost. Beyond its physical structures, the allure of Miami University extends to its highly regarded student body. Founded in 1809, it is a public institution renowned for its commitment to undergraduate education and personalized guidance. The campus is adorned with significant landmarks such as the William Holmes Museum, Zachariah Price Dewitt Cabin, and Lewis Place, the residence for Miami presidents. Prominent features include the elegantly lined path to Central Quad and esteemed Shideler Hall. The Sundial offers a breathtaking vista and mesmerizing sunset. Spanning 2,138 acres, Miami University proudly holds its status as one of the oldest and largest educational institutions in the United States.

1. University of California, Santa Barbara

Aerial View of the UCSB Coast Line - most beautiful college campuses


U.C.S.B. is known for its academic excellence, notable alumni (including Nobel Prize recipients), and natural beauty. The campus of U.C. Santa Barbara is widely recognized as one of the most stunning in America. It is no surprise that U.C. Santa Barbara has been named one of the nation’s “hottest colleges” by Newsweek.

Situated on California’s coastline, U.C.S.B. accommodates over 20,000 students. The students have rated the oceanfront campus with a respectable score. With its oceanfront view and sandy beaches, the Santa Barbara campus stands out as one of the most aesthetically pleasing college campuses in the United States. Imagine relaxing by the beach and taking a refreshing dip after a study session. It is truly the perfect spot for relaxation.

Have we missed any other beautiful college campuses? Let us know in the comments!

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