Night view of downtown Oberlin
A night view of the Oberlin business district along College Street.
Photo credit: Greg Pendolino

Mission and Values

Oberlin College and Conservatory, an independent coeducational institution, holds a distinguished place among American colleges and universities. Oberlin was the first college to grant undergraduate degrees to women in a coeducational program and, historically, was a leader in the education of African Americans. The Oberlin community is known for its academic and musical excellence and its commitment to social engagement and diversity.

Oberlin uniquely combines an outstanding professional school of music with a leading undergraduate college of arts and sciences. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music provides flexible programs to prepare students as professional musicians and teachers of music. Deeply committed to academic excellence, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a rich and balanced curriculum in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences. Within that framework the college expects that students will work closely with the faculty to design an educational program appropriate to their own particular interests, needs, and long-term goals.

Oberlin seeks a disparate and promising student body. Recognizing that diversity broadens perspectives, Oberlin is dedicated to recruiting a culturally, economically, geographically, and racially diverse group of students. Interaction with others of widely different backgrounds and experiences fosters the effective, concerned participation in the larger society so characteristic of Oberlin graduates.

Oberlin seeks students who are talented, highly motivated, personally mature, and tolerant of divergent views. The conservatory in particular seeks talented musicians with considerable potential for further growth and development. Performance is central to all of the curricula including music education, history, theory, composition, and technology.


Mission Statement

Oberlin College and Conservatory educates students for lives of intellectual, musical and artistic rigor and breadth, sustained inquiry, creativity and innovation, and leadership. Oberlin aims to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and perspec­tives essential to confront complex issues and to create change and value in the world.

Oberlin is committed to educational access and opportunity. It seeks to offer a diverse and inclusive residential learning environment encouraging a free and respectful exchange of ideas and shares an enduring commitment to a sustainable and just society.

Our Commitments

We are committed to ideas and initiatives that will lead toward one goal: a more sustainable, respectful, and interconnected world for all.

Our Traditions

Like most schools, Oberlin has its enduring traditions—from the Drag Ball to decorating mortar boards for Commencement. Unlike most schools, some of them get a little quirky. Discover the customs we value that make Oberlin special.

The Rock

Additional Resources

Arts and Culture

Our small campus has a huge art scene—a museum of more than 15,000 works, 500 concerts a year, and plenty of places to create and perform.