College of Arts and Sciences

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Students work and study in the Seeley G. Mudd Center. Photo credit: Gao Menglin

Oberlin is a place of intense energy and creativity built on a foundation of academic, artistic, and musical excellence. With its longstanding commitments to access, diversity, and inclusion, it is the perfect laboratory in which to study and design the world you want.

Facts at a Glance

11:1
student/faculty ratio
440
acres
47+
majors
175+
student organizations
Professor of Theater Caroline Jackson Smith leads a seminar about acting in Warner Center where many student productions take place. Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

First Year Seminar Program

The First Year Seminar Program is a special opportunity for newly enrolled students to begin their Oberlin studies in a small setting. The topics and academic approaches of seminars vary, but each is designed to encourage critical thinking, develop discussion and writing skills, and foster lively exchanges between students and faculty. Class size is limited to 14.

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book shelves
Stacks of books are located throughout the main library, which includes materials on the sciences, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, and general interest works. Photo credit: Jessica Stewart

Academics

We offer a robust interdisciplinary educational program with more than 50 academic majors and 42 minors and concentrations.

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Double Degree Program

We created the Double Degree Program. Offered jointly between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, it combines the best of both: rigorous preprofessional music training with a broad liberal arts education. You’ll earn two undergraduate degrees—a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music—in five years or fewer.

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Neuroscience major Michelle Johnson earned a 10-week summer research internship through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program. She is in the lab of Gunnar Kwakye, assistant professor of neuroscience. Photo credit: Tanya-Rosen Jones ’97

Research

We believe the best liberal arts education has a strong science component and that the best science education happens in a liberal arts setting. Working alongside faculty members on important research is a hallmark of science education at Oberlin. Our professors maintain active research interests and involve and mentor undergraduate students in their work.  With excellent research facilities and equipment at your fingertips, your efforts might lead to coauthoring an article for a scholarly journal, or to discovering a pulsar.

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two students sitting on bench in a downtown area
Six Oberlin College students ventured to New York City during winter term, cameras at the ready, to interview and photograph Asian Americans and Asians living in the United States. The group developed a photography exhibition, "Finding Asia in America." Photo credit: Jeong Hyun Hwang

Winter Term

Winter term allows students to continue the process of personal and academic discovery outside of the classroom. You can create your own project or join a team of students on an existing one. Maybe you’ll study bats in Costa Rica, meet investment bankers on Wall Street, record your band’s new album, or learn Russian or Greek. You’re required to complete three winter-term projects for graduation, but in typical Oberlin fashion, most students do something great during all four years.

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students at table while on cruise ship
London Program students on a cruise boat on the Thames River. Photo credit: Steve Volk

Oberlin-in-London Program

The Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program offers students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester with professors from our own campus—and in one of the world’s most exciting, diverse locations. It combines the thrill of living in a great international metropolis with a dynamic educational experience.

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College of Arts and Sciences Faculty

Oberlin professors are scholars and teachers. They devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines, and they are completely committed to teaching undergraduates. Our small class sizes offer opportunities for student/professor mentoring relationships that will last beyond your Oberlin years.

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“As long as I’m alive, I’m a student. We have varying degrees of experience and what we’ve been able do with that experience, how we’ve digested it and how it affects who we are as a person. I’m very careful not to put myself in the position of the expert and not to ignore the experience and the validity of the experience of my students. So I think that learning is quite often a collaborative experience. ”

Johnny Coleman , Professor of Studio Art and Africana Studies
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An Oberlin College graduate celebrates her achievement. Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Life After Oberlin

My parents made me entrepreneurial because they were entrepreneurs, but Oberlin empowered me to find my own sense of entrepreneurship. The beauty of it is that Oberlin gives you the freedom to find your place, which is absolute genius. —Michael Sorrell 

Think one person can change the world? So do they:

  • Jad Abumrad ’95 and Robert Krulwich ’69, cohosts of National Public Radio’s Radiolab
  • Sonia Shah ’90, investigative journalist and author
  • Michael Sorrell ’88, lawyer and president, Paul Quinn College in Dallas
  • Christina Briboneria ’05, private CFO, certified financial planner

Explore Life After Oberlin