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
male teacher listening and stading to the left of small group of students in lecture hall.
Associate Professor of History Matthew Bahar listens to a discussion among first-year students in his seminar, Pirates and Piracy in Times Past. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

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.

Explore First Year Seminar Program

A long row of bookshelves in a library
Book stacks are located throughout the Terrell Main Library, the primary location for materials in the 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. Students of proven ability and independence can qualify for department and academic honors. Confer with the specific department for this singular opportunity.

Browse Areas of Study

Our Double Degree Program combines preprofessional music training with a broad liberal arts education. The result: You’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music in five years or fewer.

Explore the Double Degree Program

two students in white lab jackets doing experiments and recording work in a book.
Associate Professor of Neuroscience Gunnar Kwakye prepares to review students’ work in his neurotoxicology research lab. Photo credit: Mike Crupi

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 developing a prototype for deuterium isotope separation.

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Choir rehearsing on stage with a pipe organ in the background. The singers and director are dressed casually.
The Oberlin College Choir is a select ensemble of college and conservatory students who perform a wide variety of a capella and accompanied choral literature. Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

Music

Studying music at Oberlin is not just for conservatory students: You can be a serious musician in the College of Arts and Sciences. Both the Conservatory of Music and College of Arts and Sciences provide a wealth of opportunities for students who are interested in pursuits that combine music and the broader liberal arts.

Browse Music Opportunities for College Students

A crowd of people looks at items printed from a 3D printer.
Fourteen students learned how to use the college’s 3D printers during winter term. The group sponsored an expo to showcase their newly acquired skills to print objects, maps, figures, and more. Photo credit: John Seyfried

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.

Browse Winter Term Options

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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“My favorite thing about my students is their sincerity. They really want to make use of material that I teach, not only academically but in their everyday lives and activist endeavors. The sincerity and enthusiasm of Oberlin students really stands out.”

Emilia Bachrach, Assistant Professor of Religion and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
See Profile
Two students wearing graduation caps embrace.
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