College of Arts and Sciences

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

student/faculty ratio
student organizations
Students listen to a professor. Their chairs are arranged in a semicircle.
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.

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


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

A student standing next to lab equipment
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


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 an outdoor bench in a downtown setting
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.

Browse Winter Term Options

Students seated at a long table by a window overlooking a river.
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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“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