Reed College

Reed College

Portland, OR
student ratio
total students
Tuition Cost $56,030 | $56,030
in-state | out-of-state
Average Financial Aid Package $43,875
January 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
Very Difficult
admission difficulty
Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
sat math
sat reading
sat writing
act composite


Reed College

Reed College is a small liberal-arts college devoted to rigorous intellectual inquiry, passionate individualism, and supportive, engaging, and diverse community. Reed's 116-acre wooded campus is located in a quiet, residential section of southeast Portland. The nearby ocean and mountains of the Pacific Northwest provide a balance to the social and cultural offerings of the greater Portland metropolitan area. Portland is a comfortable, welcoming metropolis of 1.5 million people, offering every urban opportunity, crisscrossed by bike paths and excellent public transportation, home to a great local arts and food scene, tranquil Japanese and Chinese gardens, a plethora of bridges, and the largest independent bookstore in the world. Reed offers a challenging academic curriculum within a progressive, non-competitive, discussion-oriented classroom setting. The conference--Reed's primary teaching method--utilizes a vast diversity of individual experiences to unpack complex and difficult material within the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences. Known especially for its yearlong humanities curriculum and required senior research thesis, Reed offers students a tradition of academic excellence founded on engagement, inclusiveness, and the belief that finding the best questions is decidedly more satisfying than having all the right answers.

Academic Life at Reed College is Unique and Designed to Prepare Students for a Life of Learning

The diversity of the student body in background, life experience, and ideology enhances the hallmarks of academic life at Reed. The college values the small-group conference method of teaching and relies heavily on student participation. New students at Reed are introduced to a college with a de-emphasis of grades which fosters collaboration rather than competition, a yearlong interdisciplinary humanities program, and an integrated academic program that balances the breadth of traditional course content and distribution requirements with flexibility in designing an in-depth senior thesis.

At Reed, the development of skills in preparation for a life of learning takes precedence over the mere memorization of facts. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for their major, taking the humanities course, and writing the senior thesis, students must satisfy a distributional requirement, consisting of two core classes from each of the following academic groups: literature, philosophy, and the arts; history, social sciences, and psychology; the natural sciences; and math, foreign language, logic, and linguistics.

The average class at Reed has 15 students. Students point to the opportunity to work closely with faculty members as one of the great benefits of a Reed education. Faculty members point to the opportunity to work with students who are serious scholars as one of the great benefits of teaching at Reed. Faculty members commit themselves primarily to teaching, with scholarly and scientific research furthering this primary goal; they view students as partners in learning, often serving as coauthors and co-investigators on professional papers and research projects. This close association is due, in large part, to a 10:1 student-faculty ratio and the one-on-one relationship between thesis adviser (a professor) and student during the senior year.

Reed Offers the Very Best in Academic Facilities and Social Opportunities for Students

Students have access to Reed's substantial library collection, and may borrow materials directly from academic libraries in the Portland area and around the world through interlibrary loan. In addition, the Reed library accommodates a first-rate art gallery, a language lab, and a music listening facility. 

Computer technology is highly developed at Reed and widely used for instruction, research, and communication by all members of the college community. The science laboratories at Reed are among the best equipped of any undergraduate college in the United States, with improved student thesis space and new teaching labs. Reed's research nuclear reactor and radiochemistry lab are actively used for student research, instruction, and training. The campus also houses studio art facilities, 20 instrumental practice rooms, a computer music laboratory, a recording system, and an 800-seat auditorium. Reed's new Performing Arts Building represents a major step forward in the College's commitment to the important role the arts have played throughout Reed's first 100 years. For the first time in Reed's history, the departments of music, dance, and theatre will be housed in one building that includes rehearsal and performance space, offices, scene and costume studios, collaborative spaces, and a multimedia lab. Other popular facilities include a radio station and a modern sports center.

Campus social opportunities are open to all, with no closed clubs or student organizations; there are no sororities or fraternities at Reed. College community life is full of activity and variety with more than ninety student organizations, the origin and development of which results almost entirely from student effort and initiative. Although there are some competitive club sports at Reed, there are no varsity athletic teams. Reed students fill their free time by dedicating themselves to their endlessly interesting, non-academic passions.

Reed College Seeks Applicants Who Are Most Likely to Contribute in Positive Ways to the College Community

Reed welcomes applications from freshman and transfer candidates who are genuinely committed to the pursuit of a liberal arts education and a rigorous academic program. Those applicants are admitted who, in the view of the admission committee, are most likely to become successful members of and contribute significantly to the Reed community. The college is committed to maintaining a student body distinguished by its intellectual passion, yet diversified in its range of backgrounds, interests, and talents.

Admission decisions are based on many integrated factors, but academic accomplishments and talents are given the greatest weight in the selection process. A strong secondary school preparation, including honors and advanced courses where available, improves a student's chances for admission. Such a program usually includes 4 years of English and 3 to 4 years of mathematics (through pre-calculus), science, foreign language, and history or social studies. Given the wide variation in high school programs and quality, however, there are no fixed requirements for secondary school courses.

There are no "cutoff points" for high school or college grades or for test scores. Reed recognizes the qualities of character -- in particular, motivation, intellectual curiosity, individual responsibility, and social consciousness -- as important considerations in the selection process, beyond a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence. Thus, the admission committee looks for students whose accomplishments and interests in various fields of endeavor will contribute to the overall liveliness of the Reed community. Personal interviews, either on or off campus, are not a requirement in the admission process but are strongly recommended.

Location & Contact

3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard
Portland, OR 97202-8199

Office of Admission

Phone: 800-547-4750
Fax: 503-777-7553

Request More Info

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
  • Area and ethnic studies
    • American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Ethnic Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Biological/life sciences
    • Biochemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biology/Biological Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Neuroscience
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Computer and information sciences
    • Computer Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • English
    • English
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Foreign languages and literature
    • Chinese
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Classics and Classical Languages
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Comparative Literature
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • French
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • German
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Linguistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Russian
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Spanish
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • History
    • History
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Mathematics and statistics
    • Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Mathematics and Statistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Statistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Natural resources/environmental science
    • Environmental Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Philosophy and religious studies
    • Philosophy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Religious Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Physical sciences
    • Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Psychology
    • Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Social sciences
    • Anthropology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • International Relations and Affairs
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sociology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Art
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dance
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dramatic/Theater Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Fine/Studio Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Music
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.


35% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied5,652
    • Accepted2,014
    • Acceptance Rate35%
    • Enrolled1,447
    • Female Applicants3,390
    • Females Accepted1,197
    • Female Acceptance Rate35%
    • Male Applicants2,262
    • Males Accepted817
    • Male Acceptance Rate36%
  • Applying
    • Application Fee $0
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Transcript of high school record
      Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Required for Some
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman3.90
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen January 1st April 1st --
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan November 15th December 15th --
    • Other early decision plan December 20th February 1st --
    • Transfer March 1st May 1st --
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • SAT Critical Reading 670 740
    • SAT Math 640 760
    • SAT Writing
    • ACT Composite 30 33
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *$56,030
    • Out-of-state tuition *$56,030
    • In-district tuitionN/A
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student fees$310
    • Room and board *$14,210
    • Room only *$7,440
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNo
    • Tuition pre-payment planNo
    • Tuition payment plans offeredInstallments
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionEmployees or children of employees

Financial Aid

    • Average Financial Aid Package:$43,875
    • Average Freshman Financial Aid Package:$42,917
    • Average International Student Financial Aid Package:$42,015
    • Average Loan Aid:$3,124
    • Average Scholarship and/or Grant Aid Awarded:$38,994
    • Percentage of Students with Need who Receive Financial Aid:98%
    • Average Percentage of Financial Need Met: 100%
    • Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met: 85%

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Undergraduate Students1,447
    • Male Student Percentage46%
    • Female Student Percentage54%
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • Hispanic/Latino10.23%
    • Black or African American2.07%
    • White or Caucasian58.74%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native.35%
    • Asian6.15%
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.21%
    • Two or more races7.81%
    • Unknown or International Student3.39%
  • Other Student Statistics
    • International BreakoutNot Reported
    • Out-of-state Students93% out-of-state student

Campus Life

  • Housing
    • College-owned housing available Yes
    • Housing Requirements Not Reported
    • Housing options Coed housing , Female-only housing, Special housing for disabled, Cooperative housing
    • Percentage of undergraduate students who live in college-owned housing 65%
  • Student Activities
    • Student-run campus newspaper Yes
    • Drama / theater group Yes
    • Student-run radio station Yes
    • Student-run television station No
    • Marching band No
    • Choral groups Yes
  • Student Services
    • Legal services Yes
    • Health clinic Yes
    • Personal / psychological counseling Yes
    • Women's center Yes
  • Student Organizations
    • Greek fraternities No
    • Greek sororities No
    • Local fraternities No
    • Local sororities No
    • Other organizations No
    • Most popular organizations Not Reported
  • Campus Security and Safety
    • 24-hour emergency telephone / alarm services Yes
    • 24-hour patrols by trained officers Yes
    • Students patrols Yes
    • Late-night transport / escort services Yes
    • Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Yes
    • Other Not Reported


  • Faculty Breakdown
    • Total Faculty156
    • Full-time Percentage93%
    • Part-time Percentage7%
    • Female Percentage41%
    • Male Percentage59%
    • Student:Faculty Ratio10:1 or 1,432 students to 149 faculty



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