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Reed College

Portland, OR


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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

Address 3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard
Portland, OR  97202-8199
United States
Contact Office of Admission
Phone: 800-547-4750
Fax: 503-777-7553

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Majors & Degrees

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, And Gender Studies Associate Bachelors
American Studies Checkmark
Ethnic Studies Checkmark
Biological And Biomedical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Biochemistry Checkmark
Biology/biological Sciences Checkmark
Neuroscience Checkmark
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services Associate Bachelors
Computer Science Checkmark
English Language And Literature/Letters Associate Bachelors
English Checkmark
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics Associate Bachelors
Chinese Checkmark
Classics And Classical Languages Checkmark
Comparative Literature Checkmark
French Checkmark
German Checkmark
Linguistics Checkmark
Russian Checkmark
Spanish Checkmark
History Associate Bachelors
History Checkmark
Mathematics And Statistics Associate Bachelors
Mathematics Checkmark
Mathematics And Statistics Checkmark
Statistics Checkmark
Natural Resources And Conservation Associate Bachelors
Environmental Studies Checkmark
Philosophy And Religious Studies Associate Bachelors
Philosophy Checkmark
Religious Studies Checkmark
Physical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Chemistry Checkmark
Physics Checkmark
Psychology Associate Bachelors
Psychology Checkmark
Social Sciences Associate Bachelors
Anthropology Checkmark
Economics Checkmark
International Relations And Affairs Checkmark
Political Science And Government Checkmark
Sociology Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Associate Bachelors
Art Checkmark
Dance Checkmark
Dramatic/theater Arts Checkmark
Fine/studio Arts Checkmark
Music Checkmark


Acceptance Rate

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Female Admissions

Females Applied
Females Accepted
Acceptance Rate
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Male Admissions

Males Applied
Males Accepted
Acceptance Rate


Application Fee
Avg. high school GPA for freshman
Admission Requirements
Required Transcript of high school record
2 recommendations
Recommended Interview

Application Deadlines

Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
Fall freshmen January 1st April 1st
Early decision plan November 15th December 15th
Other early decision plan November 15th January 31st
Transfer March 1st May 1st

Test Scores Accepted

Test Avg. Score 25th % Info icon 75th % Info icon
SAT Critical Reading 705 670 740
SAT Math 700 640 760
ACT Composite 32 30 33

Tuition & Fees

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Full-time student fees
Room & board
Room only
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Other Payment Considerations

Guaranteed tuition plan offered No
Tuition pre-payment plan No
Tuition payment plans offered Yes
Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuition Employees

Financial Aid

Avg. Financial Aid Package
Avg. Freshman Financial Aid Package
Avg. International Student Financial Aid Package
Avg. Loan Aid
Avg. Scholarship and/or Grant Aid awarded
99% Percentage of students with need who receive financial aid
Avg. Percentage of Financial Need Met
Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met

Student Body

Total Undergrad students
International Students
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 10.23%
Black or African American 2.34%
White or Caucasian 58.59%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.21%
Asian 7.07%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.07%
Two or more races 9.13%
Other 2.61%


Male (45.99%)
Female (54.01%)

Campus Life


College-owned housing Yes
Housing requirements None
Housing options Cooperative housing
Co-ed housing
Disabled housing
Women-only housing
Freshman car parking
% of undergrad students who live in college housing 62%

Student Activities

Student-run campus newspaper Checkmark
Drama/theatre group Checkmark
Student-run radio station Checkmark
Student-run television station Checkmark
Marching band Checkmark
Choral groups Checkmark
Campus events:
Paideia, Renn Fayre and Reed Arts Week

Student Services

Legal services Checkmark
Health clinic Checkmark
Personal/psychological counseling Checkmark
Women's center Checkmark
International students advisor Checkmark

Student Organizations

Greek fraternities
Greek sororities
Local fraternities
Local sororities

Campus Security & Safety

24-hour emergency telephone/alarm services Checkmark
24-hour patrols by trained officers Checkmark
Student patrols Checkmark
Late-night transport/escort services Checkmark
Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Checkmark


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Men's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Basketball Checkmark No No
Rugby Checkmark No No
Soccer Checkmark No No
Ultimate Frisbee Checkmark No No
Female icon

Women's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Basketball Checkmark No No
Rugby Checkmark No No
Soccer Checkmark No No
Ultimate Frisbee Checkmark No No


Total Faculty
Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-time - 152
Part-time - 1
Male - 87
Female - 66
Update my info
Your submission to Reed College has been sent.
Reed College
Update my info
Your submission to Reed College has been sent.