Reed College

Reed College students sit on the campus lawn together

“If you’re a genuine intellectual, live the life of the mind, and want to learn for the sake of learning, the place most likely to empower you is … the most intellectual college in the country — Reed, in Portland, Oregon.
Colleges That Change Lives

Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard
Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
503.777.7511 / 800.547.4750
⋅ 1,524 students
⋅ 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio
⋅ Average class size: 16
⋅ Students come from 48 states—as well as Washington, D.C.—and from 26 countries.
⋅ Total Cost of Attendance (2023-24): $86,490
⋅ Average Financial Aid Package (2023-24): $57,294
⋅ Average Reed Grant awarded: $47,666
⋅ Reed is one of the few schools that meets 100% of demonstrated need.
⋅ The college’s comprehensive aid packages provide the difference between what Reed costs and what families are expected to contribute, allowing students of all economic backgrounds to attend.
⋅ In a typical financial aid package, the majority of need is met through grant assistance from Reed itself—money that families do not have to pay back to the college. Aid packages also include minimal student work and loan expectations.
⋅ Reed graduates have approximately $10,000 less debt than the national average for all colleges, both public and private.

Two students perform a lab experiment by pouring liquid into a long glass tube.
A young woman with a laptop sits in conference with other students.
The front of a Tudor-style brick building.
A group of students sit and laugh on the lawn.
A young woman in a camp and gown grins during commencement.
  • One of the most distinctive colleges in the nation, Reed provides a singular example of the liberal arts experience.
  • Reed is a private, independent, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences founded in 1908.
  • Reed’s 116-acre campus is located in the progressive, dynamic city of Portland, Oregon.
  • Self-directed, passionate, intellectually curious, and creative students love Reed.
  • The Reed community is guided by the Honor Principle. This dual commitment to independence of thought and mutual trust and respect helps to create an environment in which students feel inspired, challenged, and fulfilled.

Worth Noting
  • In the Princeton Review’s 2024 survey, students voted Reed #1 for Best Classroom Experience, #1 for Professors Get High Marks, and Reed was also voted #15 for Great Financial Aid out of 388 of the best colleges in the nation.
  • Reed is skeptical of numerical college rankings and, as a result, does not submit data to U.S. News & World Report for their so-called “America’s Best Colleges” issue.
  • An extraordinary number of Reedies go on to graduate school. Reed is ranked second in the nation in the percentage of graduates who earn PhDs in the life sciences, third in the nation in the percentage of graduates who earn PhDs in the arts and humanities, and fourth across all disciplines.
  • Reed has produced 32 Rhodes Scholars to date.
  • While Reed maintains a traditional transcript for students, feedback from professors is qualitative and does not include letter grades.
  • Reed is the only college in the country with a research nuclear reactor that is staffed primarily by undergraduates. The Reed reactor has more female reactor operators than all other research reactors combined.
  • At the physical center of campus lies the Reed canyon, a beautiful 28-acre watershed that is home to a growing population of wildlife and native plants.

Faculty & Academics
  • Reed students pursue the bachelor of arts degree in 38 majors, along with 17 minors and two dual-degree programs.
  • All classes are taught by professors rather than by teaching assistants.
  • Reed offers extensive faculty/student collaborative research opportunities; all students conduct research and write a thesis during their senior year.
  • Small, conference-style classes demand students’ active participation.

Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

American Studies
Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Comparative Literature
Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies
Computer Science
Dance – Theatre
Environmental Studies
History – Literature
International and Comparative Policy Studies (ICPS)
Literature – Theatre
Mathematics – Computer Science
Political Science
Religion – Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Religion – Political Science

Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies
Film and Media Studies
Greek and Latin

Dual-Degree Programs
Forestry – Environmental Sciences

Campus Life
  • Reed has more than 90 ever-changing student organizations funded by student vote, including clubs focused on scuba diving, climate justice, and careers in the medical field.
  • Exclusive organizations are not permitted (no fraternities or sororities).
  • Reed has volunteer-coached athletic teams and a P.E. requirement, but no varsity sports.
  • Students enjoy frequent lectures, readings, theatrical performances, and community events.

Varsity Sports

While Reed does not participate in varsity sports, the college has active teams in basketball, rugby, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, and more. These teams compete regularly against other schools in intercollegiate and club competition.

A three-semester physical education requirement underscores the importance of physical fitness and the balance of a healthy mind and body.

Life After College
  • In addition to 32 Rhodes Scholars and 199 National Science Foundation Fellowship winners, Reed College also has two Pulitzer-Prize winning alumni: Edward Cony (1961) and Gary Snyder (1975).
  • An extraordinary number of Reedies go on to graduate school. Reed is ranked second in the nation in the percentage of graduates who earn PhDs in the life sciences, third in the nation in the percentage of graduates who earn PhDs in the arts & humanities, and fourth across all disciplines.
  • Many Reed alumni found or lead companies and organizations and earn medical, business, or law degrees.

Profile of Entering Class
  • Middle 50% SAT Math: 630-750
  • Middle 50% SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing: 690-750
  • Middle 50% ACT composite score: 30-33
  • For the 2022-2023 admission cycle, Reed had a 27% acceptance rate.
  • 32% of domestic-born first-year students are African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Native American.
  • The incoming class of 2023 is made up of 8% international students.