About Oberlin

Fast Facts

Fast Facts


Founding: December 3, 1833, as Oberlin Collegiate Institute by Rev. John Jay Shipherd and Philo Penfield Stewart

First Settler: Peter Pease

First in Academia: Oberlin was the first college in America to adopt a policy to admit African American students (1835) and the first to grant bachelor’s degrees to women (1841) in a coeducational program.

Motto: "Learning and Labor"

Official colors: cardinal red and mikado yellow

Mascot: Yeomen and Yeowomen

Alma mater: Ten Thousand Strong (Oberlin, Our Alma Mater), 1913, words and music by Jason Noble Pierce

Alumni: 50,000 and counting

Location and Campus

Oberlin, Ohio, population 8,300; 35 miles southwest of Cleveland, Ohio

440-acre residential campus

Architecture by Cass Gilbert, J.L. Silsbee, Clarence Ward, Wallace Harrison, Minoru Yamasaki, Hugh Stubbins, Warner, Burns, Toan & Lundy, Robert Venturi, Bostwick Design Partners, Krill Company Inc., Westlake Reed Leskosky


Marvin Krislov, president

Senior Administration

Board of Trustees


Total: 2,900
College of Arts and Sciences: 2,300
Conservatory of Music: 600
Double Degree: 175

Average enrollment figures courtesy of the Oberlin College Office of Institutional Research.

Student Body

54 percent women and 46 percent men

20 percent students of color

92.8 percent domestic of which 9.1 percent are from Ohio; 7.2 percent are international, representing nearly 50 countries 


Student-faculty ratio

• 11:1 in the College of Arts and Sciences
• 6:1 in the Conservatory

70 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students

Most faculty are active researchers and are among the foremost authorities in their fields. U.S. News & World Report recognized Oberlin faculty for their commitment to undergraduate teaching in “Best Colleges 2013” guide; Oberlin ranked third in the nation.

In the past five years, 95 percent of Oberlin's natural science faculty members received grants for research, equipment, or curriculum development. Recent grants have come from the National Science Foundation, NASA, Research Corporation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, among others.

Academic Divisions

College of Arts and Sciences
• Established in 1833
• 47 majors

Conservatory of Music
• Established in 1865
• Oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States
• Eight majors and private study in 20 areas

Academic Programs

College of Arts and Sciences
• Curriculum includes study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and mathematics
• Four-year undergraduate program leading to the BA degree
• Five-year double-degree program leading to both the BA and BM degrees

Conservatory of Music
• Four-year undergraduate program leading to the BM degree
• Five-year Double Degree Program leading to both the BA and BM degrees
• Two-year programs leading to a Performance Diploma (undergraduate) or an Artist Diploma (graduate)

Degree Designations

• Bachelor of Arts (BA)
• Bachelor of Music (BM)
• Double Degree (BA and BM)
• Master of Contemporary Chamber Music (MCCM)
• Master of Music in Historical Performance (MM)
• Master of Music Teaching (MMT)
• Master of Music (conducting, opera theater, performance on historical instruments, MM)


• Artist Diploma
• Performance Diploma


• 21 varsity teams
• North Coast Athletic Conference, Division III
• 30 percent of students participate in intramural and club sports


• 175 active student groups
• 1,200 students annually participate in service programs
• 75 percent of students have some type of international or service experience during college

Arts and Culture

The Allen Memorial Art Museum, with collections that place it among the top five college art museums in the nation, was established in 1917.

The Apollo Theatre, one of the few continuously running, single-screen movie houses in the country, was established in 1913.

The main library in Mudd Learning Center, and three other campus libraries specializing in music, art, and science , house more than 2.4 million items.

The college and conservatory sponsor more than 500 concerts and recitals, about 40 theater and dance productions, and two operas each year.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission