About Oberlin



Oberlin College, an independent coeducational institution, holds a distinguished place among American colleges and universities. Oberlin was the first college to grant undergraduate degrees to women and, historically, was a leader in the education of African Americans. The Oberlin community is known for its academic and musical excellence and its commitment to social engagement and diversity.

The college uniquely combines an outstanding professional school of music with a leading undergraduate college of arts and sciences. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music provides flexible programs to prepare students as professional musicians and teachers of music. Deeply committed to academic excellence, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a rich and balanced curriculum in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Within that framework the college expects that students will work closely with the faculty to design an educational program appropriate to their own particular interests, needs, and long-term goals.

Oberlin seeks a disparate and promising student body. Recognizing that diversity broadens perspectives, Oberlin is dedicated to recruiting a culturally, economically, geographically, and racially diverse group of students. Interaction with others of widely different backgrounds and experiences fosters the effective, concerned participation in the larger society so characteristic of Oberlin graduates. Oberlin seeks students who are talented, highly motivated, personally mature, and tolerant of divergent views. The conservatory in particular seeks talented musicians with considerable potential for further growth and development. Performance is central to all of the curricula including music education, history, theory, composition, and technology.

For its students, the aims of Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music are to:

  • Graduate liberal arts and conservatory students who have learned to think with intellectual rigor, creativity, and independence
  • Provide the highest level of conservatory education to exceptionally talented young musicians
  • Offer superb liberal education across the arts and sciences, in the humanities, natural and social sciences, and the arts
  • Open the world to its students and develop in them the skills and knowledge they will need to engage with and navigate in highly diverse communities and in a global society
  • Nurture students’ creativity by providing rich curricular and cocurricular opportunities for studying and making art and music
  • Help students clarify and integrate their intellectual strengths and interests, social commitments, and vocational aspirations
  • Enable students to integrate and apply their knowledge
  • Nurture students’ social consciousness and environmental awareness
  • Provide outstanding preparation for success at the highest level of graduate and professional education and in careers
  • Graduate individuals who are humane, thoughtful, and influential actors in the world who will provide leadership in their communities and professions and in the arts, politics, education, international relations, public service, science, business, and communications.

From "A Strategic Plan for Oberlin College"
Adopted by Board of Trustees and General Faculty, March 5, 2005