College of Arts and Sciences

About the College of Arts and Sciences

About the College of Arts and Sciences


  • Since 1920, Oberlin has consistently ranked in the top 25 of 100 American baccalaureate colleges whose graduates go on to earn PhDs.
  • Degree programs in 47 academic majors, plus 42 minors and concentrations.
  • Oberlin's Science Center features a 64-node supercomputer - the first installed at any four-year, liberal arts college in the nation.
  • Through solar panels and green energy-saving features, Oberlin's environmental studies building is able to generate more electricity than it uses.


Founded in 1833, Oberlin was the first institution of higher education in America to adopt a policy to admit African American students (1835) and the first college to award bachelor’s degrees to women (1841) in a coeducational program.


The Oberlin College campus is located on 440 acres in Oberlin, Ohio, 35 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Degree and Diploma Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Double Degree Program (BM/BA five-year program offered jointly by the Conservatory of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences)


2,900 students (2,300 College of Arts and Sciences, 600 Conservatory of Music, including more than 175 double degree)


U.S. News & World Report recognized Oberlin faculty for their commitment to undergraduate teaching in “Best Colleges 2010” guide; Oberlin ranked third in the nation. Student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1 (Arts and Sciences), 8:1 (Conservatory of Music); 73 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition 2016-17 $51,324
Required Fees $728
Room $7,278
Board $6,732
Total $66,062

View Profile and Test Scores: Profile Class of 2020

Financial Aid

$57 million in state, federal, and institutional grants awarded to students each year, with average award of $34,000 per student (grants, loans, and work-study).

Student Body

9% in-state, 85% out-of-state, 8% from abroad; 54% female, 46% male, 20% underrepresented students

Geographic Distribution

Mid-Atlantic 27%
Midwest 21%
New England 13%
Southwest 4%
South 9%
West 18%
International 8%

Academic Year

Two semesters with January designated as winter term, when students select one topic of concentration to pursue with an emphasis on self-education, creativity, and intellectual independence.


More than 50,000 and growing; since 1920, Obies consistently rank in the top 25 of 100 predominately undergraduate liberal arts colleges whose graduates have gone on to earn PhDs; three have been recipients of a Nobel Prize; seven have won the Pulitzer Prize; 11 have been awarded MacArthur "genius" fellowships. The most recent recipient is cartoonist and graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel ’81, a 2014 MacArthur fellow.


Oberlin College is an NCAA Division III institution and part of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Roughly 350 student athletes participate in 21 varsity sports each year.

Cultural Life

More than 500 concerts and recitals, about 40 theater and dance productions and two Opera Theater productions each year; one of the top five college art museums in the nation.


Oberlin has four libraries housing 2.4 million items: the main library, housed in the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center and three other libraries specializing in music, art, and science.

Student Organizations

More than 175 chartered groups that support students' various academic, cultural, religious, political, social, and athletic interests and skills.

Did You Know

Students who wish to pursue topics outside of traditional courses, an important alternative is available in the Experimental College (ExCo). Established in 1968, ExCo is a student-run organization that sponsors courses (for limited academic credit) taught by Oberlin faculty, students, administrators, and residents. Rock climbing, performance swing, astrology, 16-mm film production, jump rope, bike mechanics, henna body art... you name it, ExCo may have a class about it.

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