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Innovative, Hands-On Liberal Arts Degrees at Reed

Reed College appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the West.

Ranked the U.S. News & World Report’s 44th best undergrad school, Reed College is a top-tier Oberlin Group member in Portland that confers 42 bachelor’s majors and four dual degrees plus one Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. For example, the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies follows a 30-unit, four-year track under Dr. Aaron Ramirez with Brehm Biodiversity Center projects and Bio BaseCamp research at the on-campus Johnson Creek Watershed. Chaired by Dana Katz, the 30-unit Bachelor of Arts in Art History ends with a 20-page thesis after internships like Pittock Mansion, Cooley Memorial Gallery exhibits, and optional Rome trips.

Since 1992, the Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry has utilized the Arthur F. Scott Laboratory and its 250-kilowatt nuclear reactor to confer a 30-unit, ACS-approved major headed by Dr. Juliane Fry with intensive courses like Quantum Mechanics plus the Junior Qualifying Exam for 88 percent retention. The Bachelor of Arts in Dance has a 30-unit curriculum directed by Dr. Minh Tran where undergrads join the Reed Troupe, earn the $1,800 Kaspar Locher Summer Fellowship, and perform at White Bird Dance.

Other BA options include Comparative Literature, French, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Religion, Economics, Race & Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and International Policy Studies.

About Reed College

Reed College originated in 1908 when Unitarian minister Rev. Thomas Lamb Eliot started Reed Institute in honor of Simeon Gannett Reed and his wife Amanda. The next year, the Ladd Estate Company led by Mayor William S. Ladd donated 40 acres to begin campus construction. On September 18, 1911, President William Trufant Foster welcomed its inaugural undergrad class of 30. During the 1920s, Reed began one of the United States’ first general education cores. In 1966, Reed College launched the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. In 1980, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery was opened. One decade later, Reed College made the Humanities 110 seminar required for all freshmen. In 1995, Reed introduced one of the Pacific Northwest’s earliest Chinese Civilization minors. In 2005, Apple founder Steve Jobs credited his Reed College courses for inspiring Macintosh typefaces.

Endowed for $577 million, Reed College now employs 137 faculty teaching 1,470 Griffins from 20 countries according to the Honor Principle at a 116-acre, Tudor-Gothic Eastmoreland campus with 90+ clubs like Liberation Literacy. In 2015, the Reed Performing Arts Center won the FC Baker Award of Excellence. In 2013, Loren Pope chose Reed for the Fourth Edition of Colleges That Change Lives. Reed College’s Bon Appétit received a 2014 Portland Sustainability at Work Gold Award too. Forbes named Reed the 91st best institution and 36th top liberal arts school. On Niche, Reed boasts America’s 20th best art, 21st top philosophy, and 32nd best physics degrees. The Princeton Review noticed Reed College for the third most politically active and second least religious students. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance also picked Reed for the 141st best value.

Reed College Accreditation Details

On January 22, 2019, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) notified Reed College that the Self-Evaluation Report was satisfactory to reaffirm the Level III accreditation through 2027-28 under its 16th president, Dr. Audrey Bilger, who earned the Lambda Literary Award for Here Come the Brides. Headquartered 185 miles up Interstate 5 in Redmond, Washington, this superb seven-state Pacific Northwest Region accreditor is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). Further, Reed College is an approved member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Association of Liberal Studies Programs.

Reed College Application Requirements

Getting into Reed College is classified “very difficult” by Peterson’s because only 2,014 of the 5,652 Fall 2017 applicants were triumphant for selective 36 percent acceptance. First-year Griffins must exhibit an outstanding academic record with a high school or GED diploma. Nearly three-fourths of freshmen rank in the top fifth of their graduating classes. Cumulative secondary GPAs currently average 3.90. Undergrads present a mean SAT score of 697 Math and 706 Reading. The Class of 2021 had mid-range ACT composite scores of 29 to 33. College transfers must have finished at least six Reed units, or 24 semester credits, at GPAs above 2.5. International students generally need a 600 SAT Reading, 650 TOEFL pBT, or 110 TOEFL iBT mark. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is a GRE-optional program seeking accredited bachelor’s holders with GPAs of 3.0 or better.

Reed College has freshmen deadlines of November 15th for Early Action, December 20th for Early Decision, and January 15th for Regular Decision. Incoming Bachelor of Arts transfers must apply before March 1st. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies admits thrice yearly until July 1st, December 1st, and April 1st. Accordingly, submit the Coalition or Common Application online for $0 ($75 if graduate) with the Reed Writing Supplement. Forward official transcripts to 3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard in Portland, OR 97202. For testing results, select SAT/TOEFL code 4654 or ACT code 3494. Supplemental steps might include the CSS profile, certification of finances, school report, counselor recommendation, two teacher evaluations, Early Decision agreement, and résumé. Learn more by contacting (503) 771-1112 or admissions@reed.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Reed College is billing full-time bachelor’s tuition of $29,065 per semester or $58,130 annually. Undergrads pay $310 for mandatory fees each year. Note private music instruction incurs a $540 fee every semester. Residing at the Portland campus’ dorms like Bragdon Hall adds $3,720 to $4,795 per semester. Unlimited Plan A board for Bon Appétit Commons Dining Hall is $3,555 extra each term. Reed budgets $1,050 for books, $900 for personal supplies, and $2,000 for transportation. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $76,940 on-site and $62,390 if commuting. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies charges $4,860 per unit or $43,740 total.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office at Eliot Hall Room 202 helps 51 percent of full-time Reed Griffins locate tuition assistance averaging $37,840 apiece for $27.43 million combined. The Reed Grant has a January 15th deadline for freshmen to earn need-based funding. Completing FAFSA applications coded 003217 will determine Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and William D. Ford Direct Loan amounts. The Work-Study Program generally provides $1,750 each year for campus employment. Oregon residents can pursue the Opportunity Grant for up to $3,500 annually. Other state-based aid like the Oregon Promise Grant, Student Child Care Grant, Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant, and Chafee Education & Training Grant help. Since 1973, the Oregon Community Foundation has developed nearly 500 awards, such as the Darlene Hooley Scholarship, Lilja Family Scholarship, Howard Vollum Indian Scholarship, and Earl & Jane Ferguson Scholarship.

Explore 23 departments with 40+ degrees placed 126th overall by The Wall Street Journal on the Reed College website.