These features make 64 campuses the prettiest in the nation

The campuses on Architectural Digest's list represent schools that "stun across the board"—from dormitories to libraries to dining halls.

Many college campuses are “architectural gems” but not all stand among the prettiest in the nation, according to a new set of rankings published earlier this month.

The 64 campuses on Architectural Digest‘s list represent schools that “stun across the board”—from dormitories to libraries to dining halls. The colleges and universities that are turning heads have a unified vision, such as Baylor University’s Georgian-style buildings, or a blend of new and old, such as Yale University’s mix of modern and Gothic. Others scored high because of the surrounding scenery and the use of locally sourced building materials.

“Like a well-styled outfit, from the entry arches to academic halls and manicured lawns, everything on these grounds works in harmony to create a place as beautiful as it is educational,” the magazine declares.

While we can’t list all 64, here are eight geographically diverse highlights (in no particular order), with Architectural Digest‘s description of why each made the prettiest college campuses list:

  • University of Hawaii at Mānoa: Just outside of downtown Honolulu, the campus has stunning views of Diamond Head volcanic ridge and the surrounding valley—and “many beautiful buildings.”
  • St. John’s College Santa Fe (New Mexico): The “low-slung, Southwestern-style architecture” is connected with the surrounding mountains by the campus’ many hiking trails.
  • Howard University (Washington, D.C.): The historically Black research university’s look was shaped by Albert Cassell, the university architect and head of the architecture department. Cassell designed the Founders Library, Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall and others of Howard’s most beloved buildings.
  • Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts): The first of the historic Seven Sisters consortium, the campus is lined with redbrick buildings and features “impressive” grounds designed by the architecture firm Olmsted and Sons between 1896 and 1922.
  • University of San Diego: The campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. Need we say more? Well, the university also boasts several 16th-century Spanish Renaissance–style buildings.
  • Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island): The campus meshes with the surrounding community, which was built around the same time as the university, creating a seamless transition with a mix of a mix of Georgian, Victorian and Gothic buildings.
  • Indiana University Bloomington: Local Indiana limestone was used to construct buildings in a variety of styles, from Gothic to Romanesque Revival.
  • University of Mississippi: Ole Miss’s The Lyceum Building, the first academic building on campus, was built in 1848 by architect William Nichols. “It’s easily one of the most beautiful college campuses in the US, and likely the most picturesque in Mississippi,” Architectural Digest contends.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is the managing editor of University Business and a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for University Business, he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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