From the School

Intellectual. Free-thinking. Rigorous. Laid back. Classical. Iconoclastic. Paradoxical. Liberal. College guides grapple to define the Reed College experience, but they all tend to agree on two points: Reed is one of the most distinctive colleges in the nation and it is not for everyone. Reed attracts serious students, and often brings out the best in them. Always engaged, often engrossed, and occasionally engulfed in a demanding, exhilarating educational adventure, "Reedies" thrive on a mix of classical study, critical analysis, and guided inquiry that rewards creativity, independence, and reflection. Classes are small, faculty make themselves accessible, and students adhere to an honor principle both inside and outside the classroom.

Reed recruits nationally, with strong representation from California, the Pacific Northwest, and the eastern corridor. The student body is also composed of 8 percent international students. A recent survey of graduating seniors at 52 liberal arts colleges found Reed students one and a half times more likely to be satisfied with their education than the national average and twice as likely to say they would choose Reed again. Reed ranks first among U.S. liberal arts colleges in percentage of graduates going on to earn doctoral degrees and fourth among all institutions of higher education. The breadth, depth, and rigor of the curriculum provide great preparation for nearly any career. Many Reed alumni found or lead companies and organizations, earn medical or law degrees, write books or create works of art, and work to make life on the planet better for all.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
660 - 750
SAT Math
620 - 720
ACT Composite
28 - 33


Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
December 20

January 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Application Essay


From The School

The curriculum at Reed is both demanding and wide-ranging. Through required studies, Reed students receive a solid grounding in the liberal arts and sciences.

All freshmen must complete "Hum 110," a survey of Greek, Roman, and other Mediterranean scholars from Homer to Petronius. Distribution requirements set a substantial portion of a student's curriculum for the first two years at Reed. Freshmen and sophomores must complete two courses in each of the four major divisions of the college. No specific courses are required; students are free to pursue their interests within the strictures of the requirements.

Reed juniors must pass a comprehensive exam in their major, to allow faculty members the chance to determine the student's readiness for his or her senior thesis project. The required senior thesis is the capstone experience of a Reed education. Every senior must produce an original independent research project over the course of the final year.

Reed strongly believes that learning should be undertaken for its own sake, not for the sake of letter grades. Accordingly, students do not receive grade reports unless they wish to. A student's transcript does include letter grades for all courses taken, but students can better gauge their progress through professors' written evaluations of their work and one-on-one meetings with faculty. Most prefer this system, which eliminates competition among students and allows them to focus entirely on the content of their academic work.

Students Say

Reed is a college synonymous with academic rigor and a “passion for learning” certainly permeates this campus. A political science major steadfastly agrees stating, “Reed’s commitment to academic excellence blew me away. The students here work like demons and love it!” In fact, “Reedies are proud that the most popular location on campus is the library, regardless of the night of the week.” Fortunately, “there is a collective humor on campus and no one takes themselves too seriously.” Undergrads also closely adhere to an “Honor Principle” which ensures that “cheating, peer-pressure or antagonism of any kind [is] extremely rare.” This also helps to foster a culture where “people would rather help each other learn than be the best.” Additionally, small classes are integral to the academic experience here. The “10:1 student to faculty ratio assures that the professors have the time to devote to their students, and students have plenty of opportunities to use that time, be it in thesis meetings, regular office hours, or just to bug the professor about a question they had about that day’s conference or lab.” And these undergrads are eager to lap up conversation with their “brilliant” professors who “love teaching” and “will not allow you to settle for mediocrity.” All in all, the college “breeds free thought, pushes students to their intellectual limits, and strengthens each student’s character all in the context of the liberal, free-spirited, and welcoming environment that is the Reed campus and the surrounding city of Portland, Oregon.”

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Prominent Alumni

Howard Vollum
co-founder of Tektronix, Inc.

John G. Sperling
CEO Apollo Group, parent company of U. of Phoenix

Gary S. Snyder
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Richard Danzig
former Secretary of the Navy

James Russell
inventor of the compact disc

Robert Morris

Susan Sokol Blosser


From The School

Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $42,540. A $260 student body fee is added. Room and board is an additional $11,050, bringing the yearly total cost to $53,850.


Financial Aid Rating
Application Deadlines
Feb 1
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants
Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender


From The School

Reed shuns exclusive organizations and activities, so the college has no Greek organizations and no NCAA or NAIA athletic teams (more about sports below). All campus organizations are student-created and student-run. Student organizations must lobby the Student Senate for funding annually, after which the Senate oversees a vote in which the entire student body decides what organizations should be funded. Thus, the number and nature of campus organizations at Reed changes every year to meet current student interests. Reed may not compete at the NCAA or NAIA level, but most students participate in sports on an informal basis. Intramural sports and club sports proliferate in basketball, fencing, rugby, sailing, soccer, squash and ultimate Frisbee. A three-semester physical education requirement demonstrates that the school recognizes the importance of physical fitness and the salutary effects of exercise.

Students Say

As you probably already gleaned, the typical Reedie has “an overwhelming curiosity and desire to question everything.” “Socially liberal” and a tad “socially awkward,” these undergrads also define their peers as “smart,” “quirky,” “witty and talented.” A content sophomore explains, “Everyone brings their own unique spin to everything—everyone has a hidden talent or skill that they would love to teach you about, or a wealth of knowledge in some obscure subject you’ve probably never heard of. Everyone is passionate about something, and it creates a dynamic and wonderful atmosphere.” Additionally, “fitting in isn’t hard, because student interests are so diverse that there’s almost always a number of other people who like the same things you like and want to do the same things you want to do.” Finally, a succinct sophomore sums up, “At Reed I found the kind of student body I craved in high school.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



52% female
48% male
88% are out of state
97% are full time
3% are part time


From The School

Talk about the best of both worlds! Located in a quiet residential neighborhood is a 116-acre campus of verdant lawns, winding paths, statuesque trees, a wooded natural wetland preserve, and a spring-fed lake frequented by migratory birds and other wildlife. Reed is a short bicycle or bus ride from the energy and excitement of downtown Portland, which is widely cited as the nation's most livable urban center. Portland boasts a wealth of diverse cultural, entertainment, shopping, and dining opportunities in an environment characterized by a combination of youthful exuberance and Pacific Northwest reserve. The Oregon Coast is an hour to the west and Mt. Hood an hour to the east (reserve early to be sure of securing weekend accommodations at Reed's own ski cabin).

On the campus itself, century-old brick Tudor gothic buildings are interspersed with newer traditionally designed and remodeled facilities. The library, classrooms, and laboratories resonate with the history of decades of inquiry and discovery, supported with modern technology. Extensive facility expansion and renovation financed by a $112 million development campaign has increased the overall square footage of Reed's buildings by almost 30 percent and added seven acres of contiguous property to the northwest corner of the campus. Five new eco-friendly residence halls opened in 2008, making it possible for 75% of Reed students to live on campus. For those who want it, housing on campus is all but guaranteed for all four years, because a healthy percentage of Reed students enjoy living in Portland neighborhoods near campus.

Students Say

Intellectual discussions and debates are most definitely woven into the fabric of life here. As a physics major reveals, “One of my favorite things about Reed is how often people will strike up engaged discussions about anything. Be it conversations about the axiom of choice, the existence of free will, or the various merits of 1990s television shows, every conversation is fascinating. Best, you’ll hear these conversations everywhere you go: dining hall, dorms, academic buildings, even just people walking around campus.” Of course, this isn’t wholly surprising given that life at Reed “revolves around academics.” But fear not; even Reedies cannot survive by books alone. And, “while work and fun are, in many cases, synonymous, the need to break free from the library manifests on the weekends by campus dances and other forms of spontaneous creativity.” A psychology major quickly adds, “I’m never bored because there’s always something going on and it’s never the same. Glittery dance parties in the Student Union? Check. Movie night in one of the Language Houses? Check. Debate-watching in Vollum? Check. Visiting lecturers? Check. Pool hall tournament? Check. RPG gaming night? Check.” We are also told that “a lot of students partake in various substances.” However, an understanding junior qualifies this statement, “If you are straightedge or the like, like me, your boundaries will be pushed, but almost always by people who are respectful and who genuinely desire to keep the dorms a safe space for you.” Finally, despite grumblings that public transport “can be annoying,” undergrads may take advantage of anything downtown Portland has to offer. Transportation woes will be alleviated when a new TriMet MAX Light Rail station opens near campus come September 2015.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

Quality of life rating
First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Large Urban
Fire safety rating

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division

Student Services



Green Rating

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Apple Computer

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Jenny Gadda
Assistant Director of Campus Visits

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202-8199



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Thesis Tower
Reed Research Reactor
Reed Canyon/watershed
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Columbia Gorge
Oregon beaches
Powell's Books
Mt. Hood/Ski Cabin
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Reed College is in a southeast Portland neighborhood, five miles from the downtown area and 12 miles from Portland International Airport. From the airport you can reach Reed by car, bus, taxi, or airporter van. For taxis, call Broadway Cab at 503-227-1234, New Rose City Cab at 503-282-7707, or Radio Cab at 503-227-1212. Cab fare from the airport to Reed is approximately $35. Cabs can be found at the airport taxi-limousine area. Ask the driver to take I-205 to the Foster Road exit. Travel time is 20-30 minutes. The Blue Star Airporter (503/249-1837) will take you from the airport to campus for $30.00 (plus a $.75 airport fee). The shuttle leaves the airport every half-hour. Travel time is 20-30 minutes. The roundtrip fare is $56.75. For an even cheaper ride, take Tri-Met MAX light rail or bus from downtown or the airport for $2.05. Board the Tri-Met MAX from the airport taxi-limousine area. Transfer at 60th Avenue MAX station or at Hollywood MAX station. Travel time varies; plan on an hour and a half. To find out when the next bus runs, call 503/238-RIDE, or check online at Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses serve Portland. From the station, take a Tri-Met #1, 5, 9, or 40 bus on N.W. Broadway going south to the transit mall on S.W. 5th Ave.; transfer to bus #19, (Woodstock) which will take you to the front of the college.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the north on I-5: Take the I-84 East exit (#301), then the 39th Avenue exit (#2). Turn right (south). Travel 3.5 miles to SE Woodstock Boulevard, then turn right (west). Reed is on the right. From the south on I-5: Take the Ross Island Bridge exit and follow the signs to cross the bridge. At the east end of the bridge, take the 99East/Milwaukie exit. Follow 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard) to the Eastmoreland/Reed College exit. Just off the exit, turn right (east) onto SE Bybee Boulevard. Veer left (north) onto SE 28th Avenue [the Eastmoreland Golf Course will now be on your left (west)], and drive north to the intersection of SE 28th Avenue and SE Woodstock Boulevard. Reed is directly ahead. From the airport: By car, take I-205 south to the SE Powell Boulevard exit. Travel west on Powell to SE 39th Avenue. Turn left (south) on 39th Avenue, passing through several major intersections until you reach SE Woodstock Boulevard. Turn right (west) on Woodstock. Reed will be on the right hand side

Local Accommodations
For accommodations in Portland please visit the Admission web page at:
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Key Stats

Acceptance Rate
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists