Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other
The “three pillars” of a Deep Springs education—“labor, academics, and self-governance”—combine to produce “unparalleled challenges” that run the gamut “from fixing a hay baler in the middle of the night to puzzling over a particularly difficult passage of Hegel.” That’s what the twenty-eight men who attend Deep Springs tell us. These unique undergraduates basically run their own school, work the ranch where it is located, and complete a rigorous curriculum, an itinerary that “creates an environment of intense growth and responsibility.” Class work occurs in a seminar format in which “teachers participate similarly to students.” Classes “aren’t so much a transfer of information from professor to student as they are a time for the entire class to push the boundaries of collective thought as far as possible.” Composition and public speaking are the only required courses; all others are chosen by the student body and taught by a faculty of three long-term professors (one each in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences) and three visiting scholars or artists. The system relies on a commitment to self-determination, which means “how successful Deep Springs is as an institution depends upon the manner in which its students are engaging with its project.” While the size of the school inevitably means that “lab and library facilities are not what they might be,” students tell us that the overall Deep Springs experience compensates for any shortcomings. A student explains: “Mistakes and flaws are seen as pedagogy in action. See a broken fence or heater? Fix it, or learn to fix it. The mechanical skills we pick up during the process of taking responsibility for our livelihood are surely valuable, but the self-confidence and that emerges from learning to do things one never could have thought possible is the essence of a Deep Springer’s education.”
On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Former President, University of Rochester
Member of Congress, Virginia (ret.)
Physicist, Inventor of the Cathode Ray Tube (dec.)
The academic rigor and work ethic required to get into Deep Springs is well-known, and mandatory public speaking and composition studies only further set the intellectual foundation. As men learning to be citizens of the world, many eventually go on to “a life of service” following the completion of a degree. Since Deep Springs is a two-year school, most everyone transfers to a more typical four-year institution, and Deep Springers are generally successful in their transfers. Of 47 students transferring from the entering years 2007–2011, over half transferred to either Yale, Brown, or the University of Chicago.
Colleges that Create Futures
Every single student accepted at Deep Springs receives a comprehensive scholarship that covers tuition and room and board in full, an estimated value of over $50,000. Students are only expected to pay for books, incidentals, and travel, which the school estimates run less than $2,800 per year.
Bang For Your Buck
Deep Springs is one of the best educations a student can receive after high school, and though you may not have heard of the school before, the nation’s top universities certainly have. Although percentages are somewhat moot for a school that has only twenty-five students over two class years, in the past five years, nearly 45 percent of students have gone on to Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Chicago, as well as winning numerous prestigious scholarships and fellowships.
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
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters
Financial Aid Methodology
Scholarships and Grants
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available
Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
“It is impossible to characterize a ‘typical’ student, as there are only twenty-eight,” students understandably warn, but they add that “we all are hardworking and are committed to a life of service.” Undergrads are also predictably “outdoorsy,” “interested in the arts,” “motivated, and responsible,” as “it takes a unique type of person to even consider Deep Springs, much less succeed and thrive in such an environment.” As one student puts it, “The typical student at Deep Springs is committed to the life of the intellect and committed to finding education in our labor program. Most of the students here believe that a life of service, informed by discourse and labor, is a necessary notion to understand in today’s world.”
At Deep Springs, where “the desert sun rises slowly,” everyday student life is totally unlike other colleges because “no one drinks, everyone helps run the ranch in some way, and no one can be totally self-absorbed (unless he’s out hiking in the desert).” Instead, students immerse themselves in the Deep Springs way. As one student explains, “Life is very intellectual but also in constant relationship to the natural beauty of the desert and the operation of the College’s farm and ranch.” Conversations tend to revolve around “what work needs to be done, what decisions need to be made, [and] which classes are most interesting,” or, as one student put its, “Sunsets. Hegel. Welding. Jane Austen.” Fun at Deep Springs, where days are “marked by an extreme busyness,” is “self generated”: “‘Fun’ is hard to come by, and one has to learn how to enjoy people, work, and engagement.” Students do occasionally take a break, however: “Fun just means something a little different...Half-naked dances to Miley Cyrus, fully naked soccer, or fully clothed conversations on anything from Kierkegaard to Kanye West ensure that there really isn’t a dull moment in the Valley.” Also, occasionally “there are ‘boojies’,” a kind of hectic dance party in the Rumpus Room of the dorm, “ or students will “go to the dunes a valley over for a bit of late-night naked surfing down the sand.” Undergrads concede that Deep Springs “life can be intense:” There is “a whirlwind of activity from labor to class to meals to labor again to meetings to a few precious hours of sleep. But where many students would find such a lifestyle stressful and unsustainable, we find it meaningful and valuable” and that keeps undergrads energized and motivated.”
Personal computer included in tuition for each student
Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
Undergraduates that Own Computers
Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Campus Visits Contact
Chair, Applications Committee
Applications Committee HC 72 Box 45001 Dyer, NV 89010
Experience College Life
Most Popular Places On Campus
Boarding House Dairy Barn Horse Stables The Upper Reservoir The Druid
Most Popular Places Off Campus
The Desert (including Death Valley National Park) Sierra Nevada and White Mountains Cottontail Ranch Bishop, California Loneliest Road in America There are no other dwellings in or around Deep Springs Valley.
On Campus Interview
Faculty and Coach Visits
Contact Admissions Office
Contact Admissions Office
Overnight Dorm Stays
Overnight Dorm Stays
Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Airplane, bus, car. Closest airport is McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Driving Instructions to Campus
Las Vegas towards Reno, Nevada turn off towards Bishop, California. The only thing on Highway 168.
Hotels and motels in Bishop or Big Pine California.