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Oberlin College


Oberlin College

Oberlin College

(Courtesy of Oberlin College) Finney Chapel at Oberlin College

Finney Chapel at Oberlin College

(© Henery Hawk/cc license) Allen Museum at Oberlin College

Allen Museum at Oberlin College

(© Baslow/cc license)

Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college, located about an hour west of downtown Cleveland. The college was the first US college to admit African-American students and is the oldest continuously operating Co-educational college. The school continues its heritage of academic excellence combined with social responsibility.


Oberlin College, along with the town of Oberlin, was founded in 1833 by two Presbyterian ministers. The college has a long history of social responsibility. It is the nation's oldest co-ed college. It was the first US college to admit African-American students, and the college was active in the Underground Railroad. Oberlin has also spoken out on issues from slavery to civil rights to the war in Iraq.


The Oberlin College campus is set on 500 acres of gently rolling landscape. Notable among the college's buildings is Finney Chapel, site of numerous Conservatory of Music concerts throughout the year.

Courses and Colleges:

Oberlin College is divided into two colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences and the renowned, Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Popular majors in the College of Arts and Sciences include biology, English, and history.


The Oberlin student body consists of around 2850 students, almost all of them undergraduate students. A majority of the student body lives on campus. Students come from all over the United States, with a large mix of Asian, Latino, and African-American students represented.


Academics take precedence over sports at Oberlin. However, the school does compete in NCAA division III in a number of different sports. Their mascot and team name is the Yeoman.

Area trivia buffs will be interested that the Oberlin football team was the first team couched by football legend, John Heisman (in 1892).

Notable Alumni:

Oberlin has graduated many noted artists, musicians, scientists, and business people, including three Nobel Prize winners. Notable alumni include author Tracy Chevalier, poet Carl Dennis, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, musical theater lyricist John Kandar, singer Liz Phair, feminist and abolitionist Lucy Stone, and author and playwright Thornton Wilder.

Visiting Oberlin College:

Oberlin encourages prospective students to visit the college. They offer self-guided and escorted tours, personal interviews, and overnight stays. Some of these are limited or unavailable during school breaks. It is suggested visitors call the admissions office for current programs, times, and for an interview appointment. (800 622-6243 or 440 775-8411)

Contact Information:

Oberlin College
Office of Admissions
Carnegie Building
10 N. Prospect St.
Oberlin, OH 44074-1075
440 775-8411
800 622-6243

Hotels Near Oberlin College:

The most historic and convenient accommodation in Oberlin is the Oberlin Inn (check rates), located just off-campus. Alternately, visitors can stay at the historic downtown hotel in nearby Lorain, the Spitzer Plaza Hotel or the more modest Days Inn in Amherst (check rates), off of I-90.

(Last updated 5-18-12)

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