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Grinnell College

United States
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Institution type Private

About Grinnell College

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a private, coed, residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Grinnell, Iowa. We confer bachelor of arts degrees in 26 major fields and offer individualized curriculum planning and advising. Independent majors are possible.

You will be challenged here, in the best of ways. Professors will expect thorough research, thoughtful analysis, and creative thinking. You’ll be responsible for co-creating your curriculum with your adviser, and you’ll find your voice in a self-governing residential community. You will graduate well-prepared for a career and graduate school. Grinnell alumni are international leaders in science, music, public service, law, medicine, business, engineering, and more. And Grinnell ranks in the top 10 of all U.S. institutions for the proportion of its graduates who earn Ph.D.s.

Students at Grinnell come from nearly every state and more than 60 countries. They come with varied geographic, ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic experiences, but thanks to their passion, intellectual curiosity and lively interest in the world and each other, they form an incredibly close-knit community. This diversity is fostered by Grinnell’s sizable endowment and long-standing commitment to financial aid. Our beautiful 120-acre campus is alive with student clubs, intercollegiate and intramural athletic teams, music, theater, and art, and hosts more than 500 free, on-campus events every year — ranging from guest lecturers, to concerts, plays, symposia, and all-campus social events. The College is adjacent to the thriving downtown of Grinnell (population 9,200) amid the rolling farmland of central Iowa.

Campus information

Student life at Grinnell is

  • Close-knit: About 85 percent of students live in a residence hall, language or project house, or college-owned house — so they really get to know one another well. Residence halls are small — most house 50–60 students of all class years, majors, and backgrounds, making each hall floor feel almost like a big, diverse family.
  • Exceptionally rich: 500 free events on campus annually afford more choices than even at many large universities.
  • Accessible to all: All groups and events at Grinnell are open to everyone, free of charge.

Student Activities

Investigate more than 100 student groups, ranging from A Just Grinnell to the Zombie Movie Club, plus sports, arts, outdoor recreation, volunteer, or spiritual activities. Every year, students create their own classes through our Experimental College, start new groups, and chart new courses.

At Grinnell, we’re here to help you challenge yourself, explore opportunities, and discover new perspectives. Here you’ll prepare you for the next stages of your life, whatever they may be.

Grinnell College is located in Grinnell, Iowa. The capital of Iowa, Des Moines is only 45 minutes from Grinnell.


Grinnell College is a residential college. All full-time students are required to live in student residences and board with College dining all four years. Exceptions to our residential policy are granted to the very few students who:

  • are 22 years of age by September 1st (of the upcoming academic year);
  • live with their parents in the Grinnell area;
  • are legally married (or legally partnered in a civil union); or
  • have a child(ren) who lives with them.

Exceptions are also granted to a limited number of seniors and third-year students (not studying abroad ortaking a leave of absence during the fall term) who request and have been granted permission to live offcampus by the Office of Residence Life and Orientation.


Courses available 10

Applied, Pure Sciences 3 Creative Arts & Design 2 Humanities & Social Sciences 5


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