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12 Most Beautiful Colleges in Ohio

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Ohio’s 110+ colleges are a diverse collective of higher education institutions with a lot to offer. There are top-ranked liberal arts schools, unbeatable football teams, and iconic landmarks. Attending an Ohio college also means you’ll get to enjoy scenic campus life.

If you want to impress people that come to visit you at college keep reading to find out which schools have the most beautiful campuses in Ohio.

1. Kenyon College, Gambier

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Travel + Leisure is known for locating scenic spots, and college campuses are no exception. The publication named Kenyon College one of the best campuses in the U.S. and the most beautiful campus in Ohio. Both campus grounds and building design were taken into consideration. The rural setting gives Kenyon College’s campus charm while the stone, castle-like buildings look like something right out of a fairy tale. Kenyon College’s historic stone buildings were also recognized by Architectural Digest.

2. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati is another college that’s been singled out by Travel + Leisure. The university’s leadership has commissioned top architects like Frank Gehry and Michael Graves to design new buildings. After many years and around $1 billion, the UC campus is now noteworthy for its modern appearance, which sets it apart from other Ohio colleges. Its location is another influence for the design. UC has an urban edge because it’s in downtown Cincinnati. With so many famous structures, it isn’t a shocker that the University of Cincinnati is considered one of the best colleges for architecture in the country.

3. Ohio State University, Columbus

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Ohio State University has been named the best college in the state by Niche and not just because of the football program. Rankings are based on student reviews, and students gave the campus an A+. The sheer size of the campus can be overwhelming (it’s the third largest campus in the U.S.), but that just means there’s more to enjoy. One of the primary attractions is the Oval. It’s the main quad of the campus where you’ll find Ohio Stadium and three other buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. If modern is more your style you’ll love the look of the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Fun Fact: Orton Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is made with 40 types of Ohio stone.

4. Miami University, Oxford

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It may be nowhere near the city of Miami, FL, but Miami University is equally picturesque. Instead of palm trees and white-washed structures, you’ll find rows of stately brick structures and leafy trees that change color in the fall. The sprawling Armstrong Student Center in the middle of campus is an architectural gem. Many of the buildings at Miami University are Georgian Revival or Greek Revival style, and some are even on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Ohio University, Athens

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When Expedia set out to find the most beautiful college campuses in the country they landed in Athens. Ohio University scored a perfect 5 out of 5 in the scenery category. The college gets a top grade for the simplistic beauty of the brick buildings, some of which are nearly 200 years old. The College Green is another highlight of the campus grounds. The lush green lawn of the central quad is a popular outdoor hangout spot for students. It's framed by Cutler Hall and several other well-known buildings.

6. Cedarville University, Cedarville

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Cedarville University has earned the title of most beautiful Christian college in Ohio as well as one of the top campuses in the midwest. The university was recognized for a number of distinctly beautiful features including Cedar Lake, which runs along the southern border of the campus. Many of the university’s buildings reflect off the glassy surface and provide students with spectacular views of the water.

7. University of Akron, Akron

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The first building that served as the University of Akron in 1872 still stands today. Old Buchtel, as it’s known, sticks out among all the other modern and contemporary structures. A lot of renovations have happened in the last few years, which has helped modernize the University of Akron. Now the College of Polymer Science building and a few others around campus are considered the most impressive structures in all of Akron.

8. Oberlin College, Oberlin

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At Oberlin College, you’ll see architecture from around the world. There are buildings that resemble European castles, the Oberlin Memorial Arch that looks like something from ancient Greece and Japanese-inspired gardens.

9. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

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Case Western Reserve University was the only Ohio school to make it into U.S. News and World Report’s top 50 best colleges for 2019. The small private university is adjacent to the Wade Park District in downtown Cleveland, but there are also plenty of green spaces right on campus. The university is known for having miles of tree-lined paths, and Mather Quad is a frequented green space. But that’s not the only thing that’s green. Recently, Case Western Reserve University has constructed a number of modern LEED-certified apartments.

10. Kent State University, Kent

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At 866 acres, Kent State University is easily one of the largest campuses in Ohio. Even though there are 30,000+ students it’s easy to find a quiet place on campus. There are a number of green spaces and gardens as well as a wildlife refuge nearby.

11. Otterbein University, Westerville

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Towers Hall alone could qualify Otterbein University as one of the most beautiful college campuses in Ohio. The red brick structure is a national landmark that’s simply breathtaking. It’s amazing that such an expansive, ornate building cost less than $30,000 to construct in 1871. The suburban/rural setting of Otterbein University, complete with a creek, makes the campus a relaxing retreat. The lawn around Towers Hall is a popular place for students to study, have lunch or simply people watch.

12. Antioch College, Yellow Springs

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There are very few schools like Antioch College that have their own farm. The college also oversees the preservation of Glen Helen Nature Preserve. It’s probably the only campus in the country where it’s not uncommon to see sheep out grazing by solar panels.

Need to get your high school diploma before you can move away to college? Check out some of the most beautiful high schools in Ohio!

Krista Doyle