Road Trip: "Aha Moments" at Lewis & Clark College

A brief stop on the road trip, but well worth it.  Lewis & Clark College is just six miles from downtown Portland something they were quick to point out and clearly enjoy.   At roughly 2,100 undergrad students, I was surprised to find three separate but adjacent campuses —Aha! There’s more beyond the gorgeous but small, undergraduate campus. You will find a separate campus for graduate students (education / psychology) and another for the law school.

Keeping focused on the undergraduates, however, Lewis & Clark is known for, and about 60% of the student body participates in their study abroad opportunities.  International Affairs is one of the most popular majors – along with Psychology and Biology / Environmental Sciences.   It has relatively serious academic students with an average un-weighted 3.91 GPA and 75th percentile SAT / ACT at 1380 (out of 1600) / 31.

Somewhat new to the campus and growing fast is the Center for Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not a major or minor in itself, but rather a “mindset”.  There are half a dozen courses through the Center and equally importantly mentors and funding to help students make their ideas a reality.  Such a center struck me as a bit unusual for a small liberal arts school.

Both the relatively new Center for Entrepreneurship and the long-standing International Studies opportunities are true to the adventurers Lewis & Clark.  The campus culture is one that is politically liberal, progressive, green, and outdoorsy — more of what one would expect from the Pacific Northwest. Their overlap schools (those who apply here also apply at…) confirm the preference: Whitman College, Colorado College, University of Santa Cruz, and University of Oregon.  On this road trip, Lewis & Clark fell somewhere between Whitman College on the more traditional end and Reed College and Evergreen on the more non-traditional.

Consider Lewis & Clark College if you are looking for a small liberal arts college with a strong Pacific Northwest culture, a proximity to Portland, and an openness to the world.