Not all prestigious universities look the part. But these splendid American universities' campuses inspire a sense of pride and respect in their students.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
This brainchild of founding father/architect Thomas Jefferson is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its campus (Academic Village) was declared "the proudest achievement of American architecture" by the American Institute of Architects.
Besides having been founded on the Jeffersonian principle of separation between Church and Education, the University of Virginia was also designed by the man himself in the early 1800s. This iconic campus has served as a model for many other colleges on this list.
The University of Virginia Rotunda is the pinnacle of the Jeffersonian architectural style. Reminiscent of the Roman Pantheon, it symbolizes knowledge.
Lawrence University, Appleton
Fox River runs through Lawrence University’s serene campus. This beautiful campus has made great strides in terms of ecologically sustainable design, having earned a LEED Gold certification.
University of Washington (UW), Seattle
A spectacular achievement of the classic Collegiate Gothic style of architecture, the UW campus is a class apart. Pictured here, the Denny Hall (est. 1895) is the oldest building on campus.
The 30 Yoshino cherry trees that bloom every spring in the UW Liberal Arts quadrangle make for gorgeous scenery. This campus belongs on postcards.
The staggering scope of all human knowledge is best expressed by these hallowed halls of the UW Suzzallo Library’s iconic reading room. Also, it kinda looks like Hogwarts!
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Overlooking Lake Michigan, this campus stands out for its contemporary style of eco-friendly architecture and the surrounding arboretum.
Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
As the first American college to start offering graduate degrees to women, this picturesque liberal arts college set the bar for other institutions way back in 1885.
The Bryn Mawr campus doubles as an extended botanical garden which is dotted with such imposing Collegiate Gothic style buildings modeled after Cambridge.
University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill
With a rich sub-culture all its own, UNC consists of both historic limestone-trimmed buildings and more recent modern structures.
UNC’s iconic Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower (172 ft spire) occupies a special place in the campus and in the hearts and minds of its alumni.
St. Olaf College, Northfield
The sun-kissed Gothic Revival style buildings of St. Olaf College are spread across its illustrious 300 acre campus.
Harvard University, Boston
The signature ‘Harvard look’ of red-brick buildings and Ivy League prestige was developed building-by-building over 300 years.
The Harvard Yard is an amazing architectural blend of different styles that evokes the feeling of dignified pride.