Student Life

Reed College students are independent, curious, highly intellectual, and full of character. While no two are entirely alike, they all share one characteristic—a love of intellectual inquiry.

The heart and soul of the Reed experience is founded in a rigorous academic program that balances breadth of knowledge across the curriculum with depth of knowledge in a particular field of study. Our students—“Reedies”—bring their best work to conferences, where they are known to debate the merits of Plato’s conceptions of morality. The rich questions and vivid discussions persist well after the class ends; they continue to explore with friends how eudaimonia fits in with Reed’s Honor Principle.

Their big questions and ambitious work ethic work in tandem with the pursuit of life beyond the classroom. Extracurricular interests include volunteer work, leading student groups and other organizations, joining teams (sports and otherwise), and generally fostering new communities as they connect over unexpected hobbies. Being a Reedie means exploring everything: from building motorized couch vehicles and wandering trails in the canyon to sipping a warm drink in the student-run coffee shop and dancing the night away in the student union.

Ethos of Reed

Life at Reed is governed by the Honor Principle, a non-codified philosophy of behavior that encourages mutual respect and proactive thoughtfulness in all interactions. Unlike an honor code, the Honor Principle is an idea that extends beyond the classroom or any written document. Being honorable may mean looking out for the wellbeing of your peers, valuing community norms, and celebrating diversity in an inclusive environment. Learn more.

Home away from home

Residential life at Reed includes multiyear and multigender dorms, a series of language houses, and a variety of theme communities. The kitchen forms the heart of the two co-ops; an international Fulbright Scholar lives with students in the Arabic Culture House; outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the Outhaüs; and, while one does not simply walk into Mordor, students do walk into Tír na nÓg, where dragons, science fiction, and a friendly community of like-minded folk welcome you home.

Find your people

Reed College is a community dedicated to serious and open intellectual inquiry, one in which everyone can fully participate, regardless of identity. Student groups of all themes are open to all: a fire-spinning troupe, a literary magazine, a sky appreciation society, a feminist student union, an aerial acrobatics club, regular cheese-lovers gatherings, a radio station, and more.

Location, location, location

Reed is 10 minutes from downtown Portland, and students frequently explore the city by foot, bus, bike, or car to indulge in all that the city has to offer—a vibrant food scene, cultivated gardens and forested parks, and the largest independently-owned bookstore in the world. Learn more about the city that Reedies call home.