Reed College Catalog

Community life at Reed is intended to complement the college’s academic program through a commitment to creating and learning together in a community of scholars from diverse racial, ethnic, national, religious, socioeconomic, and political backgrounds. Richard Scholz, the college’s second president (1921–24), stated the college’s aspiration in his inaugural address: “Education is not merely a process of instruction, nor an individual matter of self-development. It is also a matter of self-realization through membership in a community of like-minded and congenial ‘comrades of the quest’ for knowledge and for wisdom.”

Honor Principle
Since the college’s founding, members of the Reed community have described the Honor Principle as one of the most important and distinctive features of the college. In its most basic definition, the Honor Principle instructs us that any action that causes unnecessary pain or discomfort to any member of the Reed community, to any group within the community, or to the community as a whole is a violation of the Honor Principle. Reed community members are expected to actively engage the Honor Principle.

The origins of the Honor Principle can be traced to the first class of Reed students, who “voted to relieve the faculty of the burden of enforcing honesty in . . . tests, and agreed to make it a ‘point of honor’ not to cheat in examinations.” In 1973 the faculty adopted a more explicit statement about the Honor Principle that reconfirmed the community’s responsibility for “maintaining standards of honesty and mutual trust in their academic and social lives. . . . The Honor Principle also demands the respectful concern of each person for the other, and the exercise of conscionable judgment in all actions toward individuals and their property.” This statement continues, “Although the college does not call upon its members to sign a pledge of honor, it does recognize the necessity for tacit agreement of all its members to support the Honor Principle by governing their own conduct in accordance with its spirit, [and] by respecting regulations which the community has established.”

The preamble to the community constitution applies to all students, faculty members, and staff members. It states, “We declare our commitment to honorable conduct in academic and community affairs, and we reaffirm one another’s rights to freedom of inquiry and expression in coursework, scholarship, and the day-to-day life of the Reed community. Since such freedom requires an atmosphere of trust and mutual confidence, we further declare that dishonesty, intimidation, harassment, exploitation, and the use or threat of force are incompatible with the preservation of this freedom.”

The Honor Council is responsible for educating members of the Reed community about the meaning and importance of responsible and honorable conduct at Reed College. The Honor Council advocates for Reed community members and provides advice and support as they navigate Reed’s multiple adjudication processes. Members of the Honor Council also provide confidential advice to those seeking conflict resolution. The Honor Council works through three subcommittees. The mediation subcommittee oversees the process of formal mediation, including the provision of third-party mediators. The community rights subcommittee may bring honor cases on behalf of the community when the community’s rights have been violated. The education subcommittee raises awareness of the Honor Principle and facilitates discussions about honor on campus.

When violations of honor or policy rise to the level of adjudication, the student judicial board and a student and staff Title IX board have primary responsibility for adjudicating formal complaints against students.

Division of Student Life
The Division of Student Life provides support to students, faculty, staff, families, and community members. Their central purpose is to help students access campus support resources, particularly during difficult situations. Student life works with students and relevant campus partners to address challenges and problems, and help advance ideas for positive change on campus. Additionally, the staff in the Division of Student Life possess an effective understanding of college policies, procedures, and community life, and work with the Reed community to address conflicts, eliminate barriers to success, and connect with campus and community resources.

Student Life Office
The student life office works closely with faculty, staff, parents, and students in an effort to coordinate a comprehensive network of support for all students. Students are invited to contact the office for guidance regarding their progress and engagement at the college, including questions relating to administrative and academic issues, and college policies and procedures. Please visit for more information.

Descriptions of a few of the resources and services available within student life are listed below.

Academic Support
Students choose Reed because they seek to challenge themselves intellectually and personally. In order to assist students as they rise to meet those challenges, Reed offers opportunities for students to work on their academic skills both inside and outside the classroom. In collaboration with faculty, the Office of Academic Support offers peer tutoring, a cooperative study environment, writing and quantitative support, workshops, and individualized coaching.

Peer tutors, who are undergraduates recommended by faculty, provide deep understanding and a student perspective on Reed’s approach to academics. Tutors are available for many courses and subjects across the curriculum, such as biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, physics, mathematics, languages, and writing. Tutors might collaborate with students to talk through a particularly difficult problem set, offer feedback on lab reports, ponder questions about course materials, or share a fresh perspective on a concept that’s almost within reach. Cooperative learning is a cornerstone of the Reed education; this is such a popular resource that over half of all current tutors have been tutored themselves.

Individual academic coaching by Office of Academic Support staff gives students a chance to develop goals and improve the skills needed for college success. Coaching allows students to explore strategies related to study skills, learning styles, time management, test anxiety, procrastination, writing, quantitative skills development, and academic stress. Students can consult with staff to develop personalized strategies for success from their first Humanities 110 paper to the oral defense of their thesis.

Additional resources, including tutor and workshop schedules, are available at

Athletics, Fitness, & Outdoor Programs
The athletics, fitness, & outdoor programs department provides everything students need to enjoy an active lifestyle and to take advantage of all the recreational activities Oregon has to offer. There are opportunities to challenge those with varsity backgrounds, those who are new to the gym, and everyone in between.

In addition to the more than 50 physical education courses the college offers, the department sponsors a number of team sports and special events throughout the year. In recent years, Reed students have participated in basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, rugby, and squash. Special events included the juggling festival; the March Madness basketball tournament; badminton and tennis play days; and fall and spring softball tournaments. Reed also offers outdoor education classes, including white-water rafting, rock climbing, winter camping, and backcountry navigation.

Please visit for more information on physical education classes, team sports, and events.

Center for Life Beyond Reed
The Center for Life Beyond Reed applies a purpose-focused model to teach students to develop their clarity of purpose, career skills competencies, networks, and confidence as they plan for and engage with life beyond Reed. The staff works to develop relationships with faculty, staff, alumni, parents, community partners, and employers so that students have access to quality resources, special programs, and a variety of opportunities and experiences beyond the classroom.

CLBR is a center of funding for internships and other career advancement activities. The center advises for nationally competitive awards (Watson, Fulbright, Rhodes, and others) in collaboration with faculty on the Fellowships and Awards Committee. Staff members also provide assistance to students in the pursuit of fellowships and advanced studies in graduate or professional school.

Alumni of the college are enlisted as volunteers to support students in making the transition to the world beyond Reed. Students can search a secure online database of Reed alumni, and staff members help students connect to individuals and organizations of interest. Many alumni volunteers visit campus to support career-related programming.

Visit for more information.

Community Engagement
The Students for Education, Equity, and Direct Service (SEEDS) program builds mutually beneficial relationships within the Portland community to foster sustainable and positive change. SEEDS is committed to enhancing the academic mission and supporting Reed students in developing tools for self-reflection and passion for lifelong community engagement.

SEEDS programs, which reflect a wide range of interest and issue areas, include weekly community engagement commitments as well as biweekly, monthly, and one-time engagement opportunities. To promote access to community engagement, SEEDS manages Reed’s off-campus Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. Students who qualify to participate can earn an hourly wage while working with FWS-eligible community organizations and public agencies around Portland. Additionally, all students can earn 2 units of their Physical Education and Community Engagement graduation requirement by volunteering for at least two hours per week with SEEDS partner organizations. SEEDS hosts an on-campus event series, Collective Voices, featuring local community organizers and activists who talk with students about their community work and how to get involved. Finally, SEEDS manages the Reed Community Pantry (RCP). The RCP provides nonperishable food items, toiletries, hygiene products, clothing, books, and more at no cost to members of the Reed community. 

Visit for more information on SEEDS programs and community partners.

Community Safety
The primary mission of the community safety office is the safety and well-being of the Reed community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Community safety staff seek to achieve this through collaboration with all members of the Reed community as well as with a variety of supportive resources in the greater Portland area.

Community safety oversees the college’s programs and activities in several key areas, including emergency preparedness, crime prevention and response, and alcohol and other drug policy monitoring, and acts as the primary liaison with law enforcement. The office operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, providing patrols of the college campus and facilities. Reed College community safety officers (CSOs) are trained and able to assist with CPR and first aid, mental health first aid, fire safety, criminal incident reporting, crime prevention, vehicle jump starts and unlocks, vehicle and bicycle registrations, and parking. Community safety dispatch serves as a resource for students with medical or psychological needs after hours by helping students connect with the appropriate resource, and by working with parents who need to call their student in an emergency. The emergency phone number is 503-788-6666. The nonemergency number, which is also the college switchboard, is 503-517-5355. The nonemergency number to text is 503-849-8678.

Working to keep the Reed community safe, CSOs provide safety escorts on campus 24 hours a day, and the college provides free bus service at night to take off-campus students who live in the vicinity from the library to their doorsteps.

Visit for more information.

Disability & Accessibility Resources
Disability & Accessibility Resources (DAR) is a resource for students who have a medical condition, mental health condition, or other disability that affects their life at Reed. DAR staff and students together explore accommodations for academic courses, housing and dining, physical education, or other areas of student life.

Students who are interested in learning more about DAR and the resources offered are welcome to email staff at or to schedule an appointment through their online booking page:

More information about DAR is available at their website:

Fellowships & Awards
The fellowships & awards office, in the Center for Life Beyond Reed, publicizes scholarship and fellowship opportunities and engages and assists students in pursuing a range of goals including research, study, teaching, and pursuit of arts or other special projects during and after their time at Reed. With the Committee on Fellowships and Awards, staff coordinate the application and nomination processes for those award programs requiring an institutional endorsement, and they work directly with students to identify relevant opportunities and prepare competitive applications. Through the Center for Life Beyond Reed, students receive assistance in drafting and editing resumes, cover letters, and application essays; assistance in reviewing applications for completeness; and tips on successful interviewing.

Visit for more program details.

Health & Counseling Services
The Reed College Health & Counseling Center (HCC) strives to promote students’ ongoing health and well-being as well as academic, personal, and multicultural growth. We embrace the inherent value of diversity and we endeavor to promote a safe environment that respects and upholds the dignity and civil rights of all persons. The HCC acknowledges the injustice and profound impact of discrimination and marginalization of individuals and groups and their effects on students’ well-being. We continue to expand our self-awareness and understanding of how diversity influences concepts of holistic health and well-being.

The HCC is an integrated clinic, providing primary care services as well as counseling and limited psychiatric medication management. Our medical clinic is staffed with nurse practitioners, a mental health prescribing provider, registered nurses, and certified medical assistants. Our mental health clinic is staffed with licensed psychologists, social workers, and professional counselors. At times, we have interns working under the supervision of our licensed professional staff. We are committed to providing high-quality services with sensitivity to each student’s culture, gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, learning style, and socioeconomic status.

Scheduling and Services
For medical care, students can self-schedule an appointment through the student health portal or call the HCC. Students with urgent concerns may obtain a same-day nurse triage visit. Students with health concerns after hours may call the nurse advice line, Fonemed. The consulting nurses will offer medical advice and refer students to appropriate medical care as needed. The telephone number for the Fonemed is available on the HCC website or by calling the main Reed switchboard. Students who require emergency services should call the community safety office and/or 911.

The HCC offers short-term mental health counseling for students. Students seek counseling for many reasons, including personal problems, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, academic pressures, adjustment to college life, mild to moderate psychiatric disorders, grief, loneliness, identity, and problems related to drugs and alcohol. In addition to individual counseling, groups are available as specific interests and needs arise.

Students who are interested in individual counseling may schedule a screening appointment by contacting the HCC. Same-day services are available for urgent needs. The Reed Counseling Hotline is available 24/7 and is staffed by licensed mental health professionals available to provide telephonic support and referrals for students with mental health concerns. The telephone number is available on the HCC website.

Students may also utilize TogetherAll, an online, confidential peer-support application monitored by licensed clinicians, by going to and logging in with their Reed email address.

All medical and counseling records remain separate from student academic records and are treated as confidential as required by state and federal laws. Information is released only with the student’s permission, or under rare circumstances for continuity of care.

Required Immunizations
The State of Oregon mandates that all students must provide proof of vaccination against measles prior to starting college. Proof of immunity, or documentation of exemption per Reed College requirements is also acceptable. The student must have had two doses of a measles vaccine, at least 28 days apart or a positive measles titer before arriving on campus. Two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine will satisfy this requirement. Reed College also requires immunization against COVID-19. If students have not received their measles immunizations, a hold is placed on their registration and they are unable to register for classes or add/drop classes.  Official documentation of proof of immunity to measles and COVID-19 must be uploaded to the student health portal or faxed to the HCC in order to satisfy this requirement. 

All students are strongly encouraged to also have the hepatitis series of immunizations (both A and B), the meningitis series (both ACWY and B), varicella series, and the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) booster before arriving at Reed. An annual seasonal influenza (Flu) vaccination is highly recommended in the Fall (Oct/Nov). These vaccines and others are available at the HCC for a fee, which is often covered by most insurances.

Student Health Insurance
All students are required to have health insurance that is equivalent to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) provided by the college. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in the SHIP, as it is designed to cover the expenses incurred by college-age students. Referrals are often made to community providers and for diagnostics. Most providers and facilities in the area will take the SHIP, unlike plans originating from out-of-state insurance providers.

Fees and Billing
Students are not billed for office visits with healthcare providers and counselors at the HCC. Students are billed for point-of-care testing (such as urine or blood sugar tests), or if medication or medical supplies are dispensed. Students will also incur charges if they see a healthcare specialist outside of Reed, if they require diagnostic testing such as radiology, or if they have blood testing done. The HCC does not bill insurance; however, students are provided with the necessary documentation that can be forwarded to their insurance company for billing and reimbursement.

Please visit for more information.

International Student Services
An exceptionally diverse group of students benefits from a range of programs and support offered by international student services (ISS). ISS programming—including international student orientation, the host family program, and the InterConnect mentor program—offers support to international students and third culture kids. ISS provides assistance and guidance on immigration regulations for students on F-1 or J-1 visas. Additionally, ISS collaborates with other campus offices to provide resources and programs that help international students acclimate to life in the United States and thrive at Reed.

Please visit for more information.

Multicultural Resource Center
The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) serves as a hub to support the retention and success of students from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. MRC programs and events complement and enrich the academic experience, promote identity exploration, and enhance the leadership skills of historically underrepresented and marginalized students. The MRC coordinates campus-wide cultural events and programs that celebrate the diversity of Reed’s community and educates the campus community on issues of identity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. The MRC provides direct support to students and multicultural student organizations and creates an environment where students from historically underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds can thrive.

Visit for more information.

Office for Institutional Diversity
The mission of the Office for Institutional Diversity (OID) is to create institutional vision and strategy and implement systems and infrastructure to support the college’s commitment to being a diverse and inclusive learning, teaching, and working environment. The OID provides leadership by working with the president’s staff and senior staff to ensure all aspects of college life reflect the fundamental principles of intellectual pluralism espoused in the college’s founding documents. The OID develops relationships in the broader Portland community that benefit community partners, and provides opportunities for Reed students, staff, faculty, and other community members to deepen their understanding of privilege, marginalization, and inclusive excellence and to apply that knowledge in learning, living, and working environments. The OID focuses on areas of recruitment and retention, campus climate, academic inclusive excellence, and the development of inclusive practices for all campus constituencies.

Visit for more information.

Office for Student Engagement
The Office for Student Engagement, formerly known as the Student Activities Office, seeks to help students create community, practice interpersonal and leadership skills, and enjoy well-deserved outlets for relaxation and fun. Programs include the Reed Leadership Academy, leadership and involvement programs and workshops, the Gray Fund, orientation, advising student senate, working with student groups wishing to organize on-campus events, and advising the Model United Nations, mock trial, and chess teams. Visit the office located in the Student Center for more information.

Peer Mentor Program
The Peer Mentor Program (PMP) is a resource for new and continuing students from underrepresented and marginalized communities. The PMP assists first-year and transfer students in their college transition by pairing them with a current student who provides guidance and support throughout the mentee’s first year at Reed. The PMP is open to any incoming student who wishes to be paired with a peer mentor. The PMP begins with a preorientation experience and continues throughout a student’s first year at Reed. After orientation, the PMP offers monthly social gatherings, transportation to events happening in Portland, and academic support sessions throughout the academic year. Participants benefit from meaningful and supportive peer relationships, enhanced knowledge of campus resources, opportunities for involvement and leadership, and access to educational, cultural, and social events.

Visit for more information.

Residence Life and Food Services
The Office of Residence Life fosters a residential experience aimed at supporting students in their academic pursuits, personal growth, and participation in an interdependent community. Residence life oversees the experience of living on campus at Reed. Our team includes both professional staff members, who hold positions as administrative staff and area coordinators, and students, who fill the role of house advisers. Residence life coordinates placement in on-campus housing, facilitates community-focused programming, and ensures a safe and welcoming environment in the residence halls and other college housing options for students.

Reed’s residence halls are grouped into neighborhood configurations. First-year students are concentrated in first-year neighborhoods, while sophomores, juniors, and seniors are able to select rooms in upper-division neighborhoods. The neighborhood model provides a foundation for more intentional community building and better access to resources based upon a student’s trajectory at Reed. Reed’s residence halls offer a range of options. Room types include singles, undivided doubles, divided doubles, and triples. Each building contains a kitchen and one or more common rooms. All housing on campus is gender inclusive.

Returning students select housing for the following year through room registration held in the spring. New and transfer students select their preferred housing options, which are then used to make room assignments. Reed has a two-year on-campus residency guarantee and requirement for students. The two-year period is measured by time spent at Reed (four semesters), not class credits.

To help students build communities within the halls, non–first-year students serve as house advisers. House advisers are selected and trained to help students adjust to Reed, provide information, and offer support for the students with whom they live. House advisers encourage students to participate in programs and activities and get involved in campus life. In addition to the house advisers, five full-time professional area coordinators live on campus to support the house advisers, serve as a resource for all students, and provide assistance in emergencies.

All students who live on campus, except apartment residents, utilize a board plan through Bon Appétit. Students who live in the apartments or off campus have the option of participating in the board program or purchasing Commuter Commons Cash. All those on board plans eat in the centrally located commons (dining hall).

The food service program operates on a declining balance system. Each student on board pays a fee at the beginning of the term and is credited with “commons cash” (dollars) to be spent in the dining hall. Information describing the meal plans is available at

Restorative Practices
Restorative practices promotes alternatives to traditional judicial processes and encourages accountability, giving all parties a voice, and creating space in order to focus on the needs of those who have been harmed. Participation is voluntary, inclusive, and focused on healing rather than punishment.

Special Events

Canyon Day (Fall and Spring)
A true Reed tradition, Canyon Day began in 1915. It was originated to encourage the college community to engage with the incredible resource in the midst of campus. Over time, the focus has evolved from recreation to education, and ultimately restoration. For over 100 years, community members have contributed to the ongoing care and replanting of the 28-acre forest that includes Reed Lake. Flowing out of the lake, Crystal Springs provides the cleanest water resource in the lower reach of Johnson Creek. Habitat restoration efforts have resulted in the return of ocean-going fish runs. The beauty of the canyon sustains wide interest, and the work of Canyon Day is celebrated with friends, food, music, and fun. This event is cosponsored by campus facilities services and the student group Greenboard.

Gray Fund Events (throughout the year)
In 1991 the late Betty Gray, a longtime friend of the college, endowed a fund, the purpose of which is “to assure that Reed College will have stimulating cultural, social, and recreational programs of excellent quality on a regular and planned basis that will interest students, faculty, and staff members and involve these three groups together in activities outside the classroom that complement the college’s academic program.” A committee composed of students, faculty, and staff members, in association with the director of student engagement and the assistant director of athletics, fitness, and outdoor programs, acts as an advisory group for use of the fund. Events have included lectures by comedian Jessica Williams, author Ursula Le Guin, TV personality RuPaul Charles, and actress Laverne Cox; concerts; films; and many other activities. Recreational trips have included sea kayaking, wildflower hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Social trips have included Broadway shows, museums, glass slumping and fusing, a gourmet cooking class, and more. The Gray Fund committee plans events throughout the year and encourages input from the community. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in all Gray Fund activities.

Orientation (August)
Reed offers new students—first-year, transfer, and special-admission students—and their families several days of orientation before classes begin in the fall. At these events, new students meet with returning students and members of the faculty and staff at events designed to provide an engaging and informative introduction to the college.

Typically, orientation includes introduction to the intellectual life at Reed through discussions about the Reed curriculum, humanities program, and academic advising, in addition to informal opportunities to meet faculty members and returning students. Other sessions are meant to help students learn about the college culture and our expectations for how they govern themselves under the Honor Principle. Preorientation programs, which take place immediately before orientation, allow students to meet others interested in outdoor or community engagement programs, take part in the Peer Mentor Program, or participate in international student orientation. A detailed description of the orientation program is available online at

Paideia (January)
Paideia is a Greek word that means, roughly translated, “education.” Taking place during the period before the beginning of the spring semester, Paideia is a time to enjoy being at Reed without academic expectations or pressure. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Reed offer informal, noncredit courses and lectures on a wide variety of topics.

Reed Arts Week (November)
Reed Arts Week (RAW) is a celebration of the arts at Reed, including music, dance, theatre, films, creative writing, and the visual arts. In addition to student installations and performances, major artists join in the campus celebration by providing various forms of installations, performing original works, and participating in master class work with members of the Reed community. RAW is organized entirely by Reed student artistic directors, who are supported by the Cooley Gallery.

Renn Fayre (May)
Originally, Renaissance Fayre was a one-day event during the spring semester that turned Reed into the Age of the Renaissance as authentically as possible. Renn Fayre has evolved into a campus-wide end-of-the-year festival. On the last day of classes, seniors march from the steps of the library to the registrar’s office to celebrate turning in their theses and to be congratulated by senior officers of the college. This thesis parade kicks off a weekend-long celebration with music, food and drink, sports, games, events, and fireworks.