7 Beautiful American Universities You Need to Check Out

by Alice Cardy
Berkeley university sciences building

I am a HUGE university nerd. There are few things I love more than a gorgeous university. When I visit a beautiful university, I summon my inner Hermione Granger and I try to imagine how incredible it would be to study there. I’ve had the chance to do my Master’s degree in Medieval Studies in La Sorbonne and l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (after having studied in factory-looking universities) and believe me when I tell you these are stunning places, full of wooden panels, grand pianos and history! Therefore, one of my main goals when traveling through the United States was to visit as many beautiful American universities as possible (also because I’m considering applying for a PhD over there). This is a list of 7 beautiful American Universities you need to check out to satisfy your inner Hermione Granger, from the oldest to the newest!

post written by: Alice
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7 beautiful American universities | Gorgeous College Campuses | Harvard | Columbia | Georgetown | Upenn | UCLA | Berkeley | UCSC (4) 7 beautiful American universities | Gorgeous College Campuses | Harvard | Columbia | Georgetown | Upenn | UCLA | Berkeley | UCSC (3) 7 beautiful American universities | Gorgeous College Campuses | Harvard | Columbia | Georgetown | Upenn | UCLA | Berkeley | UCSC (2)

Harvard – established in 1636

The iconic Harvard is in the town of Cambridge, a subway-ride away from Boston. It gives a very student feeling to the city where it takes up a lot of space. It’s mostly green grass and red bricks… the d-r-e-a-m!
Beautiful University of Harvard One of the beautiful buildings in Harvard Harvard School of Graduate in Arts

Columbia University – established in 1754

In the Upper Side of Manhattan, Columbia University is the perfect place to go chill when you’re getting tired of the crowd. It’s made of a few buildings close to each other in the city, and some of them are definitely Instagram material!
Simone at Columbia University The Library of Columbia University

Upenn – University of Pennsylvania – founded in the mid-18th century

Upenn is situated in the ‘university city’ part of the city of Philadelphia. It was hard not to give them my application, choose my house on campus and never leave again, as I fell in love with the city when we went! Upenn is at the top of my list of universities to apply to and it’s for me the most beautiful American universities we’ve been to.
View of a green building in Upenn Some buildings in Upenn are beautiful Tree walk in Upenn Upenn is like a city in the city

Georgetown University – established in the last decade of the 18th century

Georgetown has an infamous past, having held slaves in the 19th. They’ve made plans to try making amends, and recently offered to give slave descendants preferential admissions. Located in the cute and calm Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington D.C., the university is HUGE.

Berkeley – University of California Berkeley – Founded in 1868

Main attraction of the veeeeeeery laid-back town of Berkeley, California, the university is of a considerable size too.
 Berkeley university gate Berkeley university sciences building Berkeley university library building

UCLA – University of California Los Angeles – built on its modern location in the 1920s

My favorite with Upenn. From the main picture on Google, I was expecting UCLA to be a modern-looking university like UCSC (see below) and therefore not to hold the visual appeal I was looking for.
Boy how was I wrong! UCLA is gorgeous and really embodies the balance between a neat-looking campus you can expect to be very functional, and beautiful buildings. I loved our time in Los Angeles and I’m glad we took a few hours to go and visit UCLA!
Building in the gorgeous UCLA Alley in UCLA One of the buildings of UCLA

UCSC – University of California Santa Cruz – founded in 1965

Talk about huge universities…!! UCSC feels more like a university part in the forest, part in huge fields. It took us quite some time to make it there with the bus from the center of Santa Cruz, and don’t make the same mistake: ASK which stop will get you at the heart of campus. And keep an eye on the bus schedule, you might be stranded there for an hour or so. UCSC has been built in the second half of the 20th century, so don’t go looking for the old mahogany or castle-like buildings and mansions you will find in the other universities of this list. It’s a functional, nice, and very modern-looking university.
 UCSC Students Union UCSC Humanities Hall Huge trees in UCSC

Have you ever been in one of this campuses? Which beautiful American university is your favorite? Or from outside the US? Tell us all in the comments below!


7 beautiful American universities | Gorgeous College Campuses | Harvard | Columbia | Georgetown | Upenn | UCLA | Berkeley | UCSC

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20 comments

Chevelle 23 June 2017 - 3 h 41 min

These are all gorgeous! I love history and school, wil definitely have to check them out .

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 20 min

They are, right? I’m glad you feel like me 😉

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Katie 24 June 2017 - 11 h 34 min

Wow look at those amazing buildings! Would love to visit and explore some of these 🙂

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 24 min

They look pretty amazing, yep 😉

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Kristine 24 June 2017 - 12 h 42 min

Wow, these University buildings are beautiful! I’ve already visited Harvard and Columbia while traveling to Boston and New York, and would’ve loved to see the other ones as well 🙂 great post!

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 25 min

Glad you’ve visited some of them too ! Did you also check NYU when you were in New York ?

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Sally 24 June 2017 - 16 h 34 min

Love these places. Gorgeous architecture! You should visit Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida for some unique buildings- it used to be a resort, now a stunning place of learning.

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 28 min

We did, actually!! We put some pictures in our post about our time in Florida 😉 it’s a pretty unbelievable place!

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Elaine J Masters 24 June 2017 - 17 h 59 min

Love your obsession and it’s true that Universities can be wonderful places to visit. I definitely want to see more of these.

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 28 min

Haha I’m glad you like my obsession :p I can’t wait to go back and see more! But I should make a post about gorgeous European universities soon enough 😉

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Veronika 24 June 2017 - 21 h 49 min

These are such a nice places. I like the American concept of having all the college buildings around campus area with parks. I have been to Kansas State University which is also lovely, kinda reminds me of a Harry Potter movies 🙂

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 29 min

You make me want to check Kansas university next time! Harry Potter is the magic word :p

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Ivana 25 June 2017 - 13 h 01 min

I have been DYING to visit Harvard. Have you been to Montreal? McGill is basically my dream school.

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 30 min

You should go!! It’s really gorgeous. I haven’t been to Montreal yet but my brother lives over there now so I will DEFINITELY check out McGill once I go!! Thanks for the tip Ivana!

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nicole 25 June 2017 - 13 h 27 min

I have only visited two from the list, but after reading this, I cannot wait till when my children are looking at universities and I can take them to see the rest of these! 🙂

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 31 min

Oh wow that will be such a great time!! I’m not even a mum yet but kind of also looking forward that now that you mention it :p (way to jump the gun….!)

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Rachel Heller 25 June 2017 - 20 h 04 min

These are all beautiful, but you left out my alma mater: Yale! It was founded in 1703 and still has a couple of buildings dating to the 1700’s, though most are later. The campus is just gorgeous, complete with ivy-covered halls.

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Alice Cardy 26 June 2017 - 2 h 34 min

I am DYING to visit Yale!!!!! So jealous that you got to study there, it’s definitely in my top universities – the dream! I didn’t make it there this time but I really hope to see it next time!

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Sonja 26 June 2017 - 12 h 03 min

I’ve never thought about visiting universities before but I guess they are really beautiful buildings! If I’m near any of these I’ll have to check them out 🙂

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Lindsay | The Anthrotorian Travel Blog 27 June 2017 - 4 h 55 min

First of all, a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies sounds AMAZING. I am very jealous of that one. Secondly, these campuses look incredible! I have not been to any of them but would love to hit up Harvard for sure. Did you go into any of the libraries? That would be my ultimate destination.

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