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About Oberlin College and Conservatory

The College and Conservatory combines a leading undergraduate college of arts and sciences with an outstanding professional school of music. Oberlin serves a diverse and academically talented student body of nearly 3,000 and is dedicated to recruiting students across the diversity spectrum - geographically, racially, culturally, economically, and sexual orientation. Among Oberlin’s many points of pride is being the first institution to graduate African Americans and women with four year degrees. As such, it is a part of our institutional DNA to encourage our students to draw important intersections between social justice and a liberal arts education. This academic year, we welcomed Carmen Twillie Ambar, JD as Oberlin’s 15th president and the first person of color to hold the position.

The College of Arts and Sciences enrolls 2300 students each year pursuing degrees in nearly 50 majors.  From first-year seminars (in which 98% of the incoming class participate each year) to the honors program, the curriculum is designed to create deep relationships among students, faculty, and ideas, and to prepare graduates to contribute significantly in creative, scholarly, and civic endeavors.  Dr. Tim Elgren, Ph.D. is a chemist who has served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2014. The Conservatory’s goals are both pedagogical and professional, as flexible programs are provided to prepare nearly 600 students for careers as musicians and music educators. The Conservatory prides itself on intense creativity, producing over 500 performances each academic year. In 2009, the Conservatory was awarded the National Medal of Arts.  Since 2014, Dr. Andrea Kalyn, Ph.D, a musicologist, has served as the Dean of the Conservatory

About The Oberlin College Libraries

The Oberlin College Libraries (OCL) is ranked among the leading liberal arts college library systems in the United States. In 2002, OCL was recognized with the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Last academic year, we welcomed Alexia Hudson-Ward as our tenth Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries who serves as the chief administrative officer of our library system. She is the first person of color to serve in this capacity. Under Alexia’s leadership, OCL underwent a full unit restructuring and key positions re-envisioning to advance data driven decision making and to foster team leadership throughout the libraries. Among her points of pride are OCL rich collections and our $150,000 Andrew W. Mellon planning grant in partnership with Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum.

The Libraries are viewed as essential places for learning and interaction among the members of the Oberlin community per a recent survey of students and faculty. Nearly half of our students cited the Libraries as a factor in their decision to attend Oberlin. 

Our facilities are the Main Library in the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center, the Clarence Ward Art Library in the Allen Art Building, the Conservatory Library in the Conservatory complex, and the Science Library in the Science Center.  Each “branch library” is managed by a Head Librarian who provides oversight for their respective location.  In addition, we store a lesser-used part of the collections in the closed stacks area of the Carnegie Building, which served as the college library from 1908-1974.


About The City of Oberlin, Ohio

The charming city of Oberlin, Ohio is resplendent in history and small town warmth. New residents will enjoy the simple commute to campus, several good restaurants, and many community connection activities. The City of Oberlin was founded in 1833 (the same year as the college) by two Presbyterian ministers, John Jay Shipherd and Philo P. Stewart. The city and the college derive their name from Alsatian pastor and philanthropist Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, whom Shipherd and Stewart deeply admired. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad and the location of the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue (an important act leading up to the American Civil War), Oberlin continues to celebrate its dynamic place in time through local historical markers and the Oberlin Heritage Center.

The City of Oberlin is a full service city offering police and fire protection, utilities, recreation, recycling, numerous parks, as well as other public works services for its approximately 9,000 full-time residents and the College. The city is governed under the Council-Manager form of government with an elected City Manager and seven-member City Council consisting of residents. A strategic plan “Oberlin 2025 – Our Shared Vision” was adopted in 2011 and addresses new goals of deepening the town-gown relationship. The Oberlin Public Library is a community hub, offering meeting space and several events throughout the year. The Oberlin public school district (Oberlin City Schools) is recognized by ACT as a Regional Red Quail District and places a value on the arts. The school district was awarded a 2017 “Best Community for Music Education” designation by the NAMM Foundation.  The school district is the first district in the state of Ohio (and one of the first in the nation) to be fully authorized to offer the highly regarded International Baccalaureate curriculum in all grades, for all students. Almost 90% of Oberlin High School graduates attend college upon graduation, and those who qualify for admission to Oberlin College receive full four-year tuition scholarships.

Working and Living Within The Greater Cleveland Region 

The Greater Cleveland Region is the metropolitan area surrounding Cleveland, Ohio and is populated with approximately 2.5 million people. It is comprised of five counties – Lorain County (the home of Oberlin College & Conservatory and Oberlin, Ohio), Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County, and Medina County. Individuals moving to our community will enjoy a reasonable cost of living and a wellness-centered lifestyle, in comparison to larger urban centers. The City of Cleveland (approximately 35 miles northeast of Oberlin) is the home of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, three professional sports teams (the Browns NFL team, the Cavaliers NBA team, and the Indians MLB team) and several minor league teams. The area is also home to a vibrant academic community consisting of several institutions. The internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic health system serves as the administrators of Oberlin College and Conservatory’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and has full service satellite locations throughout the area.

Many Oberlin College and Conservatory colleagues reside in several wonderful cities and towns that are commutable to campus by car including: Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, Bay Village, Cleveland, Elyria, LaGrange, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, North Ridgeville, Rocky River, Sheffield Village, and Westlake to name a few. Many of these cities and towns provide excellent living spaces, award-winning school districts, a vibrant metropark systems that borders Lake Erie, and an assortment of shops, restaurants, and recreational activities.


Last updated:
November 24, 2017