Whether seasonal or year-round, colleges by the beach offer a scenic getaway for students
Looking to live in a college town with extra opportunities for tanning? Can’t stand the snow? Want to overlook the coastline from your dorm room? Colleges in beach towns offer students a unique living experience by the sea. Whether for weekend beach parties, or a quiet walk to relax from a long day in class, campuses on or near beaches provide excellent getaways for busy college students.
Here is a list of beach colleges, both seasonal and tropical year-round, across the country!
Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts
Endicott is located in the Massachusetts Bay region known as the Gold Coast, giving its students a distinct opportunity to experience a small town just 20 minutes outside of Boston, with the beautiful northeastern beaches. This small private college is nestled on an oceanfront property, and has three private beaches for students. Many of its dorms have views of the Atlantic Ocean. Even though the winter makes beachfront activities less appealing, Endicott’s many frozen ponds are converted into ice skating rinks during the colder months.
Endicott College is known to have one of the most scenic campuses in the country, and was the first college in the nation to require internships of all students, with two three-week long internships that take place freshman and sophomore year, and one semester-long internship senior year. 2,300 undergraduates enjoy small class sizes, and a 15:1 faculty to student ratio, allowing for maximized attention and hands-on learning in the classroom.
Mitchell College, New London, Connecticut
On the banks of the Thames River, Mitchell College overlooks the scenic coast of Connecticut. Mitchell Dock and Mitchell Beach set this small New England campus apart from its fellow schools in the New London area. Bonfires, beach parties, and long walks are common for students who need to escape academia for a bit of fun or solitude on the sand. Alumni have access to the school’s private beach for life, and are even allowed to bring two guests at a time!
Mitchell is a private liberal arts school offering two and four-year degrees. 858 undergraduate students can choose from concentrations in liberal arts, human development, and early childhood education. The highly residential campus creates a homey environment and includes the nature reserve Mitchell Woods.
University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina
Located in Cape Fear, UNC-Wilmington is near four beaches, with the nearest one, Wrightsville Beach, just five miles away from campus. At the start of the fall semester each year, the administration hosts Beach Blast, a day of live-music, food, and beach activities for new students at Crystal Pier on Wrightsville Beach. Further into Wilmington is the Riverwalk, a two mile stretch of restaurants, shopping, and scenic views of Cape Fear River.
UNC – Wilmington is a medium-sized, public university with an undergraduate student population of 12,387 students. Originally opened in 1947 as a junior college called Wilmington College, the school catered to WWII veterans seeking higher education following the war. In 1963, the school became a four-year institution, and in 1969 its name was changed to University of North Carolina – Wilmington, making it the fifth UNC campus.
University of California – San Diego, San, Diego, California
Twelve minutes from the beach, University of California – San Diego (UCSD) is a hub for students who envision their college years filled with sun and surfing. As a Sea Grant institute, UCSD has a strong program in oceanography and The Scripps Institute of Oceanography on the Pacific Ocean is located just down the hill from campus. Many students spend their days and breaks between classes down by Scripps Pier surfing or laying out by the beach. For those new to surfing, the school has surf classes and a surf club. Each September, freshmen are treated to Meet the Beach, a festival full of food, free surf lessons, kayaking, tide pool and pier tours, games, and music.
The University of California – San Diego is the seventh oldest of the 10 schools in the University of California system. UCSD’s 23,000 undergraduate students enroll in one of their six residential colleges, each with their own core course requirements, administration, advisors, degrees, and graduation ceremonies. Surrounded by La Jolla, California, UCSD’s campus boasts eucalyptus groves, a seaport, and Geisel Library, so called after Dr. Seuss’ real name, Theodor Geisel.
Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida
Located in the historic district of St. Augustine and just 10 minutes from St. Augustine Beach, Flagler College is a campus for students who desire sunshine all year round. Just four miles from the Atlantic Ocean, students benefit from the surf and sights on Florida’s east coast, as well as a rich local history. St. Augustine was founded in 1565, and is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited European settlement. When residents are finished at the beach, they can walk along “Beachfront Avenue” for restaurants, shops, and nightlife!
Flagler is a small liberal arts college that offers undergraduate programs in 25 majors and 32 minors. Only a few classes have more than 30 students, so Flagler’s small undergraduate student population receives a hands-on learning experience in areas like Public History, Sports Management, and Graphic Design. In the center of campus is Hotel Ponce de Leon, a large and historic complex built in 1888 by Henry Flagler.
Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
Since 1972, Pepperdine’s campus has overlooked the Pacific Ocean at its location in Malibu, California. Numerous beaches along the California coast are located just minutes away from Pepperdine’s mountaintop campus, and Venice Beach, Calabasas, Hollywood, and Santa Monica are within an hour’s drive. Beach Volleyball is a popular sport for Pepperdine students, and with ocean views from all over campus, this school is ideal for sun and beach lovers.
Pepperdine has approximately 3,000 undergraduates students and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. In addition to the Malibu campus, Pepperdine has six graduate campuses in Southern California, one in Washington D.C., and several campuses abroad in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Some students look forward to warm weather to pay a visit to a nearby beach, and others have access to the sun and sand well into winter. In either case, students who attend college in beach towns have a special campus environment and experience. From surf clubs, to stellar oceanography programs, to one-of-a-kind sailing routes, these colleges are worth checking out for students who want to live and learn by the sea!