The Spice of Life

Diversity on College Campuses

New rules, new people, new ideas…college is all about learning new things and examining options you never thought existed. A tremendous part of the learning process is not just what’s available, but who’s available as well. In getting a well-rounded education, finding a campus with a healthy mix of cultures, communities, and ideologies is just as important as classes themselves. Check out these ways that diversity on college campuses is being embraced.

Diverse People

Attending a school with a blended student body and a wide range of faculty members means the opportunity to learn and interact with people from all walks of life. U.S.News and World Report‘s America’s Best Colleges gives a list of the most diverse campuses in the United States and provides a thorough profile of each school.

When hunting for diversity in college, look over the list of student organizations and what kinds of events they sponsor. Campuses with several active multicultural clubs and religious organizations are always more diverse than their counterparts. In addition, dorms and housing options with a focus on encouraging cultural exchange give students the opportunity to live in a unique mixture of their peers.

Diversity Programs on College Campuses

Learning about human diversity isn’t something reserved only for outside the college classroom. Schools with programs emphasizing cross-cultural examination break down social barriers as well. Look out for coursework related to gender roles, ethnic studies, world religions, disabilities, and global issues, as well as colleges with strong study, intern, volunteer, or work abroad opportunities. University-sponsored alternative spring break programs, campus speakers, workshops, and seminars also provide ways to learn about life outside of the familiar. For a full list of exactly what your school offers and how to get involved, head directly to the Office of Equal Opportunity.


This article was written by Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101: The Ultimate Guide for Students of All Ages (Palari Publishing, 2008). Her byline can also be found on,, and, and in Wired Magazine.

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