Grinnell College Logo


1115 8th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112

(641) 269-4000 

Grinnell College

Grinnell College

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a private, coed, residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Grinnell, Iowa.

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

You will be challenged here, in the best of ways. Professors will expect thorough research, thoughtful analysis, and creative thinking. You’ll be responsible for co-creating your curriculum with your adviser, and you’ll find your voice in a self-governing residential community. You will graduate well-prepared for a career and graduate school. Grinnell alumni are international leaders in science, music, public service, law, medicine, business, engineering, and more. And Grinnell ranks in the top 10 of all U.S. institutions for the proportion of its graduates who earn Ph.D.s.

Students at Grinnell come from nearly every state and more than 60 countries. They come with varied geographic, ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic experiences, but thanks to their passion, intellectual curiosity and lively interest in the world and each other, they form an incredibly close-knit community. This diversity is fostered by Grinnell’s sizable endowment and long-standing commitment to financial aid. Our beautiful 120-acre campus is alive with student clubs, intercollegiate and intramural athletic teams, music, theater, and art, and hosts more than 500 free, on-campus events every year — ranging from guest lecturers, to concerts, plays, symposia, and all-campus social events. The College is adjacent to the thriving downtown of Grinnell (population 9,200) amid the rolling farmland of central Iowa.

A Grinnell education is all about making a difference in the world. You will learn from your classmates (and roommates) who come from far and wide, making Grinnell one of the most international liberal arts colleges in the United States. Approximately 60 percent of Grinnell’s students will spend time studying in another part of the world. Grinnell is among the leaders in sending graduates to the Peace Corps and supports its own Grinnell Corps — a yearlong postgraduate service opportunity in Asia, Africa, and North America — underscoring the College’s strong commitment to social responsibility and action. Take this opportunity to explore Grinnell College … you won’t be disappointed.


When Grinnell College framed its charter in the Iowa Territory of the United States in 1846, it set forth a mission to educate its students "for the different professions and for the honorable discharge of the duties of life." The College pursues that mission by providing an education in the liberal arts through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas. As a teaching and learning community, the College holds that knowledge is a good to be pursued both for its own sake and for the intellectual, moral, and physical well-being of individuals and of society at large. The College exists to provide a lively academic community of students and teachers of high scholarly qualifications from diverse social and cultural circumstances. The College aims to graduate individuals who can think clearly, who can speak and write persuasively and even eloquently, who can evaluate critically both their own and others' ideas, who can acquire new knowledge, and who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.


Social activism, from our Social Gospel roots through alt break and the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell.

Dressing up for the waltz.

2 a.m. bakery runs to Danish Maid or ice cream and corn nuggets at Dari Barn.

Theme parties like the cross-dressing Mary B. James and the nostalgic Disco and 80s parties.

Lighthearted competition at Grinnell Relays.

Graffiti in the library bathrooms.



Pagliai's Pizza.

The world's best study breaks.

Burling Library's jungle gyms.


Mattress sledding in ARH.

Our integrated Young, Gifted, and Black gospel choir. (And yes, any student can join.)

Student Life:

We're a residential college, so you’ll be spending a lot of time living with and getting to know other Grinnellians. Our residence halls are grouped on three sides: North Campus, South Campus, and East Campus. The residence halls all have their own quirks and bonuses, but all have spacious lounges, wi-fi access, laundry facilities, computer rooms, kitchens, and custodial services.

Grinnell has more than 200 student groups, ranging from the serious to the silly, but no sororities or fraternities. Groups meet daily, weekly, or monthly. If you don't see a group you like on the list, make one!

As a student, you can book films and concerts, help select speakers and topics for symposia, and share your own creative talents. And no matter what your major, you can participate in student plays, join music ensembles, learn studio arts from ceramics to digital media, and explore the written word; 75 percent of students are actively engaged in one or more arts programs.

The Intramural program at Grinnell College is designed for staff, faculty, and students to have an outlet from their studies and work. Most of the Intramural activities will have a competitive option for those who want to take the games more seriously and a non-competitive option for those students who want to just go out and have fun.



The Fox Squirrel
While most colleges have some sort of mascot, a select few have unofficial ones that are even more popular amongst the student body. Here at Grinnell College, our unofficial mascot is unmistakably the squirrel.

Grinnell College today:

Grinnell confers bachelor of arts degrees in 26 major fields and offer individualized curriculum planning and advising. Independent majors are possible.


Grinnell College has an enrollment of about 1,600 students.

Famous graduates:

Herbert Jeffrey "HerbieHancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and actor. Starting his career with Donald Byrd, he shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet where Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk music. Hancock's music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs "cross over" and achieved success among pop audiences.

Robert Norton Noyce (December 12, 1927 – June 3, 1990), nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley," co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the realization of the first integrated circuit or microchip that fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name.

Interesting facts about Grinnell College:

Grinnellian Trains for the Olympics. Swimmer Joshua Tibatemwa ’19 will swim for his native Uganda in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

More than 50% of Grinnellians study abroad.