Understanding Oxford

One of the unique features that makes Emory University more than your typical liberal arts experience is the two entry points first-year students have into the university - Oxford College and Emory College. These schools, one located in a city setting and the other located just outside Atlanta's perimeter, offer academically equal, but environmentally different opportunities. Applicants can apply to one or both schools depending on what environment is the best fit for them as they start their college career.

Each year, approximately 450 students choose to start their Emory experience on the Oxford College campus. With about 950 students, Oxford is comprised of only freshmen and sophomores, offering a unique hands-on, liberal arts environment. After completing their sophomore year, all Oxford students move to the Emory campus in Atlanta for their junior and senior years. Oxford is a great place to experience small class sizes, hands-on leadership opportunities, and build lifelong friendships before moving to an urban research environment.

Location & Lifestyle
Oxford College is the original location of Emory University, located in the town of Oxford, Georgia, which is about 45 minutes east of Atlanta. This location allows the college to provide a true, traditional liberal arts experience. Comprised of Emory's oldest academic buildings, the beautiful tree-lined Quad, and also the birthplace of the university's unofficial mascot, Dooley, Oxford is rich with university history.

At the same time, newly-built residence halls along with a new Science Building (opening spring 2016) and Dining Commons (opening fall 2016) give students access to cutting-edge technology in a comfortable living environment. The campus also boasts its own organic farm, which supplies the campus and community with fresh, local produce.

On the campus itself, all of the academic buildings are within a five-minute walk of the residence halls, creating an intentional living learning community for students. Emory shuttles also regularly run from between the Oxford and Emory campuses, and students at Oxford are always welcome to participate in events and activities at either location.

Academics at Oxford
Liberal arts embodies the Oxford approach to education, helping students understand concepts intellectually but also developing critical thinking, communication, and people skills. Oxford aims for students to be able to synthesize complex issues from many perspectives. As a university, the two campuses are held to the same academic and curriculum rigor standards. Oxford's faculty are national experts in effective teaching pedagogies, and Oxford students enjoy interacting with them both inside and outside the classroom

The students at Oxford are engaged, passionate, and driven in their intellectual pursuits. They are involved in the school and the community. Along with students from across the United States, Oxford also boasts a large international student population, with over 30 nations represented.

One of the hallmarks of Oxford is the opportunity for experiential learning. With smaller class sizes, interactions with your professors are the norm, not the exception. Faculty know students learn by doing, so they incorporate meaningful opportunities to combine knowledge with hands-on experience. This makes Oxford a great place for students to explore a wide range of classes and further develop their passions. There is plenty of room for students to discover, grow, and even change their mind before declaring a major.

Unique features of the Oxford curriculum

  • TPSL (Theory Practice/Service Learning) courses allow students to learn in the classroom and then put those theories to the test in real-world experiences. Examples include:
    • "The Sociology of Food," which partners with the campus' organic farm to provide food to needy families in the area while also discussing the conventional food system and healthy, sustainable alternatives.
    • "Special Topics in Literature," where students travel to a maximum-security prison, participate in class with inmates, critically read memoirs, and then develop their own personal narrative through peer response.
  • INQ (Inquiry) courses cover a range of disciplines, allowing students to build higher-level understanding of how fields and disciplines are formed. Some examples include:
    • "Economic Anthropology," where students study traditional markets and exchanged patters from a cultural perspective
    • "Europe in the 20th Century," studying artistic movements and developments during World War II
    • "Applications and Communications in the Biological Sciences," where students learn how topics such as evolution or biotechnology are communicated to the public.

Outside the Classroom
Because the campus is comprised of only freshmen and sophomores, leadership and volunteer opportunities are available to students as soon as they arrive. With over 75 recognized student organizations, there are many ways to get involved. From serving in the Student Government Association, acting as a Resident Assistant as a sophomore, or participating in the Pierce Leadership Program, students can spread their wings, try new things, and pursue their own interests right from the start.

Unique service and leadership opportunities:

  • Over 100 study abroad opportunities, some of which are through the Global Connections program, allowing students to visit both domestic and international sites that have struggled with social justice or economic injustice
  • Oxford's Pierce Institute offers program such as Pierce Service Corps, a program for students interested in civic engagement, and the Pierce Leadership Certificate Program
  • Volunteer Oxford and Alternative Break Trips connect students with volunteer opportunities in the surrounding area and across the country

Continuing to Emory's Atlanta Campus as a Junior
All students at Oxford College continue on to the Atlanta campus for their junior and senior years, joining the Emory College, Goizueta Business School, or Woodruff School of Nursing. "Oxford Continuees" quickly integrate into the larger community, reconnecting with other Continuees and making new friends as well. Academically, Continuees prove again and again to be positioned for success in the classroom, intellectually ready and determined to begin their major classes. They are also often at the forefront of leadership and service-learning opportunities at the Atlanta campus, thanks to the skills they have gained during their first two years at Oxford.

Plan Your Visit
The best way to gain a deeper understanding of Oxford College and see if it is the right fit for you is to visit for yourself! You'll be able to engage with current students, take a student-led campus tour, and learn more through an information session hosted by an admission representative. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!