Lewis and Clark College Visit

Lewis and Clark, a small liberal arts college of 2,100 undergraduate students located in Portland, Oregon offers 29 majors, 28 minors, and robust pre-professional programs. The campus feels very welcoming with a traditional old-school liberal arts college ambiance. When we visited, our information session was held sitting in a circle in a living-room setting in front of the fireplace. No PowerPoint presentation, just discussion and questions and answers. 


All students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and L&C is so committed to their undergraduate curriculum that if a student chooses a major by the end of sophomore year, they will cover the cost of an extra semester if the student has not completed their requirements in four years. Lewis and Clark also offers a five-year bachelor’s + master’s in teaching degree (MAT), and a six-year bachelor’s + law degree (JD). A five-year engineering program is available through partnerships with three other colleges. 

Students are offered many choices within the approximately 32 courses taken before graduation. These are split roughly into thirds: general education, major requirements, and electives. Two required freshman seminars include one which is reading and writing based and another which focuses on mathematical and analytical skills.  

Classes are discussion-based and offer a strong, close interaction with professors. There are abundant opportunities for research and service-oriented experiential learning. L&C has a strong global focus, and there is a global cultural awareness requirement. 70% of students study abroad for at least one semester. Our tour guide was an English/Theater major who studied abroad in Australia and enjoyed the hands-on experiential learning component of this experience. She described studying environmental science by diving at The Great Barrier Reef.

Student Body

Extroverted, Introverted, Passionate, Unique, Low-key, Artsy, Outdoorsy, Highly involved, Supportive

Students come from 47 different states, and 12% are international. Many students are third culture students- Americans who grew up overseas. Lewis and Clark students are exposed to many different cultures and perspectives. There is a large bike culture on campus and in Portland.

Social Life

There is a strong sense of community, and students are required to live on campus for the first and second years. 75% live on campus all four years and are guaranteed housing. There is no Greek life, but there are numerous like-interest living learning communities (LLCs) within the resident halls including Biology, Theater Arts, Philosophy, Holistic Wellness, and Athletics. 

L&C has a strong LGBQ+ community. There is a yearly drag queen show, and there are many dances and arts opportunities. The College Outdoor Program is very large on campus; they host trips every weekend across the Pacific Northwest which include anything from deep-sea kayaking to foraging for mushrooms. If students receive federal financial aid, the cost of these trips is reduced by 50%. 90% take advantage of these activities and enjoy the many opportunities available in this location close to Mt. Hood.

There is a shuttle that takes students to shopping near campus and to downtown Portland.  

Surrounding Area

The campus is located on the edge of Triumph State Park and is surrounded by large, mature trees. It is a fifteen-minute walk from downtown Portland.  

Portland is a huge foodie town with interesting combinations of ingredients (some unrecognizable!) on the menus. Be sure to check out Salt and Straw ice cream. Powell’s bookstore and the numerous food carts/pods are big draws, as is the strong Portland sports culture which features a major soccer stadium downtown. 

Admissions and Financial Aid

L&C offers a free application on the CommonApp and requires the supplemental question: Why Lewis and Clark? 

Admissions Counselors ask:

  • What is your academic rigor? Depth and breadth are more important than GPA.
  • How much did you challenge yourself?  
  • Are you academically prepared for the rigor of Lewis and Clark? If so, you’ll be admitted.

Lewis and Clark is a test-optional school but requires two work samples which demonstrate the process from quantitative and qualitative subjects. Optional interviews are available. 

When reviewing an application, each component receives a point valuation and that determines merit aid, which is automatic and renewable. $14,000-$16,000 is the average award. 70% of students receive merit aid and 90% receive some form of financial aid.

There are three performance-based scholarships which include: 

  • Music (requires audition)
  • Forensic scholarship (Speech and Debate)
  • Entrepreneurship scholarship for Oregon residents

Career Support

Recent post-graduation statistics included 85% entering the workforce, 12% entering graduate school and 3% entering the Peace Corps.


Exploring is at the core of Lewis & Clark’s identity, and this is evident in the type of inquisitive, globally-focused students we met here. 

Lewis and Clark

Lewis & Clark College

0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd, Portland, OR 97219

Lewis and Clark

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