This West Coast, Liberal Arts College has a beach, organic farm and thousand-acre forest

There’s no place quite like The Evergreen State College. A progressive, public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington, Evergreen is dedicated to exploring real-life problems, themes and experiences. At Evergreen, students discover a better way of learning: hands on and self-directed, with class sizes that are remarkably small for a public college.

Evergreen is a great fit for outdoor learners who aren’t worried about getting their hands dirty.

Photo by Shauna Bittle/Evergreen

Evergreen’s campus includes a Puget Sound beach

Students have access to more than 3,000 feet of unspoiled beach on the Puget Sound. Just a short walk from campus, students visit the beach daily to go wading, comb the beach, or sit and watch for seals. Others rent kayaks from the campus recreation center via The Outdoor Program. At night, students observe small bioluminescent creatures glowing in the water, join the Shellfish Club for one of their midnight meetings, and look for jellyfish using flashlights.

Photo by Shauna Bittle/Evergreen

An Organic Farm

Connected to main campus by two short forest trails, the Organic Farm is a working small-scale farm that serves as a learning laboratory focused on organic agriculture. The Organic Farm produces fruit, vegetables, eggs, chickens, herbs, cut flowers and sheep.

Photo by Shauna Bittle/Evergreen

And a forest that takes all four years to explore

Evergreen is situated on more than 1,000 acres of forest. Many classes take advantage of this resource, and students are free to explore the woods and the large network of trails leading to the college’s Organic Farm, unspoiled forest areas, and to the beach.

Photo by Shauna Bittle/Evergreen

Quick Look: The Evergreen State College

Location: Olympia, Washington

Total Enrollment: 3,791

Notable Undergraduate Programs: Environmental Studies, Visual and Media Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities, Physical and Natural Sciences, Computer Sciences, Languages, Native American and Indigenous Studies

Graduate Programs: Master of Environmental Studies (MES), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master in Teaching (MiT)

Notable Alumni: Matt Groening (“Simpsons” creator), Lynda Weinman (founder,, Carrie Brownstein (Musician/Actress/Writer), Denny Heck (Congressmen), Macklemore (musician)

Recent Accolades: Ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report for innovation and commitment to undergraduate teaching among regional universities in the West. Named the third best Masters University in the country and a “Best Bang for the Buck” college by Washington Monthly.

Learn more about The Evergreen State College


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