Lyon College, a private, co-educational liberal arts college, has provided an excellent education to its students since its frontier founding by local Presbyterians in 1872. Located in the “Gateway to the Ozarks,” Lyon boasts a rich history and proud Scottish heritage.
Lyon College offers a great value proposition based on the outcomes it produces—from gainful employment upon graduation to acceptance into some of the best graduate schools in the nation. Top-notch faculty provide hands-on mentoring and research opportunities that undergraduates do not always enjoy at larger universities. With a range of academic majors, numerous pre-professional programs, and an option to develop an individualized course of study, Lyon offers an education suited for a variety of career goals.
There are so many “Only at Lyon” distinctive experiences to discover that it is difficult to name them all. For example, Lyon has the only pet-friendly campus in the region. It is also the first in the state to hire a professional gamer to head its new esports program. Lyon embraces its Scottish heritage with the Scot as its distinctive athletic mascot, its own crimson and navy blue tartan registered in Scotland, and one of the most significant bagpiping programs in the nation. In April 2019, the school celebrated the 40th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival, one of the largest festivals in Batesville, which brought thousands to the town and campus.
Get to know Lyon College
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Marching band
- Model UN
- Pep band
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Family Advocate Services
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
“I am so thankful to attend a school where I can tell each person I come in contact with truly has my best interest in mind.” – Hayley Cormican, junior art major and 2019-20 president of the Student Government Association
Lyon provides a common intellectual experience to its students through the core curriculum, which asks all students to demonstrate proficiency in writing and mathematics through designated courses in freshman composition and college algebra. Additionally, all freshmen take CORE 100, a first-year seminar, along with World Literature and American Experience, an introduction to the American political tradition. As sophomores, students take two semesters of Western Civilization. Additional requirements within the core include a foreign language, mathematics, a lab science course, a social science course, a fine arts course, a religion or philosophy course, and two physical education courses. Several departments require collaborative work (especially in upper-division courses), and most promote undergraduate research.
“Seeing what people struggle with at the Compassion Center has made me appreciate what I have and am capable of doing.” – Dawson Angeles, senior business and economics major. Dawson interned at a non-profit agency over the summer.
DIVERSITY AND GLOBAL LEARNING
Diversity at Lyon College shows in the community’s growing number of students and faculty from international, foreign language-speaking, LGBTQ, and other minority populations. The International Student Association encourages intercultural exchange through field trips, international food tastings, and presentations. Lyon also offers an international film series to educate students about the world around them. And through international travel, students can enjoy intercultural exposure in either two-week short courses or semester- and year-long exchanges programs.
The Nichols International Studies Program offers financial assistance and college credit for both short study abroad courses led by Lyon faculty and for semester- and year-long exchange programs around the globe—from Japan to Brazil, China to Chile, and Ireland to France. Students who explore other cultures often share their experiences with the College community by giving talks, presenting at school events, and advising other students who are contemplating study abroad.
Thanks to the close mentorship opportunities students have with faculty, the chance to conduct undergraduate research is easily accessible. The Lyon College Career Center and faculty also help connect students with summer research programs around the world. Students are encouraged to share their work in Lyon’s annual Student Creative Arts and Research Forum (SCARF) each spring, and honor societies like Alpha Chi provide other avenues for students to present their research and compete for scholarships at national conferences.
Across all disciplines, Lyon students are expected to be proficient in writing, which they can demonstrate through courses ranging from journalism to advanced grammar and composition. And if they need assistance, they can visit the MAC Writing Center at which upperclassmen offer guidance through all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to the finishing touches.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 8%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 6%
White, non-Hispanic: 57%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 15%
“Some of my favorite memories of Lyon College are of my seminar-style history classes in the Lyon and Alphin Buildings. Challenged by our professors to examine evidence, to think for ourselves, and to become more polished writers, my fellow history majors and I were prepared for the wide variety of careers one might expect to result from a rigorous liberal arts education.
My cohort of history majors came from many different towns and states, and our career paths have taken us in a wide range of directions. What we have in common is that our professors’ personal attention and high expectations have enabled us to chase our goals and to reach our potential. For that, we will all be forever thankful.” – Brad Austin, ‘94
The college has plans for a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) military science concentration and an exercise science major and minor, pending final approval by the college’s accreditor. The campus restored a major in computer science and added a minor in film and media studies. The new esports program coached by a former gamer offers yet another “only at Lyon” experience.
CORE 100, an introductory seminar required of all freshmen, is a 12-week course that is taken in small, tightly knit groups. Each group is led by a faculty mentor with the assistance of two student mentors. The course ultimately helps new students deal with the inevitable changes they experience throughout their transition to college while promoting self-efficacy through structured service-learning.
The College is strongly committed to its Carnegie classification as a Baccalaureate: Arts & Sciences institution. Its pre-professional and secondary education offerings require a liberal arts major, and its faculty, 97% of whom carry a terminal degree in their field, believe strongly in educating students not just for a career, but for a meaningful life. Lyon faculty have never wavered in their undergraduate teaching, as exemplified through 14 Professor of the Year awards from CASE. When new majors are added or current majors are expanded, faculty and administration alike look first to the standards of the liberal arts—not to possible job placements—in order to ensure a truly enriching experience.
Students know that they can visit the Morrow Academic Center (“the MAC”) whenever they need academic support. This Center is home to tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and a writing center, all in a comfortable environment equipped with computers, seating areas, and a coffee shop.
Many upper-division courses across the curriculum are writing intensive. Alumni who continue into graduate or law school report that they find writing assignments to be no challenge thanks to the work they have done at Lyon. In fact, they are often asked to help out their peers who graduated from other institutions.
See more details for Lyon academics here.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Teacher certification program
Two “Weeks of Welcome” are organized each year to introduce new students to the campus. It doesn’t take long for anyone to see the strong sense of community characterized through its student organizations and such extracurricular learning opportunities as convocations, art shows, readings by published poets and novelists, and musical performances. For example, a popular European film series inspires students with such films as Fellini’s 8 ½, The Tin Drum, and The Seventh Seal, and regional symphonies, the Arkansas Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and contemporary popular groups perform in concert. A regular sequence of art shows also bring in artists who discuss their philosophy and welcome the Lyon community to their gallery openings.
LEADERSHIP AND ADVENTURE
Lyon has a Greek presence with three national fraternities and three sororities, all of which uphold a commitment to scholarship, leadership, and service. Various clubs like Black Student Association, French Club, Gamer’s Club, and Lyon College Radio provide students the opportunity to create their own events and programs for the community. To further promote bonding among students, LEAP (Lyon Education and Adventure Program) offers thrills both on and off campus.
“I’m greatly impressed by the strong sense of community here, where the students help run the activities, special events, academic help, and even the disciplinary system.” – Nicholas Gentry, ‘21
Traditions at Lyon include a raft race each fall in which teams of freshmen compete to see who can make it across Bryan Lake first—or at least who can keep themselves from sinking! And, at the end of their four years, seniors take part in a torchlight procession to the same lake, an emotional highlight of graduation weekend.
A couple of ghost stories have also been long maintained as part of the Lyon tradition. One touts a haunted tapestry that hangs in Bevens Music Room, and another tells of the ghosts of orphaned children who died while living at the Masonic orphanage and were interred in the space that is now the location of the Brown Chapel-Fine Arts Building.
See here for more about Lyon’s campus community.
Lyon is located in Batesville, Arkansas, a community of about 10,000 that serves as a commercial, governmental, and cultural hub for the surrounding region. Near the beautiful White River, this historic city provides a safe and welcoming setting for the College and its students. Main Street offers restaurants, farmer’s markets, and small art galleries. Batesville is approximately an hour and a half northeast of Little Rock and two hours west of Memphis, Tenn.
See here for more information.
The Lyon College Scots are part of the American Midwest Conference and the Central States Football League in NAIA athletics.
Women’s varsity teams: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling.
Men’s varsity teams: basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, football, soccer, and wrestling.
The College has added track and field and now stands as the only college in the state to offer competitive cheer and dance. Both sports are co-educational.
In addition, Lyon offers club sports: disc golf, mountain and road cycling, archery, and trap. Lyon College is the only school in Arkansas to offer an esports program led by a full-time former professional gamer.
See here for more information.
Campus housing options.
Apartments for married students
Apartments for single students
Lyon College is committed to community service. In addition to school-wide organized service events, many student groups take on their own individual projects each year, doing such inspiring work as raising money for Arkansas Children’s Hospital or St. Jude’s, reading to children in local elementary schools, picking up trash along highways, and working on Habitat for Humanity houses.
INTERNSHIPS AND PRACTICA
Several majors emphasize the importance of internships and practica. For example, journalism students are required to write for an established newspaper; art students work in galleries; religion/philosophy majors assist ministers and chaplains; and science majors work on grant-funded research projects. Those interested in medical careers can participate as “Health Coaches” to make sure that their patients understand how to avoid trips to the emergency room or further hospitalization. Some students become so involved that they even sign on for extra semesters of work.
“I was incredibly surprised that I was accepted because I was competing against students in schools from UACCB to Caltech.” – John Pruden, junior chemistry major who was accepted into the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Scholars Internship Program
Many majors require that students complete a capstone course or project. For example, art and music students must present a senior show or performance; psychology majors must produce a senior thesis; religion/philosophy students enroll in an advanced seminar; and English majors enroll in one of four seminars that require a research paper suitable for publication.
“Besides the numerous professional skills this experience has given me, it has also pushed me to try to incorporate research into my future career plans.” – Hanna Zang, junior biology and psychology major who performed research with the IDeA Network for Biomedical Excellence (INBRE)
OUTSTANDING PLACEMENT AND SUCCESS
99% of Lyon grads are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Lyon graduates who apply for medical or law school have shown a 90% or higher acceptance rate. And many who service on the Lyon Board of Trustees are alumni themselves, embodying the College’s ability to prepare graduates for success in their chosen careers. These trustees have risen to prominence in their fields, which include medicine, dentistry, law, business, teaching, and public service.
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 520 | 75th Percentile: 590
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 605
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 26
Tuition & Cost
Lyon uses the Common Application, which is reviewed to assure prospective students have the academic background (as indicated by ACT or SAT scores and high school GPA) to benefit from the College’s demanding curriculum. Scholarships, Pell grants, and work/study help assure that all who wish to attend can afford to do so, as underscored by the fact that 99% of Lyon students receive financial aid.
Scholarships include merit awards (at least 20 on the ACT and a GPA of 2.5), participation awards (outstanding ability in music, theatre, art), athletic scholarships, and scholarships specifically for transfer students. In addition, awards are given for students whose sibling, parent, or grandparent attended Lyon as well as those who are members of good standing in a Presbyterian church.
Lyon also invites a select number of entering freshmen to apply and interview for the prestigious Lyon Fellowship, which covers the full cost of tuition. Participants enroll in a rigorous course of study designed to hone research skills and promote the exchange of ideas in a challenging and supportive academic environment.