Rhodes College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Rhodes College
"With its Oxford-style campus, honor code, and challenging academic programs, Rhodes offers students an...

Rhodes College

Memphis, Tennessee

Real Experience. Real Success. The Rhodes Reality.

Rhodes isn’t just about learning: it’s about learning to live, about putting ideas and ideals into practice, about making it real. Students looking for a classical liberal arts education with a practical edge should consider the Rhodes reality: a beautiful campus, challenging academics, caring faculty, personal development, and all the opportunities of a culturally rich and vibrant city.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
2,046 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
72% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
196 full-time faculty
30 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

69% of students live on campus

School Location

Memphis, Tennessee—home of great music and a vibrant business and medical center that provides exciting internship opportunities.

Retention Fall 2015

91% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

83% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 6%
White 74%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 6%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


NCAA Division III, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. 19 varsity sports (9 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, swimming & diving, track & field; 10 women’s: basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, soccer, soft-ball, tennis, swimming & diving, track & field, volleyball), 10 club sports, and 8 intramurals.

Other Information

Rhodes College is a four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, and founded in 1848.

Academic Programs

American Studies; Anthropology; Art; Asian Studies; Biology; Chemistry; Economics & Business Administration; Earth System Science; Economics and International Studies; Education; English; Film Studies; French and International Studies; Geology; German and International Studies; Greek & Roman Studies; History; International Studies; International Studies and History; International Studies and Political Science; Latin American Studies; Mathematics & Computer Science; Modern Languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish); Music; Philosophy; Physics; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Theatre, and Urban Studies.

More Distinctions

  • Named "Mostly Likely to Succeed" because of its extremely high rate of graduates accepted to law school, medical school and other graduate programs by Newsweek / Kaplan "Guide to Colleges"

  • Ranks consistently in the Top Tier of America's Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News & World Report

  • Ranked amongst the top 10 most active campuses in the country by Mother Jonesmagazine (2003).

  • Rated 35th in the "Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges and Universities" byKiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and Consumer Digest.

With unique research experiences, community service involvements, wide-ranging internship and co-op programs, and a huge selection of independent study options, education is never boring at Rhodes…

real experience

60 percent of Rhodes students take advantage of the 150 academic internships offered each semester. Memphis is home to more than 100 medical, government, business, cultural, and artistic facilities. Through these, students have the chance to shape their skills for the future. Local options are as diverse as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, FedEx, the FBI, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Blues Foundation, and the United States Attorney’s Office.

real service

At Rhodes, more than 80 percent of the student body participates in community service. The Rhodes curriculum includes courses with service components and related internships for academic credit. Additionally, Rhodes students independently operate several service outlets, including a downtown soup kitchen and the country’s first campus-based chapter of Habitat for Humanity. A large portion of the student body also volunteer as tutors and mentors in local schools and urban youth programs.

real world

Rhodes offers a wide range of study abroad options, such as its European Studies program, which gives students the opportunity to spend two weeks at the University of York in England; six weeks with British tutors at Lincoln College, Oxford; and five weeks of travel to major cultural centers on the continent. Other Rhodes-sponsored programs include special study in Argentina and Chile. Summer Programs include British Studies at Oxford, intensive language programs and service learning programs at several international locations.

real community

There are a number of social fraternities and sororities at Rhodes. Approximately 50% of the students are members of Greek organizations. The fraternity and sorority lodges are not, however, residential, and most Greek-sponsored parties and activities are open to the entire campus.

The esteemed faculty at Rhodes are dedicated scholars who want to interact with students. The actual student-teacher ratio may be 11:1, but it feels like 1:1…

real interaction

The Rhodes faculty is composed of gifted scholars who challenge, engage, and connect students in life-changing ways. With a faculty-student ratio of just 11:1, faculty members interact with students both inside and outside the classroom. The Rhodes faculty works with students to offer unique research experiences. These are the kinds of opportunities usually afforded only to graduate students at large research universities. In any one of 31 major programs, students have the opportunity for hands-on research and study.

independent research

Flexible independent and off-campus study is encouraged at Rhodes. Choices include pre-designed or self-designed interdisciplinary majors, individualized study options such as the honors program, directed inquiry projects, the tutorial plan, and study abroad. State-of-the-art technology is everywhere on the wireless campus at Rhodes. “Smart” classrooms, located throughout the campus, offer Internet access and computer and video displays. The college’s science facilities have recently been updated to offer students top-of-the-line technology and instruments.

It’s about trust. The Honor Code is a key component of what makes Rhodes different. Honesty is a given, integrity matters, and values are put into practice every day…

living at rhodes

The campus spans across 100 acres in midtown Memphis. It is right across from Overton Park, which contains the Memphis Zoo, the Brooks Museum, and the Memphis College of Art. The campus design includes stone Gothic architecture buildings, 13 of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A 140-foot bell tower was named in honor of explorer Richard Halliburton.

the honor code

The Honor Code, a century-old tradition, makes a huge difference in the Rhodes community. Upon enrolling at Rhodes, students pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal. Faculty members feel free to leave the classroom during tests, students trust each other, and individuals live in harmony with the community. The Honor Code makes Rhodes an easy place to live and a great place to learn.

the arts

Rhodes offers outstanding opportunities in music, theatre, and other fine arts. Rhodes’ McCoy Theatre gives students the opportunity to perform alongside veteran community actors in at least four productions annually. For musicians, Hassell Hall offers practice rooms, teaching studios, a recital hall, and more than 8,000 recordings in the Adams Music Library. Student ensembles tour in the U.S., Europe, and beyond with the Rhodes Singers, who have performed twice in Carnegie Hall in recent years. Others join the chamber orchestra or chamber groups.


Rhodes was recently named high on the Princeton Review’s list of colleges with “dorm rooms like palaces.” Each room offers wireless Internet access and cable television. Living options include halls with limited or 24-hour visitation, theme housing, large double or triple rooms, and the “East Village” apartments, which offer four-person suites with a shared living area and either individual or double bedrooms.

state-of-the-art facilities

Rhodes’ $22.5 million Bryan Campus Life Center offers state-of-the-art recreational and intercollegiate athletics facilities. Available are a performance gymnasium, a multi-use gymnasium, racquetball courts, international squash courts, free weights, and cardiovascular equipment. Adjacent to the center are a stadium for football and track, 10 tennis courts, a swimming pool, intercollegiate baseball and soccer fields, football practice fields, and additional playing fields for intramural and club sports.

a roaring city

There’s more to Memphis than Graceland and Elvis Presley. From blues on Beale Street to stadium sports, Memphis offers a rich mix of entertainment options. Memphis, the 18th largest city in the United States, is renowned for its great food, outstanding museums, and rich Southern heritage.

the barret library

The $42 million Barret Library, the social and intellectual hub of the campus, is complete with media production facilities and a teaching and learning center that allows professors to hold virtual global classes with colleagues around the world. The collection includes books and traditional resources as well as databases and online journals. Barret also has dozens of collaborative study spaces.

Being a liberal arts institution doesn’t mean that our academic program is impractical in the real world; in fact, it’s the other way around…

real success

Virtually all Rhodes graduates either secure jobs or are accepted into graduate or professional school. Recent graduates have received a wide variety of prestigious scholarships including Carnegie Fellowships, Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright grants, Luce Scholarships and Watson Fellowships.

career services

The Rhodes Career Services Office offers a strong career-counseling program. About one-third of Rhodes students continue their education after graduation. The acceptance rates to law and business schools are around 95 percent for Rhodes graduates. The broad-based foundation offered by Rhodes includes teaching students to think for themselves and to solve real problems. Rhodes helps students grow into the people they want to be, and to find not just a job, but a career that will bring a lifetime of rewards and satisfaction.


Admissions Fall 2015

4,666 Total Applicants 
2,187 Total Admissions 
562 Total Freshman Enrollment

46.87% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 600 700
SAT Math 580 680
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 27 32
ACT Math 26 31
ACT English 28 34
ACT Writing    





Tuition $42,914
Fees $310
Total $43,224
Room and Board (on campus) $10,746
Estimated Total On Campus $53,970


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

94% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
50% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$25,584 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$5,876 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Merit-Based Aid
Rhodes’ merit-based scholarship program is one of the largest per capita in the nation. 55% of entering students receive 4-year competitive scholarships / awards. In 2002-2003, Rhodes awarded entering students 249 merit-based scholarships valued at $2,305,168. Merit scholarships include:

3 Bellingrath Scholarships– Full tuition, fees, room and board (by nomination only)
15 Rhodes Service Scholarships-$12,100 per year
8 Fine Arts Awards-$11,000 per year (in music, theatre, and art)

Hundreds of Other Scholarships and Awards- $500 to full tuition and beyond: Morse, Cambridge, University, Ralph C. Hon, Presidential and Dean’s Scholarships, Rhodes Awards, Presbyterian Partnership, ROTC Program and more.

Need-Based Aid
Normally, our need-based financial aid packages contain three forms of assistance: Grants (helping to meet your financial need, college grants do not have to be repaid), Loans (programs to help students borrow money to pay for college), and Work Study (federally funded campus jobs where students may study as they work).

Rhodes College Grants-in-Aid 2003-04 Rhodes range: $500 to $18,000; 2003-04 Rhodes average: $7,864.

Campus Jobs
New students may earn up to $1,600 under the Federal College Work-Study Program by working an average of 10 hours a week during the college year.

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