Wow, did we love Linfield University! Faculty-student interaction is the hallmark of the liberal arts education here, where there are just 1400 undergraduate students on a sprawling 200-acre campus in McMinville, Oregon, about an hour away from Portland.
There are 300 wineries within 60 miles (parents – GREAT PLACE TO VISIT YOUR KID FOR FOUR YEARS!) and students have the opportunity to work in different capacities within the industry, even before they turn 21. Linfield’s wine studies program is more than viticulture and offers multidisciplinary opportunities. A panel of students and one professor talked about all of the different facets of the wine industry they are working in – the graphics design/visual arts major is concentrating her studies on wine labels; the marketing major is interning at a winery in their membership and sales department; the business major is working with winery accountants to learn more about the business side. A creative writing major talked about her respect for the workers after having spent a day in the field.
Also on the topic of wine, the Oregon Wine History Archives are at Linfield University, in the library (which is the original building in which Hewlett-Packard made pacemakers – did you know that HP made pacemakers?), and the annual summer International Pinot Noir Festival takes place on Linfield’s campus. Two students told us about their internships in the library, where they have been creating an archive of the history of winemaking in Oregon.
But there’s more to Linfield than wine. Nobel-prize winning genetics research and other hard sciences like physics and biochemistry. There are both mass communications, which focuses on media, film, journalism and broadcast (check out course offerings here) and communication arts, which focuses more on rhetoric and specific communication topics (check out course offerings here). The business major offers a sport management minor and a full International Business major option. A full spectrum of majors and minors can be found here.
Study abroad is so strongly encouraged at Linfield that the college will pay for each student’s first round-trip airfare. 68% of students take advantage of this amazing offer either through one of the faculty-led “January” term off-campus courses or the semester and year abroad programs. In fact, all language majors spend a year studying abroad.
Nursing at Linfield University
Students who hope to earn their bachelor of science in nursing will complete their pre-requisite courses at the McMinnville campus and, if they meet the eligibility requirements, will complete their final 2 years at School of Nursing Portland campus.
About 15% of the students participate in Greek life (there are 4 sororities and 3 fraternities), and 33% of the students are DIII athletes. Linfield is quite proud of its football team, which has 65 consecutive winning seasons and a record among all the NCAA Division teams. Students who enjoy the arts will feel right at home – according to our tour guide, Linfield University produces more musicals than the state flagship, University of Oregon.
Students at Linfield are competitive but not cutthroat. The school requires students to live on campus for three years; 40% of seniors choose to stay on campus their final year. Housing is pet friendly and gender inclusive. Students say they have no trouble obtaining the classes for which they want to register. A whopping 96% of students graduate in 8 semesters or less (this is an AMAZINGLY HIGH rate) I spoke with numerous professors and it is clear to me that Linfield offers a very hands-on education. All students are assigned a faculty advisor freshman year. This is a great place for students who don’t want to get lost in the crowd, and who want to experience college as a collaborative intellectual environment.