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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: Rhodes College

Updated: May 8, 2023

When you think of outstanding private liberal arts and sciences colleges, Rhodes may not be anywhere on your radar, but it should be. This small school packs a big punch. Located on a beautiful campus in Memphis, Tennessee, Rhodes College has grown over the past 20 years from a strong regional college into a highly respected and lauded national liberal arts and sciences college. Here is what you need to know about Rhodes College, another one of the Colleges that Changes Lives:

1) The Honor System at Rhodes is highly reflective of the campus culture and values espoused by the school. Each student that matriculates has to sign a pledge to uphold the Honor Code, which has been in place for over 100 years, as well as the Social Regulations Code, indicating respect for fellow students, faculty, staff, and their property. Students must also agree to Rhodes Commitment to Diversity. The culture of trust on campus allows students to proctor their own exams and freely leave bikes unlocked without fear of them getting stolen.

2) Service is a huge component of student life at Rhodes. The Bonner Center for Service has partnerships with more than 100 organizations across Memphis, a city that has been named one of the most charitable in the country. The Laurence E. Kinney Program allows students to choose from 12 different focus areas and engage in a cause that is meaningful to them. As a member of the national consortium of Bonner Scholars, Rhodes offers up to 15 four-year scholarships to students with exceptional financial need who are committed to serving the community.

3) Rhodes has established academic partnerships with a number of institutions, offering both dual degree programs and early admission into pre-professional programs. Interested in a liberal arts college and an engineering degree? Consider the partnership with Washington University's McKelvey School of Engineering. Thinking about an undergraduate liberal arts experience prior to pursuing medical school? Rhodes has an early assurance admission agreement with the George Washington Medical School.

4) The advising and mentoring relationship between faculty and students is a cornerstone of the academic experience at Rhodes. With an average of 14 students per class, faculty get the chance to know students and take their role as advisors seriously. Princeton Review's 2020 edition of the 385 Best Colleges indicates that "professors are undoubtedly one of Rhodes' best assets..'truly care about our achievement, grasping the right concepts, and progressing in our education.'" In addition to having an academic advisor, all students may access pre-professional advisors across numerous fields - these include more common fields like healthcare, law, and medicine, but Rhodes offers expertise in planning for graduate work in education, architecture, ministry, public history, and theatre, among other areas of specialization.

5) Rhodes is a residential campus, with a three-year requirement to live on campus. Fun Fact: The primary dining hall on campus, the Catherine Burrow Refectory, is known as the "The Rat," based on several different stories from the past - there is a rat statue located outside the dining hall in the Rat's honor. The buildings on campus are Gothic architecture and new construction has maintained the historic Gothic style.

Learn more about what it takes to be a student at Rhodes at

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