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Dr. Kat’s List: Five Colleges for Beach Lovers

Summer is here, and with it comes warm weather and the desire to be beachside. For many college students, beach life isn’t just enjoyed over the summer break – sand and surf can be savored year-round! When building a balanced college list, a major factor that can influence a student’s decision about a school is location. Colleges close to the beach can offer an array of opportunities – from surfing clubs to beach-related majors. For students interested in a beachside school, there are a number of colleges that can offer plenty of sand and sun – some in places you might not expect. Here are Dr. Kat’s top colleges for beach lovers!

College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
One of the most popular beach colleges on the East coast is the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.

Known for its picturesque campus and proximity to Charleston beaches, this liberal arts college is a great fit for students looking to catch some waves or rays in between classes. Students can even earn college credit on the beach through the school’s new surfing course offered by the physical education department. Students can also earn credits for sailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking courses.

While beach life is a big part of the C of C campus culture, it’s not the only thing the school has to offer. C of C offers over 130 majors and minors and is located in the heart of Charleston, SC, giving students an urban living experience.

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
While sand and surf is fun, a college for beach lovers doesn’t have to be all about recreation. For those who love the environment and want to preserve beach life, the University of Rhode Island is a great fit.

How would you like to study abroad in Bermuda while taking courses of coral reef ecology and diving? The marine biology program at URI is one of the best in the country, with a number of study abroad and research opportunities for undergraduates. URI’s proximity to a number of beaches also offers marine biology students the opportunity to study the local ecology.

URI isn’t all work and no play, however. Students have access to a number of beach related clubs and activities, including the school’s sailing and surf clubs.

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
When students think of colleges close to the beach, it’s doubtful that a school on a lake comes to mind, but Lake Michigan beaches nearNorthwestern University can rival any east or west coast shoreline.

Northwestern University’s proximity to Lake Michigan beaches makes it a great college for students looking for some sand and sun in the Midwest. Northwestern students have free access to North Beach, just steps from the school’s sports pavilion.

While it’s not your typical beach campus, Northwestern’s location near Evanston beaches along Lake Michigan also allows students to participate in a variety of water and beach activities, including sailing, kayaking, beach volleyball, and more.

In addition to beach living, the college is also just a short train ride away from Chicago, giving students the opportunity to experience a big city. Northwestern students have the unique opportunity to take advantage of college town, beach, and big city living all in one place!

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
For those looking for the ultimate beach experience outside the continental US, look no further than the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

It’s the ideal college for surfing enthusiasts, with access to a number of beaches just minutes from campus. Not a surfer but interested in learning how? Hawaii’s recreation center offers a variety of surfing classes for students, in addition to paddle boarding, body boarding, kayaking, and sailing instruction classes.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is also a premier research university with a variety of marine and environmental-focused majors, aimed at helping to preserve the island’s natural resources and beaches.

Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL
Located in historic St. Augustine, FL, Flagler College is a hidden gem for beach lovers looking for a liberal arts education at a small, private college.

With over 40 miles of beaches in St. Augustine, there’s no shortage of sand and sun for Flagler students. Flagler offers a surf club for students interested in catching some waves, but for the most part, Flagler students just like to enjoy the scenery, often hitting the beach after classes.

However, the St. Augustine beaches don’t just offer Flagler students a place to unwind. Students in the school’s coastal environmental science program take advantage of the beaches to learn about the local ecology, and study coastal environmental issues and their solutions. This major provides the unique opportunity for beach lovers to help save the coastlines they love so much!

Other colleges known for their beach culture include Eckerd CollegeUniversity of California – San Diego, Pepperdine University, University of California – Santa Barbara, and University of North Carolina – Wilmington.

Need help identifying colleges that meet your academic, personal, and financial goals? While location and campus culture are important factors, there’s a lot that students should look at when deciding where to apply to college. At IvyWise, our team of expert counselors can help students identify colleges that best fit their needs and goals – including proximity to a beach! Contact us today for more information on our counseling services and how we help students choose and apply to their best-fit colleges!

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