Lewis & Clark College

Lewis & Clark College is a private, independent, coeducational liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1867 as the Albany Collegiate Institute by Willamette Valley Presbyterian pioneers. (While affirming its historic ties to the Presbyterian Church, Lewis & Clark has been an independent institution since 1966.) From its beginning, the college has educated women and men equally with a common curriculum of traditional courses. The first class graduated in 1873.

The college relocated to Portland in 1938. In 1942 the school adopted the name Lewis & Clark College after the famous Lewis & Clark Expedition as “a symbol of the pioneering spirit that had made and maintained the College,” thereby grounding the future of the institution in a heritage of exploration and discovery. Lewis & Clark’s official motto is: Explorare, Discere, Sociare (to explore, to learn, to work together).

The 137-acre campus is located on the Frank Estate on Palatine Hill, amid a naturally wooded setting just six miles from downtown Portland, one of the most environmentally rich corners of the Earth. Lewis & Clark’s newest academic building, Howard Hall, sets a standard for energy efficiency and adaptability in use of “green” architectural materials to minimize the building’s ecological impact. Currently, 30% of the college’s total electricity is provided by wind power.

Lewis & Clark is committed to residential education – the exploration of ideas, values, beliefs, and backgrounds; the discovery of lifelong friendships; and collaboration, both formal and informal. The student body hails from all 50 states and as many foreign countries. All students are required to live on campus for the first two years, unless already a Portland resident.But parking spaces are at a premium on this residential campus, so permits are expensive.

Students and faculty throughout all three of Lewis & Clark’s schools – the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and the Law School – combine classic liberal learning with pioneering collaboration. Lewis & Clark encourages its students to explore their role as citizens of a global community. Over half the students in each graduating class utilize opportunities to study abroad.

College of Arts and Sciences departments include: Art, East Asian Studies, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures (French, Chinese, German, Greek, Spanish, Latin, Russian, and Japanese), History, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theatre, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science & Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Physics, Communication, Economics, Classical Studies, Gender Studies, International Affairs, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and Academic English Studies.

5,553 students applied to Lewis & Clark for the Fall 2008 semester, and 58% of those students were admitted. The Lewis & Clark admissions staff looks for individuals from diverse backgrounds, with a variety of talents and interests – students who will not only meet the rigorous academic challenges of a Lewis & Clark education, but will also take full advantage of the opportunities for individual achievement and growth.

Lewis & Clark College welcomes applications from students who have been homeschooled for some or all of their education. They will work with homeschool students on a case-by-case basis, tailoring the admissions process so that you are able to best present yourself and your abilities. However, as with any applicant, it is your responsibility to demonstrate to the admissions committee that your education to date has prepared you for college-level work.

The Lewis & Clark admissions department recommends a high school course load to include a minimum of: 4 years of English; 4 years of Mathematics; 3-4 years of history and social sciences; 2-3 years of a foreign language; 3 years of lab sciences; and 1 year of creative arts. Grades for courses taken in years 11 and 12 are very important.

For regular admissions, they look at: SAT or ACT scores; Counselor Report; Teacher Recommendation; Personal Essay; Leadership, Community Service, Work Experience, and Extracurricular Activities; as well as an expressed interest in the college or an optional personal interview. Since 1990, Lewis & Clark College also has offered an alternate method of application called the “Portfolio Path” where a student can bypass standardized tests and instead be “reviewed on a myriad of things that would point to, and measure academic performance” on a more personalized level.

To supplement the standard application form, instead of submitting standardized test scores, Portfolio Path applicants create a portfolio consisting of at least four samples of graded academic work. This work should represent the breadth and strength of the applicant’s academic program and must include the following from their junior or senior years in high school: 1.) Two samples of writing (expository, essay exams, research papers, etc.); 2.) One sample of quantitative/scientific work (science lab report, math/science/economics test or work); 3.) One sample of your choice (such as artwork); 4.) Three Teacher Recommendations (from core academic teachers).

Click on the link below for more information about homeschool admissions:


Updated: November 4, 2022 — 10:39 pm

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