Students at Berry College in northwest Georgia enjoy plenty of room to roam.

The Berry campus, tucked into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, covers more than 27,000 acres. With an enrollment of nearly 2,250, each student at Berry can claim what’s essentially his or her own 12-acre plot. Not surprisingly, Berry College boasts not only the largest contiguous college campus in the U.S. but the largest one in the world.

“It’s easy to be alone at Berry, although it’s hard to be lonely,” says Peter Lawler, a professor of government at the private school.

Berry tops our list of the 10 largest main campuses of four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. To qualify for the list, the pieces of land making up the main campus didn’t have to be touching but did have to be close enough to form a cohesive campus.

Some schools, such as Duke University and California Polytechnic State University, didn’t make the cut because although their campuses are listed as comprising several thousand acres, the total acreage isn’t bunched together or the acreage consists of more than just the main campus.

1. Berry College

Sewanee campus

Photo: Berry College

Location: Rome, GA
Size: 27,000+ acres
2015-16 enrollment: 2,245
Highlights: Natural features such as woodlands, meadows and streams; 47 main buildings, including 15 classroom facilities and 10 residence halls; wildlife sanctuary; plantation house; working mill with waterwheel; film set for productions like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Remember the Titans”
Notable:Of the buildings on campus, Ford Auditorium, an English gothic-inspired building with a clock tower and reflecting pool, is the most eye-catching.” — Thrillist

2. U.S. Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy

Photo: Autodesk

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Size: 18,455 acres
2015-16 enrollment: About 4,000
Highlights: Iconic aluminum, glass and steel chapel with 17 spires; winding roads through forests; 27-acre garden
Notable: Soaring 150 feet toward the Colorado sky, the Air Force Academy [Cadet] Chapel is an all-faiths house of worship designed to meet the spiritual needs of cadets. It contains a separate chapel for four major religious faiths — Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Buddhist — plus an all-faiths room used by Muslim cadets and available for members of the other faiths as well.” — Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

3. U.S. Military Academy

West Point

Photo: U.S. Army/Tommy Gilligan

Location: West Point, NY
Size: 16,080 acres
2015-16 enrollment: About 4,300
Highlights: Located on the Hudson River; statues of U.S. presidents throughout campus; world’s largest chapel pipe organ
Notable:The cadet chapel, built in 1910, is one of the most striking buildings on campus.” — Business Insider

4. The University of the South

Sewanee aerial

Photo: The University of the South

Location: Sewanee, TN
Size: 13,000 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 1,900
Highlights: Situated atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga; campus known as the Domain; Eastern Star Cemetery; university-owned coffee shop located in yellow Victorian house; on-campus inn
Notable:Sewanee has been featured in countless magazines as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.” — The Best Colleges

5. Pennsylvania State University

penn-state

Photo: YouTube/Jesse Brown

Location: University Park, PA
Size: 8,556 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 46,848
Highlights: 11,000 trees; 25,000 flowers planted annually; 23 miles of paved walkways; 900+ buildings
Notable: “The Nittany Lion has served as Penn State’s mascot for over a century. The iconic Nittany Lion Shrine, a gift from the Class of 1940, is the most photographed spot on campus … .” Penn State

6. Stanford University

Stanford University

Photo: Stanford University

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Size: 8,180 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 16,770
Highlights: 43,000+ trees; 800+ species of plants; 25 fountains; 70-acre shopping center; 700-acre research park; on-campus post office; about 700 buildings; 49 miles of roads; 19,000 bicycle parking spots
Notable:The entryway to Stanford’s 8,180-acre campus is arguably the grandest of any college campus: a mile-long, tree-lined Palm Drive leads up to the expansive green oval Main Quad, surrounded by red-clay-roof-tiled buildings, and the campus’s crown architectural jewel, Memorial Church, with its striking mosaic façade.” — Travel+Leisure

7. Liberty University

Liberty University aerial

Photo: Liberty University/David Duncan

Location: Lynchburg, VA
Size: 7,000+ acres
2015-16 enrollment: 14,500+
Highlights: 1,360-foot mountain; Jerry Falwell Library; Montview Mansion; National Civil War Chaplains Museum; 357 structures; 50 miles of trails and logging roads
Notable:Liberty’s facilities, neatly ensconced on a campus spanning more than 7,000 acres, would be the envy of most major universities.” Newsmax

8. Michigan State University

Michigan State University

Photo: Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing, MI
Size: 5,239 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 44,026
Highlights: Situated on banks of Red Cedar River; student-run organic farm; 545 buildings; 32 miles of roads; 98 miles of walkways; 12 miles of bicycle paths
Notable: Since its founding in 1855, Michigan State University has emerged from its modest ‘oak opening’ in the wilderness to become a large campus park.” — MSU Campus—Buildings, Spaces, Places

9. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M aerial

Photo: Texas A&M University

Location: College Station, TX
Size: 5,115 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 57,934
Highlights: George Bush Presidential Library Museum; Liberty Bell replica inside Academic Building; thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats on campus
Notable: “The George Bush Presidential Library features a statue of horses leaping over the Berlin Wall, a nod to the president’s successes during his term.” Movoto

10. Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University

Photo: Tuskegee University

Location: Tuskegee, AL
Size: 5,000 acres
2015-16 enrollment: 3,156
Highlights: 100+ structures; Booker T. Washington Monument; George Washington Carver Museum; Tuskegee Airmen’s Plaza
Notable: “By teaching his students carpentry, bricklaying, printing, agriculture, and other trades, Booker T. Washington believed that Tuskegee’s students would build their campus and learn the dignity of hard work.” National Park Service

Data sources

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-berry-college-campus
http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/12153-berry-college
http://www.berry.edu/quickfacts/
http://tclf.org/sites/default/files/microsites/kiley-legacy/AirForceAcademy.html
https://ruppersberger.house.gov/sites/ruppersberger.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/west-point-cover-sheet.doc
http://www.sewanee.edu/about/
http://www.opp.psu.edu/about-opp/fast-facts-on-the-pennsylvania-state-university
http://facts.stanford.edu/about/lands
http://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/?PID=6925
http://www.liberty.edu/admissions/visitorcenter/index.cfm?PID=31954
https://www.liberty.edu/campusrec/camphydaway/index.cfm?PID=28189
http://alumni.msu.edu/newsarticle.cfm?id=274
http://www.msuspartans.com/school-bio/msu-school-bio.html
https://msu.edu/about/thisismsu/facts.html
http://universityarchitect.tamu.edu/campus-evolution.aspx
http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/history_and_mission.aspx
http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us.aspx

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