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 — nearly twice the land area of Manhattan. With a 2018 enrollment of 2,014, each student at Berry can claim what’s essentially his or her own 13-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. Enrollment data is the most recent available from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

1. Berry College

Sewanee campus

Photo: Berry College

Location: Rome, Ga.
Size: 27,000+ acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 2,014
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 including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Remember the Titans.”
Notable quote: “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. United States Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy

Photo: Autodesk

Location: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Size: 18,455 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 4,336
Highlights: Iconic aluminum, glass and steel chapel with 17 spires; winding roads through forests; 27-acre garden.
Notable quote: “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. United States Military Academy

West Point

Photo: U.S. Army/Tommy Gilligan

Location: West Point, N.Y.
Size: 16,080 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: About 4,589
Highlights: Located on the Hudson River; statues of U.S. presidents throughout campus; world’s largest chapel pipe organ.
Notable quote: “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, Tenn.
Size: 13,000 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 1,785
Highlights: Situated atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga; campus is known as The Domain; Eastern Star Cemetery; university-owned coffee shop located in yellow Victorian house; on-campus inn.
Notable quote: “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
Fall 2018 enrollment (main campus): 46,810
Highlights: 11,000 trees; 25,000 flowers planted annually; 23 miles of paved walkways; 900+ buildings.
Notable quote: “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: Stanford, Calif.
Size: 8,180 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 17,381
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 quote: “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 facade.” — Travel+Leisure

 

7. Liberty University

Liberty University aerial

Photo: Liberty University/David Duncan

Location: Lynchburg, Va.
Size: 7,000+ acres
2018 enrollment: 79,152
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 quote: “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, Mich.
Size: 5,239 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 50,3511
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 quote: “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, Texas
Size: 5,115 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 68,679
Highlights: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum; Liberty Bell replica inside Academic Building; thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats on campus.
Notable quote: “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, Ala.
Size: 5,000 acres
Fall 2018 enrollment: 3,026
Highlights: 100+ structures; Booker T. Washington Monument; George Washington Carver Museum; Tuskegee Airmen’s Plaza.
Notable quote: “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 Parks Service

 

Data sources

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-berry-college-campus

https://www.exploregeorgia.org/rome/outdoors-nature/trails-tours/berry-college

https://www.berry.edu/about/quick-facts

https://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

https://www.sewanee.edu/about/

https://stats.psu.edu

https://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/?PID=6925

https://www.liberty.edu/admissions/visitorcenter/index.cfm?PID=31954

https://alumni.msu.edu/stay-informed/story.cfm?id=274

https://universityarchitect.tamu.edu/campus-evolution.aspx

https://www.tuskegee.edu/about-us/history-and-mission

https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

Last update: Sept. 3, 2019

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