College Raptor’s Picks: Must-Visit Campuses in the Winter Snowy Season

Choosing between summer and winter is a classic ‘this or that’ dilemma. Surprisingly, your preference may play a role in deciding where to attend college. If you find joy in bundling up and embracing the cold, you might be drawn to a college where swapping your surfboard for a snowboard is a common occurrence. To explore such winter wonderlands, check out this list of colleges you must visit during the snowy season. We’ll let you decide which are the most beautiful college campuses in winter!

1. University of Colorado Boulder

If you’ve ever wanted to enter a real-life scene from a romantic Christmas movie, visit the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lined with Douglas Firs, Colorado Blue Spruce trees, and Eastern White Pines, it’ll look, feel, and smell like a winter wonderland. The snow-capped Flatirons are breathtaking, and the Varsity Bridge covered in snow is the perfect snapshot to send in your Christmas card. 

2. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech with a blanket of snow looks like something from a Robert Frost poem. There are little campus scenes more inspiring than the adorned Pylons at VTech. This welcoming college community and beautiful wintry campus will have you feeling right at home. 

3. Syracuse University

Set in the snowbelt region of the United States, Syracuse University gets heavy snowfall every season between November and April. This campus turns into a scene from a movie once the snow falls on the historic 1870 architecture. The campus has beautiful scenery in every season, but the snow makes it more enchanting. Stop by the Tolley Humanities Building for picturesque views, make snow angels in the quad, or attend the annual Winter Carnival.  

4. University of Virginia

With scenes of the Rotunda, the gardens, and other views from the Academical Village, UVA is its own winter wonderland. The snowy, serene landscape almost feels like a nod to Thomas Jefferson for creating one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States. There are a few (well, many) reasons it has been voted one of The Most Beautiful Campuses in America, and winter gives that title a new meaning.  

5. Montana State University

Imagine walking to class with 10 inches of snow at your feet, surrounded by mountains, nestled near many National Parks. MSU will make that a reality for you! With nature at the backdoor of this campus, there’s no shortage of outdoor winter activities. These frosty landscapes add to the year-round beauty of Montana and provide the perfect backdrop for your winter adventures. 

6. Reed College

There’s one thing here that other snowy campuses don’t have—a ski cabin on Mount Hood just for students at Reed. You can hike the 28-acre Reed Canyon, and explore the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. With snowy mountains, a vibrant location, and stunning campus architecture, who wouldn’t want to be at Reed in the winter?

7. Sierra College

Do you have dreams of running a ski resort? Sierra College is the only college that offers students the opportunity to major in Ski Business and Resort Management. This stunning campus attracts all kinds of snow lovers, particularly snowboarders. 

8. Northern Arizona University

Yes, it snows in Arizona. Northern Arizona University sits atop the highest peak in the state and gets an average of over 80 inches of snow per year. This university hosts its winter festival each year, along with many other seasonal activities. Catch a wintry sunset here for a chance to be awe-inspired by Mother Nature herself. 

9. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

This Minneapolis university often looks like a postcard in its own right. You’ll get views of frosty tree branches and a blanketed campus for many months out of the year. However, you’ll want to bundle up… Minneapolis is one of the coldest cities in the US! The Twin Cities also host many winter festivals throughout the year, making this campus and surrounding locale a winter lover’s dream come true. 

10. University of Utah

Who wouldn’t want to walk alongside Red Butte Creek with a powdery view of Mount Olympus? You can do that at the University of Utah. With seven ski resorts less than an hour away, nearby ice castles and hot springs, and other activities like sledding and ice skating, there’s no shortage of winter activities here!

If you’re a student who loves winter, you’ve got to add these campuses to your list of tours. No matter where you end up, the great, snowy outdoors can be yours to roam (and study). Are you ready to enroll in one of these colleges? Use our College Match tool to make sure it’s a good fit for your academic goals!


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