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Southern Oregon University

At Southern Oregon University, we’re passionate about our work—and our play.

We care about each other and our natural resources. We teach sustainability and we live it too.

Our mountains and rivers are more than just an impressive backdrop. They serve as laboratories and classrooms for outdoor leadership, environmental studies, and science research. Our students don’t just read about grazing rights, land management, water quality and wine production; they are out learning firsthand. The wild and scenic Rogue River, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Crater Lake National Park, Redwood National Park, and the Deer Creek Center offer learning laboratories within an hour or two of campus.

Kayak pool training session

It all comes naturally at SOU—fuel for the intellect, inspiration for the spirit.

Unique Location—Outside magazine touts SOU, calls Ashland one of the Best College Towns in America.

"On sunny days, the Stevenson Union courtyard on SOU's green, 175-acre campus fills with students in frayed corduroys and the requisite rafting sandals. Hardly anyone graduates without paddling southern Oregon's whitewater, hiking the 2.3-mile White Rabbit Trail, or snowboarding or skiing at 7,530-foot Mount Ashland. Students interested in natural-resource management enroll in the environmental studies program for biology, geology, and environmental policy courses. Field-oriented classes like Geology of the Rogue River also get students outdoors."

Outside magazine also named Ashland one of the Top Ten Small Towns in America:

The creekside shops on the plaza.

“Ashland, Oregon
 (pop. 23,000) is an anomaly: It's got the Northwest's first-rate recreation (you can bike or trail-run right from town in the surrounding Siskiyou Mountains, and the nearby kayaking is incredible) and culture (famous Shakespeare Festival) but not the rain (196 days of sunshine annually). And with its Napa-style vineyards, this border town is a bit Cali—in a good way.”