Our Focus: Academics

From coursework to life's work: A path that goes to distant galaxies.

Night Sky


Physics professor Charlotte Christensen is a recognized deep space expert. Seen here in Iowa working with undergrad researchers to understand how galaxies form and evolve, she also co-leads a Gender Minorities in Physics group that pushes for equal representation of women and other gender minorities in the fields of science and physics.


Supporting an individually advised education, mentored research, and greater experiences that connect students to their future.

Because we believe a better world begins at Grinnell, helping students find and pursue their own true purpose is both our obligation and our privilege. Every student is assigned an exploratory adviser and a tutorial professor — to create the globally-informed, inquiry-led curriculum that will provide them with the knowledge and skills essential to the future.

World-class faculty. A rich environment.

The combination of exceptional teachers/ mentors and an environment where the humanities, social studies, and STEM converge helps students hone valuable skills — enabling them to better articulate ideas and lead with confidence and understanding.

Deep research as a discipline.

With focused guidance from expert faculty, students explore and discover. On- and off-campus research, authoring and publishing opportunities, and hands-on global experiences help critical and creative thinking become second nature.

“When I came to college I thought research was a lab coat and test tubes, with goggles on in a chemistry lab. I’ve realized through my time here that research is so much more than that, and Grinnell supports it in so many ways.” NOLAN BOGGESS ‘19

Our Focus: Commitment

Potential is the only prerequisite: Anyone, from anywhere, with drive and passion can be come a true leader.

Carrie Stallings '19


Carrie Stallings grew up in one of the poorest parts of Jackson, Mississippi, and almost didn’t take the ACT. However, after receiving generous scholarship and financial aid support from the College, she was the baccalaureate speaker at Grinnell’s Commencement and brought the crowd to tears. Her personal exploration and a multitude of experiences she had at Grinnell, have paved the way to places Carrie could never have imagined, including a Ph.D. program in sociology at Northwestern University.


Encouraging independence, integrating studies with interests, and defining each student’s individual purpose.

Grinnellians know life is much bigger than a job; it’s about leading a life of meaning and purpose. As students explore issues of responsibility and justice on campus and far beyond, they discover their passions, interests, and life goals.

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

From day one, every student works with a Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) adviser to help them connect and weave together their interests, studies, and future success, so that 1,360 days later, upon graduation, every Grinnellian can step into the world prepared to make an impact.

Engagement as life training.

Our legacy of activism and our dedication to truth, evidence, and critical thought encourage students to find their voice and express it on and off campus. This is why Grinnellians think independently and deeply and why the Grinnell experience is essential to improving the world.

“I found Grinnell on a list of Questbridge partner schools and right away it seemed like an obvious choice — a school that would challenge me, force me out of my comfort zone, and help me grow into my potential.” STEPHANIE TSANG ’20

Our Focus: Community

To be not just an observer of the world, but a shaper of the world



As a global envoy for the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), Kaya has provided peer advising to students interested in off-campus study, internships, and other global opportunities. She has done volunteer work in Cambodia and Costa Rica, toured Singapore, and participated in a language-immersion semester in China, where she studied the impacts of social, economic, and religious policy on communities.


Promoting deep cultural understanding in a campus community and beyond, so students can thrive in a global economy.

Community and connection have always been at Grinnell’s core. Coming from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds, we form tight friendships and a deeper knowledge of both ourselves and other humans.

Fostering community across the globe: the IGE.

As the world gets smaller, international opportunities grow, and our need to understand and integrate with other cultures grows as well. The IGE is Grinnell’s commitment to creating culturally aware and astute global citizens, able to make lasting contributions to the planet. The IGE is also our commitment to language-learning and course-embedded travel opportunities, and the diverse, multicultural faculty and students who make us stronger in every way.

“Study abroad in Copenhagen developed my sense of how to adapt to a different type of rigor. I learned there are other ways to teach and other ways to learn.” TIM BURNETTE ’19