We’re just different.
For 50 years Prescott College has offered an approach to learning that is experiential, self-directed, and focused on building competence, not just ticking off a list of courses taken. Our approach produces graduates who can think critically, reason effectively, and work collaboratively. They are people who make a living while making a difference. As Arizona’s private, nonprofit university, we focus on education for the environment, social justice, and the liberal arts.
Learning through experience
Prescott College students learn in classrooms and labs but also in canyons and counseling centers, schools and studios, and forests and farms. They explore at cultural and political borders and in natural and human communities. Our students learn the who, how, and why of their subjects, not just the what. Our small class sizes, fleet of passenger vans, and unique block and term calendar are all designed to get you “out there.”
A degree as unique as you are
Our faculty are experts in helping you identify and hone your passion so you can craft a degree that is unique to you and your future. They’ll help you design an educational path within a particular area or one that bridges multiple disciplines. No two Prescott College students are the same—why would their degrees be?
You graduate from Prescott College when you demonstrate that you have obtained the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be a competent professional in your chosen field. And we’ll give you a lot of flexibility in how you attain your competence—independent studies, specialized courses taken elsewhere, and skills gained through jobs and internships, as well as courses taken here, can all contribute.
A flexible calendar
To facilitate your learning, we have a unique block and term annual calendar. Each fall and spring, you’ll take one course intensively for a four-week block. Spend a month sea kayaking in Baja California, Alpine mountaineering in Idaho, tackling immigration issues at the US–Mexico border, or exploring form and pattern in nature. Follow that with an 11-week term in which you take three classes simultaneously. You could spend that term on our campus, in the Grand Canyon, or at our marine field station in Kino Bay, Mexico.
Our evaluation process for each class is an important component of the learning, as both student and professor evaluate what you have accomplished, what areas might exist for further learning and exploration, and to what degree you have mastered content and/or skills that contribute to your competence.
As a university awarding bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, Prescott has designed accelerated pathways that allow students to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s in just five years. Start with us as a freshman, and your final year of study is tuition-free, saving you at least $60,000 compared to a traditional master’s program.
The world is your classroom
We believe in learning without limits. Our students take classes on our campus in Arizona’s Central Highlands and at our field stations at Juniper Wells Ranch and Kino Bay, Mexico. We are members of two college consortia that include more than 15 campuses around the country—from Maine to Florida and Alaska to California—where you can spend a semester studying without transferring. We have established programs in Kenya, Norway, Tanzania, Mexico, and Costa Rica and help students arrange learning opportunities anywhere in the world.
Our students live in The Village, a collection of three-story townhouses that are shared by no more than eight people. Certified LEED Platinum for their sustainability features, each townhouse includes a full kitchen with two stoves and two refrigerators. Students gather in the courtyard for potlucks, garden in the raised beds, toast marshmallows on the outdoor fireplace, and enjoy impromptu jam sessions on their front porches. By living on campus, students benefit from building community and broadening their education through frequent interaction with faculty, staff, and their peers. Numerous clubs and organizations—all student-initiated and student-led—focus on recreational, social, political, and outdoor pursuits.
Prescott, Arizona—everyone’s hometown
Located at a mile-high elevation, Prescott, Arizona, is a great destination for lovers of nature, the arts, history, and culture. Our hometown serves as an extension of the campus, as students apply their learning in the studios, schools, galleries, agencies, and natural spaces of the community. The Prescott National Forest offers more than 800 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, and students frequently spend their weekends camping, climbing, and kayaking. Our mild four-season climate and 300+ days of sunshine a year add to the enjoyment. Located less than two hours from both Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, we truly have the best of both worlds.
All Prescott College students complete a 21-day wilderness backpacking adventure as their first class. Place- and community-based options are available.
First Year Experience
Freshmen experience a seminar in a subject related to their area of interest. The Office of Student Success helps them acclimate to the academic and community aspects of their new home.
Every student develops a degree plan with the assistance of their faculty advisor. The plan lays out the courses, independent studies, and field experiences that will help them develop their competence.
Students demonstrate their competence through a capstone project that must have application in the real world. These projects often provide a bridge between undergraduate study and what comes next.
Unique Areas of Study
In the first credit-granting program in the country, we prepare the guides and educators who staff many outdoor therapy, tourism, and educational programs.
Our students learn alongside activists and community organizers around the world—in central Los Angeles, on the US–Mexico border, among the Maasai in Kenya, and more.
We study the natural world firsthand at our marine field station on the Gulf of California, on our experimental farm, and in the canyons, mountains, and forests of northern Arizona.
Gaining classroom experience well before they student-teach, our students have the chance to work in public, expeditionary, Montessori, and other schools with alternative education models.
Arts and Humanities
Learn from faculty who are also professional writers and artists in a community rich with history, galleries, theater, and music.
Psychology and Counselor Education
Our program includes an accelerated master’s—earn your BA and MS in Counseling a year faster.