Simpson College is a private, coeducational, undergraduate liberal arts institution affiliated with the Methodist Church and located in Indianola, Iowa. Established in 1860, Simpson College was founded by members of the Iowa United Methodist Church and named in honor of Matthew Simpson, a Methodist minister who is best known as the minister who spoke at President Abraham Lincoln’s grave in Springfield, Illinois. Recognized for “its quality programs and value” by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges, Simpson College has also been ranked among the nation’s top 100 colleges in percentage of students who study abroad by U.S. News & World Report. Located on an 85 acre campus 12 miles outside of Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines, Simpson College serves as the summer home of the internationally recognized Des Moines Metro Opera.
Academic ProgramsSimpson College’s mission is to be “dedicated to excellence in higher education” and to be committed to “promoting integrative learning that enables students of all ages to develop intellectual and practical skills; nurturing values which foster personal worth and individuality within a creative, diverse and just community; graduating students who continue to grow as free, responsible and fulfilled individuals in the world of family, work, service and scholarship; [and] drawing upon our relationship with the United Methodist Church and our religious traditions that guide us on issues of personal integrity, moral responsibility, social justice and global citizenship.”
Simpson College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1913. Nearly 100 majors, minors and programs are offered through Simpson College in a variety of areas. The College is divided into several departments which cover the areas of Art; Biology & Environmental Science; Business Administration & Economics; Chemistry and Physics; Computer Science; Education; English; History; Interdisciplinary Studies; Mathematics; Multimedia Communication; Music; Neuroscience; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Religion; Sociology & Criminal Justice; Sport Science & Health Education; Theatre Arts; Women’s & Gender Studies Program; and World Language and Culture Studies.
Student LifeSimpson College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 1,700, including more than 1,600 undergraduate students. The vast majority of students become involved in one or more of Simpson College’s several campus clubs and organizations, including student government, newspaper, radio, intercollegiate and intramural sports, departmental activities, honor and professional groups, music, drama, religion and other interest groups. Greek Life organizations also have a prominent place on campus, with several Greek letter fraternities and sororities.
Simpson College is home to a number of traditions, including Campus Day which began back in 1889; a long-standing tradition, Campus Day was designed to encourage students and staff to participate in a number of service related projects both on and off campus. Other Simpson Traditions include the Honors Convocation, “Lessons and Carols”, the Simpson Seal and “Walking Through the Gates” when, each year, the freshman class walks through the red brick gates out front of the College Hall to start their Simpson Experience. College sports also play a big part in the Simpson College campus life; participating at the NCAA Division III level, Simpson College boasts several varsity sports teams which compete in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.