What's in a College's Mission Statement?

Every college has a Mission Statement which declares the college’s central purpose. Every Mission Statement is different, and some are revealing. I always encourage students to read Mission Statements, and we discuss what it means. Just as students are looking for schools that meet the students’ needs, schools are also looking for students who will support the college’s mission.

Can you match these six colleges with their Mission Statements? The answers are below.


  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Hampshire College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Pennsylvania


Mission Statements:

  1. “...by tradition and choice, a Jesuit liberal arts college serving the Catholic community, American society and the wider world. To participate in the life of /this college/ is to accept an invitation to join in dialogue about basic human questions....”
  2. “...research and creative inquiry, teaching and learning, and to transfer our intellectual and artistic product to enhance society....teaching /students/ problem solving, leadership and team work skills....pursuing the advantages of a diverse and relatively small university community.”
  3. “...an educated workforce that keeps the California economy competitive....basic research programs yield a multitude of benefits for California....vital in the establishment of the Internet and the semiconductor, software and biotechnology industries in California....disseminates research results and translates scientific discoveries into practical knowledge...that benefit California.”
  4. “Faithful to the vision of the University’s founder, Benjamin Franklin.../our/ faculty generate knowledge that is unconstrained by traditional disciplinary boundaries...proudly entrepreneurial, dynamically forging new connections...through problem-solving, discovery-oriented approaches...Support free expression, reasoned discourse, and diversity in ideas; pursue positive connections to the city.../and/ neighbors in West Philadelphia....”
  5. “As a liberal arts college, [the college] helps students develop confidence in their intellect, creativity, and values. It encourages their desire to be lifelong learners and their capacity to advance the cause of social justice and the well-being of others.”
  6. The college “...exists to prepare talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positive...environment...leader in defining art and design education....Being a student-centered institution....Promoting a cooperative team spirit....” (also drawn from Vision Statement)




  1. College of the Holy Cross

  2. Carnegie Mellon University

  3. University of California, Berkeley

  4. University of Pennsylvania

  5. Hampshire College

  6. Savannah College of Art and Design