Rowan and Drexel Rank Very High on “Ugliest Colleges” List

Drexel, twice-named the ugliest college in America by various campus-judgers, has improved its standing this year, at least according one “metric.” Complex Magazine has come out with its list of worst campuses, and the dragon’s den has come in sixth this year. (Above: Beautifying Drexel.)

The campus is still being criticized for its “prison-like” dorms and factory-inspired aesthetic. The school’s concrete and brick Disque Hall looms over an open courtyard, and even from outside, the lack of windows is oppressive.

Rowan made the list too. The picture below depicts the school’s Oak Hall, a lovely looking residential dorm on the school’s Glassboro, NJ campus. Not so bad, right? Well, Complex isn’t impressed, and has ranked it the 10th ugliest in America.

This campus is in need of a lot of love. The buildings are falling apart and are covered with water stains from years of rainfall. If the crumbling architecture wasn’t unwelcoming enough, the campus has an unfortunate amount of ill-placed technical equipment and dumpsters.

I don’t know what Rowan’s doing to improve its look–as Complex notes, there used to be a blog devoted to the shoddy state of the campus. But Drexel is in the process of repainting its signature orange bricks, to make itself more like a certain next-door neighbor.

Photos:; Wikimedia Commons

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  • NateFried

    I call BS. Drexel’s campus is amazing these days. Did they not look at the FOUR new mid-rise buildings surrounding Disque Hall? Did they not look at the HUGE 5 story living bio wall? Did they not look at the landmark restaurant with fire pits looking up to the new rock wall in the GIANT new gym? Did they not look at Millenial Hall and its AMAZING views of Philly? Did they not look at the GIANT park right off the spring garden bridge that has probably the BEST view of downtown in the city? I was just having this conversation last night with some friends who graduated in 08 with me from Drexel… it wasn’t all that nice back then. I could understand why we were ranked the way we were… but going back there last night for some drinks… that place is CHANGED. Whoever ranked it, obviously was going off of old reports and has no idea what it looks like today.

  • Chelsea

    Honestly, Rowan used to be really ugly, but it has been so redeveloped in the last few years that I think they’re using old info. Rowan has an all new downtown, a really beautiful engineering building, science building and education building, and some nice new student housing. Plus the photo that you use is of Oak Hall, which features two big dorms and giant grassy fields. Then there’s Bunce, which has been renovated and looks great.

    I didn’t agree with their pick for number one either- besides the fact that it’s in Florida, I think that’s a really unique and pretty campus!

  • Steve

    Drexel is inner city, and there is only so much you can do with the real estate. The campus looks great compared to “82 when I graduated. In ’82, the focus was on education, not campus amenities; and, maybe it’s time all universities re-focused on education, and not dorm rooms. When the 18 yr olds live better than their parents… well, that is a problem. Educate the kids and get them out of there with some usable knowledge so that they can get their lives on track. If college is just about tuition and dorm revenues, then cede our future to China. Drexel U administrators used to have some guts, and I hope Drexel holds out versus the prissy campuses with the huge endowments This country needs some people who can actually do the work because they can, and not just because they feel privileged. Go Drexel.