Joseph Jacques Ramée's original plan for Union College in Schenectady, New York, the first comprehensively planned campus in the United States[1]

A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings. The definition currently describes a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution, either academic or non-academic.

The word derives from a Latin word for "field" and first was used to describe the grounds of a college at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) during the 18th century.[2] Some other American colleges later adopted the word to describe individual fields at their own institutions, but "campus" did not yet describe the whole university property. A school might have one space called a campus, one called a field, and another called a yard.

The meaning expanded to include the whole institutional property during the 20th century, with the old meaning persisting into the 1950s in some places. Sometimes the lands on which company office buildings sit, along with the buildings, are called campuses. The Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington, as well as hospitals use the term to describe the territory of their facilities. The word "campus" has also been applied to European universities, although most such institutions are characterized by ownership of individual buildings in urban settings rather than park-like lawns in which buildings are placed.


  1. ^ Turner, Paul V. (1996). Joseph Ramée: International Architect of the Revolutionary Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 190. 
  2. ^ Douglas Harper, Campus, Online Etymology Dictionary, accessed October 2, 2011

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  • Campus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Campus de Azurém de la Universidad del Miño, en Guimarães, Portugal. Un campus es el conjunto de terrenos y edificios que pertenecen a una universidad. El término proviene del inglés campus, y éste a su vez del lat …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Campus — Cam pus, n. [L., a field.] 1. The principal grounds of a college or school, between the buildings or within the main inclosure; as, the college campus. [1913 Webster] 2. a college or university. [PJC] 3. a division of a university with its own… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • campus — ☆ campus [kam′pəs ] n. pl. campuses [L, a field < IE * kampos, a corner, cove < base * kamp , to bend > Gr kampē, bend, curve, Lith kam̃pas, corner, area] 1. the grounds, sometimes including the buildings, of a school or college 2. the… …   English World dictionary

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