Blog Spotlight Discover ASU’s 4 diverse campuses
ASU bus on the road of Downtown campusASU bus on the road of Downtown campus

Discover ASU’s 4 diverse campuses

Arizona State University (ASU) has four campuses in metro Phoenix in Arizona, USA. Each has its own personality, offering a distinct learning experience. It’s one university in many places — but they’re all the same ASU.

Which campus is right for me?

All of ASU’s campuses are created equally. There is no “main” campus; you’ll find all of the services and facilities you need — like career support, student services and fitness centers — at each one. Ambassadors from ASU’s Multicultural Communities of Excellence have a presence on all four campuses too, providing support and organizing events just for international students.

Traveling between the campuses is easy, as there is a free, regular shuttle service between ASU’s West Valley, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and Tempe campuses. This means that while first-year undergraduates will live on the campus of their major, students can customize their experience by taking classes at different campuses, or even just stopping by to visit friends. Where you spend your time is really up to you!

ASU’s West Valley campus

The ASU West Valley campus enables the power of ASU’s internationally recognized research and ability to innovate, to meet the technology, health care, education and business talent needs of the expanding West Valley.

If you were to imagine the perfect traditional English university campus, it would look a lot like ASU’s West Valley campus — in fact, the campus was modelled after the famous grounds of the historic Oxford University. With pretty, grassy quads, tree-lined courtyards, and a vibrant community of around 5,000 students, it’s just like you see on movies and TV shows.

ASU’s West Valley campus offers a learning environment that blends modern facilities like classrooms, residence halls and a fully equipped gym with tranquil outdoor spaces. Here you’ll find sub-tropical landscaping, fountains, paved squares and plenty of places to eat, relax and socialize.

The gym quad is where to go for fun events — on any given day you might find food trucks, group yoga or therapy dogs to help you destress! When it’s time to do some work, Fletcher Library has a space for everyone. It has a loud level, whisper level and silent level, so you can find your ideal study environment.

The campus is home to nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as pathway programs at Global Launch. Through their Earned Pathways program, international students can earn transferable credits while raising their academic and English level to meet ASU’s requirements, with no minimum GPA requirement!

The campus is big enough to have plenty to explore, but small enough to not feel overwhelming. The academic buildings are very close to one another, so it will be easy to find your classes.

Fletcher Lawn at ASU’s West Campus in Glendale
ASU’s Polytechnic campus

ASU’s Polytechnic campus is described as an “academic oasis” and it’s easy to see why. A former U.S. Air Force base, it’s set in a beautiful and tranquil desert landscape, just a few minutes’ walk from the current Mesa airport.

Industry partnerships are key to the campus’ distinctive course offerings, which provide opportunities for project-based learning within advanced laboratory spaces. Specialized equipment for hands-on exploration includes simulators for flight and centers for consumer behavior research, semiconductor fabrication, comprehensive commercial printing and design services, and on-demand digital manufacturing.

Roughly 5,800 students are enrolled in classes at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, with 1,000 living on campus, making it a close community where it’s easy to make friends. Professors here know their students by name — something that’s not always true on larger campuses. If you prefer seeing the same friendly faces every day, this is definitely the campus for you.

International students also make up nearly 30% of the community at this campus, the highest proportion of all ASU campuses. There are lots of events for international students too, so you’ll find it’s easy to fit in!

It’s not just the student body that’s diverse: programs from Engineering to English are offered here. The campus is home to the high-tech Innovation Hub, with 3D printing facilities, laser engravers, prototyping equipment and plenty of workspaces to use. Creative students can also take advantage of a production and performance space at the Applied Arts Pavillion.

Other facilities include on-campus houses in addition to more traditional dorm rooms, and a student-run bike co-op where you can borrow a bike for up to a semester, or get yours fixed, completely for free.

ASU campus building
ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus

When you study at the ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, you’ll be based in the heart of Phoenix, the capital of Arizona.

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students pursuing knowledge and skills across the health spectrum, journalism, law and government, nonprofit and social services, and more.

The history and culture of Phoenix is woven throughout the campus. You’ll study against a backdrop of vibrant street art and sculptures, close to art galleries and cafés around the trendy Roosevelt Row Arts District. You’ll also be surrounded by cultural and performing arts venues, world-class fitness facilities and major sporting events.

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus is where you’ll find the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s new headquarters, which opened in 2022, and the Arizona Center for Law and Society.

It’s a buzzing community of more than 11,000 students with a huge range of different interests, backgrounds and ideas. You’ll be able to make great friends and valuable connections, and get lots of time with your tutors, as the campus has the smallest student:faculty ratio of all the campuses.

The Downtown Phoenix area is a business hub, with lots of offices and civic buildings nearby. Plus, Phoenix is also a great place to build connections for your career. Businesses such as Facebook and Amazon have a presence in the wider Phoenix area, as do 10 Fortune 500 companies. There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses too — in fact, metro Phoenix is #18 in the US for cities with the most start-ups (Statista 2022).

Phoenix has even earned the nickname the “Silicon Desert”, due to its similarities with the famous tech-hub Silicon Valley in California. You’ll find transit connections like buses and light rail close to campus, so it’s easy to take advantage of opportunities across the metropolitan area.

ASU's main campus building
ASU’s Tempe campus

This is the biggest of ASU’s campuses. It’s home to hundreds of degree programs, the headquarters of several notable research entities and more than 57,000 students — it feels like its very own city! You can meet new people every single day, making it a great place to build social connections.

The historic Tempe campus offers hundreds of majors that engage students in multidisciplinary research and exploration in first-rate laboratories and facilities. Spaces on campus incorporate the latest technology and innovative new curriculum, including virtual reality immersive learning labs and state-of-the-art recording studios.

Here, you can stroll through wide malls, including the iconic Palm Walk, lined with date palm trees. Other landmarks include Old Main, the oldest building on campus, dating back to 1898, and Mountain America Stadium, where you can show your school spirit by supporting ASU’s sports and athletics teams. The campus even has its own 3,000-seat performing arts venue.

ASU’s Tempe campus is the ideal place to enjoy Arizona’s warm and sunny climate. There are countless spots on campus to study and socialize, from green open spaces to shady patios. Plus, if you enjoy hiking, the famous “A” Mountain is right next to the campus. Popular spots like the Desert Botanical Garden, Hole in the Rock and Phoenix Zoo are just a short drive away. Tempe is also known for its food scene, with Mexican cuisine a local favorite.

Tempe is a great base for exploring metro Phoenix, with multiple public transit options including the quick and convenient light rail and bus routes. It’s where you’ll be able to surround yourself with people from all walks of life, and never run out of things to do.

ASU's hayden lawn at Tempe campus
Still not sure? Let ASU guide you

We hope we’ve given you a good overview of ASU’s campuses and their distinctive characteristics. But if you want more help designing your perfect ASU experience, you can take the fun Campus Fit Quiz.

Alternatively, check out this ASU campus tours playlist to take a look around the campuses in more depth.

How to study abroad at Arizona State University

Each campus offers a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees — some programs are available at a choice of campuses while others are based on just one campus. If you need English language preparation before your degree, you’ll start out at the Tempe campus. For students seeking a smaller community and immersive learning experience, ASU also has a smaller location at Lake Havasu City, close to California.

Whichever campus you’d like to study at, Kaplan can support you. We’ll guide you through the admission process, helping you to gather the right documents and get an official English score if you need one, and advise you on how to apply for your visa.

To find out more, explore your routes to ASU or get in touch with one of our friendly advisors.

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