Inquiry-based learning, individualized advising, global perspectives, and a rigorous curriculum provide Grinnellians with an exceptional foundation on which to build lives of purpose. Whether Grinnellians choose meaningful employment, graduate school, service, or other pursuits, they’re equipped to move confidently in a complex world, to think globally, and to act compassionately.

In collaboration with Institutional Research, the Center for Careers, Life, and Service surveys each class about six months after graduation to find out what they’re up to. The answer: an astonishing variety of exciting and impactful first destinations. About 60% of each graduating class goes directly into the workforce, and over 90% of these graduates report that their first jobs are directly related to their long-term career goals. Around 20% of graduates enroll in graduate or professional school immediately after leaving Grinnell, with exceptionally high acceptance rates to top-tier programs. In keeping with Grinnell’s commitment to social justice and civic engagement, 10% or so of recent classes have gone into post-graduate service. Finally, many Grinnellians each year are awarded prestigious fellowships, traveling the globe and conducting research under the aegis of the Fulbright Program, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, and more.

For a detailed look at outcomes for Grinnellians by class, please refer to our Post-Graduation Status Reports:

Our graduates work in major financial institutions, for leading museums and media outlets, and at tech giants and cutting-edge start-ups. They make cartoons at Nickelodeon and discoveries at the National Institutes of Health; they teach in classrooms around the world. Grinnell grads work with nonprofits of all stripes, and in public service from the Peace Corps to the White House. Grinnellians go on to study physics at CalTech, law at Harvard, medicine at Johns Hopkins, finance at London School of Economics, plant pathology at Cornell, divinity at University of Chicago, engineering at Northwestern, international relations at University of Geneva, mathematical modeling at Oxford, journalism at NYU, and music composition at Yale. If you can think of it, a Grinnellian has done it — and the CLS has been there to help.

Graduate Outcomes - All Majors Career Outcomes

First Destinations

  • 58% Employment
  • 26% Graduate School
  • 3% Post-Graduate Service
  • 3% Fellowships
  • 2% Continuing Education
  • 7% Other


Positions related to Career Goals


  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Chipper Cash
  • CLIMB Theatre
  • Deloitte
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • HarperCollins
  • IBM
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Mayo Clinic
  • McLean Hospital
  • Microsoft
  • Teach for America
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Wisconsin Farmers Union

Graduate Schools

83% Accepted to 1st- or 2nd- choice programs


  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University
  • University of California
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pennsylvania

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