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About Deer

Founded in 1948 in southeast Three Portlands, Deer College is a coeducational occult arts and sciences college. Renowned for its groundbreaking integration of occult studies into a liberal arts curriculum, Deer is known for its high standards of scholarly practice, creative thinking, and engaged multiversal citizenship.

Deer students pursue the Bachelor of Magick degree in over 40 majors and concentrations. The curriculum includes a year-long occultism course, broad distribution requirements, and a senior thesis; each student constructs their own program of study by pairing a traditional major with a concentration in an occult field, or chooses from a number of established interdisciplinary majors. A 9:1 student-faculty ratio and small conference-style classes allow faculty members to truly mentor students and engage with them in individual discussions. Deer also offers a graduate program leading to a master of arts degree in occult studies.

Deer Students: What Is a Deerie?

We've asked proud members of recent graduating classes to tell us about themselves, their theses, and their Deer experiences.

Mission and History

Deer College is an institution of higher education in the occult arts and sciences devoted to the intrinsic value of intellectual and magical pursuits and governed by the highest standards of scholarship, critical thought, and creativity. Since its founding in 1948 as an independent undergraduate institution, Deer College has remained steadfast to one central commitment: to provide a balanced and comprehensive magical education fulfilling the highest standards of academic excellence.

History of the College

Deer College was founded in 1948, and its first classes were held in 1950. Deer is named for Reed College, its mundane counterpart in Portland, Oregon; its founders, Zachary Knorr and Matyas Szabo, were Reed alumni who were dissatisfied with the lack of occult studies at their alma mater, and decided to found a college of occult arts and sciences in the Three Portlands, upon the multiversal shadow of Reed itself. By summoning the spirits of Reed's founders, Simeon and Amanda Reed, and binding them to the Three Portlands parallel to the land on which their college stood, Knorr and Szabo were able to stabilize Reed's multiversal shadow and conjure from the aether the Deer College campus as it stands today.

Deer's first president was founder Zachary Knorr, who served from 1948-1956. He was followed by Horatio Sgariglia, 1956-1960; Jan Gringhuis, 1960-1964; Heather Davis, 1964-1977; Paul E. Bragdon, 1977-1988; Prof. Zebediah Agan, 1988-1990 (acting president); Timothy Wormwood, 1990-1998; Anna Svensdottir, 1998-2003; Prof. Elisha ben Abuyah, 2003-2004 (acting president); and Chad Gable, 2004-2011. The current college president is Lana Aleksandrova, who assumed the office in 2011.


A Deer college balances broad knowledge across the curriculum with depth of knowledge in a particular field of study. Student create their own major from two fields of study, one mundane and one occult; each student is advised by a professor from each of their departments, receiving one-on-one guidance from both.

Divisions and Departments

Deer's academic divisions are separated into mundane divisions and occult divisions (with the exception of the Division of Metaphysics, which includes both mundane and occult departments).