Founded as a men’s college from the estate of Colonel Ephraim Williams in 1793, Williams College is now a premier private co-educational liberal arts institution. Offering predominantly baccalaureate education, Williams enrolls around 2,000 undergraduates and 50 post-graduates across its 24 departments. At the foothills of Mount Greylock, Williams College spans over a 450-acre rural campus in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires. There are also sponsored programs at the Mystic Seaport and abroad at Oxford University. Its Chapin Library is famous for holding the first printings of the Declaration of Independent and Bill of Rights.
According to the U.S. News, Williams is ranked as the 1st best national liberal arts college, 3rd top value school, and 1st best college for veterans in America. In particular, Williams College is recognized for the nation’s 4th best undergraduate teaching. Forbes magazine named Williams the #1 top school in the Northeast with a financial grade of A+. Williams placed 10th nationally within the Princeton Review’s list for “Colleges That Pay You Back.” Washington Monthly magazine honored Williams College as the 13th best liberal arts college for social mobility, research, and service. Williams is continually ranked among the elites like Princeton, Amherst College, and Swarthmore College.
Williams College Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2008 for 10 years, Williams College has accreditation from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This regional accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. Williams is also an institutional member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).
Williams College Application Requirements
Getting into Williams College is difficult since the highly selective school only accepts 19 percent of incoming applicants. First-year freshmen must have pursued the strongest program of study offered at their secondary school and obtained an approved diploma. Having four years of English, math, natural science, social studies, and foreign language is preferred. Admitted students typically rank in the top decile of their class. Freshmen at Williams have an average high school GPA of 3.79. On average, students score 32 on the ACT or 690 on each SAT section. There’s a holistic review process though, so non-academic achievement and community service will be considered.
With a retention rate of 97 percent, few students leave Williams College before graduating. That means only a few transfers are accepted each year. Undergraduate transfers must be in good standing at another regionally accredited college or university. Incoming transfers won’t be accepted without a minimum collegiate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Williams receives around 1,500 international applications each year from over 60 countries. International students don’t need to hold U.S. citizenship or a green card. However, those from non-English speaking nations must submit TOEFL scores of at least 500 (paper-based) or 71 (Internet-based).
Before the November 15th, January 1st, or April 1st deadlines, interested students should apply to the Admissions Office at Williams College by sending:
• Common Application form
• Official high school and/or college transcripts
• Standardized testing scores
• Secondary school report
• Two teacher evaluations
• Williams Writing Supplement (optional)
• Visual/performing arts portfolio (if applicable)
• Payment for the $65 application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Regardless of state residence, all undergraduates at Williams College are charged $49,780 for tuition each year. Students living on campus must pay $6,460 for room and $6,300 for board every academic year. Undergraduates are billed $290 in activity and residential housing fees. If applicable, there’s a $1,500 study away fee too. Those who don’t waive the Williams health insurance coverage will see $1,554 extra on their statement. In all, the total cost of attendance is $63,290 annually. Textbooks and supplies aren’t included.
Around 61 percent of full-time beginning undergraduates at Williams receive financial aid. Over $11 million is granted in institutional aid each year. Students aren’t expected to borrow more than $4,000 a year in student loans, such as the Perkins, Direct, Stafford, or PLUS loans. Many students will qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents could receive the Mass Grant, Foster Child Grant, or Gilbert Matching Student Grant. There’s also the Williams Grant, Williams Book Grant, and Winter Study Grant. Veterans can receive tuition benefits via the Yellow Ribbon GI Enhancement Program. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available to help students pay tuition. Scholarships, such as the National Merit Scholarship, ROTC Scholarship, and Dean’s Scholarship, are also offered.
At Williams College, students can choose from 36 undergraduate majors across the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Graduate students can also pursue a master’s degree in the History of Art or Economics. With a student-faculty ratio of 7:1, over three-thirds of the college’s classes have under 20 students. There are also more than 250 study away opportunities from Argentina to China and Turkey. Some degrees available include the:
B.A. in Political Economy
Established in 1946, the B.A. in Political Economy program is the oldest interdepartmental major available at Williams. Students are given a broad understanding on how politics and economics interact for forming public policy from an American and international context. Within the 120-credit program, students will take courses in econometrics, democracy, political theory, global finance, tax policy, public economics, labor economics, and political development. All students complete a semester-length internship involved in shaping public policy.
B.A. in Computer Science
For students interested in obtaining the algorithmic problem-solving and technical skills to effectively design technology systems, Williams offers the B.A. in Computer Science. Students develop a strong mathematical and theoretical foundation for building a career in computing. The 120-credit major includes courses on artificial intelligence, programming, computer architecture, network administration, compiler design, operating systems, and data structures. Students are often chosen to participate in the IBM Summer Internship program.
B.A. in Theatre
The B.A. in Theatre program is ideal for artistic students seeking the preparation for careers in the performing arts, such as acting, stage design, directing, or playwriting. Traditional classroom sessions and mentored relationships with faculty are married to give students the ability to engage simultaneously in creativity and critical thinking. Courses will include public speaking, modern drama, Shakespearean comedy, opera, theatre technology, stage lighting, costume design, body language, and dramaturgy. Majors receive the valuable opportunity to participate in the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab with returning alumni too.