Degree Programs at Williams College

Williams College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Technologically Advanced Small Colleges.

Williams College offers a unique curriculum that features concentrations instead of minors. Students major in a specific field and pick a core subject to study, which the college calls a concentration. All undergrads need to take three courses in math or science, social sciences and arts or humanities. The college requires that they take a critical thinking class and a writing course too. They can then work with their advisors to pick and choose from courses that interest them and apply to their career goals. Space and Place and Arts in Context are some of the courses available in the American studies program. Other majors include anthropology, geosciences, Chinese, theater, and music.

Through the Center for Development Economics, students can earn a master’s degree that takes only one year to complete. Students come from more than 100 countries and can earn their degrees while they live in their hometowns. The college asks students to look for research and fieldwork opportunities in those towns. Students take an orientation in August and then begin taking classes in September. Their courses include Economic Growth and Development, Tax Policy in Global Perspective, Incentives and Development, and Financial Regulation and Development. They will also need to take several tutorial courses that are similar to seminars and do an independent research project.

A graduate program in art history is also available at Williams College. It takes two years to complete because students need to do workshops and travel overseas as they produce artwork and take classes. The college partnered with several museums and allows students to do internships in those museums. They can also work in the library and handle rare books or as research assistants. Art majors do an international study trip each year that allows them to study art and architecture in the field. Students visited Rome, Naples, Stockholm, and Copenhagen in the past.

About Williams College

Williams College is a private college named after Ephraim Williams. He was a colonist who died in a nearby battle and left behind funds for a new college. It has a campus in Williamstown, Massachusetts, which is part of the Berkshires. Financial issues during the early part of the 19th century led to the president of the college moving the campus to a new location. That campus became Amherst College, while the original campus remained Williams College. Students now take four months of classes in the fall and another four months of courses in the spring. They have the option of attending classes during the winter or January term, which includes some programs that are available overseas and off-campus. Williams College appeared on the lists of the best liberal arts colleges from Washington Monthly and U.S. News and World Report where it earned the number one spot.

Williams College Accreditation Details

Williams College has accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), which is why students attending the college can get financial aid. NECHE offers the regional accreditation that students need if they want to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the organization formerly called the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Students who want to use credits from another college at Williams can transfer those credits because of this accreditation.

Williams College Application Requirements

The college looks for students with strong critical thinking skills because it doesn’t offer the same curriculum as other colleges do. More than 90 percent of graduates either do volunteer work, find full-time work or enter graduate school within six months of leaving Williams. Students who have a high school diploma can apply via the Common Application, QuestBridge Application or Coalition Application. They can either report their SAT/ACT scores on the application or have their scores sent to the college. Williams also allows students to upload a screenshot that shows their official scores.

Other requirements include a school report, mid-year report, counselor recommendation form and two letters of recommendation from their teachers. Students who apply by the early decision deadline need to submit a form that shows they will attend Williams if they are accepted. The college has a $65 application fee too. Students have the option of sending an art portfolio, research abstract and/or a writing supplement too. Graduate students have until the beginning of January to apply. The college asks for a $75 application fee, official college transcripts and the contact information for three references. Williams will contact those references and ask for letters of recommendation on the student’s behalf.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergrads at Williams College typically pay $56,970 a year for tuition and fees. They pay a $310 fee to live in a residence hall and another $14,990 each year for their room and board. Those who choose to study abroad pay a fee of $1,500 plus their travel and living expenses. Williams lets students make changes to their room and board packages, which will affect their annual rates. The college charges the same yearly rates in its graduate programs too.

The financial aid packages offered by Williams will cover 100 percent of a student’s estimated cost of attendance. Around 17 percent of the college’s undergrads do not pay anything, and more than 50 percent of students receive at least one type of financial aid. Students who receive financial aid do not pay for their textbooks or any lab fees and receive free music lessons from the college. They can also get money that covers the cost of the winter term or study abroad programs too. As long as the college receives the FAFSA, it will grant financial aid to the applicant.

All students qualify for a book grant that covers the cost of any textbooks that they need. They can qualify for other types of grants and a few scholarships also. Williams attempts to give students financial aid to reduce the amount they need to borrow. The average student loan debt reported by graduates of the college is around $4,000 a year. Students can get jobs too, which require that they work no more than eight hours a week. Most of the college’s financial aid programs are available for graduate students too. Students may get PLUS or parental loans to cover the cost of attendance at Williams College and the price of its degree programs.