Wellesley College is one of the most academically challenging and diverse colleges in the country. With its established reputation for academic excellence and its strong sense of identity and community, Wellesley provides an extraordinary liberal arts and sciences education for women.
Multicultural and international campus
Wellesley College is a multicultural, multifaith community of students and faculty from around the world. Wellesley’s 2,300 students come from all 50 states and 83 countries. Over 40% of our students represent students of color, and 12% are international students. Multiculturalism and diversity are a way of life, as reflected in the dynamic student body, study and internship opportunities abroad, and student organizations and activism. A Wellesley education provides skills and experiences necessary to be successful in today’s global environment.
Wellesley students choose from among 1,000+ courses and over 54 departmental and interdepartmental majors. Approximately 40% of students double-major, while others elect to design their own majors with faculty approval. Wellesley’s liberal arts and sciences distribution requirements are flexible and designed to ensure that students are broadly educated.
The student-faculty ratio of 7:1 keeps classes small and opportunities plentiful. Professors get to know each student, as there are no teaching assistants. The emphasis on concentrated, small-group learning promotes dialogue and the exchange of ideas between students and faculty—often resulting in collaborative research. Approximately 400 students each year do research across all disciplines.
Students have many opportunities to participate in special programs of study: cross-registration with MIT, Brandeis, Babson, and Olin College of Engineering; the 12-College Ex-change Program; and exchanges with Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and Mills College in Oakland, California. The College also maintains programs in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Berlin, Germany. In addition, Wellesley offers approved study abroad programs in more than 50 countries around the world. Financial aid is transferable to approved study abroad and exchange programs.
Residential and student life
Wellesley’s 21 residence halls are the focus of campus life; 98% of students live on campus. Housing is guaranteed for all full-time students. The residence experience at Wellesley includes social events with other colleges, meals with faculty members, and lectures. First-year students and sophomores are usually housed in double rooms, while juniors and seniors typically have singles. There are dining halls in all of the major residence hall complexes, and the meal plan is unlimited. You can eat three meals a day in any of the dining halls, which include vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, and kosher dining options.
The College is located 12 miles from Boston, which offers abundant social and cultural outlets as well as numerous career and community service opportunities. On campus there are more than 160 student organizations that range from artistic, cultural, environmental, and athletic to literary, performance, political, and religious. There are also numerous community service opportunities and clubs that co-sponsor events with other schools in the Boston area.
Wellesley is an NCAA Division III school and a member of the ECAC and NEWMAC conferences. There are 13 varsity sports. Students also enjoy intramural and recreational programs, including club sports and fitness classes such as yoga, skiing, sailing, dance, golf, crew, and Ultimate Frisbee.
Wellesley College is located on a scenic 500-acre campus near Boston. The campus includes botanical gardens, an arboretum, Lake Waban, a golf course, countless footpaths, and both Gothic and modern architecture. Central to campus life is the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center, which provides a gathering space for all members of the Wellesley community.
Wellesley is committed to a need-blind admission policy for US citizens and permanent residents and admits students without regard to their families’ ability to pay. Wellesley meets 100% of each admitted student’s need, as determined by the College’s financial aid policy. Financial aid is awarded in the form of grants, low-interest student loans, and work-study. Wellesley has eliminated loans for low-income students, and no student will graduate at the end of four years with more than $15,200 in packaged student loans. Thanks in part to a substantial endowment, making a Wellesley education affordable is something that continues to be of utmost importance to the College.
Living and learning in an environment full of self-directed and intellectually curious women helps students develop the skills, confidence, and poise needed to succeed in all their chosen professional fields, including those traditionally dominated by men. All student leaders at Wellesley are women, and every resource of the College is devoted to undergraduate women. Students have extraordinary opportunities to cultivate their leadership abilities, and they gain lifelong access to “The W Network,” an accomplished group of dedicated Wellesley alumnae.
Wellesley offers tremendous resources for women as they pursue their careers and/or seek higher education in their chosen fields. Wellesley’s Career Education model is innovative. Through an individually tailored, holistic approach to career education, Wellesley students develop strategies to pursue their goals in any field and receive continued support through all stages of their lives.
Nearly 93% of Wellesley students complete an internship before they graduate. Wellesley students also excel in prestigious national fellowship competitions and acceptance rates to graduate schools, including law schools and schools in the medical professions.
• A four-year liberal arts college for women founded in 1870
• Located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, 12 miles west of Boston; in close proximity to more than 50 colleges and universities and 250,000 college students
• Campus includes stone towers and brick quadrangles, a botanical garden and arboretum, an art museum and cultural center, a campus center, state-of-the-art science facilities, and a new athletic field complex.
• Average class size is 18–21 students.
• 2,300 students from 50 states and 83 countries
• 38% white, 23% Asian American, 11% Latina/Hispanic, 6% African American, 6% reporting two or more races, 4% not reported, 12% international
Class of 2021 Admission Statistics
• Out of 5,703 applicants, 605 are enrolled.
• Of those candidates ranked, 80% are in the top 10% of their high school graduating class.
• Mean SAT: Reading—720, Math—717, Writing—703
• Mean ACT plus Writing: 31
• Wellesley accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, and QuestBridge Application.
• 350 full- and part-time faculty
• 98% of full-time faculty hold doctoral degrees.
• More than 55% are women.
• 54 departmental and interdepartmental majors
• Cross-registration with MIT, Babson, Brandeis, and Olin College of Engineering
• Interdisciplinary academic program
• More than 1,100 internships and volunteer opportunities
• Need-blind admission policy for US citizens and permanent residents
• Student loans eliminated for students with the greatest need
• 56% of candidates receiving aid in 2016–2017
• Average financial aid award for 2016–2017: $41,000
• Tuition, room, board, and fees for 2016–2017: $63,916
• Free to apply
“Wellesley’s mission unites three aspirations: to educate women, to strive for academic excellence, and to produce graduates whose lives and careers will exemplify an ideal of engagement in the world. Together these elements have produced a college with a strong sense of identity and a long record of intellectual achievement and distinction—a college that has played a decisive role in shaping leadership models for women throughout the 20th century and will continue to do so in the 21st century.”
— Andrew Shennan, Provost and Dean of Wellesley College