Fast Facts About Williams


Established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams, the college is private, residential, and liberal arts, with graduate programs in the history of art and in development economics. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 2,000 students.

The student-faculty ratio is 7:1.

Williams admits U.S. students without regard to their ability to pay. The college meets 100 percent of every admitted student’s demonstrated financial need for four years. Half of all Williams students receive financial aid from the college.

There are three academic divisions (languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics) that encompass 25 departments, 36 majors, and several concentrations and special programs. The academic year consists of two four-course semesters plus a one-course January term.

Fraternities were phased out beginning in 1962. Coeducation was adopted in 1970.

The school color is purple. The mascot is the Purple Cow. Sports teams are called “Ephs.”

Williamstown is located in the Berkshires in northwestern Massachusetts, 135 miles from Boston and 165 miles from New York City.


Adam F. Falk
Ph.D. (1991) Harvard
About President Falk


  • Total number of instructional faculty: 349
  • Tenured faculty as a percentage of total faculty: 58%
  • Percent of the faculty with doctorates or other terminal degrees: 93%

Student Enrollment

Undergrad Graduate
Total 2,042 57
Men 1,051 23
Women 991 34
  • Undergraduate Non-U.S. enrollment: 8%
  • Undergraduate U.S. minority enrollment: 39%

The greatest share of our undergraduates come from New York, California and Massachusetts, in that order.
Enrollment as of Fall 2016

Class of 2021 Admission Statistics*

  • Applied: 8,593
  • Admitted: 1,253
  • Percent admitted: 15%
  • Entered: 554
  • U.S. students of color: 41%

*As of August 2017; subject to change

2017-18 Comprehensive Fee

  • Tuition: $53,240
  • Board, room, & fees: $14,460
  • Study away fee (as applicable): $1,500

Financial Aid Statistics

  • Percent receiving Williams aid: 50%
  • Average annual cost for aided families: $17,381
  • Range of awards: $4,620 – $65,740
  • Range of family income of students assisted: $0 through $250,000+

Financial aid statistics updated March 2015

Major Fields of Study

Four-year average distribution of majors, 2014-2017:

American studies: 8
Anthropology: 5
Arabic Studies: 8
Art: 37
Asian studies: 5
Astronomy: 2
Astrophysics: 3
Biology: 57
Chemistry: 41
Chinese: 10
Classics: 6
Comparative Literature/
Literary Studies: 13
Computer Science: 24
Economics: 92
English: 63
Environmental Policy: 6
Environmental Science: 4
French: 11
Geosciences: 11
German: 3
History: 60
Japanese: 6
Mathematics: 64
Music: 7
Philosophy: 13
Physics: 15
Political Economy: 17
Political Science: 56
Psychology: 59
Religion: 7
Russian: 3
Sociology: 7
Spanish: 6
Statistics: 14
Theatre: 6
Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies: 9
Student-Designed Major: 6
Note: Approximately 40% of students graduate as double majors.

Graduation Statistics

Of the 548 first-year students who entered in 2010, 86% graduated from Williams within four years and 94% within six years.


Williams has about 150 student organizations on campus. 96% of students are involved in at least one extracurricular activity.


Approximately 35% of all students participate in intercollegiate sports (33% at the varsity level). There are 32 varsity intercollegiate teams (16 men’s and 16 women’s), 5 junior varsity teams, 24 club teams, and a large intramural program. Williams is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).


There are 30,115 living alumni of record, and 60 regional alumni associations nationwide and overseas. Alumni participation in the 2016-17 Alumni Fund was 54.6%. More than 61% of the alumni from the classes of 1980 to 2000 have earned at least one graduate or professional degree. The most popular graduate disciplines for alumni are management, education, law, and health care.


  • Audited 2016-17 operating expenditures: $236,756,631
  • Gifts from private support (for 2016-17) : $97,402,990
  • Investment Pool (Market value as of 6/30/17): $2,568,064,122

More Information

The Williams Directories contain up-to-date links to Williams websites where you can find email addresses and phone numbers.

Fast Facts about Williams is prepared by the Williams College Office of Communications, October 2017, with data supplied by the 2016-2017 Common Data Set, course catalog, and Williams College IPEDS reports.