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.


Maud S. Mandel
Ph.D. (1998) University of Michigan
About President Mandel


  • Total number of instructional faculty: 364
  • Tenured faculty as a percentage of total faculty: 54%
  • Percent of the faculty with doctorates or other terminal degrees: 92%

Student Enrollment

Undergrad Graduate
Total 2,030 54
Men 1,076 23
Women 954 31
  • Undergraduate Non-U.S. enrollment: 8%
  • Undergraduate U.S. minority enrollment: 40%

The greatest share of our undergraduates come from New York, California and Massachusetts, in that order.
Enrollment as of Fall 2017

Class of 2021 Admission Statistics

  • Applied: 8,593
  • Admitted: 1,253
  • Percent admitted: 15%
  • Entered: 548
  • Early decision as % of entering class: 47%
  • U.S. students of color: 40%

2018-19 Comprehensive Fee

  • Tuition: $55,140
  • Board, room, & fees: $14,810
  • Study away fee (as applicable): $1,500

Financial Aid Statistics

  • 50% of Williams undergraduate students receive need-based financial aid
  • 20% of undergraduate students receive Pell Grants
  • 16% of aided students’ parents pay nothing
  • Average aid package:
    • 93% grants (Federal, state and Williams)
    • 4% campus job
    • 3% student loan

Financial aid statistics updated January 2018

Major Fields of Study

Four-year average distribution of majors, 2015-2018:

American Studies: 8
Anthropology: 4
Arabic Studies: 8
Art: 35
Asian Studies: 5
Astronomy: 2
Astrophysics: 1
Biology: 61
Chemistry: 42
Chinese: 7
Classics: 6
Comparative Literature: 11
Computer Science: 35
Economics: 102
English: 58
Environmental Studies, Science, Policy: 10
French: 12
Geosciences: 14
German: 3
History: 53
Japanese: 6
Mathematics: 67
Music: 7
Philosophy: 13
Physics: 13
Political Economy: 17
Political Science: 53
Psychology: 54
Religion: 5
Russian: 2
Sociology: 8
Spanish: 6
Statistics: 15
Theatre: 6
Women’s & Gender Studies: 8
Student-Designed Major: 2
Note: Approximately 40% of students graduate as double majors.

Graduation Statistics

Of the 545 first-year students who entered in 2011, 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, January 2018, with data supplied by the 2017-2018 Common Data Set, course catalog, and Williams College IPEDS reports.