On Site: Bates College

Updated: Aug 20


At a Glance

Lewiston, Maine

Undergraduate Students: 1,876

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 93%

Freshman Retention Rate: 89%

Popular Majors: Economics, Environmental Studies, History, Political Science, Psychology


The Feel

  • Bates College takes pride in the fact that they were founded by abolitionists; they were also the first co-ed school in New England.

  • The residential campus includes “The Puddle” (what students call their lake), and a beautiful multi-use chapel.

  • Students are a 20 minute walk from groceries, cafes, and restaurants. The campus lies 45 minutes from the ocean and 45 minutes from the mountains.

  • Community is highly valued, both on and off campus. The campus is intentionally open (non-gated) to foster relationship with surrounding community. On campus the atmosphere is friendly and collaborative. It bleeds into everything they do, according to alumni we met on campus.


Standout Points

  • The largest class is typically 35, making the learning environment intimate and intentional.

  • Bates recently completed construction of a new science center.

  • Very strong career development center.

  • On campus we met more than one student planning on going to law school.

  • All students complete a senior thesis which is crafted with 1 on 1 professor guidance over several courses.

  • Academic calendar is structured 4/4/1 - May term consists of one focused course; there are many options for the May term, including study abroad.

  • All students do a “major + 1.” This serves as a kind of specialization and can be a GEC (General Ed Concentration), additional major or a minor.

Fun Fact

  • Each winter students engage in the quirky tradition of donning funny costumes and rushing into the lake in the annual polar plunge!


Bottom Line Fit: For the outdoor lover seeking a liberal arts environment in the New England landscape and who finds the extra academic requirements, like the major + 1 and the thesis appealing.



Learn more about Bates College!


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