On Site: Colby College


At a Glance


Waterville, ME

Undergraduate Students: 2,000

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 90%

Freshman Retention Rate: 90%

Popular Majors: Biology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Government, Psychology



The Feel

  • Colby College is a small liberal arts college with the opportunities, facilities and campus size of a large university. Its residential campus, located in small-town Waterville, Maine, is composed of red brick buildings, plenty of open space and a lovely pond. Most things center around the campus. Not far from campus are outdoor recreation options like skiing, or big-city life in nearby Portland.

  • Student collaboration and community is emphasized. Lunchtime ‘language tables,’ where only that foreign language is spoken, let students practice their language of study over a meal; additionally, all first-year students go on an outdoor-themed trip called COOT - Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips.

  • There is a strong emphasis on student/faculty relationships! Colby has a “bring your professor to coffee day” where coffee is free for both. Rather than residential RA’s, Colby has peer CA’s, which focus on student integration rather than rule enforcement.


Standout Points

  • Strong focus on student-driven research in a non-competitive, collaborative academic environment. Every department offers hands-on research opportunities.

  • Two centers aiming to make the world a better place: the Oak Institute for Human Rights and the Buck Lab for Climate and the Environment.

  • College schedule is on a unique 4/1/4 calendar which includes J term, a month-long semester in January where students choose between a specialized class or study abroad.

  • Students not as strong in math or science can take lighter and/or more engaging versions of those requirements.

  • New student housing and a performing arts center are under construction!


Fun Fact

  • A brand new artificial intelligence lab, the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, is the first cross-disciplinary institute for AI at a liberal arts college. AI will be used to address problems across multiple disciplines far into the future. Students will get hands-on experience with the tools that will “help solve the world’s most pressing problems” and “improve the human condition,” the Institute’s main goals.



Bottom Line Fit:


For the high-achieving student looking for large university advantages and strong student/faculty relationships within a small, tight-knit student body. Three research centers focusing on AI, human rights and the environment offer ample research opportunities which could be a great launch into graduate work.


Learn more about Colby College!


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