Nestled into the Upper Valley that straddles Vermont and New Hampshire, Dartmouth sits alongside the Connecticut River in the picturesque town of Hanover, NH. Founded in 1769 to educate Native Americans, Dartmouth is now one of the eight schools that make up the prestigious Ivy League. Unlike Columbia, Harvard and Penn which each have over 20,000 students, the school has just over 6000 students, about 4200 of them undergraduates. Its
location in Hanover marks another distinct difference from its Ivy League brethren, most of which are located in larger, urban areas. Hanover, with just over 11,000 permanent residents, reminds one of the quintessential small New England town, and it is physically connected to Dartmouth by its Main Street which runs along the Dartmouth Green and through the heart of campus.
Dartmouth is home to three graduate schools: the Thayer School of Engineering, the Tuck School of Business and the Geisel School of Medicine (named after Theodore Geisel, better know as Dr. Suess, an alumnus of Dartmouth). However, the focus remains on undergraduate teaching. Unlike at many other schools, Dartmouth undergrads are taught by professors rather than graduate students. Many of these professors have received awards for their teaching and, as a whole, the Dartmouth faculty has been awarded the top spot in “Strong Commitment to Teaching” by US News each of the last five years.
Dartmouth students can choose from over fifty different majors from African Studies to Engineering Sciences to Psychology.
Tucked into the far northwest corner of Massachusetts with the Berkshire Mountains providing a picturesque backdrop, Williams College is one of the premier colleges in the country. Ranked the top national liberal arts college by US News, it edges out its rival Amherst College for that honor. Located in Williamstown, the college was founded in 1793, making it the second oldest college in Massachusetts. A men’s college for almost 180 years, Williams began to admit women in 1970.
As visitors enter Williamstown on Main Street (Route 2) and cross over North Street, the campus opens up before them on either side of the road. Williams is in many ways the quintessential New England college campus and is especially beautiful on fall afternoons when the leaves have begun to turn. The campus architecture seamlessly mixes the old, such as West College built in 1790 and now used as a dormitory, with new buildings like the ’62 Center for Theatre & Dance and the soon-to-be-completed Stetson-Sawyer Building.
Connecticut College was founded in 1911 as a women’s college in response to an announcement by neighboring Wesleyan that it would no longer admit women. Since making the transition to co-education, Conn has established itself as an outstanding liberal arts college and is well-known for its study abroad programs. At just over nineteen hundred students, the college is about the same size as Bates and Bowdoin, the smallest of the schools that make up the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Visitors to the school are immediately struck by the natural setting of the 750-acre arboretum campus set at the highest point in New London overlooking the Thames River. The campus contains a pond, woods and hiking trails and students can be seen studying, hiking or bike riding throughout the fall and spring (although New England’s harsh winters can blanket the campus in snow in January and February). Continue reading Campus Visit: Connecticut College→
Saint Michael’s College is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Colchester, VT. Founded in 1904 by the Society of Saint Edmund, the schools sits on 440 picturesque acres just minutes away from Burlington. There are a number of ski areas within a half hour of campus and Montreal is just two hours away, Boston just over three. The school’s 2000 undergraduate students hail from 38 states and 43 different countries. While SMC has increased its national exposure in recent years, it is still somewhat of a regional school with 78 percent of its students coming from the six New England states.
Saint Michael’s prides itself on its quality teaching, access to professors and small class size. The student:faculty ratio is 12:1 and more than half of the school’s classes have fewer than 20 students. One of the stops on the admissions tour is a classroom in Cheray Hall which, it turns out, is the largest classroom on campus. Students and their parents accustomed to the massive lecture halls found at many larger schools will be surprised at the size of this room, which holds less than 100 students. Continue reading Campus Visit: Saint Michael’s College→