Founded in 1855, Bates College was the first co-educational school in the US. Located in Lewiston, Maine, the urban campus takes up about 100 acres. With an undergraduate population of around 1,800 students, most students form close connections with their classmates. These bonds are also forged because nearly all of the students live on campus. They can reside in one of the 12 residence halls or one of the 20 Victorian houses on campus. Each of the houses holds between 10 and 30 students.
Class sizes at Bates College are relatively small, with a student to faculty ratio of ten to one. About 63% of the school’s courses have less than 20 students. There are 35 majors available to undergrads. The most popular majors are: social sciences; biological/life sciences; psychology; liberal arts/general studies; and natural resources and conservation. The majority of students are required to complete senior theses or research projects. They also have the chance to work one-on-one with faculty members in their chosen field of study throughout their four years at Bates. Many students also choose to participate in the study-abroad programs that Bates offers. They have over 200 programs located in more than 80 countries; the most popular destinations are Italy, United Kingdom, China, Austria and Spain.
There are many opportunities for students to expand their horizons outside of the classroom. Bates offers approximately 100 student organizations. Many students belong to the Outing Club, which holds outdoor/adventure trips throughout the school year. They also have the Brooks Quimby Debate Council and the student-run radio station, WRBC. Bates has a flourishing athletic program. Around one-third of students take part in a varsity sport. The school is a member of the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Bates College students can thank their liberal arts educations for helping them develop more well-rounded personalities. Because of the combination of challenging academics and fun on-campus programs, undergraduates can truly immerse themselves in the college experience. Small class sizes and living on campus can also help students build strong relationships with classmates and faculty members. The many opportunities Bates College offers make it easy to see why it is one of the top liberal arts schools in the country.