Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 and has a population of just under 3,600 students. The university is renowned for being one of the most productive liberal arts schools in the country. (A large number of students go on to complete their PhDs.) The institution has been deemed one of the “Little Ivies” and is a member of the “Little Three” (along with Amherst College and Williams College). Wesleyan has also been praised for its many opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Class sizes remain small with a student to faculty ratio of about 8.5 to 1. Approximately 70 percent of classes have less than 20 students.
Wesleyan offers 45 majors, 32 minors, and 3 certificate programs. The most popular majors are social sciences; psychology; area, ethnic, and gender studies; visual and performing arts; English; and biological/life sciences. Wesleyan University provides combined programs with the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University‘s School of Engineering. These allow undergrads to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years. There are also pre-professional opportunities in medicine, law and business.
Although academics are tough, Wesleyan University does not require a set of mandatory curriculum. Instead, there are 10 ‘capabilities’ that every student should have by graduation. These requirements can be met through a number of various courses or extracurricular activities. Nearly all students participate in the Writing Across the Curriculum program to help satisfy graduation requirements. Freshmen do have to complete First Year Initiative seminars, and the first two years should be spent taking at least two courses in natural sciences and mathematics, humanities and the arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Juniors and seniors are expected to take one course in each of these areas.
There are many opportunities to learn outside the classroom as well. Nearly half of all Wesleyan University students study abroad through 150 programs in over 50 countries. Students can also take part in the Twelve College Exchange where they can take classes on campuses at Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wheaton, and Williams. At Wesleyan, there are also a huge number of student groups on campus with more than 200 recognized organizations! There are also several fraternities, sororities, and secret societies like the Skull and Serpent group. Students can participate in publishing the oldest twice-weekly college newspaper, “The Wesleyan Argus.” Students interested in a flexible academic program and many opportunities for extracurriculars should investigate all Wesleyan University has to offer.