Hobart and William Smith Colleges are a unique, two-college coordinated system consisting of Hobart College for men, founded in 1822, and William Smith College for women, founded in 1908. While Hobart has roots dating back to the early days of the republic, when upstate New York was frontier, William Smith was founded as a companion school in the same town of Geneva. Today, the two colleges share a campus and faculty, but maintain their distinct traditions and character. Known popularly as The Colleges, Hobart and William Smith are ranked among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and has been named one of the happiest colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review.
Academic ProgramsThe Colleges are committed to their traditional liberal arts college heritage; the student body is almost entirely undergraduate, with only bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and one master’s degree (Teaching) available. The incredibly low 10:1 student:faculty ratio underscores Hobart and William Smith’s faith in student research and faculty mentorship – 96% of students discuss course content with faculty outside of class, and all courses are taught by full-time faculty, most of whom have the highest degree in their field.
Hobart and William Smith are particularly dedicated to global awareness and community service. Nearly two-thirds of the student body takes part in study abroad opportunities, while a full 100% of students are engaged in community service in some capacity. That includes community research, service learning, and other community engagement. Almost 90% of the student body receives merit- or need-based financial aid, and Forbes has recognized the Colleges for their excellent return on investment. No wonder Hobart and William Smith students are some of the happiest in the US.
Student LifeWith its emphasis on community and service, Hobart and William Smith Colleges are known for their tightly-knit, familial campus atmosphere. While the two colleges were originally entirely separated – the William Smith students were not even allowed to walk across Hobart’s campus in the Colleges’ early years – today the two are tightly integrated. Geneva is a small, beloved college town, and student life largely revolves around the campus and community. While Hobart has a long history of Greek Life, with numerous fraternities on campus, William Smith just established their first sorority in 2017.
Numerous student-led organizations include the full gamut of academic and extracurricular interests, from professional development groups to recreation. Music is a major part of student life, with numerous ensembles, including the full Colleges Chorale, instrumental groups, and a capella groups. A quarter of students take part in varsity sports as part of the 23 NCAA Division III teams. The Colleges have been acclaimed by Money magazine and Sports Illustrated as among the best colleges for combining a love of sports with academic excellence.