Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49
1.00 - 1.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
560 - 660
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
580 - 660
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
26 - 31


Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 15

February 1

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Architecture and Related Service

  • Architecture

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • African Studies
  • American/United States Studies/Civilization
  • Asian Studies/Civilization
  • European Studies/Civilization
  • Gay/Lesbian Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Russian Studies
  • Women's Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology, General

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Communication and Media Studies, Other

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General
  • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Ancient/Classical Greek Language and Literature
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Comparative Literature
  • French Language and Literature
  • Latin Language and Literature
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Leisure and Recreational Activities

  • Theatre/Theater

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other
  • Physics

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Public Policy Analysis

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Urban Studies/Affairs

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Dance, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory

Students Say

According to one of its undergraduates, Hobart and William Smith Colleges offer students a “commitment to fostering growth of character and the ability to succeed in our chosen field” along “with a well-rounded education.” These small, residential colleges in Geneva, New York provide an education of both depth and breadth, prioritizing “the liberal arts opportunity to explore majors before being locked into a program track.” “The students, staff, and faculty really embrace the idea of the liberal arts education here,” which means that “connections are made across disciplines, borders, and generations.” Students highly value “the small student to faculty ratio, which allows teachers to hold students to a high level of competency and foster good relationships with each student.” HWS’s “small class sizes allow for more discussion-based classes, which enhance the overall learning experience.” “Professors are always accessible, and a good number of them reach out to their students as opposed to simply expecting students to take initiative for help. They easily become friends with students and keep in touch with and mentor them after graduation.” These professors show themselves to be “very respectful while simultaneously maintaining high standards of work,” and one student comments, “I’ve never had a professor that did not inspire me while here.” Another student declares, “Basically every single class I have walked out of I have called my mom or dad to discuss some wild new set of information I learned that I hadn’t known before. That’s a pretty awesome thing.” Another appreciates how “I absolutely love what I’ve done in my studies here and how my mind has morphed in turn for the better.” Many students call HWS “an extremely well-rounded college,” with “superb academic, career, extracurricular and athletics opportunities for all its students.” It’s one of the “only small liberal arts colleges in the country with an architecture program,” and overall, “there are endless opportunities while attending the school and post-graduation.”



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Prominent Alumni

Brad Falchuk
Co-creator, writer, executive producer and director of Fox series "Glee"

Jeremy Foley
Athletics Director, University of Florida

Abigail P. Johnson
President and CEO of Fidelity Investments

Terry McGuire
Co-Founder of Polaris Venture Partners

Dorothy Wickenden
Executive editor, The New Yorker

John Grotzinger
Mission leader; project scientist in charge of the Mars Science Laboratory

Daniel L. Rosensweig
President and CEO, Chegg; former Pres./CEO of Guitar Hero

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Median Starting Salary

Median Mid-Career Salary

Alumni with High Job Meaning

Return on Education (ROE) rating

Students Say

Students say HWS has “an extensive alumni network” that helps students find work after college. They also report excellent “access to great internships.” In fact, in 2014 HWS started a “guaranteed internship program” where every student of “good academic and social standing” who completes their Pathways Program is assured an internship or research experience. HWS provides a stipend if the internship is unpaid. Students also say Career Services is very good at “helping students access . . . jobs during and after graduation.” Payscale.com reports an average starting salary of $44,200 for HWS graduates and a mid-career average of $83,100.

Colleges that Create Futures

Hands-on Coursework

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are proud of their interdisciplinary curriculum, and students appreciate the freedom this unique approach affords them. “You have the freedom to design your own educational experience,” one international relations and political science major told us, echoing the feelings of many students in our survey. The curriculum is designed around eight learning goals focused on communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, scientific inquiry, artistic expression, cultural understanding, ethical judgment and action, and an understanding of differences and inequalities. As the school explained, “Students work with faculty advisers to design a program of study that both meets their interests and fulfills the degree requirements.” Students easily recognize the value of such a curriculum. A writing and rhetoric major told us, “HWS is a strong academic institution that truly promotes educational growth and real learning. The interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts is highlighted, and I know that my education here is worth something”; while a mathematics and economics major expressed gratitude for the “interdisciplinary education for a world which requires being able to think from many different perspectives.”
HWS’s purposefully interdisciplinary approach affects faculty as well as students. For example, Dr. Thomas Drennen has been the chair of economics and is now the chair of environmental studies. Does it seem strange that the chair of one department could be chair of another? Dr. Drennen says, not at all. “My area is: How do you solve environmental problems? I think that to do that you have to understand economics,” he explained. “We’re trying to make students understand what it means to be interdisciplinary.” Meanwhile Dr. Jack Harris offered this assessment of the school’s approach: “I describe HWS as a ‘culture of yes’—if a faculty member wants to try something new it is generally encouraged. There are so many examples—just look at our interdisciplinary offerings, or the different international programs (such as in Vietnam) that have sprouted from faculty initiatives. We often do the same for students, enabling them to create individual majors, and going out of our way to stretch the boundaries of learning.”
Service Learning

HWS and its students are serious about serving their community. According to Dr. Jack Harris, “over 60 percent of our students take service learning courses and are civically engaged.” CCESL helps organize their efforts through the Geneva Partnership, a sustained and engaged relationship with the city of Geneva, New York—the school’s hometown. Through this partnership and the Geneva 2020 collective impact initiative, the HWS community provides assistance in three areas affecting Geneva’s children: graduation rates, career and college readiness, and literacy. Beyond this partnership, the Colleges told us, “Students participate in regularly scheduled Days of Service in which they volunteer in the surrounding area with the common purpose of giving back to the greater Geneva community. Past Days of Service activities have included working at the Special Olympics, providing trail maintenance on the Ontario Pathways, spreading wood chips on a playground in Seneca Lake State Park and visiting with residents at the Clifton Springs nursing home. On their first full-day at HWS, students of the incoming classes participate in a Day of Service during First-Year Orientation.”
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Compass Program, in which they “explore options for local, national and international volunteerism; reflect on the ways service connects to coursework; create sustainable programs that merge community needs with students’ academic and personal interests and abilities; and embark upon a lifelong commitment to justice and social consciousness.” HWS even allows for community-based projects to count toward students’ majors, through their Community Based Research program in which students work with a community partner and faculty sponsor to explore an important community issue. The students who participated in our survey value these opportunities to impact the local and global community. One undeclared sophomore told us, “A well-rounded citizen must contribute to his or her local community AND the global community, and in doing so will find that the two aren’t so different.” According to a geoscience and environmental studies major, “Hobart and William Smith Colleges is about community—Geneva, New York in the smallest sense of the word and defining what it means to be a global citizen in the biggest sense of the word.”
Global Education

Given HWS’s commitment to community—both local and global—it will perhaps come as no surprise that study abroad opportunities are incredibly admired among students. The Colleges, through its Center for Global Education, offer nearly 50 study abroad destinations on six continents. These opportunities help to define HWS students. “What comes to mind when I think of HWS is community. The student body creates an inclusive community that leads lives of consequences. Students study abroad, volunteer in the local Geneva community, help with sustainability issues on campus, get involved in various clubs and sports,” a biochemistry major told us. Faculty appreciate the opportunities as well, as Dr. Nan Crystal Arens explained: “The opportunity to teach whole semesters abroad as a faculty member was a major factor influencing my decision to come to HWS. I’ve led three of our semester-long off campus programs and it is wonderful to participate in the transformation that happens during these experiences.” All of this international experience impacts class discussions back in Geneva as well. “Classes bring in current materials, and given that more than 50 percent of students go abroad, conversations are diverse and global,” a geoscience and environmental science major reported. (According to the Colleges, 60 percent of all students actually study abroad.)
HWS takes its commitment to providing a global education even further through its Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend, which provides three students with financial support of up to $20,000 to pursue an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice (examples of past destinations include London, Singapore, Rome, Hong Kong, Sweden, Peru, India and South Africa). According to the Colleges, “By supplanting classroom education with internship experience, students gain a practical understanding for the demands and rewards of future careers.”
Leadership Opportunities

Given the Colleges’ motto, “Preparing students to lead lives of consequence,” HWS stresses the importance of leadership skills. Through the CCL, the Colleges offer services in four key areas: leadership development, community leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, and global leadership. CCL hosts a leadership certificate program, fellowships, a three-day leadership institute, a series based on leadership discovery, and speakers who engage with students in café style discussions. Through The Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest and the idea accelerator program HWS IdeaLab, students also have opportunities to showcase their ideas for businesses, organizations, products and services. Dr. Nan Crystal Arens explained to us the value of these various programs: “There are many opportunities to exercise leadership with a variety of groups and on a variety of scales. What I like about this approach is that students get to try things in the complex environment of real people and real organizations and sometimes fail.”


Application Deadlines
Feb 1
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
State Aid

Bottom Line

Tuition at HWS is $46,852. Room, board, and fees bring that total to $59,034. The school estimates an additional $1,300 for books and other supplies. Don’t let that price tag detour you though, at HWS 82 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance.

Bang For Your Buck

HWS’s website states that they believe “your education will be more valuable to you if you are involved in paying for it,” and they expect all students to help finance their education. They also state that if you need help, “first ask families to seek additional resources from government and private programs.” That said, the colleges admit students without looking at need and then do what they can to help those who have financially needs. In addition to federal and state need-based awards, there are numerous merit and scholarships available. Examples include the Elizabeth Blackwell Scholarships for students doing advanced science coursework and the Environmental Sustainability Trustee Scholarship for students dedicated to environmental leadership.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



52% female
48% male
59% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time

Students Say

Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ motto is “Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence,” and its undergrads take this statement of purpose to heart. “A strong sense of community defines Hobart and William Smith Colleges,” and those communities include “Geneva, NY in the smallest sense of the word and defining what it means to be a global citizen in the biggest sense of the word.” One student marvels that “when I came to campus, people around me asked ‘what can we do for you?’ rather than ‘what can you do for us?’ and that has stayed true during my four years here.” The typical HWS student is “outgoing,” “extremely involved,” and an “academically driven and social person.” “You often hear about the stereotypical rich, preppy ‘Smithie’ or ‘Hobart bro.’ And while of course they exist, they are not the only type of student here, nor are they the majority.”


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Dorms Male
Frat Sorority
International Student
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Plenty of students engage with the colleges’ offerings in “athletics, leadership and entrepreneurship, study abroad opportunities, alum network and connections,” but they also like to have fun. “Students at HWS are very eclectic and are all involved in many different things, making fitting in easy.” Indeed, “students fit in by getting involved in various organizations on campus such as athletics, fraternities, clubs and extracurriculars.” “People love hanging out on campus for the most part, but they do enjoy excursions off campus, whether it be a quick dinner in downtown Geneva or Canandaigua (15 minutes away), or…a weekend getaway in Rochester or Syracuse.” “The Finger Lakes are home to some of the best wineries in the United States. Wine tours, exploring the local lakes, and hiking trails and gorges take up a lot of students’ time during the warm months.” “We do not have sororities on campus,” but “we do have fraternities,” and “the majority of students do drink and party, but there are plenty of campus-sponsored events for those not looking for that kind of weekend activity.” “Nightlife on campus can range from a small get together at an apartment or a big party in either the fraternity houses, bigger theme houses, or off campus.” Some students say while “the nightlife on campus isn’t as widespread as other places, it is still just as lively.”

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

18% join a fraternity


Athletic Division
Division III

30% participate in intramural sports
23% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Statesmen)
11 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Ice Hockey
Women's Sports (Herons)
13 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey

Student Services

LGBT Support Groups: Pride Alliance

Minority Support Groups: Office of Intercultural Affairs

Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Syracuse University
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Syracuse University


Hobart and William Smith Colleges feature a campus situated “on the edge of a small city, a few blocks from vast agricultural lands and on the shores of one of the deepest lakes in the United States,”—and this diversity in topography has spread to the colleges’ wide-ranging efforts towards environmental sustainability. At HWS, vast natural resources are used to the fullest through a “living laboratory” approach. For instance, a class project led to the Finger Lakes Institute’s renovation, where the use of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, combined with the implementation of measures to improve energy and water conservation, qualified the FLI for the Energy Star Small Business Award. The colleges compost nearly 100 percent of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste from their dining facilities. The Energy and Climate Committee have implemented energy efficiency technologies, including LED lighting and high-efficiency boilers. HWS recently announced that 100 percent of electricity on campus now comes from wind energy, making it the first small liberal arts college in the state to be powered entirely by wind. The president of the HWS Campus Greens sits in on the Sustainability Executive committee— The President’s Climate Task Force. Students have environmental course options in myriad departments, and research opportunities abound. HWS students will undoubtedly be among the top of the pack in the green job market; the Department of Career Services maintains a fulltime counselor with a focus on career development, internship and job opportunities in the environmental sector.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Educational Pricing: Apple

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Marylyn Uhnak
Associate Director of Admissions

Admissions Office
629 S. Main St.
Geneva, NY 14456



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Scandling Campus Center
The Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Center
Stern Hall
Caird Center for Sports and Recreation
Rosensweig Learning Commons
Trinity Hall, which houses the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education; the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning; and the Center for Global Education. The Centennial Center for Leadership is another popular space.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Seneca Lake
Women's Hall of Fame
Women's Rights National Historical Park
Finger Lakes wineries
The Smith Center for the Arts
Waterloo Premium Outlets is a shopping center with retail outlets of leading national brands. It's 15 minutes from campus.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday, Saturday
8:30am-5pm; 9am-noon

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Varies -- see schedule on web site

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

Available on weeknights, except during vacations and exam periods


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Geneva is served by Greyhound Bus. There is a municipal bus sustem and private taxis. Amtrak serves Rochester and Syracuse; airport service at Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Directions from the North: From the New York State Thruway (I-90), take exit 42 - Geneva. Once through the toll booth, take a right, heading south on Route 14 toward Geneva. Travel approximately 5.8 miles through the City of Geneva. Turn right on Seneca Street. Travel to the top of the hill to the "T" intersection. Turn left on South Main Street/Route 14. Continue approximately .7 miles. Directions from the South: From the Southern Tier Expressway (Route I-86/17), take the Elmira exit off I-86 for Route 14 North. Follow Route 14, approximately 50 miles, until you reach Geneva.

Local Accommodations
Seneca Lake is home to great choices for lodging. Belhurst Castle (Route 14 S.; 315-781-0201) is a grand, heavily paneled Victorian mansion with grounds that run down to the lake. Rates are moderate to expensive. Geneva on the Lake (10001 Lochland Rd.; 315-789-7190) is a handsome, all-suite resort with a pool, boating, and access to many sporting activities. Rates are expensive. More moderately priced is the Ramada Geneva Lake Front (315-789-0400), with 148 rooms on the shore of Seneca Lake. Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Microtel are also a short distance from campus. A budget option within half a mile of campus: Days Inn (485 Hamilton St.; 315-789-4050). There are numerous bed and breakfasts throughout the area (list on our website.)