Elmira College campus

From the School

Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college. Elmira, a city of 35,000, is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.

Campus: 55 historic acres which include 7 classroom buildings, 12 dormitories, 2 administrative office buildings, library, health center, campus center, President's Home and Mark Twain Study. A major athletic facility completes the total campus. Eight college buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Academic calendar: Two twelve-week terms followed in April and May by a unique six-week Term III devoted to travel, field experience, research, independent study, and innovative courses.

Enrollment: 1,200 students, thirteen percent of whom are valedictorians or salutatorians of their high schools or prep schools, from 35 states and 31 foreign countries.

Faculty: All have earned the Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field required for undergraduate instruction; 11:1 student faculty ratio. No classes are taught by teaching assistants.

Average Class Size: 16 students per class; 90% of all offerings have 25 or fewer students; 35% have fewer than 12 students. Elmira ranks in the Top Five colleges in the eleven Northern states for small class size.

Athletics: NCAA Division III in men's and women's intercollegiate sports. Member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the United Volleyball Conference, and the Empire 8 Conference.


From The School

We offer two admissions plans for freshmen applicants. Early Decision and Regular Admission.

International students may apply only under the Regular Admission program.

Regular Admission
If you are applying to several colleges, here is what you do for Elmira College:
1. Submit a completed application to Elmira College. You can fill out an application online, or print an application that you can send in. We also accept the Common Application and Universal Application.
2. Have your counselor send your official transcript, including senior year courses and grades to date. Have your official SAT I or ACT scores sent to Elmira College.
3. Have at least one letter of recommendation sent to the college.
4. Write a great essay.
5. While not required, we strongly suggest you sit down with an Elmira College admissions counselor for an interview. You can schedule your interview by calling the Office of Admissions at 800-935-6472.

Early Decision
If Elmira College is your first choice college, Early Decision is the program for you. We'll make a decision on your application as soon as it is complete, but you do have to meet the deadlines. There are two Early Decision programs; the first deadline is November 15, and the second is January 15. We promise to notify you of our decision by December 15 for Early Decision I applicants and by January 31 for Early Decision II applicants.


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

Learn about new SAT scores and college admission here
SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
470 - 570
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
490 - 580
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
22 - 25

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Early Action
October 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Application Essay

Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating


From The School

Academic Programs

With a faculty-student ratio of 11:1, you will have the chance to express your ideas in class. Debate the nature of the universe with fellow students and professors. And learn from each other: well over half our students are from beyond New York State, representing 35 states, six Canadian provinces and 31 foreign countries. You will end up discussing your future one-on-one with people, who are committed to your success.

The requirements for baccalaureate degrees granted by Elmira College have been established by members of the faculty so that each graduate receives a broad general education, explores different fields of knowledge, examines one or more of those fields intensively, and applies the knowledge acquired in the classroom to realistic and appropriate work experiences.

Special Academic Programs:
Interested in becoming a doctor or lawyer? Elmira College offers a variety of academic programs that will prepare students for a range of career choices. Special Academic Programs include: Chemical Engineering, Army & Air Force ROTC, Pre-Law, Pre-Professional Programs, English as a Second Language, a 4+1 MBA Program, and Athletic Coaching Certificate.

Our Distinctive Academic Programs make the Elmira College experience unique. Required community service and internships allow students to grow and gain practical experience in a workplace dynamic. Encore, the College's performing arts appreciation requirement, and off-campus opportunities, such as, the Junior Year Abroad program expose students to a diversity of experiences not always found in a traditional classroom. The six-week Term III provides students with an exceptional opportunity to immerse themselves into one or two subjects intensely. Additionally (as you probably know by now), Elmira College is one of the best places in the world to study the work and life of Mark Twain.

Majors and Degrees Offered

Elmira College offers majors in more than 35 academic areas, but our range of program options is even greater. In ten of these subjects you may pursue either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. While the B.S. degree encourages specialization in a specific area, the B.A. degree offers a broader education in the liberal arts and sciences.

Students must earn a stipulated number of credits in the major--with a passing grade--as well as complete the General Degree Requirements.

Academic Majors Include: Accounting American Studies Anthropology and Sociology Art Biology Biology Chemistry Business Administration Chemistry Classical Studies Criminal Justice Economics Education Educational Studies Engineering-Chemical English Literature Environmental Studies Foreign Languages History Human Services Individualized Studies International Studies Mathematics Medical Technology Music Nursing Philosophy & Religion Political Science Pre-Medical Psychology Public Affairs Social Studies Sociology and Anthropology Speech & Hearing Speech and Language Disabilities Theatre

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


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Finance, General
  • International Business
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General

  • Education

  • Art Teacher Education
  • Biology Teacher Education
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Education, General
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments
  • Elementary Education and Teaching
  • English/Language Arts Teacher Education
  • French Language Teacher Education
  • Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching
  • Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Secondary Education and Teaching
  • Social Studies Teacher Education
  • Spanish Language Teacher Education
  • Special Education and Teaching, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Literature (GB)

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist
  • Pre-Dentistry Studies
  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies
  • Pre-Optometry Studies
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Studies
  • Pre-Veterinary Studies
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse

  • History

  • History, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • General Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • International/Global Studies
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies, Other

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Human Services, General

  • Security and Protective Services

  • Criminal Justice and Corrections

  • Social Sciences

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

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music, General

Students Say

Elmira College is all about school spirit, students agree, pointing to the ubiquitous octagons (the official school shape) and purple everything ("Our school color is everywhere: the rugs, the walkways, the soap in the bathrooms, the rock salt in winter...the punch for special occasions"). The ever-present school spirit is something a fact that many here find appealing, and a few feel is "a little ridiculous." Undoubtedly the school is best suited to those who long to immerse themselves in community-building traditions. It also helps if they enjoy co-curricular requirements like the Encore Program (students must attend eight performing arts productions each term during freshman and sophomore years) and community service (60 hours during freshman year). Other unique curricular features here include a required Saturday morning writing class for freshmen (generally resented, although some appreciate how it keeps freshmen from going home on weekends) and a six-week short term in April and May called Term III, it's "devoted to travel, field experience, research, independent study, and innovative courses." Students call it "the best thing ever." Elmira "is best known for its nursing and education programs." Business and the sciences are also popular.


Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Alair Townsend '62
Former Deputy Mayor of New York City

Susan Douglas '72
Author and Educator

Robert Gottlieb '76
Owner, Trident Media

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
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Colleges that Create Futures


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Dec 15

Required Forms

State Aid

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

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

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology

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


From The School

Students are welcome to join one of more than 100 clubs or organizations any time during the academic year. During Summer Registration, new students can browse our Club and Organization Guide and sign up to receive more information from club officers. Two Activities Fairs, one during Fall Orientation and another in mid-September, offer the opportunity to meet current club members, ask questions, and see photos of past events and projects.

Some of our clubs and organizations include: Classics Society, Equestrian Club, French Club, Political Science Club, Silent Voices, Spanish Club, College Republicans, Circle K, Compeer, College Democrats, EC Ambassadors, Orientation Leaders, Red Cross Club, Work for a Cure, Relay for Life, Christian Fellowship, Hillel Jewish Student Association, and the Ski Club.

National Honor Societies include: Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, Beta Beta Beta, Sigma Beta Delta, Lambda Iota Tau, National Residence Hall Honorary, Pi Sigma Alpha, Sigma Theta Tau, Lambda Alpha, Pi Gamma Mu, and Alpha Sigma Lambda.

Elmira is an NCAA Division III college, as well as a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association, United Volleyball Conference, and the Empire 8 Conference. We field varsity teams in men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's volleyball. National rankings and post-season tournaments have become annual traditions for the Soaring Eagles.

Elmira College offers its students the chance to compete in collegiate athletics at many levels. The goal of the Junior Varsity and Intramural program is to offer students a chance to participate in athletics without the focus on skill level. Intramural sports range anywhere from flag football to ultimate frisbee. The success of our intramural program can be seen every Term III as our students softball teams compete daily.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



70% female
30% male
88% are full time
12% are part time

Students Say

There are a lot more females than males at Elmira College, but students tell us "that is slowly changing" as the school pursues diversity more aggressively. Similarly, "the black community is on the rise" here although it still remains quite small. Minority representation arrives mostly in the form of "a rather large international student population." Elmira "loves collecting valedictorians and salutatorians, giving them huge financial aid so they can brag about the ridiculous percentages," thus many here were high achievers in high school. "About half of the population participates in sports of some kind at some level, be it varsity, junior varsity, or intramural." There is also "a large gay community" on campus, and students report the environment is "GLBT friendly."


From The School


Elmira, a city of 35,000, is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. Nestled in the lush, rolling hills of the southern Finger Lakes region, Elmira is a thriving, forward-thinking American community, with fresh air and wide-open spaces in harmony with the modern amenities of a larger city. Nearby, you can attend superb, live entertainment; soar back into American aviation's lofty past; tour historic neighborhoods; investigate Mark Twain's imagination or visit the beautiful lakes that give this region its name.

Within a ten-block radius of the Elmira College campus, there are many restaurants, a performing arts center, a fine arts museum, and shopping. There are about 60 churches, serving most denominations, within walking distance of campus.

Elmira is the place that many scholars say Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) did his best work, penning the American literary classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and many other works in his study. In 1870, Clemens married Elmira College alumna Olivia Langdon of the Class of 1864. In 1983, the Langdon family gave the study and the historic Quarry Farm to Elmira College. Now Quarry Farm is used as a residence for visiting Twain scholars from all over the world. The Center for Mark Twain Studies at Quarry Farm offers year-round educational programs.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Elmira College offers a wide range of exciting off-campus opportunities. During the Spring Term, for instance, Elmira College students have traveled with faculty to San Salvador in the Bahamas, Spain, France, Russia, England, Italy, Germany, China, Scotland, Japan, Peru, Egypt, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, Australia, the American West, Alaska, and Hawaii.

The highly selective and competitive Junior Year Abroad (JYA) program facilitates the study of foreign language and cultures. Generally, financial aid applies to the JYA program; however, tuition exchange programs do not apply. Interested students apply in the Fall Term of their sophomore year.

All Elmira College students participate in a community service activity for a minimum of 60 hours. This service is an academic course required for graduation. New students register for Community Service before beginning their first term at Elmira, with the expectation that they will complete the requirement by the end of their first year. Many find the experience so rewarding that they continue volunteering to help others all four years.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female

Students Say

The city of Elmira "does not give too much to the students. Sure, there are places to eat, mini-malls, and bigger malls, but that can get old. How many times can a college student go out to eat? We're not made of money and can't afford that every week, never mind every night!" Worse still, some here feel the city is "sketchy and unsafe." Others counter "the idea that Elmira is 'sketchy' depends on where your hometown is "says one student." My hometown is a big city, so this area seems really tame to me." Fortunately, "Elmira College knows this" about its hometown and compensates. "Every weekend they set up some comedian or band to come and play." In addition, campus life provides "athletic events all week and movies every weekend, usually ones that were in theaters and are very popular! All in all, there's a lot to do for a small college." Although EC "does not have any fraternities or sororities, people still find lots of ways to get connected. Partying on weekends is common, but it's not rampant. You can choose not to take part in it and avoid it easily."

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


Athletic Division
Division III

29% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Soaring Eagles)
9 Sports

Cross Country
Ice Hockey
Women's Sports (Soaring Eagles)
11 Sports

Cross Country
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey

Student Services

Army ROTC Offered on-campus, at cooperating institutions: Cornell University
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Cornell University


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

Apple, Dell

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

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

Campus Visits Contact

Brenda Guild
Admissions Receptionist

Office of Admissions
One Park Place
Elmira, NY 14901



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Starbucks at the 1855 Room
Cowles Hall
Gibson Theater
Learning Commons at the Gannett-Tripp Library
The Puddle

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Corning (Market St/Museum of Glass)
Watkins Glen
First Arena
Harris Hill
Soaring Museum

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; Saturday
Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - Noon

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: M-F 9:30am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm; Sat 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

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

Only available during special events (open house/admitted student days)


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Taxis, buses, and the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport

Driving Instructions to Campus
Exit 52B from I-86/NY 17 East or West. Head South on NY 14 until it becomes College Avenue. Stay straight on College Avenue directly to campus (Do not follow NY when it turns left at Woodlawn Avenue).

Local Accommodations
All listed below are within 10 miles of campus: Holiday Inn Express-Elmira Horseheads Holiday Inn Riverview Econo Lodge Hilton Garden Inn Hampton Inn-Elmira/Horseheads Country Inn & Suites Candlewood Suites Horseheads-Elmira Fairfield Inn & Suites-Elmira Corning Courtyard Marriott Elmira Horseheads

Rankings & Lists

From Elmira College

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