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Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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About HWS

Located on 195 acres in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes Region, Hobart and William Smith are independent liberal arts colleges distinctive for providing highly individualized educations. Guided by an interdisciplinary curriculum grounded in exploration and rigor, the Colleges prepare students to think critically. In partnership with the Geneva and global communities and through robust programs in career development, study-abroad, service, leadership and athletics, the Colleges foster an environment that values global citizenship, teamwork, ethics, inclusive excellence, and cultural competence.

Under the mentorship of faculty, Hobart and William Smith students gain the necessary clarity to be competitive when seeking employment. They win prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Udall, Fulbright and Goldwater. They gain admittance to the best graduate programs in the country. They go on to lead lives of consequence.

The Coordinate Tradition

The Colleges enjoy a rich heritage based on a two-college system rooted in interdisciplinary teaching and research. Originally founded as two separate colleges (Hobart for men in 1822 and William Smith for women in 1908), HWS now operates under a coordinate college system. All students share the same campus, faculty, administration and curriculum. Each college maintains its own traditions, deans, student government and athletic department. Men graduate from Hobart College. Women graduate from William Smith College.

HWS Facts

  • Students 2,272 undergraduate students

  • Faculty: 216 full-time

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 11:1

  • Average Class Size: 18 students

  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

  • Study Abroad: Nearly 60 percent of HWS students study abroad in nearly 50 locations around the world

  • Alumni & Alumnae: 21,038 total (11,534 Hobart; 9,504 William Smith)

  • Students who discuss classwork with a professor outside of class: 96%

  • Classes taught by teaching assistants: 0%

  • Students hail from: 40 states and 28 countries

  • Number of languages spoken on campus: More than 50

  • Number of languages spoken by Dean of Hobart College Eugen Baer: 13

  • Hours of service performed by members of the HWS community in the 2012-2013 academic year: More than 100,000

  • Students who participate in community service, service-learning, and community based research: 100%

  • Cost: Tuition: $45,180
    Room and board: $11,685
    Fees: $985
    Total: $57,850

  • Students receiving financial aid (need and merit): 85%

  • Enrolled students (Classes of 2017) who applied Early Decision: 50%

Worth Noting


SmartMoney has again recognized Hobart and William Smith as an exceptional investment in its ranking of "Colleges that Help Grads Get Top Salaries." The Colleges are ranked No. 43 among national public, private and Ivy League institutions, just 10 places behind Yale University.

Princeton Review placed HWS among the country's best institutions for undergraduate education in its 2014 edition of its annual college guide, The Best 378 Colleges.

Since 2001, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have moved 15 spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, this year coming in at number 61 in the "National Liberal Arts Colleges" category in its 2013 Best Colleges guidebook.


The Colleges were included in the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. This is the fourth consecutive year HWS has been included.



HWS has been included among the "Top 20 Small and Mighty Campuses of Excellence." The list is collaboratively published in Reform Judaism magazine's "7th Annual RJ Insider's Guide to College Life," in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Campus Pride's Campus Climate Index has recognized Hobart and William Smith Colleges as a leader for LGBT-inclusive policies, programs and practices. The Index awarded HWS an excellent score, receiving five out of a possible five stars for the second year in a row.

Hobart and William Smith have been recognized as leaders in sustainability for the past three years by Sierra Magazine and The Princeton Review.



What Our Visitors Say

“I have been all over this country to speak at colleges and universities, and let me tell you, there is a sense of community at Hobart and William Smith that I have not seen elsewhere.”
John Lewis, U.S. congressman (D-GA) and civil rights activist; HWS convocation speaker

“At the level of the head, and more importantly at the level of the heart, something special is going on at Hobart and William Smith. . . . This is a place where service and stewardship are woven into every aspect and every detail of campus life.”
Eric Liu, author of The True Patriot, President’s Forum Series speaker

“It was more than obvious that HWS students were well informed and opinionated, yet extremely respectful and gracious. We rely on students like these to be our statesmen, journalists, judges, teachers and truth tellers—they can and will make an impact.”
Tara Wall, columnist, Washington Times; editor, TheConservatives.com; President’s Forum Series speaker

“When it comes to international education, Hobart and William Smith truly lead the way. This outward orientation is vital because the graduating classes of the 21st century will live global lives.”
Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State, HWS convocation speaker