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Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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About HWS

Located on 320 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 a 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, giving students additional leadership opportunities.

HWS Facts

  • Students 2,262 undergraduate students

  • Faculty: 221 full-time

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 10:1

  • Average Class Size: 16 students

  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts in Teaching

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

  • Alumni & Alumnae: More than 22,500 worldwide

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

  • Classes taught by teaching assistants: 0%

  • Students hail from: 40 states and 35 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 2015-2016 academic year: More than 90,000

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

  • Costs for 2017-18 academic year:
    Tuition: $52,345
    Room & Board: $13,525
    Misc. Fees: $1,180
    Total: $67,050

  • Students receiving some form of financial aid (need and merit): 88%

  • Enrolled students (Classes of 2020) who applied Early Decision: 45%

Worth Noting


Hobart and William Smith were named 13th in the nation among the top colleges with the most recipients of U.S. Fulbright Student Awards. Fourteen members of the Classes of 2015 and 2016 earned Fulbrights.

Money Magazine

For the second year in a row, Hobart and William Smith were named by Money magazine as one of the nation's "50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges." The 2016 recognition examines key areas such as outcomes, educational quality and financial aid.


HWS was included in The Princeton Review's 2015 "Guide to 353 Green Colleges." The annual guide lauds colleges and universities with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on academic offerings and career preparation, campus policies, initiatives and activities.


HWS was named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance list of 100 Best College Values for 2016.

US News

Since 2001, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have moved 15 spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, this year coming in at No. 61 in the "National Liberal Arts Colleges" category.

President's Award for Education Community Service

During the 2014-2015 academic year, HWS was also recognized nationally as one of only four institutions named as finalists for the President's Award for Education Community Service in an Honor Roll of nearly 800 colleges and universities considered for the prestigious recognition.

Reform Judaism magazine

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

Princeton Review

The Princeton Review named HWS one of the nation's 50 best colleges and universities for outstanding outcomes in its "Colleges That Create Futures" guidebook. HWS was also one of only 200 profiled in the Princeton Review's "Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges."


HWS was ranked No. 53 on Sierra magazine's 2015 "Cool Schools" list of the greenest colleges and universities, moving ahead 63 spots since 2009. The Colleges earned the highest possible rating in the categories for co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives, as well as innovation in sustainability.


Hobart and William Smith have been named by Forbes among the nation's top colleges with the best return-on-investment (ROI) thanks to record philanthropy from alums and impressive outcomes of graduates.

2015 Tree Campus USA

The Colleges were recently named a 2015 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota. It was the fourth consecutive year named to the recognition.


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,; 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  

“It's an extraordinary place with such a rich history and exciting progress on so many fronts - within the academic disciplines, the focus on international engagement and public service, and even here as a community of people living and working together in a beautiful, fragile environment.”
Thomas Tighe LL.D. '03, President and CEO of Direct Relief International, HWS Convocation Speaker


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.