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Bates in brief

Bates College is a private, highly selective, residential college devoted to undergraduate study in the liberal arts.

Founded in 1855 by abolitionists who believed strongly in freedom, civil rights and the importance of a higher education for all who could benefit from it, the college has always admitted students without regard to race, religion, national origin or gender and was the first co-educational college in New England.

Today Bates is still recognized for its inclusive social character; there are no fraternities or sororities, and the wide variety of student organizations is open to all. In the 21st century, the college values a diverse student body more than ever, striving to create an academic community that reflects the rich diversity of the world into which our students will graduate.

Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates offers the B.A. or B.S. to an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students, including about 250 who study off campus. Bates students typically come from most American states, districts and territories and from nearly 70 other countries. With a student-faculty ratio of 10-to-1 and a commitment to supporting scholar-teachers of highest distinction, the educational community challenges and supports students as they reach toward their full intellectual potential.

Students develop an array of analytical and communication skills by pursuing one of 35 majors and completing a thesis or capstone experience. All students complete requirements in writing, scientific and quantitative literacy as well two General Education concentrations on topics designed by groups of faculty within or across disciplines. Roughly two-thirds of Bates students participate in study-abroad programs during their years at Bates.

Bates believes that preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission. The college’s Purposeful Work initiative is a co-curricular program involving cycles of exploration, reflection and skill-building and practitioner-taught courses during Short Term. The college is developing a Bates-specific network of internships, with a goal that every student has the opportunity for a funded internship during his or her four years.

The Bates has a 4-4-1 academic calendar, with a fall and winter semester and a five-week Short Term in late April and May.

With about 95 percent of students living on campus, residential life is an important part of the complete academic experience. Opportunities for active engagement in the broader community are made possible through the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, which connects civic and community work across the curriculum and coordinates community service work.

Bates is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and the majority of students take part in varsity, club and/or intramural athletics. The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, situated on the coast of Maine, offers a 600-acre environmental reservation that hosts research projects on ecology, geology and community history. The Bates College Museum of Art receives more than 22,000 visitors a year, and each summer Bates hosts the Bates Dance Festival as well as other programs and institutes.


  • Contact Us

    Bates College
    2 Andrews Road
    Lewiston, Maine
    04240-6028 USA
    207-786-6255 (General Information)
    207-786-6254 (Emergencies)