Explore Bates

These Explore pages are meant to help you do just that – explore all that Bates has to offer, wherever and whenever you want. Meander campus through our Virtual Tour, and then dive into the gritty details of academics, campus life, our hometown and state, and much more! For information on live online programming, Connect with us here.

The Basics

When Bates opened in 1855, it was New England’s first co-ed college. Since then, we have admitted students from all nationalities, races, religions, sexes, or socio-economic statuses. While this openness was at the core of our founding identity, it has been tested throughout time and has required Bates to reflect and recommit to its mission.

Our founders knew that making this type of education open to as many people as possible would lead to future leaders, thinkers, and problem-solvers who could take on the defining issues of their generations. They leave Bates willing and equipped to critique the world (and the institution). We believe this is the right way to educate.

That doesn’t mean building an inclusive culture is a simple task. Like other institutions, Bates continues to grapple with the long-lasting effects of inequity in America and within our own institution.
While we’re making progress, we know that this is a process not of days, but decades.

At Bates, you will find a community of irrepressibly enthusiastic, unapologetically smart, boldly individual, and radically aware people, who happen to think that finding the truth sometimes requires a leap into a frigid pond.

Yes, we’re a small liberal arts college nestled in a bucolic setting, and yes, we have small class sizes, but trust us–we’re not like the rest.

We invite you to begin your exploration of Bates College–place that has been an original from the start. Discover our unique academic calendar (we don’t believe that one size fits all), get to know what Bates students do outside of the classroom (hint: they try everything), and learn about why our students graduate happy (get ready to be impressed).

Do we have all of the answers? No. Have we seen everything? Definitely not. We’re here to keep asking, searching, and discovering enough to know that there’s more to discover. We don’t know what the future will bring. But if you come here, you’ll help build it.

Mission Statement

Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion —Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.