Equity & Inclusion

When Bates opened in 1855, it was New England’s first co-ed college. Since then, we have admitted students no matter their nationality, race, religion, sex, or socio-economic status. While this openness was at the core of our founding identity and principles, it has been tested throughout time and requires us to constantly reflect upon and recommit to our mission. 

From the President’s Desk: The Work of Antiracism at Bates

On June 15, 2020, President Clayton Spencer sent a message to the campus community affirming and detailing the college’s commitment to the work of antiracism. To learn more about Bates’ commitment to racial equity and inclusion as a core institutional and mission-driven priority, please read President Spencer’s full statement.

Fly In Program: Prologue to Bates

Prologue to Bates is an open house program geared towards serving first-generation-to-college students and/or students coming from diverse backgrounds. Prologue to Bates is open to all rising high school seniors who attending high school in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, however, the committee prioritizes the selection of students who are first-generation-to-college, low-income, and/or historically underrepresented in higher education. We invite prospective students to enjoy three days on us to see a slice of what Bates College has to offer.

Discover Prologue and apply

Fly In Program: Bates Beginnings

Bates Beginnings is a cohort experience for admitted students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education including first-generation-to-college students and/or students coming from diverse backgrounds. Traditionally, Bates Beginnings is a fly-in program that provides travel and overnight housing for admitted students who have not visited campus during admitted students’ receptions in April. Due to the evolving COVID-19 public health situation, Bates Beginnings will be entirely virtual this year.

Office of Equity and Inclusion

The Office of Equity and Inclusion advances the college’s commitment to equity and diversity by implementing and supporting campus-wide initiatives that strategically and proactively promote an institutional culture of inclusiveness.

Office of Intercultural Education

The Office of Intercultural Education (or OIE) supports that Bates College community by providing educational cultural programming to students. Learn more about Bobcat First!, a program for first generation to college students, Heritage Experiences, LGBTQIA+ and SPARQ! programming and mentorship, and our Let’s Talk program.

Student Affairs

The Student Affairs Office intentionally manages all support for all students centrally, to create a more supportive and cohesive experience.

Read about our support for International Students, and Accessible Education.


Interested in learning more about what our community is talking about? We invite you to explore our Equity, Inclusion, Access, Anti-Racism and Educational Justice Resources.