Founded in 1911, Connecticut College was at first for women only but began admitting men in 1969.
Resting on what is referred to as “the hill” in historic New London, Connecticut, the picturesque
campus is located halfway between New York City and Boston and overlooks the Long
CC students are their own breed—intelligent and inventive souls with a strong
commitment to social justice. Fewer than 2,000 students from all parts of the world (a sur -
prisingly large majority from “outside of Boston”) come together to partake in a four-year
journey—academic, social, and personal transformations. It is a highly competitive coeducational liberal arts college where the classes are like exotic lands of thought
that you enter at your own will, the people—your tour guides. With a tradition of shared governance,
social activism, and an Honor Code, it promotes an academically strong, socially conscious
home base from which to embark on the inevitable adventures to follow beyond the
Students choose from fifty-five majors,
with the option of self-designing a major as well. Yet that’s not to say that the academic
program falls anywhere short of demanding and powerful. The academic program within the major is extensive with its requirements. In addition, there are
seven General Education requirements (seven courses from seven different academic
areas), a language requirement, and a writing across the curriculum requirement.
Students must take a foreign language course at the intermediate level or study a new
language for two semesters. Placement at the intermediate level is achieved by passing a
college-administered oral and written proficiency exam during orientation.
Students have the unique opportunity of applying to a number of
centers and programs that are designed to integrate a student’s major with a service project,
domestic or international internship, intensive science research, or other technologically
advanced research project. This hands-on experience is designed to complement curriculum
with practical experience often reserved for graduate students at larger academic institutions.
A Connecticut College gem is its Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and
the Liberal Arts, a program to which students apply in the fall of their sophomore year
to work toward completing an integrative research project relative to their major. The
center funds an international internship the summer before the senior year. In addition,
students are required to complete two International Studies courses, with a focus on the
following questions: What are the origins and dynamics of contemporary society? What is
the relevance of the past in understanding the present and the possibilities of the future?
What are the material, spiritual, and ethical challenges of modernity?
The Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts is indeed one
of the most highly regarded international studies programs in the country. Officially, it aims for
its students to leave prepared for a lifelong reflection on study and learning as a journey to wisdom
that one shares with others.
The plethora of independent research projects can include conducting environmental field
research in Bali, researching media studies while interning at CNN in Berlin for a summer,
and examining the effects of Amnesty International’s human rights work in Santiago, Chile.
These experiences, combined with the solid academic foundation of a liberal arts
college, in addition to the large realm of study and work experiences in all parts of the world,
surely make for profound, diverse classroom discussions.
The Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology
Students can weave their academic, personal, and artistic expression together through
the college’s Center for Arts and Technology. The Ammerman Center links studio art,
music, dance, theater, writing, film, and museum studies with the world of mathematics
and computer science. Students study the symbiotic relationship between technology and
the arts while exploring such areas as computer graphics, animation, music composition,
recording technology, and virtual reality. In addition, students of this center have the
opportunity to undertake projects such as designing a program to conduct a virtual music
ensemble, exploring 3-D visualization to enhance scientific learning, and designing interactive
web sites. Like the other distinguished interdisciplinary centers here, The Ammerman Center offers funded internships. For example, working at a hightechnology
firm during the summer can complement a student’s key knowledge gained in
the way of coursework and involvement in the center.
The Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology
and Environmental Studies
The location of the College—on Long Island Sound and the Thames River—
attracts a faculty that includes some of the world’s leading experts on wetland ecology,
water quality, tidal marsh vegetation, and bird migration. Goodwin-Niering Center
internships have included studying production and environmental sustainability on an
organic banana farm in Costa Rica; studying a component of Vitamin E found in palm oil in
Malaysia; and working for the Oregon Environmental Council. Many students choose to use
their extensive research experience and co-publish their results with faculty members.
In the past, students have won environmental awards for their presentations at national
The Holleran Center for Community Action and
Public Policy (CCAPP)
The school provides a supportive environment in which students take advantage
of many volunteer or community service opportunities. Indeed, CC is a school that
pushes students to walk their talk, so to speak, when it comes to issues of social justice.
With students committing as many as 30,000 hours a year to organizations in the surrounding
area, the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy builds on CC’s longstanding
tradition of working to address issues of poverty, inequality, and racial/ethnic conflict.
This remarkable center also sponsors the Program in Community Action, otherwise
known as PICA, which has formed many community partnerships and public policy initiatives
with local and national causes and their organizations. Through the Holleran Center,
students have completed internships at the Harvard University Medical School, U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., Save the Children in
Bolivia, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- The Office of National and International Programs—Helps to
place students in a number of different study abroad programs around the world according
to their personal and academic interests, independent of the college’s unique centers and
programs. These more traditional study abroad programs include L’Institute d’Etudes
Européenes in Paris, France; London School of Economics; University of Cape Town in
South Africa; or a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia. Other study abroad opportunities
take the regular term to a new dimension however.
- Study Away Teach Away (SATA)— An unmatched study abroad opportunity offered to
students, this program enables students to travel to another country
and study with Connecticut College professors. Both students and professors work together
to explore the host society, thereby broadening their experiences on a multitude of levels.
The greater goal of having them bring back what they learned to the greater college
community is icing on the cake. Among students on campus, widely recognized SATA countries
include Vietnam, Egypt, Morocco, India, Greece, Italy, and Czech Republic.
- Travel and Research Immersion Program (TRIPS). TRIPS—This is an unparalleled academic opportunity. This fairly
new program allows students and their professors in designated courses to travel outside
of the classroom in order to enhance what they are learning in the classroom. Take these
words literally: outside of the classroom. TRIPS can take you to Ellis Island for the weekend
with an American Literature class, or to Jerusalem for two weeks with an Introductory
to Religious Studies class. This is by far one of the most outstanding programs the school offers.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission is competitive. Know this: the Admissions staff at
seeks bright individuals, and they are cognizant that there is more than
one way to reveal this. While the school has experienced an increasing number of applications in the
last few years, the “criteria” remain such that any dedicated, thoughtful applicant has the
opportunity to compete.
The Common Application is in use here. A college application is made with
the following basic building blocks: Your biographical information and extracurricular
activities, a high school transcript, standardized test scores, an essay, recommendations,
and perhaps an interview. In addition, each applicant must submit the Supplement to the
Common Application. The supplement is due by December 15 with the Common
Application and other admission materials due by January 1 with notification by April 1.
Submission of the SAT Reasoning Test is optional, but all candidates for admission must
choose one of the following testing options: results of three SAT Subject Tests or the results
of the American College Testing Assessment (ACT). Beginning with the class of 2010, which
marks the introduction of the new SAT with the writing component, either the ACT or two
SAT Subject Tests will be required. Submission of SAT scores will still be optional.
Interviews are not required but are highly recommended as part of the application process.
Interviewers see the conversation as a time to exchange information and personalize what
can often seem like an impersonal process to students.
The college offers two Early
Decision options, both of which are binding. Early Decision Round I has an application
deadline of November 15 with a notification date of mid-December. Early Decision
Round II has a supplement deadline of December 15 and all other application materials are
due January 1. The notification date for Early Decision Round II is mid-February.
The Financial Aid Services Office works
diligently to make the college experience affordable to anyone based on need. The entire
college works from a foundation of true scholarship; this is evident in the student body.
In recent years more than forty-five percent of all students have
received financial aid. For more information, visit the Financial Aid Services Web site or contact the school directly.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students make or break a college social environment. With students representing forty-five states and thirty-five foreign countries,
and approximately ninety-eight percent of undergraduates living on campus, the social
scene can be lively and varied. A Friday evening may include attending a dance performance
in Cummings Arts Center, followed by a Comedy Club routine in the student center. Parties are
to follow, of course, although Saturday night’s roar is usually heard the loudest.
With more than fifty-five student organizations on campus, students never fall short of
ways to be involved. If you do, then feel free to start the fifty-sixth student organization! Join
Student Government, or the Ballroom Dance Club. Start your own jazz band or contribute to
The College Voice (the college newspaper), or better yet, one of several student-run magazines.
Engage in dynamic discussions in La Unidad, the Latino/a-American student organization,
or UMOJA (African/African-American student organization). Make your voice heard;
participate in Feminist Majority, or pitch in on the college’s own radio station, WCNI-FM.
In addition, the dance, theater, music, and studio art departments pride themselves on
outstanding student performances, yet the college works to include other ways of
artistic expression under the umbrella of “the arts.” For example, in recent years film studies,
museum studies, architectural studies, and the nation’s first undergraduate certificate program
in art and technology are increasingly popular among students. And
there are a number of ways to let your creativity flow. The school hosts a number of
guest artists throughout the year as well.
With ninety-eight percent of students living on campus, and all
four classes living together in each student residence, housing is a breeze. The college
has no Greek system (no fraternities or sororities) but there are theme houses as well
as traditional residence halls. Some of these include Knowlton (cultural/language house),
Blackstone (substance-free house), Plant (quiet house), Unity House (multicultural
house), Earth House (environmental house), and Abbey House (co-op house). Each of the
twenty-one dorms has a Housefellow; basically he or she serves as a person to count on for
personal or academic matters or concerns undergrads may have. The College’s Honor Code
values come into play in residential life as well.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The school is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference
(NESCAC) and is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
(NCAA). The Camels compete in twenty-eight intercollegiate varsity sports (fifteen—
women, twelve—men, one coed) including soccer, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and water
polo. Men’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s rowing, and women’s lacrosse have each
qualified for NCAA Championship competition in the past.
With a broad range of intramural,
club, and athletic sports to choose from, ninety percent of the student body participates
in intercollegiate, club, intramural, recreational, or physical educational athletics. In
addition to the usual tennis, hockey, golf, and volleyball, other club sports such as Ultimate
Frisbee, karate, and cricket are also offered. Nothing beats cheering for the Camels during
weekend games for both men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse, while sitting on the campus
green and enjoying a view of the Long Island Sound too.
A key benefit of going to a small liberal arts college is to make the
professional contacts as an undergraduate that will
put you ahead of the rest in what is becoming a more
and more competitive job search. When applying to
any given field—professional and academic—sure
enough, you will find a CC alumnus involved in some
way. With more than 20,000 alumni and nearly 600 of
them living abroad, it’s guaranteed that current undergraduates or
alumni have been there—and they are willing to help you, too.
Also willing to help you in your job search is the staff of the college’s Career Enhancing
Life Skills (CELS) program. They provide everything from résumé writing one-on-one
conferences, workshops on job search-related skills, as well as a number of resources and
alumni contact information for specific fields of interest. In addition, CELS offers a unique
e-Portfolio system that allows students to keep an on-line record of their career and academic
planning processes and accomplishment during their undergraduate years. This creative and sophisticated manner of documenting academic
information as well as cocurricular experiences serves as a vital tool in the job search.
Students are doing meaningful work in their fields, and are often
publishing or presenting the results before they go on to graduate school or their first real job.
Funded internships, international study, the use of technology, and collaborative research with
other students and faculty all help to build résumés for students before
they graduate. An impressive number of graduates choose to pursue competitive post-graduate
programs such as the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, the Fulbright, the Peace Corps, or Teach
for America, thereby continuing their adventure in education.
- James Berrien ’74, President, Forbes Magazine Group
- Allen Carroll ’73, Chief Cartographer, National Geographic
- Michael Collier ’76, Poet Laureate of Maryland and Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
- Anita DeFrantz ’74, Olympic Medallist and Member of the International Olympic Committee
- David Foster ’77, Ecologist, Author, and Director of the Harvard Forest
- Agnes Gund ’60, President Emerita, The Museum of Modern Art
- Bruce Hoffman ’76, Terrorism Expert, Rand Corporation
- Peter Som ’93, Fashion Designer
- Susan Kronick ’73, Vice Chairman, Federated Department Stores
- Dr. S. Harvey Moseley Jr. ’72, Senior Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Estelle Parsons ’49, Academy Award-winning Actress and Artistic Director of The Actors Studio
- Dr. Ellen Vitetta ’64, Cancer Researcher and Director of the Cancer Immunobiology Center at the University of Texas
- Patricia Wald ’48, Former Chief Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C.)
- Amy Gross, Editor-in-Chief, O, The Oprah Magazine