Connecticut College


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 Island Sound.

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 undergraduate years.

Information Summary

Ranks 4th in Connecticut and 60th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 96.5
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $71,970
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 32 / 1430
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 9 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 91% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 1,844


Distribution Requirements

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 conferences.

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.

Study Abroad

  • 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


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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.

Common Application

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.

Early Decision

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.

Financial Aid

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

Ranks 1320th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Connecticut.


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.

Dorm Life

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.

Prominent Grads

  • 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

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