The Williamstown Free School opened with 15 students on October 26, 1791. Not long after its founding, the trustees of the school petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to convert the free school to a tuition-based college. The legislature agreed and on June 22, 1793, Williams College was chartered. It was the second college to be founded in Massachusetts.
Williams is a small, four-year liberal arts college accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.There are three academic curricular divisions (humanities, sciences, and social sciences), 24 departments, 33 majors, and two small master's degree programs in art history and development economics.
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The Office of Student Life (OSL) is part of the College’s Division of Campus Life, and is responsible for directing and/or advising a number of College programs & services.
Williams is a residential college, and most of our students live in campus housing. First-year students live in larger residence halls within the Frosh Quad and Mission Park. Upperclass students choose from a variety of residence halls of different configurations and sizes across campus. Seniors have the additional option of co-op housing and living off-campus.
Sawyer LibraryHouses collections in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and is a federal depository library. The Sawyer Library building is also home to the Center for Educational Technology.Schow Science LibraryLocated in the Science Center, houses materials in the life sciences, physical sciences, and psychology.
Williams College Health Center provides a full range of medical services, counseling services, and health and wellness promotion and outreach. We do so within an integrated health care delivery model that promotes student learning, awareness, and taking responsibility for pursuing remedies and choices that lead to wellness.
Campus life is about the integration of academic and experiential, athletic and artistic, work and play. It’s where we grow as individuals and as members of the Williams community. Students, faculty, and staff come here to be part of something special and to move it ever forward.
With a dedicated faculty and world-class facilities, the department seeks to promote the highest standards in health and physical fitness. The Athletics Department offers many opportunities for recreation, including excursions with the Williams Outing Club (WOC). Additionally, Williams has an active club sport and intramural program.The Ephs are a Division III member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
The Davis Center strives to facilitate collaboration, dialogue and explorations for social change within the Williams College Community in the hope of creating an inclusive environment for learning, living and community.Using an intersectional approach guided by best practices in social justice education and student affairs programming, the Davis Center supports Williams College’s commitment to inclusive academic excellence in teaching and learning through education, programming, support and collaboration with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and off-campus communities.