Wellesley is known for the excellence of its education, the beauty of its setting, its gifted faculty, and the uniqueness of its campus culture.
But most of all, Wellesley is known for the thousands of accomplished, thoughtful women it has sent out into the world for over 100 years—women who are committed to making a difference.
A Transformative Educational Experience
Every year, some 2,400 of the world’s top undergraduate women are challenged to exceed their own highest personal and intellectual expectations. The mastery Wellesley graduates demonstrate across the professional and vocational spectrum, and the influence they wield—whether in their own communities or on the world stage—is a testament to a singularly empowering undergraduate experience.
Wellesley’s lively academic community places a high value on rigorous, probing inquiry, and creative, cross-discipline thinking. Its collaborative approach to scholarship encourages students to question, debate, and refine their points of view, not only with each other, but with our world-class faculty—often by working directly with them on groundbreaking projects.
A Wellesley education fosters the highest standard of readiness for the “real world” in its graduates, in terms of ability to think, act, and contribute meaningfully and effectively in their chosen areas of interest.
The “Full-Engagement” Advantage
Wellesley’s full-engagement academic philosophy extends to the running of the College itself. The student voice is central to decision-making here; students serve on major committees of the Board of Trustees, participate in faculty search, and contribute to strategic planning.
Students participate in a wide range of extracurricular projects: The College and its surrounding community and the greater Boston area offer hundreds of internships, advocacy projects, and the rare advantages of being a vital member of the single largest academic “hotspot” in the country.
Expected to be fully engaged while at Wellesley, students carry this sense of purposeful involvement and personal commitment throughout life. It is the signal mark of a Wellesley woman.
A Widely Envied Campus Environment
The sheer sense of the scale of the breathtaking natural environment, in which buildings are thoughtfully sited, distinguish Wellesley’s physical setting in the classically New England town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.
Home to leading institutions such as the Albright Institute, the Knapp Social Science Center, the Davis Museum, The Newhouse Center for the Humanities, and the world-renowned Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley’s resources are a magnet not only for the surrounding community and metropolitan area; they attract attention—and scholars—from around the world.
Commitment to Women
Everything about Wellesley College bespeaks its commitment to women, and to providing them with an unequaled educational experience that honors and cultivates not only what is best about each of them, and their own potential, but about what women offer our world.
"To provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world."
Non Ministrari sed Ministrare. "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister," proclaims Wellesley's motto, capturing in four Latin words the College's mission: To provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.
Smart, serious women choose Wellesley because it offers one of the best liberal arts educations—and total learning environments—available anywhere. But they graduate with more than a highly regarded degree and four memorable years. They leave as “Wellesley women,” uniquely prepared to make meaningful personal and professional contributions to the “real world”—and to be major influences in it.
The world’s preeminent college for women, Wellesley is known for intellectual rigor, its belief in the enduring importance of service (and putting that belief into practice), and its cultivation in students of an inclusive, pragmatic approach to leadership.
Wellesley Believes In
Making a Difference
Every woman can—and should—make a meaningful contribution to her world. There is a growing recognition that women’s empowerment and leadership are crucial to their own advancement, and to worldwide societal change. Wellesley and its alumnae have supported and championed women’s intellectual and social development and autonomy for over 100 years.
Inquiry and intellectual exchange lead to disciplined thinking. Wellesley challenges students to explore widely, interrogate closely, and make the creative leaps—synthesizing disparate ideas, perspectives, and experiences—that lead to new levels of understanding. A culture of collaboration (with our world-class faculty as well as with her peers) refines a student’s intellectual habits, hones her judgment, and increases her sense of mastery, while teaching her to take a considered position and defend it with conviction.
There is no greater benefit to one’s intellectual and social development—and to the vitality of an academic community—than the forthright engagement with and exploration of unfamiliar viewpoints and experiences. Wellesley encourages students to try on new ideas, try out new courses of action, and interact authentically with others whose beliefs or choices challenge their own.
A contemporary liberal arts education must enhance real-world leadership skills. The rigor of a Wellesley education is part of what makes our graduates so effective “out in the world.” But Wellesley women are also taught to be strategic thinkers who can “read” environments, navigate their challenges, and bring people together to achieve a goal.
Knowing how to serve is a key element of effective leadership. True leaders inspire rather than control, and they dedicate their intellect and energy to the hard work of creating a sense of commitment, responsibility, and common purpose in the pursuit of a vision. Wellesley has long dedicated itself to the idea that former Wellesley President Diana Chapman Walsh described as "trustworthy leadership," and subscribing to this ideal is integral to the Wellesley experience.
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