Academic Experience


In addition to all the things that make liberal arts colleges the global gold standard—small classes, attentive faculty, close-knit community—Williams offers unique opportunities like our renowned tutorial and research programs. Choose among 65 areas of study across the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Your intellectual journey will be guided by accomplished scientists and scholars whose own work often transcends traditional academic boundaries.

What makes
Williams different?

From tutorials, where you and one other student conduct advanced work under the close guidance of a leading scholar in your field, to Winter Study courses on subjects ranging from podcast production to film criticism, Williams offers you academic opportunities far beyond the usual. This picturesque campus in the middle of one of the country's most naturally beautiful and culturally rich regions will become your home, muse and laboratory.


A Williams tutorial is a uniquely intimate and rigorous course offering: just two students and a professor meeting every week to read, research, analyze, debate, write and create at a level more common in graduate schools. Choose from classes offered at every level of every discipline, from Physics to Economics to Theatre, and drive the course's direction with your own work and ideas.

Students with professor in tutorial class


A greater share of students conduct original research in the sciences, arts and humanities at Williams than at almost any comparable school. That's because our faculty are deeply committed to mentoring student researchers, and Williams backs them with the means and funding to support you. Whether you pursue your project on campus or abroad, during the academic year or over the summer, you'll find far more opportunities to pursue advanced projects here than just about anywhere else.

Students in science lab


At Williams, education is hands-on and community-oriented. More than 1,200 students a year—roughly 60 percent of our student body—take part in experiential learning or community service projects, from repurposing dining hall food for local food pantries to educating communities about the refugee crisis. Whether you want to conduct research abroad or get involved in local issues, putting learning into action will be a defining component of your Williams experience.

Winter Study

January at Williams is Winter Study, a three-and-a-half week term dedicated to unconventional academics. Take a class outside of your chosen area of study, or an experiential offering that teaches you how to track animals in Hopkins Forest or 3D print custom chess pieces for a class tournament. Go abroad and learn from grassroots organizations in Senegal or immerse yourself in Taiwanese culture. Do an internship away from campus or shadow a nearby doctor. Spend your free time having a snowball fight on the quad or skiing on Jiminy Peak. Whatever you get up to, you'll be refreshed and reinvigorated by the time spring semester rolls around.

Study Away

From Colombia to Kyrgyzstan, Williams students take their learning across the globe. Study with world-renowned mathematicians and computer scientists in Hungary, conduct human rights research in South Africa, or explore art history in Italy. Not to mention our Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford and the Williams-Mystic Program at historic Mystic Seaport. With courses that count toward graduation requirements and financial aid that travels with you, using a semester or year for an academic adventure is easier at Williams than just about anywhere else.

Center for Learning in Action

Teach third graders about zebrafish and ocean ecology. Resettle refugees in nearby Pittsfield. Or study housing discrimination and advocate for the unsheltered. Every year the Center for Learning in Action connects more than 800 Williams students with a vast range of courses and extracurricular experiential opportunities that enrich learning and improve lives.