Information for First-Year Applicants

Here you'll find general information about applying to Williams as a first-year student.      And check out our guides with special information for U.S. military veterans, international applicants, undocumented and DACA applicants, and QuestBridge-affiliated students.

Early Decision or Regular Decision?

If you're a first-year applicant and Williams is your top choice, you’re welcome to apply through our Early Decision program. Students may apply Early Decision to only one institution. If admitted, you'll be expected to accept our offer and to withdraw any applications you’ve submitted to other schools.

If you're a first-year applicant who wants to apply to more than one school, your best option is to apply under our non-binding Regular Decision plan. The majority of students apply to Williams via Regular Decision. If admitted, you'll have until June 1 to accept your place in the class.

Required Application Materials

The following is a list of items that all first-year applicants are required to submit.

  • Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application
  • School Report
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • Mid-Year Report (Due February 6 or for schools on a trimester, when 2nd trimester grades are available)
  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • Early Decision Agreement Form (Early Decision applicants only)

Optional Application Materials

You have the option of supplementing your application with submissions in one of the following areas:


Students applying as first years or transfers during the 2020-2021 admission cycle have the option of applying under a test-optional policy. This change has been instituted for next year only, in response to the extraordinary challenges facing all of us during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you decide to submit an SAT or ACT score, you can can do so in any of three ways:

  1. Enter them in the testing section of your application.
  2. Email a screenshot of your score report to [email protected].
  3. Have them sent to Williams directly from the testing agency. The Williams SAT code is 3965 and ACT code is 1936.

Williams will superscore the SAT or ACT. This means that if multiple test scores are submitted, we’ll consider the highest score when reviewing your application.

SAT and ACT scores for all enrolling students who choose to submit them will be verified. Discrepancies between self-reported scores and official scores may jeopardize a student’s place at Williams.

Williams Writing Supplement

Students are welcome to submit a short essay on one of three topics. To learn more, visit the Williams Writing Supplement page.

Studio/Performing Arts Portfolio

If you have a well-developed talent in the arts, please visit our arts supplement page for specific deadlines and details about submissions. Use SlideRoom to submit samples of your work for review by Williams faculty.

Scientific Research Abstracts

If you’ve pursued significant scientific or mathematics research and are considering a research or academic career, we welcome a brief description of your past work. Please include this information on your application, or email it to [email protected].

If you'd like to submit an update to your application for admission, please email the update to [email protected].

Williams College Non-Discrimination Statement
Williams College is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive community in which members of all backgrounds can live, learn and thrive. In compliance with state and federal law, Williams does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ancestry, or military service.

Clery Act Disclosure Report
Williams College reports this information in accordance with Uniform Crime Reporting procedures and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. A paper copy of this report can be obtained by contacting Campus Safety & Security at (413) 597-4444.