What you need to know about Wellesley College

Wellesley College is an exceptional private liberal arts college for women located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States. It was founded in 1870 by Henry Fowle Durant and his wife Pauline Fowle Durant. The college encourages students to develop their leadership skills through internships, research opportunities, and community service projects. Wellesley College offers a wide range of majors and interdisciplinary studies. The college also has a thriving arts and cultural community. The students participate in several yearly performances, exhibitions, and events. Wellesley College is a highly respected institution that offers a rigorous education to women and prepares them for leadership roles in various fields.


Wellesley College is located outside of Boston, Massachusetts. The beautiful campus is spread over 500 acres that include a private lake, a golf club, groves of conifers and hardwoods, and winding paths through open meadows. The view of the pine trees and the shores of Lake Waban is breathtaking from almost all the windows on campus.

Student Cohort Size

Wellesley College has a student population of 2,383 women. The admitted class of 2027 is represented by 46 states and 33 countries. 52% of students speak a language other than English in their homes. 64% are domestic students of color and 11% are international students.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college. Wellesley’s first-year retention rate is 92%. This means that 92% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 84%. This implies that 84% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 92%. This implies that 92% of students were able to graduate after 6 years. The 8-year graduation rate is 93%. This implies that 93% of students were able to graduate after 8 years. The extra semesters or years you take to graduate increases the cost of your degree.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. On average there are 17 to 20 students in a class.


Acceptance Rate

In 2023, Wellesley received 8,400 applications, and 13% of students were offered admission.

Acceptance GPA

The students admitted to William & Mary have an average high school GPA of more than 3.97. Wellesley also gives preference to rigorous high school classes like AP or IB.

Types of Admission

The students can apply through the Early Decision and Regular Decision cycle. Early Decision I and Early Decision II is an opportunity for students to show that Wellesley College is their number one choice. Early Decision is a binding process and it implies that the students should attend Wellesley if accepted.

The students also have the option to apply through the Regular Decision process. Regular Decision may be right for you if you need more time to get your application ready. Many more students apply for Regular Decision than Early Decision.

Application Components:
Complete the Common App or QuestBridge Application
High School Transcript: Submit the transcript and include the mid year senior grades.
School Report
Two Teacher Evaluation Forms: This form will include a teacher’s letter of recommendation.
On-Campus Interview: Interviews are offered in the summer for rising seniors. 20% of the applicants got an opportunity to have an interview.
Standardized Test Scores: Wellesley College has temporarily suspended its standardized test requirement for a four-year period of review. Applicants to Wellesley for entry in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 are not required to submit SAT or ACT test results with their applications.
The Common App essay
The Wellesley-specific essay: This required writing supplement asks you to respond to the following topic: When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit The Wellesley 100 and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (Not-so-secret tip: The “why” matters to us.)


The women at Wellesley College get the advantage of academic distinction at the university. The educational programs are engaging and challenging. The students can choose in-depth research, international studies, and internship experiences. These interdisciplinary experiences help deepen their understanding and knowledge of their chosen field of study.

Many Wellesley students participate in a variety of educational opportunities in addition to the core curriculum. These include:
Research Opportunities
Interdisciplinary Majors
International Study

Most Popular Majors

Political Science and Government
Information Science
Research and Experimental Psychology
Computer Software Engineering
Neuroscience and Neurobiology
Art History

The Institutes at Wellesley College:

Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs: The Albright Institute strengthens the role of women in international relations and informs policy discussions and academic thought in global affairs.

Project on Public Leadership and Action: The project focuses on various topics including social change, democratic practice, and public leadership.

Quantitative Analysis Institute: The QAI is designed to expand the role of statistics in research, learning, and teaching at Wellesley.

Online Program:

WellesleyX: Wellesley was one of the first liberal arts colleges and the first women’s college to join the edX learning platform. Some of the courses they have launched on edX include:
Italian Language and Culture: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
AP Italian Language and Culture
Anthropology 207x: Introduction to human evaluation
History 229x: Was Alexander great? The life, leadership, and legacies of history’s greatest warriors
Sociology 108x: Introduction to global sociology
English 112X: Shakespeare on the page and in performance

Special Academic Programs

The Babson/Olin/Wellesley Three College Collaboration: The students get the opportunity to complement their learning and enhance their problem-solving skills in cross-disciplinary and collaborative ways. The students can also enroll in the Certificate in Engineering Studies Program offered at Olin, or earn a certificate in sustainability.

Cross-Registration with MIT: A student who is interested in taking courses at MIT can consult with the faculty advisor at MIT. The students who are accepted as transfer students can earn a BA degree from Wellesley and an SB degree from MIT over the course of five years.

Wellesley/Brandeis BA/MAief Five-Year Program: All Wellesley students get a chance to cross-register at Brandeis University. Wellesley undergraduate economics majors (MAief) may also apply in their junior year to pursue a special track, the BA/MAief, which begins in the senior undergraduate year. Brandeis offers a two-year graduate program in its International Business School to prepare students for careers in international finance, business, policymaking, and other fields that require strong analytical skills in international economics and finance. The BA/MAief program allows a student to complete a Wellesley BA and then the MAief with only one year of post-BA study.

The 12-College Exchange Program: Wellesley belongs to a consortium that includes Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wesleyan, and Wheaton. Two one-semester programs associated with the 12-College Exchange are the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Conn., and the Williams-Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime Studies, also in Connecticut.

The Wellesley-Spelman Exchange Program: Wellesley also maintains a student exchange program with Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

Semester in Environmental Science at Woods Hole: The Semester in Environmental Science Program is held each fall at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass. This 14-week program emphasizes the measurement and understanding of biogeochemical cycles and processes in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

B/MA Five-Year Program with the Graduate Institute in Geneva: Wellesley College and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva have established a program for Wellesley students to earn both a BA from Wellesley and an MA from the Graduate Institute in 5 years, rather than the normal 6 years.

Cost of Attendance

Fee 2024-25

Direct Costs Fall 2024 Spring 2025 Total 2024-2025
Tuition: $33,440 $33,440 $66,880
Student Activity Fee: $148 $148 $296
Room: $5,452 $5,452 $10,904
Meal Plan: $5,060 $5,060 $10,120
Health Insurance*: $3,860 $0 $3,860
Total: $47,960 $44,100 $92,060


Indirect Costs* Fall 2024 Spring 2025 Total 2024-2025
Books: $400 $400 $800
Personal Expenses: $625 $625 $1,250
Travel: $0-1,000 $0-$1,000 $0 -$,2,000

*Indirect Costs will vary per student.

Student Life

Clubs and Student Organizations: There are more than 180 student-run organizations at Wellesley. The students can join the clubs according to their interests and passions. Some of the organizations are based on the following interests:

College Governments/Class Councils: The decisions of these organizations affect campus life.
Performance: If you are interested in performing arts, you can participate in any of the great performances on campus including, upstage theater production, singing with many acapella groups, or playing the bells in Galen Stone Tower with the Guild of Carillonneurs.
Social Awareness Clubs: There are many clubs that focus on politics, social justice, and awareness of global issues.
Societies: There are many great societies to choose from, including Tau Zeta Epsilon (the art and music society), Alpha Phi Sigma (the lecture society), Zeta Alpha (the literature society), the Shakespeare Society, and Alpha Kappa Chi (the history society).

Special Interests Clubs:

Club Sports
Health and Wellness
Media and Publications
Religious and Spiritual

Fun Fact

Flower Sunday: Flower Sunday is the oldest tradition at Wellesley and it is held in early September. Flower Sunday helps ease the transition of being away from home. It is a celebration of the new school year.

In conclusion, Wellesley College is a highly esteemed institution known for its beautiful campus, strong academic reputation, and commitment to women’s empowerment. Overall, Wellesley College is a remarkable institution that continues to shape the future of women’s education and leadership.

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan ahead and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!

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