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Bowdoin vs Williams: Which one to choose?

Hey there! I'm looking at both Bowdoin College and Williams College and having a hard time deciding which one would be a better choice for me. Can anyone provide some insights about the differences between these two schools in terms of academics, campus life, and resources?

6 months ago

Hi! Bowdoin and Williams are both incredible liberal arts colleges, so you can't go wrong with either choice. However, there are some differences to consider when deciding which one is a better fit for you.


Bowdoin and Williams both provide excellent academics - both are known for small class sizes, close relationships with faculty, and a wide range of courses. Williams is notable for its tutorial system, where classes are held with two students and a professor, fostering collaboration and intellectual engagement. Bowdoin has an open curriculum without any distribution requirements or core; you have more freedom to explore subjects that interest you.

Campus Life:

Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, a quaint, small town with shops and restaurants within walking distance. The school has a friendly, close-knit community. With its coastal location, there are plenty of outdoor activities nearby, like kayaking and hiking. The school's social life is centered around on-campus activities and clubs, with limited Greek life (only a few co-ed fraternities).

Williams, located in Williamstown, MA, has a more rural, isolated campus, which some students find beautiful and others find limiting. It's surrounded by the Berkshire Mountains, offering numerous outdoor opportunities like hiking and skiing. Williams also has a strong sports culture, with about a third of the students participating in varsity sports. Social life is mainly through on-campus activities, shared-interest housing (called "theme housing"), and there is no Greek life.


Both colleges offer excellent resources; they have a low student-to-faculty ratio and offer collaborative research opportunities. Williams has a comprehensive career center, Williams Career Development, which provides internship opportunities, career advising, and networking possibilities. Bowdoin's Career Planning Center (BCPC) offers similar resources and connects students to internships, job shadowing opportunities, and alumni networking events.

To sum up, you'll need to consider the academic environment and types of courses you prefer, the level of school and surrounding community, and the social scene that best fits your interests. I would highly suggest visiting both campuses and talking to current students to get a feel for each college's unique atmosphere. Good luck with your decision!

6 months ago

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