Williams College Tutorials: One Semester, Two Students and a Professor

Recorded Monday, October 25 at 08:30 PM

The recording will load in a moment.

About this livestream

School information

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Join Sulgi Lim, Director of Admission, a professor and current students to learn more about the Williams College tutorial, a remarkable academic experience you won’t find at most other colleges. In a tutorial, two students and a professor study a single topic in depth for an entire semester. But there’s a twist to the usual roles: the professor sets the curriculum and acts as a guide, and the students’ ideas and inquiries drive the discussion.


Sulgi Lim is the director of admission and a 2006 graduate of Williams College. A history major, Sulgi took a tutorial called The Historical Memory of the Pacific War in her senior year, which was one of the most challenging and exciting courses she took during her time at Williams.

Gail Newman is the Chair of the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures & Cultures, and a Harold J. Henry Professor of German. Gail teaches comparative literature and German at Williams. Some of the tutorials Gail has taught include: Enlightenment and its Discontents; and Silence, Loss and (Non)Memory in Austria 1900-the Present.

Reid Kurashige '22 is a senior from Los Angeles, majoring in philosophy and comparative literature. Reid is active in the Undergraduate Research Journal, serves as a writing tutor in the writing workshop and has taken 5 tutorials in philosophy and comp lit, starting in the fall of his first year on campus.

Jadon Cooper '22 is a senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in astronomy and studio art. Jason was a residential advisor to first-year students in an Entry last year and is a planetarium TA. This semester, he’s taking two tutorials in his majors: an art class called Public Address System: Art, Language, Action and an astronomy tutorial called Heliophysics.

School information

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into CommonApp.org in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
27:08@nan0:Since tutorials cover niche topics, how often do the topics change? Can you organize tutorial yourself on topic if one year, there isn’t a tutorial on it offered?
30:07@IrisW:Hello. I am a junior in high school. My question is ... Are all professors at Williams required to teach tutorial classes (as opposed to signing up if they so incline)? Would it be a chore for some prominent professors to teach a two-student class?
30:28@AriNA:That's amazing! Thank you!
33:47@nan0:What was your most memorable tutorial session? Why?
38:03@AriNA:Williams is very popular for its Science and Social Sciences, but equally for its literature programs. What do you suggest for people who interested and determined to incorporate both? Would you suggest a Tutorial outside of your mainstream study?
40:14@artfuldodger:How strictly focused are the tutorials? Do you always need to stay within the confines of the topic, or can you go into interesting asides and new paths?
43:27@Guest:Is there a limit to how many tutorials a student can take each year? secondly, how many students apply for the Williams/Exeter program each year and how many are accepted? These are the 2 main reasons why my current 11th grade daughter has Williams as her #1 college choice. :-)
45:22@Willy:How do the Tutorials differ from the Winter Study program?
45:28@JS1234:Is tutorial class optional? Or is there any minimum number of tutorial class that a student need to take?
46:21@AriNA:To both the teachers and students, what is your favorite part of the tutorials? And not from a professional point of view, simply one of your personal favorite aspects!
47:19@Guest:Hi Reid - greetings from Oakwood. We are proud of you!
52:28@AriNA:Additionally, what are the qualities you look for in a student in admissions and in classes? Sorry I'm asking so many questions! I'm a junior in high school and Williams is at the top of my list!
52:29@IrisW:Thank you for a nice introduction to the tutorial seminar at Williams.
52:32@nan0:Thank you for having the livestream!
52:33@isabellalindsay:Thank you!


Open advising hours with Elias

How to get into Rice

Most recent recordings