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Williams College

Williamstown, MassachusettsPrivate

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An Introduction to Williams


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Africana Studies

A sample of courses for this department

AFR 99 Ind Study: Africana Studies

Open to upperclass students. Students interested in doing an independent project (99) during Winter Study must make prior arrangements with a faculty sponsor. The student and professor then complete the independent study proposal form available online. The deadline is typically in late September. Proposals are reviewed by the pertinent department and the Winter Study Committee. Students will be notified if their proposal is approved prior to the Winter Study registration period.

Taught by: James A. Manigault-Bryant

AFR 221 Giving God a Backbeat: Rap Music, Religion & Spirituality

On the surface, religion and rap music may seem as if they have little in common. Yet, like other Black musical traditions such as spirituals and the blues, rap is rooted in African American religious traditions. In this course, we will explore the ways in which rap music intersects with the sacred and secular worlds. Through an examination of black religious traditions, lyrics, music videos, and digital media, we will unearth what Anthony Pinn calls the "spiritual and religious sensibilities" of rap music. Grounded in culture-centered criticism, we will investigate the rhetoric of rap and religion through the theoretical ideas of Black Liberation Theology and hip-hop feminism.

Expected class size: 18
Taught by: VaNatta S. Ford

Faculty spotlight

Local area

The Berkshires

The Berkshires is a region in the mountains of western Massachusetts. A popular vacation destination, it's well known for outdoor activities, fall foliage-viewing, a farm-to-table food scene, and diverse visual and performing arts institutions.

Top things to do

Coffee shop dates

Grab a professor, friend and a latté at Tunnel City or Spoon!

Images Cinema

From Black Panther to that indie film you've been dying to catch, it's all right downtown and only $6 for Williams students.


MASS MoCA is one of the country’s largest centers for making and enjoying today’s most evocative art–from music to sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, and theater.

Skiing at Jiminy Peak

The largest ski/snowboard resort in southern New England is just minutes from campus. The college runs shuttles there, and students get discounted tickets.

Non-academic facilities

Williams believes that each student’s learning experience comes not only from the classroom, but also from life outside the academic landscape. Living together in positive and supportive residential communities on campus is a critical component of that out-of-classroom learning experience. All students are encouraged to be involved in their residential communities by attending programs and snacks together and by getting to know and utilizing their student residential leaders. Most first-year students live in an entry—a defining part of the Williams residential experience in which students are divided into groups of 20 to 40 in a section of a dorm with two Junior Advisors, or JAs. Entries are welcoming spaces where students learn from others' various passions, perspectives and backgrounds, and their growth is guided by those JAs who are mentors, friends and supporters, not enforcers.

Freshmen allowed car on campusNo
Freshmen required to live on campusYes
Freshmen suite style housingYes

Student groups

Student-run groups and organizations

Alhambra Consulting Group


NovelTeas Book and Tea Club


Off the Hook Crochet Club




Williams Sustainable Growers


Williams Ultimate Frisbee Organization

Club Sport

Study away & study abroad

A Williams education extends well beyond campus--allowing students to take what's learned here and apply it in locations around the globe. Almost half of Williams students spend part of their junior year in one of more than 250 study away programs in 60 countries.

Featured programs

Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford (WEPO)

Location: Oxford, England U.K.
Program length: Year

Williams-Mystic: Maritime Studies Program

Location: Mystic, CT, United States
Program length: Semester


Mountain Day

On a beautiful Friday in October, the president surprises campus by canceling classes; the community heads for the hills–to hike, sing, play and eat apple cider doughnuts.

Claiming Williams

A special day at the start of the spring semester for students, faculty and staff to engage in important conversations, panels and activities around inclusion.

Winter Carnival

Ice sculptures, ski races, fireworks and enough hot cocoa to keep the Williams community warm on this festive weekend in February.


Each Sunday night, students, faculty and staff gather to hear a fellow Williams community member share their story. On the menu each week? The storyteller's favorite homemade cookie, provide in abundance by the amazing Williams Dining Services.


Snacks–a cornerstone of residential life at Williams–is the gathering of first-year students and their Junior Advisors (JAs) every Sunday night. It's a way to develop community over treats like cookies, mashed potatoes or ginger bread houses, and connect about the week ahead.

Financial aid case study

Financial Aid at Williams


Financial aid breakdown

Average aid package

Grants (Federal, State, and Williams): 94%
Campus Job: 4%
Student Loan: 2%

Annual cost

Out-of-state Tuition$59,350
Room & Board$15,000
Books, supplies, and other feesBooks, course materials and summer storage are FREE for all students receiving financial aid, and nearly all campus clubs and activities are free for all students.