Wesleyan University is a larger (than its peer group of NESCAC schools) liberal arts university situated about 30 minutes from New Haven and Hartford, in Middletown, CT. It is a place where intellectually curious, out-of-the-box thinkers and doers will find differences respected, a vocal and politically active student body, rigorous but collaborative academics, and vibrant student campus life. Julia visited with a group of IECA New York-based consultants for an information session, tour, and private meeting with an assistant dean of admissions. Below are some key takeaways:
Open Curriculum: There are only 2 requirements to graduate: that you complete 32 classes and 1 major (a major is typically 9-11 classes). That means that 2/3 of the classes remaining are open for students to select. There are General Education expectations (not requirements) that students take at least two classes from the three different disciplines of Humanities and Arts, Math and Natural science, and Social Sciences. There is no foreign language requirement, and students can use up to 2 APs for credits.
Advising: I liked the metaphor our info session ambassador provided us, that Wes students stand in the middle of triangle of support, students are assigned 1) a faculty advisor who they are paired immediately with when you say you are coming to Wesleyan; 2) a peer advisor who is a junior/senior and you can ask them the questions you might not feel comfortable asking a professor, and 3) A class dean who is the dean for an incoming class for their 4 years on campus
4+1 program in natural sciences, psychology, and ethnomusicology allows students to complete a master’s degree and all students receive FREE tuition for the 5th year
Wesleyan receives more federal research grant money than any other school of its size, because of its graduate-level resources, it can offer research opportunities to all students beginning their freshman year
Senior thesis: About 50% of students complete a senior thesis, which is required for some majors, but not others.
New programs: The Integrated Design, Engineering & Applied Science (IDEAS) minor (http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/minor.html), A new Muslim studies certificate, and under consideration: a teaching certification
Housing: Students experience progressive independence and responsibility throughout their four years, 99% of students live on campus all 4 years, and seniors may live in actual houses (a house with a red door indicates a senior lives there!) with Wesleyan as the “landlord.”
Clubs: There are over 300 clubs on campus (but our senior ambassador told us they are “more like extended friend groups”). Much of campus life is student-driven and student-run. Arts is extremely present on campus, and there is an open environment to try new things.
- 26% growth in applications in the past 2 years
- No supplement!
- They do not consider demonstrated interest
- 40% of students are non-white, highly value diversity in all forms
- The dean we spoke with reads about 1,300 applications per year or roughly 25-30 applications per day during the reading season
Careers: The majority of students go into consulting, finance or education even though Wesleyan does not offer majors in any of those areas, it is because the skills and education they receive are transferable!