Williams uses a holistic admission process that focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of an applicant’s academic achievements and personal character. Applicants to Williams should pursue the strongest program of study offered by their schools. While there are no absolute requirements for admission, competitive first-year candidates typically study English, math, natural science, foreign language and social studies in four-year sequences and present a distinguished record throughout their secondary school career.

While the academic record is the most important factor in the admission process, we seek students who will serve as leaders not only in the classroom but also in the community at large. To that end, we also consider all candidates’ non-academic involvements and achievements at school and in their communities. A strong co-curricular record might reflect a wide range of talents and achievements or distinguished accomplishment in just one or a few areas.

First-Year Applicants

First-year applicants for whom Williams is their first-choice college may apply under the binding Early Decision program. The deadline for submission is November 15, and applicants will receive notice of a decision by December 15. Early Decision applicants may submit an Early Decision application to only one institution and, if admitted under Early Decision, are expected to withdraw all other college applications and to initiate no new applications.

First-year applicants who wish to apply to more than one college should apply under the non-binding Regular Decision plan. The deadline for submission is January 6, and applicants will receive notice of a decision by April 1. The majority of applicants apply under Regular Decision and, if admitted, have until May 1 to accept their place in the class. Acceptances are always contingent upon the applicant finishing the school year in good standing.

Here is additional information about the admission process and required materials.

Transfer Applicants

At Williams, we strive to create a vibrant living and learning environment for all students by enrolling a talented and diverse class. Transfer students bring their own unique backgrounds, perspectives and set of lived experiences, and they carry all of that with them through their classes, conversations with peers, research and internships, and more. Williams is eager to welcome a growing cohort of transfer students each year. Transfer students who began their post-secondary education at a community college, in the U.S. military or elsewhere in the workforce are especially encouraged to apply.

Transfer students may apply for fall enrollment only; we do not accept mid-year transfers. Students will be informed of their class standing at the point of admission. Those who enroll as first-semester juniors will select a major upon matriculation. Students are not eligible for admission if they have already received a bachelor’s degree.

30 semester hours are considered equivalent to a full year at Williams. Students with one year or more of college credit completed or in process should apply as transfers. Students with less than one year of college credit are encouraged to apply as first-years. Regardless of how you apply, college credit may be considered for course placement.

Williams students must fulfill a two-year residency requirement, so transfer students will be granted a maximum of two years’ worth of credit. Students who have earned more than two years of transferable credit must relinquish credit in order to meet the residency requirement, but they may still use that credit for course placement.

The deadline for transfer application submission is March 1. Applicants will receive notice of a decision by April 15 and have until June 1 to accept their place in the class.

Here is additional information about the transfer admission process and required materials.

Veteran Applicants

Williams encourages applications from individuals who have actively served in the U.S. military. Veterans may apply either as first-year or transfer students, depending on the amount of college coursework completed. Please consult the Apply page for more information. The Registrar will determine how much credit will be awarded for work completed at other institutions.

We require transcripts of all secondary and post-secondary academic work, including any coursework completed during service. We take a holistic approach to the admission process, and will evaluate each application—including these transcripts—in context, taking into account any time that may have elapsed since enrollment. If service has caused gaps in academic work for more than two years, we recommend enrolling in challenging college-level courses prior to submitting a formal application. Successful completion of post-secondary coursework will provide us with the most recent picture of academic abilities and the best evidence of potential for academic success.

Our standard applications for admission may not accurately capture all of a veteran’s individual interests and experiences, so we encourage applicants to detail any unique circumstances and achievements in the additional information section or by submitting supplementary materials.

An application fee waiver is available for all veterans and can be requested on the Common Application. A fee waiver for the CSS PROFILE is also available by emailing the Admission Office.

We meet 100 percent of each admitted veteran’s demonstrated financial need for four years. In many cases, this may well exceed the aid provided by veterans’ benefit programs.

More detailed information on available financial aid, Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits, and our participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, is available on the Student Financial Services (SFS) site.

International Applicants

Williams is committed to building a community that includes the brightest minds from around the world. Each year, we receive over 3,000 international applications—that is, from students who, regardless of country of residence, do not hold U.S. citizenship, permanent residency or a green card—from more than 100 countries. Today, international students make up nine percent of the Williams student body.

Given the number of international applicants to Williams annually, the Admission Committee is familiar with the nuances of school systems and curricula from around the world. Therefore, international applicants follow the same application procedures as U.S. citizens and are not required to submit any additional forms or testing. Those students whose first language or language of academic instruction is not English must document their English proficiency, but there is no one required examination. While we are happy to review TOEFL or IELTS results, such examinations are not requirements for admission to Williams.

For more information please contact:

Office of Admission
Williams College
Weston Hall
995 Main Street
Williamstown, MA 01267
[email protected]

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S.government Web site at

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