Transformative Power of Our Differences
Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts and sciences since our founding by abolitionists. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion — Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery, and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.

Academic Distinctions
Major + 1
The curriculum is structured around thirty-seven majors and related minors. A major promotes immersion in an academic field and a minor is directed study in a subject area but requires fewer courses. Not all students choose a minor. Instead they select from dozens of General Education Concentrations which emphasize breadth. Students complete requirements in writing, scientific, and quantitative literacy too.

Create your own study, or support the work of one of our innovative professors as soon as your first semester. Research culminates in the Mount David Summit, an annual campus-wide celebration of student academic achievement. The Summit highlights undergraduate research; student creative work in art, dance, theater, music and film/video; projects conducted in the context of academic courses; and community-engaged research.

Senior Thesis
Almost all majors culminate in a senior thesis. The traditional senior thesis involves original research and writing, concluding with a substantial paper on a research topic of the student’s design. Portfolios or comprehensive examinations are available as thesis alternatives in several major fields. Students are guided in this process by a faculty thesis advisor.

4-4-1: A Bates take on the School Year
Bates students have time for unique exploratory opportunities. Our calendar is framed with fall and winter semesters and a three-week Short Term in May where students focus on one experience. Short Term is your opportunity to dig into an area of passion, or try something completely new either domestically or internationally.

Study Abroad
Nearly 60% of Bates juniors study abroad for a semester or year in more than 200 approved programs on six continents. In addition, all class years can study in off-campus courses taught by Bates faculty during Short Term or join a Bates faculty-led Fall Semester Abroad (FSA). The Center for Global Education, along with colleagues in Student Financial Services, support Bates’ equity promise by providing portability of financial aid resources for those studying abroad, ensuring that all students who choose to do so may study off-campus as a part of their Bates degree, regardless of family financial circumstances.

Purposeful Work
Bates believes that preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission. The Bates Center for Purposeful Work supports students to discover the joy and power that arise from aligning who they are with what they do. It helps students, over the arc of their college years, identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and provides opportunities for them to acquire the knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and integrity. The comprehensive and college-wide program includes curricular and co-curricular experiences including stipends up to $4,000 for summer internships.

A year ahead of its 2020 announced commitment, Bates has become the seventh institution in the country to be carbon neutral. The institution worked on three fronts to shrink its carbon footprint: reducing energy consumption through efficiency measures; strengthening the culture of sustainability on campus; and switching to renewable energy sources. Harder to quantify but essential to Bates’ achievement is a campus culture dedicated to sustainability, as well as social justice, which for many at Bates go hand in hand. This is seen in Bates' academic curriculum which includes an interdisciplinary environmental studies program that integrates the natural sciences and humanities, and immerses students in community-engaged research and action. A portion of this work is done at the 600-acre Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation area along the coast of Maine.

Admission Deadlines


Application & 
Financial Aid


Reply Date

Early Decision I Nov. 15 by Dec. 20 Jan. 15
Early Decision II Jan. 10 by Feb. 15 Feb. 21
Regular Decision Jan. 10 by April 1 May 1
Fall Transfer Admission March 1 by May 15 May 20

The Admission Deans and Counselors pride ourselves in a holistic review of our applicants, and to that end, Bates has been test optional since 1984. The college has always admitted students without regard to race, religion, national origin, or gender and was the first co-educational college in New England.

Required Application Materials:

  • Coalition Application for Access, Affordability, and Success or Common Application (both considered equally)
  • School Report (including official school transcript)
  • Mid-Year Report
  • One Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • If English is neither your native language nor your primary language of instruction for your entire secondary school education, then results of an English-proficiency test like the TOEFL or IELTS are required.
  • $60 application fee or fee waiver (automatically waived for non-U.S. citizens)

Optional Application Materials:

Frequently Asked Questions for:
International Applicants
Undocumented and DACA Applicants
Home School Applicants
Transfer Applicants

Bates is committed to making this educational experience accessible and affordable to all admitted students, regardless of family financial circumstances, and offers need-based financial aid to eligible students. Bates’ commitment to affordability and accessibility is a direct extension of the ethical vision that inspired the college’s founders: an education that is open to all will ensure that future leaders and problem-solvers emerge from every walk of life and are able to collaborate with people representing diverse cultures and viewpoints.

Bates meets 100% of demonstrated financial need by providing more than $36 million in grant aid yearly. Nearly half of our students receive financial aid, and the average Need-Based Grant Aid Award is $49,563. Our current single fee on campus cost of attendance is $73,530. Answer six questions on our MyinTuition college cost estimator to see what a highly personalized Bates education might cost you:


After four years of exploration, discovery, and practical experience, Bates students have a strong sense of who they are and what next steps they want to take. The Bates Center for Purposeful Work serves as a primary resource for post-college plans and access to our robust alumni network. 99% of 2019 graduates who responded to our outcomes survey reported being settled in a job, fellowship, or school;  Bates graduates boast extraordinarily high acceptance rates to top graduate programs, and the college is a top producer of Fulbright Fellows annually.

Take the Next Step

For general information or inquiries, please reach out to or call us at 1-855-228-3755.