Wheaton College is a small liberal arts college in Norton, Massachusetts, about 45 minutes outside of Boston. With a beautiful, park-like campus and a well-rounded set of general education requirements dubbed the Wheaton Curriculum, Wheaton is an ideal place for students who seek an intimate educational environment in a bucolic campus setting.
Wheaton College Curriculum
The curriculum emphasizes the interconnectedness and connections between courses/disciplines and how they relate to the larger world, which is a great way for students who are undecided to learn where their real interests lie. In fact, while I was on campus, I met with student with whom I worked when she was in high school – she was just beginning her sophomore year here. She had entered undecided, with three possible majors in mind (English, theatre, sociology), and she told me that through some interesting courses and close collaboration with both professors and the campus rabbi, she had discovered an intense interest in religious studies, and would consider majoring in this area.
The arts are very strong at Wheaton College. Students can major or minor in theatre, visual arts, dance or music. All students, even those who don’t major in these areas, can participate in the performing arts community on campus. The bright and airy humanities building is dominated by the film and visual arts programs; art pieces line the hallways and common spaces. There is also an open political dialogue on campus – whereas most liberal arts colleges lean heavily to the left, there are active political groups on both sides at Wheaton.
Wheaton College Internships
Wheaton was founded as a women’s college but has left that legacy behind. The 1,500(ish) student body (Wheaton is trying to grow to about 2,000 students) are split similarly to the national average – about 60% women and 40% men. There is a VERY STRONG focus on internships here – over 80% of students complete at least one internship while they are here. Wheaton takes very seriously parents’ desire for their liberal arts students to leave with a career advantage. The Wheaton Edge guarantees access to funding for students to do internships – the College backs this program with a budget of over $1.2 million per year.
Wheaton President Dennis Hanno personally teaches business – and yes, Wheaton, a liberal arts college, has a management/business major. In fact – though the major is only three years old (as of 2017), it’s the #1 or #2 major here among entering students. Those who declare the business major get exposure to all four disciplines – accounting, finance, marketing and management – and the program requires an internship. All classes have some type of experiential learning – there are many consulting opportunities with community businesses. All seniors are required to do faculty-supervised capstone project.
Wheaton College Student Life
There’s a free campus shuttle to the local train station – students can get to Boston in 40 minutes and Providence in 25. NYC is a few hours away, and there are short term rental cars on campus. The student I met with told me they frequently go into Providence as it’s fun and close, and NYC every now and then.
Wheaton College Admissions and Financial Aid
While about one-fifth of the students are low-income at Wheaton, they have intentionally worked to grow their middle income population, offering strong merit-based awards. About a third of students earn some type of merit-based awards from Wheaton College.
Wheaton is test-optional, which means they will review test scores if you send them, but they place a greater emphasis on the transcript and the student’s progression through high school. Like many colleges, Wheaton is looking for rigor! Take the hard classes! Average GPA is in the A-/B+ range. Average SAT scores are in the mid to high 1200s, and middle 50% ACT scores are 27-31.
Evelyn visited Wheaton College in September, 2017; you can scroll through her photos below.