Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Hobart & William Smith Colleges
A variety of scenes from Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Hobart College opened its doors in 1822, as Geneva College, and in 1906, William Smith College was founded on the same grounds, using the same buildings and faculty, as a women’s college.  The two campuses have coexisted in this way since that time.  The campus is set on Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in upstate New York, about halfway between Rochester and Syracuse.

Hobart & William Smith Colleges have about 1700 undergraduates, and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio.  About 60% of students go abroad at some point in their undergraduate experience, and 40% of students here are athletes.  H/WS athletes compete in the Division III Liberty League.

Hobart & William Smith Colleges are known for their emphasis on experiential learning.  Most students have job shadowing, internship or research opportunities as early as freshman year, and H/WS students are assigned a faculty advisory during their freshman seminar class who remains with them during their entire time here – so they develop very close relationships with faculty.  While most of the majors at Hobart & William Smith could be considered traditional liberal arts offerings, the school does take advantage of their location, with minors in Aquatic Science and Atmospheric Science and major/minor options in Environmental Science and Geoscience.  Most students in these programs spend time on small boats in Seneca Lake, sampling water and marine life.  H/WS also offers several emerging STEM programs including Data Analytics and Management/Entrepreneurial Studies.

There are 20 theme houses at Hobart & William Smith, helping students find friends with similar interests here.  Our tour guide was an African American woman from the Bronx, who told us she only went home occasionally, but that on-campus groups and activities kept her busy most of the time.  She said the population of students of color is about 25%, and she sometimes found herself the only woman of color in her classes.  There are a small number of fraternities and sororities here, and students can only join in their sophomore year.  Everyone lives on campus here; housing is guaranteed all four years.

The ideal Hobart & William Smith student is someone who is open-minded, curious, and has multiple academic interests.  Given the tight community and small class size, this is a college where the majority of classes are based on reading, analysis and intense discussion.  

The Magellan counselor team visited H/WS in spring, 2024.  You can scroll through our photos in the album below!

Get started on your future, contact Magellan College Counseling today.