Colby College
Facts and Faces

Quest for Knowledge

Get ready to explore. At Colby, students find their passions in sometimes-unexpected places—and they pursue those passions in partnership with professors who are equally enthusiastic. What will steal your attention?

Pursue your academic passions alongside professors who are top scholars in their fields.

Academics at a Glance

Majors: 57 | Minors: 32
Academic calendar: 4-1-4
Student-faculty ratio: 10 to 1
Classes with fewer than 20 students: 3/4

Off-Campus Study

Two-thirds of Colby students study abroad at 200 locations in 60 countries.

Colby runs four off-campus programs—in Spain, France, and Russia, and marine science research at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on the coast of Maine—and selected students spend their first semester abroad in Dijon, France, or in Salamanca, Spain.

Jan Plan

One month. One topic. Endless possibilities.

Whether you choose an internship, a research trip, or a course on campus, Jan Plan offers a unique opportunity to focus on one thing.

  • Investigate ecosystems in Belize.
  • Participate in a theater production.
  • Conduct neuroscience research with your professor.
  • Shadow a physician at an area hospital.
  • Uncover Christian and pagan religious expressions in Harry Potter.
  • Produce a short film.
  • Intern in Washington, D.C.
  • Get EMT certified.

The list goes on and on.

Undergraduate Research

Colby students conduct research across the curriculum.

Work in small groups and in partnership with your professor to hypothesize, analyze, and theorize. Showcase your findings at one of our annual research symposiums. Better yet, get your work published in a scholarly journal or present at a professional conference.

Student research at Colby


Gain real-world experience. Assess your intended career. Build your resumé.

Hundreds of students intern each year—at corporate firms, nonprofit organizations, government offices, educational facilities, law firms, and more. Colby has established relationships with and regularly sends interns to these and many other organizations: many of these organizations.

Apogee Adventures



Citi Condé Nast

Exploration Summer Programs

Goldman Sachs


Johnson & Johnson

Massachusetts General Hospital



VOX Global

Explore and Specialize

Academic departments at Colby are organized into four divisions: humanities, interdisciplinary studies, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Many students choose two majors or a major and a minor in different divisions, combining their interests and broadening their perspectives on the world.


Includes art and music, classics, language and culture studies, philosophy, religious studies, and theater and dance.

Students in the humanities are challenged to think imaginatively. You’ll exercise different modes of expression—foreign language, photography, dance movement, poetry—and enhance your understanding of culture. Your studies will take you to new places, and you’ll learn to analyze, synthesize, and communicate—all while gaining new understanding of the human race and how you fit into society.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Includes African-American, Latin American, and American studies, education, environmental studies, global studies, STS (science, technology, and society), Jewish studies, and women’s studies.

Students in our interdisciplinary studies programs study culture and human interaction on a global scale. You’ll analyze issues from different perspectives and gain insight into an increasingly complex world. Graduate equipped with the knowledge and skills to blaze your own trail and spark change in others.

Natural Sciences

Includes biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, math, physics, and astronomy.

The natural sciences combine rigorous course work with extensive research and fieldwork opportunities. You’ll collaborate with your professors in small classes and labs and use sophisticated technology to learn about knot theory, local frog populations, the ability of a smartphone to detect changes in how well humans can balance, and more.

Social Sciences

Includes anthropology, economics, government, history, psychology, and sociology.

Students in the social sciences explore cultural nuances, political systems, and historical factors that played a role in shaping our world. Your studies may take you to government offices in Washington, D.C., or to the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, helping you make connections between the things you learn in class and the world in which we live.

Life on the Hill

At Colby, learning isn’t confined to the classroom. From dorm activities and athletics to public affairs and multicultural programming, Colby has plenty to keep you busy—and keep you thinking.

If you embrace diverse experiences and opportunities, you’ll find plenty to choose from on Mayflower Hill.

Campus Life at a Glance

Students living on campus: 95%

Residence halls: 31

Places to get food: Three dining halls, snack bar, grab-and-go lunch

Clubs: 100+

Annual campus events: 600+

Cookies made by library staff during finals: 1,200

Residence Halls and Dining

Colby’s residence halls are designed to create community.

All halls are coed, and students can request substance-free, quiet, green, or healthy living residences. Community advisors ease the transition and foster community by hosting fun activities and friendly competitions.

All halls are coed, and students can request substance-free, quiet, green, or healthy living residences. More >

Colby has three distinct dining halls that offer specific types of cuisine—plus a snack bar and grab-and-go station for take-out lunches. A half-acre, student-run garden on campus provides 3,000 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables to the dining halls each year.

Colby has three distinct dining halls that offer specific types of cuisine—plus a snack bar and grab-and-go station for take-out lunches. More >

Student Clubs

Colby has more than 100 clubs. Here’s a sampling. View a full list

Biology Club

Blue Lights (a cappella)

Colby Dancers

Colby Mock Trial Team

Colby Outing Club

Colby Student Investment Association (invests a portion of Colby’s endowment)

EnviroCo (environmental coalition)


Pequod (literary magazine)

Photography Club

Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity

The Bridge (LGBTQ)


Not every Colby student participates in an athletic pursuit, but those who choose to have plenty of options.

Colby offers 33 varsity teams, 15 club sports (including Ultimate Frisbee and the coed woodsmen’s team), and nine intramural sports (including broomball, a campus favorite).

For details, visit


A diverse student body prepares students for success in an increasingly complex world.

Colby is committed to diversity, as evidenced by recent shifts in enrollment numbers and growth in programs and initiatives.

Pugh Center: Promotes multicultural communication, awareness, and understanding on campus, and serves as an intellectual and social focal point for conversation, exploration, and celebration of the diversity at Colby.

Programs: The Bunche Scholars Program, First-Generation Program, and Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS) provide special opportunities for qualified students from underrepresented groups.


Colby is committed to internationalism on campus and in the curriculum.

With a student body that represents more than 75 countries, global content in the curriculum, and 200 study-abroad opportunities, Colby provides connections to the world and friends from the around the globe.

The Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights and our partnership with the United World College underscore our commitment to diversifying perspectives on Mayflower Hill.


Waterville provides opportunities for off-campus entertainment, shopping, and dining.

Favorite Downtown Destinations

1. Barrels Community Market—local foods and goods
2. Goodwill—thrift-store shopping at its finest
3. Selah Tea Café—coffee, snacks, and studying
4. Mirakuya—sushi and hibachi
5. Sparetime Recreation—glow-in-the-dark bowling
6. Railroad Square Cinema—indie films

No car? No problem. Colby’s jitney (a blue and white minivan) provides students with free transportation to and from Waterville, and Zipcars are available on campus.


Road Trips

Students take advantage of our proximity to Sugarloaf and Sunday River ski resorts, Freeport’s outlets and L.L.Bean’s flagship store, Portland’s historic Old Port (a foodie’s dream), and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Civic Engagement

Two thirds of Colby students provide local communities with more than 32,000 hours of service annually.

Colby Volunteer Center popular programs: MulePrep (SAT coaching), Alternative Spring Break trips, Paw Pals (at the humane society), and the Evening Sandwich Program.

Colby Cares About Kids engages Colby students as mentors for area schoolchildren.

After Colby

Surveyed one year after graduation, 94 percent of the class of 2014 were working, attending graduate school, or pursuing fellowships.

Postgrad Prep: Colby’s liberal arts curriculum, combined with practical experiences and career and grad school guidance from the Career Center, prepares students for postgrad success in nearly every field imaginable.

Career Center programming: Colby Connect (a four-year, sequential program that includes workshops, career counseling, internships, and job shadowing experiences), Entrepreneurial Alliance, Colby on the road career events, and more

Career Center programming: Colby Connect (a four-year, sequential program that includes workshops, career counseling, internships and job shadowing experiences), Entrepreneurial Alliance, Colby on the road career events, and more

Professional School Admit Rates (5-year average)

Law School

Medical School
(Allopathic and Osteopathic)

National five-year averages
Law School: 74%, Medical School (M.D.): 45%

Alumni Network

Colby’s alumni network is nearly 30,000 strong with connections that span the globe.

The Career Center offers a searchable online directory of alumni and parents who are eager to help students and young alums. Who are they? See


Class of 2019 at a Glance

Applications received: 7,593
Acceptance rate: 22.5%
Mean SAT: 670/690/690
Middle 50-percent SAT scores: 1900 to 2190
Mean ACT composite: 31
Middle 50-percent ACT score: 29 to 32

Financial Aid

If you get in, we want you to be able to come.

  • Colby meets 100 percent of calculated need.
  • Colby does not include loans in financial aid packages—only grants that don't have to be repaid.
  • Financial aid is transferable to 200 qualified study-abroad programs.
  • College funding is available to supplement unpaid internships.
  • All students can apply for stipends to pursue academic research.

Comprehensive Fee: $61,730

Institutional financial aid grants awarded in 2012-13: $30 million

Average first-year financial aid grant in 2013-14: $46,000

nstitutional Grant Distribution, Class of 2017 Aid Eligible Students