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106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481

(781) 283-1000


Wellesley College

Wellesley College

Wellesley is known for the excellence of its education, the beauty of its setting, its gifted faculty, and the uniqueness of its campus culture. But most of all, Wellesley is known for the thousands of accomplished, thoughtful women it has sent out into the world for over 100 years—women who are committed to making a difference. 

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

To say that Wellesley is a college of the liberal arts and sciences is merely to say that we offer more than 50 majors; hundreds of funded internships around the world; and hundreds of opportunities to do research, engage with communities, and collaborate with leaders around that same world–and that you have a free hand in deciding how all of those things fit together to become an education. Which isn’t so mere at all. 

Our faculty encompass more than just “the teacher who opened my mind” or “the person who wrote the recommendation that blew away the scholarship committee” or “the world-renowned neuroscientist who always seems to have time to talk about my plans” or “the person who showed me what it means to love, really love, what you do.” They’re just supernaturally talented people who are also grounded and generous and dedicated to your advancement. 


"To provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world."

Non Ministrari sed Ministrare. "Not to be ministered unto but to minister," proclaims Wellesley's motto, capturing in four Latin words the College's mission: To provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.

Smart, serious women choose Wellesley because it offers one of the best liberal arts educations—and total learning environments—available anywhere. But they graduate with more than a highly regarded degree and four memorable years. They leave as “Wellesley women,” uniquely prepared to make meaningful personal and professional contributions to the “real world”—and to be major influences in it.

The world’s preeminent college for women, Wellesley is known for intellectual rigor, its belief in the enduring importance of service (and putting that belief into practice), and its cultivation in students of an inclusive, pragmatic approach to leadership.

Wellesley Believes In...

Making a Difference
Every woman can—and should—make a meaningful contribution to her world. There is a growing recognition that women’s empowerment and leadership are crucial to their own advancement, and to worldwide societal change. Wellesley and its alumnae have supported and championed women’s intellectual and social development and autonomy for over 100 years.

Disciplined Thinking
Inquiry and intellectual exchange lead to disciplined thinking. Wellesley challenges students to explore widely, interrogate closely, and make the creative leaps—synthesizing disparate ideas, perspectives, and experiences—that lead to new levels of understanding. A culture of collaboration (with our world-class faculty as well as with her peers) refines a student’s intellectual habits, hones her judgment, and increases her sense of mastery, while teaching her to take a considered position and defend it with conviction.

Valuing Diversity
There is no greater benefit to one’s intellectual and social development—and to the vitality of an academic community—than the forthright engagement with and exploration of unfamiliar viewpoints and experiences. Wellesley encourages students to try on new ideas, try out new courses of action, and interact authentically with others whose beliefs or choices challenge their own.

Pragmatic Leadership
A contemporary liberal arts education must enhance real-world leadership skills. The rigor of a Wellesley education is part of what makes our graduates so effective “out in the world.” But Wellesley women are also taught to be strategic thinkers who can “read” environments, navigate their challenges, and bring people together to achieve a goal.

Knowing how to serve is a key element of effective leadership. True leaders inspire rather than control, and they dedicate their intellect and energy to the hard work of creating a sense of commitment, responsibility, and common purpose in the pursuit of a vision. Wellesley has long dedicated itself to the ideal that former Wellesley President Diana Chapman Walsh described as "trustworthy leadership," and subscribing to this ideal is integral to the Wellesley experience.


Stepsinging: In a tradition that evolved from informal social gatherings, students began to assemble to sing on the steps of Houghton Chapel after its dedication in 1899. Today, students assemble by class four times a year dressed in their class class colors to try to out-sing and out-cheer the others. The rainbow colors are a reminder that despite differences, Wellesley students form a cohesive and dynamic community of scholars.

Flower Sunday: Flower Sunday is the oldest and longest-surviving Wellesley tradition. For many young women coming to Wellesley, the first Sunday away from home brought homesickness, and the celebration of Flower Sunday helped to ease the transition. Flower Sunday has evolved into a day of sisterhood and celebration of the new school year. Held annually in early September, it features a multicultural and multi-faith pageantry of song, music, and dance.

Hooprolling: Hooprolling began with an activity once held on May Day, which students celebrated as a day of frivolity and of escaping from real-world worries into a day of child's play. Students would dress up in children's clothing and play games on Severance Green. One of the most popular was a race in which seniors, clad in graduation robes, rolled wooden hoops. Hooprolling has become a Wellesley institution in itself and is now held independently.

Junior Show: In 1936, a group of sophomores in Shafer Hall decided to produce a theatrical extravaganza. The next class, not to be outdone, took up the dramatic challenge, and the tradition was cemented. Planned in the sophomore spring and summer and performed in the junior year, Junior Show typically features the everywoman Wendy Wellesley pursuing an active academic and social life while juggling the daily tribulations, love troubles, and social issues of the day.

Student Life:

Most students live on campus in Residence Halls—each Res Hall represents its own welcoming and organic community shaped and governed by the residents themselves.

Clubs and student organizations (called "orgs") plan hundreds of events each semester, creating a community that thinks, plays, eats, and laughs together at every hour of the day.

Want to stay active? No experience necessary to join one of Wellesley's many club sports: enjoy an all-time favorite or challenge yourself to do something you've always wanted to try. Students participate in 14 varsity teams, plus club teams and recreational activities.

wellesley ravens


While the College has never had a mascot, our resident ravens—affectionately dubbed Pauline and Henry—may be making themselves our de facto signature animals.

Wellesley today:

Wellesley College offers 56 departmental and interdepartmental majors.


Wellesley has a total enrollment of approximately 2,300 students.

Famous graduates:

Hillary Clinton (born October 26, 1947) served as first lady from 1993 to 2001, and then as a U.S. senator from 2001 to 2009. In early 2007, Clinton announced her plans to run for the presidency. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, she conceded the nomination when it became apparent that Barack Obama held a majority of the delegate vote. After winning the national election, Obama appointed Clinton secretary of state. She was sworn in as part of his cabinet in January 2009 and served until 2013. In the spring of 2015, she announced her plans to run again for the U.S. presidency. In 2016, she became the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party.

Diane Sawyer (born December 22, 1945) attended Wellesley College. She began her journalism career in the local Kentucky news before moving on to the White House press office under President Richard Nixon. A few years after Nixon's resignation, Sawyer began rising through the ranks at CBS News. In 1984, she was the first woman correspondent for CBS's marquee news magazine 60 Minutes, and from there her career has been a ceaseless climb up the news ladder, culminating in an array of honors and awards and a spot in the echelon of American news reporters.

Interesting facts about Wellesley College:

The first students, numbering 314, moved into College Hall and began classes in 1875. From that first class, 18 were graduated in 1879.

Each class at Wellesley is assigned a color: red, yellow, purple, or green. Class colors are worn at events like Stepsinging and Reunion.