Location: Lewiston, Maine
Funding: Private University
Size: 1,791 total students
Percent Women: 50%
Tuition (2014-2015): $60,720
Most Popular Majors: Economics, Psychology, Politics, History, English, Biology
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: 24.2%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors and study abroad, visit Bates College's website at: www.bates.edu/admission. Bates is a test-optional school.
[Photos courtesy of Michelle Pham and Bates College]
Why Choose Bates College?
“I applied to Bates because my sister had gone to Amherst, and I knew from then onwards that I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school in the New England area. I wanted to be able to play sports at a competitive level, and I knew I would be able to play volleyball at Bates. I also loved the environment and the fact that everyone seemed to be so friendly and outgoing on my tour around campus.”
“Small, impressive college with a nice architectural set up. Friendly, welcoming. Lots of clubs, activities to meet people.”
“Great school with a population NOT obsessed with money and looks...and a high population of chilled-out granola outdoor people.”
“Bates gave me good financial aid.”
“The people, definitely. In my experience, Batesies are friendly, open, bright and quirky kids, and when I visited, I could picture myself being friends with them. I also was drawn to the freedom built into the curriculum - I feel that it is designed for the enthusiastic, self-directed learner.”
"Everyone seemed knowledgable, welcoming and happy to be a part of Bates."
"I applied to Bates first for its academic reputation, and I chose to come here after visiting its campus - so gorgeous and peaceful."
“I've really come to love the people that Bates attracts. They balance work and having fun really well and are all passionate about something.”
“The community of friends that people develop is something unique about Bates. The people here also come from very interesting lives. Makes for good conversations.”
“Bates has an amazing and supportive faculty who are very willing to meet with students and help struggling students or simply discuss future plans.”
“[The] people - I really do love most people I know on this campus. I think we can all learn something from one another, whether it be how to make the best mimosa or how to work with complex philosophical theories.”
“I love the chemistry professors."
"Classes are very small, and the professors are just so nice and so helpful. They are always happy to do anything to make your life easier."
"I really love my advisors; and 90% I've had, I've loved. (Though there are a couple outliers!)"
“I don't really like the going-out culture here at Bates. I think we could really improve on the campus activities and having more creative and fun events on campus.”
“The rising obsession with looking like a J. Crew model (clothes and body) and the competitive nature that is starting to imbue people with a great sense of self-consciousness and self-doubt. ALSO micro-aggressions are becoming a seriously widespread problem and people care too much about saving the drinking culture than our actual culture. Focus more on being a human and less on being a drunken college student...even though I still love Throwback [a suspended end-of-year event where seniors return to their first-year dorms].”
"Biggest pet peeve - everything and everyone runs on Bates time, which is about 5-10 minutes late."
"There is a huge divide between non-whites and whites.”
"The night life at Bates is very off-putting. Faculty often treats students, especially first years, like children and not adults. I like being a student here in general."
“They need more study spaces, and more printers.”
"Winter. Can someone do something about that?"
New Collegiette on Campus
“I would definitely recommend AESOP [Annual Entering Students Outdoor Program, an optional pre-orientation, student-led trip] although I never did it (Mainers don’t pay to hike). Being a first year was amazing. Meeting new people from all over was extremely refreshing. Freshmen dorms also have a very cozy feel, now that I see it in hindsight.”
“AESOP was the best experience. Still super tight with 2 people from my AESOP and honestly would love to do it again. I would 100000% recommend it to everyone, gives an opportunity outside of the school context to get to know people.”
“I definitely had the homesick moment because I didn’t do AESOP, so I was by myself on campus, but I feel like everyone has that moment at some point. The orientation program now is much stronger compared to my first year; I wish we had had that. They show you EVERYTHING.”
“[On AESOP]I had never been hiking before, or been to the mountains before, so that was pretty cool. Orientation our year was basically non-existent, but it has improved since then.”
“I didn’t go to orientation events.”
"I didn't do AESOP because I missed my flight...but orientation was very well-organized and making friends was really the easiest thing to do. Bates provides everything to help you assimilate to the community."
All About Academics
*Ninety-six percent of seniors at Bates complete a thesis, which is a one or two semester long independent project of original research and writing. All departments offer the option to do a senior thesis, and most require it.
“[Getting the classes you need is] pretty easy sometimes...especially when you become an upperclassman because you NEED certain classes to graduate. Thesis is pretty dope though, I really would encourage the school to require better preparation for thesis* (like a prep course...or at least topic narrowing during junior year required)...[The workload is] a lot but not as much as it felt like my first year here. I study in the library. almost exclusively. I used to go to Pgill [Pettingill Hall] because I used to stay up later but now I prefer sleeping over getting my reading done.”
“I have personally never had trouble getting into classes that I have wanted to take, but I do know that some people do. If you are a science major, non-major academic requirements are fulfilled by all your intro classes and you will probably have completed them all by the end of your freshman year. Non-science majors will have a little more trouble fitting science classes into their schedules, but it is doable. Thesis* is a ton of work, but I am very happy to have the opportunity to do independent research that is very much my own...From my experience, your workload depends on how hard you are willing to work. There are people who work themselves to death, and there are people who just coast, but for the most part people work pretty hard because they want to do well. A lot of people do most of their work in the library, but there are quiet spots all over campus, in most of the academic buildings and dorms, that people use to do work as well.”
“I like the thesis requirement*, it gives student more experience and an advantage when applying to jobs. I understand the purpose of GECs, but I don't like it. Recently, I've noticed that people are having more difficulties getting into classes, but this is based on a fairly sample size…Work hard, play hard. People do spend a lot of time with their schoolwork, but that doesn't mean they can't find ways to have fun. The library is most common, followed by Pgill.”“I've had very good luck with getting into my class but a lot of people are frustrated with the randomization process at Bates. I've had an okay time fulfilling the requirements, but it really depends on what major you decide on. I think the thesis requirement* is great because it forces us to elevate and continuously improve our writing even in our senior year...The workload is a lot at Bates but its also manageable. A lot of people spend time in the library, in pgill and also the study lounges in Pgill.”
“People do a lot of work. A sh*t ton. People get really early to do work. People probably study the most in Pgill.”
“People work really hard when they have to, but people don’t always work that hard. The curriculum is extremely good because it opens you up to different subject areas. Taking classes in different departments open you up to looking at the same ideas in new ways. There are some majors that are more demanding than others, like math, physics, biochem.”
"Lots and lots and lots of work. Where people study depends on how you are as a student. I'd say 95% of the student population work their asses off."
Learn from the Best
“One of the best professors I've had is Professor Nicoletti who taught intermediate painting. Every class at Bates gives students the opportunity to participate. My abnormal psychology professor Rebecca Fraser-Thill (another favorite) surprised us on the day of Halloween by making us do a scavenger hunt throughout campus.”
“My rhetoric professors - Stephanie Kelley-Romano (she's a badass) Erica Rand (also a badass and honest) Nero (not afraid to offend people by calling them on their racist/sexist/homophobic ignorance to actually educate people productively inside and outside the classroom) Stephen Engel (Politics professor - he's just the best!) [My favorite classes have been] Presidential Campaign Rhetoric - interactive and functionally productive because the class actually has to run a campaign and Sexuality Movements--really solid base for understanding current situations of LGBTQ people and politics. Also, every dance class - mentally challenging exercise.”
“My favorite professor so far is Sonja Pieck. While her classes are super intense and fairly hard, I really love how she pushes her students to be the best student that they can be in terms of being engaged in the classroom as well as performing strongly in midterms and papers. People do go to office hours and i've heard that many faculty have traditions and are very personable.”
“Economics Professor Michael Murray - he looks like Santa Claus. He’s a boss; one of the single most brilliant people I have ever met, and he’s really nice about it.”
“Intellectual Property with Professor James Hughes is one of my favorite classes, and he is one of my favorite professors. It’s an Economics class, it was really fun and interesting, all group discussion about really fascinating readings.”
"Mary Rice-Defosse in the French department is the sweetest - you can tell that she really cares about both her discipline and her students. Also, if you have the chance to take a class with Heidi Taylor in the sociology department, do it. Her classes are always overbooked because she is the bomb. Her lectures are never boring. But honestly, the falculty is so smart and so accesible; I have loved all of my professors here."
Interests & Involvement
“It was difficult to start my own club but now that it exists and is not connected to a national organization, so we can do a lot more. I really, REALLY appreciate that we were not allowed to be connected too closely to a national organization. It allows us to have our own opinions.”
“I feel like a vast majority of students participate in clubs. Club volleyball is definitely up there for most popular ;). I really like the idea of our outing club. Clubs and organizations are the best way to branch out and meet new people, especially since they group people with similar interests.”
“Yoga, zumba, ultimate frisbee would be the top three clubs. Just started zumba this semester and lovin’ it! It’s not the easiest process to start your own club but you can always ask and see where it goes!”
“Outing Club, ultimate frisbee and a capella groups are the most popular clubs on campus. Fifty percent of the population get really involved with the clubs, and fifty percent doesn’t do anything.”
“Outing Club has a lot of support, so do clubs like MASV [Men Against Sexual Violence]. People definitely do get involved on campus. There are groups that are around social causes that have solid membership, but on a campus-level, we are not a hugely politically active campus.”
"Bates has about 100 clubs open to the student body so we have lots of opportunities to practice any hobby or even discover some other one and make new friends!"
“So many people at Bates used to be a former athlete in high school, it's just one of the many things that defines our student body. Our most successful sports teams seem to fly under the radar (rowing, squash, track and field). Our sporting events don't tend to get the highest turn-out rates (students have busy schedules). There are a lot of intramural sports. Soccer is a big one. I think there is a separate athlete culture, but it's something that is found on every college campus.”
“Most popular sports teams are probably football and basketball. These events are attended by most of the school. There are also club and intramural teams that are fairly competitive. On a whole, I feel that Batesies are very active and like to be involved in something physical whether that be a varsity sport or a one day a week commitment to yoga or zumba!”
“People go to football games, and yes, we do offer intramural and club sports that I believe a lot of people are involved in.”
“Team spirit is pretty sh*tty. People only cheer if other people cheer or if we are winning by a lot.” "I don't have much time to go to sporting events, but I try to make it to a couple every year, especially if I have friends who are playing. Football games are definitley the most fun! I'm not athletic, and I didn't play sports in high school, and I have never felt like Bates is a super-jocky school."
“I wear whatever I want. Used to only sport a sweatshirt and leggings, but i've branched out due to the pretty awesome thrift stores in Maine. Gender ratio on our campus is almost, even though slightly favors women. I think the divides come in the academic world (almost all economics majors are male and almost all sociology majors are women...and I'm not sure if any man is a Women and Gender Studies major....just sayin’).”
“Definitely a lot of different styles that women wear at Bates. I feel fine about the ratio.”
“Out of all the other things that I am, I think that it’s pretty easy to be a woman because the ratio is pretty even. In terms of what girls wear- scarves and Bean boots. Guys - flannels and Bean boots.”
“What is it like to be a woman? Normal? I feel like I’m treated equally. I don’t feel uncomfortable being a woman on campus at all.”
“Being an Econ major, it is challenging because you’re surrounding by men constantly...there is an idea that it’s a men’s major and male-dominated. You do feel empowered though, being in the classes, because you’re at their level. My sociology classes, though, are all girls - only like two guys. It’s hard being a woman in the college hook-up culture if you are not comfortable with just hooking up with people.”
Food & Drink
“Food at commons is great! People get really excited for the Pad Thai, Lemon Chicken, Grilled cheeeeeeeeese etc. also people just love commons desserts (shout out to almond cookies, magic bars, thumbprints etc) Favorite restaurants nearby: Sea 40, DaVinci’s, Guthrie’s...”
“Commons food is generally very tasty, and there is a pretty wide variety of dishes available, making it easy to find something you like. There are several good restaurants that are within walking distance of campus, and some deliver.”
“People really get excited about our Pad Thai in the vegan section...I do too. [For restaurants,] Mother India is bomb, so is Sea 40.”
“Love the food. love the desserts. Love that its unlimited on campus. [For restaurants,] Gritty's and Guthrie’s are two of the best. Sea 40 is great for celebrations.”
“I like Commons food, I really love the homemade bread. My favorite restaurants are Bua and Forage."
"Commons is the best. When I was abroad, I really missed the variety, the deliciousness and the accessibility of the food. We have unlimited swipes; it really doesn't get much better than that. My favorite meal is the foccacia chicken and the vegan station's sesame nuggets."
"The food at Bates is good, even though there are way to many vegan meals."
“Weed and alcohol are pretty available on campus, but honestly so long as people are safe, I am okay with all of the above. I don't feel pressured to drink. Since I'm 21, I can buy all my own alcohol, so I control what I drink and how much. I know people who go out without drinking and still have fun, but some people don't feel that way.”
“The social scene on weekends can feel really exclusive mainly because students prefer to have smaller gatherings with just their friends. Drinking is a big part of what happens on the weekends, as well as smoking. Upperclassmen tend to do party more Thursdays than underclassmen. Many students are part of many friend groups because Bates is so small, but they always have that one group that is closest to them. Alternatives: catching up on homework, watching a movie, going out for dinner, bowling, ice rink, have profound talks with friends, playing FIFA instead.”
“Lots of drug and alcohol use, and the weekend life here isn't the best! Fridays are a no-go and usually not much is going on. I don't feel pressured to drink, but that could vary for different people. Village Concert Series [on Thursday nights] is a non-drinking option, so are Wind Down Wednesdays [club-sponsored event, sometimes provide alcohol for 21+] and other little house parties, room parties, themed parties...I have friends from being involved in different things. I have my water polo girls, the group that I hang out with most regularly, my roomies, my Environmental Science majors…”
“Most people drink most weekends, but I have never felt pressured to drink if I didn't want to. People tend to stick to their friend groups, but most people have more than one group of friends that they spend time with. People usually party Fridays and Saturdays, drinking other days of the week is pretty uncommon.”
"Alcohol is probably the biggest thing. I don't really find any "partying" an issue at Bates."
"The thing that I like about Bates' social life is that you will find what you want here. If you want to party, there are definitely people here who do that. But if you don't, you will find those people here, too. And there are many campus-wide social events that bring together both of these types of people, like Gala [spring formal]. Oh! That's another awesome thing about the social scene - it's filled with all these longstanding Bates traditions, like Puddle Jump, where all the Batesies jump in the Puddle in the middle of winter. Crazy, Batesies are crazy - but in a total endearing, kind of dorky way."
“LOVED my first year dorm more than anything ever.”
“First year dorms are fun! You're with everyone from your class, so you get to know people pretty well and pretty quickly.”
“Honestly, the close proximity of freshmen rooms need to be appreciated. You make a lot of friends because of it. Every freshman gets a roommate, and there are shared bathrooms.”
“There are one or two nice freshman dorms, and some really mediocre ones, but housing options after freshman year improve dramatically.”
“It was very community-oriented. We would always wait for each other to go to Commons and hung out in people’s rooms. My next door neighbor gave everyone candy before the holidays. My room also had its own balcony, which was pretty sweet.”
“Everyone agrees that there is a bubble surrounding Bates. There is a huge social class gap between the people at bates and LA. People don't often leave campus. L/A has its moments but unfortunately I think most people at Bates look down on it. The Goose [a local bar] is a senior favorite, and it is only a walk away from campus.”
“Marden’s and Goodwill take the cake as my favorite stores. I can afford them and they're essentially successfully recycling clothes. Bates needs to work harder to actually create a relationship with L/A...some people do, and some people just do not care at all. I think people do go off-campus but not that often.”
“Lewiston-Auburn is on the rise! The Dempsey Challenge in the fall is a great event to run around Lewiston! I lovelovelove Rolly’s Diner in Auburn and also the restaurants nearby like DaVinci’s, Fishbones, Forage, Gritty’s etc. Nezinscot Farm is a great little farm breakfast spot too. I think the relationship is getting better between L/A and Bates but could use some improvement. There are currently limited nightlife options other than The Goose and The Cage [another local bar with pool tables] Once you're of age, a lot more people go off-campus, and parties in off-campus houses happen a lot too.”
“There isn't a lot to do off campus aside from shopping, going to movies, and a few nice restaurants, but the Student Activities Office does a great job of keeping us entertained on campus.”
HC's Complete College Guide: Bates College
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