Location: Geneva, New York
Percent Women: 54%
Tuition (one year): $60, 034 (includes room & board and additional fees)
Most Popular Majors: Media & Society, Economics, Environmental Studies, English, and Political Science
Greek Life: Yes (Fraternities only)
Acceptance Rate: 49% (2013)For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Hobart and William Smith’s website at http://www.hws.edu.
Why Choose HWS?
"I knew I wanted to go to Hobart and William Smith the first time I visited campus because I felt a sense of comfort. I knew it would be easy for me to call HWS my home for the next four years of my life. The small class sizes and strong community really pulled me in."
"I came to Hobart and William Smith because of the atmosphere of the HWS community. When I came to visit, I absolutely loved the look of the campus and I knew I wanted to be a part of this community. I felt like HWS was really dedicated to supporting the students and making sure everyone was happy. In fact, compared to other schools, I feel like we are spoiled in the ways in which we are assisted and given opportunities. The fact that I can call campus safety and say, “I need a ride” and they will be there is awesome. Most schools don’t have that."
I chose HWS because of the supportive, inclusive community that I sensed as soon as I stepped onto campus. I knew it would be a place where I would be both challenged and supported as a student-athlete."
"I toured in the pouring rain and I still fell in love with campus. I was just awestruck by everything I saw. Everyone was just so welcoming and friendly. I really liked the small campus feel and small classroom environment where you’re treated as a person instead of a number."
"I chose HWS because it is a huge family school for me, so I grew up hearing about all the great things HWS has to offer. I loved the sense of community that I could feel when I was on campus. I could really see myself studying here and being active in the community in a variety of ways. I wanted to be known by my professors, as well as having that support system built into my school experience."
"HWS is the perfect small liberal arts college where students are able to study a wide range of topics. When I stepped onto campus for the first time, I knew it was the school for me. The lake was just an added bonus!"
"I was very nervous to leave home for college but I got the sense that people would take care of me here and I would be able to find a mini family."
"I wanted to find a college that could accommodate my studies during a semester exchange program, as well as allowing me to experience something completely out of my comfort zone. I was used to the city, but I wanted to be experience a space outside of that familiar zone. Upstate New York just seemed like the best option, and what an amazing place HWS is, the stars are bright and the air is so fresh."
"Hobart and William Smith is a school that both challenges it's students and allows them to grow academically and personally. I could not be happier with my decision to attend HWS."
"I chose HWS because I really wanted a small liberal arts school where I knew I could get a really great education and meet some really great people."
"HWS is really dedicated to supporting the students and making sure everyone is happy. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. With the small campus feel and small classroom environment, you’re treated as a person instead of a number."
"There are so many different majors and minors to choose from.There are endless opportunities to study several fields that cater to all of your interests."
"Hobart and William Smith's campus is absolutely beautiful. Its location on Seneca Lake is just an added bonus!"
"I am challenged everyday by my professors and peers which allows me to grow academically and personally."
“It’s so nice to be located right next to a lake and have the dock to sunbathe on right on campus. This is not a feature that many schools have, so students really like to take advantage of swimming in the lake and renting pontoon boats for the day while the warm weather lasts.”
“I’ve been to a lot of my professors houses. You really get to know them because of the small class sizes. That is not something that every college student gets to experience.”
“There are a bunch of cute places downtown to go for breakfast and lunch and just to get off campus. It is nice to be located in a cute town that gives some extra food options to mix up your meals once in a while.”
“When the weather is nice everyone goes to the quad and plays games and music. It’s fun seeing everyone outside together playing frizzbee and throwing footballs. All students on campus get the time to hangout in between classes and enjoy the beautiful campus.”
"Professors have several office hours a week, and even if you can't meet during those specific times, most professors are willing to schedule additional time out of their day to meet with you."
“You can have a car on campus as a freshman which is really convenient when you want to make a quick run to Wegman's or travel to a nearby city."
"There are so many resources on campus and programs that will help you exceed both inside and outside the classroom. The Center for Teaching and Learning offers extra help for students with learning disabilities and holds teaching fellow hours for students who want additional help. Career Services is another resource that helps students find internships and jobs in addition to hosting mock networking receptions for practice and offering several networking opportunities in Boston, NYC, D.C., and even LA."
“The location is not great if you’re looking for things off campus to do outside of the small town of Geneva. The two closest cities are Rochestor and Syracuse which are about 45 minutes away.”
"It snows all the time in Geneva, and most professors live in the area, so classes never get cancelled. The art's campus is anywhere from a 10-20 minute walk depending where you live on campus, and there are no shuttles to transport you in the cold weather."
“It is almost impossible to get into intro classes for popular majors like Media & Society and Economics.”
"There are not many options for food on campus and the meal plans can get really pricey. Unless you have a medical condition that restricts you from the major food groups, you have to buy a meal plan."
“There isn’t much of a party scene because the school is so small.”
"The dining hall hours are extremely limited. A lot of extracurricular activities fall during dinner hours and I have to skip my meal in order to attend academic presentations and practices."
New Collegiette on Campus
“HWS is a very welcoming campus for first-years. The transition into college was extremely smooth due to the laid back atmosphere provided by all students on campus.”
“There are a couple of cool traditions for first-years, starting with check-in for Orientation where William Smith students are given their first bracelet of a collection that they recieve over their four years, and Hobart students are given sunglasses. During Orientation students also have the opportunity to dress up and go to the Dean's dinner, another special event put on for incoming first-years.”
“Orientation consists of a lot of building exercises and getting to know your campus. You spend a lot of time with the people who will be in your first-year seminar class so it allows you to build relationships and develop friendships before courses begin.”
“Upperclassmen are easy to talk to and may be in some of the classes you take. A lot of first-years hang out with upperclassmen but it also depends on what type of person you are.”
"Being in a first-year seminar made it really easy to meet a group of students in the same grade as you. It wasn't scary because we were all in the same position, rather than in other classes where you may have upperclassmen mixed in the roster."
“Being a first year at the school is pretty easy. Everyone is willing to help and at first it's a completely new experience, but you can find a good flow pretty quickly.”
“I joined some clubs and have some upperclassmen friends. They help me out a lot in trying to figure out what to do next in school or how to prepare for finals.”
“I went on a POAP (Pre-Orientation Adventure Program) trip the week before Orientation weekend, where I was able to go backpacking and kayaking alongside a group of incoming first years and two upperclassman guides for a week. Participating in POAP was one of the best decisions that I made coming into college.”
“POAP allows you to move into your dorm before everyone else, something I found extremely beneficial as you got to get settled in with your parents before Orientation.
“I would 100% suggest that all incoming first year students sign up for POAP, as it allowed me the perfect transition into college.”
“I went on a POAP trip even though I have never been camping before. I threw myself into kayaking and hiking and made some great friends in the process. The guides were upperclassmen and they offered advice on all parts of the school and were incredibly friendly. I still hangout with the people on my trip and talk to my POAP guides today.”
All About Academics
“The academic environment here at HWS has been inclusive and supportive. I have had a wide range of professors with different expectations, but have never once felt unsupported in my academic needs.”
“What I love most about the academic environment at HWS is how willing professors are to work with students no matter what. They are constantly extending their help to students who express genuine interest in working hard, and I love that students like that are rewarded for it.”
“Since we are a liberal arts college, students are encouraged to take a wide range of classes in different disciplines. I had to take an art class for my art goal and I originally thought I would hate it but it ended up being good for me to go outside of my academic interests and try something else.”
"The most popular majors on campus are Economics, English, Media & Society, Psychology, and Biology."
“You are assigned to an advisor your first-year, but once you declare your major your advisor will change to a professor within that department. My advisors have always been willing to meet with me on short notice and are really helpful when it comes to course registration and overall academic advice.”
“All of my professors at HWS are so willing to help and want me to succeed. I feel very comfortable seeing them for advice, not only for academic purposes.”
“The workload definitely depends on the difficulty of the classes you take and the professor. Prioritizing is really important in college to make sure that you get all of your work done and succeed in class.”
“A lot of students are involved with activities and clubs on campus and can still manage a full academic schedule."
“The professors that I have had here have all pushed me to my full academic potential. I have been able to take the things that I have learned in my economics and political science classes and apply the topics in real life. The professors that I've had care and want to see their students do well, but that does require hard work.”
“Filling academic requirements really depends on your advisor – mine was willing to bend the goal requirements a little bit so that the classes I was taking could easily fit, but other advisors can be more rigid.”
"Classes usually have multiple exams and papers as large assignments, with smaller weekly assignments in between. Other classes have labs too, but the workload is manageable."
“As a first-year it is not very east to get all of the classes you want. It really does come down to the luck of the draw. But you gain priority based on your class year, meaning that the chances of getting the classes you want gets higher with each year. Also, teachers are typically willing to allow a few more students into their class if you can attest to how important a certain class is to your major/minor.”
“I liked living in a learning community because I became really close with the people on my floor and we learned material together.”
“Waking up at 7 AM and trying to get your classes can be really chaotic but you will eventually end up with the classes you need. You can go in and talk to teachers after registration and there is plenty of time to switch your schedule around if need be.”
“When it comes to places to study, the library is typically fairly full during the week and weekends, and it is really impossible to find a spot during finals weeks unless you get there bright and early. There are plenty of places to study outside of the library as well, like SAGA, the Blackwell church building, or the cafe.”
“Students that choose to participate in the Honors program on campus are required to complete a final project within their field of study.”
Learn from the Best
“One of my favorite teachers that I have had in my four years at Hobart and William Smith Colleges has been Professor Robin Lewis. This is not because she is my advisor or because she makes funny jokes, but because she has a unique style of teaching that challenges and encourages me to do my very best each day.”
“My favorite professor has been Elizabeth Wells from the Writing and Rhetoric Department. I took Writers Seminar with her my freshman year. Her constant and genuine kindness towards me as well as her other students made me enjoy coming to class each day. She never wanted to see anyone struggle, and if they were, she was always there to help.”
“I really liked having Professor Dahouda for French class, because he moved at whatever pace our class needed to, to really learn the material”
“One of my favorite professors here at HWS is professor Ted Aub of the art and architecture department. Professor Aub spends countless hours of his free time out of the classroom setting to help his student create better quality projects. He truly takes the time to understand your ideas and help navigate those idea in the right direction regarding your coursework.”
“Being an Art History major you spend countless hours reviewing slide identifications which can be daunting at times but not when you’re enrolled in one of Professor Leopardi classes. She has incredible passion and knowledge for the fine arts and makes the classroom atmosphere so enjoyable and a great learning environment.”
"One of my favorite classes I've taken is Literature and Social Movements taught by Anna Creadick. Every single class was interesting and Professor Creadick is amazing. In the class we would read books that were tied to a particular movement in history. Another great class I took was Music and Race in Popular Culture taught by Katherine Walker. I feel like a lot of classes at HWS tend to mix two different disciplines which I think is something that makes our school special."
“Alvaro Llosa. I’ve had him for two Spanish classes and his teaching style is engaging but also fun! I feel like I am learning a lot and can easily understand the curriculum at the same time. I highly recommend him as a teacher if you want to learn more about Spanish.”
Interests & Involvement
“I feel like everybody on this campus participates in something. There are a good variety of extracurricular activities or clubs for any type of student. Whether you like debating, social justice, sports, there is definitely a club here that can represent you. If there aren’t any clubs here that can represent you, it is easy to start a club.”
“This is a student run school so a lot the students are constantly getting involved. There is definitely something here for everyone.”
“At the beginning of the year there is a school wide Club Expo on the Quad when all the clubs advertise themselves. You can sign up for the club right there and ask current members questions. You don’t ever want to miss Club Expo, especially if you are someone who likes to get involved.”
“If you want to start your own club you definitely need to have an idea that people can gravitate towards and will impact the community in a positive way.”
“It can be hard to start a club because you have to go through the logistics in meeting the Student Activities chairmen, find an advisor, and then if you need a budget you have to request it from the student government. However, if you are willing to put in the work, your club will definitely come to life.”
“Some of the most popular clubs on campus ranges from what you like to do. If you like learning about different types of cultures, there are culture clubs such as Latin American Organization, Sankofa: Black Student Union, Asian-American Association, and Caribbean Student Association.”
“I am a part of Sankofa: Black Student Union and I love putting together formals and creating ways to share the African American culture with the student body. As a first year, I’ve learned that my input really does count.”
“I am a part of Campus Activites Board and I love it so much because I get to work with other people to make our campus more fun. Just recently, we invited B.O.B. to our school as part of our concert series. Now, we are working on ways to make our annual end of the school year Spring Fest poppin’.”
“I particularly love sports so there is definitely a lot of extracurricular for sports. We have varsity sports, club sports, and intramural teams.”“I love fitness so popular fitness activities, include Squash, Football, Volleyball, CrossFit, and many more. Every year, our school hosts a Wellness Week where people can go down to gym and participate in many different Get Fit activities. It’s super fun.”
“There really is something for everyone at HWS including William Smith Congress, Hobart Student Government, Women’s Collective, Hobartones (all male a cappella group), Three Miles Lost (all female a cappella group) Perfert Third (co-ed a cappella group).”
“Extracurricular activities and clubs are very important on campus. I couldn’t imagine HWS without it.”
"There are so many ways that people find out about different clubs. We find out through emails, tabling outside of Saga, posters, social media, and friends.”
"Most students are involved with sports in some way, whether that be varsity, club or intramural. Most games don't have huge fan sections but some games are a big deal, like the Hobart vs. Syracuse lacrosse game and some of the soccer games."
"Since we're on the coordinate system and Hobart and William Smith have separate athletic departments, it's sort of like there's double the school spirit on campus."
"Athletics don't define our school at all, but we do have a lot of students that are involved. Some sporting events are really fun, and, when it's warm out, there are usually a good amount of students who support their friends' teams."
"It's fun to go to sporting events to see your friends play, since you usually have friends on multiple teams because of our small student body."
"The athletic teams do this thing where we pair up with another team and we support them with posters and go to a game or two. Its really important for all teams to support one another and help empower one another"
"There is a lot of pride being a girl on campus! William smith has a strong tradition of high performing women, and everyday I feel lucky to be a part of it!"
"At HWS I feel empowered with our resources just for William Smith women. We have an excellent Women's Studies program here with passionate professors. We take advantage of being right down the road from Seneca Falls, where the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments for women's rights was first held. There are many field trip opportunities to the site."
"As an athlete, I know women athletes are well respected and supported on campus through the athletic department, hobart athletics and the student body."
"There is definitely a sense of pride that comes with being a woman at HWS. It helps a lot that we have our own sets of ceremonies and traditions because we are part of William Smith college. There is a lot of opportunities to get your feminist-on. We have clubs like Williams Smith Congress and Women's Collective that help to boost female representation. I love being a William Smith student because I feel like I'm a part of a unique sisterhood that most colleges don't have."
Food & Drink
“We have four different dining options on campus: the de Cordova Cafe, the Cellar Pub, Saga Dining Hall, and the Cafe. My favorite is the Cafe because there are a ton of different options like smoothies, burritos, or anything off the grill. They even have awesome breakfast that you can order there! Their breakfast sandwiches are amazing.”
“Saga doesn’t have the best food in the world, but most students put up with it because it can get expensive eating off campus all the time. Unless you live in Fraternity house or are authorized co-op, you have to have a meal plan on campus.”
“Pretty much all of the dorms on campus have kitchens, but most people are on a meal plan and go to Saga for all of their meals.”
“Burrito bowls from Salsa Rico are definitely a campus favorite! They are easy to take on-the-go and you can mix up your order every time so it never gets boring. The Cafe can get pricy though, so rationing your snack money or adding extra is always necessary.”
“One of the biggest perks of living in de Cordova Hall is being able to roll out of bed and grab a Starbucks latte in the morning!”
“On weekends the Pub turns into the Underground during late night hours and offers half priced appetizers and personal pizzas. It’s a great option when coming back from a Fraternity house, instead of having to wait 45 minutes for Domino’s or Mark’s to deliver pizza.”
“If you have ever been to HWS, you know that students are obsessed with Wegman’s. Luckily, it is only down the street from campus! Students usually drive, but the store is within walking distance which is nice if you don’t have a car or don’t feel like waiting for the shuttle which runs only late at night.”
“There are a lot of generic fast food restaurants down the road from from HWS, like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, and Taco Bell. Most students opt for more fun options though, like Char Burritto, Mark’s Pizzeria, and Mr. Twistee’s.”
"There are a realm of different options for students to engage in helps to create the social atmosphere here at HWS. Hobart and William Smith is a special place because it allows for students of all different walks of life to actively participate in something they are interested in. Whether that something is being on a club or varsity sports team, the Campus Activities Board or engaged in a Fraternity, HWS has something for everyone. "
"Most students prefer to go to parties on the weekends that are thrown at either fraternity houses or off campus, but it's not the only thing to do. Some students choose to stay in or participate in events that are thrown by CAB or different clubs. Either way, It's not hard to find something that interests you."
"What separates HWS from other schools is that we as a student body collectively boast about the students here on campus resembling a close-knit family. With that characterization in mind, one can be assured that we as HWS students do not leave anyone behind for anything and actively try to include everyone into our social settings, where or whatever that may be."
"There's so much to do here no matter what day it is. Being so close to downtown Geneva is great because it's a fun place to be both during the day and at night, but there are so many things happening on campus for students to take advantage of."
“They are your average college dorms but I would say they are pretty nice if you are comparing them to other colleges. Obviously the housing opportunities get better as you get older.”
“As a first-year you are assigned a random roommate and you are required to live on campus until you are a senior.”
“I live in a living learning community which means I am in a First-year seminar that goes all year and everyone who lives in my dorm shares the same class material and lectures. I think our residence hall is the closest, everyone knows everyone on the floor below and above, and everyone on my floor is especially close. If it wasn’t for the living learning community I would have had a harder time establishing such good guy and girl friends. Our classroom is also right across the hall which is really convenient”
“I'm in a non-traditional triple this year but it's not too bad. All three of us have our beds on the ground so we each have a little bit of our own space. We live in a suite though so that somewhat makes up for the lack of space in the room. There are a ton of different housing options except they aren't available to everyone. You are randomly assigned a roommate for the first year but can choose after that. I feel safe in my dorm. Part of it is because I trust my floor mates. The location isn't too bad. It's super close to he science buildings. It's only really far from the gym and freshman parking lot.”
“Geneva is a city with a small town feel. Everyone knows everyone. I feel like no matter where we end up in life or in what corner of the world we find ourselves after graduation, Geneva will always have a little piece of us.”
“Downtown Geneva has some really great places to eat like Joe’s Hots, Mark’s, and Eddie O's. It's the perfect place to spend some free time on the weekend with friends!”
“Seneca Lake is always beautiful but especially when it’s warm out. Going down to the dock with friends is a great way to spend a relaxing Sunday.”
“I am a member of the women’s crew team and everyday we row on the Seneca-Cayuga canal right down the road. Most collegiate crew teams need to travel to a different town but having our campus right on the lake is amazing.”
HC's Complete College Guide: Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Do you have a way with words? Apply to write for Her Campus!