Wheaton College in Massachusetts is a small liberal arts college located in the idyllic town of Norton and situated within 35 miles of both Boston and Providence. For almost 200 years, Wheaton has provided an exceptional education for students, and the college is known for its strong sense of community and collaboration among students and faculty.
Melding the core values of academic excellence, inclusivity and global citizenship, Wheaton College offers a well-rounded higher education that prepares its students for success following graduation. Six months after completing their education at Wheaton, 98 percent of students report that they have obtained employment, volunteer or national service positions, admission to graduate or professional schools, or a coveted fellowship or internship.
The 1,750 plus undergraduate students who attend Wheaton College hail from more than 30 states and 70 countries. Wheaton offers admission to students who have demonstrated academic excellence and extracurricular involvement in their secondary schools and local communities. The SAT or ACT exam are recommended but not required for admission. If you are interested in gauging your chances of admission, you can check out the Wheaton College acceptance rate page.
Wheaton College offers many unique experiences for its students, including:
- A growing program focused on social innovation and impact, which features an entrepreneur-in-residence, student business resource center, intensive extracurricular program focused on developing social enterprises, and one of the only endowed professorships in social entrepreneurship.
- The Great Woods Symphony Orchestra, in which students and Norton residents play classic and contemporary music together.
- The Mars Center for Science and Technology, providing 23 research labs and 12 teaching labs, as well as a greenhouse and rooftop astronomy observatory.
- The Murphy Apple Orchard, planted and dedicated by two students and named for a professor, which serves as an outdoor classroom.
- A network of campus makerspaces that provide access to a range of equipment and technology, including virtual reality gear, a computer-based milling machine, laser cutter and engraver, 3D printers and a digital loom.
- The Center for Social Justice and Community Impact, which organizes many events on campus revolving around political activism, and the diversity and inclusivity of the campus.
- Access to over 100 study abroad programs in more than 45 countries.
- Guaranteed access to funding for all students to participate in internships, leadership experiences or research endeavors.
- Fun and time-honored traditions, such as a parade celebrating the completion of senior theses, a regatta competition on the college pond or a hoop-rolling contest on graduation day.
Wheaton College adheres to a strict honor code, which informs all academic and social structures on campus. This shared trust and respect between all faculty members and students allows all members of the community the freedom to explore their passions and interests in a collaborative environment.
Founded in 1834, Wheaton College began as a women’s seminary. Established at the Wheaton homestead in memory of founder John Wheaton’s daughter, Eliza, the school began with a modest class of 50 women students. Over the course of the next century, the institution continued to increase the size of its campus and enrollment and was granted a charter to become Wheaton College in 1912. The college remained a women’s school for another 70 years, with men first admitted in 1988. Wheaton College is accredited through the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
In the beginning of the twenty-first century, the history of Wheaton College was preserved through the recovery of Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton’s diaries and Paul Helmreich’s written history of the school. The Rushlight Literary Magazine, founded by well-known writer and educator Lucy Larcom in the mid-19th century, celebrated 150 years of continuous publication in 2005. The college has received sizable gifts from alumni, including $10 million from the family that founded the Mars candy company.
Wheaton lives at the intersection of the classical liberal arts and practical, real-world applications. The college offers a comprehensive academic experience that is hands-on and prepares students for post-graduate success. The Wheaton Curriculum is designed to provide students with foundational skills in the areas of writing and quantitative reasoning. Students are also presented with pairs of courses that offer two or more academic perspectives on the same topic to develop the deepest and most complete understanding of the content.
Undergraduate students are encouraged to explore subjects of interest at Wheaton and can select from nearly 50 majors, over 50 minors and over 600 courses. In addition to classroom instruction, students have the opportunity to acquire skills and apply knowledge through research projects with faculty, internships in their chosen field, and study abroad programs. With a 11:1 faculty-to-student ratio, class sizes are small and there are opportunities abound for students to engage with faculty inside and outside of the classroom.
Wheaton College has several initiatives to support and enhance the academic experience for its students. The Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning (CCTL) provides a diverse and inclusive learning environment through facilitating collaboration between faculty, staff and students. The Semester in the City program places students in Boston for 15 weeks to participate in coursework and an internship experience with a non-profit promoting social change. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Humanities (WIIH) and the Wheaton Research Partnerships (WRP) also both connect students to experiential learning opportunities.
Wheaton College is dedicated to providing a safe, diverse and inclusive campus for its students. Social justice, civic engagement and LGBTQ+ awareness and advocacy are important causes that are supported by faculty, staff and students at Wheaton College. Wheaton Innovates Now (WiN) allows students to make a social impact through organized clubs, programs and activities centered around social entrepreneurship.
Students are also encouraged to participate in the campus community at Wheaton College. With over 100 clubs and organizations, every student has the opportunity to connect and work with others in their areas of passion and interest. As an NCAA Division III school participating in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, Wheaton College offers over 20 women’s and men’s sports teams for varsity student athletes, as well as club and intramural programs.
In addition to on-campus student life, the ideal location of Wheaton College between Boston and Providence opens up a variety of other experiences for students. The Wheaton Boston/Providence connection provides options for students to interact with art, music, dining and other cultural experiences. These larger cities also give access to businesses and organizations for students to participate in internships, civic engagement and networking opportunities.
Wheaton College offers a variety of financial aid support to students in need of assistance. Nearly two-thirds of all enrolled Wheaton students receive some aid based on a demonstrated financial need. Financial aid packages are determined by completion of the FAFSA and CSS Profile and can consist of several different forms of financial aid, including merit scholarships, state and federal funding, and campus jobs.
Merit-based scholarships are awarded to any student regardless of financial need. All incoming first-year students at Wheaton College are automatically evaluated for merit scholarships. Students demonstrating high academic achievement may be granted an award, which is renewable during the remainder of their undergraduate studies. All told, over 90 percent of Wheaton students receive some form of financial assistance.
Campus Visits and Tours
Of course the best way to get to know Wheaton College in Massachusetts would be to visit campus. You can schedule that visit here.
If you can’t make the trip, the next best alternative is to take a virtual look at the campus and check out its housing, academic buildings and even the dining halls.
What Students Say About Wheaton College
“The education professors at Wheaton are wonderful. I felt very supported and it was clear that the professors really wanted for you to become the best teacher you could be and to think carefully about teaching.”
-Alumnus, Education Major
“My FYS (First Year Seminar) proved to be an invaluable tool in establishing my undergraduate mind-set and motivating me to set and accomplish countless goals throughout my time at Wheaton. I have found myself drawing connections to mindfulness practice in almost every book I’ve read since.”
-Senior, Psychology Major
“One of my favorite aspects of the WiN summer internship was the flexibility and hands-on approach that interns were able to take when working on projects. We were able to almost have complete control over the projects we worked on, which is a large, but rewarding responsibility.”
-First-year student, Business & Management Major