About Vassar

Vassar Facts

Founded in 1861, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.


In the scenic Hudson Valley, 75 miles north of New York City, in Poughkeepsie (area population, about 100,000). Vassar is in a residential area three miles from the city center. More


1,000 picturesque acres ranging from the manicured lawns and formal gardens of the main campus to the meadows and woodlands of the Vassar Farm. Over 100 academic and residential buildings ranging in style from collegiate gothic to modernist, including two National Historic Landmarks. More

Campus Life

97% of students live on campus (housing is guaranteed all four years). Over 100 student-run organizations and clubs. Over 1,000 campus-wide events annually, including guest lecturers, visiting artists, performers, workshops, athletic events, and concerts. More


Campus visits are strongly encouraged; tours and information sessions are offered weekdays year-round, and on most fall Saturdays. Alumnae/i interviews are also available upon request. More


336 faculty members, virtually all holding the doctorate or its equivalent. All classes are taught by faculty members. The student-faculty ratio is 8:1, average class size, 17. More than 70% of the faculty live on campus or nearby; one or two faculty families live in each residence hall as house fellows.


2,450 students; approximately 65% come from public high schools, 35% from private schools (independent or religious). In recent first-year classes, domestic students of color comprised about one-third of matriculants. International students from over 55 countries comprise 8-10% of the student body.


23 varsity teams (NCAA, Division III), club sports, and intramural leagues. Extensive athletic facilities, including wood floor gymnasium, elevated running track, 5,000-square-foot fitness facility, and 25-meter, six-lane pool with diving well. Recent additions: a new locker room complex and sports medicine facility at Prentiss Field, and a new baseball diamond with dugouts and stadium lights. More


Over a million print volumes; over 50,000 serial titles; 612,000 pieces of microfilm; an ever-increasing number of electronic resources and databases. More

Art Center

One of the oldest college art collections in the country, with more than 19,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs spanning the history of art from ancient Egypt to contemporary America. More

Vassar Farm

Over 500 acres, 416 of which are actively managed as a preserve where faculty and students engage in research projects. Adjacent to the preserve are the Vassar rugby fields, cross country trails, community gardens, and a member-supported organic farm. More

Division-Specific Resources

Extraordinary resources in the arts, foreign languages, literature, social sciences, and natural sciences. Highlights: art and architecture studios; a dedicated dance theater; three drama theaters; state-of-the-art film production and screening facilities; extensive historic and modern instrument collections, including 65 Steinway pianos, six harpsichords, and seven pipe organs; advanced computer, robotics, and GIS labs; 32-inch reflecting telescope (tied for largest in New York State) and 20-inch reflecting telescope; laboratory nursery school; and state-of-the-art instrumentation in biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. More

Computing and Information Services

Campus is fully wireless and wired (including residence halls). Computer clusters are located in the residence halls, library, the College Center, the Computer Center, and many academic buildings. More

Study Away Programs

Students (usually juniors) may apply for a year or a semester away in Vassar-sponsored programs (Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Russia, and Spain) or preapproved programs offered by other colleges. Students may also apply for approved programs at various U.S. institutions, including the historically Black colleges and members of the Twelve College Exchange. More

Community-Engaged Learning, Internships, and Research

About 500 students each year do community-engaged learning for academic credit in local organizations and agencies or in New York City. Over 300 students each year work one-on-one with faculty as paid research assistants or academic interns in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. More

After Vassar

The great majority of Vassar graduates plan to pursue advanced study within five years of graduation. Graduates are regularly accepted at top-ranking schools of law, medicine, business, and education. Vassar is a leader in producing PhD candidates. More

Office of Fellowships and Pre-Health Advising

Comprehensive information and support for students seeking admission to schools in the health professions and for students applying for fellowships to fund graduate education, independent study, and research. More

Office of Career Development

Comprehensive career counseling and placement services as well as information and support for students seeking admission to law school or graduate school. Extensive career-mentoring network of alumnae/i. More


Highly selective. The primary criterion is academic ability as demonstrated by superior performance in high school; of those students with class rank, about 90% of matriculated students rank in the top 20% of their high school classes. Standardized test results are also considered. Personal strengths, motivations, and potential — as evidenced in essays, recommendations, and out-of-class involvements — are also weighed. More

Financial Aid

Vassar seeks to make a college education affordable and accessible to all admitted students. Vassar meets 100% of the full demonstrated need of all admitted students, international or domestic, for all four years. In addition to meeting 100% of all demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, Vassar will eliminate or reduce loans in the aid awards of students from low-income families. More

Non-Discrimination Policy

Vassar College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or age in the admission of students to the college; in any of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the college; in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship or loan programs, and athletic and other programs administered be the college; or in the employment practices of the college. Additionally, should state or federal law be enacted during the period this policy is extant which prohibits discrimination based upon a group’s protected status not listed in the above categories, this policy will be deemed amended to afford protection to such groups. Inquiries concerning the application of this policy prescribed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Internal Revenue Service, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA) of 2008 may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, which is charged to coordinate the college’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, Section 504, and the ADAA.