Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. Established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams, Williams is one of the oldest academic institutions in the United States. Originally a men’s college, Williams became co-educational in 1970. Fraternities were also phased out during this period, beginning in 1962. Williams forms part of the historic Little Three colleges, along with Wesleyan University and rival Amherst College.
There are three academic curricular divisions (humanities, sciences and social sciences), 24 departments, 33 majors, and two master’s degree programs in art history and development economics. There are 315 voting faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. As of 2009, the school has an enrollment of 2,124 undergraduate students and 49 graduate students.
The academic year follows a 4-1-4 schedule of two four-course semesters plus a one-course “winter study” term in January. A summer research schedule involves about 200 students on campus completing projects with professors.