A pioneer for women’s education and liberal arts education in the United States, Matthew Vassar founded Vassar College in 1861. Opening its doors to its first class of 353 students paying $350 for tuition and “residence” on September 26, 1865, the college offered young women a liberal arts education equal to that of the best men’s colleges of the day.
Today, the curriculum is broader, richer, and more varied than ever, with an increasing emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to intellectual inquiry. Students choose among 30 departments, 5 interdepartmental programs, 13 multidisciplinary programs, the interdisciplinary Independent Program, 51 majors, 2 Accelerated and Dual Degree programs, and over 1,000 courses.
Students interested in doing original research have many options. Students work as research assistants for faculty members in virtually every department, either for academic credit or as paid assistants. A student who is interested in studying a particular topic can ask a faculty member to supervise them in an independent study project.
During the summer, there are three research programs on campus—one in the sciences, one in the humanities, and one in the arts. Students who qualify for these programs immerse themselves in a research project for 10 weeks, working one-on-one with a faculty mentor—and earning a generous stipend.
First, join VassarNet, Vassar’s online community of alumnae/i, students, parents, faculty, and friends of Vassar, to build your network and find Vassar-connected opportunities. On this platform, you can:
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Vassar has nine houses, including one house for women only, and one cooperative. The great majority of students live in one of these houses through their junior year. Most seniors (and some juniors) choose to live in one of the college’s partially furnished apartment complexes. Within easy walking distance of the main campus, these apartments house four to five students, each with their own bedroom.
The libraries at Vassar are extraordinary and rank among the very best liberal arts collections in the United States both in the number of titles (over 1,000,000 volumes) and in their exceptional variety and depth. The libraries include the Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library, considered one of the most beautiful Collegiate Gothic buildings in the country.
Computing and Information Services (CIS) oversees all aspects of computing technology at the college including desktop computing, academic computing, administrative information services, telecommunications, networking, media resources, and the campus Card Office.
Medical and Nursing Clinics
Vassar College provides many facilities for recreation, exercise and competition. The facilities are open to faculty, staff and students, and provide places for competition for 27 of the intercollegiate teams at the College.