What exactly is a "liberal arts" education?

In the United States, the opportunity to study in many academic areas forms the core of a liberal arts and sciences education. Students select courses from many disciplines, including: literature, the arts, philosophical and religious studies, historical studies, physical and life sciences, deductive reasoning and analytical processes, social analysis, foreign language, writing, and the study of various, divergent cultures.

By the end of their third semesters (midway through sophomore year), students pick a major, and that becomes their primary academic focus for the next two years of college work. Some students concentrate on a single field; others link subjects to form a combined major.

"The purpose of liberal education is much higher than the concerns of our daily life ... a reflection on what we as human beings are, what we were, and what we can and will become." -- Irakly Areshidze '00, Republic of Georgia

What are the annual fees to attend?

Comprehensive Fee Information

Additional Expenses

Travel: All students must pay for their transportation to the United States and to Middlebury, Vermont. Funds are needed to cover living expenses during vacations when Middlebury is on break: Thanksgiving in November; winter vacation in December; spring vacation; and the long summer vacation, June through August. Some students return home at their own expense during summer vacation. It is possible for students to remain on campus during breaks, but services are limited during those periods.

Taxes: You may be required to pay taxes on income earned in the U.S., including income from on-campus jobs and any grants or scholarships you receive from Middlebury. This can amount to several hundred dollars per year.

Health Insurance: International students are required to purchase a U.S.-based health insurance policy, which will cover medical expenses that may arise from illnesses or conditions above and beyond those normally handled at the College Health Center.

What are the living accommodations?

More than 95 percent of Middlebury students live on campus in coeducational houses or residence halls. Housing is guaranteed for all four years. Some houses are small, holding as few as three students; others are larger, accommodating as many as 240. Sometimes students who share a common interest, such as speaking a particular foreign language, also share a house. Almost all first-year students have a roommate.

Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are provided in the College dining centers. They are prepared by professional chefs and are normally served buffet-style, with a variety of dishes and à la carte items. Snacks can be purchased in a number of locations on campus. Special dietary needs are handled on a case-by-case basis, but vegetarian choices are always available.

How international is Middlebury's student body?

About 10 percent of Middlebury's 2,350 undergraduates are citizens of countries other than the U.S., representing about 80 nations. In addition, many Middlebury students who are U.S. citizens have lived abroad before arriving at college.

Nearly two-thirds of Middlebury's students study abroad during their undergraduate years in about 90 different programs located in 40 or more countries.

Is the TOEFL required?

Applicants for whom English is not the first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Middlebury will consider either the TOEFL or the results from a number of other standardized assessments, including the SAT I, ACT, IELTS, CPE, MELAB and the Pearson Test of English Academic. Predicted grades in IB A1 or A2 English or in A-level English will also be considered. Middlebury has no minimum or "cut-off" score that would automatically eliminate an application. We do not “superscore” English proficiency tests (i.e., use the best scores in each section from multiple testings to create the highest possible aggregate) but instead will consider your highest aggregate score and the subscores from that particular test administration which make up that aggregate score. 

What is Middlebury's commitment to international education?

As the College catalog says, "Middlebury is an institution with a long-standing international focus. Middlebury's education reflects a sense of looking outward, a realization that the traditional insularity of America is indeed something of the past, a habit that we can no longer afford. We seek to bring to Middlebury those who wish not only to learn about themselves and their own traditions, but to see beyond the bounds of class, culture, region or nation."

Middlebury is committed to "maintaining conspicuous excellence in the areas of its traditional strengths such as language, literature, and an international perspective, including study abroad."

What is Middlebury's policy regarding the International Baccalaureate?

Middlebury welcomes applicants from IB schools, and has found them to be very well prepared for our liberal arts curriculum. Students who have completed the full IB Diploma and earned grades of 6 or 7 on higher-level examinations are eligible for a maximum of two Middlebury course credits. No credit is awarded for standard level exams.

How does this broad philosophy translate into Middlebury's curricular offerings?

Among other things, Middlebury offers:

  • Study in nine modern and three classical languages
  • Intensive summer programs in nine languages
  • Study centers operated by Middlebury, located around the world
  • Overseas study opportunities in nearly every country
  • Double and joint majors that combine language study with another academic discipline such as art, history or political science
  • Programs that encompass the language and society of a particular region including East Asian Studies, Eastern European Studies, European Studies, and Latin American Studies
  • Programs and majors that focus on critical issues from a cross-disciplinary perspective and across national boundaries, including International Politics and Economics and International Studies
  • The opportunity to complete international studies programs in fewer than four years and to take advantage of internships combining language and career interests.
Does Middlebury offer English as a Second Language or other intensive English programs?

No, it does not. Students are expected to have the necessary English language skills to comprehend lectures, read substantial amounts of written materials, and communicate their thoughts effectively in speech and in writing. No intensive instruction in the English language is offered.

Will I be able to study at an American medical school after graduating from Middlebury?

International students (those who are not US citizens or permanent residents) often find that admission to American medical schools is extremely difficult. Many institutions, especially medical schools at state-run universities, do not consider applications from international students. Private institutions may consider international students for admission, but are extremely competitive and often require applicants to place a significant portion of their four year tuition in escrow prior to medical school enrollment, an amount that may exceed $250,000. Because international students are not eligible for the government or non-government loans that most U.S. citizens and permanent residents use to finance their medical education, affording a medical education in the U.S. is a formidable barrier.

 While Middlebury welcomes international students to campus regardless of their post-college goals, it is important for international students considering attendance at Middlebury or other American colleges and universities to think carefully about the barriers to attending an American medical school after graduation. Prospective students interested in this career path should speak with Middlebury’s Director of Health Professions & STEM Advising early on to better understand the challenges they might encounter. You can contact Mary Lothrop at 802.443.5077 or mlothrop@middlebury.edu with any questions regarding the medical school admissions process. 

How large are the classes?

Most classes are small, averaging 16 students, and professors teach their own classes; graduate teaching assistants are not used at Middlebury. Students enjoy personal attention from faculty members, who take the time to work with students on a one-to-one basis. Of the 265 faculty members, 95 percent hold the most advanced degrees in their fields.

Can international students apply to Middlebury through the Early Decision programs?

Yes. International students apply and are admitted through Middlebury's Early Decision program each year.

How do I decide whether to apply Early Decision to Middlebury?

Any student who, if admitted, is committed to attending Middlebury may wish to consider to making an Early Decision application. If an applicant also applies for financial aid and completes the aid application on schedule, Middlebury will send the financial aid decision at the same that it sends the letter of admission. Middlebury's financial aid packages are designed to meet students' full assessed need. Because of the binding nature of Early Decision, however, any student seeking to compare financial aid decisions from several colleges and universities should apply through the regular decision process.

What forms does Middlebury require of international applicants for admission and financial aid and how can they be obtained?

For admission, Middlebury uses the Common Application or the Coalition Application for all applicants in conjunction with our institutional supplementary form. Students who are not U.S. citizens and who wish to apply for financial aid must submit the CSS International Profile, which can be found on the website for the office of Student Financial Services.

Families must also send a statement from each employer, listing income and other benefits for the most recent calendar year. We suggest that you request a copy of any statements which are sent on your behalf, such as employer's statements, and that you provide any additional information if you believe that the information submitted on your behalf is misleading or difficult for us to understand. We also recommend that you keep a personal copy of everything you send to Middlebury College.

What if I have questions about my financial aid decision when I receive it?

Middlebury makes the most appropriate offer possible based on the information you provide to our office of financial aid. You should feel free to ask questions and our financial aid staff will be happy to clarify any part of your aid decision that is confusing to you. You are also welcome to provide any additional information or changes to your family's finances that have occurred since you completed the financial aid application. This is true even after you receive our initial aid decision.

What do students do outside of the classroom?

There are more than 150 clubs and organizations that students may join. Participating in these is a great way to make friends, develop leadership skills, and have fun at the same time. An organization exists for nearly every social, religious, cultural, literary, volunteer, artistic, or athletic interest.

There are 31 varsity sports. Club sports include: crew, cycling, horseback riding, martial arts, sailing, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and water polo. In addition, there are frequent guest lectures, films, music performances, and concerts.

Middlebury students have no shortage of options for outdoor recreation—hiking, biking, nordic and alpine skiing, ice skating, rowing, and sailing, to name a few. The College owns its own ski facilities, with downhill and wooded cross-country trails. Students may also play (for a modest fee) at the College's 18-hole golf course, play tennis on campus courts, play squash and racquetball in the gymnasium, swim in the new Olympic-size pool, and exercise in the fitness and weight-training center.

Where is Middlebury?

Middlebury College is located in the northeastern United States in the town of Middlebury, Vermont (population 8,000). It is one of the United States' most beautiful spots—nestled in a green valley with views of nearby mountains. The rolling landscape is dotted with farms and open land with abundant wildlife.

Lake Champlain, a 120-mile long lake that forms part of the border between Vermont and New York, is 20 minutes from campus. Burlington, Vermont's largest city, is 35 miles away, and is served by an international airport. Boston is four hours away by car; New York City, five hours; and Montreal, two and a half.

What's the weather like?

Vermont enjoys four distinct seasons:

-- Fall (September – November)
Average highs: 6 to 20 °C (44/69° F)
Average lows:-1 to -9° C (30/49° F)
Warm days are often followed by cold nights. October brings foliage season; people travel from all over the world each fall to see the leaves of Vermont's trees change from green to bright red, orange and yellow.

-- Winter (December – February)
Average highs:-4 to -1° C (25/30° F)
Average lows:-13 to -9° C (8/15° F)
Below-freezing temperatures are the norm, with dry, cold weather interspersed with regular snowstorms. It's not unusual to have snow on the ground from mid-December to mid-March. Coats, heavy jackets, gloves, and warm boots are essential.

-- Spring (March – May)
Average highs: 3 to 19° C (38/66° F)
Average lows:-6 to 7° C (21/44° F)
The cold and snow gradually give way to warmer days by mid-April, but spring can bring wet weather, too.

-- Summer (June – August)
Average highs: 24 to 26° C (76/80° F)
Average lows: 12 to 15° C (54/59° F)
Long, warm days are the rule, with cool nights. Summer in Vermont is hard to beat.

Clothing: Many students prefer to purchase appropriate clothing and outerwear after they arrive in the U.S., in preparation for winter weather that may be colder than in their home countries.

Is financial aid available for transfer students?

Concern about the cost of a Middlebury education should not prevent you from applying for admission. The College provides financial aid through grants, which do not need to be repaid; loans, which do need to be repaid; and work-study programs.  Financial assistance is based entirely upon established need, and over 40 percent of our students receive such assistance. Financial aid for transfer students may be awarded on a need-blind or a need-aware basis, depending on available resources at the time.

Each student is currently expected to contribute a minimum of $1,800 toward first-year expenses and $2,200 for each of the subsequent years.

Does Middlebury enroll transfer students?

Middlebury admits a limited number of transfer students annually, depending upon the number of available places.

Middlebury Admissions
Emma Willard House
131 South Main Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone: 802-443-3000
Fax: 802-443-2056