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 for at least three higher-level examinations, are eligible for a maximum of five Middlebury course credits. Students who earned fewer than three scores of 6 or higher on higher level examinations, may receive two course credits for each higher level examination passed with a score of 6 or 7. No credit is awarded for standard level exams.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.

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.