Colgate AAP Frequently Asked Questions Skip Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

Quick answers to some of the most common questions you are likely to hear from prospective students.
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Admission and Aid

What is the acceptance rate?
Colgate received 8,394 applications for the Class of 2020. Of those students who applied, 2,410 were admitted. The acceptance rate was approximately 28.7%.
What is the average GPA?
The average GPA for the Class of 2020 was a 3.80 out of an unweighted 4.00 scale.
Does Colgate have Early Decision?
Colgate has two rounds of Early Decision. Applications for Early Decision I must be submitted by November 15. Candidates who apply by November 15 will receive notification of Colgate's decision by December 15. Candidates may apply for Early Decision Option II by January 15 and will be considered on a rolling basis. Students who applied under Regular Decision may convert their application to Early Decision II by filing a completed ED agreement form prior to March 1.
Are interviews required?
Interviews are not required and are non-evaluative. They are, however, a chance to discuss a student's personal fit with Colgate.
What are Colgate's average test scores?
The middle 50% on the SAT for the Class of 2020 was 660-750 for the critical reading section and 670-770 for the math section. The middle 50% on the ACT for the Class of 2020 was 31-34.
Does Colgate offer financial aid?
Colgate is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students during all four years. The average financial aid package awarded to students totals $49,442, which includes a Colgate grant, a student loan, and a campus job. 41.6% of the class of 2020 receives financial aid.
Does Colgate offer merit-based aid?
Colgate awards aid based on financial need, not academic merit.
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What are Colgate's most popular majors?
The top majors range from one class year to another. In the natural sciences, biology, psychology, and chemistry are popular fields of study. In the humanities, English and art and art history are popular fields. In the social sciences, history, economics, political science, international relations, and sociology are popular fields.
Does Colgate offer study abroad?
Approximately 2/3 of Colgate students study off-campus during their Colgate career. Colgate sponsors 23 different one-semester off-campus study groups that are designed and run by Colgate professors. Additionally, Colgate also offers shorter off-campus study opportunities called extended studies. Extended study trips begin during either the fall or spring semester with a course that transfers into a travel opportunity in the winter or summer for a few weeks to the location studied in that semester course.
Does Colgate have a core curriculum?
Colgate's Core curriculum includes one class that focuses on studying the texts that shaped thought throughout the ancient world, one class studying the challenges of modernity, one class studying a contemporary scientific issue, and one class studying a particular community or identity. These four courses can be taken in any order during the first two years and normally one is taken each semester. The fifth component includes a global engagement course which students can complete through many different departmental courses, such as a language course or a history course.
Are there opportunities to do research?
The opportunity to do independent research as an undergraduate is one of the characteristics that sets Colgate apart. Faculty across disciplines work with undergraduate students on research projects, sometimes as early as the first year. By the time they are seniors, it is not unusual for motivated students to have presented their work at conferences or even to have co-authored papers in academic journals.
Does Colgate have distribution requirements?
The distribution requirements consist of six courses. Students choose two courses from each division: natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences, and humanities.
Can students double major?
About 20% of Colgate students will have a double major and about 40% will choose to have a minor. However, even students who do choose to double major or minor still have time to take elective classes and study abroad.
Does Colgate have a first-year seminar?
The first-year seminar (FSEM) is a small, discussion-based class that is capped at 18 students. The classes span various subjects and students can choose from over 50 courses. FSEM professors serve as advisors until students declare their major. The students in each FSEM belong to the same orientation group prior to the beginning of school. The leader of the orientation group communicates with all students and the FSEM professor throughout the first year at Colgate, ensuring a smooth transition.
What is Colgate’s 3-2 engineering program?
This cooperative plan option allows a student to combine three years of education in the liberal arts at Colgate with two years of engineering training at a cooperative institution (the 3-2 plan). Colgate has cooperative agreements with Columbia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Washington University. Students who complete this program will obtain a bachelor’s degree from both institutions. Students can also continue on their engineering path for a master of science (MS) degree from the engineering school with as little as one additional year of study.
Does Colgate have a law program?
The pre-law program assists students and alumni with all pre-law related course work, graduate school requirements, internships, and networking opportunities. For the 2014-2015 year, our students had 100% acceptance rate into graduate law programs which far exceeds the national average.
Does Colgate accept AP credit?
Colgate credit can be granted to first-year students who achieve a 4 or a 5 on the Advanced Placement Exam. The amount of credit and/or placement appropriate to the academic development of the student is determined by each specific academic department. This detailed list provides students with some specific guidelines for common exams.
Can students study pre-med at Colgate?
Colgate only awards Bachelors of Arts degrees, but Colgate has a pre-med pre-professional program where students can get an adviser to help with a 4 year plan for classes and extracurricular activities to help students prepare for medical school. For experiential learning, students can engage in undergraduate research at Colgate in the sciences either over the summer or during the year. Additionally, Colgate is the only undergraduate program that provides internships for students at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The acceptance into medical school is well above the national average, varying between 65 and 80 percent.
Does Colgate offer a teacher education program?
At Colgate, students can pursue a major or minor in Educational Studies, or participate in the Teacher Preparation Program to become certified in the state of New York for the elementary or secondary level. Colgate also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching program for the secondary level. Courses in the Educational Studies department are social justice oriented and take a look at personal schooling the United States as well as global education and initiatives. For an Educational Studies major, students must take nine courses in the department that include topics such as American schooling, race in education, and special education. Off-campus study opportunities are also available for Education students, such as the South Korea study group. Students can supplement their academic work in the classroom with opportunities to tutor in surrounding schools and gather observation hours in classes during the school week.
Does Colgate have an architecture program?
There is a pre-architecture program located within the university’s Department of Art and Art History. Students within this area of interest study architectural history along with architectural design. Colgate offers ten courses related to the study of architecture.
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Popular Majors

Creative writing
To major with an emphasis in creative writing, students take about 6 English literature classes and are required to take at least 3 workshop classes. The workshop classes are entirely writing based, and students bring in their original work for sharing to get feedback from others in the class. Also worth noting includes Colgate's Living Writers program. In this class, students focus and read the works of 10 well-known contemporary writers from different genres. Students spend each week reading and then discussing each writer's work and then at the end of the week, Colgate will bring the author to campus where they will sit in on the class and talk to students as well as do public readings open to the entire Colgate community.
Computer science
The computer science curriculum is a mix of theory, hardware, software, algorithms, and operating systems. Elective courses include Artificial Intelligence, Networking, Software Engineering for the Cloud and Databases. The program has gained popularity in recent years, and students gain internships and job opportunities with the help of the department.
Economics is one of the most popular majors at Colgate. Students can major/minor in either economics, mathematical economics, or environmental economics. Our faculty specialize in a range of topics, from labor markets to international economics. Research opportunities within the economics department may include a year-long honors program, summer research, or a required senior seminar, and several Colgate students are published along with their professors. The London economics study group travels to London where they spend an entire semester learning about the British economy, and conduct internships with non-profits, banks, businesses, etc. Colgate also offers semester-long approved programs and extended study programs in Bangladesh and Denmark for economics majors.
Students at Colgate have the option to major or minor in the English department, and as a major they can focus on literature, creative writing, or theater. English majors must take nine courses in the department that span 200, 300, and 400 levels. There is a common introductory course called Major British Writers, and English students must also take a 400-level seminar during their junior or senior year. The major also requires certain courses to focus on pre- and post-1800 eras of literature in order for students to study a wide range of texts. Highlights of the program include the Living Writers course where authors of novels assigned in the class come to speak to students at Colgate, as well as the study abroad component where English students can travel abroad to London for a semester.
A history major at Colgate consists of nine courses (two of which must be taken in global topics, and at least one in American and one in European history). One highlight of the department is the London Study Group, which takes 15 students and is led by a Colgate professor. Students take classes with the Colgate professor, as well as with professors from the University of London. Student apartments are centrally located next to the British Museum. One of the most important components to this study group is the thesis where students have the opportunity to do research at the British National Archives and at other museums in the city. History majors are not required to write theses, but all students will write extended research papers (25-40 pages) in seminar courses, which are often converted into theses.
International relations
International Relations is an interdisciplinary major and students in this program have an extended language requirement. They also must take a history class and two economic classes, as well as multiple political science and typical international relations classes. The program emphasizes and helps instill a global and multi-faceted view of politics and the interaction of states and political entities. The International Relations/Political Science study group takes place in Geneva, Switzerland with a homestay in France and an internship component. International relations majors may also participate in the Washington D.C. study group which also includes an internship.
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major at Colgate. Classes range from chemistry, biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Within the department, students choose to focus on behavioral or cellular neuroscience. In terms of research, the professors are working on various projects and look to students for help. If students are interested in majoring in neuroscience and pursuing a career in the health sciences, some neuroscience students will also participate in an off-campus study program at the National Institute of Health. Colgate is the only university in the country that has a partnership with the NIH where students can assist top researchers with their work.
The Psychology major is composed of ten courses and exposes students to cognitive, social, personality, and clinical psych, as well as neuroscience. Due to the creative and caring professors, undergraduate students are able to get involved with top research early in their time at Colgate with professors in varied specialties.
The theater program is part of the English department at Colgate, and students are able to either major or minor. The program is small, which allows students and faculty to connect and collaborate. The courses offered range from stagecraft to basic and advanced acting or directing courses, costume design, performance, and a Children's Theater workshop. Also, less performance based courses are available as well such as Global Theater or Playwriting.
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Student Life

Is Colgate a diverse campus?
Colgate strives to be a diverse community with the interests and outlets that are representative of not only our nation, but also the world. 27.1% of the Class of 2020 identify themselves as coming from multicultural backgrounds and 10% of the Class of 2020 are international students coming from 27 different countries.
What is housing like?
Over their four years, students choose among a wide set of living arrangements, including traditional residence halls, suites, college theme houses, college-owned fully furnished apartments and townhouses, and fraternities and sororities. Housing is guaranteed all four years at Colgate and students are required to live in campus housing for their first three years. Most seniors live in campus housing, but about 200 seniors are allowed to live off-campus (often in the town in Hamilton).
What athletic division is Colgate?
At Colgate, there are 25 Division I sports teams which compete at the highest athletic levels. This component of having DI sports is unique for a small liberal arts school and helps generate school pride.

In addition to varsity teams, Colgate has over 40 different club sports teams which provide highly competitive, non-varsity outlets for student athletes. Practice times and days as well as the number of competitions and travel schedule vary sport to sport.

Colgate also has intramural sports teams that require less commitment. Students on intramural teams will only compete against other Colgate students in friendly tournaments and games.
Does Colgate have fraternities and sororities?
Fraternities and sororities at Colgate are inclusive and students can be as involved as they want to be. Colgate has a delayed recruitment process for fraternities and sororities, so students have their entire first year on campus without any direct participation, and in sophomore year they can decide whether or not they would like to join an organization. Colgate has five fraternities and three sororities and 40% of eligible students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are involved with these various organizations.
Does Colgate offer outdoor education?
Colgate has an Outdoor Education program (OE) which allows students to take advantage of beautiful upstate New York. OE offers trips and classes (depending on the season) in whitewater kayaking, hiking, canoeing, paddleboarding, caving, skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing. The program also rents out equipment for camping or cross country skiing.
What kinds of traditions does Colgate have?
The number 13: The university was originally founded as The Baptist Education Society of the State of New York by 13 men who each offered $13 and 13 prayers. The society's original constitution contained 13 articles. Our address is 13 Oak Drive, and we are located in the zip code 13346 (the first two digits are 13, and the last three digits add up to 13).

Colgate Day: Every Friday the 13th, also known as Colgate Day, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families around the world don their Colgate regalia and celebrate the university and its community.

Torchlight: First-year students are led up Colgate’s hill to Founders' Day Convocation activities by faculty in full academic regalia and the members of Konosioni, the university’s senior honor society, who carry torches. Four years later, on the night before commencement, students process back down the hill in their gowns, all with torches. The students sing the Alma Mater, then toss their torches into a bonfire, and celebrate their last night together as an undergraduate class.
Does Colgate have any dance groups?
Dance at Colgate is one of the most popular activities on campus. Each semester, students host Dancefest, a performance that brings together all of the 20+ dance groups for one night each semester. Dance groups include students of all levels in ballet, ballroom, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and countless other styles. At this time, Colgate does not have an academic dance program, but the university hired its first full-time dance professor for the 2014-2015 school year.
Does Colgate have a theater program?
The University Theater Department and a variety of student-run theater options allow students to engage in theater at Colgate through drama and musical theater. Masque & Triangle is the main student theater group on campus, and is completely student run. Different performances require varying commitment, including one night events to a full-length semester production. Between University Theater and the student theater groups, including Experimental Theater and Charred Goosebeak (the improvisational comedy group on campus), all students are welcome to to become involved in theater at Colgate.
What is Thought Into Action (TIA)?
Thought Into Action Colgate Entrepreneurs creates opportunities for students to explore and create through entrepreneurial initiatives that are supported by alumni and parents, which span across for profit, social entrepreneurship, and campus enrichment. Through the student incubator, Entrepreneur Weekend, and a variety of other initiatives, Colgate students interested in creating their own business are provided support and invaluable experience to be successful in managing and promoting their endeavors.
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