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Bates College

United States
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Institution type Private

About Bates College

Since its founding in 1855 by Maine abolitionists, Bates College has welcomed men and women from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds.

A private, highly selective, residential college devoted to undergraduate study in the liberal arts, Bates has always stood firmly for the ideals of academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, egalitarianism, social justice and freedom. Bates is recognized for its inclusive social character and progressive tradition, and is rightly celebrated as one of the first U.S. institutions of higher learning to admit women and people of color.

All activities, resources, and facilities have always been open to all members of the Bates community. Bates does not believe in — and has never allowed on campus and will never allow — organizations such as fraternities or sororities that exclude people.

Bates values the diversity of persons and perspectives, supporting this commitment through official college statements and policies.

Campus information

The overall architectural design of the college can be traced through the Colonial Revival architecture movement, and has distinctive Neoclassical, Georgian, Colonial, and Gothic features. The earliest buildings of the college were directly designed by Boston architect G.J.F. Bryant, and subsequent buildings follow his overall architectural template. Colonial restoration influence can be seen in the architecture of certain buildings, however many of the off campus houses' architecture was heavily influenced by the Victorian era. Many buildings on campus share design parallels with Dartmouth College, University of Cambridge, Yale University, and Harvard University.

Bates has a 133-acre main campus, in Lewiston, Maine. It also maintains the 600-acre Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, and an 80-acre Coastal Center fresh water habitat at Shortridge. The eastern campus is situated around Lake Andrews, where many residential halls are located. The quad of the campus connects academic buildings, athletics arenas, and residential halls. Bates College houses over 1 million volumes of articles, papers, subscriptions, audio/video items and government articles among all three libraries and all academic buildings. The George and Helen Ladd Library houses 620,000 catalogued volumes, 2,500 serial subscriptions and 27,000 audio/video items. Coram Library houses almost 200,000 volumes of articles, subscriptions and audio/video items. Approximately 150,000 volumes of texts, papers, and alumnus work are housed within academic buildings.

The most famous items in the library's collection include, copies of the original Constitution of Maine, personal correspondence of James K. Polk and Hannibal Hamlin, original academic papers of Henry Clay, personal documents of Edmund Muskie, original printings of newspaper articles written by James G. Blaine, and selected collections of other prominent religious, political and economic figures, both in Maine, and the United States.

The campus provides 33 Victorian Houses, 7 residential halls, and one residential village. Two new residential dormitories are to be completed by the 2017 academic year, bringing the total to 9 residential halls.The college maintains 12 academic building with Lane Hall serving as the administration building on campus. Lane Hall houses the offices of the President, Dean of the Faculty, Registrar, and Provost, among others. Bates is located on the outskirts of Lewiston, Maine. As a former mill town, Lewiston has a large French Canadian ethnic presence due to migration from Quebec in the 19th century. Lewiston is situated on the Androscoggin River in south-central Maine. Bates was ranked #6 in CollegeNET's "50 Most Beautiful College Quads" in 2015.

Lewiston and Auburn, twin cities on the revitalized Androscoggin River, are home to a number of parks and walking trails, along with natural gems such as Lake Auburn and the 357-acre Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary.

Former mill towns in the midst of a renaissance, the Lewiston-Auburn area (known as L-A) is home to a first-rate professional theater, a symphony orchestra, several art galleries and colorful celebrations like the Great Falls Balloon Festival.

Daily life in L-A has a distinctly French accent owing to the thousands of French Canadian immigrants who came to work in textile mills powered by the Androscoggin River in the mid-19th century.

More recently, Lewiston has seen the arrival of new residents, including a vibrant Somali and Togolese population.


Bates College is a residential college. Campus residence is required of all students except for those individuals who have been granted special permission by Student Affairs.

Room assignments for upper-class students are determined through a room lottery by class year and on the basis of room preference forms for new students. Students may not move from one room to another without the permission of the Office of Residence Life and Health Education. If a student changes rooms without permission, a $200 illegal room change fine is assessed and the student will be required to return to the original room. Should a room/suite be picked with an upper-class student’s lottery number and not occupied by that student, all occupants may be removed from the room and assigned to a different room.


Courses available 10

Applied, Pure Sciences 4 Creative Arts & Design 2 English Language 1 Humanities & Social Sciences 3


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