Middlebury College is the oldest college in Vermont and one of the oldest colleges in the country that started out with an emphasis on liberal arts. Though the college originally had some religious men working with its board of directors, it always operated as a separate entity. Some of the influence that the church had on the school was clear when it admitted an African American student at a time when most schools forbid those students from attending. Often called MU or Middlebury, the college is home to more than 40 colleges or departments on campus that offer classes ranging from engineering and computer science to psychology and history.

The college is also unique because of the foreign language programs it offers in the summer. These programs run from between six to eight weeks and help students learn through immersion. They can gain a better familiarity or understanding of a foreign language in just a single session. The college also has its own study abroad program that lets students study in one of 17 different countries for a semester or more. U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly included Middlebury on its lists of the top global liberal arts schools, and Forbes named Middlebury as the 34th best college in the United States.

Middlebury College Accreditation Details

One of the more unique aspects of Middlebury College is that it has regional accreditation from two separate organizations. The United States Department of Education requires that all students who receive federal financial aid attend a college or university with regional accreditation. It has this type of accreditation from both the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Specialized accreditation or program accreditation is a type of accreditation that applies to one or more programs. Middlebury has this type of accreditation from the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, which applies to its program in English.

Middlebury College Application Requirements

Middlebury College recommends that students interested in its graduate school begin the process of enrolling while in their junior years of college. They can learn more about the scholarships and financial aid available through the school and take the required tests. By the time you reach your final year in college, you can complete the steps necessary to apply. Middlebury requires that all students complete the general application for admission. This application features sections on your background and professional work. You’ll need to list any colleges you attended, where you currently live and why you want to attend Middlebury.

You must also submit several other steps as part of the application process. The college asks for a personal statement or an essay that explains the field you want to study, the experience you have in that field, what you want to do with your degree and how Middlebury can help you with your career goals. Arranging for your letters of recommendation is your next step. You’ll want to ask three or more people who have familiarity with your work to write letters on your behalf. Middlebury will also want an official transcript from the college you attend and your score on a standardized test like the GMAT or the GRE. Once the school receives your application and all supporting documentation, its admissions board will go over your application and make a final decision regarding your status.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Though Middlebury College charges tuition, the total cost of attending depends on the number of classes you take. Tuition alone for full-time students comes in at around $47,000 a year. If you decide to live on campus, you’ll pay an additional $14,000 or more for your room and board. Textbooks and other expenses can add $2,000 or more to your total costs. All students attending Middlebury must also have health insurance. If you do not have health insurance and are no longer covered under your parents’ plans, you can purchase insurance through the college.

Nearly every graduate students receives some type of financial support. You should file the FAFSA as soon as possible to see if you qualify for any federal student loans. Some students also borrow money from private lenders in the form of alternative student loans. Middlebury offers mini grants for those who need extra help to pay for conferences and other special events. The college can also offer grants and scholarships to students enrolled in certain programs and those who do specific extracurricular activities. Students who do unpaid internships may receive some financial support from the college to cover their expenses while doing that fieldwork. Middlebury College graduate students can also apply for a fellowship or for a scholarship, and the college recommends that students apply for outside scholarships as well.

Graduate Degrees Available

Middlebury has a graduate school that offers programs for students who already have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Its Master of Arts program is a general degree program open to students who want to study the arts. Students take classes on literature from certain parts of the world, classes on writing and courses on the performing arts. Though the college does not require that these students do a thesis, students cannot receive grades below a B-. Those who score lower will need to take the class over again and may face expulsion from the college. The college also offers a writing program designed for creative writers that allows them to seek feedback from professors and other students as they improve their writing skills.

As a liberal arts school, Middlebury offers a number of graduate programs through its Middlebury Language School. These programs offer more flexibility than those in other schools do. If you decide to earn an MA in Spanish, you might spend a semester or two studying in parts of Spain and gain a better understanding of the language. The graduate program is also available in French. French majors can spend an entire year working and studying in Paris, but the college also offers students the chance to split their time between France and Vermont. Middlebury College is one of the few schools in the college that offers graduate programs in foreign languages that recommend students spend a portion of their time studying abroad.