Williams vs Emory University: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Councillor talking to a female student.

Williams vs Emory University: A Comprehensive Analysis

When it comes to choosing a university, there are many factors to consider. Location, history, enrollment rates, acceptance rates, campus life, academic programs, faculty, research opportunities, athletics, student organizations, study abroad programs, career services, alumni networks, and national rankings all play a role in the decision-making process. Williams College and Emory University are two highly respected institutions that attract a diverse group of aspiring students. This article will take a closer look at Williams vs Emory University and compare them in detail.

Location: Where Are These Universities Located?

Williams College is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, a picturesque town in the Berkshires. Emory University, on the other hand, is located in Atlanta, Georgia, a vibrant city with a rich history. While Williams is situated in a rural area surrounded by mountains, Emory is located in an urban setting with easy access to cultural attractions, restaurants, and businesses.

Female students looking bored while sitting on a table.

Despite their different locations, both Williams College and Emory University offer unique opportunities for students. Williams College is located in the heart of the Berkshires, a region known for its natural beauty and cultural attractions. Students can take advantage of the college’s location by participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Additionally, the college hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, lectures, and art exhibitions.

Emory University, on the other hand, is located in the bustling city of Atlanta, which offers a wealth of opportunities for students interested in business, politics, and the arts. The city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a thriving arts scene that includes museums, theaters, and galleries. Emory students can take advantage of these opportunities by participating in internships, attending cultural events, and networking with professionals in their field of interest.

History: How Did These Universities Begin?

Williams College was founded in 1793 as a private liberal arts college. It was originally a men’s college but has since become co-educational. Emory University was founded in 1836 as a Methodist Episcopal Church-affiliated school and has since become a secular institution with a strong academic focus. Both universities have a rich legacy of educational excellence and a commitment to providing students with a broad and rigorous intellectual experience.

Williams College was founded by Ephraim Williams, a soldier in the French and Indian War who left his estate to establish a school for the education of young men. The college has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence and has produced many notable alumni, including four U.S. presidents.

Emory University was originally located in Oxford, Georgia, and was known as Emory College. In 1915, the university moved to its current location in Atlanta and became a research-focused institution. Today, Emory is known for its strong programs in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences, and is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States.

Enrollment Rates: How Many Students Attend Williams and Emory?

As of fall 2020, Williams College has an enrollment of 2,137 students, while Emory University has an enrollment of 14,055 students. While there is a significant difference in the number of students attending each university, both institutions are dedicated to providing an intimate and personalized educational experience.

Williams College, located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a private liberal arts college that was founded in 1793. The college has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, which allows for small class sizes and individualized attention from professors. Williams College is known for its strong academic programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Emory University, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private research university that was founded in 1836. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, which also allows for small class sizes and personalized attention from professors. Emory University is known for its strong academic programs in the health sciences, economics, and law.

Acceptance Rates: What Are the Chances of Getting Accepted?

Admission to both Williams College and Emory University is highly competitive. Williams has an acceptance rate of around 12%, while Emory’s acceptance rate hovers around 19%. Both universities have a holistic approach to admissions and consider a variety of factors when evaluating applications, including academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities.

Three students walking in front of a school building.

It’s important to note that acceptance rates can vary depending on the specific program or major you are applying to. For example, Williams College’s acceptance rate for their computer science program is much lower than their overall acceptance rate, at around 7%. Similarly, Emory University’s nursing program has an acceptance rate of only 10%. It’s important to research the acceptance rates for your specific area of interest when considering these universities.

Campus Life: What Is It Like to Live on Campus at Williams vs Emory University?

Student life is an integral part of the Williams and Emory experiences. Williams College boasts a close-knit and supportive community, with over 95% of students living on campus. Emory University also offers a vibrant campus life, with over 75% of students living on campus. Both universities offer a range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs, and cultural organizations, to enrich the student experience.

Living on campus at Williams and Emory also provides students with easy access to academic resources and support. Both universities have libraries, tutoring centers, and academic advisors available to students. Additionally, living on campus allows students to form strong connections with their peers and faculty members, leading to a more fulfilling college experience. Many students also appreciate the convenience of living on campus, as it eliminates the need for a daily commute and allows for more time to participate in campus activities.

Academic Programs: What Majors and Minors Do These Universities Offer?

Williams College offers a wide range of majors and minors, including Biology, Economics, English, Mathematics, and Philosophy. Emory University offers a similarly diverse selection of majors and minors, including Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Journalism, and African American Studies. Both universities are committed to academic excellence and offer a rigorous curriculum that challenges students and encourages intellectual growth.

Additionally, Williams College offers unique interdisciplinary programs such as Environmental Studies, Cognitive Science, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. These programs allow students to explore complex issues from multiple perspectives and develop a well-rounded understanding of the world.

Emory University also offers a variety of study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their cultural horizons. From programs in Europe to Asia to Africa, Emory students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in different cultures and gain a global perspective on their academic studies.

Faculty and Staff: Who Teaches at Williams vs Emory University?

Williams College and Emory University have highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff members who are committed to helping students succeed academically and professionally. Williams has a student to faculty ratio of 7:1, while Emory has a slightly larger ratio of 9:1. Both institutions prioritize teaching excellence and prioritize hiring faculty who are not only experts in their fields but who are also passionate about education and dedicated to mentoring students.

Students answering a test on a classroom.

At Williams College, faculty members are encouraged to engage in research and scholarship in addition to their teaching responsibilities. This allows them to bring their cutting-edge knowledge and expertise into the classroom, providing students with a dynamic and up-to-date learning experience. Emory University also values research and scholarship, and many faculty members are involved in groundbreaking research projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on their fields and on society as a whole.

In addition to their academic qualifications, faculty and staff members at both Williams and Emory are known for their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They work to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all backgrounds, and strive to ensure that every student feels valued and respected. This dedication to diversity and inclusivity is reflected in the curriculum, which includes a wide range of perspectives and experiences, and in the many extracurricular activities and programs that are designed to promote cross-cultural understanding and dialogue.

Research Opportunities: What Type of Research Can You Do at Williams vs Emory University?

Both Williams and Emory offer students the opportunity to engage in research in a variety of fields. Williams encourages students to be active participants in the academic community and provides a range of resources to support undergraduate research, including the Science Center, the Center for Learning in Action, and the Williams Research Experience Program. Emory University has a rich tradition of research excellence and offers students the opportunity to work with faculty members on a variety of research projects, including those focused on neuroscience, public health, and environmental studies.

At Williams, students can also participate in research through the Summer Science Research Program, which provides funding for students to conduct research with faculty members over the summer. Additionally, Williams has partnerships with other institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that allow students to participate in research projects outside of the college.

Emory University also offers research opportunities through its various research centers, such as the Emory Vaccine Center and the Emory Center for AIDS Research. Students can also participate in research through the Emory Scholars Program, which provides funding for students to conduct research with faculty members during the academic year and over the summer.

Athletics: What Sports Teams Do These Universities Have?

Williams College has a vibrant athletic program, with over 30 varsity sports teams, including basketball, cross country, hockey, and swimming and diving. Emory University also has a strong athletic program, with over 19 varsity sports teams, including basketball, soccer, tennis, and swimming and diving. Both universities place a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and offer students the opportunity to compete at a high level while also maintaining a healthy balance between academics and athletics.

In addition to varsity sports teams, both Williams College and Emory University also offer a variety of club and intramural sports for students to participate in. These include ultimate frisbee, volleyball, flag football, and more. These programs provide opportunities for students who may not have the time commitment or skill level to participate in varsity sports, but still want to stay active and involved in the athletic community on campus.

Student Organizations: What Clubs and Organizations Are Available at Williams vs Emory University?

Both Williams and Emory offer a wide range of clubs and organizations to suit a variety of interests. Williams has over 150 student organizations, including the Outing Club, the Queer Student Union, and the Investment Club. Emory University has over 300 student organizations, including the Black Student Alliance, the Film Club, and the Mock Trial Team. Both universities encourage student involvement in extracurricular activities and foster an environment of collaboration and community.

View of people talking in a meeting.

In addition to the clubs and organizations mentioned above, Williams also has a strong presence of cultural and identity-based groups, such as the Asian American Students Association, the Latinx Student Union, and the Muslim Student Union. These groups provide a space for students to connect with others who share similar backgrounds and experiences, and to celebrate their cultures and identities.

At Emory, students can also get involved in service-oriented organizations, such as Volunteer Emory and the Emory Global Health Organization. These groups provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful service projects and make a positive impact in their communities, both locally and globally.

Study Abroad Programs: Where Can You Study Abroad Through Williams and Emory?

Williams College and Emory University offer students the opportunity to study abroad in a variety of locations around the world. Williams has study abroad programs in over 40 countries, including Argentina, Australia, France, and Japan. Emory University has study abroad programs in over 50 countries, including Costa Rica, Italy, South Africa, and Thailand. Both universities recognize the value of international study and offer students the opportunity to gain a global perspective and explore new cultures.

In addition to the wide range of countries available for study abroad through Williams and Emory, both universities also offer a variety of program types to fit students’ academic and personal goals. These program types include language immersion programs, research programs, internships, and service-learning programs. Students can choose to study abroad for a semester, a full academic year, or during the summer. With so many options available, students can tailor their study abroad experience to best fit their individual needs and interests.

Career Services: How Can Williams vs Emory University Help You With Your Career Goals?

Williams College and Emory University offer a range of career services to help students prepare for life after graduation. Williams provides career counseling, networking events, and job and internship search assistance through the Career Center. Emory University offers similar services through the Career Center and also has a wide network of alumni who are available to mentor current students and provide guidance on career paths and job opportunities.

In addition to these services, both Williams and Emory have strong partnerships with employers in various industries, providing students with access to job fairs, on-campus interviews, and other recruitment events. Williams also offers a unique program called the Williams Career Center Fellows, which allows students to work with alumni in their desired field for a summer internship. Emory has a program called the Career Discovery Program, which offers students the opportunity to explore different career paths through job shadowing and informational interviews with professionals in various industries.

Alumni Networks: What Type of Connections Can You Build Through Williams and Emory Alumni Networks?

Both Williams College and Emory University have strong alumni networks that provide students and graduates with access to a wide range of professional and personal connections. Williams has a robust alumni association that sponsors events, provides mentoring opportunities, and offers online resources and networking tools. Emory University also has a strong alumni network that supports students and graduates as they navigate the job market and pursue their professional goals.

Through the Williams alumni network, students and graduates can connect with alumni who work in a variety of industries, including finance, technology, healthcare, and education. These connections can lead to internships, job opportunities, and valuable career advice. Additionally, Williams alumni often provide support to current students through mentorship programs, helping them to navigate their academic and professional paths.

Similarly, Emory alumni are active in a variety of industries, including business, law, medicine, and the arts. The Emory alumni network provides students and graduates with access to job postings, career fairs, and networking events. Emory alumni also offer mentorship opportunities, helping students to develop their skills and build their professional networks. Through these connections, Emory students and graduates can gain valuable insights into their chosen fields and make meaningful connections with professionals in their industries.

Rankings: How Do Williams vs Emory University Compare in National Rankings?

Both Williams College and Emory University consistently rank highly in national rankings of colleges and universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks Williams as the #1 liberal arts college in the country, while Emory ranks as the #20 national university. Both universities have a strong reputation for academic excellence and a commitment to providing students with a transformative educational experience.

Group of people talking in a meeting.

However, there are some notable differences between the two institutions. Williams College has a smaller student body, with just over 2,000 undergraduate students, while Emory University has over 7,000 undergraduate students. Additionally, Williams College is located in a rural area of Massachusetts, while Emory University is located in the urban setting of Atlanta, Georgia. These differences in size and location can greatly impact the student experience and should be considered when making a decision about which institution to attend.


As we have seen in this comprehensive analysis, Williams College and Emory University are both exceptional institutions that offer students a rich and rewarding educational experience. While they differ in location, size, and culture, both universities prioritize academic rigor, personalized attention, and a commitment to excellence. Whether you are interested in pursuing the arts, sciences, humanities, or social sciences, both Williams and Emory have much to offer. We hope this analysis has helped you gain a better understanding of these two remarkable universities and the opportunities they provide.

It is worth noting that both Williams and Emory have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and opportunities for students and graduates. These networks can help students secure internships, jobs, and other career-related opportunities. Additionally, both universities have robust research programs that allow students to engage in cutting-edge research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

Finally, it is important to mention that both Williams and Emory are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They have implemented various initiatives and programs to ensure that all students feel welcome and supported on campus, regardless of their background or identity. This commitment to diversity and inclusion creates a vibrant and dynamic learning environment that prepares students to thrive in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

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