Impressions Of
Colgate University

Academic Experience

Male Psychology and Media and Communications Double Major C/O 2019

Is there anything you feel your either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
I feel that the Psychology department has some professors who are very caring, knowledgeable, and funny as well. We have some very devoted and committed professors who will take the initiative to make sure you’re doing well and not just simply make themselves accessible if you want to take advantage of them. They actively put themselves out there to ensure that you’re having a productive and meaningful experience in the classes.

Do you think people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I would say so. I don’t think anyone is particularly closed minded and people are ready to learn. It is a liberal arts school, which tend to be less conservative in general. But, I would say there is a healthy mix of people that are conservative and liberal and see things from a different perspective. It’s not all one way or the other like some liberal arts schools can be.

Male Environmental Studies Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I wouldn’t say it’s very competitive. You do come across students who are competitive but I’d say those students are the minority. Group work is very common at Colgate and in it’s common to work with people who you don’t normally sit with or speak with in class to answer a question or talk about the question in the classroom.

How accessible are your professors?
Very, very accessible. I have never had a problem with trying to get in touch with a professor. Professors are also very clear about their standards for grading and stuff like that.

Female Environmental Science and Int'l Relations Double Major C/O 2021

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
Both of my majors are pretty reading and writing intensive. It depends on the class, but for the majority of my classes, we have readings every day and essays and tests dispersed throughout the semester.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
There’s definitely a culture of caring about schoolwork and keeping up with it independently, but not in an overpowering or extremely competitive way. Students get their work done. There’s not a thriving collaborative intellectual community. It can be found in some places on campus, but it’s not the norm.

How accessible have your professors been?
Extremely accessible. It helps that it’s a small school. I’ve found that in every one of my classes my professors are willing to meet with me one on one at any stage of any assignment. They try to make connections with all the students, which I really enjoy.

Social Opportunities

Male Psychology and Media and Communications Double Major C/O 2019

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Colgate?
I’m not the biggest partier or drinker on campus. I run the Philosophy club as an alternative nightlife activity where we gather late on Saturday nights to talk about life, philosophy, and all that stuff. I’ll go to concerts with my friends if an artist is around or performing on campus. I like to hang out with small groups of friends in our apartments to play video games or watch movies. My friends and I also like to go to the gym and use the sauna at night when there aren’t as many people there. Occasionally I will go out to a bar and play some pool or grab a few drinks with friends.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife? Have you felt impacted by not being part of Greek life?
There are certain events that are Greek life only because they’re a mixer between one fraternity and sorority. As much as the social scene is ruled by the fraternities, I’ve found my own space and have been perfectly fine. I knew some people in fraternities as well and if I really do want to participate, I can reach out to them and we can work something out. It hasn’t been the biggest impact on me even though there has been some impact.

Female Economics Major C/O 2019

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Colgate?
Most of it consists of drinking, that is the majority. Sometimes the school puts on events that are kind of fun, like one time we went roller skating in the hockey rink. I don’t do that many concrete things, it’s just a lot of hanging out with friends, drinking, and socializing.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s big. I see this with some of my friends who are freshmen, but if you’re not in Greek life it’s definitely harder to go out. There are open parties that are hosted by Greek life organizations that open up around midnight. In my sorority, we usually have two or three options to go to, like we’ll have a mixer and then want to go somewhere else. It’s definitely limited if you’re not in Greek life and I don’t know that much about what people who aren’t in Greek life do because most of my friends are in Greek life. [About one third of all students are involved in Greek life, but students cannot rush until sophomore year.]

Female Environmental Science and Int'l Relations Double Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Colgate?
I like to stay in with friends sometimes. I attend a lot of “Pubs” for the communities I’m involved in on campus. A “Pub” is a small party that is hosted by a club at someone’s house. I’ll occasionally go to frat parties or the bar in town. Occasionally my friends and I will drive to Syracuse or Utica and do activities there.

What have been your favorite times at Colgate?
I really like the location because I like the outdoors and I like to explore the places nearby. Some of my favorite times have been driving around in upstate New York or activities like that with different people that I’m friends with. I’ve been up to Camp Colgate a few times in the Adirondacks. I’ve done that with sustainability groups that I’m part of and that’s been a really fun time. We hiked around, paddle boarded, and did other outdoors stuff.

Campus Culture

Male Psychology and Media and Communications Double Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the student body?
Diverse. Engaged. People are diverse in terms of interests, engagements, and activities. People are part of many things whether it’s bands, athletics, student government, or religious and spiritual initiatives. Everybody has their little niche. We are somewhat racially diverse, but Colgate is a predominantly White and liberal place. I do think that we make a good effort to incorporate people from other backgrounds and other countries as well. [In 2016-2017, 4.5% of students were Black, 9.2% were Hispanic, 3.7% were Asian, and 65.9% were White.]

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Colgate by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving Colgate?
Yeah, I do. One of our alumni stereotypes is maybe people aren’t enthralled years one, two, and three, but come graduating and beyond, people really do love it. The vast majority of people I know are at least satisfied, if not happy. Obviously, there are some who have problems with it or are unhappy, but the people I’ve seen and experienced are relatively happy with it.

Male Environmental Studies Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s intense for sure. It’s a lot because of the smaller size and the type of people that come to Colgate. As a guy in a fraternity, it’s awesome. There are about three or four big parties happening on a night and the girls will work their way down the row and stop by each one. Because of the smaller size of the school, it can be competitive between organizations, but competitive in a fun way. It also is intense because there is the drinking culture and fraternity parties are what fuels the scene.

How do you like the size of Colgate in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has that impacted your experience? [Colgate has about 3,000 undergraduate students.]
I love it. I’ve visited a few of my friends at big state schools and I’m at a party and don’t recognize anybody. They think it’s a great party because there are 300 people there but they don’t know any of those people. What makes Colgate so great is that it’s a smaller school and we’re in this bubble so everyone is way more familiar with each other which leads to a level of comfortability at the social events, which I think leads to more fun for everyone. I would say I know most people in my class because most of them are involved in the social scene in some capacity.

Female Economics Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s definitely a work hard play hard environment. Everybody that you see out you’re going to see in the library too. There are a lot of athletes that are also Economics majors so I see a lot of them in my classes. The going out scene is fairly exclusive in that people in Greek life and athletes can go places, and certain organizations can go some places while others can’t. With that being said, there is more going on that I just don’t know about.

To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
In a way, you need to make an effort to make that happen. We just had an equestrian team formal and my date is in Greek life and he said he didn’t know anybody there. It depends on what other organizations you’re involved in. If you want to just hang out with Greek life people, you can definitely do that. But, if you want to mix and see other sides of campus, you can do that too but you have to try a bit harder.

Hamilton, NY

Pros of

  • “It’s a good distance from New York City and the Tri-State Area, which is where most people from Colgate are from. Your parents can’t surprise you but it’s also not too far.” [24% of students are from New York State.]
  • “The school and the community are pretty integrated. Campus bleeds into town and we have events with townspeople.”
  • “Because it’s so small, you see your professors everywhere, which can be weird. I’ll see them at restaurants, which is kind of weird but can also be nice because you form a different type of relationship with them.”
  • “We have a lot of outdoor education opportunities and we have a strong outdoor education program. You can go mountain climbing for gym classes and stuff. It’s pretty cool.”

Cons of

  • “It’s a bubble. We all joke that Colgate is not a real place. When you go to New York City it’s shocking how much slower the pace is in Hamilton.”
  • “There is a lack of cultural engagement. As much Colgate tries to bring speakers and musicians, there are only going to be so many people to be brought here and spaces to be filled here. There are no concert halls or museums in the city.”
  • “The weather. It gets very cold and it snows a lot. It can be hard to walk to classes in the winter.”
  • “There isn’t a strong variety of food, activities, and nightlife overall in the town. There are only a handful of restaurants and places to go with your friends for a night out.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Environmental Studies Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew about Colgate before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew exactly what a liberal arts program entails. I wouldn’t trade my liberal arts education for anything, however, competing for positions in finance and not having any true industry knowledge or skill sets that I can refer to in interviews, I wish I knew how Colgate was going to lack in that aspect.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The social scene. People come and can stay overnight with someone who they’re paired up with, but usually, the people who host prospective students are not the people who are active within the social scene. I would try to connect with anyone possible and try to have them connect you with somebody who is active in the social scene, and I’m sure people would be happy to do that.

Female Economics Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew about Colgate before entering as a freshman?
The least happy I’ve been at Colgate was my first semester and that’s mostly because I hadn’t found my people yet. You feel like freshman fall that it is the rest of your life and how it will be, but every year my social circle has changed and increased significantly. I wish I knew that the first month of freshman year isn’t all of college and that every year it would change and get better.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
When they walk you through the library on a tour they just walk you through the main information desk, but they should really walk you through the back part of the library. There is a part where you can see up all three stories that’s really cool. I spend so much time in the library so it was important to me that it was a nice building, and I think it is.

Female Environmental Science and Int'l Relations Double Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Colgate before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew it takes time to find the community that you’re comfortable in and it took a lot of testing out different groups. I wish I knew there is a slightly homogenous student body that can be overwhelming to maneuver at first, but it is possible to find spaces that you enjoy. Also, know that everyone is having a hard time with the transition.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Explore the town and get to know the town of Hamilton.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Colgate University

To Attend

  • “It’s a small school so the professors really care and will spend time with you. It’s easy to get to know your professors.”
  • “There are nice facilities. It’s a charming, really pretty campus.”
  • “It’s a tight-knit community that you will grow to like and eventually miss.”
  • “The work hard play hard environment.”
  • “The alumni network.”

To Not Attend

  • “The demographic at Colgate is pretty narrow so some people may not feel comfortable. I know a couple of people who have transferred out of Colgate because of that. The lack of adversity here isn’t really advertised.” [About 22% of Colgate’s student body comes from the socioeconomic 1%. It has more students in the socioeconomic top 1% than the bottom 60%. About 68% of students are White.]
  • “The social scene is exclusive. There are mixers between Greek life organizations that other people aren’t allowed to go to. Also, they are cracking down on freshmen being able to go to Greek parties. Greek life is worried about risk and managing that risk, so they make it harder to get in so they know who’s there.”
  • “How the location is cut off from a lot of other places.”
Notice: Colgate University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Colgate University.

Sign up for email updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact | Copyright 2019 | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use