Degree Programs at Marlboro College
Marlboro College appears in our ranking of Best Tiny Colleges.
Marlboro College provides the ideal atmosphere for the student who resists labels and restrictions. In fact, students are not required to declare a major, as the institution’s faculty believes that this results in the unnecessary limiting of the student’s interests.
Accordingly, students spend their first three semesters exploring various aspects of the college’s curriculum. Next, as long as students meet Marlboro’s Clear Writing Requirement, they are free to pursue a customized program of learning.
At the undergraduate level, students may focus their efforts on scientific pursuits like chemistry, biology, astronomy, physics and environmental studies. Alternatively, students may pursue their passion for mathematics, computer science, history or languages. Marlboro College also has departments that allow students to explore creative writing, dance, music, painting, photography, literature, theater, visual arts, sculpture, film and ceramics.
Whether enrollees are interested in Asian or American studies, they will find a wealth of courses. Additional classes in psychology, the classics, philosophy, religion, sociology and more all help students to graduate with a well-rounded and fascinating academic foundation.
About Marlboro College
At traditional colleges, students are asked to choose a major that carries with it a variety of requirements. This includes general education classes as well as core curriculum for the major and certain specialization courses that must be completed before graduation.
Marlboro College was founded in 1946 on the idea that some students don’t need to travel such a well-structured path. Instead, they are happiest and most successful when defining their own way forward.
The institution was founded on a farm in southern Vermont. From the first day of operations, it adopted a community-governance model. Accordingly, every interested party from first-year students to the most senior members of faculty are involved in making day-to-day decisions. This means that students may organize to have a certain course or tutorial added to the curriculum if there is sufficient interest.
Because Marlboro College is dedicated to remaining small and offering a superior educational experience, class sizes of just 10 students are typical. When in class, the atmosphere is less like that of a professor meeting with students as much as a meeting of colleagues who are on equal footing.
The result is a rather unconventional approach to education that does away with conventional thinking and conformity so that students may more fully develop as wholly realized individuals.
At Marlboro College, students are encouraged to spend their freshman year “laying the foundation.” This means working with a faculty advisor to understand Marlboro’s unique system and to become familiar with the Center for Experiential Learning and Global Engagement. Students complete a First-Year Seminar that sharpens their skills with regard to presentations, time management and collaborative practice. Writing skills are heavily emphasized, and students will become familiar with faculty and staff.
Students are supported in their efforts to take the broadest possible survey of courses in their first year. By the second year, the focus has turned to the student “finding their place.” Students begin to narrow their focus to a “field of concentration.” This is akin to declaring a major, but individuals have the latitude to make their focus as general or specific as they wish. Students even have the ability to name their degree so that it conforms more closely with their career goals.
This also is the year in which students complete their Sophomore Review, a written reflection of their higher education experience to date. At the same time, students formulate a Plan of Concentration, which is developed in concert with a faculty sponsor.
The junior year represents the Marlboro student’s opportunity to become an expert in their Field of Concentration. An emphasis is placed on research methods as well as well as refining their unique Plan of Concentration. This prepares the student for their senior year, which Marlboro refers to as “The Plan.”
The majority of the senior year is spent in creating, researching and revising the student’s Plan. Only a few regular classes are taken, and most work is completed in one-on-one sessions or in small-group tutorials with key advisors. All of this work culminates in an end-of-the-year presentation of the student’s Plan in front of a faculty committee, as many students who choose to attend and an outside reviewer. The completion of 120 credits and a successful defense of the student’s plan signals their preparedness for graduation.
Marlboro College Accreditation Details
The New England Commission of Higher Education, or NECHE, provides accreditation for Marlboro College. In 2015, the institution received its latest accreditation credentials.
Marlboro College Application Requirements
Currently, Marlboro College is pursuing a closer alliance with Emerson College in Boston. This means that new freshmen students who are interested in attending Marlboro are being asked to visit the Emerson College website to submit an application.
The Emerson IDIP PremierApp collects information from applicants as the first step of the process. In addition to basic data such as name, birth date, gender, email address and mailing address, students are asked to submit their tentative selection of their area of focus. A list of selections is provided, and the specific courses that will be presented at Marlboro will be shaped according to student interest.
The application also gives the prospective student a chance to choose between submitting SAT or ACT scores or submitting an essay. To finish the application, individuals fill out their latest educational institution and citizenship information before signing the form. Currently, there is no fee associated with the application.
After submitting the initial form, applicants receive an email detailing further actions to take.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time students typically enroll in 12-16 credits per semester. One semester usually costs approximately $24,000 for a total of $48,000 per year.
Most students who attend Marlboro College apply for and receive some form of financial aid. This aid may include loans from the federal government and private banking institutions. Funds received via loans must be repaid with interest by the student.
Enrollees at Marlboro College frequently apply for a variety of scholarships and grants. These funds do not need to be repaid after graduation, making them an attractive and fiscally responsible option. Students are encouraged to contact the Emerson College Financial Aid Office to learn more about their options for Marlboro College.