Hillsdale College is a private, independent, nonsectarian, Christian institution of higher learning founded in 1844 by men and women who described themselves as “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings” resulting from civil and religious liberty and as “believing that the diffusion of sound learning is essential to the perpetuity of those blessings.” The College has maintained institutional independence since its founding by refusing to accept aid from or control by federal authorities. Far-reaching private support from a national constituency has enabled Hillsdale to continue its trusteeship of the intellectual and spiritual inheritance tracing to Athens and Jerusalem, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.
The undergraduate enrollment for fall 2017 was 1,463, of whom 51 percent were men and 49 percent were women. The College draws students from forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and fourteen other countries. Approximately 34 percent of students are from Michigan. The entering freshman class in 2017 had the following mid-range scores: high school grade-point average of 3.82–4.0, ACT of 28–32, and SAT of 1280–1420. All Hillsdale students sign an Honor Code challenging self-government and committing them to honesty, duty, and respect.
Hillsdale College is located amidst the hills, dales, and lakes of south-central Michigan. The Indiana and Ohio turnpikes are each 30 minutes away, and the College is within close reach of such metropolitan areas as Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, Ft. Wayne, and Indianapolis. The town of Hillsdale is a county seat with a population of 10,000. Stores, churches, restaurants, and movie theaters are all within walking distance of the campus.
Majors and Degrees
Hillsdale awards Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting, applied mathematics, art, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, classics, economics, English, exercise science, financial management, French, German, Greek, history, Latin, marketing/management, mathematics, music, philosophy, physical education, physics, politics, psychology, religion, rhetoric and public address, Spanish, speech, sport management, sport psychology, and theater. Interdisciplinary majors are available in American studies, Christian studies, comparative literature, European studies, international studies in business and foreign language, political economy, and sociology and social thought. Preprofessional programs are offered in allied health sciences (including optometry, pharmacy, and physical therapy), dentistry, education, engineering, environmental sciences, journalism, law, medicine and osteopathy, theology, and veterinary medicine. The Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship offers the Doctor of Philosophy in politics and the Master of Arts in politics.
The Academic Program
Hillsdale operates on a two-semester schedule, with the fall term beginning in late August and ending in mid-December and the spring term beginning in mid-January and ending in mid-May. Two 3-week summer sessions are also offered.
The College maintains its defense of the traditional liberal arts curriculum, convinced that it is the best preparation for meeting the challenges of modern life, and that it offers to people of all backgrounds not only an important body of knowledge, but also timeless truths about the human condition. The liberal arts are dedicated to stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity, to encouraging the critical, well-disciplined mind, and to fostering personal growth through academic challenge. Every Hillsdale College student is required to complete a structured core of courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Required courses include Western and American Heritage, U.S. Constitution, Great Books in the Western and British/American Traditions, Classical Logic and Rhetoric, Western Philosophical Tradition, and Western Theological Tradition. All students declare a major by the end of the junior year. To graduate, students must complete a minimum 124 hours of course work and fulfill the requirements of at least one major field. The B.A. program includes a foreign language proficiency requirement. The B.S. program requires additional studies in mathematics and the natural sciences.
The Center for Constructive Alternatives conducts four week-long symposia during the academic year and is one of the largest college lecture series in America. These programs, with themes ranging from historical to political, business, science, and the arts, bring to the campus distinguished scholars and public figures of national and international renown. All students are required to enroll in one seminar for credit.
The Collegiate Scholars Program enriches the academic experience of high-performing students by providing opportunities to become broadly and deeply versed in the contents and methods of inquiry of the liberal arts, preeminently of the Western intellectual tradition of humanistic and scientific learning in a manner consonant with the aims of the College’s core curriculum. A combination of special seminars, campus lectures and discussions, retreats, subsidized foreign travel to a destination relevant to the program’s purpose, and the completion of an interdisciplinary senior thesis help to meet this goal.
For forty years, the Washington Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP) has provided students the opportunity to participate in full-time, academically intensive internships in the nation’s capital. The program has been significantly bolstered with the 2008 establishment of the Hillsdale College Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. Past interns and fellows have been placed in locations as challenging and rewarding as the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the White House, various think tanks including the Heritage Foundation, news and media outlets, national security agencies, lobbying firms, international trade and relations organizations, and private sector companies.
Through the College’s affiliations with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Oxford Study Abroad Program, Hillsdale students are able to study abroad for a summer or a year at one of the more than thirty colleges of Oxford University. Hillsdale offers a summer business program in cooperation with Regent’s College in London, England, and the opportunity to study at the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland. Science students benefit from Hillsdale’s 685-acre field research laboratory in northern Michigan, a marine biology program in the Florida Keys, and internship opportunities with the Omaha Zoo. Foreign language students frequently study abroad in Argentina, France, Germany, and Spain. Qualified individual students who wish to study in another country for a semester or a year are assisted by their faculty advisor and the registrar in planning a program that enables them to gain academic credit as well as take full advantage of their experience.
The Hillsdale College Mossey Library is a three-floor, 43,000-square-foot facility with a collection of 272,000 books, nearly two million electronic books, 22,000 audiovisual items, and subscriptions to 235 academic research databases, among other resources. In addition to the main study and research collections, the Library also contains a number of rare and special holdings, including the Ludwig von Mises, Russell Kirk, Richardson Heritage, Richard Weaver, and Carus Coin collections. Connected to other Michigan libraries through MelCat, and with college libraries nationwide via interlibrary loan, students have access to most any material necessary for on-campus research. Numerous individual study areas and group study rooms are available for students, as well as computer research terminals.
Lane and Kendall Halls at the front of campus serve as the primary academic facilities in the social sciences and humanities and contain classroom space and faculty offices, as well as a special laboratory for experimental psychology. The Strosacker Science Center houses the departments of biology, chemistry, and physics. The Joseph H. Moss Family Laboratory Wing is a 17,000-square-foot addition that includes a microbiology/cell biology lab, anatomy/physiology lab with human cadaver access, conservation genetics lab, water lab, greenhouse, and organic/general chemistry labs. The 32,000-square-foot Herbert Henry Dow Science Building provides additional classrooms, research laboratories, animal rooms, and a computer lab. Slayton Arboretum is a 48-acre campus garden and bird sanctuary used by students to practice field exercises and conduct research. The Mary Randall Preschool is a circular laboratory school in which nursery school children are taught by students specializing in early childhood education and psychology. Experts in the field have called this building “a model for the nation.” The Hillsdale Academy, a K–12 private model school, provides additional opportunities for classroom observation.
The Roche Sports Complex is a facility available to varsity athletes and the general student body alike. The building houses the 60,000-square-foot Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena, which features a student fitness center and basketball/volleyball courts. The building also houses the John “Jack” McAvoy Natatorium for swimming and diving, an exercise physiology and sports medicine facility, four racquetball courts, extensive locker room space, and a weight/fitness room. Adjacent is the 7,000-seat capacity Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium, which features an artificial surface football field; all-weather, Olympic-quality eight-lane running track; outdoor tennis courts; and fields for soccer, baseball, and women’s softball. Located northwest of the Roche Sports Complex, the 76,000-square-foot Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center houses four acrylic tennis courts and a six-lane, 200-meter NCAA regulation Mondo surface track.
The Sage Center for the Arts is home to the departments of art and theater. This 47,000-square-foot facility contains studios, classroom space, an exhibition gallery, a prop- and scene-construction shop, a sound studio, graphics lab, black box theatre, and the Markel Auditorium, a 353-seat performance hall (with orchestra pit). The 32,809-square-foot Howard Music Hall houses office, studio, classroom, rehearsal, and performance space for the John E. N. and Dede Howard Department of Music. Notable features include the McNamara Rehearsal Hall, Conrad Recital Hall, and studio space for percussion and jazz studies. Lower-level practice rooms are available to students during business hours without reservation.
The 53,000-square-foot Grewcock Student Union is the center of student life. The two-story structure houses the cafeteria, bookstore, student mail center, offices for student activities and publications, a lounge with a 100-inch flat-screen television, a formal lounge and conference room, AJ’s Café, and a game area. Hayden Park sits at the northeastern perimeter of campus and encompasses 190 acres of rolling, partially wooded farmland. In addition to serving as a course for Hillsdale’s cross-country teams, it provides a place for club and intramural sports, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and general outdoor recreation. The 27,000-square-foot Christ Chapel is currently under construction and will be a center for spiritual life on campus and serve as a symbol of Hillsdale’s Christian roots and identity.
The faculty consists of 137 full-time members with a 10:1 student-teacher ratio and average class sizes of 15. No classes are taught by graduate students. The size and closeness of the College community enable personal attention and faculty mentorship inside the classroom and during office visits after class. Each student has a faculty advisor for core and major coursework who directs the program of study and provides academic and career counseling. Hillsdale’s faculty considers teaching their first priority. Many faculty members also engage in research and scholarly writing, supported by summer and sabbatical leaves funded by the College, and are often invited to comment on the national scene in lecture programs and media outlets.
Hillsdale’s Charger athletes compete in 14 intercollegiate NCAA Division II varsity sports as part of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Hillsdale College sponsors varsity basketball, cross-country, swimming and diving, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball for women, and varsity baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, football, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field for men. In 2016–17, 11 athletes earned All-American honors while 17 received Academic All-American awards. Hillsdale College boasts a 96 percent student-athlete Academic Success Rate. Fourteen club sports and eleven intramural sports are also available to students.
Four national fraternities, three national sororities, a newspaper and radio station, and more than 100 other social, academic, spiritual, and service organizations provide Hillsdale students with a diverse array of cocurricular opportunities. A resident drama troupe and dance company, a concert choir and chamber chorale, a jazz program with big band and combos, instrumental chamber ensembles from string quartets to percussion ensemble, and a symphony orchestra and band constitute the College’s performing arts organizations. The Student Activities Board hosts campus-wide social functions throughout the year, including marquee events like Garden Party, Homecoming, President’s Ball, and Centralhallapalooza.
Hillsdale students are housed in dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and various off-campus dwellings. Single and double rooms are available on campus; there are no coed dormitories. Each College-owned residence hall is supervised by a resident director and resident advisers. All freshmen (except commuters) are required to live on campus; upperclass students seeking to live off campus must apply to the dean of men or dean of women for this privilege.
Special student services provided by the College include career planning and placement counseling; academic advising and tutoring; and a health service staffed by a physician, a resident nurse, and counselors.
Annual tuition for the 2017–18 academic year was $25,540, room was $5,240, board was $5,370, and mandatory fees were $1,202. Books, supplies, and personal expenses (including travel, recreation, and clothing) are estimated at $3,000 per year.
Financial aid at Hillsdale is available in many forms. Academic scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis, regardless of financial need. The priority application deadline for academic scholarship consideration is January 1. The application for admission also serves as the Hillsdale application for merit-based aid. Athletic scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis in men’s baseball, football, and golf; men’s and women’s basketball, tennis, track, and cross-country; and women’s swimming, softball, and volleyball. The departments of art and music also award a select number of scholarships based on strength of portfolio/audition. To apply for aid on the basis of financial need, students are required to file Hillsdale’s Confidential Family Financial Statement (CFFS). Because Hillsdale does not accept government funds, either directly for its operations or indirectly in the form of student aid, the FAFSA is not applicable; government funds are replaced with private dollars. Grants and loans are available from the College.
Admission to Hillsdale College is a privilege extended to students who are able to benefit by, and contribute to, the academic and social environment of the College. A formal application to Hillsdale College includes (1) a completed application form, (2) the scores from either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), or the Classic Learning Test, (3) an official transcript of high school grades (and post-secondary grades, if available), (4) thoughtful essay and short answer responses, (5) two academic letters of recommendation, and (6) a résumé of extracurricular activities, volunteerism, leadership, and work experience. An interview is recommended, but not required. Transfer students must include a Dean of Students Transfer Form and official college transcript(s). International students must submit all required documents in English; the ACT or SAT is required, the TOEFL is optional.
Application and Information
Students may apply to Hillsdale College any time after the completion of the junior year of high school. A formal application includes a completed application form accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $35 (free if submitted online) and all required credentials. Application plans include early decision (November 1), spring admission (December 1), priority scholarship (January 1), and regular decision (April 1). Hillsdale College has been distinguished since its founding in 1844 by voluntarily adhering to a nondiscriminatory policy regarding race, religion, sex, and national or ethnic origin—long before the government began regulating such matters. All records and forms should be mailed to:
33 East College Street
Hillsdale, Michigan 49242-1298
Majors & Degrees
|Area, Ethnic, Cultural, And Gender Studies||Associate||Bachelors|
|Biological And Biomedical Sciences||Associate||Bachelors|
|Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services||Associate||Bachelors|
|Communication, Journalism And Related Programs||Associate||Bachelors|
|Speech Communication And Rhetoric|
|English Language And Literature/Letters||Associate||Bachelors|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics||Associate||Bachelors|
|Classics And Classical Languages|
|Mathematics And Statistics||Associate||Bachelors|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure And Fitness Studies||Associate||Bachelors|
|Health And Physical Education/fitness|
|Kinesiology And Exercise Science|
|Sport And Fitness Administration/management|
|Philosophy And Religious Studies||Associate||Bachelors|
|Philosophy And Religious Studies|
|Political Science And Government|
|Visual And Performing Arts||Associate||Bachelors|
|Type||Application Closing||Notification Date||Rolling Admissions|
|Fall freshmen||April 1st||Not reported|
|Early decision plan||November 1st||December 1st|
|Other early decision plan||Not reported||Not reported|
|Transfer||April 1st||Not reported||Yes|
Test Scores Accepted
|Test||Avg. Score Accepted||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
|SAT Critical Reading||689||660||730|
Tuition & Fees
Freshman car parking
|% of undergrad students who live in college housing||69%|
Centralhallapalooza, President's Ball and Homecoming Spirit Week
College Republicans, InterVarsity, Students for Life, American Chemical Society and PRAXIS - Political Economy Club
Campus Security & Safety
|Cross-country Running||No||Division 2|
|Swimming And Diving||No|
|Track And Field||No||Division 2|
|Cross-country Running||No||Division 2|
|Swimming And Diving||No||Division 2|
|Track And Field||No||Division 2|