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The College

Founded in 1855, Elmira was the first college founded to offer women a course of study equal in rigor to the best men’s colleges of the time. The College became co-educational in 1969.

Elmira College sits on 55 acres in the City of Elmira, and 20 acres at the Murray Athletic Center in Pine Valley. It is located in the Southern Finger Lakes and is 90 minutes south of Rochester, and about 4 hours from Philadelphia, New York City and Toronto.

Mission: Grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, Elmira College provides a collaborative and supportive environment that enables students to become active learners, effective leaders, responsible community members, and globally engaged citizens. Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community engagement and intellectual and personal growth.

  • Location: Elmira, NY 14901 (pop. 28,213)
  • Institution Type: Private, coeducational
  • Carnegie Classification: Baccalaureate Colleges - Arts & Science Focus
  • Calendar: (2) 12-week terms, followed by a 6-week short term
  • College Flower: Iris
  • College Colors: Purple and Gold
  • College Shape: Octagon
  • Mascot: Soaring Eagle
  • Traditions: Mountain Day, Holiday Banquet, and Candlelight

Uniquely Elmira

Home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, which encompasses the Mark Twain Study, Mark Twain Archives, and Quarry Farm. The Center attracts Twain scholars from around the world and is one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S.

Twain’s wife and College alumna, Olivia Langdon Clemens, was an Elmira, N.Y. native and member of the Class of 1864.

The Mark Twain Study, now located on campus, is the study in which the famous author penned The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and other iconic works. USA Today named the Mark Twain Study one of the nation’s top ten literary landmarks.

Quarry Farm, home to Twain’s in-laws and where Twain and his family spent more than 20 summers, was recently named one of New York State’s literary landmarks by United for Libraries and the Empire State Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.


Phi Beta Kappa: Elmira College, home to the Pi of New York Chapter since 1940, is one of 286 chapters in the country. The chapter won the Triennial Award for the Outstanding Chapter in the Nation.

More than 35 academic majors and pre-professional programs. 90% of full-time faculty have a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field, with no classes taught by teaching or graduate assistants.

Average class size is 13 with a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. There are 69 faculty members, including writing lecturers and librarians.

40% of students study abroad at some point during their college career.

Army and Air Force ROTC programs offered in partnership with Cornell University.

More than 15,750 community engagement hours were completed in the 2015-2016 academic year.

100% of students complete a career-related internship before graduation. Post-graduation, 98% of students are employed or enrolled in graduate programs within six months after graduation.

  • Undergraduate Degrees Awarded: AA, AS, BA, BS
  • Graduate Degrees Awarded: MS (General Management or Health Services Management), MSEd (Corporate & Community Education, General Education, or Literacy (Birth through Grade 12))


  • SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse
  • SUNY Downstate Medical University, Brooklyn
  • SUNY School of Dental Medicine, Buffalo
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
  • University of Toledo
  • Penn State Hershey Medical Center
  • Des Moines College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Uniformed Services University of Health Science
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Buffalo, School of Phamaceutical Sciences
  • Regent’s University London
  • Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine
  • Northeastern University
  • Northeastern University, School of Pharmacy
  • University of Rochester, Warner School of Education
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Neuroscience wing
  • University of Rochester, Warner School of Education


  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Syracuse University
  • Tel Aviv University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Wake Forest Law
  • William and Mary Law School


  • Undergraduate Applications: 2,110
  • Accept Rate: 85%

Elmira College is test-optional, but the middle 50% testing ranges for enrolled students are:

  • SAT Math: 540 - 610
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing: 530 - 600
  • SAT Composite: 1070 - 1210
  • ACT: 22 - 26

Elmira College's freshman retention rates and graduation rates are as follows:

  • Freshman Retention Rate: 69% (Fall 2020 Cohort)
  • Graduation Rate: 68% (Fall 2014 Cohort)

Elmira College offers one of the lowest undergraduate tuition prices of any four-year private college or university in the region.

Campus Life

Enrollment: 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Students come from 22 states and 13 countries.

Choose from more than 70 student clubs and organizations, ranging from political to social to community engagement. Some popular clubs include:

  • SAB (Student Activities Board)
  • Colleges Against Cancer (Relay for Life)
  • PRIDE (Providing Rights for Individuality and Diversity at Elmira)
  • EC Naturals (A Cappella Singers)
  • Danceline
  • Active Minds

85% of students live on campus.


Home to five NCAA & NCA National Championships.

33% of students participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Elmira College has 20 NCAA Division III athletic teams and is part of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference, United Volleyball Conference, and the Empire 8 Athletic Conference.

Men’s sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Women’s sports include:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf (not in 18-19)
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Cheerleading is also available (game and competition teams), and is recognized by the National Cheerleading Association (NCA).


  • U.S.News & World Report Top Tier National College
  • U.S News & World Report: National Top Ten College for Internships
  • Princeton Review: Best Colleges in the Northeast 2019
  • U.S.News & World Report: #1 College in America for Student Internships
  • Colleges of Distinction: National Top College; Excellence in Business, Education, and Nursing
  • Forbes: America’s Top Colleges
  • Washington Monthly: Best Liberal Arts Colleges