Established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams, the college is private, residential, and liberal arts, with graduate programs in the history of art and in economic policy. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 2,000 students.
Williams admits U.S. students without regard to their ability to pay, and offers a generous financial aid program for international students. The College commits to meeting 100 percent of every admitted student's demonstrated financial need for four years.
There are three academic divisions (languages and the arts, social studies, science and mathematics), 25 departments, 35 majors, plus concentrations and special programs. The student:faculty ratio is 7:1. The academic year consists of two four-course semesters plus a one-course January term.