Middlebury is committed to educating students in the tradition of the liberal arts, which embodies a method of discourse as well as a group of disciplines. With more than 850 courses in 44 majors, Middlebury prepares students to meet the challenges of responsible citizenship in a changing world.
The College is committed to educating students in the tradition of the liberal arts, which embodies a method of discourse as well as a group of disciplines; in our scientifically and mathematically oriented majors, just as in the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, and the languages, we emphasize reflection, discussion, and intensive interactions between students and faculty members. Our vibrant residential community, remarkable facilities, and the diversity of our co-curricular activities and support services all exist primarily to serve these educational purposes.
As a residential college, Middlebury recognizes that education takes place both within and beyond the classroom. Since our founding in 1800, the College has sought to create and sustain an environment on campus that is conducive to learning and that fosters engaged discourse. Middlebury is centrally committed to the value of a diverse and respectful community. Our natural setting in Vermont's Champlain Valley, with the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west, is also crucial to our identity, providing refreshment and inspiration as well as a natural laboratory for research. The beauty of our well-maintained campus provides a sense of permanence, stability, tradition, and stewardship. Middlebury has established itself as a leader in campus environmental initiatives, with an accompanying educational focus on environmental issues around the globe.
The College's borders extend far beyond Vermont's Addison County. Middlebury's Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies provide top-quality specialized education, including graduate education, in selected areas of critical importance to a rapidly changing world community. These areas include an unusually wide array of languages, literatures, and culture—including our programs in English and writing at Bread Loaf. The first of Middlebury's internationally acclaimed language programs began in 1915, and the Bread Loaf programs were inaugurated in 1920.
We expect our graduates to be thoughtful and ethical leaders able to meet the challenges of informed citizenship both in their communities and as world citizens. They should be independent thinkers, committed to service, with the courage to follow their convictions and to accept responsibility for their actions. They should be skilled in the use of language, and in the analysis of evidence, in whatever context it may present itself. They should be physically active, mentally disciplined, and motivated to continue learning. Most important, they should be both grounded in an understanding of the Western intellectual tradition that has shaped this College, and educated so as to comprehend and appreciate cultures, ideas, societies, traditions, and values that may be less immediately familiar to them.