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Through a genuinely distinctive education, Bennington cultivates a mindset for change, a capacity to break new ground, the conditions for progress. Bennington graduates are notably confident in their capacity to engage and succeed in the world because, at Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable.

plan process img thrive img 80 vs 39 img

Through individualized academic planning and graduate-style advising—the Plan Process—Bennington students map a territory for study and practice that goes beyond the bounds of a traditional major. An advisory committee of three faculty guides their progress over four years and ensures that their plan is challenging, academically sound, and significant. By building, articulating, and advocating for the substance of their education, Bennington students hone their ability to thrive in a world without givens, to tolerate ambiguity, and to steer their work in compelling directions even when a path is not laid out before them.

It matters

People are 5 times more likely to thrive—financially, physically, in relationships and their communities—if they are engaged at work.
—2014 Gallup-Purdue Survey of 30,000 graduates

How our graduates compare

80% of Bennington graduates report being engaged at work v. 39% of graduates nationally
—2014 Gallup-Purdue Survey; 2018 Bennington College Alumni Survey

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Bennington is the only college in the country to require an annual internship since its founding. Every Bennington student spends almost two months every year at work in the world pursuing jobs, internships, and entrepreneurial endeavors related to their studies, their professional ambitions, and their own curiosities. Bennington students test out and contribute to the fields that interest them before they graduate, and in this way earn a diploma and a resume´.

It matters

According to employers, the single most important credential for a college graduate entering the workforce is internship experience. 
—2012 survey of 50,000 employers conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace

How our students compare
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Bennington College Field Work Term Employer Student Ratings; Association of American Colleges & Universities 2015 Employer Survey Findings
Faculty Mentorship faculty support img 95% vs 22% img

Bennington’s teacher-practitioner model means that students work in close collaboration with faculty members who are themselves actively engaged in their fields. The faculty serve as models for a student’s own practice, since they are active—even renowned—in their fields. Students learn from them how to frame a question, how to pursue a line of inquiry, how to create a space for new ideas, and how to set the direction for their life’s work.

It matters

Faculty support and experiential learning are leading contributors to student preparedness after graduation. 
—2014 Gallup-Purdue Survey

How our graduates compare

95% of Bennington graduates say faculty encouraged them to pursue their goals v. 
22% of graduates nationally 

—2014 Gallup-Purdue Survey; 2016 Bennington College Senior Survey

A Responsive Curriculum 50 tutorials img half img

The Bennington curriculum flexes to include courses driven by what is engaging faculty now, in the world and in their own practice as writers and artists and scientists and scholars. Every term faculty supplement the curriculum with more than 50 tutorials, and intensive “pop-up” mini-courses are proposed by students or faculty who want to investigate issues as they are unfolding.

By the numbers

About half of the Bennington curriculum is new every term. More than 50 tutorials are offered each year.

 A community of makers img 87% student produced img community of makers img

At Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable. This 24-7 campus celebrates the ongoing making of work—shared on walls, in shows and performances, in lectures and readings, and in electric conversations—and believes that equity, diversity, and inclusivity are vital to a collaborative community.

By the numbers

87% of graduates have published a piece of writing, produced an album, exhibited a piece of art, performed or directed for a public audience, or presented a scientific paper or poster. 
—2016 Bennington College Senior Survey

disproportional impact img #4 most entrepreneurial img quarter of alumni img

Bennington students graduate with a capacity to get it done, to put themselves out there, to find a novel solution. The proof is in the outsized impact our alumni have on the world’s stage: two winners of the Pulitzer Prize in literature—in a single year; four MacArthur Geniuses; too many Emmy and Obie and Bessie winners to count; the first U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues; the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize; heads of America’s most influential cultural institutions; a National Institute of Mental Health “Innovative New Scientist”; a member of the NASA–prize winning team that designed a habitat for Mars exploration—just to name a few.

By the numbers

#4 Most Entrepreneurial Liberal Arts College
—Forbes 2015

About a quarter of our alumni, 10 years out, have started or owned a business or organization. 
—2015 Bennington College Alumni Survey