4.5 out of 5 Stars
We have some core requirements, such as biology and math, but the more liberal artsy parts are broader [with credit values that must be filled].Quality of Life
I love it. There's way too much that's great about this place.Admissions
We submit the common app, along with two supplementary essays. Then, we are accepted to candidate's weekend, in which we come up for a weekend to participate in group/individual interviews. This second process is to see whether our personalities fit with the school and current students. The students are a part of the interviewing process, and can give feedback based on interactions they have with students.Level
Focus on engineering but includes relevant foundation courses. Opportunity to study at Brandeis University, Wellesley College, and Babson College for credit. Study abroad program lets you go anywhere, not just partner schools (I went to Hong Kong Polytechnic University). Small classes with lots of hands on projects. Few written finals, mostly projects and presentations.Quality of Life
Everyone knows each other and is very friendly. The Honor Code is strictly followed. Very safe campus in terms of crime, since it is so small and everyone keeps a community watch, and in a very good neighborhood. Dorms and food are great.Admissions
Unique essays and questions, personal interview and a group interview, on-campus design and build competitions, portfolio submission.Graduation Year
Olin has a two-stage admissions process. The first stage is the traditional admissions process with essays, transcripts, etc. The second stage is a Candidate's Weekend, when about twice as many students as will be admitted are invited to campus for interviews, design challenges, and to interact with one another and the current students. The second phase is key, because it evaluates whether the student is a fit for the community.Graduation Year
Housing is excellent and clean. Students have their own bathrooms in the dorms, and students are respectful of each other and each other's posessions.Admissions
Students are first admitted as candidates to a candidate's weekend, and then from that candidate pool, admitted students are selected.Level
Hands-on, project oriented, and student directed. The faculty is excellent at taking student feedback, and there is a lot of opportunity for students to design their own majors and courses.Quality of Life
Dorms are really nice if a bit expensive, and allow a great student community. Campus is very small but well designed. Crime is non-existent.Admissions
Common app with supplemental essays, as well as an interview weekend.Level
General requirements include AHSE (Arts, Humanities, Society, and Entreprenuership) which requires you to take the equivalent of 7 of these classes. You must also take 30 credits worth of math and science. You can take any class you want at any time in your career as long as you are on track to graduate.Quality of Life
Everyone hangs out in the lounges and in each other's rooms. Virtually no student works alone because everyone helps each other. The library is not huge but generally sufficient. The dorms are the best I've ever seen. Each dorm room has its own bathroom and the rest of the room is very large. There is no crime on campus-students leave their laptops and money lying around without fear.Admissions
Prospective students fill out Olin's application around December, and if they are an excellent candidate, they will be invited to Olin for "Candidate's Weekend" During this time, students will participate in design builds, interview, and just getting to know about the school. The admissions department uses the results of this weekend to select the admitted students. Furthermore, wait listed students can agree to come to Olin the next year.Level
Since Olin is strictly an engineering college, a lot of our general requirements are engineering or science/math in nature. We learn to think about engineering in a design-oriented manner. Our major degree requirements consists of about 5 different core classes in your major area. In addition, we have a minimum number of Arts/Humanities/Social Science/Entrepreneurship classes that we must take, with a small concentration in a particular subject. The class sizes are usually on the smaller side, and rarely over 30 people. Faculty are usually very personable and willing to talk with students. Since Olin is small, it can be hard to find research opportunities, unless you happen to be interested in what our small group of faculty like. If you do, I think Olin provides a good opportunity in that sense, with many students publishing papers in conferences and journals. Olin also tries to place a strong emphasis on studying abroad. Typically, about 1/4 of the junior class studies abroad each year.Quality of Life
While the cost of room and board is on the high end, we do have very new dorms that are well equipped. Rooms are large and come with bathrooms. Overall, the dorms are very friendly, with people constantly leaving their doors open to invite other people to stop in.
The campus is well-maintained, and overall, very nice (although it has much more modern feel than typical universities).
The only dining hall on campus serves good food (although it gets repetitive, especially after several years) and is unlimited. It is also open from 8PM-7:30PM and we can visit as frequently as we would like.
The neighborhood is very nice, although not the most suited for college students, since it mainly caters towards families.
Crime is practically non-existent and I think everyone always feels very safe.
I believe that Olin students are overall very happy with studying here.Admissions
Our school recently began to use the Common Application with unique application questions/essays. After the paper application, select candidates are flown to campus for a weekend where they learn about the school while they also are interviewed, individually and in teams. Olin has a need-blind admissions process.Level
Hands-on, project-based, design focused engineering education. Small class sizes. Amazing professors available for help, talk, fun, research, etc. Every accepted student is outstanding academically but once you arrive, grades are not often talked about. Cooperation and friendly competition. Focus on academic competencies and "learning how to learn" as opposed to memorization. Practical knowledge is more important than book knowledge. Allows for individual humanities focus. Senior capstone project in Engineering. Cross-registration at Babson, Wellesley, Brandeis.Quality of Life
Fabulous new dorms. Doubles with a bathroom or Suite of 6 singles and 2 bathrooms. Small campus. Fabulous library and librarians who go out of their way to help. Amazing dining hall food and friendly staff. Low crime. Felt incredibly safe. Everyone (students, faculty, staff) know each other. Happiest time of my life.Admissions
Application included essays about "Why Olin" and why I would be a good fit for the school. Candidate's Weekend for select applicants included team and individual interviews and a chance to get to know the school.
Tuition scholarship for all admitted students.Graduation Year
The class sizes tend to be small and the faculty are highly accessible. There are usually opportunities to do research on campus, but the number of projects available are usually few. The curriculum is project-based and there is a lot of team work.Admissions
Some aspects of the admission process are fairly standard. A student must take SATs, write essays, fill out a general application and provide letters of recommendation. One of the unique features of the Olin admission process is the Candidate Weekend when a select number of applicants are invited to campus for a weekend-long experience. During this time, students take part in team building activities, interviews and get to know more about Olin. All admitted students are currently offered a half-tuition scholarship and additional financial aid is available. Those students placed on the wait list, have the option of taking a year off and attending Olin the following year.Graduation Year
The academic programs at Olin are truly exceptional. Olin strives to provide a non-traditional education that emphasizes communication, team work, problem solving, and many over-arching competencies that are important in the workplace. Class sizes are generally quite small, so students have a lot of involvement with faculty. Research opportunities abound - I participated in scientific research outside of classes for seven of the eight semesters I attended, as well as over one summer. When I attended Olin, there was an element of competitiveness, but I sensed that for a school of its academic rigor and achievement, the level of collaboration was high and those who needed help were easily able to receive it. The workload at Olin is quite high, partly due to the level of achievement that professors and students excepted of themselves, but the quality of education received at Olin is very high. The hard work is not due to rote memorization or dull problems...rather, long hours are spent creating and learning at a level that in many cases is equivalent to the graduate level (I know this because I am in the third year of my PhD at a good school now).Quality of Life
Housing is wonderful - the two dorms are very nice, with bathrooms within rooms and suites. All of the facilities at Olin are very beautiful and well maintained. The campus is a safe place, and there is a lot of trust among members of the community. Food is delicious as well! The neighborhood is fine, though there is not a great amount to do within walking distance or even a short drive of campus. Boston is not far, however, for those who want more excitement. Overall happiness seems fairly high, except that many students work too hard and are under too much pressure. Yet the passion and excitement of the students, along with the great community, perhaps more than make up for this.Admissions
The admissions process was quite unique - beyond the application and essays, all candidates for admission gather for a weekend of interviews, group design project, and social events that help Olin and the student really see if the college is a good fit. I believe the majority of candidates are accepted or wait listed, and both groups have the option of deferring a year before enrolling and starting in the fall. Olin College has a vision for making a great education affordable, and so every student receives a sizable scholarship to attend. Financial aid is also available for those who need additional support.Graduation Year