The College


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.

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 four hours from Philadelphia, New York City and Toronto.

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 six-week short term
College Flower: Iris
College Colors: Purple and Gold
College Shape: Octagon
Mascot: Simeon, the Soaring Eagle
Traditions: Mountain Day, Holiday Banquet, and Candlelight

A historical marker in front of the Mark Twain Study on the Elmira College campus

Uniquely Elmira

The College is 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.

Average class size is 14 with a student-faculty ratio of 9:1.

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

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

All full-time students complete a minimum of 60 hours of community engagement before graduating.

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), MSEd (General Education, Literacy (Birth through Grade 12), Adolescence Education: 7-12)


Medical Schools EC Graduates Recently Attended

  • 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 Pharmaceutical 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

Graduate Schools EC Graduates Recently Attended

  • 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: 78% (Fall 2021 Cohort)

Graduation Rate: 65% (Fall 2015 Cohort)

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

Students listen to a speaker during the Candlelight tradition

Campus Life

Students come from 30 states and more than 18 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)
  • EC2 Development Team
  • Dance Marathon
  • PRIDE (Providing Rights for Individuality and Diversity at Elmira)
  • EC Naturals (A Cappella Singers)
  • Danceline
  • Environmental Club

85% of students live on campus.

A men's hockey player skates through a crowd of other players


Home to five NCAA & NCA National Championships.

More than 33% of students participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Elmira College is an NCAA Division III member and has 16 athletic teams. The College is part of the New England Hockey Conference, United Volleyball Conference, and the Empire 8 Athletic Conference.

Women's basketball team members celebrate on the court

Men’s Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Women’s Sports

  • Basketball
  • Field Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Coed Sports

  • eSports
  • Cheerleading is also available as a coed sport (game and competition teams), and is recognized by the National Cheerleading Association (NCA).


U.S.News & World Report Best Regional College: North
U.S News & World Report: Best Value
Princeton Review: Best Colleges in the Nation 2021
U.S. News & World Report: Fourth for undergraduate teaching
Money: Best Colleges 2022
Colleges of Distinction: National Top College; Excellence in Business, Career Development, Education, and Nursing
Forbes: America’s Top Colleges
Washington Monthly: Best Bachelor's Colleges

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