Alma College is a selective, residential private liberal arts college that highlights personalized education, social responsibility and extraordinary achievements. Devoted exclusively to the teaching and education of undergraduate students, Alma College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
With an enrollment of 1,464 students (46 percent men and 54 percent women), Alma College employs a full-time teaching faculty of 95, of which 84 percent hold the Ph.D. or other terminal degree. The student-teacher ratio is 12:1.
Alma College was founded in 1886 by Michigan Presbyterians. While still maintaining a close relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA), Alma College offers an environment that welcomes students of all religious backgrounds.
Alma College’s attractive 128-acre campus is located in the city of Alma (population approximately 9,000), located one hour north of Lansing in the center of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
Alma College’s membership in Phi Beta Kappa is an indication of excellence within the liberal arts. Only 10 percent of all colleges and universities in the United States share this distinction. The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization.
Colleges of Distinction, a national college guide for students, parents and counselors, identifies Alma College as “one of the best places to learn, grow and succeed.” The Colleges of Distinction publication recognizes institutions for their commitment to engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
Alma College ranks third in the nation in the percentage of students—82 percent— that participates in alternative break service trips, according to Break Away, the national organization that supports the development of alternative break experiences that inspire lifelong active citizenship. During 2011-12, Alma students provided disaster relief, built affordable homes, planned activities for terminally ill children, constructed wheelchair ramps, worked on a Native American reservation, and assisted in after-school programs.
For five consecutive years, the Corporation for National and Community Service has selected Alma College for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service. More than 85 percent of Alma’s 2011 graduating class participated in academic service learning during their time at Alma College.
Since 2003, Alma College students have been awarded 43 prestigious nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including 22 Fulbright scholarships. Alma’s Nationally Competitive Scholarship Committee identifies and nurtures exceptional candidates for postgraduate awards.
Alma College’s nationally recognized Model United Nations program has won top honors for 16 consecutive years (1997-2012)—the longest active winning streak of any college or university in the nation. Alma College’s all -time 30 “outstanding delegation” awards are the most of any college or university in the 90-year history of the conference.
Alma offers four degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts. All require a liberal arts foundation.
Alma utilizes a 4-4-1 academic calendar with 15-week terms in the fall and winter and a four-week term in May. The intensive Spring Term provides an opportunity for innovative course patterns, travel classes, research and internships during an ideal season.
Interdisciplinary majors may be designed in fields such as environmental policy, gerontology and public health. Pre-professional programs prepare students for further study and careers in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, the ministry and occupational therapy. Academic minors are available in American studies, art history, cognitive science, gerontology, public health and women’s and gender studies.
Thirty-four percent of Alma students participate in intercollegiate athletics, joining the winning NCAA Division III tradition of the Alma Scots. Men: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, wrestling. Women: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball.
Twenty-seven percent of all Alma students take part in at least one performance each year. Alma College offers majors in theatre, dance and music, but students of all majors may join in productions. The Heritage Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s premier performing arts facility. It houses the Theatre and Dance Department and serves as the performance venue for the College’s eight music ensembles. It features a 500-seat concert hall for large performances, an intimate 190-seat theatre, and a dance studio.