Bennington College was established in 1932 as a laboratory to explore new approaches in higher education. Its continued emphasis on self-directed learning, made real through hands-on experience in the field, has established Bennington as a bellwether among the nation’s liberal arts colleges. All Bennington students receive graduate-style advising from faculty who are each active practitioners in their fields, and 100 percent of students graduate with internship experience in the field of their choice.
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.
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.