Student Life Cycle

Other Institutional Information



Entering Student Survey

Up through 2007, Wellesley gave entering students a national survey administered by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) based at UCLA. In 2008, we decided to administer our own, much shorter survey that is better tailored to Wellesley College. The survey asks about high school experiences and expectations for college, and provides a portrait of the entering class that can help faculty and administrators in planning and policy making. Beginning in 2006, the Entering Student Survey was sent to students via the MyWellesley portal before they arrived on campus rather than administered during Orientation. 

Reports available:
CIRP 1999 – 2007
Wellesley Entering Student Survey 2008 - current academic year

Next Entering Student Survey administration: Each August.

First Year Survey

Beginning in 2007, First-Year students have been surveyed twice during their first semester. The first brief survey, in late September, asks them to evaluate Orientation activities and report on their adjustment to college life. The second brief survey, in mid-Decemeber, asks them to rate their student mentors and faculty advisors. Transfer students receive slightly different versions of the two surveys. 

Enrolled Student Survey

Surveys of enrolled students (first-years through seniors) are administered every few years during the spring semester. They ask about students' experiences in and out of the classroom, their academic plans, the advising they receive, the progress they feel they have made since entering Wellesley, and their overall satisfaction with the college. The surveys are administered by the Office of Institutional Research. Unless otherwise noted, the surveys were administered in conjunction with The Consortium on the Financing of Higher Education (COFHE) and were sent to all students currently on campus. The Cycles survey, while was administered through COFHE, was created by the Five Colleges (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Smith College).

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

NSSE is a national survey designed to measure the extent to which students at a wide range of colleges and universities engage in the types of activities that research has shown are associated with success in college. It asks how much effort students put into various educational activities, and the extent to which colleges support their students by providing academic challenges, opportunities for active learning, responsive faculty, enriching educational experiences, and a welcoming campus environment. Wellesley administered it to first-years and seniors in the spring of 2008.

CHAS Campus Climate Survey 2009

Wellesley College was one of twenty colleges and universities administering the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS) Campus Climate Survey in October, 2009. The survey asked students from all four classes to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of campus life, their participation in different activities, and, in particular, their interactions with students unlike themselves and the sense of community that exists on their campus. The survey was sent electronically to half of each of the four classes.

Reports available for:

  • College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) 2001
  • Cycles 1996 vs. 1999
  • COFHE Enrolled Student Survey 2003
  • COFHE Enrolled Student Survey (Cycles) 2004
  • COFHE Enrolled Student Survey 2007
  • The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2008
  • CHAS Campus Climate Survey 2009
  • COFHE Enrolled Student Survey 2011
  • COFHE Enrolled Student Survey 2013

Next Enrolled Student Survey administration date: February 2015.

Sophomore Survey

The Sophomore Survey was created at Wellesley in 2004 to gather retrospective information about the first year and current information about sophomores during the fall semester. The survey asks about experiences in and out of the classroom, academic plans and advising, and overall satisfaction with the college. It is administered by the Office of Institutional Research.

Reports available for 2004 - current academic year.

Next Sophomore Survey administration: Each October.

Junior and Returning Senior Surveys

The Junior Survey was created in 2009 in cooperation with the six other selective liberal arts colleges in the New England Consortium on Assessment and Student Learning (NECASL). It was designed specifically for the junior class, and, although it covers a great deal of ground, its focus is on issues that are particularly salient in the junior year. It includes questions that apply to all juniors and questions that apply to subsets only. Among the first set are questions about students' academic experiences generally and in their academic major(s) more specifically, interactions with faculty, life on campus outside of academics, and overall evaluations of the college experience. Among the second set are questions for students who remained on campus the entire junior year, questions for students who studied away for a term or more, and questions for students who had one or more academic minors.

The Returning Senior Survey is an extension of the Junior Survey administered in September.  It surveys seniors who were off campus the previous spring semester to respond to questions that their on-campus classmates have already answered with regard to academic experiences, interactions with faculty and fellow students, and overall evaluation of a Wellesley education.  The seniors are also asked what they gained from spending time away from campus and how they experienced re-entry into Wellesley’s culture.

These surveys were administered in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Next Junior and Returning Senior Surveys administration: 2016.

Study Abroad Survey

The Study Abroad Survey was designed at Wellesley by foreign language department chairs and the Office of Institutional Research. It was administered to all Wellesley students who studied abroad during 2001-2002.

Report available for 2002.

Senior Survey

Graduating seniors are surveyed near the close of their final year to gauge their self-reported areas of growth, their perceptions of different aspects of academic and student life at Wellesley, and their post-graduation plans.

Senior Surveys have been administered yearly since 1998 and reports are available through 2013.

Next Senior Survey administration: Each May.

Senior Exit Interviews

These reports summarize the results of interviews with Wellesley seniors in their final term. All seniors were invited to be interviewed by a member of the faculty or staff whom they didn't already know. The interviews asked about the students' academic and social experiences at Wellesley. The 2003 interviews focused particularly on academic advising. The 2004 interviews focused on grading practices at Wellesley, stress, and attending a women's college. The 2005 interviews focused on the changes to the grading policy and the honor code. The 2006 interviews focused on the multicultural requirement, the Wang Campus Center, and athletics. The 2007 interviews focused on the major and major advising, achieving balance, social life, and the Campus Center. The 2008 interviews focused on academic gains in and out of the major, pre-arrival expectations, campus life, turning points, maturation, and future plans. The 2009 interviews focused on advising and intellectual engagement, new College and Student Life leadership, and the impact of the economic crisis.

Alumnae Surveys

Periodically, Wellesley College administers comprehensive surveys to selected classes of alumnae. The surveys ask about satisfaction with and endorsement of the College, academic and extracurricular involvement during college, growth during college and the College's contribution to this growth, post-baccalaureate education, preparation for the workforce and further schooling, and current occupation(s), activities, and income. Alumnae Surveys were administered in 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2013 and reports are available through these years. The next administration will be in 2017.

Beginning with the Class of 2010, we now administer a One-Year-Out Survey every June. This survey was created in 2011 as a follow-up to the longitudinal study of the Class of 2010 conducted by NECASL (New England Consortium on Assessment and Student Learning), a consortium of Wellesley and six other liberal arts colleges and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). Reports are available from 2011-2013.

Next administration of Alumnae Survey: Each June.

Baccalaureate Origins Study (Ph.D. Recipients)

This document is a series of reports on the fields in which Wellesley graduates and graduates at comparison schools have earned Ph.D. degrees. The source for this information is the 2000 Baccalaureate Origins Study produced by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) from information collected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics NCES. Report available for 2000.

Parent Survey

Periodically, the College administers a survey to parents of enrolled students. Parent surveys were administered in 1997, 2002, and 2007. The surveys ask about satisfaction with and endorsement of the College, concerns about daughters' educational and social experiences, and financing college costs. They also ask parents to evaluate the education their daughters receive at Wellesley, the information they get from the College, and the Admissions process.The Parent Survey was administered in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Reports are available for 2005 and 2007.

Faculty Survey

In 1998, Wellesley College's Office of Institutional Research, in collaboration with the Dean's Office, administered the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) faculty survey for the first time. The survey looked at faculty demographics, educational/research interests, hours spent per week on various activities, personal goals, publishing, satisfaction with the College and job, teaching methods, and classroom environment. In 2008 and 2012, Wellesley collaborated with Harvard University to administer the COACHE (Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education), a survey on job satisfaction. In 2008, the survey was sent to junior faculty only. In 2012, the survey was sent to all tenured and tenured-track faculty. 

Report available for 1998.


The Wellesley College Factbook is a common reference source of administrators, faculty, and staff. It provides data to answer questions about the institution and contains a wealth of information about the College. It is produced annually in October.

Reports available for 2005 - 2014.

Majors (IPEDS Completions)

Each year, Wellesley, along with other institutions of higher education, is required to complete a survey for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on the majors of graduating seniors. These reports compare Wellesley majors with the majors at 30 other selective schools.

Reports available for 2003-2005.

Information Services Survey

The Merged Information Services Organization Survey (MISO) measures how students, faculty, and staff use and evaluate information technology services and resources at colleges and universities with merged library and computing departments.

Reports available for 2005 and 2008.