Learning at Marlboro

You determine your own course of study as a Marlboro student. Whatever your intellectual passions and curiosities, you have the freedom to examine them in depth and to design a major that reflects your individual interests. 

The first two years of study at Marlboro are devoted to broad exploration – a mix of classes in your wheelhouse and classes that get you out of your comfort zone and into new territory. The last two years of study revolve around your Plan of Concentration, a comprehensive examination of a focused academic area that culminates in a major work of scholarship. Many Plans of Concentration thread together multiple disciplines and skill sets, resulting in wildly imaginative projects. For concrete examples, visit the virtual Plan room


Small By Design

The average Marlboro class size is seven students. As a result, classes are largely discussion-based and highly interactive. You’ll engage regularly in spirited debate, get to know your professors and peers as independent thinkers, and hone your communication skills in the process. 

As you dive deeper into your Plan of Concentration, more of your classes will be tutorials that you design in collaboration with faculty. Tutorials can be individual (just you and your professor) or small groups of students working on similar Plan topics. 

Education Ideals

Marlboro College faculty are committed to teaching, encouraging, and practicing ideals for independent learners and responsible citizens. The faculty expects students to commit to developing and practicing these ideals during their time as members of the Marlboro community. Some of these ideals are embodied in distinctly academic skills that faculty will cover in class and that course-work is designed to develop - the clearest example of such a skill is writing.  Other ideals emerge from the structures and practices of Marlboro as an intentional academic community, though they may not come primarily from work in the classroom – clear oral expression and debate is key to most classroom discussion, but also essential to effective work in Town Meeting and on committees. 

  • Independent and Responsible Learning
  • Clarity in Communications
  • Imagination and Participation in Inquiry and Research
  • Thoughtful and Fair Analysis
  • Grit
  • Cultural Perspective
  • Citizenship
  • Health in Life and Work
  • Ethical Courage

Read the full description of Ideals approved by Faculty

Built-in Support

During your Marlboro journey, you will be guided by a dedicated faculty advisor who is assigned to you on day one of your first year as well as a faculty sponsor for your Plan of Concentration who you choose depending on your focus area. You will also have the support of Marlboro’s exceptional library staff and academic support services staff.