Eastern Connecticut State University, colloquially known as Eastern, is a public liberal arts university located in Willimantic, Connecticut, which is approximately halfway between New York and Boston. Select classes are also held at two local community colleges and a satellite campus in the town of Groton.
The university’s mission statement identifies it as “the state’s public liberal arts university” and says that attendance at Eastern “allows students the opportunity to acquire knowledge, values, and skills necessary to pursue meaningful careers and advanced study, become productive members of their community, and embrace life-long learning.”
Eastern is is accredited by the The New England Association of Schools and Colleges and classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.
The third-oldest public university in Connecticut, Eastern was established in 1889 as a teacher training school called the Willimantic State Normal School. The institution began granting bachelor’s degrees in 1937. After multiple name and curriculum changes, the school was granted university status and received its current name in 1983.
Eastern has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The university is comprised of three schools
- School of Arts and Sciences
- School of Continuing Education
- School of Education and Professional Studies
Bachelor’s degrees are offered in over 30 different fields. Students can earn bachelor’s degrees in areas including biology, English, modern & classical languages, mathematics, performing arts, social work, and education. Educational certification is available.
Graduate programs are offered in accounting, education, and organizational management, with several specializations. There are no doctoral programs or graduate certificates.
The student-to-teacher ratio is 16 to 1. More than 90% of faculty members hold the terminal degree in their field. The average class size is 25 students.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Special programs offered at Eastern include the following:
Eastern offers a competitive honors program that is intended to challenge exceptional students, enrich the university’s academic profile, and produce leaders within every class. The honors curriculum emphasizes writing, debate, and critical thinking while also offering topics of interest for all students. Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will take part in Honors courses, write a thesis, and have the opportunity to participate in Honors Club events. All Honors Program students receive a scholarship for their tuition.
National Student Exchange
The Office of International Programs administers the National Student Exchange, where students can study for a semester or a year at another participating school in the United States or Canada. This program is generally open to sophomores and juniors only.
The Connecticut NASA Educator Resource Center
The Connecticut NASA Educator Resource Center was established at the university with a mandate from NASA to provide free, low-cost educational materials to educators for the purposes of improving science, mathematics, and technology education. The Center is a kind of repository and clearinghouse for materials produced through the NASA Field Center and NASA Headquarters. The Center is led by a Board consisting of local educational leaders and Eastern faculty.
Canadian Studies Program
Eastern has a Canadian Studies program, an internationally focused and interdisciplinary program focused on the culture and history of Canada and its many different people. In addition to sponsoring lectures and providing a curriculum, the program sponsors regular trips to Canada. Students students studying business, education, and human services may benefit from the Canadian Studies minor.
Admissions at Eastern are considered competitive. Accepted students are generally ranked in the top 50% of their high school graduating class and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Students seeking to attend as freshmen must submit a completed application (either the Eastern application or the Common Application) and a non-refundable application fee. Applicants must also submit official high school transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and an essay. International students must also include TOEFL scores.
Students should consult the Office of Admissions or the Eastern website for full admissions information.
Financial aid is available for eligible students in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Student employment is available both on and off campus. Students who seek financial aid will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
Scholarship awards are dispersed by the scholarship committee, which consists of faculty and staff from various departments across the campus. The university offers numerous scholarship opportunities for a variety of purposes: departmental awards for specific academic disciplines, admissions scholarships that are awarded during the admissions process, and purely competitive scholarships (for which new freshman applicants are not eligible). Eastern also encourages students to research the possibilities of private scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
Student life at Eastern Connecticut State University includes numerous opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. The school is home to over 70 recognized clubs and organizations, which are organized around different hobbies, cultures, religions, social activities, academic fields, and more. The Student Government Association is also highly active on campus, providing an opportunity for students to get involved in the political process within the university microcosm.
Nearly 90% of first-year freshman and over half of all full-time undergrads reside on campus in residence halls and apartments.
The Student Center provides food, recreation, and a place for students to gather.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Eastern Connecticut State Warriors are a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and the Little East Conference. Fall sports include men’s and women’s cross country and soccer, and women’s field hockey and volleyball. Winter sports include men’s and women’s basketball and track and field, and women’s swimming. Spring sports include baseball and softball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse and track and field.
The Athletic Department also coordinates an active and popular intramural athletics program, involving many students as an outlet for competitive nature and exercise. Intramural sports include volleyball, softball, floor hockey, basketball, kickball, tennis, dodge ball, football, and soccer.
Eastern teams have received conference titles in women’s lacrosse and men’s track & field, and back-to-back national championship in softball. Individual athletes have received conference player-of-the-year awards, All-Conference selection, and All-American awards.
Athletic facilities include fields for baseball, softball, field hockey, soccer and lacrosse, tennis courts, a track, and a sports center.
The E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame honors former student-athletes and gives current students and alumni the opportunity to recognize people who have made a significant impact on the history and traditions of Eastern Connecticut State.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.