Keene State College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Keene State College
Keene State College prepares promising students to think critically and creatively, to engage in...

Keene State College

Keene, New Hampshire

Keene State College prepares promising students to think critically and creatively, to engage in active citizenship, and to pursue meaningful work. As the public liberal arts college of New Hampshire, Keene State offers an enriching campus opportunity and achieves academic excellence through the integration of teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
4,259 undergraduate students
96% of undergrad students are full time
44% male — 56% female
62% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
225 full-time faculty
238 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
94% of first year students live on campus
53% of all students live on campus

School Location

Keene is a small town (pop. 23,000) situated in the heart of New England. In just a five-minute walk from Keene State’s campus, students have access to the stores, coffee shops, and cultural events that can be found in downtown Keene. From outdoor activities to local boutiques, everyone can find something to enjoy!

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences  
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

73% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

63% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 1%
White 86%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


NCAA Division III. 18 varsity sports including baseball, lacrosse, softball, field hockey, track and field, cross country, swimming and diving, and volleyball.

Mascot: Owl
Colors: White and Red

Academic Programs

American Studies, BA; Anthropology/Sociology, BA; Architecture, BS; Art, BA/BFA (Graphic Design, Studio Art); Biology, BA/BS; Chemistry, BA/BS; Chemistry-Physics, BS; Communication, BA (Communication Studies, Philosophy); Computer Science, BS (General CS, Information Systems, Software Engineering, System & Networking, Web Development, Computational Mathematics); Criminal Justice Studies, BA; Earth/Space Science, BA; Economics, BA; Education, BS (Early Childhood Development, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education – Elementary); Engineering, BS (transfer program); English, BA (Literature, Writing); Environmental Studies, BS; Film Studies, BA (Critical Studies, Film Production) French, BA, General Science, BA, Geography, BA, Geology, BS; Health Science, BS (Health Promotion and Wellness ((Community Health, Behavior and Health)) Nutrition, Addictions); History, BA (U.S. History, European History ((19th-Century Studies, 20th-Century Studies)); Holocaust and Genocide Studies, BA; Individualized Major, BA/BS; Journalism, BA (News Media, Public Relations, Multimedia Journalism); Management, BS; Mathematics, BA (Mathematics, Secondary Teaching, Middle School/Junior High Teaching); Mathematics Education for Elementary Teachers, BA; Mathematics-Physics, BS; Music, BA; Music Composition, BM; Music Education, BM (Instrumental, Choral), Music Performance, BM, Music Technology, BM, Nursing, BS, Physical Education, BS (Teacher Certification, Exercise Science (Health, Coaching)); Political Science, BA; Psychology, BA; Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences, BS; Sociology, BA; Spanish, BA; Sustainable Product Design and Innovation, BS; Theatre and Dance, BA (Theatre Arts (Acting, Directing, Design and Technical Theatre)) Dance (Choreography and Performance, Dance Education); Women’s and Gender Studies, BA

Keene State’s students make connections—with dedicated faculty, with each other, with the community, with the world, with their futures. Opportunities for involvement are everywhere.

Hands-On Excellence

What happens in the classroom doesn’t stay in the classroom. It gets put into action through travel, field research, conferences, student media, concerts, dances, and more; the sky’s the limit for student involvement. Many students put their learning to use in more traditional arenas, but their opportunities to grow are best fostered through Keene State’s resourceful hands-on programs, whether that be through undergraduate research or performance. Keene State also offers an Honors Program for those who qualify, allowing truly extraordinary opportunities for those who are most driven to pursue them.

Off-Campus Learning and Service

Keene State students learn and do amazing things far beyond campus walls. They put their hearts to work by performing over 100,000 hours of collective community service each year. These hours are racked up through all of the students’ service work around the neighborhood, service-learning courses, internships that benefit this community and service-based trips across the country and around the world. No matter how—or where—they serve, Keene State students are always making a positive difference as they develop into responsible scholar-citizens. In addition to serving abroad, students are encouraged to participate in such global engagement opportunities as semester-long study abroad and faculty-led academic trips.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra  
Television station X
Yearbook X

Committed Faculty

Professors are primarily committed to the success of their students, aiming to provide the best undergraduate education that they can give to each student. They assist in research projects, lend advice regarding course material, and embrace the value that every individual brings to the classroom. More than half of classes have fewer than twenty students, and only one percent of classes exceed fifty. This ensures that students are able to interact one-on-one with their professors and get the assistance and wisdom that best supports their success.

Integrated Studies

Keene State’s Integrative Studies Program is a college-wide curriculum that introduces every student to a broad understanding of a variety of fields. This program is a balanced survey of the arts and sciences, helping students in any major connect the dots to other fields of study and see how their focus ties in to the greater span of academia.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 96 338 244 109 22 9 0 818

Extracurricular Activities

Keene State offers its students a bustling array of activities to pursue. Students have access to over 100 clubs, including sororities and fraternities, and are highly encouraged to get involved in organizations that allow them to express themselves and enjoy their lives outside of the classroom. The College believes that active engagement in social clubs helps students develop into stronger individuals; those who participate in extracurriculars are more likely to grow socially and maintain an excitement for their overall college experience. Between clubs, teams, and other activities, there’s something for everyone—even the option to found a new group.

Additionally, Keene State offers 18 athletics programs as a Division III school. The Owls participate in the Little East Conference. Many Owls have even won academic honors on top of their amazing athletic achievements. Students also have the option to join an intramural or club sport.

Living on Campus

First-year and sophomore students live on campus, as do many juniors and seniors. While the residence requirement is only applied to first- and second-year students, most see a great benefit in staying on campus throughout the entire collegiate experience. Living on campus puts students directly in contact with all the school has to offer, including two art galleries, frequent performances of many kinds, lectures, book discussions, and more.

On-campus residency may be enhanced through participation in a Living-Learning Community. Living-Learning Communities are groups of students who live together, bound by common academic or social interests. Additional benefits include peer mentoring, special field trips, and networking opportunities.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Real-World Education

Keene State’s “real-world education” is a broad and balanced program of study that gives each student the power to think critically, act creatively, and serve the greater good. Students innovate and collaborate, all while gaining an ability to integrate knowledge across fields and make new connections. Most colleges prepare students to move up in the world, but that’s not enough. At Keene State College, students are dared to change the world.

Alumni Success

More than 40 percent of Keene State students are the first in their family to attend college, and all are given the tools to succeed as professionals of their fields. In a recent survey, 94 percent of graduates were either employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, and 73 percent reported that they were working in a field related to their students. Keene State alumni are an accomplished group of people, having made differences across fields and industries, serving their communities and demonstrating the value of their education in all endeavors.


Admissions Fall 2015

5,674 Total Applicants 
4,469 Total Admissions 
920 Total Freshman Enrollment

78.76% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Closing Date: April 1

Admissions Factors

Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Application Essay

Class rank
Standardized test scores
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Racial/ethnic status
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 440 550
SAT Math 440 550
SAT Writing 440 540
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 18 24
ACT English 17 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $10,700 $18,800
Fees $2,528 $2,528
Total $13,228 $21,328
Room and Board (on campus) $10,712 $10,712
Room Only $6,372 $6,372
Board Only $4,340 $4,340
Estimated Total On Campus $23,940 $32,040 


Average Financial Aid Packages 2014-2015

$11,636 First year students
$11,387 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

62% on average, the percentage of need that was met
11% of financial need students that had need fully met

$6,868 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,325 Average need-based loan