Nichols College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Nichols College
Nichols College is a college of choice for business and leadership education as a...

Nichols College

Dudley, Massachusetts

Nichols College is a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-focused and leadership-based approaches to learning, both in and out of the classroom. Founded in 1815, Nichols transforms today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders through dynamic, career-focused business and professional education. Nichols serves students who are interested primarily in a comprehensive business education that is supported by a strong liberal arts curriculum.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,267 undergraduate students
91% of undergrad students are full time
64% male — 36% female
42% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
48 full-time faculty
38 part-time faculty
17 to 1 student/faculty ratio

School Location

Nichols College’s beautiful, 200-acre campus is located in the rolling hills of central Massachusetts, close to five cities, beaches, mountains, and walking and biking trails. Nichols is one hour from Boston and Providence as well as 20 minutes from Worcester, which is New England’s second-largest city.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices 

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

Retention Fall 2015

71% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

44% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 7%
White 81%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


Varsity sports at Nichols provide a competitive environment that is ideal for students learning to be successful leaders, both on and off the field. Students at Nichols can participate in 20 varsity programs at the Division III level of the NCAA. Nichols teams compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, New England Football Conference, and ECAC Northeast Hockey. Athletics at Nichols complement what students learn in the classroom. Club, varsity, and intramural sports provide vital teamwork and team-building experiences that hone students’ abilities to plan, practice, and execute personal and team goals.

Other Information

Nichols College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Nichols College has also received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), located in Lenexa, Kansas.

The following sport management degree programs have been granted Candidacy Status by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), located in Arlington, VA, USA:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Sport Management
  • Candidacy Status is not an accredited status, but a step toward seeking accreditation by COSMA.

Academic Programs

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Accounting; Criminal Justice Management; Economics; Finance; General Business; Hospitality Management; Human Resource Management; Integrated Marketing and Communication; International Business; Management; Sport Management Bachelor of Arts Communications; Criminal Justice; Economics; English; History; Mathematics; Psychology

More Distinctions

  • 92 percent of graduates of the Class of 2015 were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.

  • Nichols College was awarded “Best Business Education” by Worcester Business Journal’s Best of Business readers’ poll (2015).

  • Nichols is ranked 14th in Massachusetts for affordability by in its list of the very best, affordable online colleges in Massachusetts (April 2016).

  • Nichols is ranked a Best Regional College among its peers in the North by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Nichols is ranked 9th nationally among business schools for salary potential by

Nichols is a place where it’s easy to feel at home and easy to explore every interest. Students can find on-campus leadership roles at every turn.


Nichols believes that leadership is a quality that everyone can learn and possess. The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a four-year initiative that helps students develop their own leadership style, cultivating the leader within through structured study and practice.

Study Abroad

Nichols College offers students a number of options for learning beyond campus borders. Academic travel opportunities include:

  • LEAD Abroad for qualified students who take LEAD 101
  • Faculty-led, course-related travel
  • Semester-long, junior business courses, which work through an exchange program with the University of St. Joseph, Macau, China
  • Semesters abroad through API worldwide and an exchange program with Regent’s University, London
  • International internships


Nichols College’s long-term partnership with The Washington Center adds richness and depth to Nichols students’ study away experiences. Whether they work during the summer or throughout a semester, students can gain professional confidence alongside business, government, and policy experts in Washington, D.C.


The Institute for Women’s Leadership focuses on the issues and challenges that uniquely impact women’s roles in business. It works to develop the leadership potential of all students while also serving as a helpful resource for women in the community at large.


Being a good neighbor is serious business. Nichols students, faculty, and staff have performed hundreds of hours of community service. Some examples of the community’s astounding service includes helping elderly and lower-income area residents prepare their income tax returns; mentoring children at local elementary schools; working as volunteers for the Dudley Hill Cancer Awareness golf tournament; and serving dinner to residents of Jeremiah’s Inn, a residential recovery program in Worcester, Massachusetts. Nichols students have also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the Community Harvest Project during “Alternative Spring Break” trips, providing housing and food to lower-income individuals and families.

Activities Offered

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

Faculty Mentors

Every member of the Nichols College faculty has extensive experience in their respective fields, passionately training their students to be leaders and innovators. Nichols professors make each student’s college experience challenging, memorable, and valuable. They are proud mentors and advocates to their students.

Within Nichols’ close-knit community, collaboration is possible; Nichols faculty and staff work together to design an education that stays current. Everyone is there for their students, providing a strong foundation of support among the faculty and administration alike. The professors know who their students are and are able to provide helpful resources and opportunities that cater to individual goals and interests.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
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 17 113 180 1 2 0 0 313

Fischer Institute

At Nichols, students can always find opportunities to expand their intellectual and cultural values beyond what they currently know. The school’s Fischer Institute provides opportunities to further develop students through such community-building experiences as guest lectures from national and international speakers, campus community events, performing arts events, and faculty-led outings. These experiences diversify students’ views of the world, bringing context to the social, political, and cultural events and ideas they are bound to encounter throughout their lives.

Student Activities

It’s easy to feel at home on Nichols’ friendly campus. With over 35 student organizations, students can easily meet friends with the same interests and make an impact while having fun at the same time. The student-run Campus Activities Board also holds dozens of events each semester, coming up with creative ways to hang out on campus. Fun events include outdoor movie nights. music events. game show-style competitions, and fun zipline courses!


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

Career and Professional Development Center

With Nichols College’s Career and Professional Development Center, students have the tools and resources they need to find the right careers for them. They are given plenty of help to present themselves on paper, in person, and online throughout their application processes to jobs, graduate schools, and more. Whether they are pursuing internships, on-campus positions, or full-time employment, Nichols College staff are there help every step of the way.

Professional Development Seminar

Nichols makes sure that professional development, skill building, and leadership education is woven throughout each student’s undergraduate experience. The College’s required four-year, award-winning Professional Development Seminar (PDS) is custom-designed by faculty to prepare students for their pursuits after college. It helps them succeed with job-hunting and -interviewing techniques, evolving every semester to stay current with workplace demands.


Admissions Fall 2015

2,260 Total Applicants
1,881 Total Admissions
325 Total Freshmen Enrollment

83.23% of applicants admitted

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority: Feb 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA

Rigor of secondary school record
Standardized test scores
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities

Class rank
Character/personal qualities
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 420 510
SAT Math 440 530
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 14 22
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $32,070
Fees $300
Total $32,370
Room and Board (on campus) $12,235
Estimated Total On Campus $44,605


Average Financial Aid Packages 14/15 Final

$24,319 First year students
$17,058 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 14/15 Final

75% on average, the percentage of need that was met
20% of financial need students that had need fully met

$17,058 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$3,645 Average need-based loan