College review by Beth Cassie
Located along the shores of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY, Marist is a mid-sized liberal arts college (approximately 4,700 undergrads) with a strong career-oriented focus. Marist has been growing in popularity over the past five years – applications have increased by 54% since 2006 leading to increased admission selectivity. Marist is test optional and offers a variety of merit scholarships based on academic performance and athletic and artistic talent.
The information session was very professional – reflecting the overall theme of the college. Internships, job placement, alumni networks were heavily stressed as being the cornerstone of the Marist experience. The college is organized into seven schools: Communication & the Arts, Computer Science & Mathematics, Global and Professional Programs, Liberal Arts, Management, Science, and Social & Behavioral Sciences. The School of Management is the largest and most popular school at Marist. The long-standing relationship with nearby IBM is evident with very advanced computer facilities and services campus-wide, as well as internship and post-graduate job opportunities.
In the School of Communications & the Arts, Fashion Design and Merchandising are two very popular majors. Students hold internships with major NYC designers and can spend a semester through the “Marist in Manhattan” program. The Silver Needle Fashion show is the highlight of the year for Fashion Design students and graduates from the Fashion program go on to successful careers in fashion.
The facilities at Marist are top-notch. Touring the new Hancock Center, which houses the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, was a highlight of my visit. The building “was designed to help fulfill Marist’s goal of infusing information technology into all of its academic disciplines.” It is a gem – with classrooms, meeting spaces, a lounge and patio all overlooking the Hudson, and most impressive of all – a student investment center that looks just like a Wall Street trading floor. It is not hard to see why future Wall Street bound students are drawn to Marist! The campus is well manicured – the dorms we saw were fairly utilitarian, but well appointed with lounge areas on every floor. The athletic center was bright and filled with both teams and individuals working out. DI sports are a big part of life at Marist.
The students we met were highly motivated, bright, and career oriented. They were mostly from the NY, NJ, and CT area. Marist is nondenominational, though I noted that many of the student tour guides spoke of being actively involved in community service through their church. Social life is active both on campus and off-campus at the bars in Poughkeepsie. Marist is a great school for students who have a pre-professional bent who want a traditional college experience in a beautiful setting.