"What Do Wesleyan Alumni Do?"


Generally speaking, Wesleyan alumni are like most other liberal arts graduates in that their broad and rigorous academic pursuits give them the foundation skills for just about any potential career field. Employers and graduate/professional schools alike value liberal arts graduates for their ability to speak well, write effectively, think quickly on their feet, and learn continuously. Wesleyan alumni possess all of these attributes along with heightened sensitivity around issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and fairness.

Wesleyan Undergraduate Alumni in General

Although Wesleyan alumni can do just about anything -- and they regularly do -- an examination of the University's alumni database of record illustrates patterns of schooling and employment that are not too different from graduates of other highly selective liberal arts institutions.

The Top 5 Occupation Choices Reported by Wesleyan BA Alumni*:
(0-25 years after graduation; 12,638 alumni reporting)

*In an analysis of current data on file in Wesleyan’s constituent database of record. This data is self-reported by Wesleyan alumni; it was not acquired through a census or other organized data collection effort.

  • 17% Business
  • 27% Education
  • 9% Health Professions
  • 6% Law
  • 9% Arts & Entertainment


Click to view chart (PDF format)

This chart illustrates the demographics of three class year groups (graduates from the last five years, those who graduated between 6-10 years ago, and those who graduated between 11-25 years ago) among 14 of the more common occupation groups of liberal arts graduates.

Click here to view a list of Wesleyan's occupation code values grouped by the categories utilized in the above descriptions.

Graduate/Professional School Matriculation Data

Law School

Wesleyan graduates attain admission to the most competitive law schools.

  • For 2004/2005, of the 135 Wesleyan graduates who applied to law school, 102 were admitted (76%). The average number of admissions per applicant was 2.62; 3.32 for seniors.
  • Schools attracting and admitting Wesleyan graduates are spread out across the country, and include Columbia (5), Cornell (8), Duke (2), Boston College (12), Fordham (10), Georgetown (11), Harvard (2), NYU (6), Stanford (2), Boalt Hall/Berkeley (5), UCLA (6), Univ of Chicago (4), Univ of Michigan (8), Univ of Penn (5), Univ of Virginia (4), and Yale (3)

Medical School

The acceptance rate for Wesleyan graduates to medical school (based on AAMC and AACOM data) is significantly higher than the national average.

Over the last five years (2005 - 2009 entering classes), acceptance rates at U.S. medical schools for all applicants with a Wesleyan BA has ranged from 66% to 81%.

Wesleyan graduates with overall grade point averages of 3.5 or above have fared even better, with acceptance rates ranging from 82% to 89% over the same five-year period.

Because different colleges and universities use various methods to calculate their "percentages," please note that for our calculations we use the national databases from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and count all applicants to medical school with a Wesleyan undergraduate degree who applied in any given year.

It is important to note that GPA is only one of the many factors taken into consideration by medical school admission committees.  Leadership, clinical experience, laboratory and research experience, and breadth and depth of academic preparation are also very important.  Wesleyan's liberal arts curriculum trains students in the kinds of thinking and skills necessary to becoming a successful health professional, including a thorough preparation in the natural sciences.

Business School; Arts & Sciences Graduate Programs

  • Business schools and Arts & Science programs do not report acceptance rates

Class of 2009 Senior Plans ("First Destinations") Survey Data

To date, 71% (532) of the senior class has shared their postgraduate plans with the CRC.  Of the respondents, 59% have definite postgraduate plans:
  • 42% (226) are employed
    • Of those employed, 49% are in Business, 39% are in Education, 28% are in Non-Profit, 25% are in Health/Science, 5% are in Law/Government, and 11% are in Arts/Communications
  • 17% (90) are going to graduate/professional school or waiting to be accepted
  • 27% (145) are actively seeking a job
  • 13% (71) are undecided or have no official plans as of yet

We shall begin gathering data for the Class of 2010 Senior Survey. If you are a member of the class and would like to share/update your plans with us, please complete our Senior Survey. We also welcome submissions from parents of class members; please note, however, that you will need your student's WesID to complete the form.