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Dickinson College
Dickinson students take control of their academic journeys. They are active, engaged, smart, and...

Dickinson College

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Dickinson students take control of their academic journeys. They are active, engaged, smart, and bold. Dickinson College teaches its students how to positively enact change through thoughtful analysis and informed decision making. 

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
2,420 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female
71% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
234 full-time faculty
55 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

94% of students live on campus.

Retention Fall 2015

92 % of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

85% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 10%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 4%
White 71%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%

First Year Seminar

Dickinson’s First Year Seminar is a foundational experience. Students develop the critical writing and communication skills they’ll need to succeed during college. Students also learn proper study habits, which comes in handy as the workload increases. The First Year Seminar encourages students to develop their own ideas and then defend those thoughts through critical analysis. Students can choose from 40 different seminars. It’s important to note that seminars have nothing to do with major selection, so this is a great opportunity for students to explore new topics. The goal of the program is to prepare individuals for successful careers as inquisitive, ambitious undergraduates.

While the general outcomes are consistent among all seminars, the topics vary by discipline. There are a maximum of 16 students per seminar, and disciplines include humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. Librarians work with the seminars to assist with research projects. There are also Writing Associates to help with writing assignments.

General Degree Requirements

Writing in the Discipline (WID/WR)
Students are required to take and pass a writing course, preferably within their field of study. The WID is a step above the First Year Seminar, which is where students gain an introduction to college writing. The WID pushes students to explore writing conventions within their discipline. Students also learn the ins and outs of the writing process-including stages of editing, revision, developing a thesis and more.

Quantitative Reasoning Course
Students are required to take a Quantitative Reasoning course, in which they will learn to draw conclusions through deductive reasoning, logic, and math. The QR course is incredibly beneficial for developing higher level conceptualization skills, and students can choose from a variety of courses to fulfill the requirement. By the end of the class, students will be able to effectively draw conclusions through thoughtful analysis. 

Distribution Courses
Distribution courses explore a variety of topics that stem from four disciplines: the humanities, the arts, sciences, and social sciences. Students are required to fulfill 4 courses within the arts/humanities division, 1 course within the social sciences, and 1 laboratory science class.

Rest of General Education: Aside from the Distribution courses, students must also take three courses of cross-cultural studies, a foreign language, a course on U.S Diversity, Comparative Civilizations, and Physical Education.

Cross Cultural Studies: Explores the dynamics of civilization and how the world has been shaped by different culture. Students are taught to examine their positions in society and compare those to the positions of others.

Foreign Language: Students are required to fulfill the equivalent of intermediate level foreign language.

Academic Honorary Societies

Only 10% of any graduating class is considered for the academic honor society. To be considered for inclusion, students must demonstrate a strong record or academic achievement, good character, and interest in subjects outside of the classroom. Aside from this, first year students with outstanding academic achievement qualify to be members of Alpha Lambda Delta, an academic honors society for freshman.

There are 15 honors societies that recognize and celebrate academic achievement within certain disciplines. Involvement in academic honor societies demonstrates ambition and sharp intellect.

Service Learning

Dickinson embraces service learning as a valuable experience and an integral part of education. Service learning allows faculty to connect their classes to the community by pushing students to apply academic theory to real world issues. Dickinson is committed to graduating students that are thoughtful and impactful citizens. Service learning goes hand in hand with this mission, giving students the chance to connect their studies to society.

Independent Research

Dickinson offers undergraduate students the option to conduct research. This opportunity it open to all individuals, except first year students. Interested undergraduates can either pursue their research independently or seek the supervision of a faculty member or department. In all cases, research must be an original work that further investigates a specific area of study. All projects must be presented to an advising faculty. 

Global Studies and Engagement

Dickinson supports several global studies programs and research centers. Most of the programs are located in provincial towns, enhancing opportunities for both students and faculty. In smaller cities, participants have better access to local government leaders, community members, and internship opportunities. In several cases, faculty are directly involved with abroad experiences. Some even teach. Dickinson is directly involved with its global studies programs so as to ensure that the College’s missions and values are upheld no matter where students go.

Student-Faculty Collaborative Research

While there is an opportunity to conduct independent research, Dickinson also offers student-faculty collaborative research. In this relationship, a student and faculty member(s) work together on the same project. Students are considered an equal partner of the research, and the collaborative effort involves varying degrees of supervision. 

Living Learning Communities

Dickinson’s learning communities are part of the First Year Seminar. Students are separated into clusters and housed together. The goals of a learning community are to enhance student and faculty interactions, increase comprehension of course material, and form a bond among peers. The two learning communities for fall 2015 are “Modernity and its Critics” and “Music and Social Conflict.”

Internship Notation Program

The Internship Notation Program (INP) is Dickinson’s way of identifying and tracking internship experiences. Students involved in the program complete a series of tasks including actual internship experience, reflective assignments, and online submissions. Several of Dickinson’s programs require students to complete an internship through INP. There are many benefits to the program: internships are recognized by the college, students gain hands-on experience, and the work is considered valuable to employers. 


Admissions Fall 2015

6,031 Total Applicants 
2,841 Total Admissions 
731 Total Freshman Enrollment

47.11% of applicants admitted


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $49,014
Fees $450
Total $49,464
Room and Board (on campus) $12,362
Room Only $6,376
Board Only $5,986
Estimated Total On Campus $61,826


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

75% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
51% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$28,127 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$6,561 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates