Davidson College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Libby

The classes are small at Davidson and probably more than half take roll, or at least note who missed class. This is great in some senses because every professor I have had knows my name and always takes the time to talk to me outside of class, and some have even invited me to their houses for dinner. This also means that you can't just slip by in class. If your struggling, and seem to be ignoring the fact, the teacher will approach you and make an effort to help you succeed. Students at Davidson might be focused a bit too much on getting good grades rather than learning, but that is fairly indicative of the typical Davidson student- used to being rewarded (in terms of grades) for working hard.

Cecilia

I love my professors and I love that because we are at a small school the professors are here to teach you. You can always get a hold of them and they are always willing to help. Once again my biggest complaint is that our teachers cannot give an A if someone deserves it because of grade deflation. If a teacher gives out too many good grades, even if they earn it, they will get fired. that makes sense for most classes, but for advanced classes usually everyone knows what they are talking about.

Caroline

I love the small classes. Next semester I will be in two classes with less than ten people in them. I love that I can be competitive with myself but dont have to worry about other students being competitive with me. They are very very hard, but it all works out. The teachers all know my name and I have most of their home phone numbers.

Katie

Professors always know your name. Students are always studying. Class participation is very common. Students have intellectual converesations ALL OF THE TIME. Students are competitive but generally understand that learning is a collaborative effort. The History major has some GREAT teachers.

Jerry

Very difficult, almost too difficult. Stressful

christie

Academics are on the difficult side and often lend themselves to frustration. Students here often feel that the amount of work they put in does not line up with the grades they get. Professors are generally very approachable and eager to share their knowledge.

Ryan

academics at davidson are... difficult. to say the least. i have never been so busy in my entire life. i have also never been so proud at the amount of workload i can handle, and my ability to succeed when faced with a challenging work load. when you push yourself, it pays off. you can be lazy and scared of davidson's workload, or you can tackle it head on, having a great experience on the way, and be proud of yourself.

Royce

The classes are small, with the biggest class being around 40 (usually they are 20). Academics here involve a lot of work so to attend, you must be prepared to work hard.

Liz

All my professors know my name. Classes are small and sometimes I feel like I'm back in boarding school. They're also very interactive and most of the time they are engaging and fascinating. Students are not competitive with each other which is such a relief. The competitiveness on campus comes from students competing with themselves to try and do better on their next assignment. I do feel that there are too many requirements because there are soooo many interesting classes I want to take, but won't be able to because of the core requirements. Education at Davidson is definitely geared toward learning for the sake of learning, and encourage students to remain students for the rest of their lives.

Abby

Hard! Students have to put in a lot of work to do well. You can't come to Davidson and expect all A's. Well at least I can't. But the work is definitely manageable and the professors want everyone to be involved outside of academics.

Anna

Every professor knows each student by name, and is always willing to help and to talk. It is very rigorous, and you need to be prepared to spend about 60% of your free time doing work, especially as the semester comes to a close. I have actually eaten dinner at a professor's house.

Anna

The contact with the professors at Davidson is something I would not trade for anything. I can show up to my professor's office and usually they are able to talk to me right then, or else maybe I'll have to wait just a few minutes. My professors know my name and are eager to help with anything. The classes are usually very engaging and participatory, and often discussions from in class will spill over into the dining hall or the dorm after class. The academics are undeniably rigorous and there is some grade deflation, so it's very hard to get an A in most classes at Davidson. However, the challenging nature of the classes has forced me to push past my limits and I've learned a great deal about my own abilities through my work.

Charlotte

Davidson gets a lot of attention for its great academics. And this is deserved. While there are the occasional bad professors or floater classes, overall I feel like I am receiving an excellent education. The best part about it is the availability of the professors. I have met with all of my professors during the office hours they are required to have each week. I once found myself having spent an hour speaking in Spanish with a professor who I had just had a quick question for. They are so understanding of the pressures here and are willing to do anything to help a student.

Parker

The academics are great because of the small student-professor ratio. The classes here are also intense. Although most people only take 4 classes, the course work is extremely time consuming. The tests are difficult as well. There really is no such thing as an easy class here. A lot of people complain about grade deflation as well. I think the average GPA is 3.19, which is really low compared to most colleges.

Diane

Academics are a major part of life at Davidson. Classes are relatively small and professors are extremely willing to help at any time. They make themselves relatively available. A lot of time will be spent working and studying, I can't lie.

Alexa

All of your professors will know your name. They will also know if you play a sport or participate in a well known school activity. You'll see them at your swim meets and dance ensemble performances. I have even occasionally eaten lunch with my favorite professors just to spend time with them. Class participation is usually factored into your grade; so participation will be common. The students at Davidson are highly intelligent and talented, and at first it can be very intimidating, but you slowly learn that they are just like you too. The students are not openly competitive with each other, only themselves. Davidson College has a very supportive community, no one is trying to beat the other person out.

jane

Challenging, but rewarding

Anna

Everyone wants to be there! classes are awesome

Allison

Grade deflation. lots of work. a lot of professors know your name. class participation is common. competition is not cut throat. more competition with yourself. academic requirements are good and the education is completely geared just towards learning.

Chris

The relationships with professors are for the most part extrermly rewarding. All of my professors know my name and would be happy to talk with me outside of classtime, they are also willing to find times outside of office hours to meet if theit hours don't work for you.

Jessica

Davidson has a rigorous academic program. But it is also the most rewarding experience. You learn a lot, are challenged, and get to show your knowledge. The liberal arts curriculum lets you learn about a lot of different things and prepares you for experiences down the road.

Charlie

Davidson classes are extremely rigorous. The teachers push us beyond what we have ever experienced. I feel like everyone at Davidson was used to being top of their class. A's were easy to achieve and studying was optional. Davidson opens those people's eyes. The library is always filled with students studying, researching and working on group projects. Students write papers and study for hours. Yet there is still a balance between social and academic lives. Success takes work, but everyone here is capable of handling the challenges brought by Davidson. The professors really do want to see us succeed. They are always available and so welcoming. They know every student by name and take the time to get to know each student as a person. It is not uncommon for teachers to invite classes to their homes for a home-cooked meal. They respect us and in turn we respect them. One occurrence that I had never experienced before coming to Davidson is real class discussions. Everyone in class has something to say and discussions keep going. When you throw so many bright minds together conversation flows. And even outside class one can find intellectual conversations going on all over campus. I have spoken to classmates about topics such as religion, murder, abortion, evolution, violence, and so much more. I have learned so much about other countries simply by talking with friends here. It is impossible to go through Davidson without having several of these conversations. They are spontaneous and contagious. Davidson shapes men and women for the real world.

Jessica

At davidson class sizes are small enough for professors to know each student's name which i think is really unique for most college institutions. my favorite classes are those in history and similar classes like it that are based mostly on discussion. i do not like the sciences here at davidson or the pre-med track because i think that the professors are too strict and grade oriented. grade deflation is one of the biggest and most important academic issues at davidson. in the long run, i think lowering grades just to make a testament of davidson's academic integrity ruins the opportunity of students who wish to be competitive in future school applications (like medical or law schools).

Sarah

Professors know your name but you do have to make an effort to talk to them. They won't necessarily seek you out. My favorite class was my writing course - Serious Play: writing about toys. My professor was amazing, caring, and knew what she was talking about. I learned so much while having fun. My least favorite was Calculus II. We study a good bit, but it depends on your classes and your own motivation. Participation depends on the class size - some students take over and some just sit in the back. It depends. There are always intellectual conversations outside of class. That's a typical Davidson thing. Students are pretty competitive, but I think it's just with themselves. Everyone is smart and will succeed so it's more about how you yourself are doing. I don't spend much time with professors outside of class, but I see them around campus a lot. They're all friendly.

Cody

Davidson is unique in that class size is very small, professors know their students' names, hometown, and random facts. Professors are always around to help. They want to challenge you and push you to your limit. Students are NOT competitive with one another, they are only person you are competing with is your self...how hard can you push yourself. Professors love their jobs and their students...they welcome you into their homes and lives and genuinely want you to succeed. Davidson is a serious grade deflator...often frustrating to hear about the 4.0s your friends back home get, but you get over it soon. A Davidson degree takes you places!

Laura

Professors always know your name, and generally classes are under 20 students. I have had classes of 4 students before, and my largest ever was 28. The relationship with professors is great, and most of them are in their offices with the doors open all of the time- whether or not it is their office hours. Students are generall very hard working and it is very hard to get As, but people seem to be more competitve with themselves than with anyone else. because there are no scales, no one is unhappy if you are the one student who did well on a test. The classes are very good, but there is very strong grade deflation, which can be disheartening.

Christina

My favorite class was Issues in Reproductive Medicine. Despite the fact that I am a Spanish major, the class really opened my eyes to some incredibly fascinating issues. As I prepare for law school, I hope to go into reproductive and healthcare law in order to pursue the interest sparked by this particular course.

Casey

Classes are very small (30 or under), participation and attendance is required to do well because your professors know you and value your participation. Intellectual conversations are common outside class and most people aren't that competitive. I'm not sure about upper level classes though. The core requirements challenge you to take classes that you would have otherwise avoided. Definitely geared toward an education for the sake of learning.

margaret

Very tough Know professors small class sizes students study very often

Emily

Professors are very available for their friendship and guidance if you seek them out. I am closest to those with whom I spend the most amount of time, and what a valuable resource that is. The art department is so small it's like a little family; it gives you perspective. Students here are focused on both getting a job and learning for its own sake. I don't think you would last long here if you didn't love learning and expanding. This can be a high pressure/high stress environment, but it's doable. You just have to step back and breathe.

Charlie

I love every professor I have had here. Everyone is very nice and genuinely wants to help you. Sometimes I don't like the class, but that is only because the subject just isn't my "thing." We work really hard to do well here, but I don't know what other people's grades here. People don't tell and we don't ask. Education is definitely geared toward learning for its own sake, and sometimes I think we are not focused enough on what will happen after Davidson.

Erin

I know all my professors and they know me. They're really understanding and helpful. They are always there if i need help. I really like psychology and I'm considering it for my major. I think it's one of the biggest classes with about 35. Some of my friends think that's crazy because of how big their schools are.

Betsy

All of my professors know my name. I haven't had a class larger than 18 people and most of my professors have used the first day of class to get to know the students. In a lot of my classes my professors ask the students to talk about themselves, their interests, etc. It is neat to get to know your professors as well as fellow classmates. Students are definitely competitive because we were all at the top of our classes in high school. It is hard sometimes to be around so many intense people at once but it is also one of the most humbling experiences I have had and I have learned so much from my classmates. I spend a lot of time with my professors outside of class. I know their doors are always open and it is very common for professors to invite students over to their houses for dinner. I frequently visit with professors that I had last semester and they care for me just as much now as they did then.

Tyler

The academics are challenging but invigorating. The faculty are wonderful! They are truly commited to teaching and developing personal relationships with their students. It is not unusual to be invited to a professor's house for dinner. Students study a lot, but there is no cut-throat atmosphere.

Lejla

Academics are difficult but definitely doable. Professors are great and really want to help you out. Office hours with professors is extremely helpful.

Jess

the classes are very tough; you definitely have to apply yourself in order to get good grades. it is important to accept however, that you will NOT get all A's here. although a TON of emphasis is put on getting good grades, i don't necessarily think that grades are everything. just getting a degree from a school like davidson says a lot. i'm considering majoring in psychology or political science, with a possible minor in something else. i like the liberal arts set up and requirements - it's good to test out lots of subjects.

Julia

The classes are really hard. The work load is intense. However, we get to work with some of the best professors out there, so it is worth it.

Katherine

My professors all know my name, and are accessible - but my classes are HARD.

Julie

Academics at Davidson are among the most rigerous you can find at a college. Professors assign workloads that are nearly impossible for the average davidson student to comple if they are involved in anythin else on campus. THe liberal arts requirements are quite strick but seem to be very eye oppening. Davidson is notorious for its grade defation. In my personal exoerience, the quality of education that I have gotten at Davidson is woth the work.

Torry

Academics are extremely tough, but the teachers are constantly available and accessible if you need help. It is definitely possible to make good grades, it just takes a lot of work

Emily

too hard. professors are out to show how much smarter they are than you. i have learned a lot, and established connections to good jobs, so its worth it. but at the same time, i don't need a 2.8 on the resume

Madeline

Academics are rigerous at Davidson. They don't give out too many A's. You have to work really hard.

Lindsay

Lots of work but professors are pretty understanding. The honor code is really great when in comes to work because professors are more likely to give extensions on papers and assignments. The libral arts philosophy is very strong here. Education is all about the experience and well roundedness. Some feel unprepared for the "real world" coming out of Davidson because we don't specialize, but employers and grad schools often say that Davidson students enter the work force knowing how to work and learn, they just need to be taught. Grad deflation is a bitch, so don't expect a stellar GPA, but besides the work load, I feel enlightened being here.

Lee

small class size makes for intimate learning setting; professors know you as a student and as an individual; it's not uncommon for students to stay in the library until closing time on friday or saturday nights; the history department is very good, but you have to pick classes by the professor, not by the subject, which is unfortunate; the academic requirements are rigorous and challenging, but worth it; I feel so much smarter now.

Reese

Proffessors know your name. But, students are studying all the time. You will always have work to do. You will have sooooo much. The religion department is one of the best, in my opinion. The best class I have taken was Classical Budhism, it really made me see the world in a different light.

Quinn

Students generally do schoolwork everyday, and on weeknights, the library is the social center of campus. Students are competitive with themselves moreso with others. Professors are incredibly helpful, and will go out of their way to help you succeed. In some courses, discussion of assigned reading takes place even before the professor arrives, because students are so enthusiastic about the subject matter.

Meredith

Tough! Professors are amazing though. They know my name. They invite us over to their houses for dinner. They love to talk during office hours. Students are all about helping each other out.

Alex

most professors know my name, a few dont... students study pretty much all the time and they are very competitive

Lisle

small classes- lot's of participation (easy to tell when someone misses) Lot's of intellectual discussion outside of class Very unique options for classes such as "writing about drama," or "world musics"

Lauren

At Davidson studying is the main priority for its students. Everyone works very hard, I feel in a non-competitive way, surrounded by professors that truly care about their students and are completely approachable and incredibly knowledgable.

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