Dickinson College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Rigorous and challenging.


The biggest class size I've had here has been about 40, but that has only been in intro classes, like Philosophy 111. Professors definitely know who you are and know you as a person and student.


Students spend about 3-4 hours studying per day, I would say. However, there is a "work hard, play hard" climate on campus, in which students work all week on their coursework, and then reward themselves with a fun weekend filled with activities/parties. Professors are accessible, and the college provides a service in which a student can take a professor out to lunch paid for by the college. It is a great way to keep in the loop with a professor if you miss their office hours, would like to discuss an assignment, or would just like to spend time with a professor that you really like. The requirements at Dickinson are great- in terms of there are some, but they most definitely do not bog down a student. Students are required to take two courses in three different academic realms by the time that they graduate,forcing students to step outside of their comfort zone and experiment with areas of study in which they would not otherwise engage in. That being said, the requirements are fairly broad, and courses are crosslisted with a number of different major departments, so they reqs are not hard to fulfill in a timely fashion. As an American Studies major, I still had the opportunity to take a geology class in which I climbed mountains all over the country for one semester and a marine biology course in which I got the opportunity to dissect a shark and squid. In addition, to fulfill a Comparative Civilizations course, I took a class that studied music and culture on existing Indian reservations. These classes were all taken concurrently with my American Studies major; despite the diversity in classes, I am still graduating on time and completing the requirements for my major.


Professors at Dickinson are AMAZING! Classes are small and professors know everyone-- not only their name but their major, career interests, and all sorts of other things. I have had a former CIA agent professor, former British diplomat professor, and visiting Iraqi professor. You can really experience a lot by speaking with professors and learning about their lives and other professional endeavors. Education at Dickinson will prepare a student for a career in a chosen field, but mostly is for the sake of learning and the sake of being a more engaged citizen. Professors are incredibly accessible and it is not uncommon to have professors meet you in town at a cafe or somewhere more laid-back to discuss a paper, assignment, or internship you're interested in for the summer. Students (for the most part) work hard and want to do their best, but there is very little competition. Greek honors are awarded in abundance (not because standards are low or grade inflation is high, but because very many people do quite well).


Dickinson's professors are top notch. Because we have no graduate students, professors teach every class and frequently learn students' names early in the semester. I have had great experiences with my professors. My favorite class was American Government, which inspired me to major in Political Science. My least favorite class was my freshman seminar. Some number of students have intellectual discussions outside of class. Students are certainly able to find others with whom to have these conversations. Students do not seem to be competitive at all, and you will often see groups of students working together in the HUB or the library. The political science department is full of great professors, and the major is not difficult to complete. The academic requirements are not overwhelming, but it is strongly encouraged that students get their lab sciences out of the way during their first-year.