Davidson College is a selective liberal arts college that I visited in May on my tour of colleges in the southeastern US.
Davidson College, in Davidson, North Carolina is 20 minutes from Charlotte, the largest city in the state and the “second largest banking center in the country.” Davidson has an undergraduate enrollment of about 2,000 students.
Strengths and Distinctions
- Students choose from 27 majors and 15 interdisciplinary minors that allow students to take a set of courses that address a specific area of study and complement a major. Among some of the interdisciplinary programs offered: East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Communications Studies, Film and Media Studies, Health and Human Values, and Middle East Studies.
- A new 149,000 square foot Academic Center opened in August 2016 (see photo above). The Academic Center promotes transdisciplinary collaboration, research, original work, and teaching. The center houses space for public forums, classrooms, research labs, and offices for faculty in the departments of biology, chemistry, psychology, neurosciences, and environmental science.
- The Dean Rusk International Studies Program is named after the former US Secretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who was an alumnus of Davidson College.
- Students take advantage of the best of two worlds — an outstanding liberal arts education on a beautiful 665-acre tree-lined campus and participate in the professional and other opportunities available in Charlotte, North Carolina, only 20 minutes away. This close proximity provides students easy access to internships, networking, and other professional development opportunities as well as the entertainment, sports, and cultural events this major city offers. Some 70% of students participate in at least one internship before they graduate.
- Student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1
- More than 80% of students study, travel, work, or perform community service abroad
- Davidson fields 21 NCAA Division I sports — highly unusual for a college its size — and 25% of students participate.
- 50% of students participate in Greek life. Rush is held second semester of the freshman year to ensure students have time to adjust to college, focus on academics, and explore clubs and other activities on campus. Unlike other colleges, “There are no rush winners or losers. If you want to be in a sorority or fraternity you can be.”
- 95% of students live in campus housing all four years
- Average class size of 15 students
- Through the Davidson Trust, students have 100% of their demonstrated need met through a combination of grants and student employment. Davidson also offers merit-based scholarships to 10% of an incoming class — those students “whose accomplishments mark them as having extraordinary potential for impact.”
- Offers Early Decision I and II (deadlines November 15 and January 2 respectively). Regular decision application is due January 5
- Nearly 50% of the class of 2021 were admitted through Early Decision I or II
- Last year, Davidson received 5,620 applications and 20% of students admitted