Accreditation

Dickinson College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.

Other agencies accrediting or recognizing Dickinson are the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the American Chemical Society.

Dickinson College is a member of the Central Pennsylvania Consortium. The other members are Franklin & Marshall College and Gettysburg College.

The Mission of Dickinson College

Dickinson College was created explicitly for high purposes- to prepare young people, by means of a useful education in the liberal arts and sciences, for engaged lives of citizenship and leadership in the service of society. Founded by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the college was chartered in 1783, just days after the conclusion of the American Revolution with the specific purpose of preparing the citizens and leaders who would ensure the success of the new democracy. It was to offer a distinctively original form of American education - one that was rigorously rooted in the traditional liberal arts and was, at the same time, innovative, forward-looking and ultimately useful. It was a revolutionary education designed for a revolutionary age.

As we face the challenges and complexities of the 21st century, Dickinson continues to seek direction from this revolutionary heritage within a contemporary context. A Dickinson education prepares its graduates to become engaged citizens by incorporating a global vision that permeates the entire student experience, creating a community of inquiry that allows students to cross disciplinary boundaries and make new intellectual connections, and encouraging students to be enterprising and active by engaging their communities, the nation and the world. 

Dickinson offers a liberal arts education that is distinctive in purpose and approach. Our founders intended Dickinson graduates to use their liberal arts education as a powerful agent of change to advance the lot of humankind. We expect no less today.

Facts About the College

Character A nationally recognized selective liberal-arts-college - private, coeducational, and residential

History Founded by Benjamin Rush, the first college chartered in the newly-recognized United States of America in 1783. Named to honor John Dickinson, the penman of the American Revolution and a signer of the Constitution.

Location Carlisle, a historic town in south central Pennsylvania; part of the metropolitan region of Harrisburg, the state capital (regional population 549,475)

Enrollment 2,339 full-time students, representing 42 states and 44 foreign countries

Faculty 257 faculty members; 94% of full-time faculty hold Ph.D.'s or the highest degree in their field

Student-Faculty Ratio 9:1

Average Class Size 15 students

Degrees Granted Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science (43 majors)

Study Abroad Dickinson-sponsored centers and programs in thirteen countries; many additional specialized options for off-campus and international study; more than half of all Dickinson students participate

Financial Aid In 2013-2014, Dickinson awarded $40.8 million in grants; 68% of students received merit or need-based awards

Retention 90% of the Class of 2016 returned for their sophomore year; 81% of the Class of 2014 graduated in four years

Library Facilities The Waidner-Spahr Library collection contains over 547,711 printed books (including government documents), 422,363 electronic book titles, 5,192 current serial titles, and over 86,231 audiovisual materials (CDs, LPs, DVDs, and video cassettes). Librarians work actively with students to help them use collections to their fullest and to assist them in the research process.

Residential Facilities Dickinson offers a progressive residential life program in which students move into more independent living environments each year. First-year students begin in socially integrated residence halls, sophomores and juniors live in transitional housing (suites), and seniors live in independent apartment-style housing. In total the college has sixty-two residences, including housing for students with special interests such as foreign languages, multicultural programs, the arts, and the environment.

Athletics A member of the Centennial Conference (NCAA Division III); 12 men's and 13 women's varsity sports, plus club and intramural sports

Extracurricular Features More than 122 clubs and activities, including music and drama groups, student publications, fraternities and sororities, and religious, political, special-interest, and community service organizations

Statement on Diversity

Dickinson is deeply committed to diversity. Fifteen percent of our most recent incoming class are students of color. In fall 2013, 170 international students from forty-four countries were enrolled at Dickinson. Ten percent of our faculty members and seven percent of our administrative and service staff are persons of color.

Diversity in Student Life There are a number of student groups dedicated to the concerns of diversity and social justice. These include, Active Minds, African American Society (AAS), Amnesty International, Asian American Alliance (AAA), Asian Social Interest Association (ASIA), Circolo Italiano (Italian Club), Club Afrique, Dickinson Christian Fellowship (DCF), Earth Now!, Feminist Collective, French Club, German Club, Hillel, Interfaith, Latin American Club (LAC), Middle Eastern Club (MEC), Model United Nations, Muslim Students Association (MSA), Newman Club, Portuguese Club, Russian Culture Club, Secularist Students United, South Asian Student Association, Spanish Club, Spectrum, Students for Social Action (SSA), Sustained Dialogue, Third Degree Steppers, and many others. In addition, there are a number of offices and centers that support the college's diversity efforts. The Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity is a resource open to the entire Dickinson community and charged with advancing Dickinson's commitment to broadening the understanding of - and building - a pluralistic society that promotes equality and integrity on the campus, in the community, and the world. The Women's & Gender Resource Center, established in the fall of 2009, is a resource that builds gender education and equality into the life of the institution through space and community, resources and skills, and events and opportunities. The Office of Religious Life helps students explore and celebrate their faiths through religious-life clubs and campus worship opportunities. The office also provides support for students during a time when decisions about life's meaning, living in a community of pluralism, and religious beliefs are explored and shaped. The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, established in 2002, provides a central space for Jewish students to meet, socialize, celebrate the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays, take classes with visiting rabbis, and host interfaith dialogues with other religious groups on campus. And the newly created Office of LGBTQ Services, established in 2012, provides support for LGBTQ students and allies and enhances campus education to foster a more inclusive and safe environment for all individuals.

Diversity in the Curriculum The college's curriculum reflects a strong focus on issues of diversity defined in terms both of domestic and of global diversity. All students at Dickinson are required to take at least one course in US Cultural Diversity in order to graduate. They must also complete one course in "Comparative Civilizations" (the study of a culture other than that of the West) and become proficient in a foreign language. Dickinson's Center for Community Studies also promotes diversity through fieldwork research projects that take Dickinson students into diverse cultures and environments within and outside the United States. Among the center's program are the American Mosaic, in which students devote an entire semester to community-oriented fieldwork, and the Global Mosaic, which extends fieldwork abroad. Overall, more than half of the Class of 2014 studied in a foreign country during their four years at Dickinson. Dickinson's global programs offer students the opportunity to study in Africa, Central America, and Asia as well as the traditional programs in Europe. In addition, Dickinson's grant from the Freeman Foundation established a new professorship in Asian law and culture that takes a leadership role in advancing Asian Studies and infusing Asian and comparative materials into course work in other departments.

Diversity in Academic Resources Dickinson has devoted significant academic resources to diversity. The Waidner-Spahr library boasts one of the largest private collections of Asian Studies in the country, the Norman and Margaret Jacobs Collection. The collection includes over 20,000 volumes covering China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India, and other Asian countries. The East Asian Studies Reading Room houses most of the library's East Asian language collections, which consists of monographs, journals and DVDs in Chinese and Japanese, as well as a small collection of Korean titles, including artifacts. The Trout Gallery possesses a substantial collection of African Art totaling slightly more than 600 pieces. The pieces represent a wide swath of Africa including Ethiopia, the Sepik River region, the Upper Volta, Burkina Fasso, Mali, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Benin, and other countries within Africa. The collections include various cultural materials such as sculptures, textiles, baskets, pottery, masks, and archeological materials.