In 1783, Benjamin Rush, a revolutionary in both spirit and life, established Dickinson College with the intent of providing a different kind of liberal-arts education.
Here, students are encouraged to be actively engaged with the wider world and challenged to think differently and act boldly. Dickinsonians are guided by a core set of tenets—to be decisive, useful, curious and unafraid to take risks.
We produce critical thinkers who see how everything is connected. Graduates forever ready to make a difference.
This is how we’ve taught successful graduates of all kinds, from lawyers to researchers to writers to CEOs. Dickinson’s brand of liberal arts has been around for more than 200 years for one reason—it works.
Chartered in 1783 (the first college chartered in the newly recognized United States), Dickinson is a highly selective, private liberal-arts college. Founded in Carlisle, Pa., by Benjamin Rush and named for John Dickinson, its mission is to offer students a useful education in the arts and sciences that will prepare them for lives as engaged citizens and leaders.
A Dickinson education begins with a strong foundation in the liberal arts, providing academic breadth, depth and flexibility that will allow you to succeed in any field. The college offers more than 40 majors, plus interdisciplinary and certificate options. Our innovative programs range from neuroscience to security studies, and our students develop intellectual independence and a passion for learning.
Dickinson is known for its international perspective and provides more than 40 study-abroad programs in 25 countries on six continents and offers 13 modern languages. More than half of Dickinson students study abroad.
Dickinson is a recognized leader among educational institutions committed to sustainability and green initiatives, boasting the Center for Sustainability Education, four LEED gold-certified buildings, a USDA certified-organic College Farm, highly successful and student-led programs in composting and biodiesel production and a variety of other distinctive initiatives.
Whether they majored in international studies or English, biochemistry or Hebrew, our alumni are at the top of their fields as business leaders, professional artists and writers, sports agents and athletes, doctors and researchers. And many of them used their liberal-arts foundation to forge their own paths. Our graduate-school partnerships enable our students to enter top programs with greater ease and reflect the high regard in which Dickinson is held. One year after graduation, 92 percent of Dickinsonians have jobs or are in grad school.
- 2,345 full-time students
- 38 U.S. states and territories and 49 foreign countries represented
- 9:1 student-faculty ratio
- Two-thirds of our students study abroad
- 12 men’s and 13 women’s varsity sports, plus club and intramural sports
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.
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.