College review by Lisa Bleich
This 230 plus year old college, located in the small, but quaint town of Carlisle is a lovely, limestone campus with a large green quad and a mix of old and new buildings. The new science center was built with how students learn and how professors teach in mind.
There is only one lecture hall in the science center with the rest of the building made up of hands on labs and spaces. This is illustrative of the Dickinson philosophy: everything has an intention and must fit with the overall strategy of the college. The core strengths and values of Dickinson are:
1. Global Education: Students should have an interest in how they fit into the world and want to learn and grow in that way. 63% of students study abroad and many of them for a full year.
2. Environmental Sustainability: Dickinson has talked the talk and walked the walk on developing was to sustain the environment for the past 25 years. Their curriculum is inter-disciplinary and hands on from their Gold LEED certified science building to their organic farm, everything has this focus in mind.
3. Interdisciplinary Research: All students do a capstone project in their major from curating an art exhibit in the museum, to research to a senior thesis.
The students at Dickinson are mixed, but overall very academic and intellectually curious. They are more down-to-earth than preppy, however there is an intellectual air to them as well. While 25% of students participate in Varsity sports and 85% participate in club sports, it did not seem like a “jock” environment. The field house is somewhat tired, however they do have a fantastic rock wall.
The Greek life represents roughly 25% of the population, but it does not dominate the social life. The strongest programs are International Business, Political Science, English, Psychology, International Studies and Art History. While the sciences are strong and growing, only 15 students per year are pre-med. 10% of the students get a law degree after graduation. It is more remote than F & M and is a great school for students who are content with a small thriving town, academic and global pursuits, and a thriving, supportive academic community.