Academics

Location
Davidson, NC
Undergrads
1,790
Tuition
$36,683
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Freshman

Academics: The professors really get to know you and are all dedicated to helping students

3 College Freshman

Academics: I plan on majoring in Biology with a pre-med concentration. My experience so far with the Biology department has been great. With that said, being a science major at Davidson is extremely competitive. You can simply list any major and get it (there is no cut-off), but the competition between students trying to outsmart one another can be disheartening to personal efforts.

5 College Freshman

Academics: You are getting the very best education in America. The courses are challenging (and signing up for them is a nightmare), but you learn a lot. The professors are the best part of Davidson because most of them are really nice, and will be completely understanding of your needs. The professors recognize that you are human, and that is the best part.

5 College Junior

Academics: I'm at Davidson College, and I am extremely satisfied with my education. There is no question about it, the education is first-rate. However Davidson has a unique situation with professor culture that results in pressure to grade unrealistically difficult - as well as to over assign work. As a result Davidson is one of the most deceivingly challenging places to study and it can take a toll on you. As a result over 65% of students study abroad for at least a semester. Also getting a job can be very difficult - due to the low average GPA. However this school is great. Professors are experts in their field and very committed to helping you learn.

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Quite demanding and often stressful but certainly rewarding.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 230th
    Best Academic Advisers
  • 230th
    Most Available Classes
  • 342nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 398th
    Smartest Professors
  • 442nd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Annie Maietta
Hometown
Weston, MA
Major
Undecided
View all previous student authors

Students make it clear: Academics at Davidson are some of the strongest the liberal arts have to offer. Praise runs especially high for the low student-to-teacher ratio, as well as the accessible, dedicated, and brilliant faculty. Complaints are mostly related to the relatively small number of majors offered, and more universally, the workload. In fact, Davidson is notorious for its generous workload and less-than-generous grade inflation—it’s more like deflation. While Davidson students often complain about how much work they have, most understand that professors ultimately have their best interests in mind—and that those all-nighters will pay off in the end.

Davidson’s excellent academic reputation is what attracts most students to the school in the first place. Students come here with the expectation that they will work hard and find that it’s virtually impossible to "slide by" academically once they’re in. Students are able to self-schedule their final exams at Davidson, which relieves a lot of pressure, and students will often have take-home tests to be completed at their leisure rather than in class. Profs here are almost always willing to negotiate due dates if you’re in a bind or simply cut you a break when you’re excessively stressed out. Overall, the professors at Davidson serve not only as teachers but also as mentors. They treat students as grown adults worthy of real time and attention, and they are willing to form relationships with students outside of the classroom. Grad schools and employers both agree that Davidson students consistently have some of the best recommendations, as their professors can write about them not only as students but very much as people.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
10:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
182
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
20
Total FT Faculty
182
Faculty with Terminal Degree
97%
Average Faculty Salary
$92,062
Full-Time Retention Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
92%
Programs/Majors Offered
24
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 72%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 28%
  • 50 or More Students: 0%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • English Language Studies: 6%
  • History, General: 6%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 7%
  • Psychology: 6%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • The Library
  • Summit Coffee
  • The Union
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask professors questions-lots of them-both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Become friends with the Campus Police
  • Continue to meet people. It's easy to think Davidson's small when you only see a small group of friends, but in reality, there are plenty of new faces out there.
  • Don't ask for too many extensions.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for an extension.
  • Don't get bogged down studying at the library every night.
  • Get off campus to eat. Not only on weekends, but lunches and quick dinners during the week.
  • Go to the library or Chambers to study.
  • Make time to get to know professors, even if it's just visiting for a few minutes a week.
  • Take advantage of drop-add to experiment with classes.
  • Take time deciding on your major. You have till the end of sophomore year for a reason.
  • Take time to chill. Life is hectic here; you have to relax.
  • Taking a class pass/fail can save your semester, but use it wisely.
  • Travel abroad, at least for one semester. If you can't go abroad for a semester, go over the summer.
  • Try to keep up with reading. Assignments are huge, but skimming the intro is better than nothing.
  • Use exercise as a study break.
  • You won't need a car freshman year, but having one as a senior makes life a lot easier.
Did You Know?
  • All exams at Davidson are self-scheduled and un-proctored thanks to an academic Honor Code. Unlike the honor codes at other small liberal arts colleges, Davidson's is strictly enforced and engenders a community of true trust and respect. It is because of this code that students can leave their doors unlocked and professors can trust students to take many tests outside of class.
  • Students can pass/fail 3 classes throughout their Davidson careers. In fact, they get to choose which ones after they have already taken the class.
  • Students at Davidson have an entire "Exam Week" in which to take their final exams. If you decided to take your psych final on Wednesday at 9 a.m., then realize at 8:59 that you're not prepared, no worries-you can take it later in the day or later in the week. This system minimizes stress during exams, as there's no potential for you to have all four finals in one day.
  • Davidson graduates have an incredible acceptance rate of over 95 percent to graduate programs, including medical school and law school.
  • It's incredibly rare for a Davidson class to have more than 30 students. Generally 20 students is about average. You will never have a TA-all classes are taught by professors themselves.
  • All professors are required to have designated office hours, during which students are guaranteed to find them in their offices for extra help or just to talk. Most are more than willing to meet outside these hours as well, and many professors give out their home phone numbers in case you have any last minute questions about your upcoming exam.
  • Each class at Davidson is worth one credit rather than three or four. This means you only need 32 credits to graduate.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 14 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 14 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants
4
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