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.