Welcome to Dickinson
A statue of Dr. Benjamin Rush, Dickinson's founder, occupies a prominent place on campus.
This was a tall order in 1783 America, a fledgling nation in the wake of the Revolutionary War. Bold revolutionaries such as Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Dickinson, a signer of the United States Constitution, laid the foundation for the new democracy; the next generation of Americans would need to further these democratic ideals in the New World. Dickinson College was founded to meet this noble goal.
Chartered just days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Dickinson College forged a new frontier in higher education—one that broke from the traditions of Old World institutions. Under Rush’s model, students not only acquired knowledge, but also learned how to use what they’d learned in a rapidly changing world.
The backbone of this revolutionary educational model is a solid foundation in the liberal arts. This “liberal education” teaches students to embrace new ways of thinking, solve problems creatively and address important social issues purposefully. Because of this, Dickinson students are poised to contribute in fields including law, medicine and health services, scientific research, the arts, business and finance, public service, education, community service, environmental studies, the military and religion.
Dickinson’s commitment to forward-thinking learning is evident today in lively discourse between students and faculty; in student and faculty writings and research; and in the shimmering façade of Dickinson’s state-of-the-art Rector Science Complex. You can see the college’s firm commitment to sustainability manifest in the sustainable systems instituted throughout the campus and in coursework and programs put forth by our pioneering academic departments.
Today’s Dickinson students also enjoy a truly global education—a benefit that was unimaginable in Rush’s day. More than half of all courses at Dickinson maintain a global focus, and globally minded policies and practices are observed campuswide. Additionally, the majority of Dickinson students study or research abroad. When they return to Dickinson, they bring a rich global perspective that informs and enriches the entire on-campus community.
We invite you to learn more about our distinctively Dickinson education, our strong sense of community and our revolutionary spirit, which is as alive at Dickinson today as it was 200 years ago.