Listen to the people in a community, and you will learn who they are. There are many components to a Dickinson education, and many ways in which our students live and learn together. From classes with group projects, fieldwork experiences, cultural immersions, guest speakers and study-abroad opportunities, Dickinsonians are constantly engaging with each other, the community and the wider world in ways that teach understanding, cooperation and responsibility.
Requirements for Degree
Dickinson College requires three different types of coursework to familiarize students with the ways in which the diversity of human cultures has shaped our world. These courses seek to prepare students to be effective citizens in an interdependent world and to be aware of the breadth of voices, perspectives, experiences, values, and cultures that constitute the rich tapestry of U.S. life and history.
All students are required to demonstrate that they have completed work in a foreign language through the intermediate level. The languages currently offered are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
To prepare students to function effectively in civic life and to help them gain a broader understanding of the commonalities and differences among cultures and values in the context of the making of American society, the college requires one course with a focus on U.S. diversity. Recent courses include Race, Gender and the Body; The Atlantic Slave Trade and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1850; The Anthropology of Music in the Caribbean; American Capitalism and Social Justice; Latina/o Studies; Introduction to Biological Anthropology; Modern China and Its Diaspora Communities; and Native Peoples of Eastern North America.
To deepen students’ understanding of the diversity in cultures by introducing them to traditions other than those that have shaped the modern West, the college requires one course with a focus on the comparative study of civilizations. Recent courses include: African History from Earliest Times, Religions in China, South American Archaeology, Interpreting the Chinese Cultural Revolution, South Asia: India and Pakistan, Middle East to 1750 and Islam.
A Dickinson education, in keeping with the college's origins in the American Revolution, should be distinguished by a willingness to challenge as well as transmit the wisdom of the past, by the depth of questions asked and by the pursuit of new knowledge. We are a community of inquiry in every way, always striving for new knowledge and new ways of understanding the world and ourselves. Dickinson has a variety of academic programs, including 42 majors, minors and certificate programs, self-developed majors, independent research, internships and Army ROTC. Programs like Africana, Middle East, women's & gender and Judaic studies provide opportunities for members of the community to engage in active, informed debate of critical issues of self, society and the natural world.
The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues
The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues connects students, faculty and members of the broader community with scholars, practicing professionals and activists through of lectures, seminars and conferences. Each academic year, The Clarke Forum focuses on a central theme.
Mosaic: Learning by Living
The Community Studies Center encourages joint student and faculty fieldwork and community-oriented research through the American and Global Mosaic programs. During a semester of immersion, Mosaic students interview a community's residents, listen to their histories and learn from their experiences. Through this cross-cultural program, students make connections between theory and practice, among people and ideas, across academic disciplines and around the world. They also set off on a journey of personal discovery—learning much about their own lives as they listen to the lives of others.
Dickinson College is a global community focused on not only providing nationally recognized study-abroad options for students, but also on bringing the world to Carlisle through visiting international scholars, forums on topics of worldwide concern, a faculty devoted to spending time abroad and bringing the knowledge they gain back to campus with them and a growing population of diverse students from around the world.
More than half of all Dickinson students study abroad at least once during their time here. With more than 40 programs on six continents in 24 countries, there are many options for students in every discipline.
Visiting International Scholars
Dickinson's international visitors come from all across the globe and for a variety of reasons. The college hosted several U.S. State Department programs in recent years. The Young Ambassadors program brought to campus 26 students from 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The South Asian Student Leaders program enrolled 21 students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Partnership for Learning Undergraduate Studies (PLUS) program brings students from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, who enroll at Dickinson to complete their undergraduate degrees. And a Fulbright scholars program has brought 18 leading economists from around the world to campus for the last two summers.
More than 60 Dickinson faculty members have directed study-abroad programs, and about one-third of the faculty has spent some time abroad. The faculty members establish relationships with foreign college and universities and use these relationships to forge new exchanges. They also learn new methods and practices from overseas that they incorporate into their classes at Dickinson.
International students contribute enormously to the globalization of the Dickinson experience. Dickinson students come from 43 states and 41 countries, including more than 100 international students.
In Our Neighborhood
Service-learning at Dickinson College is one way that students encounter and create meaningful connections between their studies and community experience. These courses combine traditional classroom discussion with hands-on community service in the Carlisle area. For current and future service-learning courses and for additional information, visit the Service-Learning Web site.
Dickinson recognizes internships as "Closely monitored applied experiences in a professional setting, with definite learning objectives incorporating reflection on and integration of theories and concepts with practice." Internships are an excellent way to explore career choices and gain experience valued by employers and graduate schools. Learn more through the Career Center.
Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg colleges make up the Central Pennsylvania Consortium (CPC), which strives to improve and advance the intellectual vitality of each campus. Examples of some recent events include an astronomer's conference, a women's studies conference and a Judaic studies conference. Students from each institution also can take courses for credit at either of the other two colleges.
Next: How We Grow