Dec 10, 2018  

Academic Program and Policies

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Note: Every effort is made to keep the information in this section current. Changes are sometimes made after the catalog goes to press, however, and students should consult their advisors and the Registrar’s Office in planning their program. New students in particular should consult the Registrar’s Office pages on the Davidson College Web site.

The Curriculum


The liberal arts curriculum at Davidson College is dedicated to the intellectual and personal growth of students. This curriculum affirms the intrinsic worth of a broad exposure to intellectual and artistic achievement and strives to nurture students’ capacities for knowledge, understanding, judgment, and compassion. Teaching is the primary activity and responsibility of the faculty, which is also active in research and service. Developing skills in the methods by which knowledge is acquired, evaluated, and appropriately applied is the primary activity and responsibility of students.

Credit is granted on a course credit basis, with a course being equivalent (for transfer purposes) to four semester or six quarter hours. The curriculum consists of six general areas of study: Literature, Fine Arts, History, Religion and Philosophy, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Social Sciences. To encourage the excitement and self-discipline that come from probing a subject in depth, the college requires a major in one of the following departments:

Anthropology   French   Political Science
Art   German   Psychology
Biology   History   Religion
Chemistry   Mathematics   Sociology
Classics   Music   Spanish
Economics   Philosophy   Theatre
English   Physics  

Students also may develop an interdisciplinary major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Davidson allows double majors.

In order to make connections among courses and disciplines, the curriculum includes opportunities for students to pursue a concentration or a minor as well as a major. A concentration is an interdisciplinary cluster of courses which addresses a specific area of study. A student may choose a concentration to complement the major, but concentrations are not required. Davidson offers concentrations in Applied Mathematics, Asian Studies, Computer Science, Education, Ethnic Studies, Film and Media Studies, Gender Studies, Genomics, International Studies, Medical Humanities, Neuroscience, and Southern Studies. Requirements for concentrations are described in a section following the Theatre Department course listings. Students pursuing a concentration may not pursue a double major or a minor.

Some departments offer a minor, a designated set of five or six courses. Students are allowed to declare one and only one minor to the appropriate academic department by no later than October 1 of their senior year. Students declaring a minor may not also declare a concentration or a second major. A minimum overall 2.0 cumulative grade point average and a minimum 2.0 average on all courses counted toward the minor are required. Specific requirements for minors are listed after major requirements in the departments where they are offered.

The college offers courses but no major in Chinese, Communication, Computer Science, Humanities, Military Studies, Physical Education, Pre-medicine, Russian, South Asian Studies, and Education, although students may obtain a teaching license through the Teacher Education Program. Students have various opportunities for independent and interdisciplinary studies, for study abroad, and for participation in off-campus programs.

The Davidson curriculum stresses competence in reading, writing, fundamental mathematical skills, oral communication, and use of computers. Students develop oral communication skills through class discussion, seminar presentations, and formal speech courses. To develop their skills in writing and analysis, students may select one of the following options to satisfy the college composition requirement: English 100W or 101W, the four-course humanities sequence, the two-course Cultures and Civilizations sequence, or a departmental 100W (COMP) First-year Seminar. Departmental first-year seminars (100W or 101W) are discussion-based, writing-intensive courses rooted in a discipline. The courses normally require completion of five to seven shorter writing assignments and a longer research paper. Readings for each course span and exemplify different approaches to writing. The courses address elements of style and revision, processes of peer review, word-processing skills, library-based and web-based research techniques, and conventions of documentation. Some 100W sections may also satisfy a core requirement in the departmental area. Students should check the departmental listing for the core area satisfied. The class schedule for each semester lists current offerings.

Computers are used in most laboratory science courses and mathematics courses, and in individual courses in the social sciences and the humanities. Students interested in the degree of competence expected in individual courses may consult the instructor or the course syllabi located in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the library.

Requirements for Graduation


Davidson offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. To receive a bachelor’s degree the candidate for the degree shall:

  1. Be of good character and conduct, as certified by the Dean of Students, and discharge all college financial obligations to the satisfaction of the Controller.
  2. Complete satisfactorily 32 courses, at least one-half (16) in residence at Davidson College. The period of residence must include the senior year (at least the final 7 courses). Courses in off-campus programs officially sponsored by Davidson College are considered to be courses in residence.
  3. Complete the foreign language requirement by successfully completing the intermediate level (201 or higher) of a Davidson foreign language course, by an approved transfer course at an equivalent level, or by equivalent proficiency as determined and certified by the appropriate Davidson foreign language department. Courses offered through the Self-Instructional Language Program do not satisfy the foreign language requirement. A student who satisfactorily documents that English is not his or her first language satisfies the foreign language requirement through the requirement in composition. It is strongly recommended that the student complete the foreign language requirement before entering the senior year.
  4. Complete the composition requirement. by completing successfully by the end of the first year at Davidson College a course designated with a W. Advance Placement or other credits completed prior to college matriculation do not satisfy the composition requirement.
  5. Complete all requirements for a major field of study, including an average of 2.0 on all courses in the major. For the computation of the major grade point average, when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade counts.
  6. Complete Core Curriculum requirements:
    1. Literature: one course from among the specified courses in the Departments of Chinese, Classics, English, French, German/Russian, and Spanish.
    2. Fine Arts: one course from among the specified courses in the Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre.
    3. History: one course from among the specified courses in the Department of History.
    4. Religion and Philosophy: two courses, at least one of which must be in Religion, from among specified courses in the Department of Religion and Philosophy.
    5. Natural Science and Mathematics: three courses, from among the specified courses in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. At least one of the three must be a course in Mathematics or Computer Science and at least one must be a science course with a laboratory.
    6. Social Sciences: two courses from among the specified courses in the.Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Education, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
      At least six of the ten core requirements must be completed for a student to enter the junior year. It is strongly recommended that the student complete all ten core requirements before entering the senior year.
      NOTE:The four-course Humanities sequence (150, 151W, 250, 251) satisfies the composition requirement and core requirements as follows: literature (one course); history (one course); and religion and philosophy (two courses including Religion). The two-course Humanities sequence (160, 161) satisfies the composition requirement and the core requirement in literature. A student who withdraws from either Humanities sequence after one semester receives one credit toward graduation, but neither core nor composition credit. A student who withdraws from the four-course sequence after the second semester receives credit only for HUM 151W satisfying the composition requirement, but no core requirement.
  7. Complete a course designated as satisfying Cultural Diversity requirement. Such courses deal principally with one or more cultures that differ from the majority cultures of the United States or Europe.
  8. No single course satisfies more than one core requirement, but a course may satisfy a core requirement and other requirements such as composition, cultural diversity, major, minor, concentration, and (for courses above the 201 level) foreign language.
    The Registrar may designate a transfer credit (including AP or other pre-college credit) as satisfying a foreign language, core, composition, or cultural diversity requirement following, as occasion demands, consultation with appropriate department or program chairs.
  9. Satisfy the requirements in physical education as follows: PE 101, team sports (one unit); lifetime sports (one unit); and water-related activities (one unit). A student may be excused from some or all of the Physical Education requirements for medical reasons as certified by a college physician. PE 101 and at least two of the remaining three PE requirements must be completed before the junior year. The Director of Physical Education certifies completion of requirements in Physical Education.

The college awards degrees only at the end of the spring semester during the Commencement Exercises and at the end of the summer (August 31). Students who enter as first-year students must complete the degree within four calendar years; students who transfer to Davidson are expected to complete the degree according to their class standing as they enter. In order to extend study into the fifth year (9 th semester), a student must apply to the Curriculum Requirements Committee.

Departmental and Graduation Honors


Most departments that offer a major also offer an Honors Program. Students with an overall grade point average of 3.2 are eligible for consideration for honors by their department as early as the spring semester of the sophomore year, but no later than the fall semester of the senior year. Each department may impose additional individual requirements for honors; students should consult the major departmental listing in the catalog and their major advisor for details. Candidates for honors who maintain at least a 3.2 overall grade point average and at least a 3.5 average in the major and who receive the recommendation of their major department are graduated with honors or high honors in the department of their major. Each department may impose individual requirements in that department in addition to the requirements here specified.

Latin degree honors are awarded based on cumulative grade point average at graduation:

3.500 - 3.749   cum laude
3.750 - 3.999   magna cum laude
4.00   summa cum laude

Standards of Progress


Davidson measures satisfactory academic progress annually prior to the beginning of the fall semester. In order to be eligible for enrollment in the fall semester, students must meet the requirements outlined below:

  1. For entrance to the sophomore class or the third semester, the student must have completed seven courses (8 courses represent normal progress), including the composition (W-course) requirement. A student who has not earned a 1.60 cumulative grade point average by the beginning of the first semester of the sophomore year will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation receives special advising services through the Dean of Students’ Office and the academic advisor.
  2. At the time of entrance into the fourth semester (second semester sophomore year) a student with a cumulative grade point average of 1.7 or below at the end of the third semester must immediately make an appointment in the office of the Dean of Students to assess clearly steps necessary to achieve the average of 1.8 required for entry into the junior class (fifth semester).
  3. For entrance to the junior class or the fifth semester, the student must have completed 15 courses (16 courses represent normal progress) and must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 1.80. In addition, the student must have completed six of the ten core requirements (described above under “Graduation Requirements”), must have completed three of the four required credits in physical education including PE 101, and must have officially declared a major.
  4. For entrance to the senior class or the seventh semester, the student anticipating graduation in May must have completed 24 courses; the student may become a senior anticipating August graduation with 22 courses.

Students who do not meet the appropriate minimum Standards of Progress are ineligible to return for the fall semester. Some course deficiencies existing at the end of an academic year (May) may be made up in through a summer contract course with a Davidson faculty member or through approved transfer credit. (Note, however, that transfer credits do not affect the grade point average.) The Curriculum Requirements Committee specifies Standards of Progress for students who records are irregular and who do not fit the requirements for one of the categories above.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty may require a student whose academic work is unacceptable to withdraw from Davidson at any time. No student who has been required to withdraw is guaranteed readmission. When a student wishes to apply to the Dean of Students for readmission, the Executive Committee of the Faculty states the minimum conditions under which the student may return.

International Perspectives


Davidson seeks to lay intellectual foundations on which students build an understanding of the emerging world of the twenty-first century so that they may take their places as leaders in it. Davidson provides all students the experience of studying societies or cultures that differ from those of the United States or Europe. Required study in foreign language and in diverse cultural viewpoints is incorporated into the core curriculum. For students wishing to pursue international studies beyond the general requirements, curricular and programmatic opportunities exist to allow for international emphasis.

The college expects many facets of the Davidson experience—studying abroad, enjoying friendships with international students, hearing speakers of note, taking part in conferences on world affairs themes—to contribute to the process of producing graduates with a world vision. Some of the components of Davidson’s international studies programs are described below.

Dean Rusk International Studies Program

Davidson strives for distinction among national liberal arts colleges in its emphasis on understanding the world at large and preparing students for the challenges of national and international leadership. Recognizing that international awareness is critical in today’s interdependent world, the college inaugurated the Dean Rusk Program in 1985 to provide a cornerstone for efforts to enhance international offerings on campus and to “give each student, first, an informed awareness of our whole planet, and second, direct knowledge of at least one foreign area.” The Program, named for Davidson’s distinguished alumnus who was Secretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, serves as an organizing mechanism for expanding internationalism across the Davidson experience, rather than as a separate department or major.

The Dean Rusk Program fosters initiatives designed to ensure that Davidson students leave the college with a broad understanding of all dimensions of global affairs—political, cultural, social, economic, and historical. It sponsors visits by experts on international issues, hosts conferences and cultural events, and counsels students about international travel, internships, and careers. It encourages pursuit of an international curriculum through the college’s concentration in International Studies, a major at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, area studies, or courses in various academic departments. The Rusk Program coordinates Davidson’s chapter of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for international scholars. In support of international experience, the program provides grants for student and faculty research, study, or service abroad, including medical volunteer work in developing countries. The Dean Rusk Program serves as a catalyst for dialogue on world issues in the greater Charlotte business, professional, cultural, and educational communities through programs it organizes in the Charlotte area and through a speakers program in local schools. It also promotes cultural interaction between American students and foreign nationals studying at the college.

Student and Faculty Advisory Committees help ensure that the Dean Rusk International Studies Program is attuned to student interests and serves the college’s educational objectives. Members of the Student Advisory Committee also organize a number of international activities on campus and in the community. In addition to its grant-making and campus programming activities, the Dean Rusk Program also includes the offices of the Study Abroad Coordinator and the International Student Advisor.

International Students

Davidson College defines international students broadly to include dual citizens, Americans living abroad, foreign nationals, and permanent residents. This broad definition capitalizes on the diversity and wealth of experiences international students bring to campus. The International Student Office provides assistance on immigration and work permits, coordinates international student orientation, aids with student advocacy, and promotes interaction among foreign students, the college, and local communities. Also available is guidance on cultural adjustments as well as academic, personal, and financial concerns. Services offered are as diverse as the students and meant to encourage a meaningful educational experience while students achieve personal and academic goals.

The campus also hosts the Davidson International Association, an organization composed of foreign and American students who are interested in international issues and programming. The group holds weekly meetings, organizes excursions in the surrounding area, and represents international interests on campus.

Study Abroad

Davidson encourages students to study in other countries and offers the following specific opportunities: the junior year or semester in Tours, France; the junior year at Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Würzburg, Germany; a fall semester program in India; and a spring semester program in Classical Antiquity (the Mediterranean). The cost of semester and year-long programs, including tuition, room, board, and some travel expenses, is approximately the same as for a similar period at Davidson. Students receiving financial aid may usually apply part or all of it to the cost of the year or semester study abroad program. The college also offers a summer archaeological dig in Cyprus and summer programs in England, France, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Moscow, Spain, and Zambia. See descriptions below. With approval in advance, students also participate in academic study abroad programs sponsored and administered by accredited American colleges or universities. There is a non-refundable administrative fee of $350 for students participating in a non-Davidson program for a semester or year.

DAVIDSON IN TOURS (FRANCE): Davidson students may study for an academic year as fully matriculated students at the Université François Rabelais, or for a semester at the Institut de Touraine in Tours.

With a population of 250,000, Tours is the cultural capital of the Loire Valley. Known for its historic towns, Renaissance châteaux, and striking natural beauty, the Val de Loire has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city of Tours boasts a rich and varied architectural heritage with the old cityLe Vieux Tours—attracting students and visitors alike to its lively Place Plumereau. A network of regional trains connects Tours to Orléans, Chenonceaux, Amboise, and other nearby sites of interest. Paris and its attractions are fifty-five minutes away by high-speed train.

The program begins in September for academic year and fall semester students with a four-week language course in Paris, after which students go to Tours, where they enroll in classes. The program ends around December 20th for fall semester students. Spring semester students are in France from January until April including a two-week stay in Paris. The academic year program ends around mid-June. Students typically earn four course credits for a semester and up to eight course credits for the academic year. A member of the Davidson faculty serves as resident director to assist with academic and personal matters and to teach one course per semester. All students live with families where they have two meals a day. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON AT THE JULIUS-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITÄT WÜRZBURG (GERMANY): This site of Davidson’s Junior Year in Germany program was founded in 1582 and now has about 17,000 students. Würzburg, located on the Main River sixty miles southeast of Frankfurt, has a population of approximately 128,000. Situated in a valley surrounded by vineyards, Würzburg’s landmarks include the majestic Marienberg fortress and the baroque palace and gardens built for the prince-bishops of the city. The music school, theater, opera and orchestra, the many museums, frequent festivals, and varied sport facilities make Würzburg a place of many opportunities for students to participate in the diversity of German life.

The program starts in early August with a four-week-long family home stay in northern Germany followed by an intensive language course in Würzburg, after which students enroll at the university, where courses are offered in all disciplines of the humanities and sciences. Students earn eight, sometimes nine, course credits for their year in Würzburg. A resident director, normally a member of the Davidson faculty, serves to assist with academic and personal matters and to teach one course during the fall semester. Students live in dormitories. Numerous group activities and excursions are included in the program. The program concludes at the end of July. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

Semester Programs

DAVIDSON IN INDIA : The South Asian Studies Program offers an opportunity to study and travel in India during the fall semester of even-numbered years. Following a one-week orientation session at Davidson, students travel to India with the Davidson faculty director. There they attend lectures on Indian history, culture, and society by Indian scholars, and take a seminar taught by the director. After twelve weeks in Chennai, they travel together for two weeks visiting important historical, archaeological, and religious sites in other parts of India. Students may earn four course credits. The Semester-in-India program is intended for juniors and seniors; occasionally sophomores have been included. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN LANDS OF CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY: The Department of Classics conducts a semester-long traveling program devoted to the study of classical antiquity. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible regardless of major. The program is normally limited to a maximum of sixteen participants and is offered in spring semesters of odd-numbered years.

Summer Programs

DAVIDSON IN CYPRUS : Most summers Davidson sponsors a multidisciplinary archaeological project on the island of Cyprus. The program includes hands-on training in the field (excavation and survey), lectures given by the project director and other visiting or resident specialists, visits to archaeological or historical sites and museums on weekends, and extensive interaction with the local residents of Athienou. The seven-week program is open to all classes and carries one course credit. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN ENGLAND (THE CAMBRIDGE PROGRAM): A six-week summer program at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University is jointly sponsored by the Departments of English and History for up to thirty students. British lecturers and tutors lead the course of study, which explores the history and literature of Britain from the late eighteenth through the early nineteenth century. The curriculum emphasizes topics that take advantage of the students’ presence in Britain and ability to experience their subjects first-hand, encouraging them to visit the sites of poets’ inspiration, novels’ settings, and history’s memorable events.

Participants in the program earn one course credit, awarded for either English 370 or History 390, which counts towards major requirements in either department. A Davidson English or History professor serves as resident director. Students majoring in all fields of study are encouraged to apply. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

JUNE IN TOURS (FRANCE): This four-week program is offered at the Institut de Touraine for French language study. The morning language program is enriched by afternoon content courses and cultural activities, plus excursions on Saturday. Students live with families. A member of the Davidson faculty serves as resident director. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN GHANA, WEST AFRICA : This six-week program is designed to immerse students in modern and traditional Ghanaian life. The program includes one course credit, a non-credit performing arts class, a service project, and excursions into other regions of Ghana. The classes are taught by University of Cape Coast professors and artists. The program is limited to fifteen participants and is offered as enrollment warrants. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN KENYA : Each summer, a small group of Davidson students with an interest in medicine spends three or four weeks in Kenya where they work in a hospital and interact with local residents in the town of Kikuyu located 15 miles from Nairobi. In the spring semester before the summer experience, students enroll in Biology 361: The Study and Treatment of Human Disease: Western and Third World Perspectives on the Davidson campus. Each student studies two diseases and consults with an area physician concerning treatment.

DAVIDSON IN MEXICO : The college sponsors a summer program in Monterrey, Mexico. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible, regardless of major. A Davidson professor serves as resident director and is assisted by Mexican professors in teaching and planning activities. Students live with local families or in a university dormitory with international students. Each student may earn up to two course credits. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN MOSCOW : Davidson sponsors a six-week summer program at the prestigious Moscow State Institute for International Affairs (MGIMO). The program includes intensive Russian language instruction and a second course, taught in English, on Russian history, politics, or economics. All courses are taught by native Russian speakers from the MGIMO faculty. Housing is in the MGIMO dormitory. A Davidson professor serves as the resident director. The program includes numerous cultural excursions. Students majoring in all fields of study are encouraged to apply, although preference will be given to those with one or more years of college-level Russian. Participants may earn two course credits, one of which counts toward the minor in Russian.

DAVIDSON IN SPAIN : Davidson offers a five-week summer program in Cádiz, Spain. After a week of group travel through Spain, students take two courses in Cádiz while living with host families. Intermediate students of Spanish receive credit for Spanish 201 and 203 while advanced students receive credit for Spanish 393 and 394. The minimum requirement for participation is Spanish 102, or the equivalent.

DAVIDSON IN ZAMBIA : This three-week summer experience offers students an opportunity to work and study at a mission hospital in Mwandi, Zambia. Mwandi is a community of about 6,000 located on the northern fringes of the Kalahari Desert along the Zambezi River. It is approximately 150 miles west of Livingstone, Zambia, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Students participating in this experience have the opportunity to work with Zambian doctors and health care staff in the Mwandi mission hospital and in bush clinics in surrounding communities. Students learn about diseases and other health concerns, e.g., malnutrition, that are prevalent in third world Africa. Preparation for the summer experience begins during the spring semester at Davidson. Students enroll in a seminar course, which concentrates on the study of infectious diseases and treatments for those diseases. In addition, students learn about the culture and history of Zambia. Students design an individual project to be completed when in Mwandi. A final paper summarizing the project is required by the end of the summer.

Students may also participate in the following programs with which Davidson College is affiliated:

INTERCOLLEGIATE CENTER FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES IN ROME, ITALY : This program is administered by Duke University. Students study ancient history, archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art. Students take classes and live in the Center Building in central Rome.

SWEDISH PROGRAM: Students take special program courses in Swedish language, economics, literature, history, and politics. Students live with families or in student apartments. Group excursions and activities are scheduled.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SPRING SEMESTER IN ALCALÁ, SPAIN : Students take classes at the Universidad de Alcalá as well as special program courses. Students live in residence halls or with families. A University of Maryland resident director provides orientation as well as academic and personal support for student participants.

WAKE FOREST/SASASAAS FALL SEMESTER IN BEIJING, CHINA: Students begin or continue Chinese language study at the Beijing Institute of Education while taking two courses in Chinese culture taught in English. Students are housed in dormitories on campus. Group activities and excursions are included.

See also: The School for Field Studies under the Department of Biology.

South Asian Studies Program

The South Asian Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that enables students to study India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, which together constitute a region in which a fifth of the world’s population is concentrated and which serves as the home of some of the world’s oldest and richest cultural expressions.

More than a dozen courses on the region are taught by faculty members representing the academic perspectives of art, history, religion, and sociology. Instruction is also available in Hindi through the Self-instructional Language Program. Davidson offers a Semester-in-India Program based in the Chennai region. In 1970, the college was accepted as a member institution in the Library of Congress Public Law 480 English Language Materials Program, which now brings to Davidson’s library numerous books, monographs, and English-language periodicals published in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Self-Instructional Language Program

ompetence in a foreign language is essential to international mobility and understanding. While Davidson maintains strong programs in French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, it also offers a Self-Instructional Language Program (SIL) that enables qualified students to study less commonly taught languages for which classroom instruction is unavailable. Each offering is an intensive audio-lingual course utilizing appropriate texts and audio/video materials, combined with three hours of small group work per week with a native speaker. The emphasis is on the spoken language with some work on basic reading and writing skills. A final oral examination, which forms the basis for the semester grade, is conducted by a specialist, usually invited from another institution. The languages offered depend on the current availability of native speaker conversation partners and appropriate materials. Self-Instructional Language Program courses do not satisfy the foreign language requirement or the cultural diversity requirement. Normally, participants must satisfy the foreign language requirement before enrolling in a SIL course. An additional fee is required. For more information, see the section about the program under Courses of Instruction.

Pre-Professional Programs


Many Davidson graduates continue their education at graduate or professional schools. The sound liberal arts education that Davidson offers serves as an excellent preparation for further study or for entering a career directly following graduation.

Students who have definite plans for graduate or professional school are urged to become familiar with graduate school admission requirements and to consult with their advisors early about the best program to pursue. In general, graduate school standards are high. Applicants are expected to have done undergraduate work of good quality, to have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language, and to make acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination.

PRE-MEDICINE (PREDENTISTRY): In general, premedical and predental students complete the same course of study. Medical schools in particular recommend that premedical students be as academically diverse as possible. With its strong tradition in the liberal arts, Davidson College supports this recommendation in three ways. First, all Davidson students are required to take classes in diverse academic disciplines. Second, premedical and predental students may major in the department of their choice. Third, premedical and predental students, whether they major in the sciences or humanities, are encouraged to take a variety of courses outside their major.

  1. Required Courses, Tests and Recommendations
    1. Course work—Premedical and predental students must take the following courses: Biology 111 and 112; Chemistry 115, 201, 202, and 215; Physics 120, and 220 or 130, and 230. Some medical schools require Mathematics 130 and 135. Many medical schools have additional requirements which are found in the Medical School Admission Requirements, a publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Requirements for dental schools are listed in Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools, a publication of the American Association of Dental Schools.
    2. Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)—Medical schools require all candidates for admission to take the MCAT, an exam which is administered in the spring and summer of each year. This exam, which should not be attempted before all introductory science courses are completed, is typically taken in the spring of the junior year. If not satisfied with their results, students may retake the MCAT in the summer of the rising senior year without delaying application to medical school. Dental students take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) which is offered year round and is self-scheduled by the student.
    3. Premedical Advisory Committee (PAC) Recommendation—The Committee, which is chaired by the Premedical Director, evaluates premedical and predental students. It is highly recommended that all of these students take advantage of the PAC evaluation process. This evaluation ordinarily takes place in the junior year.
  2. Recommended Courses and Experiences
    1. Courses
      1. Humanities and Social Sciences—Academic diversity can be achieved by selecting courses in the languages, fine arts, and social sciences.
      2. Medical Humanities—Students must understand the major controversies and dilemmas facing American medicine. Medical Humanities offers interdisciplinary courses in the theory and practice of medicine.
      3. Advanced Biology, Chemistry, and Neuroscience—The courses in these disciplines help students build vocabulary and concepts which are important in medical and dental studies, particularly during the first year.
    2. Experiences
      1. Hospital or Clinical Experience—Enjoying work in a medical setting is essential to a successful medical or dental career. Medical humanities offers “Issues in Medicine” and “Health Care Ethics,” each for one course credit. Included in each course are internships at Charlotte area hospitals and clinics. Physicians in the Charlotte area also provide shadowing opportunities on a volunteer basis. International opportunities are available through the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.
      2. Service Experience—Service to humanity is one of the highest ideals of the medical profession. Students should participate in service organizations including the Premedical Society of Davidson College. The premedical honor society, Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), recognizes excellent premedical and predental students.
      3. Study Abroad—Foreign travel adds immeasurably to a student’s education.
        Students who plan to study abroad must plan early in their Davidson studies in order to complete all requirements on time.
      4. Research—The advancement of medicine and dentistry depends on an understanding of basic research. Many research opportunities are available in the science departments at Davidson and elsewhere.
  3. Services to Premedical Students
    1. Premedical Director—The premedical director is the adjunct advisor for all premedical and predental students and assists in all matters related to admission to professional school.
    2. Premedical Society and AED—These organizations provide opportunities for leadership, citizenship, and education through a variety of programs including a speaker’s series, community service opportunities, social activities, and the AED’s MCAT Forum and practice interviews.

PRE-LAW SOCIETY: The Pre-Law Society works closely with the Careers Office to provide guidance to students interested in pursuing legal careers. Membership in the Pre-Law Society offers students the following: information on legal careers; the law school admission process, and LSAT prep courses; sample LSAT tests; the opportunity to interview with law school admission representatives; access to the Davidson Alumni Attorney Network; the chance to make contacts in the Charlotte legal community; exposure to legal issues through speakers, panel discussions, and other programs on campus; and feedback on drafts of personal statements. Society materials include Davidson Pre-Law handouts, guides to law schools, law school catalogs, books on legal issues, and preparation manuals for the LSAT.

TEACHER EDUCATION: In its mission to prepare successful facilitators of learning, the Department of Education embraces the primary purpose of Davidson College, which is “to assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for leadership and service.” Further, the Department of Education exults in the choice of the college “to emphasize the teaching responsibility of all professors” and actively recruit faculty “whose interest in students and teaching is unfeigned and profound.” The endorsement that quality teaching is the foundation of a strong liberal arts institution informs the threefold mission of the Department of Education: (1) to provide a course of study leading to a Licensure Concentration in Education, resulting in the attainment of a North Carolina teaching license; (2) to provide a course of study leading to an Interdisciplinary Concentration in the study of Education as a liberal art; and (3) to provide courses that meet the Core Curriculum requirements in the Social Sciences.

Teacher Licensure: Through a series of articulation agreements with Duke University, Queens University of Charlotte, and the North Carolina Department of Instruction, Davidson College provides a course of study leading to North Carolina initial licensure/certification at the secondary level in the fields of English, French (K-12), Latin, Mathematics, Spanish (K-12), Science (which includes majors in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), and Social Studies (which includes majors in Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Religion). All course work is completed at Davidson. Through reciprocity agreements, North Carolina licenses are accepted in forty-two additional states. For more detailed information, interested students should contact the chair of the Department of Education during the first or second year. The Teacher Education Program Handbook is available on the Education Department Web site and provides all details related to licensing procedures.

ENGINEERING DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM: Believing that the liberal arts college has a contribution to make toward the education of engineers in a society faced with increasingly complex technological and humanistic problems, Davidson has cooperative dual degree engineering programs with Columbia University in New York and Washington University in St. Louis. The student attends Davidson for three or four years and, if accepted, attends the engineering school for the last two years. Students are guaranteed admission to these two affiliated engineering schools if they complete the science and math prerequisites and achieve a 3.0 GPA.

A student electing the 4/2 path in this program completes a normal Davidson degree program. The required science and math courses can be taken as electives or can be part of a Davidson major course of study. Students electing the 3/2 path attend Davidson for three years and attend the engineering school for the last two years. Davidson academic departments, in consultation with the engineering advisor, will count some engineering courses toward senior-year departmental course requirements. Upon successful completion of the prescribed courses in the dual degree program, the student receives bachelor’s degrees from both Davidson and the engineering school.

To receive a Davidson degree under the cooperative dual degree plan a student must:

  1. complete at Davidson all core requirements with at least a “C” average;
  2. choose a Davidson major and complete a course of study for that major;
  3. demonstrate the required proficiency in foreign language, composition, and physical education; and
  4. graduate from one of the cooperating schools in an approved engineering curriculum.

Other 4/2 engineering options exist. These include applying to any engineering school for an M.S. or Ph.D. program or an M.B.A. program. Admission to these programs is not guaranteed.

Since many of the required preparatory courses for the 3/2 path must be taken in proper sequence, it is wise, and for some schools and/or curricula essential, for a prospective 3/2 student to begin the program during the first semester at Davidson. For further information and assistance, contact the faculty 3/2 engineering advisor, Dr. Wolfgang Christian.

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)


The Army ROTC program at Davidson is designed to enhance a student’s college education by providing unique training and practical experience in leadership and management—qualities essential to success in any career. Upon graduation from Davidson, students who have successfully completed ROTC training are awarded a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, or U.S. Army Reserve. To prepare students to become commissioned officers, the ROTC program combines college courses in military studies with summer training. The military studies curriculum consists of a two-year Basic Course and a two-year Advanced Course.

The Basic Course is taken during the first and second years and covers management principles, national defense, military history, leadership development, military courtesy, customs and traditions of the military, and physical training. There is no obligation for participation in the Basic Course. Some or all of the Basic Course requirements may be waived by the Professor of Military Studies for those who have completed Junior ROTC programs or have previous military experience. For more information see the Military Studies section under Courses of Instruction.

The Advanced Course is limited to students who have completed (or have received credit for) the Basic Course and have demonstrated the leadership and scholastic potential to become an officer. The course provides instruction in advanced leadership development, military history, training management, organization and management techniques, tactics, logistics, and the military justice system. All students enrolled in the ROTC Advanced Course received a monthly allowance of $350 for up to ten months of the school year. Advanced Course students must attend the six-week ROTC Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, Washington, during the summer between their junior and senior year. Students receive travel expenses, room and board, medical and dental care, and a salary while attending the LDAC.

The ROTC program offers Davidson students the opportunity to participate in numerous challenging and rewarding extracurricular activities such as adventure training, social events, and community service activities. Both men and women may enroll in ROTC and apply for Army ROTC Scholarships. High School seniors applying to Davidson College may compete for four-year merit scholarships. Davidson College students may apply for two- and three-year scholarships. Deadline for two- and three-year scholarships is March 1 of the first or second year at Davidson. Army scholarships provide up to $23,000 toward tuition, an allowance for books, and a personal expense stipend.

A Davidson student may also participate in other military programs. See information on Army ROTC Scholarships in the Admission and Financial Information section of this catalog.

Special Study Options


THE CENTER FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies offers students the opportunity to develop independent study courses with members of the Davidson faculty or to design their own interdisciplinary majors. More information is found under the section “Courses of Instruction.”

CHARLOTTE AREA EDUCATIONAL CONSORTIUM (CAEC): The Charlotte Area Educational Consortium is composed of more than 20 colleges and universities in the greater Charlotte area. Through the CAEC students taking a full course load at Davidson may, during the regular academic year, take an additional course (one not normally offered at Davidson) at no extra cost by cross-enrolling at another CAEC institution. Students must provide their own transportation to the institution at which they are cross-enrolling. Additional information is available in the Registrar’s Office.

CONTRACT COURSES: Students may arrange with individual professors to take specific courses on a contract basis during the summer. Tuition for contract courses is announced annually. Contracts are available in the Registrar’s Office. A completed and filed contract constitutes registration.

DAVIDSON-BROUGHTON HOSPITAL ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM: During the summer, Davidson offers a one-course program in Clinical Psychology at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, N.C. Students receive credit for Psychology 290. The program includes supervised work in the service units of the hospital.

DAVIDSON-HOWARD UNIVERSITY PROGRAM: Davidson and Howard University in Washington, D.C., have a cooperative arrangement that allows Davidson students to study for a year at Howard. Additional information is available in the Dean of Students Office.

DAVIDSON-MOREHOUSE COLLEGE EXCHANGE PROGRAM: This program provides an opportunity for students to matriculate at an institution which is culturally and racially different from their home institutions. The exchange of students is on a one-to-one basis for a semester or a year. Additional information is available in the Dean of Students Office.

DAVIDSON IN WASHINGTON PROGRAM: The Political Science Department sponsors the Davidson in Washington program, an eight-week summer session of work and study in Washington, D.C. Students serve as interns in Congressional offices, government agencies, or interest group offices and take part in a symposium conducted by a Davidson faculty member in residence. They earn two course credits. The program is open to a limited number of rising juniors and seniors. Participants must have a 2.5 grade point average.

INDEPENDENT STUDY: Independent studies and tutorials allow students to work on topics of special interest and in exceptional cases to design a personal course of study with the approval of a faculty member who supervises the student and determines the means of evaluation.

MEDICAL INTERNSHIPS: Davidson College has a cooperative arrangement with the Carolinas Medical Center that provides students interested in medicine or medical research with internship and independent study opportunities in a clinical hospital environment. These experiences are normally arranged through the Premedical Studies or Medical Humanities Programs.

SCHOOL FOR FIELD STUDIES: Davidson College is affiliated with the School for Field Studies, enabling students to participate in a semester-long or month-long program studying environmental issues. Students must apply for acceptance to the School for Field Studies.

The semester and summer programs concentrate on international environmental issues at one of five SFS research centers: British West Indies; Baja, Mexico; Costa Rica; Australia; or Kenya. Accepted students register for Biology 381, 382, 383, and 384 for semester programs and for Biology 105 or 385 (for summer programs).

SUMMER RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: Advanced students may apply for summer research opportunities with faculty who receive externally funded or Davidson College faculty study and research grants. Some research projects result in collaborative papers that are presented at professional conferences. Students may receive a stipend as a research assistant and are also eligible to apply for a limited number of “summer supplemental housing grants” which help defray the expense of remaining on campus for eight to ten weeks. The Abernethy Endowment, The Dean Rusk International Studies Program, and the Kemp Scholars Program also provide students with funding for study and research projects during the summer or the academic year. Application guidelines and due dates for each program are announced annually.

Academic Support



The E.H. Little Library is located immediately behind Chambers (the central academic building) near the student center and dormitories and is very convenient for the whole academic community. The 100,000 square-foot building is open 106 hours a week. Those wishing to study after the usual 1:00 a.m. closing time may use the 24-hour study room.

Since the founding of the college, the faculty has played a key role in the development of the collection which today stands at over 600,000 volumes, mostly selected by the faculty. The resulting collection is one carefully evaluated by scholars for appropriate use at Davidson. Approximately 2,000 periodicals are received along with 600 serial publications and many daily newspapers. Complete runs of the major local and national papers such as The Charlotte Observer, The New York Times, The Times (London), The Washington Post, and The Atlanta Constitution are available. Evans’ Bibliography of Books Printed in America from 1639-1800, and Shaw & Shoemaker’s Checklist of American Imprints, 1801-1819 contain on microfiche every book printed during that time period. Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digitized images of over 125,000 British books, pamphlets, and more published between 1475 and 1700. Since 1883 the library has been a U.S. Government depository and that collection numbers over 200,000 items.

Almost 1,000 students and faculty members come to the building each day, checking out about 90,000 items a year. A professional librarian is on duty most hours the library is open to help students or faculty members find needed materials. Reference librarians are available to speak to classes regarding research methods in the various disciplines. Over fifty students, most on work-study assignments, are employed in the library each year.

The library employs a sophisticated, integrated Web-based computer system. From the library’s home page it is easy to search CHAL (Computerized Help at Little Library), named for the late Director Emeritus Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson, which offers computer access to all the library’s books and many government documents by author, title, and subject, as well as having keyword and advanced search capabilities. Many periodical indexes (e.g., Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature) are also available electronically. There is online access to daily newspapers from around the country and around the world. The library subscribes to many electronic full-text journals including those from Project Muse and JSTOR. NC-LIVE, a state-wide access to many data bases and thousands of full-text journals, is also available.

Materials that are not found in the library may be obtained through interlibrary loan from a wide variety of libraries across the state and nation. A telefacsimile machine is available for student and faculty use. The internet, as well as the telefacsimile, provides fast delivery of requested copies of articles from other libraries.

Students have access to the campus network via PC’s found on each floor of the library. Wireless connectivity is also available. Laptop computers may be checked out at the Circulation desk; a public scanner is available; and there are assisted technology stations available for students with physical, visual, or learning disabilities. Cataloguing and interlibrary loans are facilitated by the library’s participation in OCLC, INC. and SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network), national and regional computer networks.

The Davidsoniana Room features several thousand books by and about Davidson alumni and faculty members. Woodrow Wilson, who attended Davidson in 1873-74, Dean Rusk ‘31, and Davidson’s three North Carolina governors are represented. The legendary Peter Stuart Ney, who designed the college seal, is also featured. The Rare Book Room contains many exotic works including incunabula, autographed editions, examples of fine printing, a first edition of the world’s first great encyclopedia, Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de lettres (1751-1765) by Diderot, and the Cumming Map Collection.

The building is named for E.H. Little of New York and Mecklenburg County, who gave $1 million towards the construction. At his death, he left $1 million as an endowment for the upkeep of the building. There are endowed book funds for acquisitions that now approach six million dollars.

The music library is located in the Sloan Music Center. Open 87 hours a week, this modern facility houses over 12,000 recordings, scores, videos, and books, all of which are listed in CHAL, the online library catalogue. Listening and viewing stations are available throughout the library.

The recent addition of electronic reserves makes it possible to listen to music reserve materials anywhere on campus. A full-time librarian is available to assist faculty, students, staff, and the greater college community.


Computing is an important activity at Davidson. Computing tools are used extensively in all disciplines of the academic program. A growing number of courses require that students use computers to create Web pages, submit assignments, and prepare presentations. Many more encourage such use and provide opportunities for student involvement in computing.

Computing and networks for instruction, research, and administration are supported by Information Technology Services (ITS). Separate servers are used for administration and instruction in order that optimal services can be given to each without compromise by the other. The ITS staff includes specialists in programming, personal computing, instructional technology, system management, data communication, and telecommunications. Training and support for students, faculty, and staff using personal computers and other college technology resources are important activities of the department.

All computing services for students are free. Every residence hall room includes ethernet jacks for connecting students’ personal computers to the campus network. Every student has an electronic mail account. Public-access personal computers are available in several academic buildings including the library. The Student Computing Center houses the largest personal computer lab, which is open more than 100 hours per week. Student assistants are on duty to answer questions, assist new users, and assure proper operation of printers and other equipment. A help desk is also available to troubleshoot student, faculty, and staff computer problems and questions.. Faculty members and departments often arrange for special training programs tailored for a particular course or application. Individual office consultations are available to assist faculty and staff with software applications.

A campus-wide high speed data network connects all buildings and residence halls. The campus is connected to the Internet. Faculty from a variety of departments schedule their classes and laboratory sections in computer classrooms equipped with Macintosh or Windows personal computers, each a node on the campus network. In addition, there are more than 1000 Windows and Apple Macintosh computers on the campus.

EDUCOM CODE: The statement below, known as the EDUCOM Code, is the policy of Davidson College. Members of the college community should inform themselves and abide by its provisions.

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Academic Assistance


CHEMISTRY HELP CENTER (located in Martin Chemical Laboratory 328): Select chemistry majors and minors are available Sunday through Thursday evenings, without appointment during the fall and spring semesters, to assist students enrolled in Chemistry 104, 105, 106, 110, 115, 201, 202, and 215 with concepts, problem sets, and laboratory assignments. The Center is funded by the Chemistry Department. The assistance is free for all students.

MATH CENTER : Peer tutors are available evenings during the academic year on a drop-in basis to assist students enrolled in Calculus I and II with concepts, applications, and use of the graphing calculator. The Mathematics Department coordinates the Center and supervises the peer tutors. This assistance is free for all students.

SPEAKING CENTER (located in Chambers North Wing lower-level): Peer tutors are available to assist any student with both general and discipline-specific problems with such curricular and co-curricular presentations as speeches, group projects, and interviews. Resources include assistance in dealing with speech anxiety, topic selection, and effective delivery as well as digital cameras to record presentations for analysis. The Director of the Speaking Center, a professor of Communication Studies, teaches courses in public speaking and communication, and provides training and supervision for the peer tutors. Tutorials are free for all students.

TUTORING PROGRAM: The Office of the Dean of Students coordinates a tutorial program for students desiring academic assistance. Specially trained students who are well-versed in the subject matter are available to tutor in most subject areas. Students pay their tutors directly. Grant subsidies are available for students receiving need-based financial aid.

WRITING CENTER (located in Chambers North Wing lower-level): Peer tutors are available to assist any student with both general and discipline-specific writing problems at any stage in the writing process. The Director of the Writing Center, a member of the English Department, teaches writing courses and provides training and supervision for the peer tutors. Tutorials are free for all students.

Laboratories and Studios


KATHERINE AND TOM BELK VISUAL ARTS CENTER : This 43,000 square foot building, designed by the architect Graham Gund houses classroom facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Art history is taught in the Semans Lecture Hall equipped with video and sound technology and in a seminar room, which doubles as a study room for art history slides and images. The Visual Arts Center contains two public galleries, as well as studios and offices for faculty, the gallery director, and staff. Declared majors with an emphasis in studio art may apply for one of the eight individual student studios in the building.

CHARLES A. DANA SCIENCE BUILDING : The Dana Science Building contains classrooms and laboratories for instruction and research on three floors. Two floors house the Physics Department, where there are special facilities for student-faculty research in the areas of atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, laser spectroscopy, theoretical physics, and computational physics. Student laboratories are used for the study of introductory physics, electronics, optics, and advanced physics. All labs contain networked, Pentium-based computers. Major instrumentation includes a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser coupled to a Ti-sapphire ring cavity, two pulsed Nd:YAG dye laser systems, a CO 2 laser system, a 1.3-m scanning monochromator, a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, a differential scanning calorimeter, wavemeters and spectrum analyzers, a transient capacitance spectroscopy system, liquid helium and nitrogen cryostats, a Penning ion trap, and a 2-Tesla electromagnet. This equipment is used to study alkali atoms, negative ions, celluar and molecular biophysics, semiconductors, and doped insulators. Dana also houses the Physics Computation Center, which contains high-end workstations for science computation. There are laboratories for instruction and student-faculty research in biochemistry, genetics, molecular and cell biology, microbiology, and developmental biology. Major instrumentation includes an ultracentrifuge, cryostat, -70° freezer, electrophoresis equipment, spectrophotometers, DNA sequencing setup, DNA and RNA hybridization systems, PCR equipment, autoclave, 96-well microplate reader, tissue culture facilities, inverted microscopes, epifluorscence microscopes, and image analysis work stations.

MARTIN CHEMICAL LABORATORY: This building houses a lecture hall, a seminar room, a computer lab, five instructional laboratories, and seven laboratories devoted to student-faculty research, and several instrument rooms.. A chemistry library, which features 4,700 books and 75 journal subscriptions, and on line access to all American Chemical Society Journals, is also in this building. Major instrumentation includes a 400 MHz Fourier Transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer, a Fourier Transform Infared spectrophotometer, and instruments for Atomic Absorption, Ultraviolet-Visible, Circular Dichroism, and Flourescence spectroscopy. Separation systems, including an Ion Chromatograph, High Performance Liquid Chromatograph, Gas Chromatographs, as well as GC-Mass Spectrometry system, are also available. Other equipment includes electrochemical and electro analytical instruments, a polarized ligiht microscope, a cold room for biochemical studies, and an Aerosol Flow Cell-FTIR to study atmospheric heterogenous chemical reactions. In addition the building features a computational cluster for molecular mechanics, protein structure determination, and quantum mechanical calculations.

WATSON LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING : The Watson Life Sciences Building houses laboratories for instruction and research in biology and psychology. Special facilities are available for student-faculty research in the areas of anatomy, animal behavior, behavioral neuroscience, botany, cell biology, child development, clinical psychology, ecology, histology, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, microbiology, physiology, psychopharmacology, sensation-perception, and social psychology. Major instrumentation includes computer stations in teaching laboratories, water purification systems, incubators and growth chambers, standing and countertop centrifuges, phase contrast microscopes, an autoclave, a -70° freezer, ecological sampling equipment, global positioning system, computer based physiology equipment, operant chambers, a computer controlled radial maze, and equipment to measure motor behavior, locomotor activity, and the conditioned rewarding effects of drugs. Watson also houses the animal care facilities.

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES (ISS): Located in Chambers Building, the Office of Instructional Support Services provides technical support for all audio/data/video equipment (except computers) installed in classrooms and used for instruction. The staff purchase equipment, maintain it, and arranges for repairs. ISS makes available for classroom use film, slide, and overhead projectors; VCR/DVD players and monitors; and several portable data projectors for short-term loans. It provides off-air and off-satellite recording, audio equipment, and video recording and editing equipment for academic departments. The staff coordinates the renting and purchasing of appropriate educational materials and schedules all academic film screenings. Flat bed scanners and a slide scanner that produces 35mm slides or converts digital images to 35 mm slides are available for academic use.

LANGUAGE RESOURCE CENTER (LRC) and the CENTER FOR INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY (CIT): These facilities are located in adjacent space to ISS in Chambers South Wing-lower level. The LRC serves Davidson’s foreign language and classics community and contains a laboratory classroom equipped with 22 multimedia workstations and projection equipment. All workstations provide fast internet access, learning materials related to foreign languages and cultures, and multimedia software and equipment. In addition to hosting language classes, the LRC offers students at all levels the opportunity to listen to, read, write, and produce foreign language materials on their own time.

The CIT is a curricular development center for all Davidson faculty containing multimedia software and equipment for both Macintosh and Windows workstations. The Instructional Technology group (ITG) is composed of staff with expertise to assist faculty as they apply technology to teaching and learning. All members of the ITG are available to faculty for training, consultation, and assistance in preparing materials for classroom use.

MUSIC FACILITIES: The Music Department occupies the recently renovated Sloan Music Center. The departmental and faculty offices, two classrooms, and the Music Library are on the main level. The wing devoted to the Music Library preserves and maintains the collections of music scores, reference books, videos, DVDs and CDs, and has four listening stations, four computer-based multi-media stations, and a small group listening/viewing room.

The Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall on the upper level seats 175 and provides an intimate performance space for student recitals, lectures, and master classes. Available on the stage are a Kingston Harpsichord and two concert grand pianos: a New York Steinway “D” and a Hamburg Steinway “D.” A spacious instrumental hall and a large choral room equipped with a Steinway “D” offer students excellent ensemble rehearsal spaces.

The lower level houses piano, voice, and high string studios and includes instructional spaces for string, wind, and brass teachers. A state of the art electronic music studio, a recording studio, and a keyboard laboratory are located here. There are seven spacious practice rooms, fully soundproofed and equipped with pianos and stands, as well as multi-functional classroom/small ensemble rehearsal space. The student lounge with vending areas, lounge chairs, and study tables sits in the center of this level.

Other venues for the Music Department’s concerts are the Duke Family Performance Hall with a drop-in acoustical shell and a Steinway “D” concert grand piano, the Carnegie Guest House living room with its Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano, and the sanctuary of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church which is the site of many choral concerts and the annual Christmas Vespers Service.

THEATRE FACILITIES: Mainstage theatre productions take place in the Duke Family Performance Hall. The Hall is a state of the art theatre with a seating capacity of 625 and a 48 line fly system. Our second stage series,, including student directed one-acts, are performed in the 289-seat Hodson Hall or the 100-seat black box theatre, both in the Cunningham Fine Arts Building.

General Information and Regulations


Admission and Withdrawal

The Admission and Financial Aid Committee is responsible for setting the criteria for admitting students to Davidson College. All withdrawals, voluntary or involuntary, are processed through the Office of the Dean of Students.

Course Enrollments

The Schedule of Courses for each semester lists the course offerings planned at the time of the publication of the schedule. The document is not a contract; the college reserves the right to alter course offerings if enrollments and/or resources require. Further, the college does not guarantee that a student will be able to enroll in any particular course. Enrollments are guided by stated course ceilings, stated prerequisites, space requirements, a random number registration priority system, and academic quality determinations.

Course Loads

The normal academic load is four or five credit courses per semester. Seniors who have extra credits may elect a three-course load in any one semester of the senior year or spring semester of the junior year. During the regular academic year, there is no reduction in tuition for a reduced course load, nor is there an additional fee for an overload. (Each Davidson course credit is equivalent to four semester hours.)

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is the student’s obligation, and the student is responsible for all the work of all class meetings. A student who is absent from more than one-fourth of the course meetings scheduled by the instructor shall be assigned a grade of “F” unless the instructor specifies a different policy at the beginning of the course. Students should note that each professor has the discretion to establish the attendance policy in each class.

The Committee on Educational Policy reviews schedules for athletic and other college-sponsored extracurricular activities to insure minimal necessary class absences and to require early notification to students and professors of schedule demands that conflict with class times.

Schedule Adjustment Period

At the beginning of each academic year, the Registrar distributes procedures for Schedule Adjustment which may include a pre-semester period and periods during the first week of each semester to drop and add, periods during the second week of each semester to drop and add with written approval of the professor of the course to be added A $20.00 late fee is charged for courses added or dropped after the first week of the semester. After that time, a student who drops a course without special permission from the Dean of Students (for medical or psychological reasons) or the Dean of the Faculty (for specific educational reasons) receives an “F” in the course.

Grading System

Each instructor reports grades at the end of each semester. The grading system is:

A   4.0 grade points   B-   2.7 grade points   D+   1.3 grade points
A-   3.7 grade points  


  2.3 grade points   D   1.0 grade point
B+   3.3 grade points   C   2.0 grade points   F   0.0 grade points
B   3.0 grade points   C-   1.7 grade points        

There is no percentage-based institutional numerical standard or equivalent for the grades issued by individual faculty members.

Special grades are issued as follows:

I   Incomplete; student has not completed final work.
P/F1   Pass or Fail for course taken on a Pass/Fail basis; to earn a Pass, the student must perform at the level of “C-” or above. See the Academic Regulations for additional P/F information.
LA   Laboratory-ungraded, no separate credit is awarded.
WA   Authorized Withdrawal; recommended by the Dean of Students or the Dean of the Faculty.
UG   Ungraded credit; credit transferred from another institution or Davidson Study Abroad credit.
NG   No grade received from the professor.

Transfer Credit

The Registrar evaluates all transfer credit. The host college must be regionally accredited for a “liberal arts and general” program or analogously accredited in countries outside the United States. The course must be consistent with the academic objectives of Davidson College. In order to receive credit, the student must earn the grade of “C-” or higher.

Transfer credit assigned at Davidson is on an ungraded basis (UG) and is not used in computing the grade point average. Transfer credit is limited to 16 courses (or no more than one-half of the courses for graduation) and no more than one-half of the courses used to satisfy major requirements. Individual departments may employ additional restrictions. Other guidelines for transfer credit may apply: further details may be found on the “Authorization to Transfer Credit” form in the Registrar’s Office.

Davidson does not award dual degrees. A student who has a BA or BS degree from Davidson or from another institution may not receive a second degree from Davidson using transfer credit from a previous degree.

Self-Scheduled Exams

The ultimate expression of Davidson’s Honor Code is the self-scheduling of semester examinations for most classes. The academic calendar provides ten or eleven three-hour examination periods at the end of each semester during which students may take examinations on a self-scheduled basis. The Honor Council, the Student Government Association, and the Office of the Registrar administer self-scheduled exams.