Jul 21, 2018  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog

Academic Options & General Information

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


International Perspectives

Preprofessional Programs 

Other Academic Options

Laboratories and Studios

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Note: Every effort is made to keep the information in this section current. The schedule for any semester is published separately on-line. The College must reserve the right to cancel any course if there is insufficient demand or if there are circumstances beyond the College’s reasonable control. Students should consult with their advisers and the Registrar’s Office in planning their program. New students in particular should consult the Registrar’s Office website.      

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 insists all students have the experience of studying societies or cultures that differ from those of the United States or Western Europe. Required study in foreign language and in diverse cultural viewpoints is incorporated into the 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, a 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.

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 interdisciplinary minor in International Studies, a major at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, area studies, or courses in various academic departments. The Dean 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 International Students Adviser and the Study Abroad Coordinator.

The Dean Rusk Program is located in the heart of campus on the first floor of Duke Residence Hall. Reflecting its mission to build global bridges between students’ lives inside and out of the classroom, the Dean Rusk Program is the only curricular or co-curricular program located in a residence hall. Its lounge, kitchen, and courtyard provide valuable programming resources to internationally-themed student organizations and residential communities.

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 advising on immigration regulations and work permits, coordinates international student orientation, aids with student advocacy, and promotes interaction among international 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 are meant to encourage a meaningful educational experience while students achieve personal and academic goals.

The Davidson International Association, composed of international and domestic students who are interested in international issues and programming, 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: semester in Tours, France; semester or academic year in Berlin, Germany; fall and summer semester programs in India, Peru, and China.  For the class of 2023 and future classes, Davidson College will follow a home tuition policy for fall, spring, and academic year study abroad.  Under this policy, students who study abroad with a partner program will pay to Davidson the College’s study abroad and tuition fees, and the College will pay the partner program’s tuition cost to that program (up to Davidson’s tuition fee).  Students will pay all other program costs, including a non-refundable deposit, directly to the partner program. This policy aligns Davidson’s practices with many other U.S. colleges and universities.  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 programs in England, Ghana, Spain, and Zambia (see descriptions below).

Students may also study abroad with programs administered by other approved third party providers; while the College seeks to direct students toward quality programs that support their Davidson education.  Balancing institutional needs, including course offerings and student housing, also compels the College to manage the number of students studying abroad in a given semester.  Beginning in the fall semester, 2011, the College reserves the right to set limits on the number of students who may study abroad with third party programs in the fall and spring semesters.  Also beginning in fall 2011, students who wish to receive academic credit for work done as part of a third party study abroad program must select from a list of programs that have been approved by the International Education Committee.  The list of approved programs is available online at www.davidson.edu/academics/study-abroad or in the Study Abroad Office, as is a more extensive description of policies designed for students who wish to make study abroad a part of their Davidson education.  There is a non-refundable administrative fee of $350 for students participating in a third party program for a semester or a year.

DAVIDSON IN FRANCE: Davidson students may study 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 chateaux, 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 city - Le Vieux Tours - attracting students and visitors alike to its lively Place Plumereau.  A network of regional trains connects Tours to Orleans, Chenonceaux, Amboise, and other nearby sites of interest.  Paris and its attractions are fifty-five minutes away by high-speed train.

The program typically begins in September for fall semester students witha four week langauge course in Paris, after which students go to Tours, where they enroll in classes at the institute or university.  The program ends around December 20th.  Spring semester students are in France from January until May, including a two-week stay in Paris and elsewhere (examples: Morocco, Corsica).  A Davidson faculty or staff person serves as resident diretor to assist with academic and personal matters and to teach one course per semester.  All students live with famlies, where they have two meals a day.  Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON/DUKE IN GERMANY: Offered in conjunction with Duke University, the program allows students to study in Berlin in the summer, fall or spring semester or for the full academic year. The fall program is based at Humboldt University; in the spring, students may attend courses at any of the three major universities in Berlin: the Humboldt University, the Free University, or the Technical University. A resident director assists with academic and personal matters and teaches one course per semester; the faculty of Davidson’s Department of German Studies works with students to structure the program that best meets their needs.

The fall program begins in late August and runs through mid-December; the spring program begins in early February and ends in late July. For students on the full academic year program, there is a six week break between semesters. Students typically earn four course credits for a semester and eight course credits for the academic year. There is also a six-week summer program, typically yielding two course credits. The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.  No prior study of German is required.

DAVIDSON IN CHINA:  Based in Shanghai, the Davidson in China program is affiliated with the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Fudan University (one of the oldest and most prestigious of Chinese universities).  The program includes classes taught by Davidson College and Fudan University faculty on site, as well as a Davidson faculty-taught course based upon visits to different sites of historical and cultural interest throughout China.  While in Shanghai, students live in the Foreign Students Dormitory at Fudan University on (the main Handan campus, in the Wujiaochang neighborhood of Shanghai).  The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

DAVIDSON IN INDIA: The South Asian Studies Program offers an opportunity to study and travel in India during the fall semester. Following an orientation session at Davidson, students travel to India with the Davidson faculty director. In India, time is split between extended stays at our host institution, Madras Christian College in Chennai, and travel to a variety of sites in both southern and northern India.  Normally, the academic program consists of two core classes on Indian history and culture, as well as two additional courses focusing on a theme chosen by the resident director.  The theme of the program varies each year depending on the academic discipline and expertise of the current faculty director. The Semester-in-India program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome..

DAVIDSON IN PERU: The Peru semester program is open to sophomores, junior and senior-level Davidson and non-Davidson students.  Students spend a semester living with Peruvian families in Arequipa, a provincial, colonial city which is located at roughly 7,000 feet above sea level. Classes are held at the Universidad Católica de San Pablo, a private university where students also may participate in extracurricular activities. Students choose from a selection of program-designed courses including Spanish language instruction taught by San Pablo professors, a course taught by the resident Davidson professor, and/or the full complement of regular university courses offered to all the university’s students. Students also  may audit courses offered at the university and may take part in non-credit internships.  Several excursions and travel throughout the country are included during the semester.

Summer Programs

DAVIDSON IN ENGLAND (THE CAMBRIDGE PROGRAM): A six-week summer program at Magdalene College of Cambridge University is jointly sponsored by the Departments of English and History for up to twenty students. British lecturers and tutors lead the course of study, that 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 toward 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.

DAVIDSON IN GHANA: This six week program is designed to immerse students in modern and traditional Ghanaian life. The program includes two course credits, 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 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. Specific course credits depend on the student’s level of preparation. Applications from non-Davidson students are welcome.

DAVIDSON IN ZAMBIA: This 4-week summer experience offers students an opportunity to work and study at a mission hospital in Mwandi, Zambia. Mwandi is a community of about 8,000, 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 Africa. Preparation for the summer experience begins during the spring semester at Davidson or continues with a course during the following fall. 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 may also participate in the following program with which Davidson College is affiliated:

SCHOOL FOR FIELD STUDIES:  Davidson College is affiliated with the School for Field Studies, (SFS), 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 through the Davidson’s Study Abroad website as well through SFS.  The semester and summer programs concentrate on international environmental issues at one of eight SFS research centers:  Panama, Peru, Bhutan, Tanzania, Australia, Cambodia, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Costa Rica.

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

Competence in a foreign language is essential to international mobility and understanding. While Davidson maintains strong programs in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese, it also offers a Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP) 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 SILP course. An additional fee is required. For more information, see the section about the program under Courses of Instruction.

Preprofessional 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 advisers 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.

PREMEDICINE (PREDENTISTRY): In general, premedicine and predentistry students complete the same course of study. Medical schools in particular recommend that premedicine 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, premedicine and predentistry students may major in the department of their choice. Third, premedicine and predentistry students, whether they major in the sciences or in other areas, are encouraged to take a variety of courses outside their major.

  1. Required Courses, Tests and Recommendations
    1. Coursework - Premedicine and predentistry students should take the following courses: Biology 111 or 113 and Bio 112 or 114; Chemistry 115, 220 or 240, 250 and 350; Physics 120 and 220 or 130 and 230. * Website, academic, premedicine, requirements and courses. Some medical schools have a mathematics requirement and additional required and/or recommended courses. All medical school course requirements are found at www.aamc.org/msar; a modest fee is required for access to this website. Requirements for dental schools are listed in Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental School, 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 that is administered multiple times from January to September of each calendar year. This electronic exam, which should not be attempted before all premedical courses are completed, is typically taken in the spring of the junior year. If not satisfied with the results, students may retake the MCAT in the summer of the rising senior year without delaying application to medical school. Dentistry 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 director of premedicine and allied health professions, evaluates premedicine and predentistry students. It is highly recommended that all students, preparing to apply to medical or dental school, take advantage of the PAC evaluation process. This evaluation ordinarily takes place in the junior year but it is offered to seniors and alums.
  2. ​Recommended Courses and Experiences
    1. Humanities and Social Sciences - Academic diversity can be achieved by selecting courses in the languages, fine arts, and social sciences. Courses in academic disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, and Statistics are especially recommended for optimal preparation for the new Medical College Admission Test.
    2. Medical Humanities - Students must understand the major controversies and dilemmas facing American healthcare. Medical Humanities offers interdisciplinary courses in the theory and practice of medicine.
    3. Advanced Biology, Chemistry, and Neuroscience - Courses in these disciplines help students build vocabulary and further their understanding of concepts important in medical and dental studies.
  3. 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” courses which incorporate internships in area hospitals and clinics. Physicians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals in the Davidson area routinely provide shadowing opportunities to students interested in health-related careers. 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. The Center for Civic Engagement provides many opportunities to serve the needs of communities around Davidson College.
    3. Study Abroad - Foreign travel adds immeasurably to a student’s education and personal growth. Students who plan to study abroad for a semester or in the summer must plan for it early in their studies at Davidson College in order to complete all course requirements in a timely fashion.
    4. Research - The advancement of medicine and dentistry depends on an understanding of basic science research while research in general allows students to develop critical thinking and analytic abilities.  Many research opportunities are available in the science and social science departments at Davidson College and with collaborators and mentors in laboratories and clinics outside Davidson.
  4.  Services to Premedicine and Prehealth related students
    1. Director of Premedicine and Allied Health Professions - The prehealth director is the adjunct adviser for all pre-medicine and predentistry students and assists in all matters related to preparation for admission to professional school.  It is recommended that students consult with the director early in their careers at Davidson and as often as possible. The prehealth director also provides advice to students seeking careers in other health professions such as advanced practice nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, pharmacy, etc.
    2. Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS), the Predental Society, the Prenursing and the Prephysician Assistant Society - These organizations provide opportunities for featuring leadership, citizenship, and education through speaker series, admissions deans and a variety of health care professionals, community service opportunities, social activities including book clubs and travel to premedicine/allied health student conferences, MCAT/DAT Forum-AMCAS/AADSAS Forum, and personal statement writing and traditional and multiple mini-interview workshops. 

PRELAW ADVISING: Davidson’s prelaw advisers provide guidance to students interested in pursuing law school and legal careers. Support includes one-on-one and group advising; the organization of practice LSAT exams; the opportunity to meet with law school admission representatives at Davidson’s annual law school fair; access to Davidson alumni who work in the legal field; exposure to legal issues and law school admission advice through speakers, panel discussions, and other programs on campus; and feedback on students’ law school application materials.

TEACHER EDUCATION: The Educational Studies department specializes in the study of formal and non-formal educational settings. We challenge students to think deeply about complex social issues and strategies for lives of leadership and service. A major in Educational Studies (non-teaching) is offered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, we are committed to preparing future teachers in non-traditional ways, which matches the needs and interests of students at Davidson College. Students who desire to teach should consult with Educational Studies faculty about the various routes available to them, including alternate route certification programs, graduate school programs, and independent school teaching opportunities. For more detailed information, interested students should contact the chair of the Educational Studies department during their first or second year.

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 human 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, for admission to Columbia, a 3.30 GPA, or, for admission to Washington University at St. Louis, a 3.25 GPA.

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

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

Other 4/2 engineering options exist, which 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 adviser, Dr. Tim Gfroerer.

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 that are 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 Army Reserve. To prepare students to become commissioned officers, the ROTC program combines college courses and leadership labs in military studies with various summer training opportunities. 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 six tracks of instruction: leadership, personal development, values and ethics, officership, military tactics, and physical training. No military commitment is incurred 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 a commissioned officer. The course provides instruction in advanced leadership development, military history, training management, organization and management techniques, tactics, logistics, and the military judicial system. Advanced Course students attend a 32-day Cadet Summer Training Course (CST) at Fort Knox, Kentucky during the summer between their junior and senior years. Students receive travel expenses, room and board, medical and dental care, and a stipend while attending CST.

The Army 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 the program and apply for Army ROTC scholarships. High school juniors/seniors may apply for a 4-year scholarship online at www.goarmy.com before January 10th of their senior year. Current Davidson undergraduates may enroll in Military Science Courses and compete for 2 to 3-year academic scholarships.  Army ROTC scholarships provide full tuition and mandatory fees, an allowance for books, and a monthly personal expense stipend. Guaranteed National Guard or Army Reserve commissions are available. Students interested in a part-time career with the National Guard or Army Reserves may apply solely for Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) scholarships.

A Davidson student may also participate in other military programs, including the Air Force ROTC program at UNC-Charlotte. See “Outside Resources” in the section on Admission and Financial Aid.

 Other Academic Options


THE CENTER FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) provides opportunities for students and faculty to explore topics that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, including a route for students to complete a major that is not offered by an academic department or program.

SUMMER CONTRACT COURSES: Students may arrange with individual professors to initiate and take independent study courses on a contract basis during the summer. Tuition for contract courses is announced annually.  The form is located on the Registrar’s Office webpage. A completed and filed contract constitutes registration.

DAVIDSON COLLEGE-BROUGHTON HOSPITAL SUMMER STUDY PROGRAM: During the summer, Davidson offers a one-course program in Clinical Psychology at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, NC. Students receive credit for Practicum in Psychology (Psychology 290). The program includes supervised work in the service units of the hospital.

DAVIDSON-HOWARD UNIVERSITY PROGRAM: Davidson and Howard University in Washington, DC, 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 that is culturally and racially different from their home institution. 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, DC. 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. Students earn two course credits. The program is open to a limited number of students, with preference given to 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 to design a personal course of study with the approval of a Department Chair and a faculty member who supervises the student and determines the means of evaluation.  The form is located on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

MEDICAL INTERNSHIPS: Davidson College has an institutional affiliation agreement 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 Pre-medical Studies or Medical Humanities Programs.

STUDENT RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: The Davidson Research Initiative, Abernethy Endowment, Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Kemp Scholars Program, Research In Sciences Experiences (RISE), Van Fellows in Biomedical Research, and Davidson Research Network provide students with funding for study and research projects during the summer or the academic year. Additional student summer research support is available through individual faculty who receive externally or internally funded grants that include support for student fellowships. Some research projects result in collaborative papers that are presented at professional conferences and published in scholarly journals. On-campus summer research fellows or assistants may receive a housing allowance through the grant program, or they can apply for a limited number of summer supplemental housing grants, which help defray the expense of remaining on campus for eight to ten weeks. Application guidelines and due dates for each program are announced annually and can be found on Davidson’s website. 

 Laboratories and Studios


KATHERINE AND TOM BELK VISUAL ARTS CENTER: This 43,000 square foot building, designed by the architect Graham Gund, houses classroom and laboratory facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and digital arts. Art history is taught in Semans Auditoriumand a seminar room, each equipped with digital technology. The Visual Arts Center contains two public galleries and an art collection area, as well as studios and offices for faculty, the gallery director and gallery assistant, visual resource curator, lab technician, and administrative assistant.  Declared majors with an emphasis in studio art may apply for one of the seven 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 and the Physics Student Resource Center. There are special facilities for student-faculty research in the areas of applied physics, astronomy and astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, computational physics, condensed matter physics, laser spectroscopy, and theoretical physics.  Student laboratories are used for the study of astronomy, introductory physics, electronics, optics, and advanced physics. All labs contain networked computers. Major physics instrumentation includes a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser coupled to a Ti-sapphire ring cavity and a 20-femtosecond ultrafast oscillator, a pulsed frequency-doubled optical parametric oscillator and a pulsed Nd:YAG dye laser system, dual-beam optical tweezers, 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,  a 2-Tesla electromagnet, and an X-ray cabinet with DR plate and Digitome volumetric technology. This equipment is used to study  negative ions, , semiconductors, doped insulators, and other interdisciplinary applications. The Physics Student Resource Center contains high-end workstations for science computation in astrophysics, computational physics, and theoretical physics. The second and third floors of the Dana Science Building house facilities for the Biology Department, including a student lounge (The BioLoft), two teaching laboratories where upper-level courses such as biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, neurobiology, and developmental biology are taught. Student-faculty research facilities include research laboratories in genetics, immunology, conservation biology, and genomics/synthetic biology. Specialized equipment rooms support student-faculty research and house major instrumentation including a flow cytometer, DNA and RNA hybridization systems, PCR equipment, 96-well microplate reader for visible and fluorescence detection, tissue culture facilities, inverted microscopes, epifluorescence microscopes, image analysis work stations, real-time PCR machine, microarray printer and scanner, autoclave, -80ºC freezer, and growth chambers.

E. CRAIG Wall JR. ACADEMIC CENTER:  Currently in the final stages of construction and opening in 2016, this 149,000 sq. ft. facility is the largest academic building on campus and will house the chemistry, biology, environmental science and psychology faculty.  Organized such that it roughly resembles the letter π, the ‘top piece’ contains 44 individual offices for departmental faculty and support staff, a shared office space sufficient for 10 post-doctoral fellows, a computer lab (16 Mac/PC dual boot computers), spectroscopy lab, laser/optics lab, and meeting spaces.  The π’s legs contain a staffed animal care facility, 11 additional faculty offices, 4 laboratory research support staff offices, 33 research labs, a central forum appropriate for TED-talk style seminars and poster session/conference space, 18 teaching labs with computing capability, 5 flexible instructional spaces, a staffed stockroom, a second computer lab (32 Mac/PC dual boot computers) and dedicated spaces for research-specific instrumentation (Confocal microscopy, GC/MS Triple Quad, GC/ECD Chromatograph, 2 Agilent PDA UV/Vis spectrophotometers, 2 Cary UV/Vis spectrophotometers, Nicolet FTIR, Dionex Ion Chromatograph, Dionex HPLC, Varian GC/FID Chromatograph, JOEL 400 MHz NMR, Fluorometer, Circular Dichroism, and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer).  The Department of Chemistry is an ACS accredited department.  The resulting learning complex will serve as a “hub” for collaboration, connecting faculty and students in new, creative ways and promoting undergraduate research and the creation of students’ original work.

WATSON LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING: The four floors of the Watson Life Sciences Building house laboratories for instruction and research in Biology, Psychology, and Geology/Environmental Studies. Special facilities are available for student-faculty research and laboratory courses in the areas of developmental neurobiology, statistics, animal behavior, behavioral neuroscience, cell biology, child development, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, conservation biology, ecology, entomology, industrial-organizational psychology, microbiology, physiology, population biology, psychopharmacology,, social psychology, socioecology,  virology, soil science, and geomorphology. Major instrumentation includes computer stations in all teaching laboratories, a laser-scanning confocal microscope, cryostat, PCR machines, spectrophotometers, water purification systems, incubators and growth chambers, centrifuges, phase contrast microscopes, an autoclave, a -80° 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.

HAMILTON HOUSE PSYCHOLOGY BUILDING:  The two floors of the Hamilton House Psychology Building house laboratories for instruction and research in Psychology.  Special facilities are available for student-faculty research and laboratory courses in the areas of cognitive aging, memory, life stories, clinical psychology, positive psychology and well-being, , industrial-organizational psychology, and organization development.  Major instrumentation includes computer stations in all teaching laboratories, controlled environments for cognitive testing, computerized stimulus presentation and experiment management, and interview space for community participants.

MUSIC FACILITIES: The Music Department occupies the Sloan Music Center. Departmental and faculty offices, a classroom, and the Music Library are on the main level. The wing devoted to the Music Library preserves and maintains collections of music scores, reference books, videos, DVDs and CDs, and has six lab computers, two viewing stations, and a small group listening/viewing room.

Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall on the upper level seats 200 and provides an intimate performance space for student recitals, lectures, and master classes. Available on the stage are two concert grand pianos: a New York Steinway “D” and a Hamburg Steinway “D,” and a two-manual Kingston Harpsichord.  A spacious instrumental rehearsal room and a large choral room equipped with a Steinway “D” offer students excellent rehearsal spaces.

The lower level houses piano, voice, and string studios and includes instructional spaces for string, wind, and brass teachers. A state-of-the-art recording studio suite and a digital music classroom are located here. There are six spacious practice rooms, fully soundproofed and equipped with pianos and stands, as well as a multi-functional classroom/small ensemble rehearsal space. A student lounge with lounge chairs, lab computers, 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, 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: Main stage 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 49 lineset fly system. The second stage series is performed in the newly renovated flexible space, The Rupert T. Barber Theatre, with a seating capacity of 175, located in the Cunningham Theatre Center. Production support facilities within the Cunningham Theatre Center include a 3000 square foot scene shop with woodworking and metalworking capabilities, a paint shop with integrated spray booth, the Thomas Design Classroom with a dedicated theatrical lighting lab, a sound studio with digital recording and editing equipment, the Studio 145 Rehearsal Room with dedicated lighting and audio system, and props and costume storage. The Cunningham Theatre Center is also home to the Zuravel Green Room, which houses the Script Library, and departmental offices and production meeting spaces.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)


Notice of Student Rights with Respect to Education Records (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you certain rights with respect to your education records. These rights include:

1) The right to inspect and review your education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day Davidson College receives your request for access. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, identifying the records you wish to inspect. The Registrar’s Office will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Records that are customarily open for student inspection will be accessible without written request.

2) The right to request the amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, clearly identifying the records that you want to have amended and specifying the reasons you believe them to be inaccurate. The Registrar’s Office will notify you of its decision. (Grade appeals are handled differently. Please see the Registrar’s web site for more information or contact the Registrar’s Office.)

3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

  • One such exception permits disclosure to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” A “school official” is any person employed by Davidson College in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including public safety and student health services staff); any person or company with whom Davidson College has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of Davidson College (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on Davidson’s Board of Trustees; or any student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.
  • Another such exception permits Davidson College to disclose your “directory information,” consisting of your name; local, home, and e-mail addresses; local, home, and mobile telephone number; major field of study (to include minors and interdisciplinary minors); enrollment status and class; dates of attendance; anticipated degree and degree date; degrees, honors, and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; most recent educational agency or institution attended; photographs and videos; eating house affiliation; and weight and height of members of athletic teams, to anyone within the Davidson College community and to the general public. Students who wish to have their directory information withheld must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing. (Please note that such a notification will prevent Davidson College from providing your directory information to your friends, prospective employers, and others with whom you may wish us to share such information, so make your decision carefully.) You may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively. Students who do not wish to have their address (or other information) published in the student directory must notify the Registrar’s Office annually by no later than seven days after the beginning of classes.
  • Upon request, Davidson College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Information on other such exceptions is available through the Registrar’s Office.

4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Davidson College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.