Jun 15, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Program and Policies

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

The Curriculum  

Requirements for Graduation

Departmental and Graduation Honors 

Standards of Progress

International Perspectives

Writing Program

Preprofessional Programs 

Academic Options

Academic Support

Center for Teaching and Learning 

Laboratories and Studios

General Information and Regulations

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.      

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, who are 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.

Students are expected to actively participate in the educational experience offered by the faculty and the college.  The development of critical study and life skills, such as working independently and in groups, managing competing priorities and obligations, and adhering to deadlines, is an important goal of education.  Students are therefore expected to observe all college deadlines as described in the academic regulations.

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:

Africana Studies Economics Mathematics
Anthropology English Music
Art Environmental Studies Philosophy
Biology French and Francophone Studies Physics
Chemistry Gender and Sexuality Studies Political Science
Chinese Language and Literature German Studies Psychology
Classical Languages and Literature Hispanic Studies Religion
Classical Studies History Sociology
Computer Science Latin American Studies Theatre
East Asian Studies    

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 an interdisciplinary minor or a minor as well as a major. An interdisciplinary minor is a cluster of courses which address a specific area of study. A student may choose an interdisciplinary minor to complement the major, but interdisciplinary minors are not required. Davidson offers interdisciplinary minors in Applied Mathematics, Communication Studies, Data Science, Digital Studies, East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Film and Media Studies, Genomics, Global Literary Theory, Health and Human Values, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Neuroscience, and South Asian Studies.  Requirements for interdisciplinary minors are described in the Academic Disciplines section in the Online Catalog. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary minor may not pursue a double major or a minor.

Some departments or programs 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 an interdisciplinary minor 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 in which they are offered. Davidson offers minors in Anthropology, Arab Studies, Art, Astrophysics, Chemistry (no longer offered after the Class of 2019), Chinese Studies, Computer Science, Dance, Economics, Educational Studies, English (beginning 2017-18), Experimental Physics, French and Francophone Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, German Studies, Greek, Hispanic Studies, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Religion, Russian Studies, and Theatre.

The college offers courses but no major, minor, or interdisciplinary minor in Humanities, Military Science, Physical Education, Self Instructional Language and Writing. Students have various opportunities for independent and interdisciplinary studies, study abroad, and participation in off-campus programs.

The Davidson curriculum stresses competence in reading, writing, fundamental mathematical skills, oral communication, and technological literacy. Students develop oral communication skills through class discussion, seminar presentations, and formal oral communication courses. To develop their skills in writing and analysis, students may select one of the following options to satisfy the college composition requirement: a designated writing course (WRI 101), with a variety of specific topics offered or the Humanities sequence.  The writing courses (WRI 101) normally require completion of five to seven short 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.

Computers are used in most laboratory science 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 available 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. Requirements for the bachelor’s degree are outlined below.

Requirements flow from a vision of liberal education that shapes their rationale. A liberal education helps students develop a broad range of skills and sensibilities and thereby become critical, inquisitive, and intellectually responsible citizens. In this development students must explore the fundamental question: “How do I know what I know?” The question prompts students to evaluate the origins of knowledge, values, and beliefs, and to question and revise them when needed. Our distribution requirements aim to foster and guide students’ exploration of that fundamental question. They are designed to help students understand

  • the relationship between what we know and how we know it; 
  • the ways interpretation, analysis, and expression differ across and within disciplines of the liberal arts; and
  • the ways scholars share information and ideas with one another and with the public.

We expect that these requirements will assist students in applying their own and others’ knowledge responsibly in their civic and professional lives. In courses satisfying the requirements, students will examine complex problems through diverse methods of inquiry, understand how different kinds of knowledge are generated, and identify appropriate standards for evaluating knowledge in different realms. The requirements also provide knowledge of public and scholarly concerns from multiple viewpoints, respecting both tradition and creative new approaches. The faculty hopes that students who take such courses early in their college curricula will address these questions frequently during their time at Davidson.

The faculty supplements the distribution system with requirements in cultural diversity, in foreign language, and in writing. In prescribing a course on one or more cultures other than the dominant cultures of the U.S. or Western Europe, the faculty guides students to explore cultural differences from an academic perspective. In prescribing foreign language study, the faculty guides students toward a foundation for an international education, as well as an understanding of how language works, both as a mode of human communication and as a way of constructing the world in different social and cultural contexts. In prescribing a course in writing, the faculty guides students toward a foundation for making clear and sophisticated arguments about complex intellectual issues.

Distribution Requirements

Each student must complete seven courses fulfilling distribution requirements, one course in each of the following categories (all but the last ordered alphabetically). The seven courses must come from at least six different departments/programs, as indicated by three-letter course prefixes.1, 2 

1. Historical Thought. Courses that seek to understand past human societies and how those societies have evolved over time.   Examining documents and/or artifacts to construct broad narratives about the past and how human societies have evolved over time, these courses reveal the constructed ways in which we understand the past and suggest the contingency of how we understand the present.
2. Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric. Courses that develop skills for creating and analyzing the complexities of language, form, and aesthetics through which speakers and writers represent the world or express their ideas about it.   These courses explore written and oral forms of expression that invite creative interpretation.
3. Mathematical and Quantitative Thought. Courses that study mathematical, programming, or statistical concepts.   Some of these courses instruct students in making and analyzing numerically-based claims about reality; others develop knowledge based on mathematical proof and problem-solving.
4. Natural Science. Laboratory courses that study the natural and physical world through direct observation, experimentation, and/or analysis of empirical evidence.   In these courses students encounter concepts and models, and test them against measurements of natural and physical processes, differentiating knowledge based on testable explanations of phenomena from other kinds of knowledge.
5. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives. Courses on fundamental questions, philosophical reasoning, and religious thought and practices.   These courses reflect on questions about knowledge, existence, or the social and ethical world; reasoning about the derivation of positions, beliefs, or values; or practices forming individual or community identity.
6. Social-Scientific Thought. Courses that employ systematic analysis of qualitative, quantitative, and/or ethnographic information drawn from the human world.   These courses develop, test, and explain concepts and theories about human behavior, either individual or collective, and differentiate knowledge derived from observations of the human world from other sorts of knowledge.
7. Visual and Performing Arts. Courses that teach students to represent or express ideas, or formulate arguments about how the world is represented in music, theatre, visual art, dance, and screen media.   These courses help students build conceptual vocabularies for interpreting and communicating ideas about such works and the formal and aesthetic concerns related to them, and/or understand how others have interpreted and communicated these ideas in historical contexts.

Further Degree Requirements

The candidate for the bachelor’s degree shall:

1.  Complete a course satisfying each of the following

  • Cultural Diversity. A course addressing cultures other than the dominant ones of the U.S. or Western Europe. 
  • Foreign Language. The third-semester course (or its equivalent) in the acquisition of a foreign language. The requirement may be satisfied by an approved transfer course at 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 writing requirement. It is strongly recommended that the student complete the foreign language requirement before entering the senior year.
  • Writing 101. A first-year course focused on writing in the liberal arts. The course must be completed satisfactorily before the beginning of the second (sophomore) year. AP or other pre-college courses may not be used to satisfy the writing requirement.
  • Justice, Equality, and Community. Complete a course designated as satisfying the Justice, Equality, and Community (JEC) Requirement. Such courses address justice and equality as they appear in various communities, locales, nations, or regions, and focus on methods and/or theories that have been used to analyze, bring attention to, or remedy instances of injustice and inequality.  In prescribing a course that examines these matters, the faculty guide students to examine how justice and equality have been distributed, enacted, problematized, and idealized in historical or contemporary settings.

2.  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.

3.  Complete satisfactorily 32 courses, one-half 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. 

4.  Complete all requirements for a major field of study, including an average grade point average of 2.0 on the courses counted toward the major. For the computation of the major grade point average, when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade counts.

5.  Satisfy the requirements in Physical Education as follows: Davidson 101, required of all students including transfers, during their first semester at Davidson; two (2) Lifetime Activity credits; and one team sport credit.

Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete the physical education requirement by the end of their sophomore year. Upon completion of all Physical Education requirements, the following transcript notation is entered: “PE Requirements completed.”

6.  Note that no single course satisfies more than one requirement, except that a course fulfilling a distribution requirement may also fulfill the cultural diversity requirement, and language courses beyond 201 may fulfill a distribution requirement and/or a cultural diversity requirement as well as the foreign language requirement. Courses fulfilling distribution requirements may also fulfill major, minor, or interdisciplinary minor requirements. A course fulfilling the writing requirement may not fulfill major, minor, or interdisciplinary minor requirements. The Registrar may designate a transfer credit (including AP or other pre-college credit) as satisfying a foreign language, distribution, composition, or cultural diversity requirement following, as occasion demands, consultation with appropriate department or program chairs.

1The Humanities Program would receive an exception to this condition; that is, a three- or four-course sequence in Humanities could fulfill three or four categories. Courses in the Writing Program could not fulfill the categories.

2Certain departments offer courses with more than one course prefix (e.g., CLA, LAT, and GRE in the department of Classics, and MAT and CSC in the department of Mathematics). Courses with different designations, however, are sufficiently different to meet the goal of breadth across departments/programs, and at other institutions these courses are often taught in separate departments. 

Justice, Equality, and Community

In order to graduate, starting with the Class of 2021, students will take at least one course that addresses justice and equality as they appear in various communities in local, regional, national, and/or global dimensions, and focuses on methods (i.e., legal, intellectual, creative, political, cultural, aesthetic, or scientific) that have been used to foster awareness of or to remedy inequalities and injustice.  Depending on disciplinary affiliation, subject of study, and traditions of inquiry, a majority of the course content of a JEC-coded course will:

  • examine historical or contemporary manifestations of injustice or structural inequalities that have impinged on the political, cultural, medical, economic, moral, religious, or social well-being of persons and groups who have been subordinated, marginalized, or put in positions of precarity by others, and
  • do so by exposing students to the relevant theories, methods, strategies, and ideas (i.e., ethical, juridical, religious, scientific, creative, philosophical, aesthetic, etc.) that make it possible to identify, analyze, and/or remedy structural inequalities and injustice.

Departmental and Graduation Honors


Many 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 adviser 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.

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  

The student with the highest cumulative grade point average in the graduating class is designated at Commencement as “First Honor.” If there is no tie for “First Honor,” then the student with the next highest cumulative GPA is designated as “Second Honor.”

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 requirement; AND
  • a cumulative grade point average of 1.60.

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 adviser.

2.   For 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 the steps necessary to achieve the average of 1.8 required for entry into the junior class (fifth semester).  Advisors and parents or guardians of dependent students will receive a letter indicating the requirement of such a meeting with the Dean of Students. 

3.   For entrance to the junior class or the fifth semester, the student must have:

  • completed 15 courses (16 courses represent normal progress), including at least 6 of the distribution requirements and PE 101 (Davidson 101); AND
  • officially declared a major; AND
  • cumulative grade point average of at least 1.80

4.   For entrance to the senior class or the seventh semester:

  • the student anticipating graduation in May must have completed at least 24 courses
  • the student anticipating graduation in August must have completed at least 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 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 whose 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. A student wishing to return must 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 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 or academic year in Tours, France; semester or academic year in Berlin, Germany; fall and summer semester programs in India, Peru, and China. The cost of semester and academic year 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 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/studyabroad 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 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 city - Le 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 typically 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 at the institute or university. The program ends around December 20th for fall semester students. Spring semester students are in France from January until May, including a two-week stay in Paris and elsewhere (examples: Morocco, Corsica). The academic year program ends in late May. Students typically earn four course credits for a semester and eight course credits for the academic year. Davidson faculty or staff member 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/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.

Semester Programs

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 six SFS research centers:  Panama, Bhutan, Kenya and Tanzania, Australia and New Zealand, 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.

Writing Program


The Writing Program supports students who produce academic writing at Davidson and the faculty who teach its practices throughout the curriculum.  The Program sponsors writing in a variety of styles, genres, and disciplinary contexts across the college, which values writing as a core feature of undergraduates’ intellectual lives.  The Program’s mission is to promote a robust rhetorical culture at Davidson by:

  1. Offering students practice in analysis, intellectual argument, and other forms of writing associated with civic and scholarly publics;
  2. Fostering effective and innovative methods for teaching writing in the liberal arts;
  3. Guiding students in research practices and writerly ethics, with an emphasis on making fair and effective use of the work of others; and
  4. Regularly assessing students’ work as writers.

The Program also supports the work of the Davidson Writing Center, which provides students free-of-charge consultations on any aspect of their written work - from planning, to drafting, to revising.  The Program also offers workshops and symposia for faculty who currently teach writing courses or plan to teach them in the future.

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.

 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.

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 six SFS research centers: Panama, Bhutan, Kenya and Tanzania, Australia and New Zealand, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Costa Rica.

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. 

VANN CENTER FOR ETHICS: The Vann Center for Ethics sponsors a wide range of Ethics Forums on campus throughout the academic year that are open to Davidson College students, faculty, and staff, as well as the surrounding community. Guest speakers, who visit relevant Davidson classes as well as give public lectures, have included scholars from Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Hofstra, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Wesleyan, Duke and other universities, corporate, nonprofit and government executives, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalists and playwrights. The Director of the Vann Center, who also holds the title of Professor of Applied Ethics, teaches ethics courses that satisfy distribution requirements in Philosophical and Religious Perspectives. Course offerings include Ethics and Warfare, Business Ethics, Ethics in Professional Life, and the Moral Status of Humans and Other Animals. The Director coordinates ethics-focused summer fellowships and internships at external organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and Human Rights Watch, and is also available to supervise independent study courses. The Vann Center maintains a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and provides other resources in practical ethics at www.davidson.edu/ethics.

Academic Support



Davidson College librarians partner with faculty to educate students in information literacy, defined by the American Library Association as “a set of abilities requiring individuals to ‘recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.’” Librarians teach students in a Davidson 101 module, sessions in W courses and in 100- through 400-level courses, and one-on-one through research consultations.

In addition to teaching, librarians assist faculty in building the library’s collection of books, journals, electronic resources, and federal government documents, each carefully evaluated and selected to support the Davidson curriculum and faculty and student research. Over 200 endowed materials funds augment the college budget and are used for the purchase of library materials. As a selective federal government depository, the library has received over a quarter of a million U.S. public documents, a rich collection of primary sources serving both the Davidson community and the general public. An ever-expanding array of online resources, including not only government documents, but also subscription databases and scholarly materials, is accessible through the library’s web site; the librarians also provide faculty and students with web-based guides to and tools for using these and other specialized materials. Most electronic resources are available off-campus as well as on campus through the library’s proxy server. Should students and faculty need materials not available at Davidson, the library also has a fast and efficient interlibrary loan service and can easily obtain books, articles, and other items from other libraries.

The E.H. Little Library, the main library, houses most of the research collections, study spaces, and computing facilities. It also serves as the primary service point for students needing research assistance. The Library is open 24/7 when classes are in session. Several other facilities within the Library are worth noting: the College Archives, which preserves and makes institutional records and manuscript collections related to the College and the town of Davidson available to researchers; the Davidsoniana Room, which houses books by and about Davidson alumni and faculty members; and the Rare Book Room, which contains incunabula, examples of fine printing, the Cumming Map Collection, and rare materials like the first edition of the world’s first great encyclopedia, Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de lettres (1751-1765). 

There is an additional music library branch on campus. The music library, providing recordings and scores in support of the music curriculum, is located in the Sloan Music Center. 

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services’ (ITS) mission is to work in collaboration with members of the Davidson community to facilitate the use of current and emerging information technology resources. ITS partners with faculty and educates students in all aspects of technology use. The range of systems and services provided include those that support, enrich, and transform teaching, learning, and research. The systems and services touch virtually every aspect of campus life and are central to the academic enterprise, as well as the supporting administrative processes.

The department is organized into teams that work together to provide comprehensive technology services to faculty and students.

Instructional Technology:  Instructional Technologists work directly with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) faculty to design and support a diverse array of technological solutions for pedagogical and research needs.  Staff are available to assist on a wide range of technology needs tied directly to research or curriculum and are distributed across the campus in the library, Watson Science building, and the south wing lower level of the Chambers Building.  Instruction and development spaces include Studio D (library), the Language Resource Center (Chambers), the Center for Instructional Technology (Chambers), and the Connolly Media Lab and recording studio (Chambers).

Studio D is an experimental classroom located in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in the E.H. Little Library.  Faculty are invited to propose innovative teaching initiatives that receive CTL support for technology, research, instruction, and assessment.  The highly flexible space contains a mix of low and high technologies designed for active learning.  Consultations are available upon request.

The Language Resource Center (LRC) is a traditional instruction and mid-level multimedia development space equipped with thirty student workstations, one instructor workstation, and projection.  The LRC is available to all classes by request to the registrar and ITS.  Classroom instruction by professional staff on basic multimedia tools is also available by request and following consultation.

The Connolly Media Lab and nearby recording studio are available to courses requiring professional-level digital video editing projects.  Courses need to consult with instructional technology prior to use.  The space hosts six high-end multimedia editing stations, along with a gaming and viewing space.  Every Sunday-Thursday evening from 8pm-11pm, the lab hosts drop-in tutoring services to all students needing assistance with multimedia projects.

Technology Help Services:  Technologists in this group work directly with students, faculty, and staff.  The primary services include curricular, classroom, computing facilities/lab, and student support.

Student Computing Center (SCC) is a thirty-six seat computer lab located in the Belk Residence Hall.  Within the SCC there are two technology-infused collaboration rooms, the Think Tank and the Belk Computer Classroom.  All workstations are equipped with campus instructional software.

Chambers Computer Classroom (CHA 3130) is a computer-equipped classroom with eighteen student workstations and one instructor workstation.  The facility is available to all classes via request through the registrar.  All workstations are equipped with campus instructional software.

Genomics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Classroom (CHA 3146) is a computer equipped classroom with eighteen student workstations and one instructor workstation.  The facility is open to faculty and students involved in Genomics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science classes.  All workstations are equipped with campus instructional software.

The Library Classroom (also known as the Fish Bowl) is an instructional space equipped with twenty-one student workstations, one instructor workstation and projection.  All workstations are equipped with campus instructional software.

The Library has forty-five student workstations in the E.H. Little and Music Library facilities, equipped with all campus instructional software.

Library B110 classroom has thirty-two student computer workstations plus mobile instructor station, with multiple large displays and whiteboards, all equipped with campus instructional software.

Studio M (Chambers B260): A “makerspace” that fosters technological creativity and exploration and contains a range of low and high technologies (circuits, electronics, computing, legos, drones, etc) to support “making as a way of knowing”.

The Student Union has twenty-two student computers workstations all equipped with campus instructional software.

Systems and Networks: The group supports the following functions:

Server implementation and support, including all campus services such as Banner; Moodle; Library online catalog; the college website; directory services; e-mail; various internet, intranet, and extranet websites; and file sharing.

Storage services, including two storage area networks for shared disk storage and a backup tape library.

Network connectivity and wiring, including firewall, VPN, Clean Access, and Wireless access.

Internet access.

Telecommunications, including local, long distance, and intra-campus telephone service and voice mail.

Cable television services provided for residence halls.

All campus buildings have access to wireless, data and telephone connectivity, and have personal computers connected to the campus data and wireless networks. All faculty members are connected to the campus data and wireless networks. The high-speed, high-performance wired and wireless networks provide broadband access to students, faculty, and staff throughout all the buildings and 100-acre main grounds of the campus.

EDUCOM CODE: The statement below, known as the EDUCOM Code, is the policy of Davidson College. Members of the college community 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 acknowledgment, 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.  

 The Center for Teaching and Learning


Davidson’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) integrates teacher-focused and learner-focused services from across campus. The CTL helps students reach their highest potential by providing services to supplement the learning that occurs under direct faculty supervision, and helps faculty by providing resources to create or explore new teaching tools, to hone traditional teaching methods, and to develop new pedagogies that will challenge their students, all with the ultimate goal of improving student learning. In 2011, the first phase of the Center for Teaching and Learning was established on the first floor of the E.H. Little Library. All of the services listed below will share space in the CTL’s library location, with the exception of the Multimedia Center (Chambers South Wing, lower level).

Student Assistance:  The following student resources are provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning.  All services are free of charge.

Academic Support: Academic support assistance helps students with note taking, time management, reading enhancement, and study and organizational skills. Individual counseling, accommodations for students with learning disabilities, and assistive technology are available. Quiet testing and study spaces are provided.

Economics Center: Experienced peer tutors assist students with any Introductory Economics assignment. Tutors may be available to assist with some of the basic computing tools used in economics courses.

Math and Science Center: Assistance is offered to students in all areas of math and science, with a focus on the introductory-level courses. Trained and highly qualified peers hold one-on-one and small-group tutoring sessions on a drop-in basis or by appointment, as well as timely recap sessions ahead of scheduled tests. Tutors help students understand concepts, connections, critical thinking, and problem-solving. The MASC provides assistance with research, presentations, lab reports, and other math and science projects.  Study groups are supported and facilitated. 

Multimedia Center: Peer tutors provide assistance to students incorporating digital practice in their course projects.  Students can receive help for application-specific questions and guidance on general best practices in the topics of web design, graphic arts, presentation design, pre-production digital narrative planning, video and audio production, and copyright.

Speaking Center: Peer tutors assist students with general and discipline-specific presentations, including speeches, group projects, and interviews. Help is provided with speech topics, research strategies, organization, and delivery, including presentation aids.  Tutors provide students with skills to prepare for interviews, lead or participate in meetings, present research and co-curricular projects, and deal with speech anxiety.  

Writing Center: Peer tutors are available to assist any student with both general and discipline-specific writing problems at any stage in the writing process. The tutors provide assistance with brainstorming and research, as well as technical writing skills such as structure, style, and usage for any Davidson course regardless of discipline.  Further, specialized tutoring is available for writing in Spanish, French, and German.  Other support available through the Writing Center includes support for fiction and non-fiction co-curricular writing projects and help in preparing applications for scholarships, grants, and internships.

Multilingual Writing:  The CTL offers resources to assist their learning as non-native speakers of English and provides resources for the faculty teaching them.  The resources address such complex issues as nonverbal communication, grammar, colloquialisms, American academic expectations, and the integral role of class discussion in a Davidson education.  An ESL Specialist offers individual tutoring assistance for students and coordinates with the Writing and Speaking Centers in training tutors.

Discipline-specific Tutors:  The Center for Teaching and Learning provides a list of trained students who are well versed in the subject matter and are available to tutor in discipline-specific courses outside of economics, mathematics, and the sciences.

Information Literacy:  The library’s information literacy program is designed to help students acquire and polish their research and critical thinking skills.  Through scheduled and point-of-need instruction, professional librarians teach students to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively.

Student Technology Help:  Student Technology provides peer assistance for computers and other mobile devices and help with general technology questions.  Student techs are trained by ITS and serve as a first line of support and can refer students to the appropriate professional staff when needed.

Faculty assistance:  The CTL supports faculty as they develop ideas for teaching and supporting learning goals in their courses by providing the following:

Information Literacy Librarians collaborate with faculty by offering course-integrated information literacy sessions, assisting with the development of class assignments and activities, web-based tutorials and guides, and other learning opportunities that contribute to course learning goals.

Instructional technologists work with faculty on the use, development, and evaluation of a wide range of teaching and learning technologies, including multimedia, web-based, and emerging technologies.  Instructional technologists support faculty who utilize the Studio D experimental classroom to develop and assess new teaching pedagogies.

Conversations About Teaching, EAT lunches, and other faculty programs:  Faculty discussion groups, workshops, poster sessions, and teaching showcases are held throughout the academic year and highlight teaching initiatives on campus and at other institutions.  Events provide information on the latest technological applications for teaching, assessment strategies, and other pertinent topics related to teaching and learning.

 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.

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, as well as readmissions, 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 or resources require. Further, the college cannot 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.

Schedule Adjustment Period

At the beginning of each academic year, the Registrar distributes procedures for Schedule Adjustment which may include a pre-semester period, periods during the first week of each semester to drop and add, and periods during the second week of each semester to drop and to add with written approval of the professor of any course to be added. A 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.

Course Loads

The normal academic load is four or five credit courses per semester. Students who have extra credits may elect a three-course load in any one semester of the senior year or the 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.)

Credit Definition

Course credit at Davidson College is awarded based on the successful completion of learning outcomes developed by individual departments and programs.  All courses are approved by the college’s faculty through a process that requires review and action by all appropriate academic programs and the recommendation of the Committee on Educational Policy.

Davidson College courses (with the exception of two-credit intensive courses numbered 103) all carry one course credit.  One course credit is equivalent to four semester credits.  In-person contact with the course instructor is a key component required for students to meet learning outcomes at Davidson College.  In accordance with the federal definition of the credit hour, one course credit at Davidson College equates to at least twelve total hours of academic work each week in a fifteen-week semester.  A normal course load at Davidson College consists of four courses, which equates to sixteen semester credits and at least forty-eight total hours of academic work each week in a fifteen-week semester.  Students are typically expected to engage in academic activities outside of the scheduled time in class.  Depending on the nature of the course, some meet longer in person, while others include more out of class work.  The expectation is that regardless of the individual design of the course, each course has a total workload of at least twelve house per week.

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.

College policies require that schedules for athletic and other college-sponsored extracurricular activities may not require any student to miss more than three MWF or two TR classes or laboratories.  In addition, students may not be required to miss two consecutive regular class meetings in any course or to miss days set aside for examinations or the reading day without special permission from the Committee on Educational Policy.  In the case of conflicts, class attendance shall always take precedence over other college-sponsored activities.  It is the responsibility of coaches or other appropriate officials to notify students, no later than the first week of classes, of days during the semester when students will be required to miss a class and to remind students that, in case of conflict, classes have priority over non-academic events.

Audio and Video Recording of Classes

POLICY:  Students may not make audio or video recordings of classes (or other organized teaching activities, such as lab sessions) without the prior express authorization of the instructor, except in cases where Davidson College is required by law to provide for recording of a class as a reasonable accommodation for a qualified student with a disability.

PURPOSE:  Davidson College’s intellectual property policy (available at: http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x4485.xml) provides that it is generally the college’s policy that intellectual property such as lecture notes and course materials shall be the property of the author or creator. However, the college has a non-exclusive, perpetual and royalty-free license to use all faculty-owned intellectual property for internal instructional and educational purposes. In keeping with this policy, Davidson College prohibits the unauthorized recording of classes.

ADMINISTRATION OF POLICY: Students who wish to create an audio or video recording of a class must obtain the prior express authorization of the instructor. Qualified students with a disability should make a written request for academic accommodation to the Student Disability Resources Coordinator. The Dean of Students Office authorizes academic accommodations and will send written notifications to instructors that the student is authorized to make audio or video recordings of class.

Recordings authorized by either the instructor or the Dean of Students Office are subject to the following conditions of use:

1.   Authorized recordings will be used solely for the purpose of class notes for individual study. Students will not use the recordings or allow them to be used for any other purpose;
2.   Students will not reproduce (other than transcription solely for the student’s own use as class notes), distribute, or sell the recordings or information contained therein;
3.   Students will not allow authorized recordings to be reproduced, sold, or distributed in any manner to any other person(s); and
4.   Students will destroy all recordings at the end of the course.

Nothing in this policy prohibits an instructor from agreeing to alternate conditions of use; however, a student must obtain the prior express authorization of the instructor to use a recording in any manner not permitted by this policy.

Making an audio or video recording of a class without the prior express authorization of the instructor or the Dean of Students Office is a violation of the Honor Code. Violating the conditions of use set forth in this policy (or otherwise authorized by the instructor) is a violation of the Code of Responsibility.

Suggested syllabus language for faculty who wish to prohibit recording: Davidson College policy prohibits audio/video recording of classes by students without permission of the instructor. You may not record class sessions or portions thereof unless the Dean of Students has authorized recording as an academic accommodation for a qualified student with a disability and has notified me of that authorization. All such recordings are for the sole use of the individual student and may not be reproduced, sold, posted online, or otherwise distributed.

Suggested syllabus language for faculty who wish to allow recording:  While Davidson College policy prohibits audio and video recording of classes by students without permission of the instructor, I grant permission for all students in this class to make recordings. This statement gives permission only to record me during class time. It does not imply authorization to record other class members. Authorized recordings are for the sole use of the individual student and may not be reproduced, sold, posted online, or otherwise distributed.

Suggested syllabus language for faculty who wish to allow recording on a case-by-case basis:  Davidson College policy prohibits audio and video recording of classes by students without permission of the instructor. I will consider permission requests on a case-by-case basis. For students with a disability, permission will always be granted when the accommodations authorized by the Dean of Students Office include recording. Authorized recordings are for the sole use of the individual student and may not be reproduced, sold, posted online, or otherwise distributed.

Grading System

Each instructor reports grades at the end of each semester. Grade points assigned for each grade are:

































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

Special grades are issued as follows:



Incomplete; student has not completed final work.



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.



Laboratory-ungraded; no separate credit is awarded for a laboratory.



Authorized Withdrawal approved by the Dean of Students or the Dean of the Faculty.



Ungraded credit; credit transferred from another.



No grade received from the professor.

Transfer Credit

The Registrar evaluates all transfer credit. The host college must be 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 and in the Academic Regulations.

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 eleven or twelve 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.

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.