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College and Louther Streets
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
p. 717-243-5121
w. www.dickinson.edu

Dickinson College

Dickinson College Rating: 4.1/5 (9 votes)

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Founded in 1783, Dickinson College (DC) is a private liberal arts college located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Being the 16th oldest college in the United States, it has more than 40 undergraduate majors with an emphasis on international studies. It also has more than 40 study-abroad programs in 24 countries on six continents and offers 13 modern language programs. The most popular majors at this school are Social Sciences, Foreign Languages, English, Biology, Business, and History. Other popular programs include Astronomy, Bioinformatics, Chinese, Latin American studies, and military science. Pre-professional programs at this College include ministry, law, medicine, journalism, business, and binary engineering.

DC offers very small class sizes. It also has special academic options that include double majors, student-designed majors, honors programs, independent study, and independent research. This school was recognized as one of the best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admission is more selective. Applicants can use the common application and there is a non-refundable application fee. Applicants must submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay, but standardized testing is optional.

Transfer students, home-schooled students, and international students may need to use different procedures, so they should refer to the website or contact the Office of Admissions for more information about the admissions process.

Financial Aid

This is a wide variety of financial aid programs available. The majority of students who apply for financial aid receive some form of state, federal, private or institutional financial assistance. Forms of aid that are available for students include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. A limited number of institutional scholarships and waivers are also available. All students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the CSS Profile, as well as, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Profile should be completed in December and the FAFSA should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1st for the upcoming academic year. If selected for verification, students will also need to complete a Federal Verification Worksheet and/or additional documents. Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for more information and assistance with completing the financial aid application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4131st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Pennsylvania.


Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and some seniors are required to live on campus, but housing options differ by class standing. Freshmen are assigned to dormitories, while sophomores and juniors live in suite-style housing. Seniors can choose to either live in campus apartments or apply to move off campus. Freshmen can also sign up for a learning community, which is a group of students with a shared interest who live and take at least two of the same classes together. Meal plans are required, but there are three plans that students can choose from. Most students claim to love the food, which is ranked high nationally.

There are 7 computer labs as well as two 24-hour computer labs. Wireless internet access is also available. There is one extensive library with four separate “reading rooms.” Popular places to hang out on campus include the Quarry Café and the HUB lower level student lounge. The Quarry had pool tables and board games, and movies are usually shown in Dana Hall on Friday and Saturday nights. The Campus Activities Board sponsors many weekend events that include concerts, dances, comedy shows, magic shows, and laser tag games. These events always include free food. Parties are generally hosted by the Greek organizations, but the school is very strict about underage drinking.

Dickinson students have more than 130 student clubs and organizations that they can participate in, including twelve fraternities and sororities. There are other Greek organizations as well. Greek life is a huge part of student life at Dickinson. Almost 25% of the college’s students join a Greek organization.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


DC’s Red Devils participate in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. The school’s colors are red, white, and black. The school has a particularly competitive rivalry with Franklin and Marshall College. Dickinson has 23 varsity sports teams that compete in baseball, men’s and women’s riding, men’s and women’s basketball, football, softball, men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s field hockey. The College also has a cheerleading squad and dozens of intramural and club sports that include men’s volleyball, ice hockey, soccer, badminton, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. One of Dickinson’s most legendary athletic achievements is the 1958 men’s lacrosse team’s national title and Roy Taylor Division championship.

Local Community

The campus town of Carlisle is a quiet, historic community located about 2 hours from Philadelphia and 30 minutes from Harrisburg. There are interesting stores and many great restaurants and cafés that students frequent, but there isn’t much of a nightlife, other than a few bars. However, the college is working with the community to revitalize the town. Students often shop at the huge Wal-Mart or go to the nice movie theater in town. To get around town, students may rent from the college’s small fleet of red bicycles. There are other universities that are just a short drive away.

Information Summary

Ranks 8th in Pennsylvania and 54th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Pennsylvania and 560th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 3 0.13
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 11 0.46
Robbery 6 0.25
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 12 0.50
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 6 0.25

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 24 0.13
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 8 0.04
Robbery 26 0.14
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 53 0.28
Larceny 405 2.16
Vehicle theft 6 0.03

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population52,064 (32,424 urban / 19,640 rural)
Households20,441 (2.38 people per house)
Median Household Income$43,862
Families13,747 (2.91 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
UndergraduateArts & sciences focus, no graduate coexistence
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate four-year
Size & SettingSmall four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringBachelor's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District4211

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 64th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $45,644 $45,644 $45,644
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $450 $450 $450
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $1,428 $1,428 $1,428
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $60,183 $60,183 $60,183
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $60,183 $60,183 $60,183
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $48,615 $48,615 $48,615

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $43,060 $44,551 $43,060 $44,551 $43,060 $44,551
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,000(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $10,800 $11,178
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,500(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $10,800 $11,178
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $1,500(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $1,500(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$65
Graduate Application FeeN/A
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 5,826 (2,264 male / 3,553 female)
Admitted 2,589 (953 male / 1,636 female)
Admission rate 44%
First-time Enrollment 625 (270 male / 355 female)
FT Enrollment 625 (270 male / 355 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment2,396

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
Other tests

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Centennial Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Centennial Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Centennial Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Centennial Conference

ACT Test Admission

94th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 27%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 27 / 31

SAT Test Admission

115th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 55%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 590 / 675
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 600 / 690
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1190 / 1365

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,038
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$5,966
Board Fee$5,602

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 36 17 27 14 420 7 526
African Studies 2 2
American/United States Studies/Civilization 2 21 23
Anthropology 1 1 1 10 13
Archeology 10 10
Art/Art Studies, General 2 1 14 17
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2 11 13
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 2 3 33 41
Chemistry, General 3 3
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General 2 2
Computer and Information Sciences, General 1 4 5
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 4 4
East Asian Studies 1 1 3 5
Economics, General 6 1 23 1 31
English Language and Literature, General 1 27 28
Environmental Science 1 12 13
Environmental Studies 1 15 17
French Language and Literature 8 8
Geology/Earth Science, General 1 4 5
German Language and Literature 5 5
History, General 2 20 23
International Business/Trade/Commerce 11 3 1 29 2 47
International Relations and Affairs 2 1 2 18 1 24
Italian Studies 1 3 4
Jewish/Judaic Studies
Latin American Studies 2 3
Legal Studies, General 2 12 14
Mathematics, General 1 6 7
Medieval and Renaissance Studies 1 1
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Music, General 1 1 2 4
Near and Middle Eastern Studies 4 4
Neuroscience 1 1 11 13
Philosophy 1 8 9
Physics, General 3 5 8
Political Science and Government, General 2 3 2 22 1 30
Psychology, General 1 6 1 2 26 36
Public Policy Analysis, General 17 2 19
Religion/Religious Studies 1 1
Russian Language and Literature 1 5 6
Sociology 4 1 8 13
Spanish Language and Literature 2 6 8
Women's Studies 1 5 6

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 809th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $78,532 ($82,435 male / $70,076 female)
Number of FT Faculty 226 (116 male / 110 female)
Number of PT Faculty 282
FT Faculty Ratio 0.8 : 1
Total Benefits $6,607,528

Carrie Petersen+

Carrie Petersen earned her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters of School leadership at Northern Illinois University. Carrie likes to travel with her husband and two sons.

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