Dickinson College

2014 Quick Stats
PO Box 1773

Carlisle, PA 17013-2896

Phone: (717) 243-5121
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Feb. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#45 Overall Score: 72 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Dickinson College is a private institution that was founded in 1783. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,386, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 180 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Dickinson College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 45. Its tuition and fees are $46,094 (2013-14).

Only a few days after the Revolutionary War came to a close, Dickinson College was chartered in Carlisle, Pa. Today, Dickinson students have more than 130 student clubs and organizations to choose from, including about a dozen fraternities and sororities. About a quarter of all students join a Greek organization. The Dickinson Red Devils compete in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference, and the school has a particularly competitive rivalry with Franklin and Marshall College in nearby Lancaster, Pa. Intramural sports, like sand volleyball and badminton, are a popular draw for students, too. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and some seniors must live on campus, though housing options differ by class standing. First-year students are assigned to dormitories; sophomores and juniors live in suites; and seniors can either move into campus apartments or apply to move off campus. Freshmen also have the option to register for a learning community, a group of students with a similar interest who live and take at least two of the same classes together.

The campus town of Carlisle is a historic community of 20,000 residents. To get around town, students may rent from a small fleet of college-owned, red bicycles. The campus is 25 miles away from the state’s capital, Harrisburg; 95 miles from Baltimore; and 125 miles from Philadelphia. For a semester or a year away from Carlisle, students can choose from more than 40 study abroad programs, many of which are led by Dickinson faculty.

The Dickinson School of Law is affiliated with Penn State University and moved to University Park, Pa., but Dickinson undergraduates can benefit from the professional institution. Students can take an accelerated track toward earning a law degree, completing three years at Dickinson College and three years at the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. Other joint master’s degree programs include an accelerated Bachelor of Science degree from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, a 13.5 month program following three years at Dickinson College, and a guaranteed scholarship of at least $10,000 to any Dickinson student admitted to the highly ranked William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. Distinguished graduates of Dickinson College include U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, Pa., and New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Haigh.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Dickinson is a nationally recognized liberal arts college chartered in 1783 in
Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Devoted to its revolutionary roots, the college maintains the mission of founder Benjamin Rush-to provide a useful education in the liberal arts and sciences. Dickinson has a robust academic program, offering forty-two majors plus minors, certificates, self-developed majors, independent research, and internships. Our innovative programs range from neuroscience to security studies, and develop intellectual independence by actively engaging in research, fieldwork, lab work in state-of-the-art science programs and other experiential opportunities. Dickinson's global curriculum includes international business and management, international studies, thirteen languages, and many globally oriented courses. Dickinson offers one of the world's most respected study abroad programs, and more than half of Dickinson's students study in more than forty programs in twenty-five countries on six continents. Dickinson is recognized as a leader among educational institutions committed to sustainability and green initiatives. The Center for Sustainability Education integrates sustainability into its academics, facilities, operations, and campus culture. Dickinson has received the highest awards from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Sierra Club, Sustainable Endowments Institute, The Princeton Review, and Second Nature. Dickinson alumni are at the top of their fields as business leaders, professional artists and writers, sports agents and athletes, doctors and researchers. And many of them used their liberal arts foundation to forge their own paths. Our graduate-school partnerships enable our students to enter top programs with greater ease and reflect the high regard in which Dickinson is held.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1783
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $325,683,702


When applying to Dickinson College, it's important to note the application deadline is February 1, and the early action deadline and the early decision deadline are December 1 and November 15, respectively. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 1. The application fee at Dickinson College is $65. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 40.2 percent and an early acceptance rate of 49.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 40.2%
Application deadline February 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Dickinson College is 10:1, and the school has 73.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Dickinson College include: International Business/Trade/Commerce; Political Science and Government, General; Economics, General; English Language and Literature, General; and Psychology, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 90.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 81%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
International Business/Trade/Commerce 8%
Political Science and Government, General 8%
Economics, General 7%
English Language and Literature, General 7%
Psychology, General 6%

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Student Life

Dickinson College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,386, with a gender distribution of 44.7 percent male students and 55.3 percent female students. At this school, 95 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 5 percent of students live off campus. Dickinson College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,386
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Dickinson College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Dickinson College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Dickinson College, 41 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Dickinson College.

Students who have cars on campus 41%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Dickinson College, 56 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $30,004.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $46,094 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,568 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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