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Academic Information

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.

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 Studies German Studies Psychology
Classical Languages and Literature Hispanic Studies Religious Studies
Classical Studies History Sociology
Computer Science Latin American Studies Theatre
East Asian Studies    

Students may also develop an interdisciplinary major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

For more information about majors, minors, and interdisciplinary minors, see the College Catalog.

The Davidson curriculum stresses competence in reading, writing, 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 writing requirement: a designated writing course (WRI 101), with a variety of specific topics offered or the two-course (and three credit) Humanities sequence (HUM 103, 104).

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.