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Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War soldier and physician, created the charter for Dickinson College, using a grammar school founded in 1773 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, as his foundation. Rush believed in America's potential for achievement through freedom of thought and action. However, he knew that the new country's success after the Revolutionary War was only the beginning. He knew that the country needed to maintain the liberties that were fought so for so valiantly.
At the time, Carlisle was considered the frontier and the struggling grammar school in the small town became the location of Rush's new venture. The charter was signed less than a week after the Treaty of Paris, making Dickinson the first college charted in the new country. Rush asked John Dickinson, who was known as the "Penman of the Revolution," to lend his support and name to the new college. Dickinson agreed with little convincing and helped Rush create the seal for the college. The liberty cap, a telescope and the Bible remain the official seal of the college today over 225 years later.
Rush chose Carlisle, then an outpost of westward expansion, mainly because the combination of activity and uncertainty fit his view of education. Carlisle was founded in 1751 as Cumberland County's seat. Students at Carlisle could easily venture to the nearby courthouse to view the new judicial system in action. As the college grew, science students were able to examine the Appalachian Mountain wilderness. It was these firsthand experiences that Rush believed would create well-rounded graduates.
The school soon outgrew the tiny grammar school where they began and the trustees began contructing a new campus. Known as "New College," the building took four years to complete. In 1803, a snowstorm moved into the area, stirring ashes in the new building's basement. In very little time, the brand new building had burned to the ground. The trustees were devastated at this turn of events until Benjamin Latrobe, who was the architect for the United States Capitol, agreed to draw plans for a new hall. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison donated funds for reconstruction. West College, the building constructed using their funds, opened in November 1805.
Dickinson has always been ahead of the curve as far as education. In 1812, the college purchased Joseph Priestley's scientific equipment, creating a state-of-the-art research facility long before other colleges began doing so. One of the pieces of equipment was a lens that it is believed was used by Priestley in the discovery of oxygen.
From 1816 to 1821, the college closed due to financial problems and dissension among faculty. The trustees resolved the issues but, by 1832, financial pressures and heated debate about the curriculum closed the doors once again. Not long after the second closure, the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which is now the United Methodist Church, approached the trustees about reopening as a Methodist-affiliated institute of higher learning. In 1833, the trustees dissolved and handed over the college to a new board. The church began donating annually to support the college, a tradition that continues today, helping support the Office of Religious Life. Until 1964, students were required to attend chapel services as part of their education.'
The college has continued to grow and the cross-disciplinary approach has provided students with an international education. The college has one of the of the few community studies centers in the country, allowing students to perform field research and take oral histories in local communities. Today, there are 2,370 full-time students studying in 43 majors.
Dickinson College Accreditation Details
Dickinson College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation indicates that the college meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the organization that indicates excellence in education. In addition specific programs are accredited by industry organizations as well.
Dickinson College Application Requirements
In order to apply to Dickinson College, freshmen must complete at least 16 units of secondary school. Submission of ACT and SAT scores is optional for new students. Applicants must provide official high school transcripts and an essay is required. Students must complete the Common Application and provide a counselor recommendation. At least one academic teacher recommendation is required although two are recommended. Students transferring from other colleges or universities must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Dickinson College Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at Dickinson College is $51,180 per year. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The average financial aid package is $39,844. First-year students average grant and scholarships of $31,478. Nearly 70 percent of the students entering their first year at Dickinson receive grant or scholarship assistance. In 2013-14, Dickinson contributed more than $41 million in grants and scholarships.
Dickinson College Degree Program(s) Available
International Business & Management
In today's increasingly global business world, more companies are seeking employees who have an understanding of how business operates on a global level. The International Business & Management program at Dickinson College provides a solid grounding in business and economics while also exploring culture, politics and business environments around the world. The program includes business, economic and foreign-language courses with students choosing one international region as a focus. Students are encouraged to take advantage of international immersion programs which are offered during the academic year, each semester and during the summer. The program is not a conventional business major. Students are provided knowledge and skills across multiple settings, helping them develop the tools they need to succeed in the global marketplace. Courses included in the program are:
- Foreign Language Courses – three beyond the intermediate level are required
- Fundamentals of Business and Accounting
- Global Economy
- International Organizational Behavior
- Introduction to Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
- Managerial Decision Making
- Marketing in a Global Context
Students are also required to complete an internship with transcript notation or approved field experience.
For more than 200 years, Dickinson College has been providing rigorous curriculum with a focus on liberal arts. They are one of the first colleges to create a dedicated research facility to provide students the opportunity to delve deeper into their field of study. Dickinson College prepares students to move into a new career, advance in a current career or prepare for graduate study.