Davis Degree

Davis Degree students

The Elisabeth Kaiser Davis Degree Program: For transfer applicants over the age of 24, mothers, and veterans

Davis & Transfer Visit Day: Friday, November 16, 2018

Application Deadline:

March 1: For all US citizens, permanent residents, and international students.
Note: September entry only

Important Links:

Step-by-Step Application Instructions
Davis & Transfer Visit Day Friday, November 16, 2018
FAQ: Davis Degree Program
Transfer Credit Guidelines

Designed with the needs of the returning student in mind, the Elisabeth Kaiser Davis Degree program affords women beyond traditional college age who have begun but not completed a bachelor's degree the opportunity to complete their degree at Wellesley. The Davis Degree Program gathers women from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, providing them with a fully engaged college experience in one of the best liberal arts programs available and, in the process, creating an extraordinary community. 

Who may apply?

U.S. veterans, mothers, and any woman who was unable to complete her bachelor’s degree during the traditional 18- to 24-year-old period of her life.

Davis Scholars and traditional-age students: similarities and differences

Davis Scholars take the same classes as the traditional-age students, have the same degree requirements for graduation, and graduate with the same Wellesley degree.  Unlike traditional-age students, Davis Scholars have the option of taking classes part-time, which grants them the flexibility to design an academic schedule that accommodates other demands on their time—such as work and family responsibilities. Davis Scholars also have their very own Dean who will guide them through the curriculum at the College, along with their major advisors. They can even choose to live in on-campus housing. See Housing.

Financial aid for Davis Scholars

Wellesley's admission process for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is need-blind. We admit students based on their skills, abilities, and promise—not on their financial situation. Financial aid is also available for a limited number of international students. (See international students.) Wellesley meets 100% of calculated need for all admitted students.  If you plan to apply for financial aid, you should do so at the same time you apply for admission.

Student Financial Services uses the same formula for Davis Scholars as they use for traditional-age students. Students benefit from Wellesley’s very strong financial position with an endowment of over $1.8 billion for just 2,300 students. Packaged student loans are capped at $15,200 over four years and loans are eliminated for students with the greatest need. It is not all that uncommon for a student to find that the cost of attending Wellesley is less than the cost to attend her state institution.

The College does not offer financial assistance for off-campus housing. However, we do take a student's living expenses into account when determining her financial aid package. We recognize that a Davis Scholar’s financial position is often unique and after you read more about financial aid at Wellesley, we encourage you to contact Student Financial Services at sfs@wellesley.edu if you have specific questions about your financial situation and the kind of aid that might be available to you.

Preparation in advance of applying to Wellesley

While every Davis Scholar’s story is unique, what they all share is an eagerness to engage in Wellesley’s vibrant academic community. Students who are successful in the Davis applicant pool typically have completed some recent coursework at a community college. Prior to graduation from Wellesley, the College requires that all students satisfy distribution requirements, including work in English and writing, mathematics, the sciences, social science, and foreign language.

When reading an application, the Board of Admission must feel confident the application contains evidence that a potential Davis Scholar can be successful in these fields. Read Advice from the Dean for more information about preparing to successfully transfer credit to Wellesley.

Bonus tip: The Board suggests that students complete at least through pre-calculus prior to applying for admission. (Your traditional-age classmates will have typically completed calculus while in high school.) 

Application deadlines & notification

The following deadlines are for fall entrance. (We do not admit Davis Scholars for spring entrance.) We must receive your application and all supporting credentials by these deadlines. We will notify you of your admission and financial aid decision in late May.

  • Interview request deadline for all Davis applicants:  February 15
  • Application deadline for US citizens, permanent residents, and all international students: March 1

Apply via the Common Application or the Coalition Application

To apply to Wellesley as a Davis Degree candidate, you must complete and submit the online Common Application for Transfer Candidates or the Coalition Application for Transfer Candidates. It's free to do so.  Please be sure to identify yourself as a transfer applicant when you register for your Common App or Coalition account.  See Step-by-step application instructions for Davis Degree applicants.

Required interview

All Davis Degree Program applicants are required to sit for an interview. The deadline to request an interview is February 15. Please contact us early, because spots fill up quickly. Schedule an on-campus interview*.  To request an off-campus interview with an alumna in your region, please complete the Off-Campus Interview Request Form*. The deadline for requesting an interview is two weeks before the admission deadline. ​

Credit evaluation guidelines

Wellesley does not automatically grant credit for courses taken at other colleges. Each candidate’s record is evaluated according to Wellesley’s degree requirements and the accreditation of the institutions under consideration. Credit is only given for those courses that are comparable to courses offered in the liberal arts and sciences curriculum at Wellesley. Credit is not given to courses taken online.

A tentative transfer credit evaluation from the Wellesley College Registrar will be included in a student's admit packet. See also Transfer Credit Guidelines.


While the College does not offer family housing, students who choose to live on campus may choose between nine-month and twelve-month housing options. 

Readmission to Wellesley

Applicants who have been previously matriculated as degree candidates at Wellesley must apply for readmission through the Office of Advising and Academic Support Services, rather than through the Admission Office. Please call Dean Susan Cohen at 781.283.2325 or email scohen@wellesley.edu for more information.

See: General Topics & Application Process
See: Davis Degree FAQ
See: Transfer FAQ

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