FAQ for Davis Scholars


How large is the Davis Degree Program?

There are currently about fifty Davis Scholars.

What is the age range of Davis Scholars?

Current Davis Scholars range in age from the mid-twenties to the late fifties.  Approximately half of the current students are in their thirties, and approximately one-fourth are over forty.

Is there a minimum age for Davis Scholars?

Ordinarily, a Davis Scholar must be at least twenty-four years old when she enters the program.  Women with children and veterans of the armed services may be younger.

Is there a minimum credit requirement for applying to the Davis Degree Program?

Applicants to the Davis Degree program are urged to complete at least four college-level courses for credit to strengthen their academic skills and credentials before applying to the program. An applicant needs to demonstrate strong writing skills and the ability to think coherently and analytically, and she must show training in the principles of mathematics, at least through pre-calculus or college-level statistics. Students who have never pursued a foreign language at the college level should complete course work in a foreign language prior to applying.

How will I know how many of my credits will transfer into Wellesley units?

When a student has been admitted to the College, the Registrar's Office does a preliminary assessment of how many credits will transfer. This assessment will be included with the student's letter of admission. Once the student accepts Wellesley's offer of admission, the Registrar's Office will provide a more detailed assessment indicating which courses will transfer and which of Wellesley's degree requirements they may meet. The student can help ensure that this process is accurate by arranging to have all relevant transcripts from previous college work sent to the Wellesley Registrar's Office.

Is there a maximum number of units Wellesley will accept?

Wellesley will accept a maximum of 16 transfer units, the equivalent of 64 semester-hours or 96 quarter-hours. All students must complete a minimum of 16 units at Wellesley.

Is there a minimum number of courses a Davis Scholar must take in a semester? Is there a limit to how many semesters a Davis Scholar may spend at Wellesley?

Starting with Davis Scholars entering in the fall of 2022, all Davis Scholars must be full-time students. This means they must take a minimum of three courses each semester; the ordinary load is four courses. How many semesters Davis Scholars may spend at the College will depend on the number of units with which they enter.

Do Davis Scholars earn the same degree as traditional-age students?

Yes, Davis Scholars complete the same academic degree requirements and receive the same degree as traditional-age Wellesley students. The only exception is the Physical Education requirement, from which Davis Scholars are exempt.

What are Wellesley's degree requirements, and how can I meet them?

You can find a summary of Wellesley's degree requirements on the Class Deans’ webpage. These requirements provide a good deal of structure but also allow for a great deal of freedom. The class dean will discuss requirements with you and will help you plan a program that meets requirements as well as satisfying your own interests.

What if I have no idea what I want to major in? Who will help guide me?

Faculty members at Wellesley are happy to talk with students outside the classroom, so your professors will be a resource and will help you to develop your interests and clarify your ideas. Your class dean will also offer support and guidance as you decide on a major.

How are Davis Scholars charged for their courses? Is this different for resident and commuting students?

Tuition is the same for all students, whether they take the normal course load of four courses or take three courses or five or more courses in a semester. Students in residence pay a comprehensive fee that includes tuition, room and board. Commuting students pay tuition but do not pay room and board.

Can Davis Scholars receive financial aid from the College?

Financial aid and a variety of payment options are available to all students, including Davis Scholars, with demonstrated need. 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 if you have additional questions.

Would my financial aid be different as a resident versus a commuter?

Students living on campus receive a financial aid package based on a comprehensive fee that includes tuition, room and board. Commuting students receive aid for tuition plus a small allowance for living expenses. This allowance is not intended to cover the full costs of off-campus living.

Do you have to pay for tutors?

Tutors are available free of charge through the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center.

Does Wellesley have on-campus and family housing for Davis Scholars?

Wellesley offers both 9- and 12-month on-campus housing to Davis Scholars, but we do not have housing for students' families. Here is more housing information.

If living on campus, will I have a roommate?

All Davis Scholars have single rooms and share common rooms.

Are there opportunities for Davis Scholars to study abroad?

Yes, the same opportunities for study abroad are available for Davis Scholars as for traditional-age students. These opportunities include semester- and year-long programs and also two- or three-week wintersession programs, which can be particularly attractive to Davis Scholars whose family obligations make it difficult to be away for a longer period, or who are transferring the maximum number of outside units to Wellesley.

What is the interaction with traditional-age students like?

Traditional-age students as well as faculty welcome the opportunity to have Davis Scholars in class and on campus. Davis Scholars and traditional-age students join study groups, participate in class projects, and meet in the dining halls for lunch or dinner. Davis Scholars also join with traditional-age students in various campus activities.

Can Davis Scholars take part in campus activities (i.e., sports, clubs, college government)?

All campus activities are open to Davis Scholars, and many choose to participate in co-curricular activities. These include on- or off-campus service projects, cultural organizations, literary societies, language groups, student government, intramural sports, theater and music performances, etc. 

Can Davis Scholars use the Sports Center?

Yes, even though Davis Scholars are exempt from the P.E. requirement, they are welcome to use the Sports Center, to take P.E. classes, and to join club, intramural, and varsity teams. P.E. classes do not give credit toward the degree.

What kind of support can Davis Scholars expect?

All the supports of Wellesley College are available to Davis Scholars.  In addition to faculty members, the Class Deans and the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center provide academic support. Health Services provides help with medical problems, Counseling Services provides help with psychological issues, and Accessibility and Disability Resources provides help with both temporary and chronic disabilities. Career Education helps students seeking internships, fellowships, and employment, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life also offers personal support. Financial support is available not only through  Student Financial Services and the Students' Aid Society, but also through Lifeline, a special resource for Davis Scholars. The Davis Scholar community, including current students, alumnae, and staff, is also an important source of support for Davis Scholars. 

Are there computers available for me to use on campus? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?

There are computer clusters on campus, including four computers at the Continuing Education House, available for Davis Scholars to use. Many areas on campus are wireless, including the Continuing Education House.