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*Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley (Domestic)
San Francisco, United States (Outgoing )
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall,
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Fees and other costs (click on the term -->) Fall,
Dates / Deadlines: - unrelated header
Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2021 03/05/2021
Rolling Admission TBA TBA


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Fact Sheet: - unrelated header
Fact Sheet:
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Minimum GPA:
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Language of Instruction:
Class Eligibility: 02 - Sophomore, 03 - Junior, 04 - Senior
Program Description:
Program Description:

***Interested students should contact Kristen Eshleman, Director of Innovation Initiatives (, with any questions regarding specifics of the program.

Davidson in Silicon Valley Summer & Fall 2021 Info Session
Join us to learn about Summer and Fall 2021 options.
Tuesday, January 26th at 6pm ET

Program Overview

Adjacent AcademiesDavidson helped create Adjacent Academies (“Adjacent”) to ensure that all liberal arts students have opportunities to explore technology and graduate with skills and networks to shape and lead in a world of rapid technological transformation. No matter what students do post-graduation, greater familiarity with tech will enable them to have more opportunity and impact because tech touches every sector. Participants will be able to draw stronger connections, ask better questions, and more effectively contribute to and lead teams.

Adjacent recognizes that students want more ways to explore tech beyond a computer science class - ways that are applied, collaborative, inclusive, and connected to a liberal arts education. There are no required prior experiences or courses. Students with no background in tech are strongly encouraged to apply.

At Adjacent, students can:
  • Explore technology and if/how they want to utilize it in the future by developing new technical skills, discussing issues in tech, and getting exposure to a range of companies, roles, and people.
  • Develop workplace-relevant technical and interpersonal skills to complement their education (did you know that employers feel that 65% of new hires lack the combination of technical and interpersonal skills to perform in the workplace?).
  • Create a portfolio of project work that will demonstrate their skills and interests to employers.
  • Expand their professional network and land quality mentors, internships, and jobs.
  • Experience a thriving innovation hub through living in San Francisco.
  • Interview for internships.

Semester Overview - Fall 2021:

*San Francisco, Full-Time, 4 courses*

virtual meeting
One semester at Adjacent will significantly boost students' skills, knowledge, confidence, and connections.  They will have a chance to integrate personal and professional development that will help them shape and accelerate their post-graduation horizon. They will discuss challenging topics about the role of tech in society as they receive valuable personal coaching on everything from their code to their ability to present or be an effective team member.

By the end of the program, students will be able to use code and analytical tools to tackle problems that they care about, solve problems more rigorously, articulate what tech-related roles and experiences might be a good fit for them, and effectively network in order to land the opportunities that they want. The goal of the program is not to make everyone get a tech-related role, but rather to give students the skills, experiences, and connections to do so if they wish. Past students have gone on to do a range of things, from continuing to tinker with tech on the side to launching their own startups to exploring internships and jobs that are related to tech in some way.
On that point, the semester program prepares you for an internship (past participants have said that the experience they gained through the program was the thing that got them hired)

This program is structured more like a work day and less like traditional school, so you should plan on committing at least 40 hours per week.


The program fee is Davidson's regular tuition, fees, room, and board for one semester, and financial aid can be applied. Students are expected to provide their own laptops. Please click on "Fees and Other Costs" toward the top of this page.

  • DIG 245: Critical Web Design OR DIG 345 Advanced Critical Web Design
    • Satisfies requirement of Digital Studies minor
  • CSC 108: Explorations in Computer Science OR CIS 108: Advanced Explorations in Computer Science if students have already taken CSC 108 or CSC 121
    • Satisfies Mathematical and Quantitative Thought requirement
  • ENG 296: Science Fiction & Technology
  • CIS 125: Practicum
  • 2-week internship project with a company, a non-profit organization, or a mentorship program
A note on grading: Davidson students can review grading policies for off-campus campus programs on the Credit Transfer page. Non-Davidson students will receive a Davidson transcript with letter grades. 

Summer Overview:Adjacent Group Presentation

*Format TBA in January*

In this intensive experience, students will engage in project work, coding sessions, and conversations with professionals to explore what it's like to work in tech. Our goal is to expose them not just to the skills in use in tech today but also to the people and roles in a range of companies from small to large and a range of industries from pure tech to healthcare to education.

Students will walk away with the technical skills to build and publish websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. They will identify and make design trade-offs and consider how these issues intersect with other fields e.g., privacy, economics, etc.). 

Students will develop a portfolio of projects to display on their personal website, which they will create as a part of this experience, to demonstrate their skills, thinking, and potential. A great website with a killer project will help students stand out as they explore internships and jobs.

Learn to network with professionals and develop crucial workplace skills, such as team management, presentation, and project management skills through highly collaborative project-based work.

Session Dates
  • Session 1: June 7, 2021 - July 2, 2021 (remote online option)
  • Session 2: July 5, 2021 - July 30, 2021 (first two weeks remote, last two weeks in person)
Students are expected to be actively involved in the program for 40 hours a week between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday.

The program fee is TBA. Scholarships are available.

  • DIG 245/345 - Beginner students will take DIG 245 and those who have taken DIG 245 previously can take the advanced DIG 345
A note on grading: Davidson students can review grading policies for off-campus campus programs on the Credit Transfer page. Non-Davidson students will receive a Davidson transcript with letter grades. 

Additional Program Highlights

Networking & Career Development

Talk to professionals in the Adjacent and Davidson network to better understand what roles are out there. You’ll practice your personal presentation skills and improve your resume and LinkedIn.

Guest Speakers & Company Tours

Students will tour a range of technology companies and have a chance to ask questions of employees and to see how work is done. 

City EventsAdjacent San Francisco

In the semester program, students will be invited to explore the many events, meetups, and hackathons happening all around the city. Students will have the evenings and weekends to experience all San Francisco has to offer, such as festivals, tourist sights, and local hikes.

What Participants Say

"I got the most out of Adjacent and this internship than I otherwise would have in the academic setting at Davidson." -Fall 2021 Participant

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and everything I’ve learned thus far. Would I recommend this to everyone? YES! This has hands down been my best semester at Davidson thus far. Between what I learned, how I learned, and the possibilities left to learn, every expectation was met and blown out of proportion.” - Spring 2020 Participant

“I am really glad that I decided to join Adjacent this past semester. I learned amazing skills, grew as an individual in ways I couldn’t imagine and met some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. I think that when I will be looking back in my life in 5 years, I will consider this experience one of the most influential of my life. This program really opened my eyes and made me see that I can truly do anything I want to.” - Spring 2020 Participant

"It also taught me that there is a limit to how much we can control the unknowns in life. Being comfortable with ambiguity is a trait that will help you build your own opportunities and rely on yourself, not just others, to shape your future.” - Summer 2019 (EdSurge Article)

“I’d definitely say it was a life changing experience ... It definitely changed the way I look at learning and how I actually learn.” - Summer 2019 participant

“I think it is a great way to learn something completely new in an amazing location, with great people and teachers. The program also focuses on more than just coding, it helps develop professional skills that we will need and use for the rest of our lives going forward.”
- Summer 2019 Student

“The program is very intense but already has taught me a lot about independence, productivity, and learning. This new style of learning is super effective: both self-guided and collaborative. Also, being in the city on my own presents a lot more responsibility that is different from the confines of a college.” - Summer 2019 Student

What Faculty Say
“You are still going into a world where technology [exists]...I would rather send Davidson students out into the world having thought about and confronted the challenges of tech than not thinking about them.” Shireen Campbell, professor and chair of English

“Having an under-the-hood understanding of how the tech world works—even if you don’t go off and become a computer scientist or a programmer—having that experience like that is essential to anyone in any field” Owen Mundy, visiting associate professor of digital studies

Admission Requirements

Open to all Davidson students who are in good standing in all areas. For academics, "good standing" is defined in this case as having a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher.

All students, regardless of major, are encouraged to apply and complete the interview process. The program seeks students interested in technology and who will be comfortable in and motivated by an intensive, highly collaborative, and self-motivated learning experience. Selection is competitive as a limited number of spots are available.

No prior computer science experience is necessary. In the brief written application and short video interview, we seek to understand an applicant’s motivation for applying to the program, curiosity, growth mindset, willingness/ability to fail and learn from failure, ownership, and teamwork skills.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete an application through the Davidson portal (click the "Apply" button at the top of this page) AND through the Adjacent website (link to the Adjacent application is available within the Davidson portal).

Non-Davidson students interested in the program should contact Kristen Eshleman,

Contact Information

Kristen Eshleman
Director of Innovation Initiatives

Anh Nguyen
CEO Adjacent Academies

Access Statement

The college welcomes requests for accommodations related to disability and will grant those that are determined to be reasonable and maintain the integrity of a program or curriculum. To make such a request or to begin a conversation about a possible request, please contact the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources, which is located in the Center for Teaching and Learning in the E.H. Little Library. It is best to submit accommodation requests as early as possible.

Beth Bleil, Director
Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources

Alysen Beaty, Assistant Director
Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources

Davidson College reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of an off-campus program should changing circumstances make it necessary to do so.

Davidson admits qualified students without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, gender, or sexual preference.


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This program is currently not accepting applications.

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