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*Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley (Domestic)
Remote, 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
Fall 2020 08/09/2020
Rolling Admission 08/24/2020 11/20/2020
NOTE: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants should expect a decision within one week of submitting an application.


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Fact Sheet:
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Program Housing:
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Minimum GPA:
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Language of Instruction:
English Class Eligibility: 02 - Rising Sophomores, 03 - Rising Juniors, 04 - Rising Seniors
Program Description:
Program Description:

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

Program Overview

Adjacent AcademiesDavidson helped create Adjacent Academies (“Adjacent”) to ensure that all liberal arts graduates have the skills, networks, and opportunities to shape and lead in a world of rapid technological transformation. Adjacent recognizes that students benefit from more variety in tech pathways — you don’t have to major in computer science to explore or play a role in the tech industry.

No prior experience or course prerequisites necessary. Students with no background in tech are strongly encouraged to apply.

A note on proactive health and safety measures:

Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley is committed to the health and well being of its students. We are guided by the CDC, ACHA, and local public health information and directives. This program will adhere to the same standards as the Davidson College campus.

  • Daily practices - enhanced health and personal hygiene practices 
  • Physical distancing - learning spaces will be large enough to accommodate adequate spacing as recommended 
  • Symptom checking - students will be asked to self screen on a daily basis 
  • Access to testing - COVID-19 testing is available to anyone living or working in San Francisco
  • Cohabitation - students will live in doubles and in a dormitory where interaction with students outside of the program is very restricted. This means that students in the program will either occupy their own building or specific floors within a building, with kitchen and bathrooms limited to program participants.
  • Meals - students will not share food while in the program 
  • Quarantining - students who test positive will be immediately quarantined in a private space per CDC recommendations

In spring 2020 Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley quickly and seamlessly transitioned to an online environment; despite the transition, the majority of students said it was in the top three college experiences they’d had to date. We are prepared to move online at any point if circumstances dictate such a transition in the interest of health and safety.

Throughout, Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley prioritizes transparent and regular communication with its students and families.

Fall/Spring Overview:

Connect your liberal arts degree with tech and entrepreneurship skills.
Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley is for liberal arts students who don’t want to be counted out in an increasingly technology-driven world. This is your opportunity to join a group of learners who, like you, want to have the skills, experiences, and networks to have a massive impact on the world around them. 

As Steve Jobs once said, “Technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that makes our hearts sing.”

Build projects that demonstrate your initiative, creativity, and skills.
Dive into a highly immersive experience in the Bay Area and dig into technical skills such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL while you also debate how ethics and morals impact how technology is created and consumed. Test and develop your teamwork, communication, and project management skills through paired and team projects and strengthen your public speaking and presentation skills through weekly demos. Learn to give authentic feedback and receive feedback (perhaps too much of it!) that will challenge your capacity to learn and to achieve. Fail constantly, learn to better navigate ambiguity, and emerge able to tackle technical learning and pair your interests with newfound skills in ways you never thought possible. 

Gain inspiration and networks to help you succeed.
Join your peers in conversations with a range of leaders, from early in career to seasoned CEOs, who have made their way into tech and had an impact in fields such as education, healthcare, financial services, and media. Explore your curiosity in startups. Identify and unpack new opportunities to pair your liberal arts education and interests with tech.

Adjacent offers one semester’s worth of credit, practical technical and interpersonal skill development, and unique mentoring, networking, and career development opportunities. At Adjacent you can:
  • Explore tech/tech’s impact and what tech-related jobs and companies that might be a good fit for you through learning about and discussing issues in tech and through exposure to a range of companies, roles, and people.
  • Develop workplace-relevant technical and interpersonal skills to complement your 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 your skills and interests to employers.
  • Expand your professional network and land quality mentors, internships, and jobs.
  • Experience a thriving innovation hub through living in San Francisco.
  • Interview for internships.
One semester at Adjacent will significantly boost your skills and knowledge, integrate personal and professional development, and shape and accelerate your post-graduation horizon. You'll discuss challenging topics about the role of tech in society as you receive valuable personal coaching on everything from your code to your ability to present or be an effective team member. By the end of the program, you'll be able to use code and analytical tools to tackle problems that you care about, solve problems more rigorously, articulate what tech-related roles and experiences might be a good fit for you, and effectively network in order to land the opportunities that you want. Our strong preference is that 100% of students line up a high quality summer internship while in this program; Adjacent will make introductions and interviews available for all students.

Your tuition and financial aid cover the full cost of the program, which includes meals, housing, materials, and some local transportation. Students are expected to provide their own laptops. Please click on "Fees and Other Costs" toward the top of this page.

Summer Overview:
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*Online, Full-Time*

This 4-week online program introduces students with no technical background to develop skills in web design and data visualization while exploring how you might have an impact in tech. Each day you'll be learning and applying technical skills, often in partnership with other students, and you'll also have many opportunities to virtually interact and network with professionals across a range of jobs and industries in tech, from startups to large established companies.

Additionally, this course isn’t all about learning to design and program. We’ll also explore, comment on, critique, or celebrate the impact of tech via the lens of justice, ethics, and community.

We’ll virtually visit tech companies, network with professionals, and build projects that will boost your résumé and make you stand out in the job market.

Come explore the tech industry with us!

Please click on "Fees and Other Costs" toward the top of this page for program fee information. Students are expected to provide their own laptop.

Session Dates:
Summer Session 1: June 1 – 26, 2020
Summer Session 2: July 6 – 31, 2020


Adjacent Group PresentationFall/Spring Program:
The Fall 2020 program will take place in the Bay Area, with instruction both in person and remote.

This is not a traditional classroom experience. Learning at Adjacent mirrors the workplace and is therefore not lecture-based — you will learn by doing alongside your peers, with the support of experienced technologists and educators, and with interaction and feedback from mentors and employees in diverse tech roles. You'll learn about and analyze tech at a macro level—the history of tech, the moral and ethical challenges of tech, the impact that tech has on communities — but also at the very micro level as you learn the fundamentals of web design and computational thinking and problem solving using software. Each day you will spend some time programming, building, and collaborating with your teammates and working on projects that you find interesting.

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.

Pre-requisites: good academic standing, minimum 2.5 GPA, no computer science experience required.

  • DIG 245: Critical Web Design OR DIG 345 Advanced Critical Web Design - P or F
    • Satisfies requirement of Digital Studies minor) 
  • CSC 108: Explorations in Computer Science OR CIS 108: Advanced Explorations in Computer Science (prerequisite: CSC 108 or CSC 121) - P or F
    • Satisfies Mathematical and Quantitative Thought requirement
  • CIS 101: A Well Examined Life, Prof. Suzanne Churchill - letter grade
  • CIS 125: Capstone/Practicum - P or F (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies)

Summer Program:
In this intensive online experience, students are expect to be actively involved in the program for 40 hours a week between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday. During the day, students will be engaged in individual learning, paired projects, group projects, lectures/live coding sessions, and virtual conversations with professionals to explore what it's like to work in tech. Our goal is to expose you 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.

You'll walk away with...

Technical Skills
  • Build and publish websites using HTML and CSS.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of SQL, the standard language for interfacing with databases.
  • Identify and articulate the design tradeoffs in the tools they use throughout the course as well as the code they and their fellow students write.
  • Identify and discuss computational issues as they intersect with other fields (e.g., privacy, economics, etc.).
Workplace Skills
  • Build interpersonal, team management, presentation, and project management skills through highly collaborative project-based work.
  • Understand the norms, values, lingo, practices, networks, and job opportunities in the tech industry - and particularly job opportunities that leverage liberal arts and non-CS experiences and strengths.
Portfolio Projects
  • Develop a portfolio of projects to display on your personal website, which you'll create as a part of this experience, to demonstrate your skills, thinking, and potential. A great website with a killer project will help you stand out as you explore internships and jobs.

Pre-requisites: good academic standing, no computer science experience required.

  • DIG 245/345 - Beginner students will take DIG 245 and those who have taken DIG 245 previously can take the advanced DIG 345 - P or F

Additional Program Highlights

Networking Events

Adjacent will host required networking events with local alums and employees with a variety of education and professional backgrounds. 

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 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

“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. Additional details are available in the Davidson application portal.

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

Contact Information

Kristen Eshleman
Director of Innovation Initiatives

Malena Harrang
Sr. Manager Operations, 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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