Why should you choose Gettysburg College?

Pennsylvania Hall with banners flying in front of it
Pennsylvania Hall

Community, opportunities, leadership, and versatility are what make the Gettysburg College experience unique and enriching.

Picking where you will attend college is a life-changing decision. Many colleges and universities offer a plethora of opportunities, making it hard to determine which place will be the best for you.

However, if you are looking for a college in a historic town with a close-knit community of professors and students always rallying behind you and academic programs that challenge you in all aspects of life, the choice is simple. Gettysburg College is the best college for you.

Timothy Wilson ’21 chose Gettysburg College for the closeness of the community and the feeling of home on campus.

“I chose Gettysburg because it was the only place where I automatically felt at home,” Wilson said. “It was the one place that I could physically see myself flourishing and spending the next four years of my life. The community made me feel welcomed and the opportunities were endless.”

Students sitting at desks in a classroom with a chalkboard at the back of the room
Prof. Amy Evrard’s Anthropology of Violence and Conflict class

Learn across disciplines: Academics at a glance

Gettysburg College offers a liberal arts and sciences education combined with opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, innovative studies, and global perspectives. We allow students to pursue the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities with 65-plus majors, minors, and programs while providing interdisciplinary learning, innovative studies, and global perspectives.

You also have the flexibility to create an academic plan that works for you by selecting a major, creating your own independent study, and combining your academic offerings with minors. Alongside courses required for your major, you will also explore classes across disciplines to enhance your perspective, and discover new academic possibilities.

The curriculum of a liberal arts and sciences college has allowed me and my classmates to challenge ourselves and be more prepared for the future. You will obtain skills across various fields, including the ability to solve complex problems, conduct scientific research, analyze works of literature, and imbue your work with creativity.

As a mathematical economics major, most of my courses are deeply rooted in the social sciences and require analytical skills. Each semester, however, I can take different courses ranging from arts and literature to the natural sciences, which have broadened my mind and pushed me out of my comfort zone to approach problems differently and think critically in another discipline.

Gettysburg College provides students with the skills that future employers will look for, while teaching you to bring ideas to the table. Modern day industries are constantly evolving, so Gettysburg’s academic curriculum equips you with tools to navigate the changing world.

Chase your passions with unique programs and clubs

Students at a Student Activities Fair
Student Activities Fair

Gettysburg College has more than 120 clubs and organizations, including student government, art clubs, community service, outdoor adventures, sports, Greek life, and programs unique to Gettysburg College. The Eisenhower Institute, the Garthwait Leadership Center, the Center for Public Service, and the Sunderman Conservatory of Music are just a few examples of the distinctive programs only offered at Gettysburg. Students here share a passion for campus involvement and school pride, and they chase their aspirations through each of these clubs and programs. Whatever you may be looking for, Gettysburg provides opportunities for leadership and student involvement for everyone that steps onto campus.

Students in the Eisenhower Institute visiting the White House
Students with the Eisenhower Institute’s Inside Politics program outside the White House during Spring Break.

Gettysburg’s Eisenhower Institute, a distinctive program dedicated to promoting leadership and nonpartisan discourse, prepares students to be engaged citizens. From Women in Leadership to Environmental Leadership, the programs offered here provide you with connections to Washington, D.C., and all around the world. The Eisenhower Institute promotes dialogue and critical analysis of significant issues through competitive fellowships, access to distinguished experts, and conferences.

Another program unique to Gettysburg is the Garthwait Leadership Center, which trains students to be leaders through intellectual and experiential opportunities, including a Leadership Certificate. Students learn how to make a positive impact on themselves, future employers, and their peers by reflecting on their passions and enhancing their leadership skills.

The Center for Public Service provides community service opportunities to students. The program focuses on bettering the community in the town of Gettysburg and around the world with volunteer opportunities, fellowships, and immersion trips. Students can volunteer at the Painted Turtle Farm in Gettysburg or Campus Kitchen. This program encourages members of our community to facilitate partnerships, education, critical thinking, and informed action while fostering social justice by promoting personal, institutional, and community change.

Man playing the violin
Sunderman Conservatory of Music’s Symphony Orchestra performs in the Majestic Theater

The Sunderman Conservatory of Music provides a space for those looking to pursue music. Students study under exceptional faculty consisting of artists and scholars, perform for the community of Gettysburg, and take advantage of numerous opportunities from residencies with internationally-renowned guest artists and lecturers to studying abroad.

Logan Grubb ’21 describes the Conservatory with deep fondness: “The Sunderman Conservatory has become another home for me on-campus. Walking down the hallway of practice rooms on the first floor, hearing all the music students are working on, or stopping to chat with whoever is sitting on the second-floor lounge, have been highlights of my last four years. I have loved getting to sing with a dedicated group of artists who each have their own academic interests.”

Student at an AT&T externship program
Extern experience at AT&T

The Center for Career Engagement, helps you to achieve your unique career path. The staff provides students with knowledge on resumes and applying to jobs, while connecting students to alumni and employers in every field. They empower them with the necessary tools to pursue meaningful careers and futures. The Center for Career Engagement also offers externships, job shadowing experiences, and career immersion trips throughout the nation—from New York to Florida, or even Los Angeles. At Gettysburg College, you can count on successfully finding an impactful career, as 98 percent of our students are employed or attending graduate school within a year after graduation.

This is just a short glance into the programs offered at Gettysburg College. There is a specialized program here for everyone, and if there is not one that fits what you are looking for, you can always start your own club!

Explore the world with the Center for Global Education

Charles Hagen inside the ruins of a Roman building
Charles Hagen ’20 studying abroad in Rome

At Gettysburg College, students love being on campus but also want to venture out into the world. Here, the world becomes your classroom.

The Center for Global Education, our study abroad office, encourages all students to pursue a semester-long global study. According to the Power of International Education (IIE) Open Doors Report, we are currently ranked No. 2 in Pennsylvania and No. 7 in the nation for semester-long study abroad, with program locations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

The courses you take abroad are culturally immersive, credit-bearing, and offer opportunities for all students no matter their major. Nearly 60 percent of our campus community studies globally for at least one semester, thanks to the support from the Center for Global Education. The staff is there for you every step of the way and will pair you up with a program that best fits your interests, whether it be language-based, culture-based, or where you can properly continue your major studies.

During the fall of my junior year, I studied abroad in Budapest, Hungary. While in Budapest, I had the opportunity to learn the Hungarian language and immerse myself in the Eastern European culture. I also attended two study tours that were led and organized by the McDaniel College Budapest directors.

We explored Western Hungary, where we participated in wine tours, historical lectures, and explored the Hungarian culture. We also took a 10-day trip to Croatia, where we drove along the countryside and engrossed ourselves in the rich history of Croatia. My most memorable experience was learning in the classroom alongside students from all around the world. This opportunity allowed me to broaden my horizons while also having the experience of a lifetime.

If you are looking to study abroad, Gettysburg is the place for you, as we have amazing programs and staff members who will help you plan your world travels.

Forging community bonds with traditions

The class of 2023 walking into Soldier National Cemetery
First-Year Walk for the Class of 2023

Traditions lie at the heart of every great community. The act of passing along customs to each new class of students has always been an essential part of the Gettysburg College community. Each year, Gettysburgians share unique experiences that are rich in history and spark pride in our College and town, including more than a dozen events, programs, and gatherings.

One of the most memorable and earliest traditions at Gettysburg College is the First-Year Walk, when first-year students recreate the procession through town to hear an honored guest read Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address at the National Cemetery. This event takes place during Orientation—a week-long period that allows first-year students to get acclimated before classes begin and engage in programming that aids in their transition into college life.

As you settle into classes at Gettysburg College, and the fall begins to take hold, students start to eagerly anticipate Thanksgiving. Servo, our main dining hall on campus, hosts a Thanksgiving feast every year for students. Faculty, staff, and even our College president serve students their meals, building community bonds.

Traditions are a way of life here at Gettysburg, and they ensure that the legacies of community and togetherness are passed on to future generations. From meeting lifelong friends at the First-Year Walk to the laughs shared around the table at Servo Thanksgiving, the traditions are what I will miss most after graduation because they helped shape my experience here—and they will do the same for you.

Students sitting at a table during a recreational event
Campus Recreation evening event

A place for everyone

Whether you join the Gettysburg community right after college or transfer in, it is an experience that will award you lifelong friends and experiences that will help you navigate the rest of your life.

Emma Fee ’23, a transfer student, found her way to Gettysburg later than some, but she had finally found a place for her.

“As a transfer student, I was initially nervous about joining the campus community a year late, but Gettysburg College welcomed me with open arms,” Fee said. “Everything that had driven me to apply to Gettysburg, from the tight-knit community to the amazing faculty to the opportunities for service and leadership on campus exceeded my expectations in every way possible.”

Fee’s, Grubb’s, and Wilson’s stories only cover a few of students’ campus experiences, but every student has their reasons on why they chose Gettysburg College, and, more importantly, why they decided to stay.

From academics to distinctive programs and opportunities to study abroad, there are numerous ways to find your niche at Gettysburg College. The liberal arts and sciences academic setting enriches your interdisciplinary thinking, while our social life and traditions help you find yourself and develop vital skills before being sent off into the world.

Gettysburg College is home to many, and hopefully, you can find yourself in our tight-knit community someday.

By Maddie Miller ’21
Photos by Shawna Sherrell, Miranda Harple, Khun Minn Ohn ’19, and Yanet Gonzalez ’17
Posted: 04/09/21