Our alumni success story.

Students come to college to learn how to be the architects of their lives. A Denison education expands our students’ knowledge, opens their horizons, and tests and refines their aspirations. We unlock our students’ potential and give them the skills, values, habits, networks, and experiences needed to launch into successful lives.

The Impact of a Denison Education
How are Denisonians doing after graduation?
    Six Months After Graduation

    Within six months of graduation, 92% of the most recent graduating class were employed, in graduate school completing post-graduate service (Teach for America, Fulbright, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and City Year). These charts illustrate the outcomes for students in the three most recent graduating classes. Note that the data are based on especially strong reporting rates, making this a very strong representation of the early success of Denison alumni.


    91% Reporting


    88% Reporting


    93% Reporting

    Acceptance Rates

    Denison students’ acceptance rates into law and medical school are consistently better than the national average. (Percentage of applicants accepted, compared to the national average.)

    Law School

    Medical School

    Post-Denison Honors

    A Denison education prepares students to compete for highly selective and prestigious international and national fellowships. These awards, including Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards, Gilman (for study abroad), Truman, Goldwater, and National Science Foundation scholarships, provide opportunities for Denison students and graduates to study and work abroad. The Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement supports students in their applications for these awards.

    Since 2012-13, Denison students and alumni have received 43 Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards, 23 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, 17 Critical Language Scholarships, 5 DAAD Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) in Germany, 6 Boren Scholarships/Fellowships for language study abroad, and 2 Beinecke Fellowship for graduate study.

    Other prestigious awards won by Denison students include the Truman Scholarship, the Beinecke Scholarship, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the Boren Scholarship for International Study, the Critical Language Scholarship, National Science Foundation (NSF), Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP), scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Humanity in Action, and the Udall Scholarship, as well as many other fellowships.

    Since 2008, Denison has been a leader among small colleges producing the greatest numbers of Peace Corps Volunteers.

    In addition, Denison graduates win prestigious and highly competitive positions with Teach For America, and consistently place at the top of our peer group in national rankings.

    After 5 Years
    Five Years after Graduation

    What impact does a Denison degree have from the perspective of alumni five years after graduation? This survey highlights the current professional status for alumni five years after graduation and all the ways in which the Denison experience positioned alumni to lead successful lives—personally, professionally, and civically—after college.

    Professional Success of Denison Alumni

    At the five-year mark since commencement, nearly all alumni (99%) are currently employed or in graduate school. Alumni indicating “other” typically referred to being in a period of professional transition, articulating upcoming plans for graduate school or forthcoming entrepreneurial or artistic endeavors.

    Using survey responses and professional profiles (LinkedIn), data on current status are based on an 80% knowledge rate for the members of the Class of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

    • 95% of alumni report being in their desired field or position or on their way to achieving what they hope to accomplish professionally within five years of graduation. 
    • 94% of alumni are satisfied with how well Denison prepared them for professional success after college.
    • An overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents indicated that Denison contributed to their ability to lead a rich and fulfilling life—professionally, personally, and/or civically “quite a bit” or “very much.”

    Pursuit of Advanced Studies

    Since graduating from Denison, 57% of alumni went on to pursue an advanced degree.

    Source: Five-Year Out Alumni Survey (Class of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
    Response Rate: 42%

    Types of Advanced Degrees Pursued By Alumni (of those Pursuing Advanced Degree)

    Note: Master’s includes various types of Master’s Degrees including MA, MS, MPH, M.Arch, M.Div., M.Ed, MPP, MSW, etc. MD category also includes DO, DMD, DPT, DVM, and OD.

    Graduate School


    90% of alumni report Denison prepared them very well for graduate school.

    Interpersonal Relationships


    86% of alumni report Denison prepared them very well for interpersonal relationships.

    Civic Engagement


    70% of alumni report Denison prepared them very well for civic engagement.

    • 75% - Spent time volunteering/serving
    • 67% - Been involved with your local community
    • 64% - Led a group of people to accomplish a goal
    • 31% - Served on a board or committee
    • 11% - Participated in campaign work (for candidate/issue)



    Reflecting back on their time at Denison, 93% of alumni report having close relationships with faculty and staff and 50% report having a research experience with a faculty member.

    Most alumni report that these experiences were critically important to their post-Denison success.

    Co-Curricular Engagement

    The majority of alumni report that their co-curricular involvement (those who participated in internships, off-campus study programs, student organizations, athletics, and/or leadership positions) significantly impacted their post-collegiate success.

    Professional Skills

    Our alumni overwhelmingly report that Denison significantly contributed to their ability to…

    • 96% - Think critically and analytically
    • 95% - Write clearly and effectively
    • 89% - Work effectively in teams
    • 91% - Speak clearly and effectively
    Personal & Professional Success
    Where has a Denison education taken our alumni?

    We encourage students to explore and to take full advantage of the liberal arts. The very core of the liberal arts is that we prepare students to be successful in whatever profession they choose to pursue by providing them with skills in critical thinking, effective written and oral communication, leadership and civic engagement, and individual agency. Through these core outcomes, we prepare students to live and lead in a complex, global society.

    Alumni Reflections

    Design Your Future
    How does Denison prepare students for life after college?
    Students at a Career Exploration event

    Starting with your first year on campus, and continuing five years after graduation, you’ll learn to combine your academic knowledge, values, and habits with the career-oriented skills, networks and experiences you need to be the architect of your own life.

    And you’ll build the foundation of all of this, as you work with the Knowlton Center team, faculty, coaches and staff across Denison to help answer three pivotal questions:

    • What kind of life do I want to lead?
    • How do careers and professions fit into those lives?
    • How do I use my time in college to develop the skills, values, habits, experiences and networks to get started?

    The Knowlton Center for Career Exploration

    You can tap Knowlton Center resources for career exploration over the entire four years of your time at Denison, and for five years after graduation.

    Find out more »

    Denison Connecting

    Denison Connecting adds the power of almost 40,000 alumni and friends to your career network, getting together at events around the world to network and learn from fellow alumni and industry experts.

    Learn more »

    Fellowships &
    Off-Campus Study

    Off-campus study opportunities and academic engagement & research further your experiences at Denison and beyond.

    Off-Campus Study »
    Post-Denison Fellowships »

    Featuring upcoming events and other opportunities for Denison alumni, parents, friends, students and faculty/staff to connect.

    Skills of a Liberal Arts Education

    Students indicated how their experience at Denison has contributed to skills, knowledge and personal development in ways that connect to our core student learning outcomes. (Sources: College Senior Survey 2018; National Survey of Student Engagement 2017; EBI Resident Survey 2014)


    Use the interactive graph to the left to learn more about how students who responded felt about their Denison education.
    Core Student Learning Outcomes The Student Autonomous Thinking Active Citizenship Core Competencies Discerning Moral Agency Civic Life Global Perspective Difference Among Persons Issues of Power & Justice Ethical Reasoning Agency Identity Awareness Quantitative Reasoning Oral Communication Written Communication Analytical Thinking Critical Thinking Creative Thinking

    Denison students are highly engaged in the co-curriculum, and 75% of Denison seniors report having held a formal leadership role in a student organization, which is significantly higher than students at similar institutions.


    The Denison curriculum places a high emphasis on students’ ability to write well. Denison students reported writing significantly more than students at peer institutions (measured in number of pages).

    Master Scholars
    Master Scholars

    Denison professors are scholars in their fields but also are masters in the crafts of teaching and advising. Denison seniors rated the quality of their interactions with their faculty advisors significantly higher than students at other Carnegie institutions.


    Denison is a pluralistic community. The Denison experience provides opportunity to dialogue and learn from others. Denison students report dialoguing with others who are different than them (in terms of race, economic background, and political views) significantly more often than students at similar institutions.


    Denison students actively engage in the opportunities offered by Denison. In comparison to seniors at Carnegie institutions, Denison seniors were significantly more likely to have conducted research with faculty, completed an internship or field experience, or studied abroad.

    The Whole Person
    The Whole Person

    In comparison to seniors at other Carnegie institutions, Denison students were significantly more likely to say that their college experience contributed to knowledge, skills and personal development in: writing clearly and effectively, speaking clearly and effectively, and thinking critically and analytically.

    A Rigorous

    Denison provides an intellectually rigorous curriculum. Denison seniors were significantly more likely to report that their coursework emphasized higher-order thinking than seniors at similar institutions, which are represented here as the Carnegie classification. Specifically, Denison students were more likely to report:

    Analyzing an idea, experience, or line of reasoning in depth by examining its parts.
    Evaluating a point of view, decision, or information source.
    Forming a new idea or understanding from various pieces of information.


    A Denison education is not about rote memorization of facts. In fact, Denison students are significantly more likely than students at similar institutions (represented here as Carnegie) to report that their coursework prompts reflective and integrative learning. Specifically, Denison seniors were significantly more likely to report having:

    Combined ideas from different courses when completing assignments.
    Connected your learning to societal problems or issues.
    Included diverse perspectives (political, religious, racial/ethnic, gender, etc.) in course discussions or assignments.
    Examined the strengths and weaknesses of own views on a topic or issue.
    Connected your ideas from your courses to your prior experiences and knowledge.

    Note: These graphs compare Denison data to “Carnegie” and “National.”  As classified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, Denison’s Carnegie Classification is Baccalaureate Colleges—Arts & Sciences, thus comparing Denison to a group of similar institutions, mostly comprised of small, private colleges.  “National” represents the data from all 983 institutions participating in the National Survey of Student Engagement in 2017.

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