Denison vs St Olaf?

I’d love to hear some perspectives on choosing between these two midwestern colleges for an intellectual social humanities major?

Both schools attract well-rounded, nice kids, and both schools are in attractive small towns, more or less accessible to a major city, with transportation in and out. Both schools are less “SJW/politically correct” than some other LAC environments.

Could you clarify what you mean by "intellectual social humanities major? Do you mean the student is both intellectual and social and would be a humanities major? Or that the major would be something like social humanities – perhaps something like social sciences/humanities.

We have a Denison grad, Poli Sci major, and he had a fantastic experience. There is a new Politics and Public Affairs major (I think it’s a cross-disciplinary major rather than just a concentration within the Poli Sci major). There are also majors in Data Analytics, International Studies, Global Commerce, plus a concentration in Narrative Journalism which students in any major can add to their curriculum. Faculty are deeply engaged with students, and like many LACs, there is funding for student research, and a lot of my kid’s friends lived on campus at least one summer to engage in faculty-supervised independent research projects.

We know several St Olaf students who had a wonderful experience as well.

Thank you for your response. My son loves studying languages, and he’s interested in everything from Anthropology to International Relations. Just not so much into Stem subjects. I have heard that St.Olaf is particularly strong for math and science. Not sure about Denison. He’s also a kid who wants an active social community not entirely revolving around drinking. (I’m sure he’ll partake in some, but he doesn’t want it to dominate his social life.) And yes, he’s also looking for those connections with professors. He’s from a small school, and he’s accustomed to close relationships with his teachers. He’s also quite liberal, coming from a conservative part of the country and looking forward to being surrounded by more like-minded people.

Aside from these two, both fine choices, If he wants a LAC and is interested in foreign languages, Dickinson colleges offers 12-13 different options, which is higher than the norm for small schools. If Anthropology is a serious interest, check out Beloit.

St. Olaf has a well developed study abroad program, much of which is run by the college as opposed to through consortium agreements with other schools (although they have those too).

My impression is that Denison is a bit more sporty in vibe than St Olaf, where music is a very big deal. Denison has Greek life, St Olaf does not. And St Olaf is technically a “dry” campus although those in the know describe it more as “damp,” meaning that partying does happen but it tends to be low key and discreet.

Both are located on hills within a healthy walk’s distance to their respective towns. Both campuses are beautiful. Both offer merit scholarships - my impression is that it’s somewhat easier to get merit as St Olaf than Denison.