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Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
p. 717-291-3911

Franklin and Marshall College

Franklin and Marshall College Rating: 3.5/5 (13 votes)

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Ranks 16th in Pennsylvania and 160th overall
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The face of Franklin & Marshall College is changing rapidly. Every day, renovation continues on the Patricia A. Harris Center for Business, Government, and Public Policy, nestled snugly in the shadow of the recently completed Barshinger Life Sciences and Philosophy building. From the windows of the ultra-modern College Row apartments one can watch yellow CATs scurrying like sunspots across verdant fields, preparing the land for an eventual new football stadium and athletic fields. Sipping coffee and reclining in a high- backed, riveted leather chair in the fire-warmed Jazzman’s coffeehouse, it is easy to forget that the addition is less than a decade old. But change at F&M is not superficial. From the cutting-edge psychology facilities to faculty and student growth to the latest Apple Macintosh computers in the computer labs, F&M is striving to create an epicenter of modern education in the heart of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In light of this apparent flux, one would be inclined to think that little is constant at F&M.

However, two things remain unchanged: quality education and respect for tradition. Inside the Druker Humanities Common a sharp eye can pick out embellishments to the modern architecture. While F&M is involved in expanding and improving its physical presence, the education F&M provides needs no improvement. F&M has always been dedicated to furnishing a superior liberal arts education through individual attention to the students. With a ten to one student-to-faculty ratio, relationships form fast, last long, and challenge the traditional master/pupil dynamic. Eighty-nine percent of F&M faculty have earned Ph.D.s, or other terminal degrees in their respective fields.

However, world-class facilities and faculty do come with a price. An F&M student is expected to be exemplary in all things, not just academics: Athletes, like F&M’s women’s lacrosse team, are not just hardworking players, but Division III champions. Students like Ben Burghart don’t just travel the globe to study abroad but also to teach and build schools in Bremen Esiam, Ghana. Students who wish to break earthly bonds can study the stars at the Grundy Observatory on Baker Campus. In short, F&M offers you opportunity. All the school asks is that you seize it.

The students at F&M are keenly aware of the myriad possibilities F&M makes available, and as such, student life tends to take advantage of as much as possible. “Work hard, play hard” is the students’ motto. In everything from who scored higher on last week’s test to who can prepare the best confit de canard to who can best quote Family Guy, F&M students relish a challenge as the opportunity to prove their excellence. If you are looking for a school at which one can disappear, F&M is not the school for you. If you are looking for a school at which you will be challenged, where you will be required to grow and mature, and where you will be given all the nurture and support you need to do so, look no further than Franklin & Marshall College.

Five New Buildings on Campus

  • Barshinger Life Science and Philosophy Building—$48.7 million— Houses Philosophy, Psychology, Biology, and two unique interdisciplinary programs, Biological Foundations of Behavior and Scientific and Philosophical Studies of the Mind.
  • Klehr Center for Jewish Life—$2 million—Built to replace the old Hillel House, the Klehr center sponsors events such as Shabbat dinner and weekly “cafés,” gatherings where students discuss current events, upcoming holidays, Jewish ideals, “and, of course, eat!” Dean Ralph Taber, Director of the Klehr Center for Jewish Life.
  • Ware College House Commons—$1.5 million—Built to bolster community in the college House system, this sleek structure boasts a quiet study library, a kitchen, several conference rooms, and a large hall for meals or movies.
  • College Row—$30 million—200,000 square foot upperclass housing, and retail establishments. College Row boasts spacious apartments ranging from singles to quads with all the amenities of home. The first floor houses venues such as the restauraunt Iron Hill Brewing Company and fine clothier Fillings at College Row.

Franklin & Marshall Clothing

In 2003 Franklin & Marshall College entered into an agreement with the already popular Italian clothing line Franklin and Marshall. F&M agreed to license their name to the company, already prevalent across Europe, especially with UK youth, though the clothing company usually opts to omit the ampersand. Franklin and Marshall clothing uses a modified version of F&M’s crest during the school’s days as an all-male academy as well as retro images from F&M yearbooks to create an authentic-feeling line of stylish collegiate apparel. Can’t make it to Europe? Stop in the F&M bookstore to browse the latest from Franklin and Marshall.

Franklin & Marshall offers a premium education and a superior social atmosphere, as well as student services second to none. Whether it is the Kosher International Vegan Organic (KIVO) option in the dining hall, school-sponsored trips to NYC to see Broadway plays at huge discounts, buses to the enormous and enormously famous Lancaster County Outlets and the King of Prussia Mall, access to school-owned automobiles and bicycles, or dining hall specials where F&M hosts chefs from schools across the Northeast to compete with the students as the judges, the accoutrements to an F&M education are almost enough in themselves to warrant application to Franklin & Marshall College. But don’t forget that the education is world-class as well. At F&M one will find all that is needed to flourish emotionally, physically, spiritually, and academically. F&M asks that you give your best and offers its best in return.


Academic life at Franklin & Marshall begins in the same personal setting as social life. First-year students are enrolled in a seminar-style class with other students from their College House floor. From the beginning, F&M students are encouraged to discuss their ideas, to share insights, to engage knowledge on a constant basis. One professor who shares the dual roles of class proctor and first-year adviser conducts the seminar. The small class size prevalent at F&M is especially apparent in this seminar, fostering an organic relationship that allows the professor to better advise the student through the potentially treacherous first year.

From the beginning students are free to make their way through a myriad of paths toward a B.A. degree. F&M offers many popular majors, such as Biology, English, Geology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Business, Organization and Society, as well as more traditional liberal arts pursuits: Philosophy, Religious Studies, Classics, Sociology, Anthropology and, of course, the Fine Arts. Franklin & Marshall also offers a plethora of language study programs, some for a major, such as German and Spanish, and others for a minor, like Japanese and Arabic.

Chinese Ink Painting was one of the most unique class experiences at F&M. Not only did I learn the technique of Chinese ink painting, but also the mentality behind it. This led to my development on two levels: first, the physical skills required to produce a work of art and second, the mental state required to understand the ‘why’ behind the paintings.” —E. Kahn, ’08

To facilitate the education process F&M offers 3-2 degree programs with five schools, including Duke and the Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering and cross-registration with the Lancaster Theological Seminary and Millersville University. F&M offers the opportunity to study urban planning and architecture at Columbia University, theater in Connecticut, and oceanography in Massachusetts. Franklin & Marshall also offers the opportunity to study abroad in more than 200 countries, such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, and Turkey.

General Education

Franklin & Marshall also encourages educational exploration, with the general education distribution requiring one course in arts, humanities, social science, non-Western cultures, and one natural science, including a lab. To fulfill these requirements F&M offers courses in everything from Chinese Ink Painting to Astronomy, from Symbolic Logic to Jack Kerouac. To satiate the students’ ravenous desire to expand their knowledge, more esoteric courses are offered on a wide range of specialty subjects: Cognitive Neuroscience, Statistics, Stochastic Processes, History of the Blues, and Sociology of Medicine, to name just a few.


The small size of F&M’s student body lends itself to an intimate classroom setting, with class sessions being more conducted by the professor than being taught. The close relationships between peers and between students and professors promote progress and a genuine exchange of ideas. The F&M classroom is closer to a group of close friends discussing cherished ideals than a megaphone speaking to masses of dozing coeds. Elementary topics are breezed over, complex ones elaborated.

I’m still good friends with my freshman seminar adviser. We talk about school sure, but we also text random lolz; sometimes we’ll get a drink. It’s a unique relationship that only a school like F&M could provide.”—Nicholas Novak, ’08

The Library

Let’s face it; if you’re at F&M you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the library. For those desiring a work space with a little extracurricular stimulation, the Fackenthal Library has everything you need. Long tables on the mezzanine overlook the first floor for people watching, picture windows on the ground floor pour in sunlight filtered through foliage, perfect for drifting through daydreams. Soundproofed rooms make even the rowdiest study party library-friendly, and truly large gatherings can always take up roost in the lavishly appointed Academy Room. Of course the Shad-Fack isn’t all fun and games. A vast collection of reference materials, two computer labs, three floors of quiet study, wireless Internet throughout, and Jazzman’s just a skip away make the Shad-Fack the perfect place to camp out during a particularly tough week.

For those seeking study environs with less distraction, the Martin Library of the Sciences provides the ideal serious session setting. Half the size of the Shadek-Fackenthal library, but with twice the computers and a strict decibel limit, as well as most of F&M’s scientific and medical texts and open doors until 2 A.M., the Science library is the choice of pre-med and physical science students.

Psychology majors might finish lab work after hours in the Barishinger Life Sciences and Philosophy building, while the avid polyglot practices conjugation at the language labs located in the basement of Stager Hall. F&M is filled with nooks to hit the books, whether you’re a lone wolf or social butterfly.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Financial Aid

At a school as costly as Franklin & Marshall College it should come as no surprise that sixty-five percent of full-time students receive some form of aid and forty percent of students receive need-based aid. Average aid packages are at around $23,000 for needbased and $12,000 for non-need-based. F&M offers a plethora of avenues through which aid can be obtained. From awards for academic excellence to rewards for community service, work-study programs, and federal loans, F&M is committed to exploring every avenue of aid for its students. Forty-four percent of undergraduates work part-time. School-sponsored work-study opportunities include jobs such as answering phones at the information desk, checking out and shelving books at one of the libraries, and painting dorm rooms over the summer with Facilities & Operations. Lancaster County offers boundless employment possibilities, from retail at the Tanger Outlets to working with chefs at the Zagat-rated Gibraltar’s restaurant or efficiency consulting with Armstrong Industries, as well as the less-taxing clerical positions available everywhere from Royer’s Florist to the Beer & Beverage Shoppe.

F&M and its impressive alumni provide several options for outstanding scholarships. From the coveted and exclusive Marshall Scholarship for Academic Excellence to the William H. Gray Scholarship for students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds who demonstrate academic strength, leadership ability, and strong moral character, aid is there for those who need it.

However, if one exhausts all available options and is still unable to afford tuition, deans and prefects employ an aggressive outreach process to ensure that students seek out assistance from the Financial Aid Office. In fact, there are additional funds for students who experience changes in family income during their time at the college. As a rapidly growing school F&M has increased tuition by at least $1,000 every year since 2003 and some students have found that their financial aid packages do not increase to match this inflation. The college is changing this policy beginning with the class of 2013, so that grant aid will increase with tuition.

Fortunately the Financial Aid Office is extremely helpful, located centrally between the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House and the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity on scenic College Avenue. The staff at the Financial Aid Office is willing to work with every family, from assisting in loan applications to reviewing FAFSA forms before they are submitted and writing aid decision appeals, to help Franklin & Marshall students. However, their reach extends only so far and once all alternatives have been explored, there is little else they can do. It is recommended that students plan for the rising cost of tuition when considering F&M, and those lucky enough not to have such concerns should capitalize on that fact. Education is expensive, but ignorance more so, and it cannot be contested that the education F&M offers is worth every dime.

The average indebtedness of a 2007 graduate was $24,752. F&M is a member of the CSS (College Scholarship Service), and requires the CSS profile of FAFSA, and, if applicable, business/farm supplements and noncustodial parents’ statements. The deadline for filing a financial aid application for first-years is February 1st.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4675th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Pennsylvania.


By now it’s been made clear that F&M students are no slouches, but all work and no play makes for some seriously stressed students. Thankfully there’s a lot to do around the F&M campus, so students who work hard can have a chance to play hard too.

Being a part of the Chessmen at F&M provided the kind of support similar to the keystone in a well-constructed archway. It taught me not only to have the confidence to express myself onstage, but to inspire those around me to do the same. The Chessmen transcend being just another student group to being a part of you that will remain for years to come.” —Drew Degen, ’08

As well as the lavishly appointed common rooms found on virtually every floor in every housing building, F&M and the surrounding areas furnish many options for simply hanging out. Jazzman’s café provides large leather chairs, toasty fires, and roasted coffee in the blustery months, while warmer weather may inspire a trip to Dosie Dough’s, a locally owned, locally grown bakery. The perfect deli sandwich can be found at Thomas’ Campus Deli (the Manheim is recommended for the brave). For those seeking finer fare, there’s always the sustainable, organic restaurant John J. Jefferies, located at the Lancaster Arts Hotel, just a few blocks from campus, where the bison tartar dances across the palate.

Those looking for an artistic bastion close to home will relish the company and the student art lining the halls of the Arts House, while the more adventurous might mosey down to Gallery Row on First Friday, when more than eighty local artist galleries and shops, including vintage clothing and record stores are open late. Lancaster County takes great pride in inspiring creativity and nurturing artists, as well as being fun for more plebeian pursuits. For the upcoming gourmand, Central Market offers the freshest and most delicious bounty Lancaster County has to offer. Sports fans make sure to check out the Clipper Magazine Stadium, made possible by the success of Clipper Magazine, started in part by F&M grads Steve Zuckerman and Ian Ruzow.

Clubs and Societies

Like any college F&M has its own cosmos of clubs and societies, everything from the Gourmet Society to the Chessmen and Sweet Ophelia, F&M’s a capella groups, from the Black Student Union to Hillel, dance, debate, drama, and of course a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. For the student on the lookout for the ever-elusive “free food,” look no further than the next gathering of the Writers Commune at the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, a place where students gather at all times of the day and night to laugh, talk, be. Those looking for a little privacy can curl up in the Zen garden adjacent to the International House or up a tree in Buchanan Park, abutting the southern end of campus.

Theater and Art

Franklin & Marshall also sponsors student theatrical productions in the Green Room Theatre, located on campus, or for more esoteric productions the Other Room Theatre, just three blocks off campus. Exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, student and otherwise, guest speakers such as Eric Schlosser of Fast Food Nation, Judy Wicks, founder of Philadelphia’s White Dog Café, or literary luminary David Foster Wallace, bands such as the White Stripes at the Chameleon Club, or the Roots right on campus, and free movies on the green are all offered as rewards for the arduous work required at F&M.

Greek Life

Greek life plays a role in the social scene of F&M, with twenty-six percent of men enrolled in seven national fraternities and twelve percent of women belonging to three national sororities. Since re-recognition of the Greek system in 2004, Greeks haven’t just been about partying. Greeks sponsor everything from Delta’s beanbag toss at the Spring Art Festival to Chi Phi’s annual Run/Walk for Cancer and the famous duo of Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma’s annual haunted house, open to the public at the Kappa Sigma House in the North Charlotte Street Historic District. Of course that’s not to say that the doors don’t open once in a while: fraternity parties offer a chance for students who wouldn’t normally interact to socialize on an equal footing.


Finally what would a year be without at least a couple of all-out bashes to look forward to? When the weather turns friendly there’s the Spring Arts Festival, where student bands perform, display their art, and celebrate the sublime clime of F&M in the spring. The school closes down a few blocks of West James Street for an afternoon and the food, music, and fun don’t stop. In the middle of the reading days before finals week there’s always the delicious Flapjack Festival, all you can eat pancakes served by your favorite professors and deans. And of course, the all-time campus favorite: just as exams end and as you click “send” on that final paper, the curtains come up and the yellow lights go on at the Lancaster County Carnival, complete with cotton candy and funnel cake, Ferris wheels and tilt-awhirls. Truly the finest way to celebrate a job well done!

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The dedicated will find their place among F&M’s division champion Women’s Lacrosse team or the D1 wrestling squad. With twenty-seven intercollegiate and thirteen intramural sports offered to men and women, there’s a sport for everyone, from golf to frolf (Frisbee golf), squash, and crew, and if nothing else jog out to southern practice fields to throw around with Deep Blue, F&M’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Sports facilities include a 3,000-seat gym, 4 squash courts, a wrestling room, fifty-four acres of playing field, a 400-meter all-weather track, a strength center, and tennis courts. The Alumni Sports and Fitness Center houses a fitness and aerobic center, five multipurpose courts, two jogging tracks, and an Olympic-size pool.


As a school that prides itself on academic and extracurricular excellence, Franklin & Marshall also boasts an impressive record of graduate employment and graduate school acceptance. Between July 1st, 2006 and June 30th, 2007, a total of 466 bachelor’s degrees were conferred in forty different majors, the most popular being Government and Business, Organizations and Society with about eighteen percent apiece. The next most popular major is English, which comes as no surprise considering the phenomenal English department faculty. In fact, alumni were so grateful to the department that in 2004 they opened the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, a building beautiful both inside and out. Indeed, Franklin & Marshall alumni often express their gratitude for the school that enabled their success through monetary donations. Buildings such as the stellar Alumni Sports and Fitness Center, complete with Olympic-size swimming pool, two indoor tracks, and five multipurpose courts, owe their existence to generous F&M alumni and the school that allowed them to achieve success. It is the superior education F&M provides that allows already gifted students to actualize their ambitions, to succeed with such magnitude, such enormity. In the same ’06–’07 year, twenty-six major companies recruited at F&M, everything from AIG American General to Urban Outfitters as well as graduate schools from Stanford to Notre Dame. Recruiting on the F&M campus has seen such success that the college can proudly boast that in 2008 sixty-three percent of graduates found employment within six months of graduation and about twenty-five percent found themselves enrolled in a graduate program. This outstanding record serves as a testament to the caliber of a Franklin & Marshall education. While many liberal arts degrees walk, F&M plays.

Given the rising cost of education, both monetarily and temporally, America has seen an increase in the average number of years students require to graduate. To accompany its already sterling reputation for graduate employment, seventy-nine percent of F&M students graduate within four years or less, seventy-nine percent in five or less, and eighty-four percent in six years or less.

Graduates from F&M enjoy a wide range of careers, from rappers like Spliff Star to Mary Schapiro, appointed chairwoman of the SEC by President Barack Obama. Truly, with an F&M education, anything is possible!

List of Notable Graduates

  • Mary Schapiro, ’77, Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Kenneth Duberstein, ’65, White House Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan
  • William H. Gray, ’63, former U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, former President of United Negro College Fund
  • Roy Scheider, ’55, Actor (Jaws, All That Jazz ) (1932–2008)
  • Bowie Kuhn, ’48, Commissioner of Baseball (1969-1984)
  • Franklin Schaffner, ’42, Oscar-winning Film Director (Patton, Planet of the Apes) (1920–1989)


At F&M approximately two-thirds of students have at least one one-on-one course experience with a faculty member. Many take a capstone course, which usually involves the student and a small group of peers undertaking an intensive research project under the guidance of a faculty member or two. The capstone courses encourage peer editing and review and allow the students to express the width and breadth of their newly garnered knowledge.

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