Building on the commitment of Salem’s founders to women’s education, the Salem Signature program provides an innovative and rigorous liberal education. In a community devoted to scholarly inquiry, students participate in disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses and merge knowledge and practice through experiential learning. The dynamic examination of concepts, ideas, and opinions broadens students’ perspectives, awakens their intellectual curiosity, and challenges them to put learning to work in the real world. The Salem Signature program educates the whole person, realizes individual potential, fosters intellectual curiosity, develops leadership skills, and cultivates women of purpose.

All Salem Signature courses are informed by a commitment to producing scholars who have learned how to learn. Salem graduates know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find and evaluate information, and how to put information to use to assist others in learning. Completing the Salem Signature indicates that Salem graduates are prepared for lifelong learning in a global community.

Salem Signature Competencies

After having completed their education, graduates of Salem College will possess and demonstrate a range of competencies detailed below.

Critical Thinking Students will think critically and solve problems.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to evaluate, interpret, and explain evidence, issues, and argument
  • to draw reasonable conclusions
  • to apply critical thinking in solving problems 


Communication Students will speak, write, and use technology to express ideas, concepts, and information clearly and effectively.


Students will possess the ability:

  • to communicate orally
  • to communicate in writing
  • to use technology in communicating ideas, concepts, and information 


Quantitative reasoning Students will demonstrate quantitative reasoning.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to apply quantitative data in real-life situations
  • to interpret and evaluate mathematical models – formulas, graphs, tables, and schemata
  • to solve problems using quantitative data and methods
  • to estimate and check solutions to problems for reasonableness 


Global Awareness Students will demonstrate global awareness and responsibility.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to describe the interdependence of world populations and the complex relationship between humans and their environment
  • to articulate the dynamics of interacting with people from different cultures and socio-economic groups 


Gender Inquiry Students will articulate the role of gender and apply it as an analytical lens.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to articulate the role of gender
  • to apply gender as an analytical lens
  • to analyze the intersection of gender with other categories of social difference
  • to describe the role of women across cultures and time
  • to examine the student’s own gendered life experience