Dartmouth College Requirements and Campus Guide
School Name: Dartmouth College
School Location: Hanover, NH
School Type: Liberal Arts/Ivy League
Class of 2025
- Applications: 28,357
- Admitted: 1,749
- Acceptance Rate: 6.2%
Historical SAT/ACT Average Scores (Test optional)
- SAT EBRW mid 50% range: 710-770
- SAT Math mid 50% range: 730-790
- ACT: 32 -35
- High Reach
- Early Decision: November 1
- Early Results: Mid-December
- Regular Deadline: January 2
- Regular Results: Late March or Early April
- Schedule: Quarter System
- Curriculum Type: General Education
- Greek Life: Yes
- Athletics: D1
“The sense of community at Dartmouth is infectious, and you’ll experience it the moment you step foot on campus. Dartmouth students are individually competitive but not collectively, meaning that they always push themselves as individuals to do their best, but that never comes at the expense of forming close, beneficial relationships with classmates and other peers. Everyone has a unique passion that drives them, and the Big Green community goes out of its way to ensure that every student’s aspirations can be realized.“
Alex, Class of 2019
Dartmouth Requirements and Campus Guide
Wait, What’s It Called Again? Dart-MOUTH?
Dartmouth (DART-muth) College is the smallest of the Ivy League schools. Its founder, Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, established the College in rural Hanover, New Hampshire in 1769 as an institution to educate Native Americans. Like all Ivy League schools, Dartmouth has a long and distinguished reputation for educational excellence, and the College offers a broad range of educational options with traditionally strong areas in business, engineering, medicine, and liberal arts studies. The most popular undergraduate majors are economics, government, computer science, and engineering, but a liberal arts emphasis ensures that students have the opportunity to take courses from a variety of departments and it is not a Dartmouth requirement to major in a STEM subject.
Ok, I’m Intrigued. So How Do I Apply?
Dartmouth has one streamlined application process, as it only accepts the Common Application. A complete application for admission must include the following components
- A completed Dartmouth Writing Supplement including personal essays
- A high school report (official transcript, school or class profile, and counselor evaluation
- Two letters of recommendation are a requirement
- SAT or ACT scores (test optional until Fall 2023)
- $80 application fee or fee waiver
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score unless English is your first language or the language of instruction at your current school
Dartmouth’s admissions committee uniquely requires each student to submit a peer recommendation as part of their application. Peer recommendations provide the committee an additional perspective on each applicant as a friend, peer, and community member. This written statement endorsing the applicant’s candidacy should be completed by someone who knows the candidate well and is within a few years of their age; it should not be completed by someone who has a supervisory or oversight role in the applicant’s life. Examples include:
- a classmate or teammate;
- a brother, sister, or cousin;
- a co-worker;
- a friend met at summer school or summer camp; or
- a lab or debate partner
I Now Understand How to Apply, But What Are My Chances of Acceptance?
Dartmouth College is a highly selective institution; the current acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 was 6.2%. The typical entering class consists of about 1,150 students, selected from a pool of about 28,500 highly qualified applicants, so it is required for you to stand out in order to gain acceptance.
Dartmouth accepts students who score in the top percentiles on standardized tests. The mean ACT score for the class of 2024 was 33 with the mid-range at 32-35. The mean SAT Score for the class of 2024 was 1501. The average range broke down to 730-790 on the math section and 710-770 on the evidence-based reading and writing section.
Dartmouth accepts a large part of its incoming class through the early decision application process. Applying early can increase a student’s chance of admission, as Dartmouth enrolled about one third of its class of 2025 during the early acceptance round. In the most recent cycle, 22.2% percent of applicants who applied through the early decision program were accepted. Early decision benefits both the school and the applicant. Early decision acceptances are binding, allowing the school to hand-pick a portion of their incoming class, rather than extending an offer of admission that may not be accepted by the student in the end, as is sometimes the case through early action applications. Dartmouth does not offer an early action option.
That Seems Daunting…How Do I Make My Application Stand Out?
Authenticity is essential to helping the admissions committee discover the attributes, talents, and ambitions that they seek in applications. The Dartmouth admissions standards are rigorous; they wish to see academic achievement, community involvement, and the potential for students to contribute both academically and extracurricularly.
The Common Application forms alone may not adequately reveal a student’s overall personality and levels of community engagement. Therefore, applicants should demonstrate their contributions to their communities through personal essays, descriptions of extracurricular activities, and qualified recommendations. Other tips for the process include:
- Don’t Wait to Apply – The application must be submitted by the submission deadline, but more importantly, the quality of the writing and information you provide must be top-notch. Students can disadvantage themselves by waiting until the deadline draws near to thoroughly assess and describe their overall strengths in their academic, extracurricular, and community pursuits.
- Emphasize Community Engagement – Successful applicants demonstrate their historical willingness and ability to contribute to their communities in positive ways. Dartmouth weighs community contributions strongly in its admission decisions, as they seek to admit students who are more likely to engage with campus life.
- Use the Early Decision Advantage (If It’s Your Top Choice!) – Dartmouth is a selective institution, and students are generally incredibly motivated and thrilled to attend. Dartmouth often selects a third of its incoming class through binding early decision commitments, and the acceptance rate for early applicants is higher than the regular decision round (keep in mind that the applicant pool is also generally stronger and includes recruited athletes committed to the school).
I’ll Do My Best – What’s So Special About the School Anyway?
You’ll likely begin your freshman year by joining over 90 percent of your class on one of the Outing Club’s First Year Trips (although it is not a Dartmouth requirement). Dartmouth’s bucolic setting in the Upper Valley on the Connecticut River with hiking trails galore provides the perfect setting for new students to bond with their “trippies,” who they’ll almost certainly keep in touch with over their four years. Outdoor recreation doesn’t stop after freshman fall, as students can be shuttled hourly to the Dartmouth Skiway during the winter term or participate in “The Fifty,” a 54-mile hike from the famous Moosilauke Ravine Lodge back to campus, during the summer and fall. Famished from all that hiking? Hanover’s local eateries provide highly-rated and diverse culinary offerings, from Thai and tapas to Irish and Indian.
While there are innumerable things to see and do off-campus, just wait until you hear about the activities on-campus. Dartmouth has a wide-ranging selection of clubs, intramurals, performance groups, and publications from which you can choose. Have a business or app idea that you want to pursue? The Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship guides students through the process of creating their own business, and the DALI Lab offers a working environment where participants develop technology to serve real-world clients. Socially, Dartmouth students bleed green and can find ways to get excited for any occasion. The major events each term are the Homecoming bonfire in the fall, Winter Carnival festivities (you got it – in the winter), and the Green Key concert in the spring. Greek Life is also a major way students connect on campus, as roughly two-thirds of students are affiliated with one of the many fraternities, sororities, or co-ed houses. These houses aren’t your typical Greek houses either – given the vast inclusion of members from all walks of campus life, each house maintains an open-door policy, meaning that any undergraduate with a Dartmouth ID can join the fun on any given night. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of ways to get involved on campus? No worries – head over to Sanborn to take a breather and enjoy free tea and cookies any weekday from 4 to 5 pm.
Fancy yourself to be a future President of the United States? Dartmouth would appreciate you becoming the first alumnus to achieve that title, but until then, you can settle for bumping shoulders with presidential candidates at least once during your four years of undergraduate study. As a battleground state in the U.S. political system, New Hampshire becomes the hottest destination for presidential hopefuls every four years, and Dartmouth gets a front row seat to the action. If you want to get off the sidelines and into the political game, Dartmouth’s Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, affectionately known as “Rocky,” offers the Policy Research Shop, which engages students in non-partisan research that is shared with Vermont and New Hampshire legislative committees, statewide commissions, and executive agencies. The action can even start your freshman year, as the Rocky First-Year Fellows program invites select students down to Washington, D.C. for placements in exciting internship programs at a variety of political agencies and organizations.
Now, it’s time to hit the books. Dartmouth’s configuration as a liberal arts college with vast research engagements offers the perfect balance of opportunities for each student to pursue their academic passions. Do you crave the intimacy of small class sizes so that you can actually get to know your professors? Dartmouth has you covered – not only do the majority of classes have fewer than 20 students, but the Undergraduate Deans Office will even pay for you and your favorite professor to get a meal on campus or in town! Don’t just take our word for it – listen to U.S. News and World Report, who consistently ranks Dartmouth highly in its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list, citing the fact that faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students rather than solely focusing on their own research projects. Speaking of research, Dartmouth makes finding opportunities with professors easy – just check out the Undergraduate Advising and Research office’s centralized database of available research positions or apply to the Presidential Scholars program that provides part-time, paid research assistantships to high-achieving students.
Dartmouth – always finding ways to be unique – offers a quarter system, which increases the number of classes you can to take during your 10-week terms. But, this is not just your average quarter system. Dartmouth offers the D-Plan, which stipulates the following: freshman and seniors stay on campus, sophomores take classes during the summer, the rest is up to you. Whoa, whoa, whoa…TIME OUT! Class in the summer? Yes! Sophomore Summer is one of the most exciting times of a Dartmouth student’s career, as students stay in Hanover with their entire class in what is unofficially known as “Camp Dartmouth.” What are the advantages of that? I’ll tell you:
- The weather – the snow has finally melted.
- Farmer’s markets and sunbathing on the Green.
- Even SMALLER class sizes – who would have thought that’s even possible?
- Trips to the Organic Farm for pizza, the Connecticut River docks for swimming, or even Ice Cream Fore-U in West Lebanon for sweet treats and mini golf!
- Remember those performance groups mentioned above? Well, the show must go on…even in the summer! If you’re a shower singer or have been hiding your inner dancing queen, sophomores already in a cappella, dance, or improve groups look to fill their ranks with their peers, so this is your time to shine!
Further, when you complete that summer requirement, you’re freed up to take a term off during a non-traditional time in the academic year. This sets you up to be at the top of the list for internship opportunities while kids from other schools are stuck in class. Students can take this time to conduct research on- or off-campus, take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities, or find the perfect internship through Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development.
Need I say more?
That All Sounds Great! Can I Afford It?
Dartmouth aims to make financing your education stress-free, which is why they meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for both domestic and international students. Along with their college application, students intending to request financial support should submit the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and IDOC by the same deadline as the one set for their intended application cycle. Beyond the sticker price cost of attendance, here’s some additional context about financing your education that will likely put your mind at ease:
- 50% of accepted students to the Class of 2025 qualify for need-based financial aid.
- 17% of accepted students to the Class of 2025 are eligible for Pell grants
- The estimated average scholarship for the Class of 2025 is projected to be $60,556.
- Families with total incomes of $125,000 or less are guaranteed a scholarship for their student that will at least cover the full cost of tuition – and not requiring loans!
- The average student debt of four-year graduates is $20,373, well below the national average of $32,300 for private colleges.
- Further, when factoring in financial aid, Dartmouth is among the top 30 schools in the nation in delivering the best returns on investment to its graduates, according to PayScale
To get a sense of how much you can expect your Dartmouth education to cost, you can use the financial aid office’s cost estimator here
That Takes Some Pressure Off, But I Definitely Still Want a Job After Graduation. What Should I Expect from the Job Search Process?
Dartmouth undergraduate degree holders have excellent career prospects, as Dartmouth graduates rank high in employment, salary, and job satisfaction across the board. A high percentage of students earn degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which makes innovative companies eager to recruit Dartmouth students to fill their lucrative job openings. Dartmouth alumni also tend to have exceptional success rates as compared to peers from other institutions when applying to top-ranked business, law, or medical schools.
Further, ranked #1 in the Forbes Grateful Grads Index, Dartmouth alumni are heavily engaged with the school even after graduation and are more than eager to help current students and soon-to-be graduates. Dartmouth’s tight-knit alumni network of 80,000 active alumni includes Nobel laureates, judges, scientists, scholars, government leaders, and more. Some notable alumni of the College include Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), current U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand, and K. Barry Sharpless, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry…and hopefully you one day.
- “Best Value Colleges 2021.” PayScale, https://www.payscale.com/college-roi.
- Corradi, Anna, and Matt Schifrin. “Grateful Grads 2019: Follow Alumni Love And Money Into The Best Colleges.” Forbes, Aug 15, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/annacorradi/2019/08/15/grateful-grads-2019-follow-alumni-love-and-money-into-the-best-colleges/?sh=70bc1d916ca2.
- “A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2021.” Student Loan Hero, 27 Jan 2021, https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/#:~:text=Average%20debt%20at%20graduation%20from,2018%20(average%20debt%20of%20%2432%2C300).