Comparing Hamilton College vs Dartmouth: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Male student typing in a table with his classmates.

Comparing Hamilton College vs Dartmouth: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college is an important decision and requires careful consideration. Hamilton College and Dartmouth are both highly respected institutions, but they differ in many ways. This article will compare Hamilton College vs Dartmouth, examining various factors to have better understanding of which college is right for you.

Location and Campus Features

Hamilton College is located in Clinton, New York, a small town with a population of just over 1,900. Its campus is spread over 1,350 acres of land and boasts of scenic trails, a natural wildlife refuge, and a variety of architecture including barns and converted mills. On the other hand, Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small New England town with a population of 11,260. Its campus covers 269 acres and features traditional Georgian colonial buildings, a river, and a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Choosing which location to study in depends on personal preference and lifestyle choices. Some students prefer the hustle and bustle of an urban lifestyle, while others appreciate the serenity of living in a rural area.

Young man smiling while on a hallway.

Hamilton College’s location in Clinton, New York, offers students the opportunity to explore the nearby Adirondack Mountains and the Finger Lakes region. The town itself has a quaint downtown area with local shops and restaurants, as well as a weekly farmer’s market. The college also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with initiatives such as a campus-wide composting program and a solar panel installation project.

Dartmouth College’s location in Hanover, New Hampshire, provides students with easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. The town has a vibrant arts scene, with a variety of music and theater performances throughout the year. The college also has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on projects in a variety of fields.

Academic Programs Offered by Hamilton College and Dartmouth

Hamilton College offers over 50 academic programs and has a student-to-teacher ratio of 9:1, which means students receive a lot of individual attention from their professors. Popular majors at Hamilton include economics, psychology, government, and literature. On the other hand, Dartmouth offers over 60 academic programs, including humanities, social sciences, engineering, and public policy. Its student-to-teacher ratio is also low, at 7:1. Students can expect to receive a personalized education at both colleges, but the range of programs offered varies.

Hamilton College is known for its strong emphasis on writing and communication skills. The college offers a Writing Center, where students can receive one-on-one assistance with their writing assignments. Additionally, Hamilton has a unique program called the Hamilton College Plan, which allows students to design their own interdisciplinary majors. This program encourages students to explore their interests and create a personalized academic experience.

Dartmouth is renowned for its strong undergraduate research opportunities. The college offers a variety of research programs, including the Women in Science Project and the Dartmouth Undergraduate Research Association. Dartmouth also has a strong commitment to experiential learning, with opportunities for students to participate in internships, study abroad programs, and community service projects. These programs allow students to gain real-world experience and apply their classroom knowledge to practical situations.

Admission Requirements and Application Process between Hamilton College vs Dartmouth

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth have a rigorous application process. Hamilton College’s acceptance rate is 20%, while Dartmouth’s acceptance rate is even lower, at 8.7%. Students applying to both colleges should expect to provide their transcripts, essays, recommendations, and test scores. Additionally, interviews may be conducted for some programs. Meeting the minimum requirements, however, does not guarantee admission to the schools.

It is important for students to note that both Hamilton and Dartmouth value extracurricular activities and community involvement. Admissions officers look for well-rounded individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to their passions. Students should highlight their involvement in clubs, sports, volunteer work, and other activities in their application.

Furthermore, both colleges offer need-blind admissions, meaning that a student’s financial situation will not be taken into consideration during the admissions process. However, it is important to note that both schools have high tuition costs and limited financial aid, so students should research and plan accordingly.

Costs and Financial Aid Options

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth cover 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students. Hamilton’s tuition is $59,360 per year, while Dartmouth’s tuition is $57,204 per year. Students should research the various scholarship, grant, and loan opportunities available to help offset the cost of attendance.

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It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both Hamilton and Dartmouth goes beyond just tuition. Students should also consider expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses when budgeting for college. Hamilton estimates these additional costs to be around $16,000 per year, while Dartmouth estimates them to be around $19,000 per year.

Both schools offer a variety of financial aid options to help students cover these costs. In addition to scholarships, grants, and loans, students may also be eligible for work-study programs or other forms of employment on campus. It is recommended that students explore all of their options and work closely with the financial aid offices at both schools to create a comprehensive plan for paying for college.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities at Hamilton College vs Dartmouth

The student experience at Hamilton and Dartmouth varies. Hamilton has a tight-knit community where students are encouraged to participate in activities and organizations to build a strong school spirit. Some activities include outdoor exploration, volunteer work, and the arts. Hamilton also has a variety of clubs which cater to various interests, so there is something for everyone. Dartmouth’s social scene is diverse and inclusive, with organizations ranging from Greek life to sports teams, musical ensembles, and social advocacy clubs. Dartmouth’s location also makes it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.

Additionally, both Hamilton and Dartmouth offer a wide range of academic and career-oriented extracurricular activities. These activities include research opportunities, internships, and networking events. Hamilton has a strong focus on community service and encourages students to engage in service projects both on and off-campus. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has a strong entrepreneurial culture and offers resources and support for students interested in starting their own businesses. Both schools also have active alumni networks that provide mentorship and career guidance to current students.

Career Opportunities for Graduates of Hamilton College and Dartmouth

Hamilton College and Dartmouth have excellent career resources for students. Hamilton’s 80% job placement rate indicates that students have a high chance of securing employment upon graduation. Additionally, Hamilton offers a variety of programs to help students secure internships and explore career paths. Dartmouth’s Career Services Office is ranked one of the best in the country and provides students with a range of resources to help them with their career goals.

Hamilton College has a strong alumni network that provides students with valuable connections and networking opportunities. The college also hosts career fairs and employer information sessions, giving students the chance to meet with potential employers and learn about job opportunities. Dartmouth offers a variety of career exploration programs, including job shadowing and career treks, which allow students to gain hands-on experience in their desired field.

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth have partnerships with top companies and organizations, providing students with access to exclusive job and internship opportunities. Additionally, the colleges offer career counseling services to help students with resume writing, interview preparation, and job search strategies. With these resources and support, graduates of Hamilton College and Dartmouth are well-equipped to succeed in their chosen career paths.

Internship Programs at Hamilton College vs Dartmouth

Hamilton College and Dartmouth both offer a variety of opportunities for students to gain work experience through internships. Students at Hamilton can participate in internships during the academic year or over the summer, with support from the Career Center. Dartmouth offers both domestic and international internships to its students, with many opportunities to work with top companies and organizations.

Students working on something while in the classroom.

At Hamilton College, students can choose from a wide range of internship options, including opportunities in finance, healthcare, education, and the arts. The Career Center provides guidance and resources to help students find internships that align with their interests and career goals. Additionally, Hamilton College has partnerships with several organizations and companies, which offer exclusive internship opportunities to Hamilton students.

Dartmouth’s internship programs are designed to provide students with hands-on experience in their chosen field of study. Students can choose from a variety of internships, including those in business, government, healthcare, and technology. Dartmouth also offers a unique program called the “Dartmouth Partners in Community Service,” which allows students to work with local non-profit organizations and gain valuable experience in community service and leadership.

Campus Diversity at Hamilton College and Dartmouth

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth value diversity on campus. Hamilton College has a diverse student body, with 25% of its students coming from underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, Hamilton supports LGBTQ+ and minority students through various activities and resources. Dartmouth is similarly committed to inclusivity and diversity, with numerous initiatives aimed at promoting multiculturalism and internationalism.

At Hamilton College, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers a range of programs and services to support students from diverse backgrounds. These include mentorship programs, cultural events, and workshops on topics such as intercultural communication and social justice. Similarly, Dartmouth’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership provides resources and support for students from underrepresented groups, including academic and career advising, leadership development, and community-building opportunities.

Faculty and Class Sizes Compared

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth have top-notch faculty, but Hamilton’s faculty-to-student ratio is slightly higher. Hamilton’s faculty is made up of highly qualified professors, 98% of whom hold a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field. Dartmouth’s faculty is also made up of expert professors, and students can expect to receive personalized attention due to its low faculty-to-student ratio.

Despite the difference in faculty-to-student ratio, both Hamilton and Dartmouth offer small class sizes, allowing for more individualized attention and discussion-based learning. Hamilton’s average class size is 16 students, while Dartmouth’s is 12. This means that students at both institutions have ample opportunities to engage with their professors and peers in a collaborative and supportive environment.

In addition to their exceptional faculty and small class sizes, both Hamilton and Dartmouth offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities. Hamilton has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, with majors such as Creative Writing and Environmental Studies. Dartmouth, on the other hand, is known for its strong programs in the sciences and engineering, as well as its renowned study abroad programs. Both institutions provide students with a well-rounded education and numerous opportunities for personal and academic growth.

Accommodations, Dining Options, and Campus Resources

Hamilton and Dartmouth both have excellent accommodation and dining options. Hamilton’s campus has several housing options, including traditional dorms and small cottages. The college also has a variety of dining options, including traditional dining halls and small cafes. Dartmouth has a similar range of accommodations and dining options, and features several recreational facilities such as athletic centers and libraries that cater to its students’ academic needs.

Students smiling at the camera.

In addition to these amenities, both Hamilton and Dartmouth offer a wide range of campus resources to their students. Hamilton has a well-equipped health center that provides medical and counseling services to students. The college also has a career center that offers guidance and support to students as they navigate their post-graduation plans. Similarly, Dartmouth has a comprehensive career services office that provides students with access to internships, job opportunities, and career counseling.

Furthermore, both colleges have a vibrant student life that offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs. Hamilton has over 200 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and sports teams. Dartmouth has a similar range of clubs and organizations, including a student-run newspaper, a radio station, and a theater group. With so many options available, students at both colleges can find a community that aligns with their interests and passions.

Athletics Programs Offered by Hamilton College vs Dartmouth

Both Hamilton and Dartmouth have strong athletic programs. Hamilton’s varsity teams participate in the NESCAC conference, while Dartmouth athletes participate in the competitive Ivy League. Both colleges have a range of sports teams, including basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and swimming. Students who want to participate in sports can pick the one that best aligns with their interests.

In addition to the traditional sports teams, both Hamilton and Dartmouth offer a variety of club and intramural sports. These programs allow students to participate in sports at a more casual level, without the commitment of a varsity team. Some popular club and intramural sports at Hamilton include ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and flag football, while Dartmouth offers options such as rugby, squash, and sailing.

Both colleges also prioritize the health and wellness of their students, offering state-of-the-art athletic facilities and resources. Hamilton’s Bristol Center includes a fitness center, indoor track, and pool, while Dartmouth’s Alumni Gymnasium features a rock climbing wall, squash courts, and a dance studio. Additionally, both colleges have athletic trainers and sports medicine staff available to support student-athletes and ensure their safety and well-being.

Alumni Networks of Hamilton College vs Dartmouth

Hamilton and Dartmouth have impressive alumni networks that offer numerous opportunities to graduates. Hamilton’s alumni network consists of over 25,000 alumni in a variety of fields, with an active alumni association that offers networking opportunities. Dartmouth’s extensive alumni network comprises over 75,000 individuals, with alumni in various fields such as politics, law, and business. Graduates of both colleges can expect to enjoy long-term benefits from being part of these influential networks.

Hamilton College’s alumni network is known for its strong sense of community and support for its members. The alumni association hosts events throughout the year, including regional gatherings and career networking events. Additionally, Hamilton’s Career Center offers resources and support to alumni, including job postings and career counseling services.

Two students talking in the hallway of the school.

Dartmouth’s alumni network is not only extensive but also highly engaged. The Dartmouth Alumni Council, made up of elected representatives from various classes and regions, works to connect alumni with each other and with the college. The council also supports various initiatives, such as the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and the Dartmouth Alumni Travel program, which offers educational travel opportunities to alumni and their families.


Choosing the right college can be a daunting task. Both Hamilton College and Dartmouth are excellent institutions with various strengths and weaknesses. Factors such as location, academic programs, admission requirements, financial aid options, student life, internships, faculty, campus resources, athletics programs, alumni networks, and student success rates should all be taken into account. By carefully weighing the different factors, students can make an informed decision about which college is right for them.

It is important for students to remember that the college they choose will have a significant impact on their future. The connections they make, the skills they learn, and the experiences they have will shape their career paths and personal growth. Therefore, it is crucial for students to not only consider the tangible factors, but also to reflect on their personal values, goals, and aspirations. Ultimately, the right college is the one that aligns with their individual needs and will help them achieve their dreams.

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