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Dartmouth Campus Life: A Student’s Guide

September 30, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Baker Clock Tower at Dartmouth College

Dartmouth Campus Life: A Student’s Guide

Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, nestles in the heart of the Upper Valley, offering its students a unique blend of Ivy League academic rigor and a vibrant social scene set against a backdrop of rustic New England charm. This guide seeks to help prospective and new students better understand Dartmouth’s unique campus life.

Understanding Dartmouth’s Unique Culture

Dartmouth, one of the Ivy League schools, is steeped in nuanced traditions that trace their roots back to the campus’ over 250 years of existence. Unveiling these traditions will reveal a rich tapestry of memorable experiences that stay with Dartmouth students long past graduation.

Notable traditions include the iconic Dartmouth Night and Homecoming, where a massive bonfire lights up the campus, and a festive atmosphere prevails. Students gather around the bonfire, sharing stories and creating lasting memories. The crackling of the flames and the warmth it emits symbolize the unity and spirit of the Dartmouth community.

Another beloved custom is the First-Year Trips, a five-day outdoor orientation program for incoming students that fosters community bonding amidst the stunning landscapes of the New Hampshire wilderness. Students embark on adventures such as hiking, canoeing, and camping, forging friendships and creating a sense of belonging right from the start of their Dartmouth journey.

Dartmouth Campus Life: Greek Life

Greek Life holds a prominent place in Dartmouth’s social sphere, with a substantial proportion of students participating in it. It provides opportunities for social gatherings, community service, and lifelong friendships.

Fraternities and sororities at Dartmouth are known for their close-knit communities and strong bonds. They organize various events and activities, such as formals, philanthropy events, and mixers, which bring students together and create a sense of camaraderie. Greek Life also plays a role in shaping leadership skills and personal growth, as students take on responsibilities within their respective organizations.

While Greek Life contributes significantly to Dartmouth’s social scene, it is not the only source of social interaction. The college fosters inclusivity by promoting a myriad of other student organizations and events that cater to diverse interests, ensuring that all students can find their niche on campus.

View of Dartmouth campus at day time.

From academic clubs to cultural organizations, Dartmouth offers a wide range of extracurricular activities that allow students to explore their passions and connect with like-minded individuals. These organizations host events, workshops, and performances that enrich the campus culture and provide opportunities for personal and intellectual growth.

Furthermore, Dartmouth’s unique location in Hanover, New Hampshire, offers students access to a vibrant local community. Students can engage with the town through volunteering, internships, and cultural events, further expanding their horizons and contributing to the broader Dartmouth experience.

Dartmouth Campus Life: The Academic Landscape

Choosing Your Major at Dartmouth

Dartmouth College offers an array of over 40 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs, providing students with the freedom to explore their academic interests before declaring a major. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for students who have numerous interests or are uncertain about their ultimate academic direction.

At Dartmouth, students can choose from a wide range of traditional disciplines such as Biology or History, or they can explore unique and specialized fields such as Environmental Science and Native American Studies. The college encourages students to take advantage of the diverse academic offerings and discover new areas of interest.

For students seeking a more cross-disciplinary approach, Dartmouth’s flexible modified major program allows students to delve into two complementary fields of study. This unique opportunity enables students to combine their passions and gain a broader perspective on their chosen subjects.

Making the Most of Dartmouth’s Academic Resources

Dartmouth College is committed to providing comprehensive academic resources to support and assure students’ success throughout their academic journey. One such resource is the Academic Skills Center, which offers a wide range of services to help students excel in their coursework. The center provides peer tutoring, academic coaching, and workshops on various topics, such as time management and exam strategies. Students can take advantage of these resources to enhance their learning experience and develop effective study habits.

Another invaluable resource available to students is the Dartmouth Library system. The library houses a vast collection of books, periodicals, digital resources, and specialized research tools. Whether students are working on a research paper or seeking additional information on a particular topic, the library’s knowledgeable librarians are readily available to assist them in navigating complex research projects. The library’s extensive resources and expert guidance contribute to the overall academic enrichment of Dartmouth students.

Furthermore, Dartmouth College offers various academic support programs tailored to meet the needs of different student populations. These programs include writing centers, language study centers, and academic advising offices. These resources aim to provide students with the necessary tools and guidance to excel academically and make the most of their time at Dartmouth.

Dartmouth College website with logo

Dartmouth Campus Life: Living on Campus

Dormitory Life at Dartmouth

First-year students live in clusters constructed around a common space, fostering a tight-knit community from the inception of their Dartmouth journey. As they progress through their time at Dartmouth, students have various housing options, including affinity houses, where students who share common identities or interests reside, enhancing their sense of belonging.

Living in campus dormitories goes beyond just providing a place to sleep. An array of events are organized by the residential life staff, designed to bring a sense of community, foster spirit, and amplify the Dartmouth experience.

These events range from study groups and academic support sessions to social gatherings and themed parties. The residential life staff works tirelessly to create a vibrant and inclusive living environment for all students. They organize movie nights, game tournaments, and even outdoor adventures like hiking and camping trips.

Moreover, the dormitories themselves are not just ordinary buildings. Each one has its own unique character and history. Some dormitories are known for their stunning architecture, while others have a rich tradition of hosting cultural events and performances. Living in these dormitories allows students to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Dartmouth College.

Dining Options on Campus

Dartmouth’s dining options are as diverse as its student body, extending from the traditional all-you-can-eat fare at the Class of ’53 Commons to international cuisines at the various food courts. The Collis Café, a popular meeting place, offers a changing menu of globally inspired dishes catering to different dietary needs. Students can also enjoy late-night snacks at Collis Late Night or Novack Café.

But dining on campus is not just about satisfying hunger. It is an opportunity for students to explore different culinary traditions and expand their palate. The dining halls often host special theme nights, where students can experience the flavors of different countries and cultures. From Mexican fiestas to Asian street food markets, these events allow students to embark on a gastronomic journey without leaving campus.

Furthermore, the dining halls are not just places to eat; they are also social hubs. Students gather here to catch up with friends, study together, or simply relax after a long day of classes. The vibrant atmosphere and lively conversations make the dining halls an integral part of the Dartmouth experience.

Additionally, Dartmouth College takes pride in its commitment to sustainability. The dining halls prioritize locally sourced ingredients and strive to reduce food waste. Students can participate in initiatives like composting and recycling, contributing to the college’s efforts to create a more environmentally friendly campus.

Dartmouth Campus Life: Extracurricular Activities

Joining Clubs and Organizations at Dartmouth

Dartmouth boasts a dynamic student life with over 200 student-led clubs and organizations, catering to diverse interests from A Cappella choirs to Robotics. Active involvement in these groups not only enhances social life but also offers opportunities for leadership development and personal growth.

When it comes to clubs, Dartmouth truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring your passion for the arts through groups like the Dartmouth Film Society or want to make a difference in the community through organizations like the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, there are countless opportunities to get involved and pursue your interests.

Joining a club at Dartmouth is not just about finding a group of like-minded individuals but also about challenging yourself and expanding your horizons. Many clubs organize workshops, seminars, and guest speaker events, providing valuable learning experiences outside the classroom. For example, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network hosts regular speaker series where successful entrepreneurs share their insights and experiences, inspiring students to think outside the box.

Furthermore, being part of a club or organization at Dartmouth can also open doors to leadership positions. Many groups have executive boards or committees that allow students to take on responsibilities and develop important skills such as teamwork, organization, and communication. Whether you become the president of a club or take on a smaller role, the leadership opportunities available at Dartmouth are invaluable for personal and professional growth.

Dartmouth’s Athletic Programs and Intramural Sports

Athletic participation, whether at a competitive NCAA Division I level or in intramural sports, is an integral piece of the Dartmouth experience. The college fields 35 varsity teams, with sports like Soccer, Ice Hockey, and Lacrosse enjoying significant popularity.

For those who are passionate about sports, Dartmouth offers a unique and vibrant athletic community. Varsity athletes have the opportunity to compete at the highest level, representing Dartmouth in intercollegiate competitions and showcasing their skills and dedication. The college’s commitment to athletics is evident in its state-of-the-art facilities, including the Dartmouth Sportsplex, which houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a rock climbing wall, and a fitness center equipped with the latest training equipment.

However, Dartmouth’s athletic offerings extend far beyond varsity sports. For non-varsity athletes, Dartmouth offers a wide array of intramural and club sports that cater to all levels of athleticism and skill, creating an inclusive, fun, and active campus atmosphere. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete looking to continue playing your favorite sport or a beginner wanting to try something new, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Intramural sports at Dartmouth are a great way to stay active, build friendships, and have some friendly competition. From flag football and basketball to ultimate frisbee and volleyball, there are numerous leagues and tournaments throughout the year where students can form teams and compete against their peers. These activities not only promote physical well-being but also foster a sense of community and camaraderie among students.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Additionally, Dartmouth’s club sports offer a chance to pursue athletic interests outside of the varsity realm. Whether you’re passionate about rugby, sailing, or martial arts, there are clubs dedicated to these sports and more. These clubs often participate in regional and national competitions, allowing students to showcase their skills and represent Dartmouth on a broader stage.

Overall, Dartmouth’s extracurricular activities, including clubs, organizations, and athletics, play a vital role in shaping the college experience. They provide opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and a sense of belonging within the Dartmouth community. Whether you’re pursuing your passions, staying active, or trying something new, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved and make the most of your time at Dartmouth.

Preparing for Your Future at Dartmouth

Dartmouth College is not just a place to receive a world-class education; it is also a launchpad for your future career. With a strong emphasis on professional development and internship opportunities, Dartmouth equips its students with the skills and experiences necessary to succeed in the real world.

Dartmouth Campus Life: Career Services and Internship Opportunities

At the heart of Dartmouth’s commitment to student success is the Center for Professional Development (CPD). The CPD serves as a valuable resource for students, offering personalized career counseling to help them navigate the path from college to career. Whether you need assistance with job applications, resume building, or interview preparation, the CPD is there to guide you every step of the way.

One of the standout features of Dartmouth’s career services is the abundance of internship opportunities available to students. Thanks to Dartmouth’s extensive network of alumni and affiliates, students have access to a wide range of domestic and international internships. These experiences not only provide valuable real-world experience but also open doors to potential job opportunities after graduation.

Dartmouth Campus Life: Alumni Network and Post-Graduation Support

When you become a part of the Dartmouth community, you gain access to a vast network of successful alumni who are eager to support and mentor current students. This network spans across various industries and regions worldwide, offering invaluable networking opportunities. Many alumni are actively involved in helping students secure internships and jobs, making the transition from college to career much smoother.

Even after graduation, Dartmouth continues to provide support through services like the Dartmouth Career Network. This online platform connects students and alumni in similar fields of work, allowing for ongoing professional relationships and job opportunities. The Dartmouth Career Network is a powerful tool that keeps the Dartmouth community connected long after graduation.

University students on their way to class

Living and learning at Dartmouth is a truly unique experience. The college’s rich traditions, academic opportunities, vibrant social activities, and strong support systems all contribute to its distinctive culture. Dartmouth welcomes students from all walks of life, and regardless of where you come from or where you want to go, Dartmouth is ready to accompany you on a transformative journey.

So, as you embark on your college journey, remember that Dartmouth is not just a place to earn a degree; it is a place to prepare for your future and build lifelong connections that will support you every step of the way.

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

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