What Are Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A student looking for their university to apply for

What Are Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

Gaining admission into Dartmouth College requires a solid understanding of its GPA and SAT requirements. These academic expectations are crucial in evaluating if your profile aligns with the prestigious institution’s rigorous standards.

Dartmouth GPA Requirements

Your high school GPA is a critical component in your Dartmouth application. It serves as a clear indicator of your academic abilities and readiness to handle the rigor of Dartmouth’s coursework.

A strong GPA not only meets Dartmouth’s GPA requirements but also demonstrates your commitment to academic excellence.

Dartmouth campus

When assessing your GPA, Dartmouth considers several factors:

  • High School Courses Taken: The selection of courses throughout your high school years reflects your academic interests and strengths.
  • Course Rigor: Dartmouth values applicants who challenge themselves with advanced or honors courses, showing a willingness to push their academic boundaries.
  • Class Rank: Where you stand in your graduating class can provide context to your GPA, especially in competitive or academically rigorous schools.
  • Grade Trends: Consistent improvement or strong performance throughout high school is often viewed favorably.
  • School Profile: Understanding the context of your educational background, including the relative rigor of your high school.

Each of these factors plays a part in how your GPA is evaluated in the context of Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements.

Does Dartmouth have a minimum GPA requirement?

Dartmouth College does not officially set a minimum GPA requirement for admission. This approach is in line with their holistic review process, which considers a wide range of factors beyond just numerical measures.

However, understanding the typical GPA of admitted students can provide valuable insight into the competitive landscape.

Dartmouth average GPA

While Dartmouth does not have a minimum GPA requirement, the average GPA of admitted students is around 3.9. This high average indicates the level of academic achievement Dartmouth expects from its applicants. Knowing this average can help you gauge the competition and understand the caliber of students typically admitted to Dartmouth.

Two college students smiling at the camera.

The average GPA of 3.9 at Dartmouth is significant both within the context of the college and nationally. It reflects the high academic standards of Dartmouth and is often considerably higher than national averages for high school GPAs. This statistic underscores the importance of academic excellence in Dartmouth’s admissions process, aligning with Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements.

When considering these GPA statistics, it’s important to remember that they are just one part of your application. If your GPA is slightly lower, compensating with strong SAT scores, exceptional essays, or significant extracurricular achievements can still make your application competitive.

Conversely, if your GPA is on par or above this average, continue to strengthen other aspects of your application to stand out.

GPA tips for Dartmouth

For prospective Dartmouth students, aiming for a GPA of 3.9 or higher is advisable. Achieving this level not only aligns with the average GPA of admitted students but also demonstrates your ability to meet Dartmouth’s academic expectations.

To help you meet and maintain the GPA requirements for Dartmouth, consider the following tips:

  • Focus on your studies and maintain a consistent study schedule. Prioritizing academics is key to achieving a high GPA.
  • Enroll in AP, IB, or honors courses if available. Excelling in these challenging courses can significantly impact your GPA.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers or tutors if you’re struggling with a subject.
  • Good time management skills can help you balance your academic responsibilities with extracurriculars.
  • Aim for consistent performance throughout your high school years rather than relying on last-minute improvements.
  • Develop study habits that work best for you, whether it’s group study sessions or solo review.
  • Be aware of how your school calculates GPA and how different courses might impact your overall average.

Remember, while maintaining a high GPA is crucial for meeting Dartmouth’s GPA requirements, it’s also important to round out your application with extracurricular achievements and personal development.

Can I get into Dartmouth with a low GPA?

Dartmouth’s holistic admissions process means that students with lower GPAs can still be competitive applicants, especially if they demonstrate exceptional strengths in other areas. Unique talents, extraordinary extracurricular achievements, or compelling personal stories can significantly bolster your application.

While meeting Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements is important, other components of your application are equally crucial. These include:

  • SAT/ACT Scores: Strong test scores can sometimes offset a lower GPA.
  • Essays: Well-crafted essays that offer insight into your personality, goals, and experiences can make a strong impact.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations that speak to your character, work ethic, and potential can be highly persuasive.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Leadership roles, community service, or involvement in clubs and sports can showcase your well-roundedness.
  • Interviews: A compelling interview can leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee.

In summary, a lower GPA doesn’t automatically disqualify you from consideration at Dartmouth. It’s about the overall story your application tells and how well you can demonstrate your potential to contribute to and benefit from the Dartmouth community.

Dartmouth SAT Requirements

Alongside your GPA, your SAT score is a crucial component of your Dartmouth application. A high SAT score can significantly influence your chances of admission, particularly at a competitive institution like Dartmouth.

Teenage schoolboy sitting at classroom and doing exam with his classmates.

While Dartmouth evaluates applications holistically, the SAT score serves as a standardized measure of your academic abilities, complementing your GPA. Excelling in the SAT can strengthen your application, especially if your GPA is slightly below the average for Dartmouth’s academic requirements.

Understanding the role of SAT scores in the context of Dartmouth’s admission process is vital. A strong SAT score can showcase your readiness for Dartmouth’s rigorous academic environment and help balance other areas of your application.

Your SAT score is a critical factor that, along with your GPA, forms the backbone of your academic profile in the eyes of the admissions committee.

Does Dartmouth have a minimum SAT requirement?

Dartmouth College does not set a strict minimum SAT requirement for applicants. However, understanding the typical SAT scores of admitted students is crucial. These statistics offer insight into the competitive nature of Dartmouth’s admissions and the quality of students the college typically admits.

Dartmouth average SAT

Successful Dartmouth applicants typically have the following SAT scores:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1540 1520 1560

These scores are indicative of a highly competitive applicant pool. The high average and percentile scores reflect Dartmouth’s emphasis on academic excellence. Nationally, these scores are significantly higher than average, underscoring Dartmouth’s status as a top-tier educational institution.

Scoring at or above the average (1540) places you solidly among the typical admitted students in terms of standardized testing.

Scoring in the 25th percentile (152) does not eliminate your chances, but it means other aspects of your application, like extracurriculars, essays, and GPA, should be particularly strong to complement your SAT score.

A score in the 75th percentile (1560) positions you favorably in terms of testing and can be a significant asset to your application, especially if other aspects of your application are equally robust.

Remember, while Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements are important, they are part of a holistic admissions process. Each element of your application contributes to the overall impression you make.

SAT tips for Dartmouth

Aiming for the 75th percentile or higher in your SAT scores is a strategic goal for prospective Dartmouth students. Specifically, this means striving for a score of 1550 or higher, with a focus on reaching around 790 in SAT Math and 770 in SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.

Here are tips and resources for your SAT preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the SAT’s structure, types of questions, and time constraints.
  • Utilize practice tests to gauge your strengths and weaknesses. The College Board website and Khan Academy offer free official SAT practice tests.
  • Identify and concentrate on improving your weaker subjects.
  • Understanding how to approach different question types effectively can improve your efficiency and accuracy.
  • Ensure you have a strong grasp of the fundamental concepts in math and evidence-based reading and writing.

teenage student reading pros and cons of homeschooling

  • Regular reading, especially of complex texts, can significantly improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary for the SAT.
  • If self-study isn’t enough, a structured SAT prep course or tutoring might be beneficial.
  • Take practice tests in a timed, quiet setting to simulate actual test conditions.
  • On test day, manage your stress and maintain focus to perform your best.
  • If your score isn’t what you hoped, consider retaking the SAT. Many students improve their scores on a second attempt.

Remember, a strong SAT score, while important, is just one aspect of your application. It’s essential to maintain a well-rounded profile to meet Dartmouth’s holistic admission criteria.

Dartmouth testing policy

Dartmouth College currently adopts a test-optional policy for standardized testing. Therefore, while SAT scores can be submitted, they are not mandatory as part of Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements.

This approach reflects a growing trend in higher education recognizing that standardized tests may not fully capture a student’s academic potential or personal achievements.

Dartmouth’s test-optional policy significantly impacts how you approach your application. If you have strong SAT scores and believe they reflect your academic capabilities well, submitting them can enhance your application. They can serve as an additional metric to showcase your readiness for Dartmouth’s rigorous academic environment.

However, if you choose not to submit SAT scores, or if your scores are not as high as you’d like, this policy allows you to focus more on other aspects of your application. Your GPA, essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation can demonstrate your qualifications and potential to contribute to the Dartmouth community.

Essentially, Dartmouth’s test-optional policy provides flexibility and emphasizes a more holistic review of each applicant, ensuring that diverse talents and backgrounds are given due consideration.

Should I submit my SAT scores to Dartmouth?

While Dartmouth gives applicants the freedom to choose whether or not to include SAT scores, it’s important to note that a majority of applicants still choose to submit them. This trend suggests that SAT scores continue to play a significant role in the application process for many students.

If your SAT scores are strong and you believe they accurately reflect your academic abilities, it would be advantageous to include them in your application. High SAT scores can complement your academic profile and help you align more closely with Dartmouth’s academic requirements.

On the other hand, if your SAT scores are not as high as you’d like or you feel they don’t adequately represent your potential, remember that Dartmouth’s holistic admissions process values other aspects of your application just as much.

In this case, focusing on showcasing your strengths through your GPA, essays, extracurricular activities, and recommendations might be a more effective strategy.

Ultimately, the decision to submit SAT scores to Dartmouth should align with your overall application strategy and confidence in how these scores represent your academic capabilities.

Does Dartmouth superscore the SAT?

Dartmouth College follows a policy of superscoring the SAT. This means that if you have taken the SAT multiple times, Dartmouth will consider the highest scores from each section across all your test dates.

a student thinking while looking out at the window.

This approach allows you to present the highest possible composite score in your application, reflecting your best performance in each section of the test.

If you’ve taken the SAT more than once, you can focus on improving specific sections in subsequent attempts, knowing that only your highest scores in each will be considered. This can relieve some of the pressure of achieving your best possible score in a single sitting.

For students aiming to meet or exceed Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements, the superscoring policy offers an opportunity to showcase your academic strengths. It encourages you to focus on continuous improvement, providing a fairer representation of your abilities.

Additionally, this policy can be particularly beneficial if you have significant disparities in your scores across different sections. By concentrating your efforts on improving weaker areas in subsequent SAT attempts, you can potentially increase your overall composite score.

Remember, while superscoring can enhance your SAT profile, it’s also important to maintain a strong overall application. Dartmouth’s holistic review process means that all aspects of your application, including GPA, essays, and extracurricular activities, play a crucial role in admissions decisions.

Can I get into Dartmouth with a low SAT score?

Gaining admission to Dartmouth College with a lower SAT score is challenging, but not impossible, especially given Dartmouth’s holistic admissions process.

If your SAT score doesn’t quite reach the average for Dartmouth’s academic requirements, you can still be a competitive applicant. The key is to demonstrate your strengths and potential through other aspects of your application:

  • Strong GPA: A robust academic record with a high GPA can mitigate a lower SAT score. It shows consistent performance in a rigorous academic environment.
  • Compelling Essays: Well-written, authentic essays can provide deep insights into your personality, aspirations, and values, adding depth to your application.
  • Extracurricular Achievements: Demonstrating leadership, dedication, and passion through extracurricular activities can significantly bolster your profile.
  • Outstanding Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations that highlight your unique strengths, character, and potential can have a powerful impact.
  • Unique Talents or Experiences: Showcasing any special talents or unique life experiences that contribute to a diverse and dynamic community can make your application stand out.
  • Interview Performance: A strong interview can leave a lasting positive impression, demonstrating your fit for Dartmouth beyond academics.

Remember, Dartmouth’s admissions process is designed to evaluate you as a whole person, not just through the lens of your SAT score. Emphasizing your diverse talents, achievements, and the unique qualities you would bring to Dartmouth can offset a lower SAT score.

Can I Get into Dartmouth if I didn’t take the SAT?

With Dartmouth’s test-optional policy, students who haven’t taken the SAT can still be considered for admission. This flexibility is part of Dartmouth’s commitment to a holistic admissions process, ensuring that a range of factors are evaluated beyond just standardized test scores.

If you decide not to submit SAT scores, or if you haven’t taken the SAT, there are several ways you can strengthen your application to Dartmouth:

  • Academic Record: A strong GPA from a rigorous high school curriculum can demonstrate your academic abilities and readiness for college-level work. Dartmouth places considerable emphasis on your overall academic performance as part of their GPA and SAT requirements.
  • Essays and Interviews: Use your application essays and interviews to showcase your personality, experiences, and what makes you unique. These components can provide the admissions committee with a better understanding of who you are beyond numbers.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Participation in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, or other personal endeavors can illustrate your passions, commitment, and how you might contribute to Dartmouth’s campus life.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from teachers, counselors, or mentors that speak to your character, work ethic, and potential can greatly enhance your application.
  • Portfolios or Other Creative Submissions: Depending on your interests and talents, submitting a portfolio or other creative work can be a powerful way to express your unique abilities and perspectives.

Remember, Dartmouth’s approach to admissions is designed to assess your potential to succeed and contribute to their community holistically. Not having SAT scores does not preclude you from consideration, provided you demonstrate your strengths and potential through other aspects of your application.

Dartmouth Admission Process

Dartmouth College prides itself on a holistic and comprehensive admission process.

This approach means that while academic achievements are crucial, the admissions committee also deeply values other aspects like extracurricular involvement, leadership qualities, and personal essays. Every component of an application is reviewed to understand the applicant’s full potential and fit for Dartmouth’s community.

Within this holistic framework, your GPA and SAT scores play a pivotal role. Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements are among the main criteria that signify academic readiness and potential.

High scores in these areas are often seen as indicators of a student’s ability to thrive in Dartmouth’s challenging academic environment. However, it’s essential to remember that these scores are just one part of your overall application.

Dartmouth acceptance rate

The competition to gain admission to Dartmouth is intense, reflected by its low acceptance rate of around 6%. This figure highlights the selectivity and high standards the college maintains in its admissions process.

Understanding Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements is vital for any prospective student. It’s not just about meeting the criteria; it’s about standing out in a pool of highly qualified applicants. This means excelling academically while also showcasing unique talents and perspectives.


Let’s reiterate the importance of GPA and SAT scores in your application to Dartmouth College. These metrics, significant components of Dartmouth’s academic requirements, provide a snapshot of your academic abilities and readiness for the challenges that Dartmouth’s rigorous curriculum presents.

A strong GPA and SAT score can be instrumental in making your application stand out in a pool of highly qualified candidates.

However, Dartmouth’s holistic admissions process reminds us that your application is more than just numbers. This approach allows you to showcase different facets of your personality, talents, and experiences.

It’s about presenting a complete picture of who you are, your passions, and how you can contribute to the Dartmouth community. Each part of your application, from essays to extracurricular activities, plays a pivotal role in telling your unique story.

We can help you get into Dartmouth

Navigating the complexities of Dartmouth’s admissions process can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.

At AdmissionSight, we specialize in helping students like you understand and meet Dartmouth’s GPA and SAT requirements, while also developing a well-rounded and compelling application.

Our expertise and guidance can be the edge you need in this competitive journey. If you’re aiming for Dartmouth and want to maximize your chances of success, contact us for a free consultation. Let’s work together to make your college aspirations a reality.


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