How to Get into Dartmouth: Admission Requirements and Tips

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Dartmouth College is a dream destination for many incoming college students. It is an excellent place for students to explore their academic interests, hone their skills, build extensive networks, and pursue a rich and rewarding future. Despite being one of the lesser-known Ivy League schools, let’s face it, getting into Dartmouth is no small feat.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how difficult it is to get into Dartmouth and what admissions staff are looking for. We’ll also provide key strategies you can use to improve your chances of getting accepted. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge, strategies, and confidence to put your best foot forward.

Overview of Dartmouth

Founded in 1769, Dartmouth College stands proudly in Hanover, New Hampshire. As one of the oldest and most revered institutions in the United States, Dartmouth has been a cornerstone in the nation’s intellectual and cultural development, significantly shaping the American higher education landscape.

Dartmouth’s prestige is evident in its national and world rankings. The US News Best Global Universities ranks the college at #18 among National Universities. On a global scale, Times Higher Education (THE) places Dartmouth at 161 in the World University Rankings for 2024.

Notable Dartmouth alumni include K. Barry Sharpless, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry twice (1959 and 2022), and Theodor Geisel, better known worldwide as Dr. Seuss. These distinguished individuals exemplify the diverse and significant contributions Dartmouth graduates make to society.

Dartmouth stands out for its strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching, with small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio that ensures personalized attention. The liberal arts focus is coupled with opportunities for research and collaboration, often reserved for graduate-level students at larger universities.

So, choosing Dartmouth is choosing a pathway to not only academic success but also personal growth and global impact. The college nurtures leaders and innovators who are prepared to tackle the challenges of the future with a balanced, well-rounded perspective.

Dartmouth’s Acceptance Rate

Dartmouth College has maintained a highly selective acceptance rate over the years:

Class Acceptance Rate
Class of 2023 6.4%
Class of 2024 8.8%
Class of 2025 6%
Class of 2026 6%
Class of 2027 6%

The figures above reflect not just the competitiveness of the admissions process but also the caliber of students that Dartmouth attracts. They are also influenced by the growing number of applications and the evolving criteria for selection.

In particular, for the Class of 2027, Dartmouth received a historic high of 28,841 applications, the largest in its 253-year history. Maintaining a consistent 6% acceptance rate for the third consecutive year, the college admitted only 1,798 students.

It’s important not to be daunted by these numbers. Instead, use them to gauge the level of preparation and distinctiveness needed in your application. Remember, each application is reviewed holistically, so every aspect of your profile, from academics to extracurriculars, matters.

Factors that influence the acceptance rate

Several key factors play a role in determining Dartmouth’s acceptance rate each year. Understanding these can provide insights into the admissions process:

  • Academic Excellence: Dartmouth prioritizes academic achievement, looking for students with strong GPAs, high standardized test scores, and rigorous coursework. Excellence in academics is often a baseline for consideration.
  • Extracurricular Involvement: The college values well-rounded individuals. Leadership roles, community service, and other extracurricular activities demonstrate a candidate’s ability to contribute to campus life.
  • Personal Essays: Dartmouth places significant emphasis on personal essays. These essays offer a window into a student’s personality, goals, and fit for Dartmouth’s community, providing a crucial differentiator among applicants.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Strong recommendations from teachers and mentors can significantly impact an application. They offer an external perspective on a student’s character, work ethic, and potential.

Dartmouth GPA and SAT Requirements

For a prestigious institution like Dartmouth College, academic excellence is a cornerstone of its admissions process, and this is where your GPA and SAT scores come into play.

Your GPA represents your consistent academic performance and ability to meet the high standards that Dartmouth expects. Similarly, your SAT scores provide a standardized benchmark of your critical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities—skills that are highly valued at Dartmouth.

Dartmouth is searching for students who demonstrate mastery of content and the ability to think critically and engage deeply with complex subjects. Thus, achieving high GPA and SAT scores can be a crucial factor in strengthening your application, showing Dartmouth that you are ready to thrive in their intellectually demanding environment.

Remember, though, Dartmouth takes a holistic approach to admissions. While your GPA and SAT scores are important, they are part of a larger picture that includes your extracurricular activities, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and unique talents. Your academic achievements should be balanced with distinctive personal qualities and contributions.

Dartmouth GPA Requirements

When it comes to GPA requirements, Dartmouth College does not set an absolute minimum, but admitted Dartmouth students typically have very high GPAs, ranging from 3.8 to 4.0, with an average GPA of 3.9. This high average reflects the academic rigor and excellence Dartmouth expects from its prospective students. They often belong to the top 10% of their class. 

As a prospective Dartmouth student, it’s important to view these GPA statistics as a benchmark rather than a hard-and-fast rule. While a high GPA is indicative of academic excellence, Dartmouth’s admissions process is holistic.

This means that your GPA is evaluated in the context of other elements of your application, such as your course rigor, extracurricular activities, personal essays, and letters of recommendation. Understanding that Dartmouth seeks well-rounded individual s, your GPA should be one component of a comprehensive and compelling application package.

GPA recommendations

When aiming for admission to Dartmouth, here are key GPA-related recommendations to consider:

  • Aim for a 3.9 GPA or higher. Targeting this benchmark can strengthen your application significantly.
  • Enroll in advanced coursework, such as AP or IB classes, to demonstrate your ability to excel in rigorous academic settings.
  • If your GPA isn’t near 4.0, show an upward trend in your grades. Dartmouth values improvement and resilience in academic performance.

Dartmouth SAT Requirements

While Dartmouth does not have an absolute minimum SAT score requirement, the statistics provide insight into the caliber of students they admit:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1500 1450 1550

The 25th and 75th percentile scores give prospective students a clearer view of the range of SAT scores of admitted students.

These scores reflect Dartmouth’s emphasis on academic excellence and its highly selective admissions process. Nationally, these scores are significantly above the national average, indicating that Dartmouth students are among the top academic achievers in the country.

This high level of performance on the SAT demonstrates not only the students’ mastery of the test material but also their readiness to tackle the rigorous academic environment at an Ivy League institution like Dartmouth.

But these scores should serve as a guide, not a definitive benchmark, for your own test preparation. Dartmouth’s holistic admissions approach means that your SAT score is just one factor among many in your application. It’s vital to balance a strong SAT performance with other aspects of your application.

SAT recommendations

As you prepare for the SAT with Dartmouth in mind, here are four key strategies to help maximize your chances of success:

  • Aim for a score of 1550 or higher. Getting this score can make your application more competitive.
  • Regular practice and thorough preparation can significantly improve your SAT score. Utilize resources like practice tests, prep courses, and tutoring if necessary.
  • If your initial score is below your target range, consider retaking the SAT. Improvement over multiple attempts can demonstrate your commitment and perseverance.
  • While aiming for a high SAT score, remember that Dartmouth values a well-rounded application. Ensure that your SAT preparation does not come at the expense of other important application components.

Dartmouth ACT Requirements

Dartmouth College has high standards for ACT scores, although it does not enforce an absolute minimum requirement. The typical ACT scores of Dartmouth’s admitted students are the following:

Average ACT Score 25th Percentile ACT Score 75th Percentile ACT Score
34 32 35

These numbers underscore the college’s commitment to academic excellence. They also place Dartmouth students in the top percentile of ACT test-takers, reflecting their superior academic abilities and readiness for the challenging curriculum at Dartmouth.

You should view these ACT statistics as a benchmark for your own test preparation. While these scores are high, remember that Dartmouth evaluates applications holistically. Strive to achieve a balance between strong ACT performance and showcasing your unique talents, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities in your application.

ACT recommendations

As you prepare for the ACT with an eye on Dartmouth, consider these tips:

  • To be competitive in your application to Dartmouth, target a score of 35 or higher.
  • Rigorous and regular study, utilizing practice tests and prep resources, is key to achieving a high ACT score.
  • If your initial score falls short of your target, consider retaking the ACT. Showing improvement can positively impact your application.
  • While preparing for the ACT, ensure you continue to engage in activities that demonstrate your diverse interests and strengths. Dartmouth values well-rounded candidates.

Is Dartmouth Test-Optional?

Dartmouth College is test-optional for applicants to the Class of 2028. This means that you have the choice to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of your application, but it’s not a mandatory requirement.

This test-optional policy means you have more flexibility in how you present your academic qualifications. If you believe your SAT or ACT scores accurately reflect your abilities and strengthen your application, you can include them.

However, if you feel that your scores do not represent your true potential, or if you faced challenges in taking these tests, you can opt not to submit them. This policy allows you to highlight other aspects of your application, such as your GPA, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation, to demonstrate your readiness and fit for Dartmouth.

Dartmouth’s decision to go test-optional was influenced by a desire to offer a more inclusive and holistic admissions process. Dartmouth understands that factors like accessibility, test anxiety, and socioeconomic backgrounds can impact test-taking, and the test-optional policy aims to level the playing field for all applicants.

What Does Dartmouth Look for in Students?

As you navigate the journey of applying to Dartmouth College, it’s crucial to understand what the institution values in its students. Dartmouth’s official stance emphasizes the uniqueness of each student, highlighting the importance of individuality in contributing to the campus community.

This focus on distinct qualities, experiences, and perspectives is central to Dartmouth’s holistic selection process. The college doesn’t just look at your academic achievements and extracurricular activities; they seek to understand who you are as a whole person and what you can bring to their diverse and dynamic community.

Knowing Dartmouth’s core values and programs is essential because it allows you to align your application with what the college values most.

1. Distinct qualities that Dartmouth values in applicants

Dartmouth College seeks students who exhibit distinct personal qualities that align with its ethos. This includes traits like resilience, leadership, empathy, and intellectual curiosity.

Showcasing these qualities in your application is crucial, as they demonstrate your potential to contribute positively to Dartmouth’s campus and beyond. Your personal stories, achievements, and challenges can vividly illustrate these traits, providing a deeper insight into your character.

2. Unique experiences that set you apart

Your experiences—academic, extracurricular, or life experiences—are a key component of what makes you unique. Dartmouth values diverse backgrounds and experiences that contribute to a richly varied campus community.

Whether it’s your involvement in community service, overcoming personal obstacles, or engaging in innovative projects, sharing these experiences helps Dartmouth understand your journey and the perspective you bring.

3. Perspectives that enrich Dartmouth’s community

Dartmouth highly values the diverse perspectives that each student brings to the table. Your viewpoint, shaped by your cultural background, personal experiences, and individual beliefs, adds depth to the campus discourse.

Illustrating how your perspective will contribute to and benefit from Dartmouth’s collaborative and diverse environment is an important aspect of your application.

In short, as you prepare your application for Dartmouth College, it’s essential to reflect deeply on your unique qualities, experiences, and perspectives. Dartmouth isn’t just looking for academic achievers; they are seeking individuals who will bring a diverse array of ideas, passions, and visions to their campus.

By showcasing how your personal attributes, life experiences, and viewpoints align with Dartmouth’s values of discovery, connections, community, innovation, excellence, and balance, you can illustrate that you are a multi-dimensional individual ready to contribute to and flourish in Dartmouth’s dynamic and diverse community.

Remember, it’s the unique blend of who you are and what you aspire to be that can make your application stand out in the holistic admissions process at Dartmouth.

How to Boost Your Dartmouth Application

Since we’ve pulled back the curtains on the Dartmouth admissions process, you should feel more knowledgeable about what you’re up against. Now, we can focus on some ways to improve your chances of getting accepted.

As we mentioned before, the Dartmouth acceptance rate doesn’t necessarily reflect your chances of getting admitted. You might have much better odds depending on the holistic nature of your application. Here are some of our top tips:

1. Earn excellent grades.

We’ll kick things off with one of the more obvious strategies you can use to boost your chances of getting into Dartmouth: fantastic academic performance. You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it’s important to drive the point home.

Your academic performance in high school plays a major role in deciding whether or not you get into the college of your choice. As a general rule of thumb, the more selective the school, the more impressive your grades and test scores need to be.

To align with Dartmouth’s expectations:

  • Challenge yourself academically. Enroll in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), honors, or other advanced-level courses available at your school. Dartmouth values students who push their limits and succeed in these rigorous academic settings.
  • Show an upward trend. If your GPA isn’t perfect, demonstrate an upward trajectory in your grades. Improvement over your high school years can reflect positively on your ability to adapt and overcome academic challenges.
  • Balance is key. While focusing on your grades, ensure that you’re not neglecting other aspects of your life and application. Dartmouth seeks well-rounded students who excel both academically and in other areas.
  • Seek help when needed. Don’t hesitate to seek extra help if you’re struggling in a particular subject. Utilize resources like tutors, study groups, or additional guidance from teachers. Dartmouth appreciates students who take the initiative to excel academically and who are proactive in their learning process.

Maintaining excellent grades throughout your high school years is a fundamental step in making your application stand out to Dartmouth. It’s a testament to your academic dedication and readiness for the challenges at an elite institution like Dartmouth.

2. Take part in academic competitions.

Something many students shy away from that could greatly improve their odds of getting into Dartmouth is academic competitions. It’s perfectly natural for students to feel nervous and anxious about putting their skills to the test against other students or in front of people. However, this is an excellent way to make your application stand out.

Competing in these activities shows Dartmouth’s admissions staff that you’re willing to push yourself academically and that you’re always trying to improve your abilities.

To make the most out of your participation in academic competitions:

  • Select competitions that align with your interests. Choose competitions in areas you are passionate about, whether it’s mathematics, science, debate, writing, or others. Dartmouth looks for genuine interest and excellence in your chosen fields.
  • Aim for leadership roles or notable achievements. Leading a team in a competition or achieving high ranks can significantly bolster your application. It demonstrates not only your expertise in the subject but also leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Reflect on your experiences. In your application, discuss what you learned from these competitions. Highlight any challenges you overcame, skills you developed, and how these experiences have shaped your academic and career aspirations.
  • Balance participation with academics. While excelling in these competitions is important, ensure they complement rather than overwhelm your academic responsibilities. Dartmouth values academic excellence alongside extracurricular achievements.

3. Participate in extracurricular activities.

When parents and students consider what admissions staff look for, their minds often first go to academic factors such as standardized test scores, GPAs, and the level of high school courses. While these are no doubt critical factors, they’re by no means the only factors taken into consideration.

Dartmouth, as with most colleges, takes a comprehensive approach to its admission process. This simply means that admissions officers consider a wide range of factors to determine whether or not a student gets accepted. They also care about what students do outside of school. In other words, extracurricular activities.

To optimize your extracurricular participation:

  • Choose activities aligned with your interests. Engage in activities that genuinely interest you, whether they are sports, arts, community service, or clubs. Authenticity in your interests will shine through in your application.
  • Pursue leadership and impact. Seek roles where you can demonstrate leadership or make a significant impact. Leadership positions or initiatives where you’ve made a noticeable difference can be particularly compelling.
  • Show commitment and depth. Long-term involvement in a few activities is often more meaningful than brief participation in many. Dartmouth looks for depth and commitment, as it reflects your dedication and the ability to juggle responsibilities effectively.
  • Reflect on personal growth. In your application, articulate how these activities have contributed to your personal growth and how they align with Dartmouth’s values. Discuss skills learned, challenges overcome, and insights gained.

4. Join a reputable summer program.

While you might have the entire summer booked out for nothing but lazy days around the pool, short trips with friends, and other relaxing activities, you might want to leave at least a few weeks open for a great summer program.

These academic-focused activities take place during the summer months and are designed to help students further their skills in a particular area even when school isn’t in session. A reputable summer program can look great on an application as it shows Dartmouth admissions officers that you’re willing to spend extra time outside of school pursuing your academic goals.

Here are some strategies to make the most out of a summer program:

  • Choose programs aligned with your academic interests. Select summer programs that align with your academic goals or passions. Whether it’s a science camp, a creative writing workshop, or a leadership seminar, choose programs that resonate with your interests and aspirations.
  • Look for rigorous and prestigious programs. Programs associated with well-known universities or organizations can add weight to your application. They often provide a challenging environment that prepares you for the academic rigor of a school like Dartmouth.
  • Seek opportunities to stand out. Engage fully in the program, seeking leadership roles or engaging in unique projects. Achievements or recognitions in these programs can be highlighted in your application.
  • Reflect on your learning and growth. In your application, discuss what you learned from the program and how it contributed to your academic and personal development. Dartmouth values students who are self-motivated learners and who seek out opportunities for growth.

5. Get fantastic letters of recommendation.

Admissions officers want to get to know more about you on a personal level. While they don’t have time to meet every applicant in person, one of the best ways to gain this insight is to reach out to people who know you personally.

That’s why Dartmouth requires all applicants to get letters of recommendation from teachers and a school counselor. While many universities have this same requirement, Dartmouth sets itself apart by also encouraging students to get a letter of recommendation from a peer.

Here’s how to ensure your letters of recommendation are effective:

  • Select recommenders who truly know you. Choose teachers or mentors who can speak to your strengths and accomplishments. For the peer recommendation, select a friend or classmate who understands your character and contributions to your community in a way that adults might not see.
  • Provide your recommenders with relevant information. Help your recommenders by giving them a summary of your goals for Dartmouth, highlighting particular experiences or achievements you want them to emphasize. This guidance can help them write a letter that aligns with Dartmouth’s values and your aspirations.
  • Give them ample time. Request recommendations well in advance of the deadline. Providing your recommenders with enough time ensures they can write thoughtful and comprehensive letters.
  • Express gratitude. After your recommenders have submitted their letters, be sure to thank them. Acknowledging their effort is not only polite but also fosters positive ongoing relationships.

6. Write amazing essays.

All Dartmouth applicants have to respond to a series of essay prompts. While the rest of the application covers topics that are rather dry and one-dimensional, these essays are designed to give admissions staff a more complete picture of who they are.

From your perspective, these prompts give you an opportunity to demonstrate why you’re a perfect candidate to attend Dartmouth. As a result, your responses to these essays need to be personal and unique while still addressing the main topics of the prompts. In addition, you’ll want to tie in Dartmouth and its offerings into your answers to show why you want to attend.

Here are key tips to write standout essays for Dartmouth:

  • Be authentic. Write in your own voice and stay true to your personality. Dartmouth values authenticity and wants to get to know the real you through your essays.
  • Reflect Dartmouth’s values. Align your essays with the core values of Dartmouth, such as discovery, community, and innovation. Show how these values resonate with you and are reflected in your life experiences.
  • Tell a compelling story. Each essay should tell a story that captures an important aspect of who you are. Whether it’s an experience, a person who has influenced you, or a personal achievement, make sure it provides a deep insight into your character.
  • Proofread and edit. Ensure your essays are well-written and free of grammatical errors. Ask teachers, mentors, or peers to review your essays and provide feedback. Also consider seeking an admissions consultant who can provide professional essay editing services.

7. Take advantage of Dartmouth’s Early Decision.

Applying through Dartmouth’s Early Decision program can significantly enhance your chances of admission if Dartmouth is your top choice. This choice is a strong indication to the admissions committee of your deep commitment and intense interest in being part of the Dartmouth community.

Opting for Early Decision underscores a higher level of certainty and enthusiasm about attending Dartmouth, compared to Regular Decision applicants. It’s a clear message that, if accepted, Dartmouth is where you intend to enroll, reflecting a deliberate and confident decision about your educational future.

To effectively leverage Early Decision:

  • Prioritize Dartmouth. Be absolutely sure that Dartmouth is your first choice as this decision is binding.
  • Prepare your application early. Meet the earlier deadline with a well-prepared application to demonstrate seriousness.
  • Understand financial commitments. Be aware of and comfortable with the financial aspects, as accepting an Early Decision offer means committing to attending Dartmouth.
  • Articulate your choice. In your application, clearly express why Dartmouth is your top choice, focusing on specific aspects of the college that align with your goals and interests.

In conclusion, by focusing on these key areas, you can significantly boost your application to Dartmouth College. By presenting a well-rounded, thoughtful, and polished application, you position yourself as a strong candidate ready to contribute to and thrive in Dartmouth’s dynamic and intellectually vibrant community.

Subjects to Take to Get into Dartmouth

When planning your high school curriculum with an eye towards applying to Dartmouth College, it’s crucial to select subjects that align with Dartmouth’s academic expectations and its core curriculum. Dartmouth, like many Ivy League schools, seeks students with a strong foundation in a broad range of subjects, combined with depth in areas of particular interest.

Dartmouth’s core curriculum

With its strong liberal arts focus, Dartmouth embraces a comprehensive core curriculum designed to provide a broad-based education.

This core curriculum is rooted in the belief that a diverse academic foundation is essential for intellectual growth and development. It encourages you to explore various disciplines and gain a well-rounded academic experience.

At Dartmouth, the core curriculum typically includes:

  • Writing and Communication: Courses aimed at developing strong writing and communication skills.
  • Quantitative and Analytical Skills: Classes that enhance mathematical and analytical thinking.
  • Foreign Language Proficiency: Learning a foreign language to a certain level of proficiency to appreciate linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Natural Sciences: Studies in fields like biology, chemistry, and physics, often with laboratory work, to understand the natural world.
  • Social Sciences: Subjects like sociology, psychology, economics, and political science that provide insights into human behavior and societal structures.
  • Humanities: Courses in literature, philosophy, history, and the arts that cultivate an understanding of human experience and creativity.

The core curriculum at Dartmouth is not just about covering a range of subjects. It’s about cultivating a way of thinking that is both analytical and creative, grounded in knowledge yet open to new ideas and perspectives.

Subject recommendations

To align with this comprehensive approach, high school students aspiring to attend Dartmouth should consider a curriculum that includes:

  • English: Strong reading and writing skills are essential. Aim to take advanced literature and composition classes. Tip: Enhance your critical reading and analytical writing skills, as these are crucial for college-level work.
  • Social Sciences: Courses in History, Geography, Psychology, and Economics provide a good foundation. Tip: Engage in discussions, debates, and social studies clubs to deepen your understanding of these subjects.
  • Foreign Languages: Knowledge of a second language shows cultural awareness and intellectual versatility. Tip: Aim for proficiency or fluency in a language through classes, immersion programs, or self-study.
  • Arts: Engagement in the arts demonstrates creativity. Consider subjects like Art, Music, Theater, or Dance. Tip: Participate in school and community arts programs to develop and showcase your artistic talents.
  • Mathematics: Dartmouth appreciates students with solid math skills. Courses like Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, or Statistics are recommended. Tip: Engage in math clubs or competitions to further develop and demonstrate your quantitative skills.
  • Science: Focus on subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science, especially with lab components. Tip: Participate in science fairs or research projects to showcase your interest and aptitude in scientific inquiry.

By selecting a balanced and challenging mix of these subjects in high school, you can prepare effectively for Dartmouth’s rigorous and diverse academic environment.

Specific Areas that Can Bolster Your Dartmouth Application

Now, let’s delve into specific areas and activities that can further bolster your application. These areas provide tangible ways to demonstrate your unique talents and align with Dartmouth’s values.


  • TEDxYouth: Participating in or organizing a TEDxYouth event showcases your ability to engage with ideas worth spreading and demonstrates leadership and initiative.
  • Personal Blog or Podcast: Creating content around a subject you are passionate about not only shows dedication but also your ability to communicate and engage an audience.


  • Model United Nations (MUN): Involvement in MUN demonstrates your diplomatic skills, global awareness, and leadership capabilities.
  • Student Government: Taking an active role in student government showcases your leadership skills and your ability to work collaboratively and effect change.

Academic research

  • Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology: Participating in this prestigious research competition highlights your aptitude for academic inquiry and innovation.
  • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF): This research fair showcases your ability to conduct high-level research and contribute original ideas to the scientific community.

School clubs and organizations

  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA): Involvement in business clubs FBLA demonstrates your interest in entrepreneurship and business acumen.
  • Science Olympiad or Robotics Club: Participation in these clubs exhibits your skills in teamwork, problem-solving, and passion for science and technology.

Community service

  • Key Club or Habitat for Humanity: Active participation in these organizations shows commitment to community service and leadership in social causes.
  • Local Community Projects: Initiating or leading community projects can demonstrate your ability to identify needs and mobilize resources for a cause.

Regional and national academic competitions

  • National History Day: Participation indicates your deep engagement with history and research.
  • American Mathematics Competitions (AMC): Success in these competitions shows your strong analytical and mathematical skills.

Summer programs

  • Summer Science Program (SSP): Joining the SSP can be a pivotal step in preparing for Dartmouth, as it demonstrates your commitment to academic rigor and research.
  • Dartmouth Pre-College Programs: Participation in Dartmouth’s own summer programs can provide valuable insights into the college’s culture and expectations, making it an excellent preparatory step for your Dartmouth journey.


  • All-State Music Festivals: Achieving a position in a state-level music festival shows your excellence and dedication in music.
  • National Youth Orchestra: Being part of this group signifies your high level of musical talent and commitment.

Sports and athletics

  • AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Tournaments: Competing in AAU events showcases your athletic talent and teamwork at a high level.
  • State or National Championships: Participation or achievement in these events demonstrates your high athletic skill and dedication.


  • Internship at a Local Business or Non-Profit: This kind of internship shows your real-world experience and the application of academic knowledge in a professional setting.
  • Summer Research Internships at Universities: Gaining hands-on experience in research projects enhances your understanding of academic and scientific work.

In summary, by engaging in these specific programs and activities, you can showcase your multifaceted skills, intellectual curiosity, and commitment to making a meaningful impact, both in your community and at Dartmouth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Dartmouth Application

As you prepare your application for Dartmouth College, it’s essential to be mindful of common pitfalls that can weaken your candidacy. These mistakes, often overlooked by applicants, can significantly impact how your application is perceived by the admissions committee:

1. Overlooking the holistic review process

One of the most common pitfalls in the Dartmouth College application process is the tendency to focus solely on grades and test scores, overlooking other crucial aspects of your application. It’s essential to understand that Dartmouth employs a holistic review process, where they evaluate your entire profile, including your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Dartmouth values applicants who are not just exceptional academically but also well-rounded individuals. They are looking for students who bring character, leadership, and a commitment to their community.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Make sure your application reflects the full scope of your abilities and interests. Showcase not only your academic excellence but also your involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership roles. Each component should contribute to the narrative of who you are as an individual.
  • Take the time to detail your extracurricular activities. Describe your roles and contributions within clubs, organizations, or community service to demonstrate your active engagement beyond your academic pursuits.
  • Your personal statement is a powerful tool for demonstrating your character and personal growth. Use it as an opportunity to reflect on experiences and values that have profoundly shaped your identity. Show how these experiences make you a unique and valuable addition to Dartmouth’s community.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of strong letters of recommendation. Choose recommenders who know you well and can provide specific examples of your strengths, both academically and personally. These letters should offer insights that go beyond your grades and test scores.

2. Writing generic essays

Crafting generic essays that could easily be used for any college application is another common mistake. Dartmouth is not just any college; it’s a unique institution with its own values, programs, and culture. As such, it’s essential to tailor your essays to reflect your genuine interest and connection with Dartmouth.

Dartmouth seeks applicants who are not only academically qualified but also individuals who can actively engage with and contribute to their distinctive community. Generic essays do not convey the depth of your interest or your potential to thrive in this unique environment.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • The first step is to thoroughly research Dartmouth. Understand what sets it apart from other institutions. Then, tailor your essays to highlight how you align with Dartmouth’s values, mission, and what specific aspects of the college excite you.
  • Your essays should reflect your authentic enthusiasm for Dartmouth. Explain why Dartmouth is not just one of your options but your top choice. Share how you envision yourself contributing to the Dartmouth community and how you anticipate benefiting from it.
  • Demonstrating that you’ve done your homework about Dartmouth can make your essays stand out. Mention specific programs, faculty members, or campus initiatives that align with your academic and personal goals. This showcases your sincere interest and engagement.
  • Authenticity is paramount. Dartmouth values students who are true to themselves and their aspirations. Avoid crafting an essay that attempts to conform to what you think Dartmouth wants to hear. Instead, focus on your unique experiences, perspectives, and ambitions.

3. Neglecting the importance of recommendations

In the Dartmouth College application process, one common oversight is underestimating the significance of strong letters of recommendation. Generic or lukewarm letters can significantly weaken your application, while compelling recommendations can add substantial value.

Dartmouth values a comprehensive view of each applicant, and letters of recommendation provide valuable insights into your character, abilities, and potential contributions to the community. Generic letters can hinder the admissions committee’s ability to assess your fit with Dartmouth.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • The process begins with your choice of recommenders. Opt for individuals who know you well and can provide specific examples of your strengths and accomplishments, both academically and personally.
  • Engage in conversations with your recommenders about your aspirations and the qualities you’d like them to emphasize in their letters. Ensure that their letters align with your overall narrative and provide a well-rounded view of your abilities and character.
  • Encourage your recommenders to steer clear of generic or boilerplate letters. Specific anecdotes, personal stories, and concrete examples can make your letters much more compelling and authentic.
  • Dartmouth also encourages a peer recommendation. Choose a peer who can provide meaningful insight into your character, contributions to your community, and the unique perspective you bring to group settings.

4. Not showcasing individuality

A common mistake that many applicants make in the Dartmouth College application process is failing to effectively communicate their unique qualities and experiences. Dartmouth highly values diversity in its student body and looks for individuals who can bring new perspectives and ideas to their community.

Dartmouth seeks students who are not just academically qualified but also individuals who can enrich their community by sharing their unique stories, challenges, and achievements. By showcasing your individuality, you demonstrate your potential to contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Dartmouth.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Use your application, including your essays and extracurricular choices, as an opportunity to share your unique experiences and personal journey. Highlight moments that have shaped you, challenges you’ve overcome, and achievements that reflect your character.
  • If you come from a background that brings diversity to Dartmouth’s community, don’t hesitate to celebrate it. Your perspective and experiences can be a valuable addition to the campus culture.
  • Infuse your application with your personality. Don’t be afraid to let your passions, interests, and quirks come through. Be authentic and showcase the qualities that make you, you.
  • If you’ve achieved something noteworthy, whether it’s in academics, extracurricular activities, or personal endeavors, don’t be shy about it. Dartmouth wants to know about your accomplishments and how they reflect your drive and ambition.

5. Overloading on extracurriculars

While involvement in extracurricular activities is undoubtedly important, another common mistake in the Dartmouth College application process is overloading on them without showing depth or commitment. Dartmouth values depth of involvement and leadership roles rather than a long list of activities.

Dartmouth seeks applicants who are not just active in various activities but individuals who have made a significant impact or held leadership positions in select pursuits. Depth and commitment demonstrate your ability to excel and make a meaningful contribution.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Take a moment to reflect on your passions and interests. Concentrate on a select few activities that genuinely resonate with you. It’s better to have deep engagement in a few activities than to spread yourself too thin.
  • If you’ve had the opportunity to take on leadership roles within your chosen activities, highlight them. Dartmouth values students who can lead and inspire others, so showcasing your leadership experience is essential.
  • Don’t just list your extracurricular memberships; share the impact you’ve made and the personal growth you’ve experienced through these activities. Explain how these experiences have contributed to your character and perspective.
  • While extracurriculars are vital, it’s equally important to maintain a balance with your academic responsibilities. Dartmouth values academic excellence, so strive to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

All in all, by understanding and avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your application truly reflects your potential and aligns with what Dartmouth values in its students.

Dartmouth Admission Requirements

Understanding the specific admission requirements is crucial for a successful Dartmouth application. Below is a detailed overview of the mandatory and optional components of the Dartmouth application process, including additional requirements for international students.

dartmouth website

Mandatory requirements

  • Common Application: You must complete and submit the Common Application, which is a standardized undergraduate college application used by many colleges. Start your Common Application well in advance to avoid last-minute stress.
  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver: Dartmouth requires an application fee, but fee waivers are available for those who qualify. Check early if you’re eligible for a fee waiver to ease your application process.
  • Dartmouth Writing Supplement: This supplement provides a platform to express your specific interest in Dartmouth and how you align with its values. Use this space to show your unique fit with Dartmouth, going beyond what’s in your Common App.
  • Secondary School Report with Transcript, School Profile, and Counselor Evaluation: This comprehensive report includes your academic transcript and evaluations from your school. Ensure your counselor knows your academic and extracurricular achievements to provide a thorough evaluation.
  • Two Teacher Evaluations: Dartmouth requires recommendations from two teachers, preferably ones who taught you in major subjects. Choose teachers who know you well and can speak to your strengths and growth as a student.

Optional requirements

  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT or ACT): Dartmouth’s test-optional policy for the Class of 2028 means you can choose whether to submit these scores. Submit your scores if they are strong and you believe they add value to your application.
  • Peer Recommendation: A recommendation from a peer can offer unique insights into your personality and everyday contributions. Choose a peer who knows you well and can highlight qualities that may not be evident in the rest of your application.
  • Art Portfolio: If you’re talented in the arts, an art portfolio can showcase your creativity and dedication. Ensure your portfolio reflects a range of your skills and artistic experiences.

Other requirements (for international students)

  • English Language Proficiency: For students not instructed in English, tests like TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test, or Cambridge C1/C2 are required. Prepare for these tests well in advance to ensure you meet the language proficiency requirements.

How to Apply to Dartmouth

Applying to Dartmouth College is a process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. This guide provides a step-by-step breakdown of the application process, from early preparation to awaiting the admission decision, to help you navigate each phase with clarity and confidence.

1. Prepare early.

Begin by researching Dartmouth’s academic programs, culture, and values to ensure it aligns with your goals and interests. Start preparing your application components such as gathering your academic transcripts, standardized test scores (if applicable), and identifying teachers for recommendations.

This phase should ideally start at least a year before your application deadline.

2. Complete the application.

Work on the Common Application, paying close attention to the details and requirements specific to Dartmouth, including the Dartmouth Writing Supplement. Ensure your essays and supplement responses reflect your personality and fit with Dartmouth.

Request your teacher evaluations and the Secondary School Report well in advance.

3. Gather optional and additional components.

If you decide to submit optional components like standardized test scores or an art portfolio, prepare and submit these alongside your application. For international students, ensure to meet the English Language Proficiency requirement.

Consider submitting a peer recommendation to add another dimension to your application.

4. Submit and confirm.

After thoroughly reviewing your application, submit it before the deadline.

Following submission, check your email and Dartmouth applicant portal regularly for confirmation of receipt and any further communication regarding your application status or additional steps.

5. Await and respond to results.

Once your application is submitted, focus on maintaining your academic and extracurricular performance. When decisions are released, check your application status via the Dartmouth applicant portal.

If accepted, follow the instructions provided for next steps. If waitlisted or not accepted, consider your other college options or plans for reapplication.

How to Submit Supplemental Materials to Dartmouth

When applying to Dartmouth College, you have the option to enhance your application by submitting supplemental materials. These materials can provide the admissions committee with additional insights into your achievements, skills, and interests.

Dartmouth accepts supplemental materials, such as arts portfolio and sample academic writeups, as part of the application process.

However, they advise applicants to avoid submitting overly lengthy materials. Instead of full research papers or extensive lists of awards and certificates, Dartmouth recommends submitting single-page research abstracts or summaries of awards and recognitions.

Submission methods

There are several ways you can submit your supplemental materials to Dartmouth College:

  • Upload: The most efficient method is to upload documents directly to your application via Dartmouth’s Application Portal. Information about accessing the portal is sent to all applicants via email.
  • Email: You can also email your materials to [email protected]. Note that it may take up to ten business days for emailed information to be recorded as received by Dartmouth.
  • Fax: If necessary, materials can be faxed to +1-603-646-1216. As with email, please allow ten business days for faxed information to be recorded as received.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Gather and prepare the supplemental materials you wish to submit. Remember to keep them concise.
  2. Decide whether you will upload, email, or fax your materials based on your convenience.
  3. If uploading, access the applicant portal using the information provided in the email from Dartmouth. If emailing, ensure your email is clear and includes your application details. If faxing, include a cover page with your application details.
  4. After submission, allow up to ten business days for your materials to be recorded as received. You can check the status of your application materials in the applicant portal.
  5. Ensure that all supplemental materials are submitted in accordance with Dartmouth’s application deadlines.

By following these steps, you can effectively include supplemental materials in your application to Dartmouth College, providing additional context and depth to your application profile.

Other Dartmouth Application Matters

Navigating the various aspects of the Dartmouth application process goes beyond just the submission of your application. This section delves into critical areas like scholarships and financial aid, and the choice between Regular Decision and Early Decision/Action.

Scholarships and financial aid

Dartmouth College provides a robust scholarship and financial aid program, emphasizing the commitment to make education accessible to all, regardless of financial background.

When applying, it’s important to simultaneously navigate the financial aid process, which involves submitting necessary forms and documentation. Dartmouth’s need-blind admissions policy for U.S. students means your financial situation does not impact your chances of admission.

Furthermore, the college’s commitment to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need ensures that all admitted students can afford to attend, making Dartmouth an accessible option for a diverse range of applicants.

Regular Decision vs Early Decision

Choosing between a Regular Decision and an Early Decision at Dartmouth is a strategic decision based on your preference and readiness.

Early Decision is a binding agreement where, if accepted, you are committed to attend Dartmouth and must withdraw applications from other schools. This option is ideal if Dartmouth is your unequivocal first choice. On the other hand, Regular Decision allows you the flexibility to apply to multiple colleges and compare offers before making a final decision.

Weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully, considering factors like preparedness, financial implications, and your overall college strategy.

How Hard Is It to Get into Dartmouth?

Getting into Dartmouth College, one of the prestigious Ivy League schools, can be quite challenging due to its highly selective admissions process. For the Class of 2027, Dartmouth reported an acceptance rate of approximately 6.2%, indicating the competitive nature of its admissions. This low acceptance rate means that out of every 100 applicants, only about 6 are admitted.

The difficulty in gaining admission to Dartmouth stems from several factors. Firstly, the academic standards are very high. Successful applicants typically have outstanding high school grades and standardized test scores. For instance, most admitted students have SAT scores well above 1400 or ACT scores above 32.

Furthermore, Dartmouth places a significant emphasis on a student’s holistic profile, including extracurricular achievements, leadership qualities, personal essays, and letters of recommendation. This comprehensive review process means that not only academic excellence but also character and personal accomplishments are crucial in the admissions decision.

Benefits of Attending Dartmouth

Dartmouth College offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive choice for students. Academically, Dartmouth stands out with its strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching. The college prides itself on its low student-to-faculty ratio, ensuring personalized attention and mentorship for students. This environment fosters close relationships between students and faculty, enhancing the learning experience.

Additionally, Dartmouth provides a wide array of research opportunities, even for undergraduates, which is not always common in larger universities. Students get to work on meaningful research projects, often alongside leading experts in their fields.

The college also boasts a diverse and vibrant campus life. With a plethora of student organizations, clubs, and sports teams, there are numerous ways for students to get involved, pursue interests, and develop leadership skills. Furthermore, Dartmouth’s strong alumni network is a significant advantage, offering students a wealth of connections and opportunities post-graduation.

How Can an International Student Get into Dartmouth?

For international students aspiring to join Dartmouth, the application process is similar to that for U.S. students but with a few additional considerations. Firstly, proficiency in English is a must, and international students usually need to demonstrate this through standardized tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.

Academic records from schools outside the U.S. need to be translated and possibly evaluated to ensure they meet the standards of U.S. education. International applicants must showcase their unique cultural perspectives and experiences in their applications, as Dartmouth values diversity and global representation.

Financial considerations are also important. While Dartmouth does offer need-based financial aid to international students, the process is need-aware, meaning a student’s financial situation may be considered in the admission decision.

How to Get into Dartmouth as a Transfer Student?

Gaining admission to Dartmouth as a transfer student is also competitive. Transfer applicants are expected to have excelled in their current college or university, showing a strong academic record that indicates they can handle Dartmouth’s rigorous coursework.

In addition to college transcripts, transfer applicants need to submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Letters of recommendation from college professors who can speak to the student’s academic abilities and character are crucial.

Dartmouth looks for transfer students who have clear reasons for wanting to switch institutions and who can articulate how Dartmouth, in particular, will help them achieve their academic and career goals. Demonstrating involvement in extracurricular activities and having a compelling personal story can also strengthen a transfer application.

In conclusion, while getting into Dartmouth is challenging whether you are a high school student, an international applicant, or a transfer student, a strong academic record combined with a well-rounded, unique personal profile can significantly enhance your chances of admission.

Can an Average Student Get Into Dartmouth?

Gaining admission to Dartmouth College, a member of the prestigious Ivy League, is a highly competitive process. For students who consider themselves average, it’s natural to wonder about their chances of being accepted. To understand this better, it’s essential to look at Dartmouth’s admission standards.

Firstly, Dartmouth, like many elite institutions, doesn’t solely focus on academic excellence. They seek well-rounded candidates who exhibit qualities like leadership, community involvement, and diverse interests. However, academic performance does play a significant role. Dartmouth’s admitted students often have top grades and high standardized test scores. But these numbers aren’t the only factors.

For an average student, gaining admission to Dartmouth might be challenging, but it’s not impossible. It’s crucial to highlight unique aspects of your profile. Maybe you have a remarkable talent, a compelling personal story, or significant achievements outside academics. These factors can positively influence your application.

How to Get Into Dartmouth with a Low GPA?

A lower GPA doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being considered for admission to Dartmouth. If your GPA isn’t as high as typically seen in Dartmouth’s admitted students, you need to focus on other application components to stand out.

  • Exceptional SAT/ACT Scores: High standardized test scores can sometimes offset a lower GPA, showing that you have the academic skills to succeed.
  • Strong Essays: Your essays are a great opportunity to tell your story. Use them to explain any circumstances that might have impacted your GPA and to showcase your strengths, passions, and character.
  • Recommendation Letters: Letters from teachers and counselors that speak to your abilities, work ethic, and potential can significantly strengthen your application.
  • Extracurricular Involvement: Demonstrating leadership, commitment, and achievement in extracurricular activities can help balance a lower GPA.
  • Unique Talents or Experiences: Any unique skills or experiences that make you stand out can be advantageous in the admissions process.

What Makes Dartmouth Unique?

Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, stands out for several reasons:

  • Undergraduate Focus: Unlike many other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth is primarily an undergraduate institution, which means undergraduates receive more attention and resources.
  • Flexible Study Plan: Dartmouth operates on a quarter system known as the D-Plan. This system offers flexibility in scheduling and allows for off-term internships or research opportunities.
  • Strong Sense of Community: The college is known for its tight-knit community, fostered through a residential college system and a lot of student organizations and activities.
  • Research Opportunities: Despite its focus on undergraduate education, Dartmouth offers extensive research opportunities, often involving students in significant projects.
  • Outdoor Activities: Located in a picturesque area, Dartmouth provides various outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and canoeing, enhancing the student experience.

What Does the Dartmouth Application Look Like?

Applying to Dartmouth involves several components:

  • The Common Application or Coalition Application: Dartmouth accepts both, requiring the general application form and Dartmouth’s supplement.
  • High School Transcript: Your transcript should show your academic performance throughout high school.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Dartmouth requires SAT or ACT scores, though they are test-optional.
  • Recommendation Letters: Typically, you need recommendations from two teachers and one counselor.
  • Essays: Dartmouth’s application includes a few supplemental essays that allow you to express your personality and interest in the school.
  • Interview: An optional interview, either in-person or virtual, can be a way to further express your interest and suitability for Dartmouth.

Each part of the application is an opportunity to showcase different aspects of your abilities and personality, making a compelling case for your admission.

Is Dartmouth a Good School for You?

When considering whether Dartmouth College is the right fit for you, it’s important to look beyond its prestigious reputation and explore the specific attributes that make it unique. Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth is part of the Ivy League, a group of eight private colleges known for their high academic standards and significant history. However, what truly sets Dartmouth apart is its strong focus on undergraduate education, its tight-knit community, and its distinctive approach to learning.

Dartmouth is known for its liberal arts curriculum, which encourages a broad-based education. This means that regardless of your major, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of subjects, from the humanities and social sciences to natural sciences and engineering. This approach is designed to foster critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability – skills that are valuable in any career.

Another hallmark of Dartmouth is its quarter-based system, known as the D-Plan. This flexible academic calendar allows students to customize their college experience by choosing when to take classes or pursue internships or research projects. If you value flexibility and opportunities for diverse experiences, this could be a significant draw.

The college also boasts a strong sense of community. With a smaller undergraduate enrollment compared to other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth offers a more intimate college experience. Students often form close connections with their professors, who are not only leaders in their fields but also deeply committed to teaching.

Before deciding if Dartmouth is right for you, reflect on your learning style, career goals, and the kind of college experience you want. Are you looking for a broad liberal arts education? Do you thrive in smaller, more close-knit environments? These are critical questions to consider.

How Selective is Dartmouth?

Dartmouth College is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 6.2%. This rate can fluctuate from year to year, depending on the applicant pool. Such selectivity means that Dartmouth is seeking students who are not only academically outstanding but also bring unique qualities and experiences to their campus.

The admissions process at Dartmouth, like many Ivy League schools, is holistic. This means that while academic achievements are crucial, they are not the only factor considered. The college looks at the entirety of an applicant’s profile – including extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, and personal qualities.

Given the intense competition, prospective students should aim for high academic performance, particularly in challenging courses. Dartmouth values students who have pushed themselves in high school, taking advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses, if available.

However, grades and test scores alone won’t secure admission. Dartmouth seeks students who are leaders, innovators, and engaged members of their communities. Your extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations should reflect your passions, character, and how you might contribute to the Dartmouth community.

Should You Apply to Dartmouth?

Deciding to apply to Dartmouth should be based on a thoughtful consideration of your academic and personal goals, as well as your likelihood of being admitted. If Dartmouth’s academic programs, community, and values align with what you’re looking for in a college experience, it could be a great choice.

Consider the following factors:

  • Academic Alignment: Does Dartmouth offer the programs and courses that interest you? Are you excited about the liberal arts approach and the D-Plan?
  • Competitiveness: Are your academic achievements and extracurricular involvements in line with what Dartmouth typically looks for in its students?
  • Financial Considerations: Dartmouth, like other Ivy League schools, offers significant financial aid based on need. However, it’s important to understand the financial implications of attending, including potential loans.
  • Personal Fit: Do you see yourself thriving in the community and environment that Dartmouth offers? Consider the social climate, location, and size of the school.

Applying to Dartmouth, given its selectivity, should be part of a broader college application strategy that includes a range of schools – safeties, matches, and reaches.

How Does Dartmouth Review Applications?

Dartmouth College employs a holistic review process for its applications. This means that every part of your application is considered in the context of who you are as a whole person. The admissions committee looks beyond grades and test scores to understand your character, your passions, and how you might contribute to the Dartmouth community.

Key components of the application include:

  • Academic Record: Your high school transcript is crucial. Dartmouth looks for students who have excelled in a rigorous academic environment.
  • Standardized Test Scores: While important, these are just one piece of the puzzle. Dartmouth practices a test-optional policy, meaning submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Dartmouth values applicants who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and involvement in activities outside the classroom.
  • Essays: Your essays offer a chance to showcase your personality, writing skills, and how you think. They are a critical component in helping the admissions committee understand who you are beyond your grades and scores.
  • Recommendations: Letters from teachers and counselors provide insight into your academic abilities and character.
  • Interview: An optional but recommended part of the application, the interview provides an opportunity to discuss your interests and experiences in a more personal setting.

Each application is reviewed in its entirety, with no single element being decisive. Dartmouth seeks to admit a diverse and talented group of students who will not only benefit from its educational offerings but also contribute to the vibrancy of its community.

Does Dartmouth Require Interviews?

Dartmouth College, like many prestigious institutions, has specific requirements for its admission process. A common question among applicants is whether Dartmouth requires interviews. The answer is subtle.

Dartmouth considers interviews as an optional part of the application. These interviews are conducted by alumni volunteers and are offered based on the availability of interviewers in your area. It’s important to note that not all applicants will have the opportunity for an interview due to limited resources.

If you are offered an interview, it is a good idea to take it as it can add a personal dimension to your application. However, if you are not offered an interview, do not worry. Your application will not be negatively affected, as Dartmouth ensures a fair review process for all applicants, interview or not.

What Extracurriculars Do You Need for Dartmouth?

When it comes to gaining admission to a school like Dartmouth, extracurricular activities play a significant role. However, there’s no specific checklist of extracurriculars that guarantees admission. Dartmouth, like many Ivy League schools, seeks students who show passion, leadership, and commitment in their activities, rather than a specific type of activity.

The key is quality over quantity. Dartmouth values applicants who demonstrate deep involvement and leadership in a few areas rather than minimal participation in many. This could be in sports, arts, community service, or any other field that interests you.

What matters is how you have grown through these activities and what impact you have made. It’s beneficial to have a consistent theme or focus in your extracurriculars that aligns with your overall application narrative.

What Should You Write About in Your Personal Statement to Get into Dartmouth?

Your statement is a crucial component of your Dartmouth application. It’s your chance to showcase who you are beyond grades and test scores. Dartmouth, known for its emphasis on a well-rounded liberal arts education, looks for students who are not only academically capable but also bring diverse perspectives and experiences to their community.

In your statement, focus on your unique experiences, challenges, interests, and aspirations. Reflect on moments that have shaped your perspective or character. Dartmouth appreciates authenticity and self-awareness in applicants. Be genuine in narrating your story and explaining why Dartmouth is the right fit for you. Avoid generic statements and instead provide specific examples that highlight your personality and values.

How Do You Write a Dartmouth Supplemental Essay?

Dartmouth’s supplemental essays are an opportunity to further distinguish yourself in the application process. These essays ask specific questions that allow you to demonstrate your fit with Dartmouth’s values and community.

To write an effective Dartmouth supplemental essay, first, understand the prompt thoroughly. Each question seeks to uncover different aspects of your personality and how you think. Be clear, concise, and focused in your response. It’s essential to be specific about why Dartmouth appeals to you.

Research the college thoroughly and mention particular programs, resources, or opportunities at Dartmouth that align with your interests and goals. Reflect on your experiences and how they have prepared you for a liberal arts education at Dartmouth. Lastly, be sincere and let your voice shine through; the admissions committee wants to hear your authentic voice and see how you would contribute to the Dartmouth community.

In conclusion, while navigating the Dartmouth application process, remember that authenticity and self-reflection are key. Whether it’s through interviews, extracurricular activities, personal statements, or supplemental essays, showing who you are and how you align with Dartmouth’s values can make a significant difference in your application.

What Enrichment Opportunities Will Help You Get Into Dartmouth?

Gaining admission to Dartmouth College, an Ivy League institution, requires more than just high academic achievements. Dartmouth values a well-rounded profile that showcases leadership, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to community. Engaging in enrichment opportunities can significantly bolster your application.

  • Leadership Roles: Taking on leadership positions in school clubs, sports teams, or community organizations demonstrates your ability to lead and work within a team. Dartmouth looks for students who are not only academically inclined but also capable of contributing positively to their community.
  • Research Projects: If you have a passion for a particular academic subject, consider undertaking a research project. This could be through a summer program, a school project, or an independent study. It shows your dedication to learning and your ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Community Service: Involvement in community service projects illustrates your commitment to helping others and contributing to society. Dartmouth values applicants who show compassion and a willingness to make a positive impact in their community.
  • Cultural Activities: Participation in cultural activities, whether related to your heritage or exploring others, can be a valuable addition to your profile. It demonstrates an appreciation for diversity and an open-minded approach to learning about the world.
  • Artistic Pursuits: If you have a talent in the arts, whether it be in music, drama, visual arts, or writing, nurturing this talent and achieving recognition can be advantageous. Dartmouth appreciates students who bring creative skills and perspectives to their campus.
  • Summer Programs and Internships: Engaging in summer programs, especially those focusing on academic enrichment or internships in your field of interest, can provide valuable experiences and insights. They also show initiative and a desire to learn beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Do You Need to Take AP Courses to Get Into Dartmouth?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are often seen as a benchmark for academic rigor in high school, but are they necessary for getting into Dartmouth? While Dartmouth does not explicitly require AP courses for admission, taking them can be beneficial.

  • Demonstrating Academic Rigor: AP courses show that you’re willing to challenge yourself with college-level coursework. Dartmouth values applicants who have pushed themselves academically.
  • Subject Proficiency: Excelling in AP courses related to your intended major can demonstrate your proficiency and serious interest in that subject.
  • Holistic Review: Dartmouth employs a holistic review process, meaning they look at your entire application. If your school offers AP courses, taking a few can strengthen your academic profile. However, if they are not available at your school, Dartmouth considers the context of your educational environment.

Does Dartmouth Accept AP Credit?

Dartmouth does accept AP credit, but the policies can vary depending on the subject and the score you achieve. Generally, scores of 4 or 5 are considered for credit or placement.

Placement versus Credit

Dartmouth may use AP scores for placement purposes rather than credit. This means you might be able to skip introductory courses in certain subjects.

Varied by Department

Each academic department at Dartmouth has its policy regarding AP credits. It’s essential to check with the specific department or the college’s website for detailed information.

Limits on Credit

There may be a limit to the number of AP credits you can apply toward your degree. It’s important to understand these limits when planning your course load.

Will Dartmouth Look at Your Social Media?

The question of whether Dartmouth admissions officers will review your social media profiles is a common concern. While there is no official policy stating that Dartmouth systematically checks applicants’ social media, it’s wise to maintain a professional online presence. Here’s why:

  • Potential Checks: Admissions officers may occasionally look at social media profiles, especially if something in your application prompts them to do so.
  • Digital Footprint: Your online presence can either positively or negatively impact how admissions officers perceive you. Ensure your social media reflects the same maturity and responsibility you showcase in your application.
  • Privacy Settings: Be mindful of your privacy settings and the content you share. It’s a good practice to review your online presence and ensure it aligns with how you wish to be perceived.

Will Visiting Dartmouth Help You Get In?

Visiting Dartmouth College can be a valuable experience, but it does not directly influence your chances of admission. Here’s what to consider:

  • Demonstrating Interest: While visiting the campus can help you get a feel for the college and its environment, Dartmouth does not track demonstrated interest as a factor in admissions decisions.
  • Information Gathering: The primary benefit of visiting Dartmouth is gaining firsthand experience of the campus culture, academic opportunities, and student life. This can be instrumental in writing a more informed and personalized application essay.
  • Alternative Options: If a visit is not feasible, consider virtual tours, attending local alumni events, or connecting with current Dartmouth students to gain insights into the college.

While enrichment opportunities, AP courses, and understanding Dartmouth’s policies and culture can aid in your application, it’s crucial to stay true to your interests and strengths. Dartmouth values authenticity and a genuine interest in learning and contributing to their community.


In summary, applying to Dartmouth College is a multifaceted and competitive process that requires careful preparation, thoughtful application, and an understanding of the college’s unique values and expectations.

From early preparation to decision-making between Regular and Early Decision, each step offers an opportunity to showcase your strengths and alignment with Dartmouth’s ethos.

The reality of applying to an Ivy League school like Dartmouth is the high level of competition. With a holistic but highly selective admissions process, Dartmouth seeks students who not only excel academically but also bring diverse experiences and perspectives.

It’s important to present a well-rounded application that showcases your unique strengths, talents, and fit with Dartmouth’s values. Understanding and embracing the competitive nature of this process is key to setting realistic expectations and crafting an application that stands out.

We can help you figure out how to get into Dartmouth

If you’re feeling anxious about the application process, you don’t have to do it alone. At AdmissionSight, we’ve spent over a decade working one-on-one with students to help them master the admissions process.

With 75% of our students getting admitted to an Ivy League school or Top 10 university, it’s clear we know what we’re doing. All of our services are custom-tailored to help you overcome the challenges of tough universities, including Dartmouth. Parents who want to get a head start preparing their kids for the Ivy League can even benefit from our pre-high school consultation.

Each of our services is personalized to meet your specific needs. If you’re interested in learning more about what AdmissionSight offers and how you can benefit, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll set up a free consultation where you can ask any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!


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