How to get into Dartmouth College

What you need to know

Strategy for getting into Dartmouth

Dartmouth College is a private Ivy-League college in Hanover, New Hampshire. Students should fully understand the important distinction that Dartmouth is a college focusing on undergraduate, rather than a large research university. Dartmouth is the smallest school in the Ivy League and the classes are taught by professors, not PhD students. Professors are there to teach students, not just to do their research.

Dartmouth’s D-Plan is a unique quarter system. Students take class 4 terms per year with each term 10 weeks long; students typically take 3 classes. It provides flexibility for students to create their own path during their sophomore and junior years.  ~75% of Dartmouth students take the opportunity to study off campus and Dartmouth offers a very wide variety of programs so students don’t have to apply to another school and get transfer credits or an extra transcript.   Dartmouth students are expected to spend their ‘Sophomore Summer’ on campus.  This is a great opportunity to be with the entire class without other classes being on campus.

  School Standardized Testing Stats

What you need to know

The average SAT score composite at Dartmouth is a 2195.



A perfect score does not guarantee admission. Dartmouth requires the SAT with writing or ACT with writing. They also recommend two SAT subject tests.

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Reading 730 680 780
Math 730 680 780
Writing 730 680 790
Composite 2195 2040 2350

  Application Essays

What you need to know

Dartmouth application essay information


Dartmouth uses Common App. Dartmouth seeks creative and bright individuals. Be prepared to be specific and talks about the ways Dartmouth truly sets itself apart as there are quite a few. The essay si very important and you’ll need to take some risks here. Think beyond your resume. As the Dartmouth Admissions office states: “Make sure your essays illustrate your personality! Everything you say should help us understand those intangibles that can’t be easily reflected in a resume. Show qualities like sense of humor, passion, intellectual curiosity, self-awareness, and social-awareness. Your writing lets us get to know you and we read every word. Help us envision what you’ll bring to Dartmouth.”

Dartmouth’s 2015-2016 essay questions:

1) Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name—any name: first, middle, last, nickname—and its origin.
2) Tell us about an intellectual experience, either directly related to your schoolwork or not, that you found particularly meaningful.
3) When you meet someone for the first time, what do you want them to know about you, but generally don’t tell them?
4) Describe the influence your hero has had on your life.
5) We believe it is critical that your candidacy reflect the interests, experiences and pursuits that are most important to you.  To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know?