Home

How To Get Into Dartmouth College: Complete Guide

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Welcome to our comprehensive guide, tailored to aid you in becoming a compelling applicant for Dartmouth College. If you envision yourself walking through the scenic campus of this esteemed Ivy League institution and engaging in its rich academic tradition, this guide is your resource for invaluable insights, expert counsel, and key information. From understanding Dartmouth’s distinct academic ethos to successfully navigating the complex application process, we have every angle covered.

    Dartmouth College shines brightly in the Ivy League constellation. Located in the picturesque town of Hanover, New Hampshire, and founded in 1769, this private institution is a paragon of academic excellence, innovative research, and a deep-rooted commitment to undergraduate education.
    Here, the spirit of intellectualism is not just a buzzword; it’s a lived experience built on a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum. Dartmouth offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs that span across the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Students at Dartmouth enjoy an academic atmosphere that encourages both specialization and intellectual curiosity, a balance that has defined the institution for centuries.

    Dartmouth’s alumni base is nothing short of spectacular, featuring a roster of individuals who have made indelible marks across diverse fields. From U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner to the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück, Dartmouth’s alumni are a living testament to the school’s unwavering dedication to nurturing exceptional talent.

    The Dartmouth community is known for its close-knit, almost familial environment, highlighted by a favorable student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. This cultivates a setting ripe for personalized mentorship and academic guidance. Dartmouth’s campus is a blend of natural beauty and architectural elegance, complete with state-of-the-art facilities, extensive libraries, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

    In this guide, we will dissect the intricacies and particulars that make up a competitive Dartmouth application. Your quest for academic and personal development starts now.

    Complimentary Initial Consultation

    Fill out this form to book your complimentary initial consultation.

    How Hard Is It to Get Into Dartmouth College?

    The reputation of Dartmouth College precedes itself, often cited among the world’s most elite academic institutions. As such, gaining admission to Dartmouth is a highly competitive endeavor. We categorize Dartmouth as an institution of “highest selectivity.”

    What is the acceptance rate at Dartmouth College?

    Dartmouth’s acceptance rate hovers around the 8% mark, a figure that is indicative of the intense competition applicants face. In a recent admissions cycle, Dartmouth received over 28,000 applications, ultimately extending admission offers to just around 2,100 candidates.

    This stringent selection process is by design, not happenstance. Dartmouth seeks to admit individuals who are not only academically gifted but who also bring a unique flair to the college community. The admissions team engages in a thorough review of each application, meticulously assessing academic performance, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and alignment with the institution’s mission and values.

    For example, in the Early Decision round for the Class of 2027, Dartmouth admitted only a small fraction of applicants. This is consistent with a trend of increasing selectivity, driven partly by a rising number of high-caliber applicants each year.

    In this ultra-competitive landscape, it becomes abundantly clear that earning a spot at Dartmouth is a monumental challenge. It requires more than just high academic standing; it demands a genuine passion for your field of interest, tangible leadership in extracurricular activities, and a committed vision for contributing to society at large.

    Unlike some of its Ivy League counterparts, Dartmouth is relatively transparent about its admissions statistics, but this should not mislead you into thinking that numbers alone will secure your admission. Dartmouth’s holistic admissions process aims to assemble a diverse and talented student body, admitting only the most deserving and motivated individuals. This exacting process ensures that Dartmouth continues to be a bastion of educational excellence and intellectual diversity.

    What is the Average Academic Profile of Accepted Dartmouth College Students?

    Below, we cover the academic benchmarks that encapsulate the quintessential Dartmouth admittee. It is crucial to understand that Dartmouth’s evaluation process is comprehensive and holistic. The college is not merely seeking a transcript adorned with As or a resume replete with extracurricular accolades. Dartmouth is in pursuit of future leaders, innovative thinkers, and dynamic community members who have demonstrated a capacity for impact on multiple fronts—be it local, national, or global.

    GPA and Class Rank

    The academic terrain of Dartmouth’s Class of 2026 is characterized by a high school GPA that averages around 3.9. Astonishingly, about 88% of these outstanding students graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes, testifying to a consistent track record of academic excellence.

    What GPA do I need to get into Dartmouth College?

    While Dartmouth does not mandate a specific GPA, the high-achieving nature of admitted students suggests that a GPA in the upper echelons of the 4.0 scale is beneficial. The average high school GPA of admitted students for the Class of 2025 was approximately 3.9.

    SAT/ACT

    As for standardized tests, the middle 50% SAT score range for Dartmouth’s Class of 2027 hovered between 1440 and 1560. For ACT scores, the middle 50% range lay between 32 and 35.

    It’s worth noting that Dartmouth also adopted a test-optional admissions policy for the classes of 2027 and 2028, a decision in line with broader shifts in college admissions during this period. This policy applies to both first-year and transfer applicants.

    What SAT or ACT scores do I need to get into Dartmouth College?

    Given Dartmouth’s test-optional stance for specific admissions cycles, applicants have the liberty to choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores. If you opt not to submit these scores, your application will not be disadvantaged in any way.

    Does Dartmouth College super score SAT and ACT results?

    Dartmouth adopts a ‘super scoring’ methodology for both the SAT and ACT, providing applicants the opportunity to present their best selves. In super scoring, the highest scores for each section across multiple attempts are combined to form a new composite score. If you choose to submit scores from multiple test dates, official documentation for each attempt must be provided.

    Does Dartmouth College accept AP credit?

    Dartmouth does recognize AP, IB, and other international course credits, though the policies regarding this can vary from department to department. For more information on course exemptions and placement, you can contact the Office of Registrar or view their FAQs.

    What classes should I take in high school to get into Dartmouth College?

    Dartmouth expects applicants to pursue the most rigorous curriculum available in their high schools. While students are admitted without a major designation, Dartmouth has specific course recommendations:

    • English: 4 years, emphasizing writing-intensive literature courses

    • Mathematics: 4 years, with calculus recommended for those keen on engineering and STEM

    • History and Social Science: 3 years

    • Science: 3 years of lab science, and including physics if considering engineering

    • Foreign Language: 3 years of one language, with 4 years preferred

    For aspiring engineers eyeing Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, an academic history rich in advanced STEM courses is more than a strong recommendation.

    If your academic interests lean towards the humanities, social sciences, or arts, Dartmouth expects to see a high school curriculum that showcases both depth and breadth in these areas. The goal is to curate a compelling portfolio that mirrors your intellectual curiosity, expertise, and potential for interdisciplinary exploration.

    Beyond the core academic requirements, your choice of electives and extracurricular activities should align with your intended major or field of interest. These decisions paint a fuller picture of you as an applicant, reflecting not just what you can do in the classroom, but how you can contribute to the Dartmouth community and beyond.

    This comprehensive approach to your academic and extracurricular life will not only make you a strong applicant but also prepare you for the academic rigor and community engagement that define the Dartmouth experience.

    How to Apply to Dartmouth College

    Embarking on the journey to Dartmouth College is not just a matter of fulfilling a checklist; it’s a nuanced endeavor that seeks to identify individuals primed to thrive in Dartmouth’s intellectually rich and socially conscious environment. The college aims to curate a community of students who will elevate the academic discourse, engage meaningfully with the world’s complexities, and contribute distinctively to the Dartmouth experience.

    The application to Dartmouth comprises a series of carefully curated elements that collectively offer a panoramic view of your academic prowess, personal attributes, and future aspirations. These elements include the general application form, Dartmouth-specific supplemental essays, optional standardized test scores, insightful letters of recommendation, and more.

    Approaching the Dartmouth application demands thoughtful reflection and strategic introspection. You are tasked with not just collecting artifacts of your academic and extracurricular life but assembling them into a compelling narrative. It’s not just about what you’ve done, but how those experiences shape who you are and how you align with Dartmouth’s core values and expectations.

    By meticulously crafting this application, you are essentially painting a portrait of your identity, one that encapsulates your past achievements, present endeavors, and future goals. This portrait should be imbued with the hues of your ambitions, the lines of your integrity, and the textures of your passion.

    Here is a step-by-step guide outlining the essential elements and procedures for applying to Dartmouth College:

    01

    Application Platform Selection

    Choose between the Common Application and the Coalition Application to initiate your Dartmouth application process.

    01

    Application Platform Selection

    Choose between the Common Application and the Coalition Application, or the Universal College Application as your gateway to Brown.

    02

    Complete Basic Information

    This includes personal details, academic history, extracurricular involvement, and any honors or awards.

    02

    Complete Basic Information

    This includes personal details, academic history, extracurricular involvement, and any honors or awards.

    03

    Personal Statement

    Select a prompt from the respective application platform, and craft a personal statement that highlights your personal development and growth.

    03

    Personal Statement

    Select a prompt from the respective application platform, and craft a personal statement that highlights your personal development and growth.

    04

    Dartmouth Supplemental Section

    The Dartmouth supplemental essays are your opportunity to delve deeper into your interests, motivations, and rationale behind applying to Dartmouth. These essays should be reflective and reveal the persona behind the statistics.

    04

    Brown Supplemental Section

    Answer Brown-specific essay prompts. These essays are your opportunity to delve into your academic interests, career goals, and the reasons why Brown is the ideal place for your intellectual journey.

    05

    Standardized Test Scores

    While Dartmouth adopted a test-optional policy for the classes of 2025 and 2026, you may still choose to submit your SAT or ACT scores if you believe they enhance your application.

    05

    Standardized Test Scores

    Brown has a test-optional policy, so submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional. If you choose to submit, ensure that they are sent directly from the testing agencies.

    06

    High School Transcripts

    Official transcripts should be sent directly from your high school to Dartmouth. These documents will serve as a testament to your academic journey.

    06

    High School Transcripts

    Arrange for your official high school transcripts to be sent directly to Brown’s admissions office.

    07

    Letters of Recommendation

    You’ll need two academic letters of recommendation, generally from teachers in core subjects, as well as one from a school counselor. These should offer nuanced insights into your academic abilities and character.

    07

    Letters of Recommendation

    Secure two academic recommendations and one from a school counselor.

    08

    Financial Aid Documentation

    If applying for financial aid, complete the necessary forms, including the FAFSA and CSS Profile.

    08

    Financial Aid Documentation

    If applying for financial aid, complete the necessary forms, including the FAFSA and CSS Profile.

    09

    Pay Application Fee

    The application fee for Dartmouth is $80. However, fee waivers are available for students for whom the cost presents a financial hardship.

    09

    Pay Application Fee

    The application fee for Brown is $75, though fee waivers are available for eligible applicants.

    10

    Submit the Application

    Once all components are in place and you’ve double-checked for accuracy and completeness, you can submit your application. Dartmouth offers both Early Decision and Regular Decision admission plans.

    10

    Submit the Application

    Once you’ve reviewed all sections for accuracy, you can submit your application. Brown offers both Early Decision and Regular Decision application plans.

    Dartmouth College Essays

    For Dartmouth College, the writing supplement is a crucial part of your application that allows the admissions team to get to know you beyond your academic credentials. Dartmouth requires applicants to craft brief responses to three different supplemental essay prompts. Crafting compelling responses to the prompts will go a long way in showcasing your fit for Dartmouth’s vibrant academic and social community.

    Prompt #1: Why Dartmouth Essay

    Dartmouth celebrates the ways in which its profound sense of place informs its profound sense of purpose. What aspects of the College’s academic program, community, or campus environment attract your interest? Please respond in 100 words or fewer.

    Quick Tips:

    • Focus on specific aspects of Dartmouth’s academic program, community, or campus that appeal to you.
    • Research is key; make sure you’re familiar with Dartmouth’s unique offerings.
    • Link how the environment at Dartmouth will contribute to your academic and personal growth.

    Required of all applicants, please respond to one of the following prompts in 250 words or fewer:

    Prompt #2: How You Were Raised Essay

    There is a Quaker saying: Let your life speak. Describe the environment in which you were raised and the impact it has had on the person you are today.

    Quick Tips:

    • Reflect on your upbringing and its influence on your identity.
    • Consider how your unique perspective would contribute to Dartmouth’s diverse community.
    • Keep the focus on how your background has shaped your outlook and character.

    Prompt #3: Introduce Yourself Essay

    “Be yourself,” Oscar Wilde advised. “Everyone else is taken.” Introduce yourself.

    Quick Tips:

    • Take your time to brainstorm and don’t rush the process.
    • Consider discussing your interests, values, and life philosophies.
    • Consider how your identity will contribute to Dartmouth’s unique community.
    • Make it personal and authentic, showcasing your unique identity.

    Required of all applicants, please respond to one of the following prompts in 250 words or fewer:

    Prompt #4: What Excites You Essay

    What excites you?

    Quick Tips:

    • Focus on a subject or concept that genuinely intrigues you.
    • Explain how this interest aligns with your academic goals or personal growth.
    • Show enthusiasm; make your passion palpable.

    Prompt #5: Making an Impact Essay

    Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. “We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things,” she said. “That is what we are put on the earth for.” In what ways do you hope to make—or are you already making—an impact? Why? How?

    Quick Tips:

    • Highlight any past experiences or actions that demonstrate your commitment to making a difference.
    • Relate these activities to your future contributions to Dartmouth and the broader community.
    • Demonstrate a sense of purpose and a vision for the impact you want to make.

    Prompt #6: Wonder and Think Essay

    Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth’s Class of 1925, wrote, “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.” As you wonder and think, what’s on your mind?

    Quick Tips:

    • Discuss a concept, idea, or question that captivates your imagination.
    • Reflect on what this fascination reveals about your intellectual curiosity.
    • Make the essay engaging and thought-provoking.

    Prompt #7: Celebrate Your Nerdy Side Essay

    Celebrate your nerdy side.

    Quick Tips:

    • Discuss what you’re passionate about and why it excites you.
    • Reflect on how this passion aligns with your character and interests.
    • Make it fun and informative, showing how your ‘nerdy’ side is a valuable part of you.

    Prompt #8: Embracing Difference Essay

    “It’s not easy being green…” was the frequent refrain of Kermit the Frog. How has difference been a part of your life, and how have you embraced it as part of your identity and outlook?

    Quick Tips:

    • Reflect on a specific element of your identity that sets you apart.
    • Discuss how this ‘difference’ has influenced your worldview.
    • Show how you will bring this unique perspective to Dartmouth’s community.

    Prompt #9: Your Potential Essay

    As noted in the College’s mission statement, “Dartmouth educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership…” Promise and potential are important aspects of the assessment of any college application, but they can be elusive qualities to capture. Highlight your potential and promise for us; what would you like us to know about you?

    Quick Tips:

    • Reflect on a specific element of your identity that sets you apart.
    • Discuss how this ‘difference’ has influenced your worldview.
    • Show how you will bring this unique perspective to Dartmouth’s community.

    Final Thoughts

    • Customize your responses to make them uniquely yours.
      Show evidence of research about Dartmouth’s offerings and how they align with your interests.
    • Revise and proofread diligently; clarity and adherence to word limits are crucial.

    By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to crafting compelling essays. Remember, starting early gives you the advantage of time—don’t let unexpected setbacks hinder your application process.

    The Dartmouth College Interview

    Dartmouth College’s admission process also includes an optional alumni interview offered to a significant number of applicants. Though the interview is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. The interview serves as a supplemental source of information for the admissions committee, offering a more nuanced view of the applicant.

    These interviews are usually conducted by Dartmouth alumni and can occur in person, via telephone, or through video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Designed to be conversational, the interview allows you to share your interests, life experiences, and future goals.

    Here are some quick tips to help you navigate the Dartmouth College interview:

    • Be Genuine and Relaxed: Treat the interview as a conversation rather than a formal interrogation.
    • Do Your Homework: Familiarize yourself with your application and prepare to talk about your interests, experiences, and why Dartmouth appeals to you.
    • Dress Code: Business casual attire is generally appropriate for these interviews.
    • Discuss Dartmouth-Specific Aspects: Be ready to talk about particular aspects of Dartmouth that resonate with you and how they align with your educational and personal aspirations.
    • Show Gratitude: Always thank the interviewer for their time. A follow-up thank-you email is a courteous way to show appreciation.

    Though not a make-or-break element, the interview can offer meaningful insights into your character and compatibility with Dartmouth’s community. Utilize this platform to express your enthusiasm for Dartmouth and articulate your vision for your Dartmouth experience.

    How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Dartmouth College

    Dartmouth College is not only a bastion of academic rigor but also a community that values holistic development in its students. Being successful in your application to Dartmouth involves more than academic prowess; it requires aligning with the College’s values and culture. Below are some strategies to enhance your Dartmouth application:

    Embrace Intellectual Curiosity

    Dartmouth looks for students who are intrinsically motivated to explore the world around them. Highlight your engagement in academic research, participation in intellectually stimulating clubs, or your appetite for reading beyond the syllabus as examples of your intellectual curiosity.

    Demonstrate Leadership and Ethical Engagement

    Dartmouth’s unofficial motto is “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” reflecting its commitment to leadership and ethical engagement. Discuss your leadership roles in community service, school clubs, or other extracurricular activities that have had a positive impact on your community.

    Highlight Global Awareness

    Dartmouth values students who are globally aware and seek to make a difference on a larger scale. Discuss international experiences, language proficiencies, or your involvement in local multicultural events to show your global perspective.

    Academic Excellence

    While Dartmouth expects excellent academic performance, it also values intellectual risk-taking. Enroll in challenging courses like AP, IB, or honors classes, and maintain a strong GPA. Show that you’re prepared for the rigor of Dartmouth’s academics.

    Craft a Diverse Extracurricular Profile

    Dartmouth appreciates well-rounded individuals who bring varied interests to its community. Whether it’s athletics, the arts, or entrepreneurship, make sure your extracurricular involvement reflects your genuine passions.

    Consider Legacy Connections

    If you have family ties to Dartmouth, including this information can offer additional context for your application. However, remember that this is not a critical factor in the decision-making process.

    Write Insightful Essays

    Dartmouth’s supplemental essays provide a platform to showcase your personality and demonstrate how you align with the college’s values. Write thoughtfully and authentically to show why Dartmouth is the right fit for you.

    Apply Early if Dartmouth is Your First Choice

    If Dartmouth is your top choice, think about applying through its binding Early Decision program. This not only indicates your strong commitment to Dartmouth but also allows you to receive an admissions decision sooner.

    In summary, Dartmouth seeks individuals who not only excel academically but also enrich their communities and embody the college’s values. Crafting an application that portrays a well-rounded view of your abilities and aspirations will set you on the path to success at Dartmouth.

    Should I Apply to Dartmouth College?

    Considering Dartmouth College as a potential choice for higher education demands careful thought and planning. As an Ivy League institution, Dartmouth offers an unparalleled academic environment and myriad opportunities for personal and professional growth. Below are aspects to ponder to decide if Dartmouth aligns with your ambitions and goals:

    Academic Excellence and Research Opportunities

    Dartmouth is known for its strong focus on undergraduate education and research opportunities. If these factors are important to you, Dartmouth may be a great fit:

    • Does your academic standing match the average GPA and test scores of admitted Dartmouth students?
    • Are you enrolled in or considering AP, IB, or other advanced courses?
    • Do you wish for close interaction with faculty and opportunities for research?

    Leadership and Community Engagement

    Dartmouth values students who are leaders and active contributors to their communities:

    • Are you committed to community service or social causes?
    • Have you held leadership roles in clubs, sports, or other organizations?
    • Does the idea of “a voice crying out in the wilderness,” Dartmouth’s unofficial motto, resonate with you?

    Global Awareness

    Dartmouth seeks students with a broad perspective and global awareness:

    • Have you participated in international experiences or programs?
    • Are you interested in global challenges and wish to contribute to international discourse?

    Career and Graduate Study Prospects

    Dartmouth has an excellent track record for graduates who go on to prestigious graduate programs or various professional fields.

    • Does Dartmouth offer strong programs in your areas of career interest?
    • Are you drawn to the college’s alumni network and career support services

    Cultural and Campus Life

    Dartmouth offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation on a close-knit campus:

    • Do you find Dartmouth’s rural setting and sense of community appealing?
    • Are you interested in participating in unique traditions like the Dartmouth Outing Club or Greek life?

    Applying to Dartmouth College is an ambitious endeavor, but it could be a rewarding one if the university’s values, academic offerings, and community align with your goals and interests.  Take an honest look at your academic profile, passions, and long-term aspirations to determine if Dartmouth is the right place for you. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back; if Dartmouth resonates with you, it’s worth taking the chance to apply!

    Dartmouth College Admissions Cycle & Key Deadlines

    Below is an overview of the key dates and steps in the admissions cycle for Dartmouth College. Whether you are considering early decision, regular decision, or transfer admissions, understanding these deadlines will help you navigate the application process more smoothly.

    Admission Type Application Deadline Financial Aid Application Deadline Admission Decisions Released Intent to Enroll Deadline
    Early Decision November 1 November 15 Mid-December January 1 (for admitted students)
    Regular Decision January 2 February 1 Late March or Early April May 1 (for admitted students)
    Transfer Admissions March 1 N/A Mid-May Late May (for admitted students)

    Additional Dates & Information:

    • Supplemental Materials: Should be submitted by the application deadline.
    • Interviews: Conducted on a rolling basis; not all applicants may be offered an interview.
    • Orientation: Usually takes place in late August or early September.

    Note: These deadlines and details are provided for general guidance and are subject to change. Always consult Dartmouth College’s official admissions website or contact the admissions office directly to confirm specific dates, requirements, and procedures for the admissions cycle in which you are interested.

    Get Into Dartmouth College With Prepory

    Navigating Dartmouth College’s competitive admissions landscape can be intricate. Prepory is your trusted partner, well-versed in the ins and outs of Dartmouth’s unique application process and what the institution values in its students.

    Here’s how Prepory can assist you in your quest to join the ranks of Dartmouth:

    Key Takeaways and Next Steps

    Dartmouth College offers a unique blend of rigorous academics, a strong focus on undergraduate education, and a vibrant campus life. The journey to Dartmouth is challenging but fulfilling, requiring meticulous planning and a deep understanding of what the college values.

    But the journey to Dartmouth is far from simple. It requires careful planning, introspective reflection, and a determined pursuit of excellence. This guide has provided you with insights into Dartmouth’s unique culture, application requirements, and strategies to enhance your application.

    Prepory’s personalized approach to college admissions and career coaching is designed to align with your unique goals, strengths, and dreams. Whether it’s crafting compelling essays, preparing for the Dartmouth interview, or navigating financial aid, our team of experts is here to support you every step of the way.

    Join the ranks of successful students who have achieved their dreams of attending Dartmouth and other prestigious universities with Prepory’s guidance by scheduling an initial consultation here.

    Contact a Prepory college admissions coach and start your college admissions journey.

    Our college admissions experts are here to guide you from where you are to where you should be. Through our comprehensive curriculum, individualized coaching, and online workshops, you are set for success as soon as you connect with us.

    During our initial consultation, we will: 

    • Assess your student’s applicant profile and higher education goals 
    • Provide detailed information about our services and programming
    • Share tips on how to navigate the U.S. college admissions process 

    Let's get started!


    Subscribe to our blog!