Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH, USA

Reviews

Dartmouth College
4.04 Average Rating

Jessica

a current student here
37 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am continually impressed by the quality of the teaching at Dartmouth. Since it is a college, faculty members really do focus on undergraduates as opposed to solely pursuing their research. However, that is not to say that there are no research opportunities available. As a freshman I participated in the Women in Science Project internship program, as a sophomore Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow I will continue doing research, and as a junior one can continue as a Presidential Scholar.
Since we are on the quarter system, classes are fast paced, but it is nice that you only have 3 per quarter. As much learning goes on outside of lecture as does during lecture. Plentiful office hours, study groups, and labs enrich one's learning experience. Professors truly care and want you to do well, so they offer help whenever possible. They also want you to learn how to think and problem solve as opposed to simply memorizing. Exams are designed to test thinking skills by applying concepts learned in class rather than just regurgitating information.
Am enjoying being here
I love the atmosphere of the college. Hanover is a very pretty, quaint town with extremely friendly people. The general population of the college itself is a little more moneyed than I am used to, coming from a public magnet school in the Chicago suburbs. Mostly, people are extremely open and actively involved in school activities.
Social life is a bit monotonous because it is such a small town. The social scene mainly centers around Greek life on campus, but there are definitely plenty of other things to do on weekends besides party. The Hopkins Center for the Arts screens great movies several times a week. There are also plenty of live performances and workshops to keep anyone occupied.
Bang for the buck
The price tag is pretty standard for a private school, but it is more than I can afford. Luckily, financial aid is pretty great. All financial need is met by scholarships (as opposed to loans) and work-study eligibility. This means you never have to pay that money back!
Tips for prospective students
Be yourself when applying. Dartmouth values students who are very academically strong, but also are actively involved in extracurricular activities they care about. Dartmouth students tend to be personable and holistically capable.
Great for these types of students
Social, well-rounded, academically and extracuriccularly ambitious, environmentally conscious
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'14 from MA

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I'm learning as much outside class than inside. I've found that in humanities or social studies classes, it's much more common to just agree with the teacher's ideas than to formulate our own, and our grades improve because of it, which is a shame. I don't know if this is a result of the general liberal leaning of the students here, or just a survival strategy we've developed in a time when college degrees are increasingly commodified and manipulated, but I'd like to hear more balanced discussions in the classroom. Regardless, the professors I've had have all been brilliant, very organized and great lecturers and speakers, and generally very approachable. We really do have the air of a small college - it seems like in two months I've gotten to know enough people that I always see people I know walking on campus on any given day.
The D-Plan also allows me to take more classes than at other colleges and allows pre-meds (gasp!) to study abroad, possibly twice! This is almost unheard of at other colleges.
Am enjoying being here
I've found that the most enjoyable time is on quiet weekend nights when many people on our floor stay in and we play board games or just chat until the wee hours of the morning. It's the epitome of college life. The impulsive fun usually doesn't start until 10pm, and living on an all-freshman floor makes all the difference. I've found it easy to make friends and find my niche, even though I'm not a social person. The only thing is that Hanover is tiny, and I'm afraid I might run out of options later on. The Greek/drinking scene could easily get out of hand and seems like the only entertainment option sometimes, but it's really not true if you find the right group of people (like my floor). This is about the only complaint I have about the school.
Bang for the buck
The financial aid office is extremely helpful and approachable, and it's relatively easy to talk them into giving a more generous offer. Overall I feel the experience I've had here is incredible and is well worth the money.
Tips for prospective students
Don't let the Greek scene intimidate you. It's really not the only thing out there, and you don't have to drink and you don't have to enjoy it. There are plenty of people who don't go out regularly or who do and don't drink. I think it's way more intimidating to prospies than to current students.
Great for these types of students
chill, laid-back, hardcore drinkers - but not a requisite!, economic majors and pre-meds (just the most popular), outdoorsy types, ambitious high achievers, selfless servers, studious
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'16 from ME

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I'm so happy to be at Dartmouth. It wasn't my first choice school, but I can't imagine a better place for me now that I'm there. Dartmouth people are some of the least pretentious and yet most talented people in the country, and they constantly amaze me and push me to amaze myself.
Tips for prospective students
To prospective students, I'd recommend visiting campus and attending dimensions. Although I didn't make it to dimensions, many of my friends cite it as the reason that they chose to attend Dartmouth. Dartmouth students are preternaturally friendly and excited to be there, and this attitude really shows during dimensions and during first year trips.
Academic Rigor
The Dartmouth workload is intense, and the D Plan (a school year divided into trimesters rather than semesters) makes it such that finals and midterms come around often. However, it also allows students to focus themselves on really learning the material, since they only take 3 classes a term. The professors are amazing and accessible, and I have nothing but positive things to say about them.
Dorm Life
I live in McCulloch, which is a dorm in the East Wheelock cluster. It's the newest, nicest building in the newest, nicest cluster, and I love the whole building. There is a snack bar which takes meal swipes and a common room with a pool table and a fireplace, and the rooms themselves are large and comfortable. In other clusters, people cite the sense of community, the location, or the quietness as their favorite attributes. For me, though, my favorite thing about McCulloch is the people. Some of my best friends are my floor-mates, and I am very lucky to have met them.
Food and Dining
There are three major dining facilities at Dartmouth: 53 Commons, The Hop, and Collis. 53 Commons is all-you-can-eat, and it does a good job to incorporate foods of different ethnicities and offer vegetarian and kosher options. However, like at any university, the dining options get old, and there is not much to diversify with in the small town of Hanover. Food at the Hop and Collis is individually priced, and generally rather expensive.
What to do for fun
If we're being completely honest, frat houses do dominate the social scene at Dartmouth. Almost all sophomores rush, and since there is no nightlife to speak of in the surrounding area, the only place to go out is to the frats. However, there are many different ways to go out, and I haven't experienced any grief for declining to drink. I've actually been shocked by the lack of peer pressure. There are dance parties and other things to go to on weekends, and Collis After Dark makes a huge effort to bring shows and activities to the table for people who don't want to do the frat thing.
Bang for the buck
The financial aid that Dartmouth is giving me was the happiest shock of my life. Not only do they give great aid themselves, but they will match the offer of any other Ivy League institution, so if you get in several places, you can start a bidding war between them! What's more, outside scholarship aid is applied towards the student and parent contributions first, then work study, and only after that used to reduce the aid the college gives you, unlike at other schools.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
My whole first two weeks at Dartmouth were a whirlwind of traditions, from learning the Salty Dog dance, to being pranked on trips, to singing the alma mater at commencement. It doesn't end there, either. During homecoming week the freshmen (not called freshmen at Dartmouth, actually. We're 16's. That's another tradition.) run laps around the bonfire at the center of the green, and I've never felt so united with such a large group before. Dartmouth's traditions really help to make everyone feel at home.
Great for these types of students
There's a stereotypical Dartmouth student: Adventurous, outdoorsy, rugged, flannel-wearing, and athletic, but Dartmouth is, in reality, a place for everyone but snobs. We're the cool younger brother of the Ivy League, and we don't take ourselves too seriously. It's not unusual to see people in footie pajamas or tutus (we wear flair sometimes. You'll get used to it). While we're proud to be home to some of the world's smartest and most driven students, you won't really hear us say it.
Clubs and Activities
There are lots of great clubs and activities at Dartmouth. If you want to get involved with something, it's probably either there for you, or easy enough to start up. There are great, well established publications and teams, and some promising new start-ups. Our athletics, for the most part, aren't the best, but we're still proud to have them.
Campus Safety
I've personally never felt unsafe on campus. The area is very quaint and small town, so there aren't the same concerns that there would be at a city school. The blue-light system and Dartmouth Safety and Security do a great job monitoring campus and making people feel safe, even when walking home at four a.m.
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Big Green!

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Dartmouth Creates a welcoming atmosphere during orientation and then, unlike other schools, mantains it. Administration is approachable due to the small size. The students are accepting and encouraging of one another.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be nervous! Dartmouth is super relaxed. You will rarely ever hear people talking about their SAT scores or GPA. On your application, make sure you stand out with your essay. Since Dartmouth doesn't have any supplements, its one of the only places you can really shine.
Academic Rigor
Since Dartmouth is on a Trimester system, we have three terms in which we take three classes each. We don't count credits we count courses. So one must take 35 courses to graduate. Classes are not too difficult since professors are super approachable and are willing to spend time to help you out, but Dartmouth does have a lengthy set of general education requirements which may make you step out of your comfort zone and challenge you.
Dorm Life
Dorm life at Dartmouth is like no other. The rooms are huge! Most Freshman end up in two room doubles, that is, they have two seperate rooms and one roommate! The dorms act as social spaces as well. A lot of nights, you will find your whole floor hanging out in the common room doing homework or listening to music.
Food and Dining
With a brand new, all you can eat dining hall that just opened in Fall 2011, the food options are amazing. They switch up the foods every day and always have a number of special events where guest chefs and local farms come to give out food. A lot of the food in the dining halls come from local New Hampshire and Vermont vendors and farmers. The school provides many organic options and is super vegan/vegetarian friendly.
What to do for fun
If i'm being honest, Hanover is not the most happening place. So we make our own fun. We have Friday Night Rock concerts every other week. We have some big name performers come in; past acts include Ke$ha and Avicii.
But the main attraction on weekends is the Greek Scene. While Many are skeptical about Greek life, as i was coming into school, Dartmouth ensures that it is an inclusive atmosphere. If a frat is throwing a party, they are required by the school to send out an email invitation to EVERY UNDERGRADUATE on campus. The option of whether or not to attend is yours. For freshamn boys, this is especially amazing since this is nearly unheard of at schools where you have to pay to get into parties or maintain a certain ratio of women to men (blech!). There is no pressure to drink. There is pressure however, to let loose and dance the night away.
But, even if youre not into the greek scene, The Programming Board provides fun alternative such as mechanical bull riding or laser tage or bowling trips.
Bang for the buck
Dartmouth is REALLY expensive. But they do their best with financial aid. I do think a Dartmouth degree is worth it though. Last year i believe 40% of seniors graduated with jobs that they had accepted. This is pretty much unheard of in this economy.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
During homecoming, students build a giant bonfire as tall as Dartmouth Hall itself. Then, on Dartmouth night, the freshmen have to run around the bonfire the same number of times as their graduating year. So if you graduate in 2015, then you have to run around 15 times.
During winter carnival a giant snow sculpture is built in the middle of the green.
On the first big snow of the season, an email is sent out to everyone inviting them to a giant snowball fight on the green. Best snowball fight ever!
The CT river runs right alongside campus. You can go canoeing for a studybreak or even walk down to the rope-swing for a nice swim.
First Year Trips! 95% of freshmen go on them. You are put with a group of 6-9 people and sent into the wilderness for 4 days with upperclassmen trip leaders. Its an amazing experience that give everyone something to talk about when they get to campus!
The dartmouth skiway is a 10 minute drive from campus and buses run every day in the winter. Students get discount rentals and lift tickets and can even get paid to be instructors. You can even take skiing for PE credit!
Great for these types of students
Students who know how to manage work and play.
Students who enjoy the outdoors.
Students who don't mind wearing jeans and a t shirt to a party on friday night.
Students who dont mind wearing boots for 3 months straight.
Students who like to ski.
Students who like to read outside
Students who like to hike.
Clubs and Activities
SOOOOOo many clubs. Cant even describe. Stuff for Tree huggers, Computer geeks, Debate freaks, video Game creators, Live Action Role Players, Bakers, Animal enthusiasts, and woodsmen.
Greek Life
You can't join a sorority or frat until you're a sophomore. This ensures that you make other friends the normal way instead of being forced to talk to 50 upperclassmen in your first couple weeks of school. Almost all parties are open. 40% of the student body goes Greek.
Campus Safety
Safety and Security officers at school do exactly what their job title entails. They are looking after you, not trying to get you in trouble. A Good Samaritan rule ensures that if you call S&S to make sure a friend is okay, you will not get in trouble.
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Dartmouth '13

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
While many people believe that an Ivy League school is just all in the name, that's not entirely true. While I can't personally compare it to any other school, I can tell that the education and the teaching is top-notch. I come from a rural public school in Connecticut, so it's definitely a leap, and the students here are definitely motivated and intelligent (which can make it rough on a student that has never been with so many smart people before). The professors also make sure to make office hours accesible and are generally available to meet, even if you can't make it to their office hours. There are also plenty of opportunities to do research and have other experience outside the classroom such as helping professors do research and working in labs.
Am enjoying being here
The campus is probably best described as quaint. It's a small campus and quite rural, so there's definitely a trap of being in a Dartmouth bubble. It's often difficult to think of a world outside of Dartmouth while you're there, so that could be troubling to some people. The social scene is also clearly centered around Greek life, and there is little else that goes on in Hanover. However, even most of the people that are initially turned off by the Greek scene eventually do warm to it, and the upperclassmen are generally very welcoming to freshman.
Bang for the buck
Dartmouth is first a private school, so you the cost of tuition and room and board is going to be high. It's no higher than many similar schools (Cornell, Brown, etc.), but that doesn't mean that it's affordable either. It's a great education, but I can't say that you really get your bang for the buck. Financial aid is decent - although it helps to know how to work the system to get better financial aid.
Tips for prospective students
Be yourself and get lucky - applying for these types of schools is never easy and there's a certain amount of luck involved. Don't be discouraged if you get rejected at any school, since there are plenty of worthy students that don't get in (or are wait listed); that isn't just a way of the admissions office to make you feel better.
Great for these types of students
Outdoorsy, social, motivated, ambitious
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Alannah from Westerville, OH

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Dartmouth's quarter system has a way of packing you full of a lot of information in a short time. I have found that the ten week terms combined with the smaller number of classes being taken let's be do better work in the three classes I do take every term (as opposed to a semester system where I would take approximately 5 courses every term). The shortcoming of this is that every class period is important and it can be hard to recover if you get sick for a long period of time. This is a top notch school with great professors who hold a lot of office hours and are very accessible. Like any school you'll have a bad professor here or there, but majority of the professors are great.
Am enjoying being here
Everyone at Dartmouth is active outside of class, which can be overwhelming at first, but it means there is a vibrant culture at the school. There are endless non-varsity sports and and extracurricular opportunities. The Dartmouth Outing Club is a unique aspect of Dartmouth's extracurricular programs which I have fallen in love with. They do hiking, rock climbing and kayaking. They also help maintain the Appalachian Trail that runs through campus. The social scene is also very active. There's also somewhere to hangout any night of the week. The one warning I would give is be ready to deal with the greek system. It's totally up to you if you want to join a fraternity or sorority but whether you join or not the greek houses will still affect and help define your Dartmouth experience.
Bang for the buck
Even during tough economic times Dartmouth gives abundant financial aid. It's definitely a top notch education and for as reasonable a price as you'll get for a school of its caliber.
Tips for prospective students
Visit. Dartmouth is very welcoming, but the energy the student body has can get overwhelming.
Great for these types of students
Active, outdoorsy, open, passionate, hardworking, versatile, wide interest, diverse.
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Sarah from PA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I loved the welcoming atmosphere from the moment I stepped on campus, which I noticed during an admissions tour and certainly holds true. Be prepared for the fast pace of a ten-week term since Dartmouth uses the quarter system instead of semesters, but it gives students more flexibility to pursue multiple study abroad, internship and leave-term options over their student careers. Dartmouth students are very involved in extracurriculars, perhaps even over-committed, and Greek life is a big deal here.
Academic Rigor
Classes are hard. The ten-week term moves quite fast, and midterms (in some classes all tests are called midterms) can start by the end of the second week. There are many resources if you make the effort, starting with professors who want to help and get to know their students.
Food and Dining
There are many dining options if you look for them.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
One of the most iconic is the massive bonfire (multiple stories tall) on the greeen (quad) during homecoming. The freshmen run laps around it, the exact number depending on their class year. Students identify by their class year, so someone would say I'm a sixteen instead of 'I'm a junior.
Great for these types of students
motivated, involved
Greek Life
Big deal. 70% of eligible students participate. It's an open system, though, so anyone can go into most any house event.
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Brianna from New Hampshire

researching this school
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Dartmouth College has a large campus that is great for all students - 5 stars on location/campus. It's medical department is WONDERFUL, and it even runs its own hospital, which has doctors from all around the world, including ones that have graduated from Dartmouth (5 stars for employment opportunities)!!!! Also, it has a great department for medical studies, which is great for those looking for a degree in those fields (5 stars)!
Tips for prospective students
I would make sure that Dartmouth EXCELS in the field that you wish to pursue. Though it is a wonderful college that helps with many different majors and minors, it would be best to make sure they have great professors in the field you wish to excel in!!! :)
Academic Rigor
Dartmouth produces many elite professors and doctors, which means that it must have great programs in teaching. From other people's past experiences, the terms go by very fast but are very difficult.
Dorm Life
The dorms appear small, but are clean and great inside.
Food and Dining
Many dining options for people of all needs!
Clubs and Activities
The athletics at this D1 school are awesome! The teams compete against many other elite schools, including UNH, Harvard, Hartford, Princeton, and BU.
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Brian from Cedar Knolls, NJ

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Dartmouth has some of the most welcoming professors, friendly student, and most comprehensive yet entertaining classes.
Tips for prospective students
Keep your grades up, remember to do extracurriculars. Also, keep in mind that you will need to ask for a peer recommendation.
Academic Rigor
Ivy League. 'Nuff said.
Dorm Life
It's a lot of fun to hang out with friends.
Food and Dining
There are 5 different dining halls, but eventually, like all college food, they get old.
What to do for fun
Party, Hang out with friends, go to one of the many dining halls.
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Current Student

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Biggest problem with the school is that it doesn't cater to non mainstream students (wannabe investment bankers, fratstars, big drinkers). It can be extremely difficult to find individuals against the grain, especially since this school is in the middle of nowhere. Education quality is generally very high, and help is readily available.
Tips for prospective students
If you're any of the above (interested in finance, love to party, don't mind being super isolated), this school is a good fit. Otherwise, apply elsewhere. Their application is extremely easy (no essay), so if you're comfortable dropping $90, then go ahead.
Academic Rigor
Depends on your major, but I feel like there are high expectations all around.
Dorm Life
Better than most colleges--rooms in East Wheelock are extremely spacious. Off campus housing is limited..
Food and Dining
Relative to most colleges--decent. Relative to a normal person--average.
What to do for fun
There's really only one thing to do: drink. Being in the middle of nowhere helps with that. In addition, rush is a huge deal here; if you're unaffiliated, you're essentially irrelevant. I wouldn't hang out with a typical student ever.
Bang for the buck
Dartmouth has one of the highest ROIs for college attendance, probably due to the vast number of students entering the financial services profession.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
High greek participation
Making freshman run around a bonfire
Trips (indoctrination)
Great for these types of students
Fratty, status-obsessed, financiers. Though I wish other students would apply.
Clubs and Activities
Lots of activities available.
Greek Life
Extremely prevalent. The crux of social life here.
Campus Safety
In general, Hanover has a very low crime rate. The only concern would be alcohol intoxication.
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