Admissions Facts & Advice

High School Curriculum Tips

We don’t have specific high school course requirements, but students are encouraged to take the most rigorous classes available in their school.

A Typical Set of Curriculum Choices

The majority of applicants have taken the following courses:

  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of mathematics (often through calculus, if available)
  • 4 years of social science
  • 4 years of laboratory science
  • 4 years of a foreign language

In most cases, unusual curricular choices are best highlighted in a concise explanation provided by the counselor in the Secondary School Report or by the applicant in the “Additional Information” section of the Common Application.

The Secondary School Report (SSR)

We don't just look at your grades and classes when we review your SSR. We review your academic achievement in the context of your high school.

Using the SSR and a profile provided by your secondary school, we'll gain an understanding of what courses your school offers, how the grading system works, what characteristics help to define the school community and what percentage of students go on to college after graduation.

Here’s what we want to know:

  • Given the courses that your school offers, have you enrolled in a challenging curriculum?
  • Have you had academic success that suggests that you'll thrive in the classroom at Dartmouth?

If we answer YES to these two questions, then we look deeper into your application to better understand your particular areas of academic strength and weakness, subjects that interest you most, and your motivation for learning.

College-Level Coursework

We will review and consider any college-level coursework (including community college and online course work). Please include transcripts for any college courses you have taken to illustrate your preparedness for the Dartmouth curriculum.

Don't forget to check out our detailed FAQs section for more application advice. Student advisors might like to visit our Guidance Counselors section.

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