Admissions Learning & Living

A Flexible Study Plan: The D-Plan

Dartmouth has a year-round quarter system. Pick 12 terms to graduate. With Dartmouth’s distinctive D-Plan, you customize your own academic calendar. This chart shows the basic structure:

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
First Year Bond with classmates during your first three terms on our beautiful campus. You Choose
SophomoreYear You Choose: Enrollment, study abroad, internships, employment, on campus or off campus Summer on Campus
Junior Year You Choose: Enrollment, study abroad, internships, employment, on campus or off campus. You Choose
Senior Year Your class spends the last three terms together on campus again. Graduation

The shaded areas of the chart show the terms when you can plan to be on campus, including a memorable summer. Dartmouth offers four ten-week terms per year, so that leaves more than half of your terms open for your own planning. On campus or off campus: you choose.

Your D-Plan is your personal enrollment pattern. Here’s what you need to know:

There are three types of terms.

  • R: Terms in residence. This is when you are in Hanover and enrolled in classes.
  • O: Terms off campus. You are not in Hanover, but you are enrolled in one of Dartmouth’s Language Study Abroad or Foreign Study Programs, or you are taking classes at another institution that will transfer credits.
  • L: Leave terms. You are not enrolled. You could go on vacation, get an internship, find a job, do research, or travel.

The D-Plan offers unparalleled opportunities for internships and research.

At most schools, students have to fit internships into summer break. That means a lot of competition for the same positions between June and August. At Dartmouth, internship opportunities are options during any season of the year, according to your plan.

If you need funding to make your leave-term a success you can apply for Dartmouth grants from centers on campus like the Tucker Foundation, the Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, and the Financial Aid Office.

Need advice on looking for leave-term opportunities? Career services, the thousands of alumni in the Career Network, and upperclass students who've been there are all ready to help connect you with life-changing experiences.

It’s all up to you.

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