Your Dartmouth Plan

Whatever your major, nearly half of your academic schedule over the course of four years is totally up to you—enrollment on or off campus, study abroad, internship, research, or employment.

The Dartmouth calendar consists of four ten-week academic quarters per year: fall, winter, spring, and summer. There are 15 academic quarters, or terms, between matriculation and graduation; most students will take classes during 12 terms to earn their degrees. Students must take classes on campus for fall, winter, and spring quarters of their first year, for two of the three academic quarters of their final year, and for a summer quarter of their choice. Beyond that, where and when students choose to complete their coursework and take their leave terms is mostly up to them.

Want to see some examples?

Our bloggers have charted their D-Plans, sharing information about their favorite classes, their internship, research, and study abroad experiences, and even what they did during their non-academic quarters. Visit the profile pages for bloggers Batuhan, Simon, Eda, and Daniel to read about their D-Plan experiences.

Consider the Advantages

Dartmouth gives students more autonomy in shaping their ideal learning, research, and work experiences than schools that follow more traditional academic calendars do.

  • Pursue internships during any season of the year—a huge competitive edge over students from schools that funnel internships into summer breaks.
  • Spend in-residence "R" terms enrolled in classes on campus, taking advantage of labs, leadership opportunities, and arts and recreation throughout the region.
  • Use off-campus "O" terms for language study abroad or foreign studies programs. Your financial aid follows you wherever you go.
  • Schedule leave "L" terms to undertake field research, internships, travel, work, or to just take a break.
  • Receive funding and networking support for "L" terms from Dartmouth resources such as the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, the Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, the Dartmouth Career Network, and the Financial Aid Office.