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For the D-Plan, must students take classes for all four quarters a year or can they take one quarter off a year?

A: Adrian Chimboza '25

When you think of college, the typical two-semester system probably pops into your mind. But Dartmouth, with its commitment to unique and tailored learning experiences, offers something refreshingly different: the D-Plan. If you're wondering how this system molds the quintessential Dartmouth experience, strap in. We're about to embark on a journey through time, opportunity, and personal growth.

D-Plan 101: The Backbone of Dartmouth's Academic Year

The D-Plan isn't just an academic system—it's a philosophy. It resonates with Dartmouth's belief in student autonomy, diverse experiences, and holistic growth. But before we dive deep, let's grasp the fundamentals.

A Yearly Affair: Breaking Down the D-Plan

Freshman Year: New beginnings, friendships, and a world of possibilities. As newcomers, first-years are anchored on campus during fall, winter, and spring terms. This trio of seasons offers a full Dartmouth immersion, from the golden hues of autumn to winter's serene snowfall and the rejuvenating spring blossoms.

Sophomore Summer: The stuff of legends. This is THE summer where every sophomore converges on campus, basking in the sun's glow and the myriad summer-specific activities. Canoeing, bonfires, starlit concerts, and so much more—this term is Dartmouth at its most whimsical.

The Freedom Years - Junior and Senior: The D-Plan blossoms in these years, revealing its true magic. While meeting certain academic requisites, students have the liberty to intersperse their on-campus terms with enriching off-term experiences.

Painting Your Dartmouth Canvas: The World of Opportunities

The D-Plan is like a painter's palette, bursting with colors and shades awaiting your brushstroke. Here's a closer look:

Internships & Co-ops: Dartmouth's flexibility allows students to pursue internships not just during summer but throughout the year, aligning with various industry recruitment cycles.

Study Abroad Experiences: Always dreamt of studying Renaissance art in Italy, or marine biology in Australia? The D-Plan makes semester-long or even year-long study abroad programs a tangible reality without interrupting your academic progression.

Research Endeavors: Dartmouth's robust research community welcomes student involvement. With the D-Plan, you can dive deep into a project during any term, capitalizing on unique opportunities and resources.

Personal Sabbaticals: Whether it's volunteering, traveling, writing a book, or starting a venture, the D-Plan's off-terms can be your stepping stone to pursue personal passions.

Beyond Academics: The Cultural and Social Tapestry

But Dartmouth's D-Plan isn't just about academics. The staggered presence of different classes throughout the year ensures a dynamic social milieu:

Bonding Over Sophomore Summer: With only sophomores on campus, the community vibe is unparalleled. It's an opportunity for meaningful connections, traditions, and memories.

Varied Networking: With students constantly transitioning between internships, research, and classes, the networking opportunities and the influx of fresh perspectives and experiences are ever-present.

Signing Off: Your Dartmouth, Your D-Plan

Dartmouth's D-Plan isn't a mere academic system—it's a celebration of freedom, opportunity, and exploration. It nurtures the spirit of individuality, empowering students to sculpt their unique Dartmouth narrative.

If you have more questions or are eager to swap stories and experiences, slide into my messages. I'm always here to chat and share the Big Green love.

For more Information visit:


D-Plan Guide

Undergraduate Deans Office

Dartmouth Admissions Blog by Chase Harvey 25': "About the D-Plan"

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