The Academic Journey

Your student's experience at Dartmouth includes many important milestones.

Ways to Support Your Student

  • Make sure they check in each term.
  • Encourage them to read the weekly/biweekly email newsletter their Undergraduate Dean sends out during the term. This regular correspondence contains tips, deadlines, and very timely information – and arrives right in your student’s inbox.
  • Urge your student to actively use the Undergraduate Deans Office and other resources as they navigate Spring term!
  • Advise your student to take time for reflection and self-care, and to do whatever they can to find balance and healthfulness.

We remain grateful for your partnership in support of your student – thank you!

First-Year Students

During fall term, first-year students transition from high school to college learning. They adjust to the pace of a ten-week term and the necessary study habits and time management strategies required to be successful.

The winter break is a great time to reflect on their successes and challenges during their first term, and discuss possible adjustments for winter term.

Your student’s D-Plan is due early in the spring term, and they will need to make decisions soon about whether or not they plan to participate in off-campus programs during their sophomore year. Please encourage your student to contact their Undergraduate Dean for support.

The Undergraduate Deans Office's annual guide, Explore, Engage, Excel: An Introduction to Academics at Dartmouth College, is a great resource for information about the first-year academic experience and beyond. We hope you will spend some time reviewing this resource with your student.


This is a pivotal year for your student, as they will develop their academic plans for the remainder of their Dartmouth career and prepare to declare a major during their fifth term in residence. They'll be exploring majors and minors and starting to think about research opportunities. They may need to adjust their D-Plans as they consider off-campus programs.

Please take a moment to review The Sophomore Year, which summarizes the academic opportunities and advising resources available to your student.

If your student hasn’t already done so, please encourage them to take advantage of advising workshops through the Undergraduate Deans Office.


Junior year provides your student with a space to focus more purposefully on their major, develop a plan to complete graduation requirements, cultivate strategies to pursue professional as well as post-graduate opportunities, and choose how they will leave their mark through their Dartmouth College experience.

Your student may be thinking about:

  • Taking full advantage of the D-Plan by participating in FSPs or LSAs.
  • Continuing their exploration and confirming their major choice
  • Preparing for senior year fellowships and scholarships for graduate study
  • Becoming acquainted with faculty, particularly those outside their major
  • Out-of-classroom contact with professors
  • An honors thesis
  • Upcoming deadlines – completing language and PE requirements, editing major cards, etc. 


Your senior may have many conflicted feelings as they approach graduation and prepare to move onto the next phase of their lives. It is important to acknowledge that beginnings and endings can be stressful and are a normal part of growing. We hope that you can use this time to open up many fruitful conversations with your student about their personal values and lifestyle in relation to future planning, and remind them of their abilities, skills, interests, and successes. Reflection is a critical part of student development, especially in this important time of transition.

Dartmouth College has a network of effective resources to assist every senior, whether your student plans to graduate in June or is postponing graduation until a later date. These resources provide support as your student pursues academic and personal success while at Dartmouth, and can help them prepare for graduation and life after Dartmouth as well. These include the Center for Professional Development and the Undergraduate Deans Office. Please encourage your student to reach out to these resources.

During senior year, students will be tracking and completing their degree requirements while exploring job opportunities or graduate schools.