The Academic Journey

Your student will experience many important milestones during their time at Dartmouth.

Ways to Support Your Student

The Undergraduate Deans Office  (UDO) provides support for undergraduate students, as well as for other enrolled students. The office's main mission is to support students in their engagement with the curriculum and in their overall educational experience at Dartmouth.

The undergraduate deans are an important resource for your student to discuss academic advising, personal issues, and College policies.

  • Encourage your student to check with their dean each term. They are available to meet with students by appointment and at drop-in office hours.
  • Encourage them to read the weekly/biweekly email newsletter their dean sends out during the term. This regular correspondence contains tips, deadlines, and very timely information – and arrives right in your student's inbox.
  • Advise your student to take time for reflection and self-care, and to do whatever they can to find balance and wellbeing. Our resources are here to help.
  • Talk with your student about any concerns you may have. The undergraduate deans provide some helpful information for parents, guardians, and families, including what to expect as your student progresses through each year.

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 experience.

Your student may be thinking about:

  • Taking full advantage of the D-Plan by participating in a Foreign Study Program (FSP) or Language Study Away (LSA) program;
  • 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.

During senior year, students will be tracking and completing their degree requirements while exploring job opportunities or graduate schools. The Center for Professional Development offers advising, career fairs, and other programs to explore varied options.

Dartmouth's network of effective resources is available 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. Please encourage your student to reach out for information.